When I first came across this video by South Korean maker Mok Young Bak I have to admit that I didn’t quite get it. I haven’t had that many buttons on a mobile in years. All kidding aside, any technology that gets you away from a desk is well worth the investment. Bonus points if it includes streaming video and remotely operated actuators. [via Engadget]
[via The Donut Project]
In 2001, I wrote a homebrew game for the Atari 2600 called SCSIcide. I created a custom PCB to allow me to make my own cartridges for the system. As the homebrew community was starting to flourish, I designed a bunch of other circuit boards supporting different memory sizes and videogame consoles. I’ve finally gotten around to releasing the full documentation/source/Gerber plots/etc., so now people can make their own game cartridges for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit computer, and Colecovision. Fun!
I picked up this lovely old toolbox full of tools at a yard sale recently. Any advice on reviving some of those rusty tools in there? Please add your favorite refinishing/de-rusting tips in the comments.
Recently, I had an opportunity to get early access to a new hardware system from Microsoft. Last fall, I met Colin Miller at World Maker Faire, where he explained the system to me. Gadgeteer is a way for people to rapidly build devices, program them, and then even build enclosures around the projects they make. On Wednesday morning, almost none of my students had ever written a computer program, and by Friday afternoon, every one had the opportunity to write a program that would control output hardware based on the input of sensors that they had built.
Since this is such a new system, there isn’t a huge set of example projects, project rubrics, sample code, or other resources that many classroom teachers expect when using learning tools with students. Basically, we introduced students to the hardware, provided some sample code for a few starter projects, and gave everybody a chance to try it out. Some students took right to it, coded the examples, and had it working quickly so they could move on to adjusting and personalizing the programs and hardware. Other students needed more help finding the causes of errors in the code. Some students had significant trouble getting the programs to work.
Most of the troubles were the result of typing the code inaccurately. We chose to give students paper copies of the programs instead of digital versions because of the value of typing the program as you learn the language. Copy and paste would have been much quicker, but it would not have helped students learn what the code was doing and how it was doing it.
Mostly, in schools, people expect the information to be largely packaged and proven. There are lots of structures, both institutional and cultural, that reinforce having all the classroom content organized and predictably scaffolded. With a cutting edge tool like Gadgeteer, students really have to bring a lot of their own enthusiasm, persistence and independence. Some learners can handle that responsibility, some can’t. Some who can’t handle this responsibility also bristle at the traditional classroom structures. It’s tricky to put something together that meets everybody’s needs.
At the end of the three days of programming and experimentation, many students said that they had enjoyed working with physical computing. Each afternoon, there were students who stayed several hours after school let out, learning how to make their new gadgets work better through programming. These were students who had never written a program. The challenge now is to keep them writing and developing their own projects. This will be possible with microcontrollers in the room, and software that they can access on school and home computers.
In this video, Steven Bathiche from Microsoft Applied Sciences shows off some imaging and human interface technologies that are currently under development at Microsoft. They’re working on something called an optical wedge, which they’re using to add a Z dimension to touch screens and deliver 3D images to your eyes without the need for glasses. Along with a Kinect for head tracking, these optical wedges can also deliver two separate images to two people watching the same screen. After seeing all the amazing Kinect hacks from the maker community, I’m hoping that we’ll see a hackable consumer version of this technology soon. [via Engadget]
We’ve been overwhelmed with the response (over 45 logos submitted!) and many of you have asked for an more time. So we are extending the OSHW Logo Submission Deadline till MARCH 3rd!
With the Open Hardware Definition, we would like to release a logo for Open Hardware to be attached to the definition, and used to brand Open Hardware. Please propose your logos, or comment on the below ones at the Definition Forum under the thread OSHW LOGO.
The logo for the Open Hardware Definition must:
- Be easy to print/see on a PCB
- Be easy to print/see on a Schematic document
- Signify Open-ness
Submit your logo in jpg or png format to the Definition Forum under the thread OSHW Logo. Please include the following information:
- Submitted by: (if different than Designer)
To look at the logos submitted to date, check the logo page
The selection process will be a combination of a committe pre-selection and then a public vote of the community. More details to come soon.
Getting to be the person who designed the OSHW LOGO!
Go ahead and join the competition and GOOD LUCK!
One of our new members at the Hack Factory is Ray Connors, a locksport aficionado. He makes his own lockpicks, which are sold in pairs, double-sided rake/tensors. Also, I really liked his method for storing them, in a safety pin laced through a pen spring. Wearable lockpicks!
In celebration of our new Make: Arduino page, we’re giving away five copies of Massimo Banzi’s popular book Getting Started with Arduino. This rockin’ little book serves as the perfect introduction to Arduino and even to high-tech making/tinkering in general. To be eligible for the drawing, click here and enter your comments on the theme of: Everything I always wanted to know about Arduino but was afraid to ask. Ask your vexiest questions. And if you want to help out and offer answers, that would be great too (and make you eligible for the drawing). The deadline for entries is Thursday 11:59pm PST. Winners announced on Friday.
[BTW: Comments left here will not be eligible. Please leave them in the topic on the Make: Arduino page linked below.]