More Roomba stuff and the 2006 Power Tool Drag Races

Tod did it again, and based on an idea I had while talking to Chris, he wrote a Roomba to MIDI application, which lets you play a Roomba like a musical instrument (check out the video). Chris is considering composing some music for it. Phil blogged it on MAKE. Congratulations Tod and thank you, Phil!

Also, this weekend marked the 4th not-quite-annual Power Tool Drag Races. My contribution was a vehicle made of a roller skate, a Victrola motor, a piece of electrical tape and a pair of vice grips:


It was an excellent, busy, chaotic, hilarious event. As always, not really a competition, but an extended improv absurdist theater performance that's more about drag (i.e. bringing out the hidden side of tools) than racing. Here's Liz explaining the roller skate (named "Scratch") to John Hell, one of the announcers:


I knew Scratch didn't work well, so I dressed up as an early 20th-century "inventor," brought an actual gramophone with records, and hoped that being the only windup entry in the races would be good enough:

(photo by Scott Beale)

In the end, after 8 hours of waiting, the windup rollerskate went about 6 inches before getting stopped by a wood chip (and a poorly-designed drive belt--electrical tape that stretched in the sun--that didn't provide enough torque to get it over the chip).

We had a great time and you can see lots and lots of photos of the event if you look at the "ptdr" tag on Flickr. Thank you Charlie and QBOX for making it happen and Jim for being the patron saint.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on May 9, 2006 1:34 PM.

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