Project Update – November 2013

Our Thanksgiving visit to the Byrne residence was certainly relaxing, but it was also productive! Here’s a quick rundown on several smaller projects we’ve had on the list for a while now, but can finally cross them off as having been completed:

Replacement of the shower heads in the two showers on the main level. We concentrated on Hansgrohe fixtures, opting for Clubmaster shower heads in both locations. I went ahead and replaced the shower arms at the same time because the diameter/threading between the old and new didn’t quite match up, and the entire project took about 90 minutes to complete.

Replacement of the doorbell button and chime with uniquely-designed equivalents from Spore. We chose the “True” button in a brushed finish with blue LED and the “Ring” chime in a polished finish. It sounds as great as it looks too!

We also hung three new pieces of artwork recently acquired while touring the Affordable Art Fair in Seattle. The combination of materials and subject matter really spoke to us as soon as we saw these three pieces on the wall in the booth occupied byLxWxH Gallery. The artist, Jared Bender, is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Washington and was being featured by LxWxH in a two-person show titled “Manual Labor” at the show. Like I said, it was the combination of materials and subject matter that we responded to, knowing precisely where these three pieces would end up at the Byrne residence!

The Double Robotics devices are now active at the Byrne residence. These mobile teleconferencing devices are the perfect solution to a myriad of needs we’ve come up with over the past year since becoming aware of them, (and anxiously awaiting their arrival). As I’ve mentioned on the Recent News page previously, we envision these devices serving as a so-called “digital docent” for small groups touring the house, as a so-called “digital watchdog” when we’re away and as our eyes and ears if something arises and our property manager needs to point something out to us – we can simply follow them right to whatever it is they’d like to show us.

The interface is extremely intuitive too – four arrows govern forward and backward motion, as well as turning to the right and left, (or rotating a full 360 degrees). The images I’ve included below show the 1st device on the Main Level in the Gallery and the 2nd device on the Lower Level in the hallway facing back toward the Laundry.

June 2014 Update: We received the docking/charging stations for the robots this month Now each robot can be remotely docked so the batteries in both the iPad and the robot itself can be recharged. This enables me to operate the robots on demand with no fears about depleting the batteries and stranding one of the devices somewhere in the house. We envision using these robots to conduct tours, meet with the property manager, maintenance crews, etc., as well as being able to perform random checks while we’re away.

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