30C3 chaos communication congress fieldtrip


01 Jan 2014

We just returned from our most exiting fieldtrip. Last november we were invited to have a presentation about our project at the 30th chaos communication congress in Hamburg. For this event we decided to build a brand new prototype, being more spa-like than the last one. And of course an appropriate website needed to be build to show and document our work. So that in case of a blackout on stage, people would still get what we'd wanted to say...

It was a rather thrilling time preparing for our trip but we manged to get the prototype and the website just ready. The only question was how to get the prototype from Weimar to Hamburg. We decided that dex, bastian and I each take home one module over christmas to meet up for the congress in hamburg.

The three modules made it to hamburg unharmed so we set up to put the bot back together. Fortunatly we registered the maschinenraum for an assembly, giving us a table to work on the hardware and a headquarter / meeting point during the congress. One thing we didn't do prior to the 30c3 was implementing our water level sensor. After some tests and changes we decided to build a new sensor, a working one. Good thing I brought a lot of tools.

As soon as the bot was ready, we filled the hydroponic module with hydro-ton and the aquatic module with water. A lobster made of plastic caused some confusion among the visitors. Now it was time for the last tweaks on the interface.

On day two, we had to finish the presentation for our talk in the evening. We wanted to illustrate the progress of the project rather than talking about technical details. For us, the last year was filled with lessons learned and unexpected discoveries while working on or prototypes. So we started sorting lots of pictures into a little slideshow.

At 22:45 hall G was packed, 1280 potential listeners, bright lights and some minor technical difficulties in the beginning, that dex could fortunatly fix during the talk. After describing our initial ideas about an aquaponic system, we went on and showed the different prototypes we had build, explaining differences and similarities. At the end, dex presented our newest prototype and its interface, live on stage, everything went well.

Here is the recording of our talk, feel free to watch and comment on youtube. We will answer questions and comments there, until we have feedback-functionality for our blog.

It was an awesome conference. We meet tons of nice people and had a lot of interested visitors at our assembly. A weekend filled with great conversations and ideas we can't wait to implement. And of course, after we were done with our talk we had some more time on our hands to enjoy the 30c3 in all its glory. We returned home with an incredibile amount of input from the talks and projects we've seen during the event.

We had lots of fun and wan't to take a second to say thank you. To everybody helping us out with our project: bernd, jan, eins78, simon, kristin, mischa, wolfram. And to everyone helping to make the 30th iteration of this very special congress such a success.

We had a huge blast and will definetly be there for the 31c3.

- mrv