Mothership plans

Ray rocks. He’s come up with some plans for the mothership.

drivetrain-diagram.gif 2.gif frame.gif 3.gif

SWARM at the Maker’s Faire

SWARM at the Maker's Faire

(local copy)

We came, we rolled (local copy). We blew a fuse, replaced it. We lost a chain. We fixed it. We encountered significant deviations from the spherical, when we jumped the track at the Power Tool Drag Races . (We lost, but to a puny human on a scooter.) Watch out, humans, when we get our new 0.125″ aluminum shell.

We also met very very many cool people, far too many to list. Thanks to everyone who came out to help!

Laser Cutting the Wooden Lamp

Laser Cutting SWARM LampWe’re going to make a bunch of half-scale SWARM shells out of wood, to sell as art lamps for a fundraiser.  Here we are Laser Cutting the first one at the TechShop.

Our Wiki and Source Code is Open to the World

All wiki.pngus SWARMies are happy to announce that we have made our wiki and our source code available to the world! We are making this available in the spirit of progress and sharing. Go ahead, take a look under the hood!

We’ve licensed the entire project under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0” license. Check our license page for more information.


The source code is the software that controls the orbs, written in Python, C, Java, bailing wire and what not. If you’d like to work on the code (or any aspect of our project), join our mailing list and introduce yourself. We welcome new members.

The wiki is a discussion space, information and documentation repository for the project.

Note that we had initially released the project under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license but changed that shortly after.

SWARM is Open Source

We are all very happy to say that we have made the entire SWARM project open source! We have licensed everything under the “Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0” license.

In brief, this means you can use our research, implementations, software, blueprints, ideas, technology, firmware, board designs… anything you want… as long as you give us a shout-out and aren’t trying to make money off us.

If yours is a commercial work and you want to use our stuff, we urge you to contact us. If your project is interesting, we’re quite likely to grant you a full license to our work.

Imagine making your own SWARMania, standing on the shoulders of geeks!

Find out more about the particulars of licensing on our wiki.

Note that we had initially released the project under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license but changed that shortly after.

Party mit der SWARMerei

OK, so it’s not exactly our party, but as dedicated camp followers of the Flaming Lotus Girls we are going to crash theirs.

Details at the Squid List: Flaming Lotus Girls Mellow Toga Party.

Yes, it’s a Toga Party. Yes, you are expected to wear a toga. Come and mingle with the SWARMers and Loti. Wearing togas.

I have a reasonable suspicion that there may be alcohol involved.

SWARM Logo for you!

Too many posts without a picture. Here’s our logo: share & enjoy!


Progress! Rolling along…

So Mike spent the weekend upgrading the shell and last night we drove it around some more. It’s getting there! Much smoother rolling and more robust. It was good to see how well it would stop and start. The drivetrain is working really well, though the steering has some issues. We took the Orb to the parking lot: it has no problem rolling up minor hills, but steering is tricky, and we also took it to the park so it could play on grass for the first time in its young life.

Still some issues: we found that the steering motor gearhead was jumping teeth, so we’ll need one with metal gears instead of plastic. Once we get that going then we can start to tune the steering motor control. Lots more things to do: mount the prototype circuit boards, lots of software development. Anyone interested, please get in touch:

We also hung a door on our little elevated space at the Box Shop. Now I’m afraid I can’t call it anything but the “SWARM Dorm.”

SWARM at Dorkbot

So we “open-dorked” [informally presented] the SWARM project at last night’s Dorkbot. Though we had some tough acts to follow, like author Rudy Rucker and Mark Powell’s ant-flavored gumdrops, a small cheer went up when we put up the first SWARM slide. (I suspect ringers in the audience.)
SWARM at Dorkbot

The presentation went over well, and I think we have some excellent new recruits. More pictures here.

Thar she rolls

Thanks Lisa for the video. Got it streaming raht cheer:

LouiseBrooks theme byThemocracy