Unreasonable at Sea days 27-31
SHANGHAI EVENT / DESIGN THINKING WORKSHOP
Once we got settled we got some food at a Sichuan restaurant: Totally greasy.
We met David Li from the Shanghai Hackerspace. I wish I would have been able to visit Xin Che Jian but we felt compelled to fly immediately to Shenzhen, as there was the New Year’s celebration starting pretty soon, which would prevent us from meeting with seeed Studios and other companies due to their closing early.
Then Cesar and I head to the airport. We decided that we should take off the “safecast” names from our geiger counter, in case I got searched while in transport, and instead we should put on the name of a university. So that’s what we did.
CHAIHUO HACKER SPACE, SHENZHEN
We went to the hotel then we head over to the Chaihuo hacker space and met Hao and his girlfriend.
He showed us his Mind controlled helicopter:
First thing we head to SEEED Studios
And they are trying to make arduino more accessible to artists so made this funky arduino:
and they’re developing some more robot-like stuff:
What we realized is that they can help us with the manufacturing and distribution of electronics (PCB’s, motor controllers, motors, sensors, communication), but the more mechanical parts of the robotics we will have to source elsewhere (mast – carbon fiber, hull – polycarbonate). Seeed Studios is one of my favorite open source hardware distributors and manufacturers. It is an honor to work with them.
We also see that if they are selling the car robot for about 160 USD, the electronics are quite similar to that of the boat’s (two dc motors with encoders). So, we have therefore lowered the price of Protei’s estimated retail value.
We head to try to get to the water of Shenzhen, on the sea side. At first we got lost and instead found a crazy hotel
The next morning we went to HAXLR8R to visit Cyril. It is a really cool hardware incubator program. They are helping companies develop their product in order to reach the market, manufacture, and distribute (and succeed). The super cool thing about them is how hands on they seem to be, with feedback directly related to the product design and production choices.
SEG and the ELECTRONICS MARKET
That day we spent some time in the electronics market, we bought a PC for Protei to use. We bought it in a 3 story giant shop that has probably 3000 computers for sale, every vendor competing for the customer. Bargaining is hugely useful. Anyway, then we head to Hong Kong, for a late dinner with Dawa Ma and Maquin & the family. It was an amazing house and really cool to be there. Then we all got makeovers.
HONG KONG with DAWA MA and MAQUIN
HONG KONG mingling event & workshop
In the morning we took the train from Maquin’s into the downtown Hong Kong near the Harbor where our boat was parked, to the Hong Kong Marco Polo Hotel. We had a few minutes to grab some breakfast… at McDonald’s. I had heard that McD’s in China was a cool experience but is was mostly fancy and western and sort of gross.
We had a 30 second pitch each, then spent about an hour mingling with local folks at the private room in the 6th floor restaurant in the Marco Polo Hotel, then we walked back to the ship for a on-ship workshop with Tom Chi on rapid prototyping. There were mostly students from Hong Kong high schools attending. Amruth had the genius idea that we should all “switch” teams that we present. In other words, instead of presenting our own projects, we each pitched another company. Protei pitched Damascus Fortune. Solar Ear pitched Protei.
Finally we went out to dinner, led by Catlin and Scott from One Earth Designs. For the new years, Hong Kong was all lit up. We finally got to the building, and I was astonished at high UP the traffic of people spreads. In New York, things are spread horizontal. But here, they are spread vertically. People ride the elevators in each building to every floor, and the crowds continue. In New York, I’m used to office cubicles being stacked on top of the masses. Here it’s masses atop masses. Riding up the elevators, we finally arrived.