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Hacking the Wild

In this Hack Chat we'll be talking about mixing biology, technology, and art on a remote island in Thailand

Friday, June 8, 2018 12:00 pm PDT - Friday, June 8, 2018 01:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
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Andrew Quitmeyer will be chatting directly from an experimental conference about mixing field biology, interaction design, and art on a tiny island off the coast of Phuket, Thailand. The goal is to explore how to undo the suckinesses of many academic conferences, while testing out designs for collaborative bio-art-tech field stations where participants build IN and WITH the wilderness. 

The conference (www.dinacon.org) is free, 2 months long, has over 140 people joining from every continent except Antarctica, and is based on my research about designing DIY scientific instruments that encourage open ended exploration in nature!

@hikinghack on insta and twitter and @hikinghack@aleph.land on mastadon

DrAndrew Quitmeyer is a hacker / adventurer studying intersections between wild animals and computational devices. His academic research in "Digital Naturalism" as a professor at the National University of Singapore blends biological fieldwork and DIY digital crafting. This work has taken him through international wildernesses where he's run workshops with diverse groups of scientists, artists, designers, and engineers.  He runs "Hiking Hacks" around the world where participants build technology entirely in the wild for interacting with nature. His research also inspired a spinoff television series he hosted for Discovery Networks called "Hacking the Wild." His latest endeavor is a the two month free conference for "Digital Naturalists" from around the world to live and work together in nature (www.dinacon.org)

Some things we'll be talking about: 
- What is digital Naturalism? 
- What does DIY electronics look like in the forest? 
- What did you learn from Hacking The Wild
- What kind of things do people make at Dinacon? 
- What is the biggest bug that ever got into one of your electronics experiments? 

  • Transcript

    Lutetium06/08/2018 at 20:09 0 comments

    Hello! We're just waiting for people to arrive and we'll get started in a few minutes. For now, you can direct questions to here >> https://hackaday.io/event/158212-hacking-the-wild and I'll relay them.

    Rob Faludijoined the room.

    3:00 PM

    blorgggg

    3:01 PM

    Wish you could be here with us hpredko!

    @blorgggg Welcome to hack chat!  can you introduce yourself and your work?

    blorgggg

    3:01 PM

    Sure thing!

    blorgggg

    3:03 PM

    Hi! I'm Andy Quitmeyer! I enjoying running around in fun natural places, playing with and checking out neat animals, and designing things that enable us to play and explore the world in different ways

    ðeshipu

    3:03 PM

    @Morning.Star he does explain how they can cancel each other out

    blorgggg

    3:04 PM

    I am currently a professor at National University of Singapore and teach classes about my research that I call "Digital Naturalism"

    That sounds really awesome! I"ve never heard of anything like it before.

    Our first question comes from @hpredko, "I saw on Instagram there is a makerspace on a boat as well as the makerspace on the island. How do these two spaces work together? "

    blorgggg

    3:05 PM

    I am talking live from the funnest thing I have ever done which is put together an 8 week long conference for hackers, interaction designers, artists, and field biologists

    blorgggg

    3:05 PM

    Great questions @hpredko! They work very well together

    blorgggg

    3:06 PM

    My partner throwing this big crazy conference with me, Tasneem Khan, of Earth Colab, is a total awesome badass and has been helping expand this conference to awesome levels

    blorgggg

    3:07 PM

    she met this awesome guy Yannick, who has a ship that is normally rented out for tourist dives, but wanted to use it in the off-season to a) develop open source hardware for ships, and b) open it up to field biologists (instead of the boat just sitting in a dry dock 6 months of the year)

    hilbot

    3:08 PM

    Awesome! So you have an electronics lab set up there?

    blorgggg

    3:08 PM

    So tasneem enlisted his help in return for helping convert the boat into a modular makerspace for art, tech, and science!

    blorgggg

    3:08 PM

    We get back and forth between the terrestrial labs at dinacon HQ

    blorgggg

    3:08 PM

    and the marine lab on the ship

    blorgggg

    3:08 PM

    via kayaks

    Sophi Kravitz

    3:08 PM

    hey @Rob Faludi !

    blorgggg

    3:08 PM

    or dingies, or longtail boats

    Thomas Shaddack

    3:09 PM

    though. opensource sidescan sonar array for high-resolution imaging? or a goggles-mounted couple-MHz sonar array for divers for synthetic vision in zero-visibility waters?

    blorgggg

    3:09 PM

    Rob is coming soon!

    blorgggg

    3:09 PM

    @hilbot Yep! We have an electronics workspace and some bio workspaces

    blorgggg

    3:09 PM

    Tasneem just set up some great flow tanks

    Wow! thats wild!

    blorgggg

    3:09 PM

    where we can hold neat sea creatures for several days and study them keeping them healthy

    blorgggg

    3:09 PM

    and then release

    blorgggg

    3:10 PM

    currently we have a whole clutch of BABY SQUIDS we rescued from a ghost net

    blorgggg

    3:10 PM

    they hatch about 3-4 per day

    blorgggg

    3:10 PM

    and IT"S ADORABLE

    Morning.Star

    3:10 PM

    Coool :-D

    blorgggg

    3:10 PM

    we have microscopes for checking out their adorable chromatophores they are just learning to use!

    blorgggg

    3:10 PM

    lil blinkers

    blorgggg

    3:11 PM

    I've designed lots of mobile makerspaces, but mostly terrestrial

    hilbot

    3:11 PM

    ...can you post pictures in this chat?

    Rob Faludi

    3:11 PM

    hey @Sophi Kravitz ! I'm heading out to this thing tonight.

    hilbot

    3:11 PM

    those squids sound super cool

    Yes! We would love to see pictures

    Thomas Shaddack

    3:11 PM

    for a poor-man's SOSUS array, with optional offline processing, recorded sounds can be timestamped (e.g. by reserving a few of the 64k symbols (assuming...

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Discussions

JImmyMoe wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:41 point

I'm curious as to what type of Batteries and Power Supplies your working with.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas Shaddack wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:38 point

Any interesting material issues when deploying the gadgets in the wild? How do you harden designs against high humidity, frost, heat, insects, corrosion...? Any special measures like conformal coatings?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Morning.Star wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:29 point

How would an aspiring hacker get into this kind of arena? Obviously not through regular scientific channels or a jobsearch...

  Are you sure? yes | no

hilbot wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:27 point

What challenges arise when using electronics in the jungle? I don't imagine the humidity and intermittent rainstorms make this all easy..

  Are you sure? yes | no

hilbot wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:26 point

What projects are you excited about that participants are bringing to Dinacon?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Thomas Shaddack wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:25 point

What kinds of equipment are you developing/using? What kinds of data are you collecting? What sorts of instrumentation? Physical variables sensing only or are you also using some chemical sensors (even if just plain colorimetry or pH)? What data rates are your experiments providing (like, 48kHz/24bit sound from n channels, or an integer once per hour...), typically, some examples?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Lutetium wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:15 point

Will the conference explore different areas of the wild? What concerns, expectations, challenges or exciting things can you expect? How will this impact the way people hack in these environments? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Lutetium wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:06 point

Do you ever have to do complex programming tasks in strange environments, or do all your experiments rely on simple implementation? What is the most complex thing you've built while in nature? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

hilbot wrote 06/08/2018 at 19:04 point

I saw on Instagram there is a makerspace on a boat as well as the makerspace on the island. How do these two spaces work together?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Adam Vadala-Roth wrote 06/06/2018 at 11:18 point

I immediately thought of "Into The Wild" when I saw the title!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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