Ben and Horatio had a busy week last week, with great news on several different fronts. We made arrangements for the installation of Horatio Outdoor beta units in two different locations and applications (more on that in the weeks to come!), and Ben spent some time in the shop doing an overhaul of Horatio’s email alert system, to make it more streamlined and easy to use. Meanwhile, the Horatio at the Petersen Automotive Museum, one of our very first installations, celebrated 5 months of continuous uptime this week (that’s 152 days!).
It’s been a busy month here at BPI, starting with the grand opening of the Water Cube downtown, followed by the smallest member of our team turning three! Her birthday presents included a puzzle featuring guys in hard hats (just like her dad!), a camera, and a tutu. Also a cake with math on it – she’s a well-rounded kid.
Immediately after the birthday festivities, Ben jumped into work on two different custom Horatio installations, which included finding and playing with some used metal halide lamps: he needed to figure out how to monitor the life span of similar lamps that will be integrated with one of the Horatios. Being the geek that he is, he was super excited to find that Carnegie Mellon’s facilities department had boxes of old lamps lying around for the taking… (For scale reference, each of those lamps is about 9 inches long.)
To round out the last week, Ben also did a pre-inspection for a school district that he’ll be doing rigging inspections for soon. Summer is the season for inspections, since so many theaters are dark!
Ben had a crazy schedule last week, working on at least 3 different projects every day and taking him everywhere from 2 different construction sites to the Water Cube downtown, The Beauty Shoppe in East Liberty, and at least three different coffee shops.
He installed a DIN rail Horatio in a newly-built office building (surface-mounted inside the rack, since there was no more space for a rack-mount version), cleaned up some programming for the Water Cube’s grand opening next Thursday, had great meetings with a bunch of interesting people doing interesting things (more on that later), and attended an Internet of Things panel hosted by Fygment, a great local organization that’s bringing together entrepreneurs of all kinds in Pittsburgh.
Upon returning to the shop at the end of a long day, he also discovered that someone had logged into the Horatio demo site and played with the lights while he was away. (Hello, whoever you are, and thanks for the blue disco lighting!)
Not a lot of photos this week, but it’s been busy nonetheless! Ben finished up work on the Water Cube, which soft opened at the EQT Children’s Theatre Festival downtown on Thursday. In addition to installing a custom Horatio with more than 30 sensors to monitor the water and lighting systems, he also ended up designing a custom lighting controller and helping to troubleshoot some lighting problems. The end result is a pretty great installation – great art, great lighting, and still and sparkling water on tap!
We also spent some time this week getting the shop ready for a party! The Pittsburgh Office of Public Art is hosting an event for local artists as part of their Public Art 201 series, and we’re excited to meet some more Pittsburgh artists and chat with them about what we do.
And as always, Ben continues work on Horatio development – the outdoor beta unit spent some more time on the roof this week, and it held up great in those crazy windstorms. We’re hoping to get the chance to beta test it around the city this summer with the PGH Lab project – our application is in, and our fingers are crossed! We’ve had such great experiences working with the city on various projects over the last few years, we’d love to have them give Horatio a spin!
Ben spent most of this week working on a custom Horatio installation for a public art project downtown. When the installation opens tomorrow, we’ll be monitoring everything about it, from lighting to water to CO2, via 30 different sensors connected to a custom-built Horatio. We can’t say much about it right now, but check out the photos below, and stop by the parklet at Penn & 8th downtown after tomorrow to see it for yourself – it’s going to be great!
Ben also found time this week to do a little more testing on the outdoor Horatio, stop by a local Horatio installation in progress, and head down to Market Square to assist with Mix N’ Match strike. It was a busy week!
Now that we’ve told the world about Horatio, we spent the last week getting everything ready for the first few units to ship. Ben’s been busy building the Bridge Devices in the shop, while I’ve been preparing a little surprise for our first customers.
Ben also spent some time working on a custom DMX-to-IR converter for a client (to cue infrared-controlled LED candles via DMX), and the littlest member of our team has been working on writing (and coloring) her numbers. She’ll be in the shop building Horatios in no time!
Ben’s hard at work on final Horatio development (launching this Friday – stay tuned for more details!), plus squeezing in some custom circuit board design for a new client. He also took some field trips last week to tweak a couple of Horatio’s beta installations – can you name those Pittsburgh landmarks?
Mix N’ Match, the public art installation that Ben’s been working on in Market Square all week, had its grand opening at the Bicentennial Gallery Crawl this past Friday, and it was a huge hit!
We’ll be posting more details about the project and our part in it later this week, but for now, check out this great write-up in the Trib, see a few more of our photos below, and stop by Market Square to play with it yourself!
Ben was in New York last week for the opening of the Spring 2016 season of Fightball, a new, intense, one-on-one basketball competition. We worked with TPG to create a new-and-improved scorekeeping system for this season, along with a couple of custom-built shot clocks that interface with it.
Check out the video below – you can see our scoreboard projected on the screen above the stands and the shot clocks above the two backboards. And if you look closely, you can also see Ben sitting just to the right of the scoring table – right in the middle of the action!
Game-winning steals. Ankle-breaking stepbacks. All that and more in the Top 8 plays from FIGHTBALL 01 NYC.https://t.co/hWlUt3xoJK
— FIGHTBALL (@FIGHTBALLNATION) March 4, 2016
A few months ago we got the chance to work with artist Carin Mincemoyer to update her beautiful sculpture, Diamonds Diamonds.
The sculpture incorporates 78 LEDs to make it sparkle overhead, but the LEDs weren’t as bright as Carin had hoped, so we were called in to diagnose the problem. We came up with a solution and re-wired the whole piece, which is now back in place on Market Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Go see it at night – it’s pretty stunning!