GTUG/House4Hack Team wins!

1

The combined GTUG / House4Hack team won the Google+ Hackathon JHB 2011.

The team was:

The Hackathon was pretty much open with very few guidelines – essentially build the coolest thing you can – so based on Yusuf’s idea, we built a Google Hangout app that allows you to control a remote camera and (thanks to Toby) shoot a laser.

Photos showing the laser turret, a screenshot of the hang out, Ant demo’ing and the Samsung Galaxy S II prize

When I got home, I thought I would make a video of how it works:

The idea is to have Google+ hangout running while we are  busy at the house and for those who can’t physically join us, to control the camera and interact – maybe using a laser in this context is not that clever 🙂

The following clip shows the turret in action – as controlled through the hangout:

The turret consists of an Arduino with a servo connected to a laptop, the laptop is then connected to the house4hack server via an ssh reverse port forward – this allows commands from the hangout to be forwarded to the Arduino which actuates a servo for movement and turns the laser on and off.

If anyone is interrested, I could post the Arduino sketch, but it is fairly trivial – uses the servo library.  The laser is 4.5V 25mA, which I drive from one of the digital output on the Arduino.

Update:

After some experimenting (yesterday), we managed to make the system much faster using socat and socket.io, as shown in the following picture:

Arduino linked to the Google+ Hangout
During the hackathon, the laptop was connected via the GSM network, so we had to use  ssh with remote port forward to stitch the whole thing together.

 

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