Tag: museum

Exhibition “Das Netz” gets awarded

This exhibition at the German Museum of Technology, to which I contributed three exhibits, is the winner in a nationwide contest. It has won an award as an “Excellent Place in the Nation of Ideas 2015” in the category culture.


Video of the new exhibits

TV.Berlin made a report on the new exhibition, showing two of my exhibits in action.

Watch the full video or start directly at 9m33s. You will see the Fiber Optic Communication and the Packet Routing exhibit.


Pictures of the new exhibits

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I finally found the time to prepare some pictures and a bit of description for the new exhibits at Das Netz @ Deutsches Technikmuseum.

>> MEMEX

>> Packet Routing

>> Fiber Optic Communication


MEMEX @ Das Netz

Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein

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The MEMEX is a historical vision of an american scientist, published in 1945, but never realized. It is a „device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library“ based on microfilm technology. The most important idea is the creation of “trails”: links between pages – the first hyperlinks.

This interpretation of the MEMEX vision is based on digital components. The user can search the library, browse documents and create trails in a way that is very close to the original idea. The user interface is very simple but powerful.

My talk on the basic MEMEX idea and this exhibit at the Vintage Computing Festival Berlin 2015 can be watched here (in german language).

Hardware 4x Raspberry Pi, Arduino with 64-button-shield, TFT
PC as database server
Software distributed python-based sofware, communicating over XMLRPC

 

(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)

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Displays

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Camera

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Keyboard

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Keyboard detail

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Display detail

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Keyboard – bottom side


Packet Routing @ Das Netz

Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein

IMG_9223 This device shows a network of 18 nodes and 27 edges that form a model of the internet. Messages can be send betweeen 4 terminals. These messages are split into data packets that are reassembled at the receiving terminal. The routing of the packets depends on the different base speed of the connections and the current network load. Nodes (routers) can be disabled to simulate network outages.

The data flow is visualized using flip-dots (mechanical bistable display elements). A high load on the network can be experienced as a real motion with an acoustical effect.

The whole exhibit is covered under a glass panel, all 30 buttons are touch-sensitive capacitive elements.

Main controller Raspberry Pi, python-based software
Distributed controllers 31x ARM microcontroller (PSoC 4)
Data bus RS 485 (2-wire and 4-wire versions)

(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)

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Terminal with input and output buffer

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Node detail with controller board

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Network with nodes and connections

>> Click here to see videos showing prototypes and the development process of this exhibit


Fiber Optic Communication @ Das Netz

Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein

IMG_9186This device demonstrates data transmission over fiber optical cables. The sender unit emits light impulses when one of the buttons (0 or 1) is pressed. By sending eight bits a character is transmitted (ASCII code). A receiver unit shows the bits, the received characters and the data rate. The way of the light can be observed at the entrance and exit of the optical cable. The ASCII-code of all capital letters can be selected from a cylindrical table.

Sender PSoc 4 Microcontroller, capacitice Buttons,  high-power LED
Receiver PSoc 4 Microcontroller, phototransistor with trigger circuit, smart color display (eDIP TFT)
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Sender, cable and receiver

(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)

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ASCII code table


Visualize Packet Routing with FlipDots

Another exhibit for the Berlin Museum of Technolgy will be a visualization of packet routing in networks. A large wall will show a network of nodes and edges, where the connections (edges) are formed by lines of FlipDots. When the visitors send data over the network there will be a lot of optical and acoustical feedback. 🙂

 

We plan to use more than 1000 dots that are connected with different RS485 bus segments and controlled by a bunch of PSoC 4 microcontrollers. Capacitive sensors will be used for user input and a lot of RGB LEDs provide visual output. The whole scene will be controlled by a python application using the networkx modules.

Pictures will be posted here soon.


Building a MEMEX

I recently started building a MEMEX device for a new exhibition “Das Netz” in the Berlin Museum of Technolgy. The MEMEX is a vision of a scientist from the 1940s about future knowledge management based on microfilms.

MEMEX

The exhibit will use computer components instead but it will simulate the look and feel of a microfilm device. At the moment I have fully functional software simulation (coded in python) of the device to define and test the complete user interface and the typical processes.

MemexSim

In the next step we will build the components (database, displays, keyboard and camera) as independent modules. These modules will communicate over a standard ethernet connection.

The current design is the following:

Database fanless PC with a MongoDB server (Linux)
Monitors Raspberry Pi with a 13.3″ Display (software: python)
Keyboard Arduino with a 64-Button-Shield, Buttons and a transport lever
Camera Raspberry Pi with a RaspiCam (software: python)