The original idea was to build a remote surgery robot, and extending that idea to ape the Eakin's painting that is the theme of the show, a series of robots to build a sort of "academic surgery theater for robots", but that's lot of work and only satisfies the interactive goal and not the take-home one. The theming is less of a concern for me because I think anything we build will be raw and mechanical, which will be pretty close to steampunk regardless. I still want to keep the robotic control system idea. I'm thinking the robot could mix the chemicals for the DNA extraction, spitting out a vial like a vending machine when it's done. If we break this up into several components, we can get all of this done without any one person needing to be super involved the entire time.
- Robot control system. The most complex and is the biggest unknown. What do we have in regards to parts already? Who do we have with the knowledge and time to build it? If we have to punt on this, I can see doing one of those isolated chamber work areas where you put your hands into the gloves integrated into the case. That will be kitschy enough to make for an interesting look.
- DNA extraction. The instructions that were given seemed pretty straight forward. Can we make some sort of mechanical dispensing system for the reagents? We also need a centrifuge of some kind built.
- Banner for the window. Did the vinyl banner get finished for whatever-we-were-doing-over-the-summer? The logo that we have on the site right now would be fine at a minimum, but I think it would be cool to incorporate the valance bees. Something along the line of the atomic age typography in signs and advertisements (something like this or this). Something like this got started before, but I think we have an opportunity to go really over the top here.
- Vision system. I'm keen on making a stereo system; ostensibly it's pretty easy. I'm doing work now with playing around with web cams, if I can get two running on the same computer at the same time then we're in business. Only thing I'm worried about is focus. If stereo isn't feasible, mono vision would be easy as pie, you don't really have to do anything beyond hooking it up to something like Skype.
- Aesthetic. Maybe some extraneous Tesla coils or Jacob's ladders, some tubes with flowing colored liquids, Bunsen burners, steam vents, the whole mad scientist thing. Maybe even a Ruben's tube or four. Copper tubing, brass fixtures, even PVC painted with faux brass paint. This stuff all goes more or less around the piece to make it look like more than just a pile of motors and joints and such.
Anyways, just a bunch of ideas, treat them as you wish. Capn midnight 18:55, 27 December 2010 (UTC)