Many companies have 'Labs' pages where they present projects they consider cool or innovative. My labs page is a selection of my projects and blog postings that I hope you find interesting.

Programmable 7x7 Display

I hacked a set of GE Color Effects Christmas lights using an Arduino, a cutting board, some plywood and a picture frame to make my own programmable 7x7 large LED display.

GAGA-1 High Altitude Balloon

GAGA-1 was my high-altitude balloon project that rose on April 10, 2011 to a height ot 32km (over 105,000ft). It took photographs all the way up (and down) and produced some spectacular pictures of England, the atmosphere and the blackness of space. An onboard radio transmitter and GPS made it possible to track the capsule up and down.

Getting an apology for the treatment of Alan Turing

In August/September 2009 I worked to get the British Government to apologize for the prosecution and persecution of Alan Turing. On September 10, 2009 (much to my surprise) the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, issued a long and detailed apology. The full story can be read here.

Building a Pongo (or putt-putt boat)

Following some nicely written instructions I made a Ponyo or putt-putt boat out of a Coke can and a fruit juice carton. The Coke can turns into an extremely simple steam engine that powers the boat.

Automatic copy/move image forgery detection

Detecting images that have been forged by covering up part of the image by copy/pasting blocks of pixels is possible using an algorithm that I implemented. Details by clicking the image below (which shows copying of a bunch of foliage to cover the presence of a military vehicle):


Ambient bus arrival monitor

A small project the combined a hacked Linksys WRT54GL WiFi router and a model London bus with the Transport for London real-time bus information to display the times of the next buses at my nearest stop in an attractive and effortless way.

The Cansole - video games console in a can

This was a fun, quick project to use an Arduino Pro to generate a composite TV signal in software and use it to play the classic game Pong. The console fits in two small cans used for boiled sweets and runs on a 9V battery.

The Ikea Lillabo Train Set

After staring at an Ikea train set for a while I wondered how many possible layouts could be made with it. A few hours programming later and I had the answer. And the answer to a followup question: how many more layouts could be made with a few more pieces?

POPFile - Automatic email sorting

Back in 2001 I needed a solution to email overload. After research I created POPFile which was the first widely usable "Bayesian" email sorter (its parents include iFile for exmh and SwiftFile for Lotus Notes) as a POP3 proxy. It's still going strong today but now supports IMAP and other protocols.

International Object Sizing Tool

When photographing objects for display on the web it's sometimes hard to tell how large they are. To solve that I created the International Object Sizing Tool that can be photographed alongside an object to give the viewer an idea of its size. It incorporates five different measures.

Copyright (c) 1997-2020 John Graham-Cumming