The Community

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BuildBrighton's community is not just about the thing that we build, but about the people who build them. By forging links with others who share our passions and interests we can expand our own knowledge while helping others to expand theirs. Also, some people have some great ideas, are working on incredibly cool projects and have some seriously mad skillz.

Below are some bio's of community members.

Emily Toop

IMG 0068.JPG

Emily is a software developer who specializes in server side Java applications, although she's also developed in PHP, python, C#, C++ and C. She is currently working for a software house in Brighton supplying Intelligent Network applications to telecoms provider throughout the world, offering number translation services and VOIP teleconferencing.

Her passion, however, is robots. After studying CSAI at Sussex University, and after several years of being too scared to get started, she finally got up the courage last year to start getting involved in robotics. In the intervening months, Emily has built six robots, each steadily getting more complex as she learns. She is currently finishing off her first walking robot and is looking forward to starting her most challenging project yet - a hexapod!

Tumbler.jpg Turbot Tumbler

Sumovore.jpg Sumovore minisumo robot

When Emily first started building robots, she hunted around Brighton and the surrounding area for a robotics group to join, so that she could meet other hobbyists and learn from them. After months of searching it became apparent that nothing like it existed, so she started Brighton Robotics, an online group for roboticists, which also meets up to twice a month at The Skiff for hack nights, talks from experienced roboticists and tutorials.

Since starting the group she has discovered a further passion for educating others and inspiring people to get into robotics. She is now concentrating on growing the educational side of Brighton Robotics and working towards bringing tutorials and workshops to BuildBrighton.

Emily was one of the founding members of BuildBrighton and has happily brought many of her members from Brighton Robotics into the BuildBrighton fold. She blogs sporadically on her robot building efforts as robochick.

Chris Holden

Chris is a software developer of over 20 years, starting with a ZX Spectrum in the mid-80s (actually a VIC-20 but do they really count?). He started out, professionally, writing automation and logic control for factory systems for companies such as JCB, Cadburys, Hewlett Packard and EuroDisney. He has spent the last two decades either coming up with ideas or implementing existing ideas that have made quite a few people very wealthy. Chris has decided to put his skills to use earning his own fortune but hasn't got very far yet! During the last few years, Chris has learned how to program PIC microchips using a variety of tools and is in the process of developing some commercial products, which he hopes will earn enough to buy a flat in his adoptive home of Brighton. His first commercial grade microchip device was a chicken counter, to control an automatic chicken coop door, for a farmer in rural France.

Chris loves writing games in Flash/Actionscript and has also produced isometric 3d games in C for the GameBoy Advance, as well as a range of games and apps for early adopters of J2ME on mobile phone handsets. He also quite likes Micro$oft technologies even if it's not cool to admit it.

When not cycling along the seafront or tearing past Hove Lawns on his (t)rusty bike, Chris can sometimes be found putting a new roof on his place in France or stuck in traffic on the M6, trying to get back to Cheshire to put in a few days work at the office.

Chris is a member of Brighton Robotics and BuildBrighton and sometimes writes up his development on his Nerd Club blog