We first went there to listen to the talk given by Sébastien Warin (in French) on the Constellation framework, “Developers, create ambient AI for your connected objects using the “constellation” platform”. This platform is based on software “connectors” allowing the addition of any kind of device in a “constellation”; then you can interact with any object in your “constellation” through those connectors. For instance, he uses camera and video processing to check his water consumption and uses this information to either trigger an alert in case of potential water leakage, or to provide a shower limitation system in the day to day life. This application provides an easy way to gather data, but, at the moment, the decisions that are taken by the system are still hard coded.
Looking back at the Maker Faire, It is interesting to have a look at those creations while keeping in mind the article “Take X and add AI to it” to see the huge possibilities offered by IoT.
With that in mind, here are some projects that caught our attention.
1 Open Hardware for IoT
This selection highlights technologies aiming at democratizing connected objects, allowing anyone to build their own connected object.
- We-IO: A platform to build connected objects and communicate with them, using HTML5 and Python. Their mission statement: “Making connected objects becomes as simple as making websites”. They are selling the hardware while the software part is Open Source.
- La blue frog: A fully capable sensor (Pressure, acceleration, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Temperature, Light, Proximity, Sound) with a nice full color screen display.
- Siness: A wireless adapter to access to the datas of your car. Simply plug it to the diagnose port of your car, and all the data are accessible via smartphone or PC.
The robots are the figureheads of intelligent objects. So no surprise here, several robotics projects were presented at the Maker Faire.
- Buddy: With this wheeled robot companion, you can test your algorithms (vision, navigation, SLAM, etc.). And since it integrates working controls for all the lower level parts, it is also a nice testbed to test more intelligent automation.
- In moov: You have a 3D printer? You want to create a humanoid robot? This project is made for you. InMoov is the first Open Source 3D printed life-size robot.
- Leka: Leka is presenting Moti, a smart toy specifically designed for children with special needs. Experts have been included directly in the robot design phase to fit the children’s needs.
3 Creative applications
Finally I wanted to share 2 great projects that represent well the creativity at the heart of the maker movement.. Those two projects don’t integrate AI at the moment nor have any link with AI, but they open very promising perspectives.
- HeavyM: A Projection Mapping software, based on OpenFrameworks. It would be nice to add intelligent automation to it. For instance the projected images could adapt to live tweets from the audience, the time, the news, the weather, etc.
- Lunii: Lunni offers easily programable stories for kids. The kids can set up extremely simple parameters (Hero, universe, character and object) and a story matching those parameters is automatically read to them. It is too early to provide a fully procedurally generated story, but not too early to dream about it.
Most of the projects presented at this Maker Faire are in the early to middle stage of their development. This means some of them will become actual product in the next few years. They are already pretty cool. Definitely. But I think there is still much space left to make them even cooler and smarter by adding AI.
Looking forward to seeing you at the next Maker Faire.