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MD Schmidt

MD Schmidt is a software engineer from the United States. He is currently employed at Lexmark International where he works on low-level firmware and Linux drivers. He was co-founder and CIO of Projection SPACE, a high-tech integration services company, and is a co-founder of SCRIBE Entertainment, LLC, a company focused on bringing big technology to opera/theater venues. He holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. When he's not running with his dogs or spending time with his wife, he can probably be found tinkering on the next big thing in his garage.

Dec 192012
 

So apparently I’m a trending author on the Digital Commons for Electrical and Computer Engineering for my graduate thesis on unmanned quadrotor control. Over 5100 total downloads and over 500 in the last month. Maybe I should dig up my notes and get the useless hunk of parts in my garage flying :)

Nov 132012
 

In Sept 2011 I put together a quick online utility to convert the XML file output from one of Seeed Studio’s DSO Nano pocket oscilloscope’s into a browser generated plot. The tool is rather bare bones at the moment, but I just discovered that Dangerous Prototypes (advocates and sellers of open source hardware) made a blog post about my tool. It’s nice to know that someone noticed it. Maybe I should spend a few cycles adding some more features and making it more useful.

Oct 032012
 

SchmidtCDS was contracted by the University of Kentucky Opera Theater department to develop an RC boat for their upcoming production of Phantom of the Opera. Our requirements for the build were

  1. Capable of carrying 600lbs
  2. Quiet
  3. Safe
While searching for an out-of-the-box solution for this build, I discovered that not many professional level RC platforms exist on a rental/purchase basis. Most of the projects I found revolved around making lawnmowers or giant battle bots remote controllable. So I added an unofficial requirement to the build – It must be generic enough to be used for whatever RC needs future productions might need. At this point, the idea of the Turtle RC Theater Platform was born!
Sep 162012
 

The Fraizer Museum of Loiusville  came to us with a request for a touchscreen image viewer. The museum had a collection of rare color photographs from WWI, but no means to display them. I wrote a user interface (in Actionscript) that displays each of the images as a thumbnail. When displayed on a touchscreen enabled HD flatscreen, museum patrons can touch each thumbnail to display a larger version, along with a caption and location information. To help draw in patrons and save the screen from burn-in, the software is also equipped with a timer that will automatically zoom to random images if no user interaction is detected during the timeout period. This allows for a nearly maintenance free, set-it-and-leave-it museum exhibit that’s easy to install and sure to please.

Aug 292012
 

IVE is the union of a Processing sketch with several “sensor boxes” controlled by an Arduino microcontroller.
As users interact with the buttons and ultrasonic sensors mounted to these boxes, the display of the Processing sketch projected on a wall changes. Users can interact with what type of objects are drawn on the screen, where the objects are located, object colors, object velocities, and more. The point of this installation is to encourage cooperation between users in creating a dynamic piece of art.

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Jul 212012
 

This exhibit was another contract through the Explorium of Lexington. The Explorium had acquired an out-of-date trainer cockpit in which museum patrons could sit and marvel at the number of controls available to pilots, and use their imagination to take to the skies. They approached us (myself and Enomalies (Bill Gregory)) with a request to liven up the simulator with lights, a joystick and sound effects. We did them one better. We installed a gaming joystick in the cockpit and developed two games to engage the users in the wonders of flight. Check out the video below to view the flight simulator in action:

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Jul 212012
 

Developed and released in September of 2008, Whack-A-Snack is a children’s museum exhibit installed at the Explorium of Lexington in Lexington, KY. The Explorium approached us asking for an interactive exhibit that got kids moving and thinking about smart eating choices. Developed in partnership with Enomalies (Bill Gregory), Whack-A-Snack has been a tremendous hit with museum patrons.

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Jul 212012
 

While I was an employee at the University of Kentucky Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, I had the opportunity to work with bleeding edge display and visualization research. One such research area involved using structured light to make huge, immersive environments by blending the output of multiple projectors into a single, unified display. In these High Def and low footprint displays, we had a solution to a number of problems not yet known to us. SCRIBE Entertainment was later formed as a means to explore those problems and turn the displays into a product/service to be used by others.

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Sep 252011
 

I had the chance to participate in the 2011 Warrior Dash in Manchester, TN. Warrior Dash is a 5K Adventure Race that promises to be the “craziest frickin’ day of your life”. Having never done anything other than non-adventure 5K’s, I did some homework before the race to get some tips from veterans. Below you’ll find a summary of those tips and things I wish I had done.

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