Monday, 28 September 2009

Digital Venus Flytrap on my TouchShield Slide

When I was at the Maker Faire in Providence, Justin remembered that Matt had a Venus flytrap with him that he was going to do some sort of project with. Way back at the end of May, at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Matt had picked up a Venus flytrap on the way to the airport. It's the little plastic canister right next to his laptop bag.
Here it was on their Maker Faire table getting some air time.

The whole reason was so Matt could snap a bunch of hi-speed images of the flytrap in action. But somehow in the hustle and bustle of the Faire, that never happened. I'm not sure what ever happened to that Venus flytrap, but I thought it might be a fun little app, so I put one together.

The artificial, hack way, I did this (since that's really the only way I do anything :-) was to search Youtube and take some screenshots. I searched for "Venus flytrap closing" and just looked for a video that seemed right.

For screenshots, I like to use zscreen, which is free and open source, and I had to crop some of them using GIMP, but it was pretty simple. I took only 4 shots, and these are by no means the hi-speed shots that Matt was going to take. But I'd just sample more if I wanted the transition to look a little smoother.

I saved these shots as bitmaps, which I then uploaded to the EEPROM on my TouchShield Slide:

When I touch the Slide, the flytrap closes...
Short and sweet, and the project finally comes full circle four months later. I uploaded the code over on the App Store here, in gadget format for the Antipasto IDE.

Here's a video of me (safely) poking my Slide Flytrap with my "stylus" a disclaimer, I wouldn't recommend poking a real one!


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