VMworld 2013: Day 4 Highlights

So, you may be wondering…Where are the Day 3 highlights? Well, I was a little pre-occupied with on-site certification testing on both Day 2 and Day 3, but more on that later…

Day 4 was dubbed “Innovation Day” as VMware invited entrepreneurs from exciting start-ups to present their projects to convention attendees.

First up was JoyLabz Founder, Jay Silver.  During a urban nature walk, he became fascinated with the notion of observing phenomena that are normally unseen (ex: wind patterns, electrical currents).  He researched this topic, which culminated in the creation of the MaKey MaKey Invention Kit: a circuit board that allows customers to connect different objects to it and to control electronics, make music, and to do pretty much whatever interesting use cases can be thought of.

Keller Rinaudo, Founder of Romotive was next.  His company designed a robot called Romo that can use an iPhone as a brain.  An iOS app is installed on the iPhone to facilitate communication with the robot as well as do firmware updates.  The app also enables visual programming of the robot, although there is a traditional open API for coders.  Romo can respond to visual input via the camera as well as to movement data via the accelerometer and gyroscope (it can flip itself over if upside down!).  The emphasis is on getting young children interested in technology and facilitating advances in robotics on a smaller scale than is done with larger projects like Honda’s ASIMO.

Bre Pettis from MakerBot in my hometown, Brooklyn, NY, was last.  His company started off with the premise of trying to develop an affordable 3D Printer.  The applications of his invention went beyond the simple use case of making physical prototypes of 3D models.  The most impressive project associated with MakerBot is the Robo Hand: a prosthetic built from MakerBot 3D print-outs that is enabling folks with missing fingers to improve their ability to do manual tasks.

See more about Robo Hand here:

Innovation Day was a great way to close VMworld 2013, and the rest of day featured the most popular sessions that were repeated based on demand.  The session that I enjoyed the most was the OpenStack-vSphere Integration session by Scott Lowe and Dan Wendlandt.  It was great to see VMware’s code contributions in the OpenStack Havana release that allows Cinder to use standard VMDKs with VMs deployed by Nova.  (If the terms “Nova” and “Cinder” are new to you, check out Couch to OpenStack) I look forward to implementing the updated code in the lab.

For any of you interested in trying out the integration, check out the VMware Communities Site dedicated to OpenStack.  The site includes information on a VMware Fling called VOVA which is an all-in-one OpenStack installation appliance for getting up and running with OpenStack+vSphere even quicker.

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