Help the world, win $100k with The Buckminster Fuller challenge -
Buckminster Fuller’s prolific life of exploration, discovery, invention and teaching was driven by his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone”.
Fuller coupled this intention with a pioneering approach aimed at solving complex problems. This approach, which he called comprehensive anticipatory design science, combined an emphasis on individual initiative and integrity with whole systems thinking, scientific rigor and faithful reliance on nature’s underlying principles.
After decades of tracking world resources, innovations in science and technology, and human needs, Fuller asserted that options exist to successfully surmount the crises of unprecedented scope and complexity facing humanity – he issued an urgent call for a design science revolution to make the world work for all.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge seeks submissions of design science solutions within a broad range of human endeavor that exemplify the trimtab principle. Trimtabs demonstrate how small amounts of energy and resources precisely applied at the right time and place can produce maximum advantageous change.
It’s time for another back to school giveaway – POCKET REF!! “If there was just one tool that no (back to school) Maker should be without, what would it be?” This may just be the tool we’d pick. This great little book is a concise all-purpose reference featuring hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants & conversions and it still fits in your shirt pocket! Packed with mathematical formula, tables, standard conversion ratio, scientific fact, technical specification, electric wire size vs. load, resistor color codes, Morse code, sun & planet data, earthquake scales, nail sizes, geometry formulas, currency exchange rates, carpentry, automotive, physical science, water friction losses, charts for battery charging, lumber sizes & grades, floor joint span limits, insulation R values, periodic table, and as they say, much, much more! It’s no wonder The Pocket Ref was featured in MythBusters…
To win one TODAY 8/30/07 – post a sentence or so in the comments, tell us something you’ve *made* or the first thing you remember making, post up by the end of the day (11:59pm PDT) and I’ll pick one, make it good, be honest! If you missed out today, we’ll do this again soon – or just get a Pocket Ref in the Maker store…Link.
Here’s a great HOW TO on controlling an iPod with the Arduino, Jonas writes -
This tutorial will describe a way of controlling an iPod remote, and thus, an easy way of getting some music and sound out of your Arduino project. The remote we used was an unofficial remote I found on the worldwide auction site for around 10 USD, an opto-isolator can be found in your local electronics store.
We used a TIL116 opto-isolator between the Arduino and the remote to safely send signals in between the two. The remote works by you pushing a button which closes a circuit and that is interpreted in a certain way by the iPod. What you need to do is to send a pulse to the opto-isolator that makes it close the button-circuit, and then open it again. Depending on what you want the iPod to do, you need to send a longer or shorter pulse, i.e.. a long pulse sent to the play/pause button will shut the iPod off, a short pulse will play/pause the track.
A life-size, robotic fly has taken flight at Harvard University. Weighing only 60 milligrams, with a wingspan of three centimeters, the tiny robot’s movements are modeled on those of a real fly. While much work remains to be done on the mechanical insect, the researchers say that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals.
“Nature makes the world’s best fliers,” says Robert Wood, leader of Harvard’s robotic-fly project and a professor at the university’s school of engineering and applied sciences.
Technology Review: Robotic Insect Takes Off – [via] Link.
The latest Gadget Freak has an article about the CopterBox, a disposable air cargo system made from carboard that acts like a little helicopter on decent. It’s not really a how-to, but there seems to be enough information to duplicate it to make your own… – Link.
Here are the details for the next dorkbot in NYC, Doug writes -
The 1493.456 Ã— 10^23rd dorkbot-nyc meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 5th, 2007, at 7pm at Location One in SoHo. Info, directions, etc at: http://dorkbot.org It’s a special pre-Conflux Festival preview! Members of the Conflux 2007 curatorial team will introduce this year’s Conflux, highlighting several key projects and covering the schedule of events.
Graffiti is one of the most powerful and most personal displays in the urban experience, and can be used to make statements, tag territory, spread messages — urban markup language in practice. However, the output is nearly always visual in nature, making this experience one-dimensional. Furthermore, rarely does the work have a brain of its own, and is usually incapable of reacting to anybody observing it. Concrete Crickets was created to address this deficit, creating small devices that will be aware of passers-by as well as other units of their kind. Each unit consists of a sound generator, amp, speaker and sensory system, and is housed in camouflage appropriate to the streets of the city — soda cans, cigarette packs, and the like. http://www.confluxfestival.org/conflux2007/concrete-crickets-2
This is a follow up to the Easy to Build Desk Top 3 Axis CNC Milling Machine. Once you get the machine all put together its time to make it go. I’ll presume you already have some stepper motors mounted and ready to go. If not I can refer you to some resources as to where to get them. So it’s time to drive the motors. And here I’ve put together a circuit that I think is the absolute cheapest and easiest way to control stepper motors with step and direction signals. It works with many of the free or low cost softwares that produce step and direction signals through the parallel printer port. I’ll explain how it works but for those of you who just want to get on with it…
Easy to build CNC mill stepper motor and driver circuits – Link.
Easy to Build Desk Top 3 Axis CNC Milling Machine – Link.
France based CrowdSpirit is in beta mode, you can put your ideas for electronics/gadget and they can be voted on or developed. If it gets developed you can also get a share of the revenue. Interesting idea, not sure how/if it will work out – I wonder what the first product will be from this org… anyway check it out, post thoughts in the comments… – [via] Link.
Erling Ellingsen figured out how to retrieve high sample rate measurements from the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer:
As it turns out, the iPhone has a built-in LIS302DL, a tiny 3-axis accelerometer. While some have attempted to use it from within the Safari browser (the Tilt game detects changes to the width of the browser page; it is basically used as a 1-bit input device), its potential is still somewhat untapped.
He’s posted the necessary source, so now you can get to work on your own motion-input applications.