Andy Beck - Maker, Community Leader, Entrepreneur, Internet-Of-Things Guru
I've resided in Ringoes, New Jersey for over 30 years with my wife and four children. I'm what you call a Maker. My passion is building things - houses, furniture, toys, electronic gadgets... you name it.

Following in my parent's footsteps, I try to help out in the community wherever I can. I've been a Den Leader, Cub Master and Committee Chair for the Cub Scouts. I've been on the board of the local Education Foundation and little league. I've served as President of our elementary school's PTO. For the past several years I've also been a mentor and judge for our school's STEM program - Student Invention Through Education competition.

I've also been web master for several organizations, including:
 º Cub Scout Pack 32
 º East Amwell PTO
 º Amwell Valley Little League

I’m helping connect the world…One machine at a time. I’ve helped your pool filter tell you when it needs cleaning or its chemicals need to be adjusted. The one that’s made your sprinkler system controllable from your office, and the one that let's your dog show you where he is when he’s run away.

As a consultant specializing in Machine to Machine Communications (M2M) and the Internet-of-Things I develop interfaces that allow manufacturers to easily connect their products to the Cloud. I have over 20 years’ experience developing M2M hardware & software utilizing a broad range of technologies including Wi-Fi, Cellular (GSM & CDMA), Bluetooth, NFC, RFID, GPS and Ethernet.

For more information about me, my products, or services visit my web sites:
 º M2M Consultants
Little Languages with Brian Kernighan
RecentlyI attended the Princeton Tech Meetup where Brian Kernighan discussed Little Languages. Although I've followed Brian's work for the last 40 years, this was a fresh look at programming languages for me. I've recently been working on the user interface of the Sprockitz that is used to create automation events, and after listening to Brian I realized I had developed my own little language. Sprockitz allows the user to create event sequences that can be triggered at specific times, from external inputs, or from other events. These events can change the state of outputs, send Emails/Tweets or change program variables. The language supports if-then, do-while-until and looping constructs. The beauty of it is that your program is written using drop-down boxes - it's easy enough that a young child can easily create their own event-control programs. So now that I've developed a new programming language I just need to come up with a name for it.
Animating a Singing Elvis Robot for Media Tech
I got a call from Chris, one of son's friends. He said he was volunteering at a local technology center, Media Tech, where they have a Singing Elvis Bust they wanted to do some work on. Apparently, they had this thing sitting around for a while and Warren Buckleitner, the director of Media Tech, thought it would be cool to control it from an iPad. Chris was familiar with my work so he immediately thought to call me. So I picked up the Elvis to see what I could do with it. It's a marvel of mechanical engineering with about a dozen custom servo mechanisms. The original circuitry is fried so it no longer functions as it originally did. However, I think we can make a really cool interactive prop using Sprockitz. I was so impressed with this thing I put bids on two of them being sold on eBay. Wish me luck!
Helping with a Scary Prop at Pennsbury Prom
A long time friend of mine Mark Sanford, is an avid Maker - on a big scale. Mark's passion is building really big things - like 12' globes, truck-sized rotating buckets, lifesize dragons and disco balls big enough to house a family. For several years he's been building props for Pennsbury High Schools' Prom, which has been voted the "Best Prom in America" by Readers Digest. One day Mark called me and said "I have this rubber rattle snake I want to animate, do you think Sprockitz can handle that?" I've done a lot of stuff with Sprockitz, but this was the first time I had an opportunity to work one-on-one with someone else to animate something. Mark used 2 RC-servos to control his snake - one in the head and one in the tail. Even though Mark lives only a short distance from me we collaborated remotely using Skype and I was quickly able to update Sprockitz's firmware in my office while Mark fine-tuned the settings in his shop. Together we were able to do some amazing things with the servos. Using a new "servo slew" function I added to Sprockitz, Mark was able to have the snakes head bob back and forth so realistically that many at the event thought it was an actual snake. They're already starting to plan next year's prom and Mark's talking of animating something Really Big and Really Scary - but I'm sworn to secrecy so I can't revel what it is.
Some of My Projects
Kid Size Styrofoam Boat
PVC-Pipe Haunted House
WiFi Air Soft Tank
iPad Rocket Launcher
8ft Model Rocket
Favorite Web Sites (other than my own) - Instructables º  Make Magazine º  IndieGoGo º  Kick Starter º  W3 Schools
Some other Andy Becks on the web - Painter & Artist º  Musician º  Equine Journalist º