Ellentriek Valies: The making of

We are making the Ellentriek Valies, a travel trunk full of tools, electronic goodies and microcontrollers. You can use the suitcase to start tinkering with interactive electronics wherever you wish.

We had quite some dilemma’s to deal with:
– what kind of trunk do you choose: a real tool case (heavy), a travel trunk?
– what is absolutely necessary if you want to tinker with basic electronics?

Here are a few lists that inspired us:
—> http://www.makershed.com/Ultimate_Microcontroller_Pack_p/msump.htm?Click=37845
—> http://www.makershed.com/Mintronics_Survival_Pack_p/mstin2.htm
—> http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/diy-essentials/0

After the trunk was chosen, a light-weight, sturdy 2 wheeled red chunk of plastic, you have to customize it, make it ready for tools.

Here are some images of dressing up the trunk. Rosalie Stevens did the nice design and sewing work, I was part of making (dumb labour :-)).

What tools have to go in there?

In the middle there will be a tool insert, fabric over wood.

A first possible lay-out of tools:

This is the fabric and elastic that will hold the tools:

The one thing which got finished today was putting the Crickx letters on the outside.

I’m afraid that we did mix italic with non-italic, with different sizes.. It looks great! Thanks a lot Uberknackig for sticking the letters on the trunk. I had sticking fear..

Still quite some work ahead of us…

Contact us if you want to use the Valies.

Ellentriek #14: sew – measure – send – receive

Friday 13/01/2012 – 11:00 > 19:00
Saturday 14/01/2012 – 11:00 > 19:00
Timelab, Brusselsepoortstraat 97 – 9000 Gent

This Ellentriek is about textile, electronics and wireless interaction. We will focus on soft sensors made with textile and on how you can communicate the results of these sensors to an Arduino and/or computer. This data transfer will be wireless, with xbees.

Ellentriek is a series of workshops, often collaborative, where artists can come and work together on their own artistic electronics projects, made with open hardware.

Naomi Kerkhove and her fabulous miniature worlds with needle and wire is a special guest of this session, with her ‘Valies’ project, which premiers in Vooruit in autumn. She will work on the sensor part of her performance during the workshop.

With the following experts:
Marije Baalman – http://www.nescivi.nl/
XY Interaction – http://xyinteraction.free.fr/wiki/

This Ellentriek is a collaboration between Timelab, WP Zimmer, Constant & Pianofabriek Arts Lab.


pleas enroll on www.timelab.org
If you have any questions, contact wendy attt constantvzw . org
Max amount of participants: 12

Export to Dakar

One of the Constant members is going to Dakar, to give a workshop, and lots more. So for this, we decided to give some pretty chips to take along- electronics are not so easy to get in Senegal.

We got a gift from the Brussels Hackerspace:

Most chips are really classics, versatile and very practical:

A few 555 timers, opamps, pretty blue dip switches – there was very little time to get this package together.
So – enjoy, it in Senegal!

Ellentriek #13 – Audio

wednesday 09/11/2011 – 13:00 > 19:00
wednesday 23/11/2011 – 13:00 > 19:00
Pianofabriek, rue du fort 35, 1060 St. Gilles

Please inscribe beforehand wendy attt constantvzw . org
for electric-minded do-it-yourselfers and creative tinkerers/artists

Ellentriek is all about audio in november. We will learn how to build small own amplifiers and microphones, during two long Wednesday afternoons. With a soldering iron, a couple of components, some creativity and tons of good vibes we’ll happily tinker away!
The workshops are free and multilingual. Ellentriek is open for beginners and advanced tinkerers. If you have your own DIY audio project, bring it along.

Learn to solder comic

Hacker and inventor Mitch Altman, Andie Nordgren and Jeff Keyzer teamed up to make the “Soldering is Easy. Here’s how to do it” comic book.

Altman often travels the globe, to introduce people to soldering, and of course, linked to that, soldering is also an introduction to the innards of technology.

This pdf has been published under an open Creative commons license. A book – physical world – will follow. I’ll try to follow up how they will deal with licensing there.

In any case – another sweet reference for beginners. For sure it will be part of the Ellentriek library!

Via BoingBoing.


DIY Day is looking for participants!

DIY Day is looking for participants!

A day of creation and entertainment with DIY workshops, art expo, concerts,
jam sessions, street animation, circus, gardening, interactive
installations, markets and much more for all ages!

There will be multiple islands, each about a specific theme. At "The Lab" we
will be working & exhibiting work involving electronics, eg workshops about
making your own speaker out of scrap, the link between electronics &
vegetables, bicycle alternator sound, electromotor fun, circuitbending, a
contactmic sculptures, ... and some noize with Nohmad sound!

A group of friends with different backgrounds getting together with a mutual
interest and organizing a day for everybody!

10 September 2011 - 13h till 21h
Afterparties start at 21h

The workshops at the lab will be from 14h00 till 18h00

Brussels Centre:
Marché des cochons / Varkensmarkt & MicroMarché
Metro Sint Catherine / Sint Katelijne

Anybody who shares our interests, or has others to share with us, and can
help during DIY DAY is more than welcome!!
We are still looking for people interested in giving a helping hand at the
lab, helping participants with their projects, present your own project
(maybe even do a demo or small workshop), hang around, have fun!

If you would like to get involved, contact Jeroen De Meyer at
jrndemeyer [attttt] gmail.com.

There is more info about the event on http://www.diyday.be


Imagine a rainy summer day, a motor, a toothbrush and a battery, all ingredients for fun day making a bristlebot. But no such luck. Noa and his friends’s bristlebot kept flipping over, probably because the motor was a bit too strong for the toothbrush. But, the holiday tinkering spirit was strong that day, so, they also did experiments with Catamaranbots, which they kept on sailing in circles.

After these semi-failed experiments,  the holiday tinkering gang started playing with another variation, including matches and a matchbox, leaving the toothbrush and boat behind…

So here comes the…



He has four legs made out of matches + a matchbox body + a superpaper head + 3 Volt battery + rotary vibration engine

(for the most part the ingredients of a bristlebot)


Here is the video of Matchdogbot, where in French Noa comments: “A motor of 2 euro, a battery of 50 cents and a box of one euro 50, which makes 4 euro.. Yes, says the other voice…”

Html compatible ogg video large
Html compatible ogg video small

Proprio .mov




Kitchen Budapest is looking for stupid Robots!

Kitchen Budapest is organizing Bacarobo Europe – Stupid Robot Championship

Call for applications! Submit your stupid robot idea and be one of the lucky winners who will participate at the show!

More information here: http://bacarobo.kibu.hu/?/apply

A few specs:

Who can apply?

Anyone from Europe over the age of discretion; anyone from Europe under the age of discretion with the permission of an adult representative. Application can be individual or team-work. In case of teams applying, they have to be represented by an individual who is in contact with the Organizer.

Conditions of submitted work:

Applicants must hold the intellectual property rights to the work submitted and be the legal originators of the creative product or project.

How to apply?
In order to apply you need to upload your project to bacarobo.kibu.hu.
Applicants can upload a max. 150-word-long description of their project in English, max. 3 JPG photos (up to 2MB each), and 1 video (max. 3-minute-long) uploaded to youtube/vimeo/other online video webpage.

Submitted work has to meet the following requirements:
Your robot has to function mechanically. E.g. making a paper-mache is not suf?cient, it must have some kind of mechanical feature.
Your robot must be meaningless or worthless. It must not have a reasonable goal or practical function that may be useful for the society, instead, it should have some stupid aims.
Your robot must make people laugh. BACAROBO must be made to entertain and surprise people by its stupid action, function or its humorous system.
You will have 3 minutes to set it up.
After the setting up has been completed, the truck has to be moved from the backstage to the stage.
Maximum 2 assistants may help handling the robot during the performance.
Your robot has 2 minutes for the performance. The applicant can only use a switch that can turn on and off the robot.
There is no time extension in case the machine has errors during the performance.
The project and all its related equipment should not exceed the width of 90cms and the depth of 120cms in order to be able to ride the trolley. The project’s height has to be within 180cms and it has to be within the weight of 80kgs. For powering the robot there is a 230V power supply (15A) available.
Do not use any kind of liquid that can explode by a spark.
On the day before the presentation day the authors will have the possibility to do a rehearsal with their robots if needed. Each applicant should consult this in advance.
The transportation and costs of the robot have to be arranged by the applicant.

In case of multiple applications from the same applicant, each project requires a separate registration.

You can register online between 30 March – 15 August 2011 at bacarobo.kibu.hu
Final decision: 30 August 2011
Announcement of results: 15 September 2011 on bacarobo.kibu.hu, also through email to applicants individually
Winner’s event: 30 October 2011 at Trafó-House of Contemporary Arts in Budapest –introducing the most useless stupid robots