Suicide prevention charity R U OK? has partnered with digital innovation agency Fusion to create a fully-connected device in the form of a question mark with hopes of sparking a million conversations throughout Australia. Similar to the Olympic Torch, Quentin will be passed from person to person as it makes its way from town to town starting on Thursday, September 8th.
But unlike the Olympic Torch, the route is not planned. Instead, the journey is determined by the challenge it issues to each new keeper motivating them to reconnect face-to-face with people in their lives. (more…)
A team from the University of California, Riverside has developed a LEGO-like system of blocks that enables users to make custom chemical and biological research instruments quickly, easily and affordably. The 3D-printed blocks can create various scientific tools, which can be used in university labs, schools, hospitals, or anywhere else.
The blocks–which are called Multifluidic Evolutionary Components (MECs)–are described in the journal PLOS ONE. Each unit performs a basic task found in a lab instrument, such as pumping fluids, making measurements, or interfacing with a user. Since the blocks are designed to work together, users can build apparatus—like bioreactors for making alternative fuels or acid-base titration tools for high school chemistry classes—rapidly and efficiently. The blocks are especially well-suited for resource-limited settings, where a library of blocks could be utilized to create an assortment of different research and diagnostic equipment. (more…)
The brainchild of Tomás de Camino Beck, Polymath Boxes are experimental sound boxes. Using a Genuino Uno and 101 along with some 3D printing, these units enable young Makers and adults to experiment with programming and math to produce noises and tunes, from square and triangular waves to sample players and interactive sound generators.
The boxes were originally conceived by Camino Beck as part of an open-source experimental art project with the goal of stimulating STEAM in education, from high school to college, and to allow artists, engineers and computer scientists, or pretty much anyone interested, to explore programming and digital fabrication. They were developed and fabricated in “Inventoria”–Costa Rica’s own idea of a Makerspace.
More than just a finished project, these boxes are designed to be hacked and to help move away from more conventional ways of thinking when it comes to sound.
These boxes use coding as a way to “write music,” and to take advantage of the diversity of physical low cost sensors to trigger sound. Some of the boxes play with basic waves, just creating basic PWM, and others go from there to create arpeggiator and interactive. They will be used in several workshops and experimental music concerts in Costa Rica.
As its name would suggest, the LittleArm is a mini 3D-printed robot that began as a weekend project. Its creator Gabe Bentz wanted a small arm that was easy to work with, and one that wouldn’t require him to dig deep into his wallet. So, as any Maker would do, he decided to design his own low-cost device.
After showing the LittleArm off, it wasn’t before long that he was approached by some STEM teachers in the area who wondered if the kit was something they could use in their classrooms. Ideally, every student should have one to tinker with, but unfortunately today’s systems tend to be too expensive and quickly loose parts and pieces. This is a problem that LittleArm is looking to solve.
The arm is powered by an Arduino Uno and four identical metal-geared micro servos, while all other mechanical components are 3D-printed. There’s also a modular gripper that’s actuated by a servo along with rigid end-effectors for various tasks. What’s more, a basic GUI enables you to control the arm, its gripper, the speed, as well as use its record function to train the robot to perform a specific task and then watch it play out the sequence.
The entirely open-source gadget comes as a DIY kit that can be purchased or built from scratch. Want one of your own? Check out Bent’z Kickstarter page here, and see the LittleArm in action below (including some of its dance moves).
Maker and astronomy enthusiast Görkem Bozkurt has built a GoTo telescope mount-inspired system that points and tracks any object in the sky using its celestial coordinates. The aptly named Star Track sports a 3D-printed structure along with a pair of Arduinos (an Uno and Nano), a gyroscope, an RTC module, two low-cost 5V stepper motors, and a laser pointer. (more…)
Recently-graduated high school students Sam Baumgarten and Graham Hughes have developed a pretty rad robotic gripper with the help of Arduino and 3D printing. The gripper itself consists of three large hobby servos joined to the fingers with a linkage. The underactuated fingers have a force sensor under each contact point, while the control glove is equipped with tiny vibrating motors at the fingertips. This, of course, provides haptic feedback to ensure that the user doesn’t crush anything–the greater the pressure, the stronger the motors vibrate.
Why head to the store when you could simply create your outfits right at home with the touch of a button? That’s the idea behind London-based startup Kniterate, who has developed what they’re calling “the 3D printer for knitwear.”
The system features Photoshop-like software that enables Makers to easily design patterns using various templates, which are then imported over to the Arduino Mega-driven machine equipped with 80 five-gauge needles to knit the sock, scarf, sweater, tie, beanie, or whatever other garment. According to the team, they are in the process of developing an online platform that’ll allow you to sketch and share your wardrobe with an entire community. (more…)
Twitter is not only a convenient way to consume daily news and converse with friends online, it has become an excellent platform for gaining insight on what’s important at any particular moment in time. With this in mind, Maker Chadwick John Friedman has decided to harness the social network’s data into web-connected physical representations with the help of Arduino and Temboo.
PrecogNation uses three 3D-printed geometric masks as real-time sci-fi future forecasters, which illuminate and change colors to reflect sustainability trends throughout the world. (more…)
Unfortunately, home appliances aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. What works for some may not always work so well for others. With this in mind, Raf Ramakers and the Autodesk Research team have developed a system that will enable you to retrofit your everyday devices with new controls that better suit your needs. RetroFab provides even the most non-tech-savvy users with a design and fabrication environment through which they can easily repurpose their existing physical interfaces with the help of 3D scanning, printing and basic electronics. (more…)
Thomas Renck is a coder and a maker. He went to Disneyland, saw a bunch of little kids having fun with bubble guns and realized that a bubble blaster is a sure way to measurably improve joy and happiness in life.
Back home, it took only two hours to create and add-on to automate the bubble blaster using a 3d printer, Arduino Micro and a servo: (more…)