4th of June until the 10th of June.
Plans: I’ll be working on adding on a low power data relay system to our acoustic monitoring stations (currently we use raspberry pi’s as a base). Currently our main issue is battery life so if we can get a system up and running that can survive on solar panels and that can relay data back to a main station we could figure out what is going on in the nature around us in real time, rather than having to wait several months to collect the data and analyse it.
The equipment for this project is funded by Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.
Bio: I just finished a PhD in ecology at National University of Singapore. I mainly use amphibians and tropical mountain systems for my research. Currently I work on community and co-occurence data and trying to assess why these change and what is a natural variation and what is not. Mountains present a special challenge, not only do they tend to hold a greater biodiversity and endemism, but they are inherently difficult to survey and collect data from. Tropical areas are also in dire need of extensive basic data collection (such as what species are where) needing to be done over the next few years, necessitating new approaches to be coupled with the old classical survey techniques. I thereby try to utilise technology and more automated techniques for data collection and work on standardisation of some of these techniques or how they compare to our classical methods. As I am currently based in Singapore this is an ideal location to try some of these out before we move testing of things like data relay from monitoring stations into more hard to reach areas. I am interested in why amphibian species are where they are? What other species are present and why and when does the amphibian community shift and is this due to the other species or variation in the environment around them?
Technology separates us from nature, but does it need to? My focus will be using technology to encourage people back into relationships with nature. Three planned week-long explorations include: 1. A clock that determines local time of day from environmental factors (light, sound, movements) to promote a natural sense of timekeeping. 2. A personal weather station that detects and whimsically describes the current weather around your body, to counteract the industrialization of weather. 3. A structured method for taking a random walk in the woods, possibly using an assistive device to promote exploration & discovery. (Wilderness version of my ruleset for random walks in New York: faludi.com/random )
By using technology to encourage human relationships with nature, I hope to highlight that machines can encourage us to be *more* human and organic rather than slowly making people irrelevant. As a counterpoint to consuming industrialized time, weather and directions, we’ll obtain time from scratch, declare our own version of the weather and make systems to help us wander rather than simply arrive. I look forward to taking a few weeks far away from distractions and close to the organic inspirations that drive my best work.
Robert Faludi was the Chief Innovator at Digi International, working to forge strong connections with the maker community, uncover new innovation methodologies, support outstanding new work and create prototypes that spur new product development. Faludi has been a professor in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and in the Interactive Telecommunications graduate program at NYU. He specializes in behavioral interactions through physical computing and networked objects. Rob is the author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks, with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino and Processing published by O’Reilly Media, 2011. He frequently consults on interactive projects including recent work in entertainment, architecture and toys. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Good Morning America, BBC World, the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry and MoMA among others. He is a co-creator of LilyPad XBee wearable radios, and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.