Behind the scenes

A product of our second Hackathon, "Go Fish Yourself!" brings the virtual world of Twitter into the (sur)real world of the Art & Science studio.

Employees of Art & Science are encouraged to write ideas on index cards and pin them to the “Awesome Idea of the Day” board—everything from million-dollar business ideas, to ideas that can fix the world, to ideas about “art for art’s sake”. Every now and again, we hold a two-day "Hackathon" where we attempt to realize two or more of the most popular ideas as working prototypes.

Last time, we produced a social media aggregation service and a casual bets-between-friends iPhone app. For this Hackathon, we took on four different projects: RFID-enabled “entrance music”, a "Luncheon Roulette" wheel for indecisive eaters, a guerrilla sticker campaign (which we feel it’s probably best not to talk about), and "Go Fish Yourself!"—the only online service that allows you to inhabit a mechanical bass from the safety and comfort of Twitter.

How Does it Work?

  • Custom software on a Raspberry Pi listens for tweets directed to the @fishyourself account;
  • When a tweet is detected, the Raspberry Pi executes code on an Arduino board which controls the original fish motors in a determined sequence;
  • The Raspberry Pi software also converts the text of the tweet to speech, using the espeak library, and sends it out to a pair of speakers.

Art & Science would like to give a shout out to Mike who stayed until the wee hours, finagling all the wiring and coding while teaching himself in the process.

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