Its been a long-standing tradition at US and EU hacker camps to give people a badge that does more than hang around your neck, and we really wanted to have something similar for Electromagnetic Field. Thanks to sponsorship from the UCL Institute of Making, we’ve developed one specially for this camp.

We call our badge TiLDA, and every attendee will receive one when they arrive at the camp!

An image of the TiLDA badge PCB

TiLDA is a completely reprogrammable battery-powered development board that hangs on a lanyard around your neck.

By default it communicates with all the other badges on site, playing a networked game that encourages you to meet other people with differing interests. They also communicate with things on site, but more about that soon.

The design is fully open-source and based on the Arduino compatible Vinciduino, as we wanted to give people a device that they could actually use for something useful after the camp has ended, rather than sitting in a drawer.

TiLDA is powered by an ATMega 32U4 and comes equipped with 2.4 ghz wireless communications, infrared communications, two RGB LED’s, and a powerful lithium polymer battery that is rechargeable via microUSB. It also has a button, just in case. There are plenty of free I/O pins for you to augment your TiLDA, and it can be programmed using the standard Arduino software. We can’t wait to see what you do with it at EMF.

The badges are sponsored by the Institute of Making at UCL, home to a new hackerspace for university students. Without their assistance TiLDA could never have got off the ground! We also need to thank the amazing Charles Yarnold, who spent many sleepless nights working on the badge.

Right now the badges are being manufactured at a fabrication house in Scotland, and as soon as they reach us we’ll be posting photos for you all to see!