Monday, 23 April 2012

My work similar to Bonzai tree and mini landscape art Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes (9780804802826): Yuji Yoshimura, Halford Giovanna: Books

Why do people creature miniature landscapes?

nice website layout and design- have a look for ideas

J A M E S - Modern Terraniums

miniature worlds

Patrick Jacobs Magnified Portals into Miniature Worlds plants installation dioramas art

Patrick Jacobs Magnified Portals into Miniature Worlds plants installation dioramas art
Patrick Jacobs’ Magnified Portals into Miniature Worlds | Colossal

James Modern Terrarium- good instructions

Good instructions use an inspiration for my instructions for filling Biopod: Deconstruction: James Modern Terrariums | Design Milk
Deconstruction: James Modern Terrariums
Deconstruction: James Modern Terrariums
I create my terrarium soil from scratch. One should choose a soil suited to the plants inside. If you’re creating a succulent terrarium, buy a succulent and cacti terrarium mix. Otherwise, use a regular potting mix. I mix a half-cup of activated charcoal into the soil mix. The charcoal will keep the soil fresh. In addition, being porous, the charcoal adds some needed lightness and drainage to the soil. I add layers of sand or other materials to add visual interest to the bottom of the terrarium, making certain these materials are inert and will not leach any harmful chemicals into the soil.

James Modern Terrariums plants glass gardening

James Modern Terrariums | Colossal

Saturday, 21 April 2012

RXTX processing mismatch

Every time I kept running processing it kept coming up with this error:

WARNING:  RXTX Version mismatch
Jar version            = RXTX-2.2pre1
native lib Version  = RXTX-2.2pre2

After much searching I have found the solution for mac:

-Go into your arduino folder under (contents/resources/java) then copy RXTXcomm.jar and librxtxserial.jinlib
-paste into processing (java/libraries/serial/library)
-also paste into (hd/library/java/extensions)

This seems to have solved the mismatch error. 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ecotron: Biopod on a large scale

Graham told me about a radio program he heard about a project called Ecotron started during the 70s.

It has lots of great cross overs relating to my project so it could be a good group to contact/ future work.

Interior of Ecotron environmental chamber


Web cam upgrades

So for now the webcam I have is alright but its not very clear and also isn't mac compatible.

Upgrades could include:
Wireless so could stream images to laptop
Higher resolution image even hd?
doesn't need to film so could just be used to take snap shots.
computer manual/ automatic focus

Go to maplin and ask what is best to use?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Fruit fly capture device

Fruit Fly Trap

Build a fruit fly trap out of a 2-liter plastic bottle. Fruit flies are easy to catch in warm weather. Once you catch some, you will be able to see their life cycle up-close.
fruit (22k)

You'll need:
  • 2-liter plastic bottle
  • butter tub
  • film canister
  • masking tape
  • fruit

one (9k) Make a small hole in the lid

two (9k) Cut top / tape it upside down

three (9k) Cut bottom off of bottle

four (9k) Tape film canister to butter tub

shows steps for making trap (55k)
image of finished trap (40k)

five (9k) Add fruit to film canister / push pieces together

2 Weeks Later

Watch carefully, they're tiny, it happens fast. The females in your trap will lay eggs, and in a few days they'll hatch. Watch for the different stages - eggs, larvae, pupae, fruit fly. The entire life cycle only takes about 2 weeks.

Fruit Fly Colony

Use your fruit fly colony to feed a spider or praying mantis living in a Predator-Prey Column.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

window farm test

I began by trying to follow the pdf that window farms provided.
I first collected materials from the hydroponic shop
and ordered a air pump which arrives next week
Hailea ACO9610 4 outlet

I will possibly buy a digital timer

I first found it difficult to find 1.5 litre bottles but eventually found 1.5 litre pepsi bottles in poundland
I then cut out the hole in the side of the bottle and a small circle out of bottom
Then I put the clay balls into the little basket and the small pellet of peat which I put seeds in to get them to germinate

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Manage something you don't know?

"8.7 million species on this earth are related to each other, we are all related, the knowledge of that relationship is ecology"
"Ecology, the knowledge of all relationships"
"now I asked these learned professors, learned students and graduates please tell me how are you going to manage something which you don't know?

The world in miniature "small is beautiful, E.f. Schumacher

Knowledge of harmony is science

Satish Kumar from the Schumacher conference 2011

Monday, 6 February 2012

To be or not to be this is the question

Lucky with my project it doesn't rely on the system to survive which Is one of the worries my lecturer is concerned about.

The whole idea is you can see what damages a system as much as what makes it flourish. Part of the process will be allowing users to learn what a natural system needs through seeing what destroys it.

People who play games such as Sims or Sim city learn through the destruction of their small worlds, when things go wrong this is when they learn.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

How send sensor data to webpage

Not sure if I need a ethernet shield?
Arduino - ArduinoEthernetShield

 Arduino temperature data logger

Components I might need or would be useful?

Data logging shield for Arduino makes saving data to files on any FAT16 or FAT32 formatted SD card really easy. The included Real Time Clock timestamps all your data with the current time, so that you know precisely what happened and when!

Keep track of time stamping

It could be conveniently used as sensor hub or integrated data collector for monitoring, tracking and etc.

usb as data storage

If want to take computer away but still record data then it could be recorded onto a usb stick then uploaded next time you connect the computer to the biosphere.

Networked camera- pan tilt to see

A future progression to the camera would be enable it to be moved and tilted by the user and to zoom in on each part of the biosphere.

You could allow others access to your biosphere camera.

Here is a pre networked camera that allows other users to control a camera through a website.
Pan /Tilt Wireless Indoor Network CCTV Camera
Motorised pan and tilt head can be controlled remotely via web browser or mobile phone

  • View footage remotely via web browser or mobile phone

Although it looks like I will be preoccupied and wont have time to integrate a camera oh well it could be a future attachment.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Adaptive Biophere

Once my biosphere have been bought then then can be adapted to make different measurements through added sensors by the user which allows the user to personalise their biosphere to how they want it.

Much like how this guy took his hex bug and made it swim


Before environmental pressures forced Hexbugs to evolve to operate on land, they were originally amphibious creatures that were found in damp environments. Perhaps like humans losing their gills and the ability to breathe underwater, Hexbugs may have lost their waterproofness during the evolutionary process. They may however retain the innate ability to swim.


If they were waterproof, Hexbugs would be able to swim.


Once waterproofed, Hexbugs operate underwater just as effectively as they do on desks and floors. This is also a quick and fun experiment that creates a minimal amount of mess and doesn't require soldering.

Future Work

Future experimenters may look at using bristlebots to search for pollution released into sewer systems

codes for each biosphere

Each biosphere when bought would come along with a unique code which could then be typed in and would tell your account what size and shape of biosphere you had bought.

This idea came from playing with Hexbugs which I recieved in a christmas cracker.

Hex bugs come with a code on a little slip of paper along with the instructions. This code can be typed in online to link your hexbug with your online account.

Optionally It could use a 3d barcode to link your biosphere to your account:

Glass or plastic Modules?

Should I make my modules glass or plastic?

pros-Air tight
good finish/ professional
Crystal clear

cons-Breakable and could be dangerous

pros-Less likely to break
Cheaper to have made

cons-Less clear possibly
Less professional if not done well

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Slug eggs seen in Biosphere


shape? earth shaped or column

Should it be round planet shaped or can it be just column shaped?

Round shaped so it looks like earth, people seem to like the idea of it looking like earth.

square modules so you can mathematically calculate per square how much gas excetra is in the modules.

If round could have each layer separated on inside

Other option is have the exterior being circular like earth then have column which slides into the inside.

Build your own earth/world kit

Use this kit to build your own mini planet/world and learn how our own earth works.

How did the world begin?
how did the world evolve?
What is the hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere?
What keeps the biosphere stable?
How does pollution such as increased co2 and oil leaks affect the land and our rivers?

See how your world turns out in comparison with your friends and people all over the world. See what creatures decide to make your planet their home.
Learn how to make your own mini world prosper and flourish.

See how your worlds compare with others and changes over time:

(Ian Jone's Biosphere)
(Jim Shield's Biosphere)
(Claire MacDonald's Biosphere)

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Water cooler biosphere prototypes

Last week I set about using old water cooler containers to build my prototype biospheres with multiple levels: Hydrosphere, Lithosphere and Atmosphere.

Empty water cooler containers are idea for building multi level biospheres as they fit together neatly, are large enough for creatures and come with a handle for easy transport.

I need to check out where I can get hold of lots of empty water cooler containers and also find out do they normally get reused by the company?

Photos of my prototypes to follow...

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Social Networking websites: Earth Science

A vast number of scientific websites are full of far too much information that you can't take it all in.

Or they are poorly made:

A good example of a Network website for earth sciences is The Globe Program:

The GLOBE (Global learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program is a world-wide network of students, teachers and scienctists engaged in a tele-collaboration project to do meaningful real-life science. In the GLOBE Program,students make environmental observations and report their data findings on the internet. Scientists use the students' data to formulate amospheric models, then provide feedback to the students. The measurements conducted by the students include air temperature, cloud observations, precipitation, surface water temperature and pH, soil moisture, biometrics, land cover assessment and species identification. Students also share findings and communicate with other students using e-mail from the web site. GLOBE includes excellent descriptions of equipment and procedures for data acquisition and a user-friendly searchable data archive. The unique aspect of the GLOBE Program is that students are interactive partners with scientists.

Globe also provides a globe kit for $49 to schools:

Another way in which young scientist can share their results are through science fairs:

If you have a great question and decide to investigate further, how can you share your results? Sharing results is an essential part of the scientific method. If scientists didn’t share their work, how would we know what has already been done? Or what is already known?

A recent GLOBE Star, Justas Sidiskis of Lithuania, won second prize in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. He studied clouds, precipitation, and temperature using GLOBE data for his area and the GLOBE Atmosphere protocols. There are many other GLOBE protocols, which might also give you some ideas!

also a science blog is a great way to share results:

Students could take a photo of their biospheres then blog comments under it about why they think a change is happening:

Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception is also a good website:

Another good website:

Biosphere 2:

science experiments for kids website:

science website simple style:

Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD), an online magazine in which planetary scientists are sharing their ideas and discoveries with a wide audience. But people will only get excited about these things if they know about them.

although too much text and complex:

On an experimental blog, a far-flung group of scientists can solve tough problems in weeks.
In the years ahead, we have an astonishing opportunity to reinvent discovery itself. But to do so, we must first choose to create a scientific culture that embraces the open sharing of knowledge.

online lab:
choose or make own hypothesis:
think/warm up questions then predict then test then discuss results.

Infographics: Tell stories with data on web:

Being able to communicate effectively is fundamental to successful collaboration in scientific research. The same is true of application or website design.communication and finding common ground
If we learn more about how scientists share concepts, and particularly the stories and vocabulary they use to do it, we can design more useful, usable applications to aid that research.

Chomp! children's game

The Fast and Furious Food Chain Card Game

Plunge into a fast-paced undersea world where life is survival of the quickest. Identify the lowest creature in the food chain then slap it before other players scarf it down.

Chomp! Is a great tool to help teach children about the food chain. Players learn about the hierarchy of ocean species through employing skills such as visual discrimination and sequencing.

water cooler prototype

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Self Cleaning Aquarium: zero electricity

NoClean Aquariums™... the Fastest, Easiest, Mess-Free &FUN way to have an Aquarium.

People love aquariums because of their soothing, natural beauty. They make a stunning addition to any home or office and are great for kids. The only drawback is the cleaning. It’s a dirty, messy time consuming chore.

So we set out to design an aquarium that breaks down these barriers so anyone can have a beautiful, fun-to-watch aquarium without the hassles.

Simply pour a glass of water in the aquarium and watch it clean itself. There is no need to remove the fish, ornaments or wash the gravel. Your hands won't even get wet. It’s so easy anyone can do it!

Great video good idea for making my own video to sell my invention!! through kickstarter