Recent Projects


SADbot (The Seasonally Affected Drawing Robot) is a solar powered, interactive drawing machine for the Eyebeam window gallery in New York City. It uses two 18.5'' x 13'' solar panels to power two stepper motors which allow the control of a pen in two dimensions.

SADbot also takes input from people walking outside, by using a set of sensors which can tell how much light they're getting (photocells) and putting them up against the inside of the window, SADbot knows if someone is covering up one of the sensors, and can change its drawing behavior accordingly.

The window gallery doesn't get any direct sunlight, so we set up an array of mirrors on the roof of Eyebeam to direct sunlight to a fixed mirror hanging off the roof to reflect light down to the solar cells in the gallery window. The solars cells, in turn, power the motors to run the drawing machine.

Some of the components and techniques we're using will go into Dustyn's book, Making Things Move, and everything will be documented and made open to the public. We are using open source platforms as much as we can (Arduino, Processing, Sparkfun's EasyDriver motor boards), so anyone that wants to can make their own SADbot.

Support SADbot on Kickstarter until June 30th:  SADbot was in Eyebeam's gallery from June 10th - July 24th 2010.

SADbot on flickr: here, here, and here (or just search for the tag: sadbot)

Full project documentation in this Instructable and in project 10-3 of the book.


This photo booth was created for the “Olympiad” mixer that took place on March 12&13th, 2010. The following materials were used for the curling stone hat:

  • Red & Silver Pleather
  • Batting – to give the puffy look in the silver area
  • Cardboard – to stiffen the vertical part of the side of the stone, to give shape to the red top
  • Stiff wire – to stiffen handle part
  • Glue gun – to stick top to metal stone

A person gets under the stage, sticks his head through the hole, and wears the curling stone hat. The other people stand on the stage either releasing the stone, or brushing. Group photo is taken! More photos are here on flickr.


The Hip-Hop Word Count (HHWC) is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day. The database is the heart of an online analysis tool that generates textual and quantified reports on searched phrases, syntax, memes and socio-political ideas.


Joseph DeLappe reenacted Mahatma Gandhi's famous 1930 Salt March over the course of 26 days, using a treadmill customized for cyberspace. The original 240-mile walk was made in protest of the British salt tax; his update of this seminal protest march took place at Eyebeam and in Second Life, the Internet-based virtual world. For this performance, he walked the entire 240 miles of the original march on a converted treadmill at Eyebeam in New York City and online in Second Life. His steps on the treadmill controlled the forward movement of his avatar, MGandhi Chakrabarti, enabling the live and virtual reenactment of the march.


Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists is being published by McGraw-Hill and will hit the shelves in the fall of 2010.  The book sprouted from a class I teach at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) called Mechanisms and Things That Move.  The main goal is to guide non-engineers through the process of designing and making things that move using accessible software, tools, off the shelf parts, and digital fabrication techniques.


Lafiya Watson will be teaching middle school students from the Institute for Collaborative Education(ICE).

"Everyone has had perceptions and labels placed upon them, and often those labels are wrong. It is especially frustrating to deal with false perceptions when one is still in the process of figuring out his/her identity." Through a series of web art projects using Flash (online animation software) and Photoshop, this class gave students a chance to address and debunk those perceptions placed upon them, as well as embrace and create their own true sense of identity.


Teaching artist Mariam Ghani worked with sixth grade students from School of the Future for two months in 2005 to produce sound, image and web projects that take explorations of the girls' family histories as starting points for personal investigations of historical events.


City in a Soundwalk proposes an augmented experience of the urban soundscape. Begin with the physical practice of the soundwalk. Add personal narrative, a forum for sharing opinion and debate, visual imagery, historical context, socioeconomic background, cultural details, sound recordings, environmental data, maps and more. What emerges is a community gathering place and multi-media accumulation point for sensory immersion in the New York City environment.

The focus of the soundscape youth workshop is to generate interest in the urban soundscape by having students help build and participate in the on-line, multi-media sound, ecology and culture mapping project, City in a Soundwalk (CIAS). We will use CIAS to teach the basic practice of soundwalking and encourage participants to explore a more involved, responsible relationship with their sonic environment. The course will rely on free or low-cost tools for multi-media content creation and collaborative on-line community development.


Based on Actual Event (2003)

Three-channel video installation

Reynold Reynolds's three-channel video installation, Based on an Actual Event, looks at the fictional portrayal of American military forces in 20th century war. While each film simulates an actual event, each new war simulates previous wars as shown in popular films. Conceptions of war become reality through the depiction of war as entertainment.

Reynolds is a filmmaker living and working in New York City. His films have been screened at the Sundance, Rotterdam and New York Film Festivals, among others. He received an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and has studied film and physics at the University of Colorado, Bould


Wednesday March 17, 2010
1:30 - 7pm
Eyebeam Art and Technology Center


We all agree open sourcing hardware is important, and as practitioners, many of us have been involved in work, research and talks about it. To date, no universal "right solution" exists. While Creative Commons licenses are widely used for software, there is a growing number of groups using the licenses for hardware, without necessarily accounting for the difficulties and restrictions hardware imposes. In short, open source for hardware is not like open source for software, and thus cannot use the same legal tools.

The purpose of this workshop is to create a direct dialogue between Creative Commons and some of the most significant players in the Open Source Hardware Community . CC representatives will be sharing their perspectives while listening to the needs and perspectives of this community, in order to help form more appropriate licensing options for open hardware.


This workshop was organized by Ayah Bdeir (littleBits founder, Eyebeam senior fellow) with John Wilbanks (VP Science, Creative Commons) and Thinh Nguyen (Legal Counsel, Creative Commons).

Additional support by Ted Ullrich and Celine Assaf


Download the event document here

Slides of John Wilbanks here

Slides of Thinh Nguyen here



Videos cover the first half of the workshop: presentations by John Wilbanks and Thinh Nguyen of Creative Commons. John Wilbanks shares Creative Common's background, structure and roles. Thinh Nguyen provides an overview of intellectual property tools and rights tailored for groups creating open source hardware.





Make: Open Hardware @ Eyebeam, by Becky Stern

Common Knowledge Blog Post: Open Hardware, by John Wilbanks

Adafruit Industries Blog Post: The first Arduino ever made