This website is now archived. To find out what BERG did next, go to

Blog (page 2)

Week 354

Happy equinox! As the summer approaches and the sun appears more each day, patches of light are cast down through the skylights into the studio. Currently the light illuminates just the north wall and the table, meaning I was able to bask in it during our weekly meeting.

Following the requisite discussion of what the number 354 means, including some eye-rolling from me about how much time Mathematicians seem to spend finding and naming patterns in numbers that are seemingly of zero consequence, we proceed with what everyone is up to this week.

James, Alex and I are working on Chuska, a four week run at a short brief with sketches in code, and a lab notes style approach to working. We are also continuing work on Little Printer and BERG Cloud.

Matthew is focussing on business development.

Nick is writing software for Little Printer. I’m not sure I can be any more informative than that or the Infosec police will come for me in the night.

Andy is doing an awful lot, all Little Printer related. Chasing colour sheets to send to China, technical files for certification (Little Printer has some exams to sit), paper testing, spending time looking at Gantt charts with Simon, quotes, bombs, stepper motors.

Timo is rezzing concepts with Joe for Silverton. They are sat on the sofa right now chuckling and looking at gadgets that might be real things or might be models, I can’t tell from here. Timo is also completing some video sketches, and continuing his quest for the sales Steak Knife set.

Simon is massaging the starts of some projects and then ends of others. He is also managing Little Printer and our time around that.

Helen has finished a record stint of cake buying. There have been four birthdays in four weeks, each requiring a cake. This week she is helping Simon with POs and NDAs and setting up various profiles and passwords for our new team member.

Denise is doing a little project with Matt Jones, working with Tim on some Uinta stuff and managing all of the enquiries and comments we get from the many people whose attention Little Printer has grabbed.

Matt Jones is overseeing Chuska, working with Denise, doing some bits and pieces on Silverton and some preparation for Sinawava.

So that’s week 354.

Week 341

We have moved office. Joe, Alex, James, Timo, and Nick are on holiday this week. Kari, Denise, Andy, Jones and I are taking holiday for some of the week.

Our new office is so big that all-hands now requires people to move to the same space, acting under an unspoken consensus about where that should be. In our old space I could participate in a conversation with anyone without having to move at all.

As I started taking notes for weeknotes, the tiny human that Kari is currently carrying started kicking her in the ribs. Maybe he wanted to be included in weeknotes too.

There is a list of snags for the new space on the whiteboard. It includes things like “EXTRA COAT OF PAINT ON FOOD AREA PROJECTION WALL” and “LIGHT SW. MEETING ROOM SWITCH DOWN TO TURN ON (REVERSE STATE)”. Simon is managing the snags list this week, along with his usual schtick of chivvying projects and people. Andy is putting up lights and hanging shelves, as well as tidying up the old space and returning keys. He has also taken to bringing bacon sandwiches from the Shepherdess for people who want them, which we’re all very pleased about.

Matt Jones is finishing some work for Uinta. Kari is showing Berg 9 to people who might want to make it their own. She is also training Helen, pushing various bits of accounting admin, and doing something that I have written down only as ‘printers’. This could mean anything, really, do I mean SVK printers? Little Printers? the office printers? I should have taken better notes.

Jack is working on the industrial design for Little Printer this week. He has a seemingly bottomless collection of tops in subdued colours with zips, and today he has brought out a grey knit one that I have not seen before.

Matt Webb is fighting off a sickness that he caught from an Australian and taking Jack out for cake.

Week 341 then, Merry Christmas.

Friday Links

This week’s Friday Links brought to you by Lech™ Premium Beer.

Here is a video of a robot riding a bicyle!

Next up, this work from the graduate lab at Mint Digital. Having been involved in a lot of short term student projects (Holla at me Extreme Blue!) what really strikes me about this project, pulled together by three graduates under the mentorship of Mint Digital, is how polished it is, how complete and real it feels. In three months they made an actual product, complete with a nice looking website, and to top it all, found it a cute name.

Matt Jones sent round this video of people falling in interesting ways:

I feel a bit dizzy.

And finally, because it’s getting a bit dark and wintery, and as far as I’m concerned this blog doesn’t have enough terrible cuteness, here is a picture of someone tickling an otter.

Happy Friday!

Week 333

It’s a drizzly day in London and I have cold forearms.
Alex, Jones and Jack are in Uinta workshops this week, so the office feels a bit empty and Jones’ iconic eyebrows are missing from my view across the desk.

This week Simon is shepherding, doing a bit of re-planning, pinging off emails and ushering the rest of us into the right places at the right time with his characteristic patience and charm.

Kari is still doing ‘the usual’, a lot of putting things into spreadsheets. This week she is also writing documentation for new financial admin procedures, which I can only hope is more exciting than it sounds.

Nick has his fingers and also some toes in many pies (dexterous feet) this week. He’s working with Joe on Uinta, with James, Phil, Andy and I on Weminuche, applying some polish to Suwappu, moving more google accounts from one place to another, and doing a bit of Schooloscope migration.

Denise is making some very beautiful things for Barry, which I can’t wait to see in the world.

Joe is working on Uinta, making some truly gorgeous looking animations, and swinging his arms around a lot.

James is working on Weminuche with Alex. Right now he is looking at something complicated in Omingraffle and tapping his face thoughtfully.

I am also working with Denise on Barry. Taking pictures from dropbox and making them into real things.

Matt Webb is thinking about January, doing his regular catch ups with the team, financial stuff and meetings.

Andy is thinking about process and working on Barry. Something must be afoot because every time the doorbell goes he jumps out from Statham and runs to the door to collect whatever the postman has brought. What’s he building back there?

Timo is working with Jack on Chaco stuff. He is also pulling together a script for Uinta work and writing a proposal.

The rain has stopped, and Alex and Jones have just arrived back, laden with coffee and fun things for us all to look at.


Friday links

Last time I wrote Friday Links, a few weeks ago, I was suffering from a serious fish finger sandwich lethargy. This memory, which maybe now permenantly entwined with my Friday Links experience, is making me really want a fish finger sandwich again. Luckily, its Friday, and I have a can of Lech Premium. Almost as good.

The first link I’m sharing is a website dedicated to robot art. This came from Timo. When I first saw this, I thought it was going to be a site of art created by robots. Some people think that art cannot be created by robots, that art requires some deeper intellectual thought that can’t (yet) be recreated artificially. I think these people might consider that in this context the robot is just an extension of it’s creator (who is not a robot) and so any art the robot creates is actually the product of the creator.

Anyway, this site isn’t robots doing art, it’s art doing robots:

robot art




Alex supplies our next link, this very lovely project from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

This table has a little “mole” living in it, which moves around and can be hooked up to a depth sensor to interact with people. The video explores the possibility of playing games using the mole to move objects around, and interacting with the mole itself.


Matt Jones sent round the astonishing KinectFusion project, which uses a Kinect to map a room. As well as mapping the room in time with the user moving the Kinect around it, the video also shows what happens when you throw a little particle system into the mix, at round 4.00 there is a really impressive augmented reality ‘explosion’.

Really nice stuff.


Bit more art now, this time from Denise.


Created by environmental design group Eness, MÖBIUS is a sculpture comissioned by the city of Melbourne that was photographed and animated over two weeks in May 2011. The piece consists of 21 green triangles that can be configured into several cyclical patterns creating the optical illusion of motion. This is a really fantastic example of public artwork, as the individuals who interact with the space inevitably become part of the art itself.


MÖBIUS from ENESS on Vimeo.


And thats all my links. Have a good weekend all.

Week 322

It’s week 322 here at BERG, and I have been left in charge of weeknotes.

322 has a sort of interesting Wikipedia page, under the “Technology” header it says:

 “The first dependable representation of a horse rider with paired stirrups was found in China in a Jin Dynasty tomb.”

Looking at the page for the number 322, we find that unlike last weeks notably boring entry, 322 is actually quite good. The sort of number you would be pleased to find seated at your table at a wedding. Of course 322 would be too modest to tell you all at once, but as the Wikipedia entry points out:

 “322 is a sphenicnontotientuntouchablehashard number. It is also seen as a Skull and Bones reference of power”

Keeping these facts in mind, what is the everyone up to this week?

Alex and Matt Jones are planning Uinita. This involves conference calls and Alex saying “yeahhhh, brilliant” a lot. Alex is also continuing with Barry work and mending his busted shoulder. As Alex shares bits of Barry design for us all to ponder, I look around Statham, which is papered in drawings and work taking shape, and think how brilliant it is that I get to work here.

Denise is continuing with Barry, steering the project and working through the tiny details of how everything happens with James.

Along with talking through the difficult stuff with Denise,  James is also planning the next Barry sprint with Simon, and continuing to code on Barry. James also has a new pair two new pairs of trousers, which I am very pleased to see.

This week Simon has his project managing fingers in many pies; Chaco, BBC Dimensions 1 and 2, Barry and continuing to roll along the SVK reprint.

Joe is on Suwappu phase 2, and working with Nick on making.

Jack is working on Suwappu and overseeing the continuing work on Barry.

Timo is writing proposals and working on Chaco sketching with Matt Jones.

Matthew Webb is touching many different projects, in the way he does. Guiding the direction of things at a very high level as well as getting down into the decisions about atoms that crop up. He is also doing ‘finances’ which I am unable to explain further, though I suspect it’s paperwork.

Kari is also on the finance admin, apparently the second week of the month is always finance admin heavy. She’s also doing the housework involved with the end of the financial year, which probably means more paperwork.

Nick is working on the technical side of Barry with James and I, as well as starting the technical tippy tappy on Suwappu 2, following Joe’s designs.

And that concludes my very first week notes. What say you, internet? week notes? or weak notes?

Friday Links

This week I, Alice Bartlett, have been given the keys to the blog and the responsibility for curating the very cream of the BERG mailing list links for your Friday enjoyment. I’ve eaten a rather large fish finger sandwich for lunch, so you’ll have to excuse me if I seem a little sluggish.

First up, a video in which Walt Disney explains the multipane animation camera. Walt shows very plainly how the multipane camera works whilst accompanied by a classic Disney soundtrack and Mickey Mouse.

Next, things get a little creepy. Here is a robot dog. It’s creepy isn’t it?

This led to a discussion about how you make creepy things likeable. The robot dog in this next video is disturbing until you see it get kicked, at which point it becomes vulnerable and not something to be afraid of.

Here is a blog post about hacking cheap cameras to remove the infra-red filter, meaning you can see how different things (plants, mainly) reflect infra-red and near infra-red light.

Finally, here is a bit of thinking on the rise of the faux-vintage photograph:

And so that concludes Week 318 links, and also my first post on the BERG blog. Happy Friday everybody.

Recent Posts

Popular Tags