Royal Institution Christmas Lectures including “How to Hack Your Home”

Did anyone watch the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures including “How to Hack Your Home”? Highly recommended – may give you some Raspberry Pi inspiration!

“Inspired by the great inventors and standing on the shoulders of thousands of people playing at their kitchen table or in their shed, Danielle will announce the new rules of invention and show you how to use modern tools and technologies and things from your home to have fun and make a difference to the world around you.

Anything could happen. Sparks will fly.”

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Episode one – How to Hack Your Home – The Light Bulb Moment

“Inspired by fellow Geordie inventor Joseph Swan, Prof Danielle George attempts to play a computer game on the windows of a skyscraper using hundreds of light bulbs.

When Joseph Swan demonstrated the first working light bulb in 1878 he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we’d be surrounded by super-bright LED screens and lights that could be controlled using mobile phones. In this lecture, Danielle will explain how these technologies work and show how they can be adapted to help you realise your own light bulb moments.  She’ll show you how to send wireless messages using a barbecue, control a firework display with your laptop and use a torch to browse the internet.”

(Pay attention as Morse Code gets a mention!)

Episode Two – How to Hack Your Home – Making Contact

“Inspired by Alexander Graham Bell, Prof Danielle George attempts to beam a special guest into the theatre via hologram, using the technology found in a mobile phone.

When Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the first telephone in 1876, he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we’d all be carrying wire-free phones in our pockets and be able to video chat is crystal clear HD across the world. In this lecture, Danielle will explain how these technologies work and show how they can adapted to help keep you connected to the people around you. She’ll show you how to control paintball cannons with a webcam and turn your smartphone into a microscope whilst also investigating a device that allows you to feel invisible objects in mid-air.”

Episode Three – How to Hack Your Home – A New Revolution

“Inspired by the Royal Institution’s very own Michael Faraday, Prof Danielle George attempts to use simple motors to construct the world’s greatest robot orchestra.

When Michael Faraday demonstrated the first electric motor in 1822, he could never have dreamed that in 2014 we’d be surrounded by mechanical devices capable of performing nearly every human task. In this lecture, Danielle will explain how these robotic and motor-driven appliances work and show how they can adapted to help you kick start a technological revolution. She’ll show you how to turn a washing machine into a wind turbine, how Lego can solve a Rubik’s Cube and how the next Mars rover will traverse an alien world.”

Here’s their link to more Raspberry Pi stuff –Things to do with stuff

For the first time ever, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES will be accompanied by three BBC iWonder guides, presented by Prof Danielle George:

How can I make my smartphone smarter?’ and ‘How can I get light using an LED and a potato?’ are simple hands-on guides for kitchen scientists aged 8 to 80. Can LEDs save the planet? explores how the extraordinary science behind LEDs might help cut our electricity bills, and so our carbon footprint.”

Your chance to ask a question about the lectures here

Enjoy!

 

5 thoughts on “Royal Institution Christmas Lectures including “How to Hack Your Home”

  1. I watched this series, and a I wondered how and where they tested this stuff out. I guess that applies to a lot of things. I am currently trying to make a tablet… with an old computer and touchscreen technology. It’s really difficult. A back up plan, is to make a version of Apple’s ‘Touch ID.’ But firstly, I am going to do months of research of coding. I REALLY hope that Apple gives an explanation of how they make it. Thank you, Priya, for that diagram. Hopefully that will help.

      

  2. I watched a couple of them they are cool its clever what they did to solve the things they didnt think they could do by breaking it down into little steps that they could solve.

      

    • @Caleb Osako: You are very wise, Caleb – “Decomposition”! I always say that every long journey starts with one small step and it’s a little bit the same, I think. Start by breaking the problem down and you can tackle it a bit at a time. Then you can “generalize” – you can reuse the solutions you’ve made for the small steps in other problems. You can apply this to every single subject you study, not just computing.
      And never say “never”! You can always have a go at something, no matter how hard it seems at first.

        

  3. I had a look a bit further on the christmas lectures website under things to do with stuff and I found these really cool things, such as Desktop Wood Printer, How Speakers And Microphones Work and How Touchscreen works. There is also a couple of pictures I have linked as well. They should work. Lots of the links were very interesting. My best one was the Touchscreen one. I haven’t had a chance yet to look at the Christmas Lectures but I’m sure I will!!!

      

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