How this Power Racing Series Car got on a Plane to WMF

pwrc-on-a-plane

You really should check out the monthly meetings at your local hackerspace. It’s an excellent opportunity to hear the most interesting stories. Like the tale of how the guys from Sector67 got this electric vehicle on the plane with them. Not only did it go up in the air, but they did zero planning ahead of time on how they would actually pull it off.

[Bob Baddeley] posted an album of the PRC experience at World Maker Faire. There are captions that somewhat tell the tale, but we’ll fill you in as best we can on the rest of the story behind this second car from the hackerspace — lovingly known as the Lamebourghini.

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World Maker Faire 2013 Roundup

They built a shed using only this tool

Handibot

One of the more interesting structures at WMF was a garden shed made entirely out of plywood cut with the Handibot. It’s a handheld luggable CNC router that allows you to place the machine over a work piece, punch some settings into the software, and cut mortises, CNC engravings, and just about any other shape you can imagine.

The Handibot recently finished a very successful Kickstarter, and from the looks of it they have a really great tool on their hands. They managed to carve a few Hackaday logos in the floor of their shed, but we forgot to film that. It was a busy day.

Future Crew and a 1930s teletype Model 15 Teletype

Scope

Being from the area, NYC Resistor, the Brooklyn-based hackerspace just had to make a showing. Some of the smaller project they brought with them is Space Rocks, an Asteroids clone played on an old, slowly dying oscilloscope. They also had a Minitel terminal made for the US market, which was just weird.

Their big, impressive project for the Maker Faire was Future Crew a Starship/TARDIS bridge simulation game that pits five players against a common enemy: time itself.

Each station has a certain task, such as advancing the timeline on an old video edit console, playing a short ditty on a toy electronic piano, and reading what a Model 15 Teletype was printing out. All these stations are connected to a Raspberry Pi, and the game looks really fun, provided all the players know what’s going on.

Now we know what Make does with their networking hardware

For anyone who visited Maker Faire, you may have noticed your iDevice’s current location was in San Mateo, CA. I noticed this when my MacBook’s time was set for Pacific time, and a few other people who were there early on Saturday told me their iPhones were doing the same thing.

Apparently, shipping a bunch of WiFi routers across the country (along with a bunch of PA gear and other ephemera) is cheaper than buying two sets and warehousing them. This was mildly interesting and we’re now accepting proposals to figure out how quickly Apple/Google/Whatever’s database can be updated with the correct information. Deadline for applications is before the next SFO Maker Faire.

Phone Trucks Around the World

2600

Like most years, 2600 made a showing with their reclaimed Bell service van, ‘Free Kevin’ bumper sticker included. They had a ton of swag including a few old HOPE badges, current and back issues, t-shirts, Department of Hopeland Security passports and stickers.

The 2600 van did give us a few ideas should Hackaday ever need a booth for Maker Faires and other shows. Anyone up for building a heart-shaped bed?

Announcing Adafruit’s Bluefruit

adafruit_2098

You always meet the most interesting people wandering around Maker Faire, but by far the most interesting was Hackaday’s founder, [Phil Torrone] and bubblegum-haired compatriot [Limor] from Adafruit. They were out in full force checking out the sights and gave us the scoop on a new piece of hardware they’re releasing called Bluefruit.

Bluefruit is a very tiny and very cheap Bluetooth module breakout board that allows anyone to take 12 digital inputs and turn them into a Bluetooth HID device. If you’re planning a portable battery-powered arcade controller, just plug in a Bluefruit, set up your keypresses in your software, and rock out.

On board the Blufruit are an FTDI programming connector, 12 input pins, a few power pins, a custom FCC and CE certified CSR Bluetooth module, and that’s about it. If you’re looking for a simple GPIO to Bluetooth adapter without an overwrought Arduino setup, this is the best solution we’ve seen by far. Adafruit is also rocking their own custom firmware for the device, so this will be extremely hacker-friendly.

The price will be $20 and should be available in the Adafruit store in a bit. If you’re looking for an easy way to put a Bluetooth HID controller in your next project, this is the one.

Pictures of the Bluefruit and Adafruit crew below.

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World Maker Faire: We annoy the DIWire crew

diwire

Last year at Maker Faire we ran into the folks from Pensa Labs, the crew behind the very cool DIWire CNC wire bender. They were back again in full force this year with a new, improved, and soon-to-be commercially launched wire bender.

The first time we saw the DIWire it was a very cool piece of kit, but something that might not hold up to the rigours of a production environment. The latest version, a 14×8.5×5.5 inch machine designed to be set into a table, allowing for rapid manufacturing of nearly any shape imaginable bent into 1/8″ and 1/16″ steel wire.

Making any shape with the DIWire is extremely simple: if you have an SVG file, just import it into the software, define a few points along a path, and slip in a length of wire. One of the guys from Pensa was able to re-create the Hackaday logo is a few minutes.

It’s an impressive piece of kit that a few makers, hackers, and architects are using to build structures that can’t be made any other way. The DIWire will soon be released to the public, so check out their site for updates.

World Maker Faire: 3D printed tower defense

Seej

Going to the World Maker Faire isn’t all fun and games; sometimes you have to suck it up, pay $130 in cab fare, buy $7 Heinekens, and crash the super not-so-secret after party.  While the company was fantastic, one of the more exciting interactions was [Jim Rodda]‘s Seej, a tower-defense-ish game constructed entirely of 3D printed weapons, flags, and blocks.

The goal of the game is simple: Each player gets a Seej engine, some blocks, a few pennies, and three flags. The first person to topple all three flags with ballistic pennies is declared the winner. The Seej engines aren’t just limited to the red and black catapults shown above; there are plans for a ballista available, and we’re sure someone will add a 3D printed trebuchet the the arsenal at some point. We’ve seen at least one example floating around the web.

In all honesty, this game is really fun and well worth the frustration experienced by a pitiable bartender who I hope was tipped well for the night.

World Maker Faire 2013: The Sub-$500 Deltaprintr

There are a few delta bot 3D printers out there such as the Rostock which, while being a very nice printer, is still a little expensive. When [Shai] from SUNY wanted to use a 3D printer for his artistic and academic pursuits, he decided to build his own printer. Thus the Deltaprintr was born.

Instead of printed parts, the Deltaprintr uses laser cut and machined parts for just about all of its bill of materials. The three motors mounted in the base are connected to the delta arms with Spectra fishing line, thus getting rid of the ludicrous cost of belts of the requisite length.

Everything is Open Source, and the guys behind the project should be putting their printr up on Kickstarter sometime next month. Word is the entire thing should be sub-$500, and a little bit of guessing tells me that doesn’t mean $499.