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You've got the magic touch

Mimosa Pudica (touch-sensitive plant) at ComPeung

Since Jean-Marc showed me these plants, lots of ideas have started flowing through my mind. The mimosa pudica grow on the ComPeung ground and they are very impressive. Watch the video to get the idea... As thus, I've started looking at touch sensing electronic devices.

I've put my attention at very simple circuits at first. Here are a few links I found, I put them here for later reference:

Zener regulator circuit

The zener regulator circuit

On Monday, I went to meet Dr Nipon at the Computational Intelligence Laboratory at University of Chiang Mai. I had made contact with Dr Nipon in Spring 2008 in order to get some technical support during my residency in ComPeung.

Dr Nipon prove to be a very nice person and showed much interest in the project. He put me under the safe care of one of his PhD students, Wirot Ponglangka, nicknamed "Joe", who is a specialist in electronics. Joe seems to be very excited about the project as well and is more than happy to help me.

Inflatable electronic fruits and fungi

Condom inflated with a blower

All the insects being driven out of here by winter, I stopped working on insect-attracting light sources and tried to find new research ideas. I was much impressed by all of the little plastic bags that are used here to carry pretty much any kind of food, including sauces, soups and milk!

Expériences lumineuses

Expérience comparative avec deux sources de lumière

J'ai effectué quelques tests pour attirer les insectes avec de la lumière. Ça marche, mais je me demande bien quoi faire avec ça. Il n'y en a pas assez à mon goût, des insectes. Faut dire que c'est la saison fraîche.

Night at the reservoir

Ong in front of the reservoir

After a long day at the internet cafe Doi Saket, I joined the group in ComPeung and we went to see the dam in the mountains. Fascinating landscape that strangely reminds me of the Quebec forest with its large areas of fresh water surrounded by old, green mountains. From what Ong told us, ancient temples are sunk below the surface of the artificial reservoir, forgotten by modernism. My friend Federico Bonnelli, a big fan of futurism, would be delighted.

Wires and spider webs

Wires in Bangkok

Since I arrived in Thailand, I was really impressed by the electrical and communication network. In every city or town, wires run in all directions, loosely attached to electric posts, in a rather chaotic fashion. It has become usual for me to see electric wires entertwined with tree branches, often at the reach of one's hand. People don't seem to bother about this, even when the rain is heavy! In Ton Sai, one of these wires hanging between the jungle and the village had become the preferred highway for a colony of ants to go get some food.

Just arrived in ComPeung

The roof of my house (house #2)

After two weeks of travel in Thailand, I arrived yesterday at my final destination: ComPeung. The head of the organization, Ong, showed me around the rather impressive project.

Réseaux hiérarchiques

Schéma d'un réseau hiérarchique tronqué en deux sous-groupes suite à un bris de connection

Suite à mes recherches de ce week-end, j'ai travaillé aujourd'hui sur un modèle en arbre. Un tel modèle est un graphe où chaque noeud (sommet) est le parent d'un ou plusieurs noeuds et où noeud objet possède un parent (excepté celui qui se situe au sommet de tous les autres).

Ce qui me plaît avec cette idée c'est que (1) ça reproduit certaines structures empruntées par des animaux sociaux tels que les fourmis et les abeilles et (2) en cas de rupture d'un lien, on se retrouve simplement avec deux réseaux hiérarchiques distincts (voir image).

Patch on AFSoftSerial: multi-buffers

Following a comment expressed in a post in the Arduino forum I wrote a patch on the source code of AFSoftSerial by Ladyada. This patch adds a distinct buffer for each serial input (instead of a static, shared buffer). It thus allows to have several inputs/outputs (rx/tx).

Circular counting

Arduino serial window showing the counting of modules

This is an important proof-of-concept I wanted to implement with respect to circular serial communication. For nodes in the circular network to be able to send messages to other nodes, they need to be able to send and receive addressed packets. Those packets are relayed through the network until they reach their final destination.

The first kind of packet that I wished to implement is very simple: it allows the node to be aware of the number of nodes in the network. Here is the general algorithm that is run:

generate a unique key
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