WHO WE ARE
Mindhive is built around a core team of technology junkies, passionate about taking your ideas from contraption to completion.
WHAT WE DO
We allow business to thrive by giving them a technological advantage beyond their (and their competitors) internal capabilities.
Steer Clear Project
Mindhive created a custom interface to control a simple educational game built into a \'stoner van\' as part of the steer campaign (NZ drug foundation) to raise awareness around the dangers of driving while under the influence of cannabis.
Custom encoding of standard van control (gas, brake and steering) was created and fed to microcontroller to emulate a HID type device to \'drive\' the game.
A full projection cabinet and projection system was created.
This installation featured at Splore 2014 and will tour subsequent events.
Alsco Dunedin Modernisation
Currently underway, this project aims to modernise and update the current control system employed at Alsco Dunedin.
This system centrally controls a large commercial laundry and has to deal with unique challenges such as dynamic prioritisation of loads (prevents spontaneous combustion due to decomposition. Yes, really) and interpolated process management.
NZLL Automated Grading System
New Zealand Light Leathers Ltd. wanted to address an issue around inconsistent grading of deer skins as they progressed through the early stages of tanning.
Skins are traditionally graded by eye, looking for open and healed scars, blemishes, bacterial damage and a variety of other imperfections that would diminish the quality of the finished product.
Human graders are susceptible to inconsistency due to the subjective nature of the human evaluation process.
Mindhive translated the graders thought process into a statistically weighted set of steps, developed a very high resolution imaging array (up to 1.4 Gigapixel) and combined the two concepts in a very high performance processing unit.
The result is ruthlessly consistent grades and greater confidence in high end product delivery.
Mindhive is currently working with customers in Auckland and CHCH to develop an autonomous underground grout placement system as part of efforts to stabilise alluvial soils damaged by liquifaction during the recent seismic activity in the Canterbury region.
The process mimics that of 3D Printers in that it carefully controls grout flow into a freshly created tubular cavity underground (normally below a dwelling or commercial building) to create a network of \'rods\' similar in concept to a snow shoe or tree root system.
The process creates a contained \'ball\' of soil and creates a stable footing to ensure no further sinking occurs due to liquifaction.
Initial testing has proved to be very positive and development is now focussed on capturing a transparent stream of data from the control systems (developed by Mindhive) and uploading said stream to the cloud for later analysis and reporting. Crucial to the future insurability of remediated sites.
Web connected refridgeration
Mindhive is working on an embedded system based platform to integrate into a line of commercial refrigeration products.
The system takes a new approach to refrigeration control and reporting with advanced power usage monitoring, lighting control, energy saving and a larger, more innovative feature set.
In-Orchard crop estimation
Mindhive is working with orchardists in the Hawkes Bay to develop a mobile synthetic vision system specifically tailored to counting fruit while still on trees. Requirements include counting fruit from the fruitlet stage right up to pre harvest.
Motivation for this project comes from the need to have a better understanding of the efficacy of thinning processes (both chemical and manual) as well as having a reasonably accurate assessment of the number of fruit in an orchard, where they are concentrated and a mean indication of size.
This process is normally done by hand but is subject to wide margins of error (themselves suffering from their own, often wider, margins of error), anecdotal appraisals or just wild guesses.
Plexus is a distributed IO product developed entirely from the bottom up by the MINDHIVE team.
It has been built to deploy on embedded systems running linux which means its extremely portable, hugely extensible and leverages the effectively unlimited elastic computing ability of cloud based services.
Essentially it consists of three components:
1. A hardware IO collection system - configurable to collect anything from basic discrete IO through to AD based sources, TCP IO, serial, CAN, PROFIBUS - anything really.
2. Dynamically throttled cloud based event generating and data analysis service - A floating hosted service that uses only the resources it needs at any given time, keeping hosting costs down while keeping high performance on tap.
3. Multiplatform output - Access, interaction, alerts - everything works everywhere. We can configure anything from automated response and actions to alerts or events all the way down to having the system phone you at work to let you know your cat has run out of food (and/or is a binge eater).
MANCO RAIL TRANSPORTER 1250
Manco rail requested a revised version of a control system originally developed for a previous version of this vehicle.
The new version was targeted at off shore deployment (this one has since been delivered to Balfour Beatty in Malaysia) with a view to gaining more in depth information about the operating state and general running characteristics of this machine. Another major motivation was the need to simplify the electrical assembly while building a usable register of fairly generic parts that could be assembled locally in NZ then shipped to site in the event of a failure or breakage.
We developed a robust CAN based control system around Parker-Hannifin's IQAN modular control package.
It interfaces with the onboard Deutz engine management system as well as controlling all lighting, actual control, pressure systems and safety - all while constantly preforming diagnostics and either logging abnormalities or alerting an operator in cases of greater importance.
We designed an ultra user friendly HMI interface that effectively digitised almost all of the gauges and error lights installed on the previous version.
We also made sure that any error alerts appearing on screen were accompanied by a detailed error resolution SOP at the touch of a button.
MANCO LEV SIDE LOADER
These trucks are loaded from the side, either manually, or with the assistance of an automated lift. Lift-equipped trucks are referred to as automated side loaders. Using a continuously reciprocating wall within the loading hopper, the waste is forced through an aperture into the main body and therefore compacted towards the rear of the truck. An Automated Side Loader only needs one operator, where a traditional rear load garbage truck may require two or three people, and has the additional advantage of reducing on the job injuries due to repetitive heavy lifting. Typically an Automated Side Loader uses specialized wheeled carts compatible with the truck's automated lift. Volvo pneumatic collector, "waste suction".
We recently found ourselves in the very grownup position of being a sole leaseholder.
The only logical move was to create a cool new workspace to house both our team and a few other
creative groups at the same time.
60+ Shipping pallets, lots of Plywood, 14hrs and whole lot of sweat later we were done.
We now have Aucklands newest and quirkiest co-working space.
Check it out at:
MANCO RAIL SLEW RESTRICTION SYSTEM
Currently in testing phase - this system allows operators in excavators, modified for rail use, to limit their slew range to 180° either side of a central position (normally parallel with their tracks). This is intended to limit the chances of slewing into the path of an oncoming train when working next to an alternate set of active railway tracks.
The system is expandable to include a trigonometric boom height limit system to help prevent accidental line strikes when working beneath live power lines.
Hex and Pendant Lamps for Resident NZ
The team at Mindhive got together to create the electrical internals for the Resident's Hex and Cross Pendant lights.
Nothing too challenging - just a bit fiddly.
We did come up with an innovative way to get power to the lamps using a bit of clever design and multi purposing of other parts.
For more information see www.resident.co.nz
OUD DESK LAMP PROTOTYPE
We worked with Cheshire Architects to create a prototype switch mechanism for their Oud Desk Lamp.
The challenge was to squeeze a switch mechanism into a very shallow cavity.
A few revisions of a hand built mechanism were produced and installed for testing.
Three full prototypes were built for a series of design shows in Europe and North America.
A production variant is now being designed based on feedback and lessons learnt from the initial designs.
HAIR X LED HEADPIECES
Lithium Polymer powered embedded LED Headpieces made for the Bettjemans (facebook.com/bettjemans) show at hairX. Insane amounts of soldering went into each one of these (especially the palm tree looking one). Peak output is about 50W. Run time should be about 30-45 mins depending on usage and colours. Grant Bettjeman built the substructure by hand from fibre glass, the lighting assemblies were fitted, each one was coated in a diffusing fabric then covered in a synthetic fibre fluff. 1800 - 2000 mah LiPo batteries and LED driver/receiver units we installed then all three were carefully fixed to some amazingly tolerant models heads.
Casually standing next to the catwalk driving these things by RF remote control made it all worthwhile :-)
Delta Type 3D Printer
This project was built as part of our internal projects program.
We tweaked, assembled and tuned an existing delta based design we came across on the web.
It now lives in the office squirting out parts on a daily basis.
So far it's printed all the parts needed for is successor as well as multiple parts for our UAVs.
Very handy little tool.
Mindhive MAME cabinet
After building Movers&Shakers we were left with a huge amount of plywood offcuts.
The only logical thing to do was to build a mame cabinet. Mame is an emulation platform that lets
one relive the 80s and early 90s by running classic games.
We built it round a RaspberryPi and a custom made GPIO interface. Sparkfun make some great
retro buttons and joysticks so we got a bunch of those, an old ex-lease flatscreen and a bit of paint.
Great result - beats a watercooler for impromptu office escapism.
MINDHIVE MOSS LOGO
We decided we needed a little more branding in our space - but wanted something a little different.
We have fantastic 'rustic' brickwork along one of our walls - perfect for growing moss on.
Some research, experimentation and a little vertical gardening and we had a concept.
Our logo was projected onto the wall, traced onto the brickwork then painted with a moss spore solution.
Moss doesn't mess around and the logo is filling out as we speak.
Growing your brand is taken literally round here..
IMU BASED AUTOPILOT AND NAVIGATION
This was an internalised project to learn more about UAV control and navigation.
A basic multirotor frame was assembled and fitted with an open source multirotor controller programmable in a common language.
We experimented with autonomous flight and navigational abilities (flying to waypoints, preforming tasks and - normally - returning to point of takeoff).
Much was learned and new behaviours have been developed that allow our UAVs to fly almost completely autonomously while making decisions based on remaining power reserves and current weather conditions as to whether they are able to make it back to base safely. (losing them was getting too expensive)
750 WATT XMAS TREE
This project was too ridiculous to refuse (or charge for).
An artificial xmas tree was fitted with around 750W worth of RGB LEDs (in strips) then controlled with 35 channels of DMX to create a power hungry testament to overkill (and probably something of an aviation hazard).
Control was sourced from a nearby PC running a scheduled display. It ran for around 3 weeks before being dismantled.
MINDHIVE OFFIC ODDITY
We worked with Event Base and Fabric Structures (www.eventbase.co.nz www.fabricstructure.co.nz) to realise a vision for a truly unique office center piece (also, to help fill up some of the excess space we have up here).
We decided a somewhat abstract model of a braincell would be appropriate and set about finding a way to turn that into reality. A central inflatable structure was sourced through Event Base and modified through Fabric Structures. The bizarre now graces the center of our office space and serves as a meeting/relaxation space.
HOW WE DO IT
Our internal R&D process is all about experimentation and play with emerging technologies looking for new ways to expand our ever evolving set of nerdy building blocks. We're constantly exploring the freshest tech to separate the amazing from the absurd - so you dont have to.
WHY USE US
WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?
prototyping | technical consulting | electrical design | control systems | concepts | engineering | embedded systems development | managed open platform development | passive public interactive technologies
GET IN TOUCH
We love talking about new technology and ways to make it work with your project.
We’d love to hear from you:
address: 10 Customs St East, Street, Auckland, 1345
Want to come hang out?
We offer basic hot desking on a first in (in the morning) first pick basis.
If you are a creative, need space or just an opportunity to get out of your parent's basement - get in touch.
We can supply you with a place to meet clients (on bean bags, in a 30ft inflatable brain cell), or mingle with other like minded nerds, geeks, 'technically adept people'.