Escape from New York: Hackaday edition

Woo we’re home from Maker Faire! The Hackaday boss man [Caleb] and [Scott], [Phil], and [Andrew] from Squidfoo are back in Springfield, Missouri. I’m safely back in the bosom of Appalachia in Pensyltucky, and we hope every one else at Maker Faire NYC 2012 made it back home safely.

Don’t think this is the end of our coverage of Maker Faire, though. Honestly, the Internet situation was terrible at Maker Faire, and between tethering on my droid and a MiFi, I was lucky to post what I did. There’s more stuff coming down the pipe, and now that I have a decent connection we’ll be posting more videos to the Hackaday YouTube channel.

Of course this wouldn’t be a proper Hackaday post without a hack, therefore I will humbly submit something I discovered around the Delaware Water Gap: Every GPS unit has a setting to avoid New Jersey. All you have to do is enable the ‘avoid toll roads’ setting. Yes, it’s an easy modification to preserve your health and sanity, lest you accidentally find your way into a suburban swampland.

Picking locks with Toool

What Maker Faire would be complete without teaching children the joys of jiggling and twisting locks until they’ve opened? Toool, the open organisation of lockpickers made their way to New York this weekend to show off their bumping skills and get the kids interested in manipulating small mechanical devices.

The guys from Toool had a very cool setup – just a bunch of tables and chairs with a few picks and torsion wrenches. There were a few classic Master Locks on the table, but also a series of six tumbler locks each labeled with a number 1 through 6 signifying how many pins were in the lock. The idea is to get someone started on a one-pin lock, and eventually have them work their way up to the full six pins.

In the video after the break, one of the more animated guys from Toool explains why they were there, and also shows off picking a Master Lock twice in under 30 seconds. Seriously, people: educate yourself on locks before buying one.

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Running into the Form 1 printer at Maker Faire

The Form 1 resin printer Kickstarter met its funding goal in just about 8 hours, and after five days is on track to be the most successful Kickstarter to date. Being so successful meant we had to drop by the FormLabs booth at Maker Faire to see what the hubub is.

From the sample prints floating around the booth, the Form 1 printer has amazing resolution – a 3 inch tall statue of a Greek god had as many features as a life-sized statue.

In the video (both above the fold and after the break), [David Cranor] goes over the features and finishing process of objects made on the Form 1.

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Rideable hexawalker is Chibikart’s kin

The folks from MIT made their way to the NYC Maker Faire, and of course brought a pair of Chibikarts. [Nancy Ouyang] wouldn’t allow those portable go karts take center stage at the MIT booth though; her Hexarideablepod (yes, that’s what she calls it) saw much more action from the kids clamoring to take something for a drive.

From the video above, [Nancy] shows off her six-legged, tennis ball-footed creation. The entire machine is powered by car batteries and is controlled via two joysticks in something resembling driving a tank Nope, it’s powered by A123 lipos and controlled with triggers taken from an electric drill.

As per [Nancy]‘s wishes, I must mention that this project was for MITERS, a.k.a. the people from MIT that came down to Maker Faire.

Proper video after the break. The Internet at Maker Faire is horrible, give me a break.

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Control Giant Fireballs With Your Mind

[Matt Oehrlein] and [Ed Platt] from the i3 Detroit hackerspace created the Mind Flame project. The project uses Electroencephalography (EEG) sensors from NeuroSky to measure the user’s concentration level. When you’re concentrating hard enough, the Mind Flame launches a giant fireball, which probably breaks your concentration pretty quickly.

Propane is accumulated in tanks, and then released past a hot surface carbide igniter. It looks like an Arduino is used to open the valve, and the result is a massive fireball controlled by your brainwaves.

The Mind Flame was demoed at the Detroit Maker Faire as a competition. Two participants face off to see who can concentrate the hardest and make the device launch three fireballs first. In the future, they want to incorporate new competitive elements. One example is placing wooden houses in the line of fire, and letting opponents try to burn down their adversary’s house before their’s is set ablaze.

You can check out an interview about the project here.

[Via Make]

Large version of Operation isn’t much easier than the original

Last weekend at the Detroit Maker Faire, the folks at the Lansing Makers Network brought a large-scale version of the classic electronic board game Operation.

MegOperation, as the Lansing hackerspace calls their build, is a gigantic printout of the chronically ill guy from Operation plastered onto a sheet of plywood. Wire loops surround each incision to detect when a surgeon’s unsteady hand when retrieving unnecessary body parts. These wire loops are connected to an Arduino that regulates the bell and light-up nose the team didn’t quite have time to finish.

Even though the team used an Arduino for their large-scale version of Operation – a game that doesn’t require any electronics besides a battery, wire, and buzzer – breaking out each body part to a separate Arduino pin seems pretty smart. A processing app keeps track of the time elapsed for each operation and can detect when the wire surrounding a particular incision is touched, perfect for competitive Operation play.

NC Maker Faire 2012: Other Projects

Maker Faire NC 2012 Splat Space

Although I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to at the Faire, there was a ton of stuff that was interesting enough for a mention. Many of these could probably merit their own separate article, and I didn’t get to talk about everything, so feel free to comment, or better yet write in to the tip line if you feel like you deserve more “air time.”

In the video after the break there’s everything from a [steampunk] display, to a model railroad club, and lots of projects in between.  For a list of makers at this Faire, check out this page. [Read more...]