Long live Chrome Web Lab

Friday, August 09, 2013

After just one short year and over half a million visitors to the Web Lab exhibition in the Science Museum in London, the lab will close it doors to the public this coming Sunday evening.

Today, with the help of our friends at Tellart and B-Reel, we are open sourcing the two most popular and interactive experiments of the Chrome Web Lab: Universal Orchestra and Sketchbots.

Web Lab was hosted both physically in the museum and virtually online. We learned a lot about building physical exhibits that interact with App Engine and use the latest web technology in Chrome to let users control real hardware. Now that we've open sourced the code, we're excited to show you how we did it.

The Orchestra

The Orchestra was made up of eight custom-built robotic instruments that let you make music with others from anywhere in the world. Now, you can use the same code that was deployed in the exhibit and host your own miniature Orchestra. All you'll need is an Arduino and the plans for a new dinky replica we created especially for this open source project.  We have even integrated WebRTC so you can form your own band from anywhere in the world.  Don’t worry if you're not a hardware expert because we have a full software version too.


The Sketchbot

The Sketchbot was an electronic arm that received over 5,000 commands per second to etch an outline of your face in the sand. The Open Source project includes the code and the hardware designs to build a replica of the Web Lab.  For developers like me who are soldering iron challenged, we have also included instructions and code to build a BergCloud LittlePrinter and a pure software only version.



If you’ve got the maker itch and want to build a Web Lab replica, integrate hardware that we had never envisaged, or are just curious about how we made the Web Lab, you can grab the code from Github.
Be sure to share what you do with the code in our G+ Community.

Paul Kinlan - Chrome Developer Advocate, Open Sourcerer and Wannabe Maker.

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