I recently saw an amazing Free Software-powered art project in Zürich.
Basically it’s a series of sensors that connect (via the Internet) with a cybernetic chip containing living cell tissue in a lab. When people touch the poles they send a signal to individual cells. These cells return a signal, and that causes noise to come out of a speaker just above the pole. You can even train each cell to react in a different way.
I’ve really never seen anything like this before. The most amazing thing is that the guys who build this engineered the sound system on a FPGA and built almost everything using Free Software. I even saw that some circuit boards they had designed were released as copyleft. The only non-Free software is a bitstream loader for the FPGA.
Kudos to them!
(The pictures here are from the Neuroom website, and reproduced with permission).