Biji-biji electronic department is composed of self made electricians. We love getting challenged to design and produce creative electronic installations and products, that merge sustainability and open source principles.
What we believe in
We believe that electronics can be used to drive sustainability. By using smart systems and designs, we can reduce electricity consumption as well as increase efficiency. For example adding a motion sensor to control a light of a corridor reduces drastically the electric consumption.
We believe that electronics can be fun and easy. In today’s world with the boom of internet and open source technologies, you don’t need to know or do everything by yourself. There is a high chance that someone already faces the problem you have to solve or something similar that you just need to adapt. If you don’t understand how it works there are plenty of forums who will give you the answer you’re looking for.
In today’s electronic designs, sustainability is not a decision factor. In order to save money and to control the lifetime of the product, cheap and fragile part are chosen. Often when an electronic device is not working it is very hard to repair it unless you know first the schematics and have the right tools. Everything is embedded so when a small component doesn’t work anymore the whole board is broken. Obsolescence is something we want to limit in our products, by releasing the design and using maintainable solutions, so people can fix our products instead of chucking them in the bin!
How we do it
The open source movement, created in the end of the 90’s, has develop very quickly since then and came out with majors concepts like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Arduino is an open source micro-controller, that is cheap and easy to use (information's easily available and the controller can be programmed from any computer). Raspberry Pi is a computer (just the main board with USB outputs and HDMI and some input/output pins) that costs less than USD30! With this cheap and easy to use devices, we are able to design smart systems without having to do all the work from scratch, and the end user has the opportunity to modify and improve the system for his own need if he desires to do so!
What we do
We focus on sustainable energy solutions, interactive installations and custom designs:
Nowadays, electric power is provided by a single source which is the grid. Because of the abundance of energy available, most of the appliances are not as efficient or energy saving as they could/should be. When you generate your energy locally, you realize how valuable it is and you should avoid any energy wasting. As much as we are focused on increasing the power generated, we are focused on decrease the power consumed.
Interactivity in art installation is something easily reachable when using electronics. When you add some sensor to an installation, you can then control lights, sound, motion and more. Everything is possible and imagination and creativity is the only limit! The public get involved straight away and it is always a pleasure to see the surprise on the faces as well as the curiosity.
For us having one solution adapted to one problem is often easier and more efficient than having one single solution for a big range of user cases. For example, if you want to add some solar appliances into your place, we will be happy to custom made it for you so it will fit your needs and your budget!
Portable Solar Powered Lights
In some remote places such as the jungle in east Malaysia, what we consider as basic comfort in our urban lifestyle such as a light is still not available. In a partnership with Pernod-Ricard Malaysia and Yayasan Nanyang Press, we developed a portable self powered light using solar power light. This light was designed for those who have trouble accessing electricity from the grid, although they can also be used by the everyday person who would like to save electricity usage. They are powered by Sealed Lead Acid batteries and are rechargeable through solar panels. This project was our kickstart to develop small scale solar appliances. If you want to support this initiative, you can adopt a light here.
Motion Sensor Lights
Another area we are interested to explore is the world of sensors. Sensors create new ways of interacting with everyday objects and it is a good solution in place of switches, which everyone at some point has forgotten to switch off after use. By using motion sensors to control lights in transition areas such as store rooms, corridors or stairs We use Passive Infra red Sensors,which measure the infra red radiation emitted by objects in this case, people, to detect presence and to hence turn on the light.
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We love to constantly challenge ourselves and to spark creativity and interactivity among our peers, patrons and the public. We seek insight from industry players and newcomers to find out their wishes in creating something truly unique.
We believe 3D printing is the future of prototyping and DIY solutions. Anything you can think off can be printed. What more if you use your old plastic bottles or tupperwares to create your print! We are in midst of creating an extruder solution that would enable old plastics to be created into new, exciting ideas.
Workshop: Building Simple Solar Systems
We believe the systems we build are not supposed to be integrated within the typical 240V systems, but a standalone system that helps financially saving long term. We are offering a 2 hour course in learning about and connecting all the different components in a solar system, namely the solar panel, charge controller, light, and battery. We also will share some shopping tips to help you better source the items you will need to replicate your own systems at home.
Workshop: Introduction To Arduino
Since the beginning we thought the Arduino is a cool tool to help prototypers fully develop their ideas. This workshop will be an introduction to the Arduino hardware and software components. In this workshop you will learn about analogue and digital pins and to make your own motion sensing light. This workshop will last 3 hours.
Electronic Art Installation
Here is where we try to keep our ear to the ground and sense the rumblings around the world. If its cool, and electronic, it has our attention. If its cool, electronic, and sustainable, it has our admiration. We gravitate towards anything captivating, either new or old ideas but with our own added twist. We champion interactivity as we see this as being the wow factor to bring our concepts across whilst encouraging members of the public to connect with us.