Tuesday Oct 09, 2012

Oracle Social Network and the Flying Monkey Smart Target

Originally posted by Jake Kuramoto on The Apps Lab blog.

I teased this before OpenWorld, and for those of you who didn’t make it to the show or didn’t come by the Office Hours to take the Oracle Social Network Technical Tour Noel (@noelportugal) ran, I give you the Flying Monkey Smart Target.

In brief, Noel built a target, about two feet tall, which when struck, played monkey sounds and posted a comment to an Oracle Social Network Conversation, all controlled by a Raspberry Pi. He also connected a Dropcam to record the winner just prior to the strike. I’m not sure how it all works, but maybe Noel can post the technical specifics.

Here’s Noel describing the Challenge, the Target and a few other tidbit in an interview with Friend of the ‘Lab, Bob Rhubart (@brhubart). The monkey target bits are 2:12-2:54 if you’re into brevity, but watch the whole thing.

Here are some screen grabs from the Oracle Social Network Conversation, including the Conversation itself, where you can see all the strikes documented, the picture captured, and the annotation capabilities:

  

That’s Diego in one shot, looking very focused, and Ernst in the other, who kindly annotated himself, two of the development team members. You might have seen them in the Oracle Social Network Hands-On Lab during the show.

There’s a trend here. Not by accident, fun stuff like this has becoming our calling card, e.g. the Kscope 12 WebCenter Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots.

Not only are these entertaining demonstrations, but they showcase what’s possible with RESTful APIs and get developers noodling on how easy it is to connect real objects to cloud services to fix pain points. I spoke to some great folks from the City of Atlanta about extending the concepts of the flying monkey target to physical asset monitoring. Just take an internet-connected camera with REST APIs like the Dropcam, wire it up to Oracle Social Netwok, and you can hack together a monitoring device for a datacenter or a warehouse.

Sure, it’s easier said than done, but we’re a lot closer to that reality than we were even two years ago.

Another noteworthy bit from Noel’s interview, beginning at 2:55, is the evolution of social developer. Speaking of, make sure to check out the Oracle Social Developer Community. Look for more on the social developer in the coming months.

Noel has become quite the Raspberry Pi evangelist, and why not, it’s a great tool, a low-power Linux machine, cheap ($35!) and highly extensible, perfect for makers and students alike. He attended a meetup on Saturday before OpenWorld, and during the show, I heard him evangelizing the Pi and its capabilities to many people.

There is some fantastic innovation forming in that ecosystem, much of it with Java. The OTN gang raffled off five Pis, and I expect to see lots of great stuff in the very near future.

Stay tuned this week for posts on all our Challenge entrants. There’s some great innovation you won’t want to miss.

Find the comments.

Update: I forgot to mention that Noel used Twilio, one of his favorite services, during the show to send out Challenge updates and information to all the contestants.

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