• Meet a Tesselator - Nick Hehr

    Thursday, July 7, 2016

    Nick Hehr at Disneyland
    (@hipsterbrown)

    What is your favorite fiction/non-fictional robot?

    My favorite robot is Wall-E, which is not a surprise if you know about my admiration for Disney/Pixar animation. I really like Wall-E’s curiosity and sense for exploration, while imaging how various everyday items could be used in different ways.

    Wall-E lightbulb gif

    How did you discover Tessel?

    I kept seeing all these neat hardware projects and hearing great talks by folks like Suz Hinton and Francis Gulotta in the New York JavaScript meetup community, but I didn’t have an idea of what to build for the longest time. Once I finally came up with an idea, the Tessel 2 was the best match for the constraints of the project (JavaScript-friendly, affordable price, open source). Then I got the chance to meet some folks from the Tessel team at the jQuery Dev Summit 2015 and the experience left me wanting to continue working with the platform even more.

    What’s your role / what have you contributed to Tessel?

    I started contributing to the Tessel project at the jQuery Dev Summit, where I met some of the project founders, starting with some documentation and then experimenting with new features for t2-cli. One of my favorite contributions has been adding the ability to start a wifi signal (access point) on the Tessel using t2-cli, as well as adding that ability to the tessel node firmware. Recently, I was invited to join the steering committee for the project, which I happily accepted. I look forward to helping the Tessel project become a welcoming and inclusive community for folks to get started with hardware development.

    What is something you enjoyed building with Tessel?

    One of my early projects was something I built for a local meetup talk, showing how I got started with Tessel as someone new to hardware. With a plain t-shirt, an Adafruit Gemma, some sewable LEDs, and a Tessel 2, I served a web app through a Tessel access point that allowed folks in the audience to control the lights on my shirt. It was really fun to create an interactive hardware demo that didn’t depend on the event’s wifi network to work. The most difficult part for the whole project ended up being the sewing! All the detail for building that project can be found in this repo.

    What advice do you have for aspiring Tessel contributors?

    No matter what your experience with hardware or open source, there is usually some way to start contributing to the project. It could be documentation, tutorials, community outreach, design, or code, all are important for the continued maintenance and development of Tessel. The Tessel team is always working to improve how folks are introduced to the project, so any constructive feedback or questions about the contribution experience is extremely helpful.

    #meet a tesselator

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