Okay, we’ve just left May and stepped into June, why are we talking about Arduino Day — traditionally a March 16th event where makers congregate and share projects? I live in Ho Chi Minh City, and the event tends to take place in mid-May, but the enthusiasm and collaborative spirit are just as strong. Organized by the awesome local maker group Fablab Saigon with the venue provided by Intek Institute, there were some neat projects on display along with some talks from local companies.
The first thing that struck me about the event was how young the maker movement is here – most attendees were still in high school or early university. By contrast, I was 23 when I first learned to use AVR microcontrollers with assembly language (by the time Arduino started to get traction the boat effectively missed me). I couldn’t help but feel like a bit of a relic, at least until we all started talking excitedly about robots (I had brought a couple). It seems that geeking out about electronics is the great equalizer which knows no age limits.
Ho Chi Mihn City is the hub for sourcing the materials and tools driving the growing Vietnamese economy. Whether you’re building new, or keeping existing equipment running, the supply chains and service companies aren’t yet in place and the markets of HCMC are the go-to for parts and equipment. Let’s get a little taste of what I saw in my tour of the markets.
One of the unfortunate things about Hackaday’s globe-spanning empire is that you often don’t get to meet the people you work with in person. Since I was in China and it’s right next door, I really wanted to pop over to Vietnam and meet Sean Boyce, who has been writing for Hackaday for a couple of years, yet we’ve never met. I suggested we could make this happen if we put together a meetup or unconference. Sean was immediately confident that the Ho Chi Minh City hardware hackers would turn out in force and boy was he right! On Sunday night we had a full house for the first ever Hackaday Vietnam Meetup.
Join Sean and Mike at Trung Nguyên Legend Café from 7-10 pm on Sunday, March 24th for a bring-a-hack style meetup. If you have a hardware project you’ve been working on, come and show it off as an excellent conversation starter. If not, that’s fine too. We’ve also lined up three short talks spanning topics from robotics to analog electronics. Of course if you’re excited about giving a talk, let us know in the comments below and we’ll work on squeezing you in.
Hackaday tries to host live events in all corners of the world, and it’s exciting to add Vietnam to the list. Head on over to the event page for more info, and we look forward to seeing you there! Of course if you happen to be on the other side of the world this coming weekend, there’s a Hackaday Mini-Unconference happening in Cambridge, UK!
When we think about world-famous electronics markets in Asia, usually Shenzhen, Tokyo’s Akihabara, or Shanghai’s Beijing Road come to mind.
There’s another market that I’ve had my eye on for a few years: Nhật Tảo market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It might not be as large or accessible as the more well-known markets, but it’s very much worth a visit if you’re in the area. I decided it was time to hop on my red motorbike (red things go faster) and give you a short tour of the central market, as well as some more hobbyist-friendly options.
In a national competition for creativeness in children, junk bots have reigned supreme. Pictured above is a detail from one of [Vu Van Thankg]’s junk bots. Created entirely from parts pulled from the trash, this thing has 11 motors which supposedly allow full arm and hand control. We know you’ll be upset at how little information there is, but the pictures alone show so much. Just look at the rig he put together for this arm. If that isn’t inspiring, we don’t know what is.