Playsurface from Templeman Automation

Just received the shipping survey from Kickstarter about my Playsurface table. Would anybody be interested in working on some demonstration software for it? If we can get a few good programs going that use it, I’d be willing to include it in the Maker Faire.

Count me in tentatively.


What I’m thinking are some simple pieces that would work well in front of everybody from children to adults. Maybe not each individual program, but the set as a whole. I really loved what Templeman Automation did with their demo system at CES. At the same time, I want to show off Hive13’s creativity. So maybe instead of looking at a human body, it might show the construction of Cindy-Lou (please forgive me if I misspelled her name) or do something else that might be interesting.

Actually, the more that I think about it, I’m pretty certain I’d like to get this working and take it to the Maker Faire anyways, but if we can get a couple of Hive13 apps to demo on it, it’d be even cooler. I’m definitely going to share any schematics and code I get from TA with Hive13.

hrrrm I don’t know coding… but what about a game where you ‘lead’ Cindy-lou around the hivespace? perhaps with the goal of picking up items from certain areas and delivering them to a box? or vice versa? (taking items out of a box and ‘putting them away’
The ‘game’ could use photos of the different areas for closeups, and an overhead ‘map’ for the navigation.

It would show off the space layout, sort of like a tour, IE: “Take this soldering Iron back to the electronics area” .
The image in my mind is sort of like something from Google Maps. with the ‘street view’ as the 'closeup.



Certainly sounds interesting. I’ll be asking if it’s alright to bring the kit over, assemble it, and leave it for a while at the next meeting. Still waiting on some notice that it has actually shipped right now, but I’ll contact the the people in charge of the campaign next Friday, if I don’t see anything by then.

Still no shipping information, I may have to send Templeman Automation an email soon. I’ve been geared up for months waiting for this, and now that it’s so close, I can hardly limit my frustration with the wait.

On Friday, March 8, 2013, I received my Playsurface through FedEx. Present dimensions, with the top on it, and completely assembled, are about 41 inches long, by 29 inches wide by 23.5 inches tall.

Apparently, they do not have the Blob Board firmware up and running yet to their satisfaction, so it has not been released. I have determined that the Blob Board itself is actually a BeagleBoard-xM running Angstrom Linux. Until the blob board firmware is made available, using multi-touch will require the use of your CPU and GPU power on your host machine. I still need to figure out how to get it working, but this has been exciting enough, knowing that I have the hardware, and the hardware components themselves are functional. Even better the projector can handle VGA, SVGA, HDMI, Component Video, Ethernet Video, and with the BenQ adapter it can even do video over the wireless network.

This next week I intend to seek out some sort of varnish or sealer for the assembly, and then install casters on the legs to make it easier to clean around. I’ll also have to find a way to mount a power strip to the inside to support the projector and IR LEDs. The last thing I need to do after that, is to make sure I can get the multi-touch to work on my laptop without the blob board. Once this is done, I will need to look into the best way to transport it to the Hive.

WOOOO!! Glad it finally arrived!

after all of that: build a system of GUIDs for D&D minis… for science.

I have officially put my name into the cincinnati Mini Maker-Faire exhibitor list. Here’s hoping we can get some good software together for it.

I have a handful of old demos in Processing, JavaScript, Python, and such that I can repurpose for it. Harass me when it’s software-wrangling time and I’ll see to it that we get something on there that at a minimum is flashy and interactive.

Based on the discussions, a Project Page has been started on the wiki.

Interesting project guys, keep it up!


Finally have the table top secured down in a satisfactory manner. I’ll be bringing the mirror and sled in for Tuesday’s meeting. Hopefully I can provide everybody with a demo of the table in action with the “whack-a-mole” style program I have right now.


Seems like everybody has been having fun with the table tonight at the meeting. I can’t wait to see the ideas that people come up with for the MakerFaire. If you want to run it from your own laptop, without me there, the instructions I used to get it set up on my machine can be found at They’re tracking the top scores in the whack-a-mole game on the dry-erase board, but tonight is to show that it works. Next week maybe I’ll play with full calibration or something further. Thanks to Tiffany for doing some calibration for us so that it works a bit more smoothly for the night.

I’ll be heading over to Hive13 in the afternoon Saturday. If anybody wants to get together and work on getting the PlaySurface into a more functional state software-wise, feel free to join me. I figure I’ll show up around noon, if I’m lucky, and stay until 3 or 4, depending on how things go.