Our Typical/General Situation: Tasks and Opportunities
- Marketing, PR, Outreach, and Business Development
- For Volunteers Only
- Flexible, pitch-in attitude - Because of our small size, and family-like atmosphere, people who work in our space need to be comfortable, indeed eager, to help out wherever is needed, whether the activity is "glamorous" or otherwise. Thus, one day might entail creatively writing an article for publication and the next sweeping the office, one day designing a new exhibit and the next doing administrative paperwork. (An exception to this is where a contributor works offsite, where a narrow focus is often both possible and appropriate.)
- Students - We are always eager to find students, working individually or in teams, to take on specific projects in a for-credit volunteer manner. For example, we had a team of BU students who worked with us on an instrumented conductor's wand as part of their engineering design class.
We believe several of the marketing tasks listed below, in particular, offer very challenging and educational experiences - and we need lots of help in those areas! You may find quotes from past student interns here.
- Artificial Separation of Categories - Below we have headings of "Marketing, ...", "Video, ...", etc. These separations suggest a clean dividing line between activities; this is false. These heading were provided simply to catch the eye of diverse readers with different interests.
- Benefiting from your skills and experiences - When reading the below, rather than thinking of TechnoFrolics as having conventional "job openings" to which you might apply, instead think of whether your overall skill set, personality, and desires work-wise, match our needs.
Marketing, PR, Outreach, and Business Development
FrameGlide video explorer with Spin Browser dial (FG|SB)
- We have a half dozen FG|SB demo units that we send to firms for evaluation free of charge. Locating new targets, introducing ourselves to these prospects in a way that makes them eager to receive the demo, coordinating all logistics, following up with people afterwards, and technically maintaining the touring "fleet", is a regularly weekly activity.
- We are eager to extend application of our patented technology into areas beyond the museum/aquarium/zoo realm that forms our main current market. New areas of particular interest include:
- Factory automation analysis and quality control.
- Architecture. (New building timelapse construction video lobby art piece.)
- Video-conference/meeting enhancement. (Never miss the beginning of a presentation again!)
Dancing Banners and Twirling Banners Choreographed Fabric
- We would benefit from pursing several markets including:
- Rock concerts (this is how computer-controlled moving lights got started).
- Very high end special events like the Olympics (imagine the flags of all the countries performing a live dance during the opening ceremonies).
- We need to follow up on early-stage discussions with potential partners in the event, trade show, and conventional banner-supplier arena. We also wish to initiate many new such contacts.
- TechnoFrolics would benefit greatly from more press, both in trade magazines and general-interest publications.
- We have done little to offer our touring Spin Browser demo unit to members of the press. We are eager to change this situation.
- Setting up and manning show booths locally and in other cities around the US.
- Reaching out to clients and collaborators around the world, introducing ourselves, exploring mutually beneficial connections and partnerships, etc.
Video, Graphics, Website, Writing
(For complex script/database-related web site tasks, please see the "Technical" section below.)
- It would be most helpful for us to create new video of our Dancing Banners display, and the first video of our Twirling Banners technology. (Please see "Technical | Dancing Banners choreographed fabric" below for description of preparation work required beforehand.)
- We would love to create a fun, informative, personal, TechnoFrolics newsletter for regular broadcast to interested parties.
- TechnoFrolics' website needs both a complete overhaul (in process), and regular maintenance/updating. In addition, we would like to create/enhance several spin off sites.
- We need to write press releases, whitepapers, trade magazine articles on our work, etc.
- Our client FG|SB projects themselves (mostly for museums and aquariums) often requires video production work and related graphics and text creation.
- We are looking for a cartoonist who can draw characters that are emotionally evocative and, in particular, convey inquisitiveness, whimsy, and playfulness. (Think Audrey Tautou in Amélie - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am%C3%A9lie.)
- Needless to say, exploring and writing grants, and fundraising in general, is always appreciated!
- Bookkeeping assistance (using Quickbooks).
- Miscellaneous tasks, including tradeshow logistics coordination, purchasing office supplies, searching the web for obscure exhibit components, and many other standard, and not-so-standard, office manager-type tasks.
- Legal: We periodically write patents, apply for trademarks, search the web for detailed legal case-law examples relevant to our projects/technologies, etc.
Software applications we have and use, where previous experience will selectively, depending on the task, be of great value: (Note that we do not mention standard applications like Microsoft office, ACT, etc., with which we assume you are either familiar, or could learn sufficiently for most of our needs in a day or two):
- Solidworks (3D mechanical design).
- Adobe After Affects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop (video/graphics editing).
- Dreamweaver (web design/creation).
- HogPC (DMX lighting/moving-banner control). Sonar (music composition/editing).
- Autocad LT (2D mechanical design).
- Circuitmaker & ExpressPCB (circuit board schematic capture and PCB layout).
- Visual C++, Visual Basic, Forth (programming languages).
- Several less complex apps in the imaging and design arena.
In-house machinery/equipment includes:
- Mechanical: Mill, lathe, drill press, chop saw, table saw, band saw, sanders and grinders, misc. hand tools, etc.
- Electronic: Oscilloscope, DVMs, soldering irons, heatshrink gun, etc.
- Imaging: Canon HV30 HD camcorder, Canon DSLR 8 megapixel still camera, video capture cards, several terabytes of disk storage for video, tripods, lighting, etc.
Dancing Banners and Twirling Banners Choreographed Fabric
- Further firmware testing of TechnoFrolics-designed DMX-controlled servo motor system and related choreography software.
- Choreography of multi-banner system, to allow filming new promotional video.
- Assembly and testing of additional banner motor enclosures.
- Assembly and testing of additional banners themselves, with focus on flexible joint shaft adapters/connectors.
- Locating a free or low-cost space large enough to install banners within for filming. Then mounting all hardware, lighting, cabling, etc.
Custom Interactive Exhibits and Work More Generally
- Periodically, we need the help of skilled exhibit builders and precision machinists (working in metal, plastic, composites, etc.), for both design, prototyping, and final fabrication of custom interactive exhibits.
- Periodically, we need electrical engineering types for circuit design and PCB layout, production (soldering, cable assembly, etc.), prototyping in different technologies, etc.
- Periodically, we need the help of skilled carpenters.
Documentation and Tech Support
- Periodically, we need help with customer support and exhibit maintenance tasks (electronic, software, mechanical).
IT (Information Technology), Including Embedded Systems Design, Windows Programming, Server and Client Side Website Scripting, Etc.
- We have a variety of coding tasks, ranging from embedded micro-controller programming, to Windows application development.
- We are exploring various website concepts that would require sophisticated database and scripting work, as well as possibly Flash and/or Java elements.
- Periodically, we need help with miscellaneous tasks such as backing up our server, installing and configuring software and networks, debugging tenacious problems within software applications and wireless communication, evaluating new hardware/software products, etc.
- Periodically we need help, from strong people with healthy backs, and ideally with their own car, to perform load-in/load-out at a show, clean up the studio, take a 50 lb monitor in for repair, work on a client kiosk, pick up supplies from a lumber yard, etc.
For Volunteers Only
There are a significant number of projects, in various stages of completion, where getting additional help would be great. However for various reasons we do not have financial resources to support them. Thus, while offering great student/volunteer project potential, we cannot pay for persons to help. A cursory description of each project is listed below. For more detail, please contact us.
- Apparatus to allow the Spin Browser VE to function through store windows for retail applications.
- Concept to help associate math and science with warmth and personal connection, rather than emotional sterility and isolation, through intimate visits to the homes of families and their children.
- Electrochemical science-artwork and flow visualizer.
- LED-based display that function dually as artwork and choreographable signage.