GTUG/House4Hack Team wins!


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.


After some experimenting (yesterday), we managed to make the system much faster using socat and, 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.


Posted in: Random


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