Getting Started with Pinoccio

Votsh is a inventing a table top wireless computing platform that uses color, light, and animation to entertain and bring meaning to people’s lives. The product will feature units that talk to one another over wireless networks to organize and present detailed multi-location shows. Product development work started on Votsh Waves. We chose the Pinoccio project for distributed mesh networking between Waves. Pinoccio is the mesh network for Arduino processors. This video is for technical engineers to learn about the Pinoccio environment.

Pinoccio is a brand new technology, and this video is intended to help you get started. Hopefully you will be inspired by Pinoccio as I was and you will contribute to Pinoccio’s success. Slide deck for this video is available here.



Giving Voice To Waves

In giving a voice – literally one that plays Wav, OGG, MP3, MP4 and other audio – to Waves, the connection between Adafruit VS1053 audio codec and Arduino Micro processors should be easy. It is not. The pin connections and software drivers required research. Here is our solution. This works well. Feel free to share this.

VS1053-Arduino-Micro-Mega-Connections (Adobe PDF, 151K bytes)


Another View Of The Pebble

Guest reviewer, Miles Witthaus on the Pebble.

Thanks for letting me try out the Pebble watch. It was definitely neat to give it a try. I think my biggest criticism comes with regard to the concept of a smart watch to begin with. It seems to me that the importance of a watch has in many ways decreased of late. We are almost always surrounded by the time given by our computers, cars, and most notably phones. Given such proximity of an iPhone, a wrist watch at best saves you the additional 2 seconds it would have taken to just check your phone, something many people have an incessant need to check anyway.

Of course despite the easy ability to check time elsewhere almost everyone in many industries would still consider their watch a necessity. I think that is largely due to a sense of tradition and class. It is in this respect I think the Pebble falls the shortest. In neither form nor function does it come anywhere close to something that could be worn in a professional setting. It looks more like (and with features like the ability to play “Snake” acts like) a childish, portable Gameboy than an expensive or respectable accessory to your everyday wardrobe.

With that said, I do think there is a niche market full of excited early adapters who would enjoy and benefit from a smart watch. I don’t think the Pebble is that device tough. There really weren’t any features that showed off the technological abilities in a way that made me think “wow” or make me want to show it off to my friends. Even the most basic features like the buttons that were placed to close together and didn’t go all the way down with ease made me think that little work had been put into really making the device into an enjoyable experience.

Maybe with better technology the smart watch will take off. For now though, an untraditional gadget for an accessory that’s all about being traditional just isn’t cutting it.

Miles Witthaus

Blender for 3D Modeling and Printing

At Votsh we use the Blender 3D modeling and animation tool to prototype designs and print models of our products on 3D printers. Blender is Open Source Software (OSS). It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. The user interface is powerful. It may even be daunting to learn its many controls. It took me 1 solid week to get productive with Blender. Below are the shortcut and tutorial notes I took while learning Blender.

Click here to read Blender Shortcuts.