Happy New Year to all of our friends around the world! We hope you’re having a great time ringing in the new year and the next decade of the 21st century. We look forward to collaborating with you all on some inspired projects in 2011. We’re excited about what we have in store for the coming year. Stay tuned…
When I saw this Lightsaber, I knew immediately that it was the work of Bradley Lewis. We have featured his work before, and I’m sure we will again in the future. Be sure to check out the entire build process, including how he made the spring action mechanism, and detachable blade. There are several other great videos on page 7 that show it being used with the blade attached. via – Reddit
Hi Makers! The Tag Your Green Contest ends tonight at 11:59 PST. Here’s your last chance to get your entries in.
Do you have an innovative project that you think is “green” or one you’ve been thinking about starting? That word green gets tossed around a lot. It’s slapped onto everything these days. What constitutes “green” can be a relative thing. Do you think others would find your project “environmentally-friendly,” a worthwhile solution to today’s environmental problems? Does it promote conservation? Appropriate use of technology? Let’s find out. MAKE is running a green project contest, as part of GE’s ecomagination.
Grab the code generated after you’ve registered your project. This is your “tag.” Place this HTML code on the project page of your website, on your blog, wherever you want, and Tag Your Green!
Encourage your readers, family and friends, your social network to vote for your project. When they hit the Vote for My Green Project badge on your site, they’ll be taken to your project page on MAKE where they can vote.
Post the link to your MAKE Green Project page to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks and encourage others to do the same.
Posts that get lots of votes, besides being eligible for prizes (see below), will also draw the attention of MAKE editors. We’ll start doing blog posts, and maybe even articles in the magazine, about some of the more popular projects.
What You Win:
The project that gets the most votes between now and December 31, 2010 (11:59pm PDT) will be the Grand Prize winner. After this top prize winner, those with the most votes in each category will win runners-up prize packages.
Grand Prize Winner — Trip for two to Maker Faire 2011 (winners choice of Bay Area, Detroit, or New York). Travel, lodging, and event tickets covered (up to $1500). The opportunity to award five “Green Maker” ribbons at the Faire.
Grand Prize Winner and five Runners-up will receive: 1-year subscription to MAKE magazine, an autographed copy of Made by Hand by Mark Frauenfelder, a Maker’s Notebook, a Sparkle Labs SunMod Kit (turns your remote control into a solar-powered device), and two adult day passes to the Maker Faire of choice.
Check out our series of videos on Maker Pioneers who are doing work we think is worthy of the tag “green.”
Everyone please give a warm welcome to Matt Richardson! He’ll be making videos and posting here at Make: Online. Matt is a long-time sci-tech lover and maker. In his childhood, he wrote computer games in BASIC and then as a teenager he worked as a science demonstrator at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. Currently, he works in New York City’s television industry, but spends much of his free time tinkering with electronics and shooting photos and video. As an avid runner and swimmer, he has completed the New York City Marathon four times and competes in US Masters swim meets and open water swims. He can be found on Twitter at @MattRichardson or MattRichardson.com.
In looking at the best of what Make: Online had to offer in 2010, George Hart’s wonderful “Math Monday” columns immediately sprung to mind. Each week, George does a fantastic job of covering the wonders of mathematics through a series of crafty projects. It’s math and science meets arts, crafts, and various forms of making (from papercraft to wood- and metalworking, to playing with your food). Look for more cool “Math Monday” columns in 2011.
The balaclava is knit from cotton yarn and the design is from a bitmap file, in which pictures of my head from every angle were photoshopped together into a single rectangular image. I used the same images to make the bitmap file as I did for the original ID-Preserving Balaclava project.
The Monochron clock kit from the Maker Shed is a completely hackable, open source, clock kit that has a funky retro feel. It can be programmed to display several different clock “faces” or you can program you own. The kit comes complete with all electronics (soldering required), laser cut case, and power plug.
Matt Jones made these Ojai Post Office Christmas Ornaments for his friends who just moved there. He drew the design in a vector drawing program, used a laser cutter to cut out pieces in acrylic and cardstock, then made a silicone mold of the model for casting. I always wonder how people make the models that they use for molding, so I appreciated his in-depth explanation. The full photo set is here.
A few weeks ago, we were talking internally about somehow celebrating some of our favorite makers from 2010. Of course, when we do that, our usual cast of amazing makers pop to mind: Mister Jalopy, Bill Gurstelle, Bre Pettis, Limor Fried, Lenore and Windell of Evil Mad Scientist Labs, the Instructables folks, etc. But we also wanted to cast our net a little wider. And don’t get us wrong, we’re not voting these folks as “the best makers” or anything. It’s not a competition. But as Phil said about Mitch Altman, an already well-known maker who we decided to single out anyway (see below), they represent “the best of us.” For all of these people, their seemingly boundless curiosity, resourcefulness, experimental approach to life, their not being afraid to fail, and their overall spirit of adventure and dedication to the joy of making, is what makes them representative of that better part of us all. So, from everyone here at MAKE, we’d like to thank all of you in this article, all of the other makers who contributed to Maker Media endeavors in 2010, and to all of you who are part of the greater maker community. You all inspire us and keep us going.
And we’d love to hear in the comments who you thought were some of the more inspired makers in 2010.
Mitch Altman — Anybody who’s read MAKE, this website, has been to a Maker Faire, is part of a hackerspace, gone to a hacker con, or similar, probably knows Mitch Altman. He’s certainly not newly arrived on the maker radar. But we thought he needed special commendation anyway. PT put it best in an email:
Mitch tirelessly travels the world to patiently teach thousands of people open source hardware, he’s a developer/founder of a hackerspace (and champion of hackerspaces). He’s a wonderful person, has a social cause — if you’ve seen Mitch at a Maker Faire, he is a saint — he is the best of us. —Phillip Torrone
He is indeed. So we award Mitch a special Maker Saint award for 2010. We love you, Mitch. Keep up the Great Work!
Jeri Ellsworth — Jeri is also likely no stranger to Make: Online readers, but we’re endlessly inspired and entertained by her work. She’s a geek’s geek. Check out this recent video she did about her failures and what she’s learned from them. We can’t wait to see what sorts of trouble Jeri gets herself into in 2011. —Gareth
Chris Hackett — If you were at Maker Faire New York, you couldn’t miss seeing (and hearing) the work of artist and fabricator Chris Hackett and the Madagascar Institute. They were a huge presence at the Faire, from the madcap chariot races around the metal sculpture in the center of the park to the gut-rumblingly-loud “Jet Ponies,” basically two buzz bombs with saddles you could climb onto and ride. Good times! Hackett also just starred in a pilot for a Science Channel show, called Stuck with Hackett. Since airing, the show has been picked up for nine more episodes (to be filmed in 2011) and the show scored a New York Times mention. —Gareth
Héctor Martín — Héctor pulled off a coup when he responded to Adafruit’s X-prize styled bounty for a hacked Kinect. The Kinect, Microsoft’s new gestural XBox interface, intrigued hackers everywhere but they were frustrated by Microsoft’s refusal to open it up. Thanks to Héctor, it’s now available for exploration by anyone who’s interested. And guess what? The Kinect became the hot toy of the holiday season. Hmmmmm. —John Baichtal
Wayne & Layne — In 2009, no one knew who Wayne and Layne were — or as their mommas call ‘em, Adam Wolf (right) and Matthew Beckler (left). They labored in obscurity, concocting all manner of ingenious projects, two of which came out this year: Their Tactile Metronome was a hit at the Bay Area Maker Faire. It’s a “learning drum” that listens as you tap a beat onto the PCB, then continues the rhythm you just tapped out. Their Video Game Shield was introduced at the World Maker Faire in New York, and quickly became one of the hot kits of the fall, with everyone from the MakerBot holiday store to the Maker Shed, to Adafruit and Sparkfun offering the shield. A little bird told us W&L’s next offering is imminent. Can’t wait, can’t wait! —John B
Super Awesome Sylvia — We don’t know what kingdom of fairy Sylvia comes from, but we’d like to see more of these magical little maker people. In 2010, Sylvia burst onto our radar with a series of Sylvia’s Super Awesome Maker Shows. We were floored. Our agents, talent scouts, casting directors, and producers went into high gear (read: one of us sent her dad an email) and we asked them to make some kid vids for us. We’ve been thrilled with working with them and expect even bigger and better things from Sylvia and her wily assistants — her parents: dad, aka TechNinja, and mom, aka CraftNinja. OK, so maybe Sylvia comes from some sort of Shaolin Temple or martial arts/ninja training school. That might explain the lock-picking. —Gareth
Zach Lieberman — Zach, of Graffiti Research Labs, defines himself as an “artist, researcher, and hacker dedicated to exploring new modes of expression and play.” One of his most impressive projects (and he has many) is the Eyewriter, a low cost, open source device that allows people (especially the paralyzed) to draw with their eyes. —Gareth
Bill Hammack — Bill Hammack is one part Mr. Wizard, one part James Burke. He’s a professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his alter ego Engineer Guy has made over 300 public radio spots emphasizing the creative aspects of science and engineering. In 2010, Bill burst into our corner of the blogosphere with an absolutely fascinating series of short, brilliantly-produced videos extolling the wonders of engineering that are concealed within the everyday objects that surround us. From cheap Wal-Mart coffee makers to vintage airline flight data recorders, as Bill likes to say: “Look inside. It’s amazing.” —Sean R
Tony DeRose (above right) and his family are my obvious pick. I’ve been working with Tony closely on the Young Makers program, but I got to know him first when he volunteered to share his family’s Potato Gatling Gun with our field trip visitors two years ago. He, his wife, and their two boys sit down over the holidays each year and decide what they’ll create for Maker Faire Bay Area in May. Their projects are awesome (besides the potato launcher, they’ve built a giant multitouch table and a fire-breathing dragon), and the kids drive the projects. The experience of working on Maker Faire projects with his boys led Tony to organize a series of maker lunches with his colleagues at Pixar to share experiences making. And, he’s been devoting a majority of his time to a vision he shares with Dale, me, and Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich at the Exploratorium — to get kids making, and to create an infrastructure to support that making. Although we are all partners in this, Tony does the heavy lifting on the program, working as organizational leader, shop host, club manager, and mentor, all in one. And he’s also a maker in his day job, as a researcher at Pixar! Tony is a through-and-through great guy, and I only hope our family can be like his in a decade or so! —Michelle Hlubinka, Education Director, Maker Media
Nate Nielsen — 2010 saw the untimely passing of Tekoa, Washington Lego artist Nate Nielsen, known online as nnenn. Father, husband, and professor of graphic design, nnenn was something of a legend in the Lego community, and was movingly eulogized at The Brothers Brick. Inspired in large part by his relationship with his two sons, he was also one of the most prolific and innovative designers the AFOL (Adult Fans of Lego) community has seen in a long time. His Flickr stream remains as a monument, if not to the whole man, then certainly at least to his talent, passion, and creativity. It continues to inspire and probably will for a long time to come. —Sean Ragan
Getting iPhone push notifications from objects in your physical world is possible using an Arduino with an Ethernet Shield, a PHP-enabled web server and an iPhone app called Prowl. In this video, I show how to set up a mailbox so that it pings your phone when snail mail is delivered, but it’s very easy to adapt this project to whatever suits your needs.
Prowl is an iPhone app with the sole purpose of delivering push notifications to you from your computer via Growl or from online services with the API. In order to connect the Arduino to Prowl’s API, we need a PHPproxy server. This is because Prowl’s API requires an SSL connection, which the Arduino isn’t capable of making. Luckily, setting up the server is easy because all of the hard work has already been done by the fine people behind the ProwlPHP class. All you need to do is paste your Prowl API key into the example code and change the example text to the alert that you want to send. When your Arduino requests the URL of that example script from your web server, the alert is pushed to your phone almost instantaneously.
For the code on the Arduino, I simply adapted the WebClient example that’s included with the Arduino IDE. I changed the server address, the URL, and the basic structure of the code so that it requested our ProwlPHP script’s URL when it sensed a “high” signal from the switch. I also added serial output for debugging. You can check out the code I used for this project on Google Code or just download the Zip file.
There are a lot of great uses for this project. You could have push alerts delivered to your iPhone when you leave your garage door open, when someone opens your front gate, when the temperature drops below freezing, or when your home power usage exceeds a certain level. Whatever kind of switch or sensor you can hook up to your microprocessor can trigger a push alert. I’m eager to see how you decide to implement iPhone push alerts into your projects.