The Altoids Drone
This is where it all begins. In the strange and curious land of Make live the Altoids tins. I have seen these tins used time and again, for a great many projects, now liberated by the minty-fresh electronics people have crammed inside. Through traveling America, I came across these iconic little capsules of potential and bought a few, then posted them back home, not really knowing what to do with one.
Fast forward a few months and upon getting back to the UK I decided it was time for a project that was really going to push me. That meant wireless, self-powered and something scary like, well, flying for instance. I also wanted it to use one of my Altoids tins and (that I can find) isn’t a well-established Altoids project. That meant drone.
Hi, I’m James Thompson. I’m 28 years old and tinkering my way into the world of professional robotics. I have always been fascinated by robotics. Not the ‘ooh they’re going to kill everyone one day’ apocalyptic fascination that seems trendy these days, but rather the idea that robots can be our way of dreaming through technology. I’ll let you ponder on your own notions on that one.
In addition to robotics, I also love finding out about old tech and bringing it into the new world, particularly when it’s from the 80s. As such, you’ll find many projects developing on this site that aren’t specifically robotics – they’re just fun!
Behind me, I have a first-class Masters in Interaction Design, which I went on to teach at University, as well as A-levels Electronics, Maths and Physics. My builds thus far include a heavy-duty multi-touch surface table, a Raspberry Pi-powered ZX82 Spectrum with working original keyboard and a few small robots. My programming skills include Java, FileMaker, Wiring (Arduino) and some C#. The immediate future for me is about putting all these skills together, learning many more and having lots of fun along the way.