Tag Archives: Dorkbot

dorkbot.sf – Special 7 Year Anniversary Meeting

Dorkbot is a group that describes themselves as – People doing strange things with electricity. I was lucky enough to be able to go to their 7 year anniversary party that involved obscene amounts of electricity surrounded by geeks that actually knew what they were during so not to get anyone killed.

Event took place in blacksmith’s warehouse, that’s owned by the host – Jon Sarriugarte, who also ran the show. The first thing that you noticed when you arrived were mutated cars:

Image by k0re via Flickr

snail @ dorkbot party

bunny car @ dorkbot party

.. and of course lets not forget the ultimate geek mobile, engineering (debug?) version of Tesla Roadster electrical car:

tesla roadster @ dorkbot

The most interesting aspect of this car, at least to me, is that it’s totally quiet. They’ve moved it from one part of the yard to another and the only thing you could hear was the sound of the tires.

There was also the two 15-feet (4.5m) Tesla Coils, which I somehow managed to forget to take picture of in the day light. Here is one of them in action:

Image by k0re via Flickr

Inside the Kraftworks was even more fun, with food and drinks and the main scene:

Image by k0re via Flickr

Lectures of the night involved a talk about how to build your own electrical car and the pitfalls possible pitfalls, 1928 Hogan Tesla Coil, Mike Winter’s Interrogation by Robot and Omega Recoil – Wireless Transmission. Full announce.

I didn’t understand most of the first talk about electrical cars as they were talking a lot about torques, different voltages and power involved. It will probably make sense once I go out and try and build one of these.

1928 Hogan Tesla Coil is a machine seen on the picture above. The idea was to use electrical shocks to cure people with. Jon managed to find one and beautifully restore and made it work again. At the end of the night, they were also curing people with it on the stage. Jon’s blog post with more pictures and scary user manual.

And yes, it makes sparks:

Image by k0re via Flickr

Interrogation by Robot is an autonomous robot that can question the suspect and assess (with a bit of help of author) how big of a threat the person is. A fun project and another scary insight into how easy people will surrender their liberties to a robot that blinks and yells at them.

Mike Winter - Interrogation by Robot

The last talk coupled with the giant sparks was about transferring energy across the space without using any wires. By using the Tesla Coil, the authors managed to light a small light bulb with wireless electricity over the 30 feet (~10 meters) distance:


The event was really fun with lots of other interesting tidbits and it’s clear that there is a passionate community here that invests a lot of effort into organizing these events.

Make sure to check out great Flickr photo set from k0re with more photos and even a few videos.

5 Web events in London worth visiting


One of the perks of living in such a big city as London are all the interesting events a Web developer/entrepreneur can easily visit. Even if you do not live there, it is still worth timing your visit so you can visit them.

MiniBar occurs monthly where a number of startups pitch their ideas to the visiting public, with general theme towards Web entrepreneurs. Every presenting company gets asked the hardest question: how do you make money?

Event is free, but registration is required at their homepage. 

Wiki Wednesdays are also monthly event, this time, as you might have guessed, oriented towards people who use and are passionate about Wiki’s. Even though a lot of participants are involved with Wikipedia, there is also a lot of buzz around usage of wikis in corporations and in other projects.
Event is free, but registration is required in their wiki, that can be found through their portal.

London OpenCoffee Meetup, is a weekly event for anyone more interested in entrepreneurial side of Online and Web business. There are all kinds of visitors there, from VC’s to developers or just people who are interested in breaking into this field or looking for someone to help them. Drinking coffee on top of Waterstones, Londons biggest book store and chatting with like minded people is also a great way to start a Thursday morning.
Event is free, with no registration required. They also have a homepage and a general page of OpenCoffee Club movement.

Dorkbot London is a monthly meeting of people who do interesting things with electricity, but more precisely electronic. It involves artists, engineers, designers and just about everyone who is passionate about all things electric.
Event is free, but sometimes registration is required, so check their dorkbot wiki.

Mashup* event is a monthly, a bit more commercially oriented event where startups once again present their creations to interested public. Since it is not free, there is a bit smaller crowd there so it might be easier to actually discuss your big idea.
Entry is 35£, with required registration at the event homepage.