Tag Archives: Adafruit

SkyKnit: When knitters teamed up with a neural network

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I love a good knitting project. These wonderful patterns are via AIweirdness

I use algorithms called neural networks to write humor. What’s fun about neural networks is they learn by example – give them a bunch of some sort of data, and they’ll try to figure out rules that let them imitate it. They power corporate finances, recognize faces, translate text, and more. I, however, like to give them silly datasets. I’ve trained neural networks to generate new paint colors, new Halloween costumes, and new candy heart messages. When the problem is tough, the results are mixed (there was that one candy heart that just said HOLE).

One of the toughest problems I’ve ever tried? Knitting patterns.

I knew almost nothing about knitting when @JohannaB@wandering.shop sent me the suggestion one day. She sent me to the Ravelry knitting site, and to its adults-only, often-indecorous LSG forum, who as you will see are amazing people. (When asked how I should describe them, one wrote “don’t forget the glitter and swearing!”)

And so, we embarked upon Operation Hilarious Knitting Disaster.

The knitters helped me crowdsource a dataset of 500 knitting patterns, ranging from hats to squids to unmentionables. JC Briar exported another 4728 patterns from the site stitch-maps.com.

I gave the knitting patterns to a couple of neural networks that I collectively named “SkyKnit”. Then, not knowing if they had produced anything remotely knittable, I started posting the patterns. Here’s an early example.

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MrsNoddyNoddy wrote, “it’s difficult to explain why 6395, 71, 70, 77 is so asthma-inducingly funny.” (It seems that a 6000-plus stitch count is, as GloriaHanlon put it, “optimism”).

As training progressed, and as I tried some higher-performance models, SkyKnit improved.

Even at its best, SkyKnit had problems. It would sometimes repeat rows, or leave them out entirely. It could count rows fairly reliably up to about 22, but after that would start haphazardly guessing random largish numbers. SkyKnit also had trouble counting stitches, and would confidently declare at the end of certain lines that it contained 12 stitches when it was nothing of the sort.

But the knitters began knitting them. This possibly marks one of the few times in history when a computer generated code to be executed by humans.

See more patterns and pictures!

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via Adafruit

Tracking Severity of Parkinson’s with an App

Via Johns Hopkins University

Parkinson’s disease, a progressive brain disorder, is often tough to treat effectively because its symptoms—such as tremors and walking difficulties—can vary dramatically over a period of days, or even hours.
To address this challenge, Johns Hopkins University computer scientists, working with an interdisciplinary team of experts from two other institutions, have developed a new approach that uses smartphone sensors to generate a score that reliably reflects symptom severity in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Read more about this fantastic app here.

via Adafruit

From the Beginnings of Animation #SaturdayMorningCartoons

via Library of Congress

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is a silent cartoon by J. Stuart Blackton released in 1906. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard, and the faces coming to life. It is generally regarded by film historians as the first animated film. It features movements as where a dog jumps through a hoop, a scene which actually uses cutout animation made to look like chalk outlines. The film moves at 20 frames per second.

And here’s a bit from Gertie on Tour, another of the earliest pieces of animation.

Among the final films of master cartoonist Winsor McCay are these pieces animated in collaboration with his son John and longtime assistant, John Fitzsimmons. They may have been released as part of the 1921 series Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend. Only these fragments seem to have survived.

See more of the beginning of animation!

Each Saturday Morning here at Adafruit is Saturday Morning Cartoons! Be sure to check our cartoon and animated posts both nostalgic and new that inspire makers of all ages! You’ll find how-tos for young makers, approaches to learning about science and engineering, and all sorts of comic strip and animated Saturday Morning fun! Be sure to check out our Adafruit products featuring comic book art while you’re at it!

via Adafruit

SmugMug snaps up Flickr photo service from Verizon’s Oath @smugmug


SmugMug snaps up Flickr photo service from Verizon’s Oath.

Flickr has been snapped up by Silicon Valley photo-sharing and storage company SmugMug, USA TODAY has learned.

SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill told USA TODAY he’s committed to breathing new life into the faded social networking pioneer, which hosted photos and lively interactions long before it became trendy. 

SmugMug, an independent, family-run company, will maintain Flickr as a standalone community of amateur and professional photographers and give the long neglected service the focus and resources it deserves, MacAskill said in an exclusive interview. 


via Adafruit

195 Pictures From Monsterpalooza 2018 @theGrueSite @MONSTERPALOOZA1

195 Pictures From Monsterpalooza 2018 – The Grue & Monsterpalooza site.

via Adafruit

NEW GUIDE: Digital Circuits 4: Sequential Circuits

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NEW GUIDE: Digital Circuits 4: Sequential Circuits

Circuits that operate over time!

Sequential Circuits

In the last part we saw that combinational circuits are combinations of logic gates that operate in a fully functional manner (meaning that for a given configuration of inputs, there is a corresponding set of outputs which always result from those inputs). Notably, the circuit has no state, it always works the same way.
Sequential circuits, on the other hand, do have state. They typically have an input (or inputs) that can cause the state to change.


Similar to combinational logic, we’ll start with the building blocks of sequential logic: the flip-flop in its various forms. Once we go over the basics we’ll look at some ways we can use them in larger circuits.

See the full guide here!

via Adafruit

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Join Ladyada streaming live for circuit board layout design, code writing, surface mount soldering and more fresh engineering and even some gaming! If Ladyada’s working on it, you’ll find it here first.

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  • John Park’s Workshop
  • Project builds, hacks, and mods from John Park’s Workshop!

    via Adafruit