The second curiosity of my monastic engineering experience.

This is an ambient indicator for displaying the state of automated software builds. The enclosure is 3D printed in natural PLA and holds a custom PCB, Seeeduino Ethernet and DC-DC ‘buck’ converter. This curiosity requires 12volts of power supplied over the ethernet cable.

The Seeeduino Ethernet reads data from Travis CI and converts the age of the last build into a servo position. While the build state determines the colour of the paper lantern.

Front view of 3D printed continuous build indicator.
Side view of 3D printed continous integration indicator
Isometric view of 3D printed continous integration indicator
Photo of the control system. Custom electronics + Raspberry Pi.
Final concept development sketch.
Initial iteration development sketch.

Video Transcript:

Sometimes I like to think that writing software is like playing Hackysack.

But with less hippies.

And instead of kicking a Footbag around, we kick computers.

Each time you share a code change with someone else, a machine automatically builds and tests your work. Sometimes these tests pass, and the other person gets a good change.

Other times the tests fail and the build quickly falls to the ground.

Software developers call this process ‘Continuous Integration’.

Curiosity two is an indicator that shows how you are doing at keeping your build in the air. A lantern drops lower for older builds and glows orange when a new change is detected.

The lantern raises to indicate that a new change has been kicked, if everything goes well the lantern glows green.

It glows red if the tests fail.

Red lanterns are heavier and fall faster than green.

I can now see at a glance how we are going at our game of ‘hackycoding’ and if we are keeping our build in the air.


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