Challenge: Rapid prototyping has seen rapid technological developments in the past decade. Creative electronics solutions intended for use by artists and designers have propelled interaction and industrial design to new levels. I was in the process of building my masters thesis project at Emily Carr University; a wall of 32 human-cast robotic faces with a wall of eyes that track visitors movements as you walk by. The popular Arduino micro-controller didn’t have enough inputs and outputs to be used for my project and there was nothing else on the market that could be used to facilitate an expandable, modular-multi-device micro-controller (that was networked and open-source).
Solutions: I partnered with Randy Glenn (electronics engineer) and we co-designed a new series of microelectronic prototypes (PCB’s). I then built a company to offer my solutions for retail consumption.
Results: Our project was featured at the New York Science Museum Maker Fair. A thriving community of techno-artists and designers was formed by many developers who used our Mondo-Matrix technology to build a new generation of creative electronics projects world-wide.
Skills Needed: Physical computing product design & development, manufacturing & assembly design and management, branding & marketing, product design, momentum building, hacker space partnership, grant acquisition, manufacturing process design, logistics systems and beta testing.
Location(s): Vancouver, Toronto, New York
Budget Range: $150k+
Date/Duration: 2008 – 2012
Team: Morgan Rauscher & Randy Glenn
Partners: Spark Fun, Robot Shop, Emily Carr University, SSHRC (Canadian Grant)