Melvin, the traveling, blogging Rube Goldberg Machine

Vimeo Direktmelvin, via Notcot

Vor rund einem Jahr bloggte ich über Melvin, die bloggende Rube Goldberg Maschine. Die hat jetzt ‘nen kleinen Bruder, der rumreist, Bilder seiner Umgebung auf Facebook postet, Postkarten verschickt und seine Reise per GPS und Google Maps dokumentiert.

Melvin the Mini Machine uses a smartphone and bespoke code and software to determine its location, write messages and recognize the people around him. Like the other parts of the machine, most of it is purpose-built and other parts are adaptations of (open source) software.

The phone we use is a HTC Desire running Android 2.3.3 which was given to us by Blue Mango Interactive. We use an app custom built by Michael Schifferling that takes a picture and sends it to a webserver, where an image URL and GPS data are added to a MySQL database. Still with us? [...]

Once a picture is uploaded after it’s been processed, the data and the picture are published to Facebook and Twitter using the API from both platforms. Melvin’s travels page runs the Google Maps API with a custom layout. And last but not least, the GPS data link uploaded by the phone to the markers on the map is a custom jQuery script.

Melvin, the Mini Machine