Creativity and Building

My scientific research and commercial IT and software development exploits are just manifestations of my desire to create and build stuff (real and virtual). I studied physics and mechanical engineering in university because I wanted to legitimise my natural leanings. As a teenager, I spent thousands of hours designing (teaching myself drafting in the process - with T-squares, french curves, triangles, and pencils - I learned AutoCAD as a postgraduate) building - with a broad range of materials from natural to composites - and flying/driving/crashing remote controlled model aircraft and other sorts of vehicles. I have recently got back into the hobby after a long hiatus, now that I have two young boys who are fascinated by “cars and trucks and things that go”.

I have now gone a long way towards rebuilding my collection of tools and technical odds and ends needed to construct a broad range of self-powered remote controlled vehicles. I even have a low cost but peerless open source radio control transmitter supporting models with up to 18 channels of functionality. I have great ambitions to build planes, helicopters and multi-rotor autonomous vehicles.

A few years ago, we purchased a pair of “reprap” 3D printers for Egressive for fun and experimentation and I have an early Raspberry Pi here at home which plays a crucial role in our home network. I'm excited about stuff like creating virtual object models (I use open source tools like Inkscape and Blender for authoring designs), 3D printing, autonomous vehicle controllers, and plenty of other emerging technologies.