Who or What is Bubblino?

Bubblino is a Twitter-monitoring, bubble-blowing Arduino-bot.

A what?

Maybe some background would help. At the recent Barcamp Liverpool I gave a talk about getting started in ubicomp with Arduino (the cheap, easy-to-learn physical computing platform). I wanted to show something easy to build that would show off the Arduino and how it can act as a bridge between the Internet and the real world, and I hit upon the idea of something to watch for hashtags on Twitter and fire up an electronic toy.

For the talk I hacked a toy ray-gun, but the general concept got me thinking... wouldn't it be cool to leave something in a corner somewhere watching for mentions of the Barcamp and showing them to the attendees. A flashing, noisy ray-gun would be a bit intrusive - I needed something more understated and ambient...

So Bubblino was born.

For the weekend of Barcamp Liverpool, he sat in the corner of the café area and blew bubbles whenever anyone mentioned him or Barcamp Liverpool on Twitter. You can see what he's like in action in this video:

His Future

I think he'll be accompanying me to any conferences I attend from now on, and if you'd like your own Bubblino (or something similar) get in touch and I can make one for you.

For his next appearance I'll probably make him a bit more self-contained - at present he needs to be within Bluetooth range of my laptop, because that's what searches Twitter; I think he needs an Ethernet interface so he can talk to Twitter on his own.

I loved this at yesterday's

I loved this at yesterday's makers and hackers in Sheffield, any chance of a how-to guide for idiots like me?

Glad you liked him. He's

Glad you liked him. He's becoming more popular than I am!

I'm planning to write a bit more about him and release the code for him, but I suspect it'll be after the Maker Faire before I get chance to do so - too busy getting my demo ready for that right now.

The basics are covered in my Getting Started with Arduino slides, although that uses the computer to search twitter rather than having the Arduino ethernet shield to let the Alertuino talk to the network direct.

Hi Adrian I remember around

Hi Adrian

I remember around October seeing an Arduino for the first time at Liverpool GeekUp and wondering what it could be used for, this is awesome and very creative as well, I may need to purchase an Arduino myself and see what I can come up with!

Well done
Stephen