Hackaday Links: May 14, 2017

Maker Faire Bay Area is next weekend, and you know what that means: we’re having a meetup on Saturday night. If you’re in the area, it’s highly recommended you attend. It’s a blinky bring-a-hack with booze. You can’t beat it. I heard the OPShark is showing up. All hail the OPShark. You’re gonna want to RSVP if you’re going k thx.

It only took twelve years, but [ladyada] finally got herself on the cover of Make.

Nvidia has the Jetson, an extremely powerful single board computer + GPU meant for machine learning, imagifying, and robotics applications. If you want to do fancy ML stuff with low power devices, I’d highly recommend you check the Jetson out. Of course, the Jetson is only the brains of any Machine Learning robot; you also need some muscle. To that end, Nvidia released the Isaac robotic simulator. It’s a simulator for standard bits of hardware like quadcopters, hovercrafts (?), robotic arms, and yes, selfie drones. What does this mean? Standardized hardware means someone is going to produce 3rd party hardware, and that’s awesome.

This is just an observation, but fidget spinners are just now hitting the mainstream. We didn’t know what they were for a year ago, and we don’t know now.

A Hebocon is a shitty robot battle. DorkbotPDX just had their first Hebocon and the results were… just about as shitty as you would expect. Since this is a shitty robot battle, a MakerBot made an appearance. This robot, SpitterBot, was designed to blow extruded filament all over its opponent. Did the MakerBot win? Yes, SpitterBot won the ‘Poorest Quality’ award.

Supplyframe, Hackaday’s parent company, hosts monthly-ish electronic get-togethers in the San Fransisco office. The focus of these meetups is to find someone cool who built something awesome and get them to talk about it. The March meetup featured [Pete Bevelacqua] who built a Vector Network Analyzer from scratch. The video is worth a watch.

18 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: May 14, 2017

  1. one of the demos I bring into work (to show 3d printing) is those spinners ;) younger ones heard of them; older ones just look and shake their heads.

    its good practice for learning how to operate 3d printers, though. and people seem to like the things.

    will the spinners be a ‘thing’ for long? doubtful, but they are a ‘thing’ now, it seems.

    (buy stock in 608 bearing companies, I guess)

  2. eventually those damned useless fidget spinners will start being handed out for free with corprate logod plastered all over them. at that point i will never have to buy ball bearings ever again.

  3. Okay, the purpose of a fidget spinner is to give a person’s fingers something to do. People (including children) with ADHD will be much more attentive and less disruptive in group situations if they have something to occupy their fingers.
    Without a “fidget”, the person will fidget themselves.
    Got it?
    While it may seem like a passing fad, it is based in research.

    1. Some schools are reporting that the spinners are causing a distraction in other students, so… usage probably needs to be taken in context (age of the class, who benefits/how much vs. who is negatively impacted/how much, subject matter, etc.). Not saying they are good or bad overall, just that it isn’t all win-win.

      Full disclosure: my kids have been selling them to their friends :)

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