posted May 18, 2009, 2:12 AM by Diego S. Maranan   [ updated May 18, 2009, 2:52 AM ]

posted by Angelo Vermeulen
April 27, 2009


Last week we came up with a first design of the whole Biomodd installation:
  • the central structure or ‘brain’ will contain 9 computers, three gaming stations and a elaborate plant ecosystem
  • it is made out of sculpted wood and glass panes, height about 2.2m, diameter about 1.6m
  • it is placed on a hexagonal platform with three ramps, aquariums integrated in its sides, about 4m wide (excl. the ramps)
  • around this platform three smaller ‘satellites’ complement the ‘brain’
  • they’re also made out of sculpted wood and glass panes
  • but they’re smaller, and each one of them contains two game stations and plant life
  • on top of the brain a canopy made of intertwined cables and vibes will be installed like an umbrella
Currently an illustrator is making a few artist impressions of this (through Tomas). Rough sketches can be found in the Biomodd [LBA2] Picasa album.


We’re currently contacting different woodcarvers (families) to see who would be interested and best suited to collaborate. This is coordinated by Vanni. As soon as we have the artist impressions, we can discuss things in more detail with them.

We can get private hardwood for free in Los Banos to incorporate in the woodwork (through Ding). There’s no intention to make the whole structure out of hardwood, just parts and details.


The platform can be built in the fully equipped workshop of Ding’s brother in Los Banos.

The steel interior structure will be most expensive.

An engineer will draw up a detailed design of the platform (Thalia, a friend of Diego and myself). The platform needs to be:
  • strong, since it has to carry the weight of the ‘brain’ + 3 players + spectators
  • modular, since it has to be transported
  • aesthetic and sleek



Second hand computers

  • if you have any equipment you can donate, please do so. Ding and Anne already promised to provide us with their old PCs.
  • Lai is setting up a computer drive in Manila, a rather big event where people can exchange their computers for informatics gift certificates
At this point it seems most realistic to use game creation tools instead of a pure coding approach (C++, Java, etc.) There’s a few people that could potentially help with the game design but it’s still very unclear how this will work out: I contacted Carlos from the Philippine Linux community, Nex has a few contacts, and Kent is interested to look into the game himself. If you know any other people please let us know!

Characteristics of the game

  • open source, running under Linux
  • multiplayer, co-operative
  • ecology inspired
  • narrative: inspired by local Laguna mythology, 3 classes (humans, nature and spirits), also include texts for background info

Additional technologies

  • robot arm: Habs and Kent are looking into the software of the Lynx 6 robot arm
  • sensors: start with temperature and humidity, integrate in gameplay
  • interface Biomodd with the internet: present the data on the internet through Google Analytics, make Biomodd Twitter (ref. Botanicalls), etc.


We need to make a selection of plants and start growing those in the Biomodd Lab:

  • we can verify which plants survived in our miniature exosystem and work with those (with the help of a botanist through King)
  • Tomas wants to start growing vines on a miniature canopy structure made out of wires
  • Diego gave me this link
  • Max, a forester and faculty from UPLB gave us some good ideas, Vanni and Kent will draw up a report of our meeting on Sunday
  • there’s the idea of growing seedlings of the trees that are used to built biomodd
  • there’s Adleta’s suggestion to work with the concept of ‘roots’
  • King and I will go to the Garden Show in Los Banos on Tuesday
We need to make a safe and reliable irrigation system. Julius, Habs, Leo and Kent have been working on that.

We need to investigate whether it’s possible to create an active cooling system with plants (and evaporation/condensation), warm air good be blown away from the computers and guided to such a compartment.