Relishing in the process of invention
A. Sue Weisler
Professor Carl Salvaggio and his son, Phil, a doctoral student in imaging science, built a digital music player for their car because they could. They programmed a Raspberry Pi electronic interface— a $35 general-purpose computer the size of a deck of cards—to play a random selection of their favorite music from a thumb drive.
For the Salvaggios, making a digital music player had less to do with the music than the process of invention. After all, they could have hooked up their iPods instead.
“I had more fun making them than actually using them,” says Carl Salvaggio, professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. “Now they’re just part of what a car ride is. I canceled my Sirius and XM service because I replaced it with this. But most of it was being able to work together. It’s fun to build something. We don’t do that enough anymore.”
The music player sits in a small box n the trunk of his son’s car. A larger prototype using a Mac-Mini instead of a Raspberry Pi board is in the back of Salvaggio’s car. The original model requires a power supply and a fan. The Raspberry Pi version streamlines the Salvaggios’ idea in a more robust package powered by the car’s ignition.
“We wanted to make a little computer that, when you turn the car on, boots up and reads music off a thumb drive,” Salvaggio says. “It scans the thumb drive, finds and randomly orders your music, and then starts playing it. The whole idea was to put it in the trunk so you don’t have to interact with it at all. So you’re not distracted driving.”
They programmed the Raspberry Pi to look for a signal coming from an old garage door opener to skip to the next song.
“You still have that little bit of a distraction from hitting the garage door opener, but it’s not like fumbling with your iPod,” Salvaggio says.
April 26, 2019
Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival starts tonight
The 12th annual Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival kicks off at 6 tonight in Ingle Auditorium with Dr. Munson’s Performing Arts Competition. Then, tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., we pull back the curtain on creativity and innovation with some 400 interactive exhibits in science, technology, engineering, the arts and more, plus live entertainment.
April 25, 2019
High school students publish paper with RIT scientists analyzing rare bacterium
Three high school students working in a science lab for the first time made a surprising discovery with an RIT professor. Now, the young women are co-authors on a scientific paper announcing a rare bacterium that kills e-coli.
April 24, 2019
NASA announces funding for RIT professor to develop novel diffractive solar sails
Scientists have been floating designs for solar sails to propel spacecraft for decades, but a new approach being developed by an RIT professor could be the key to helping spacecraft photograph the poles of the sun for the first time.
April 24, 2019
Running in Circles: Engineering students build Human Hamster Wheel
The big wheel will turn, but the hamsters will be humans instead. Students in RIT’s Engineering House built a Human Hamster Wheel, and instead of running in circles, as the cliché goes, their 7-foot wheel will produce electricity. Open to children and adults, the wheel will be one of many interactive exhibits featured at this year’s Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 27.