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Massive collection of motorcycles



Massive collection of motorcycles

Earlier this year (see Part 1), we examined some of the cool, the fascinating, the unusual and the utterly weird designs for motorcycles that have appeared for over the last century or so. Here’s another look the wild and wonderful world of motorcycles.
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Invent a non-traditional vehicle? Race it in a competition!


Alternative transportation tinkerers: the city of Wheeling, Indiana has a call for entries for their Race for the Future competition. The objective is to build a vehicle that uses something besides traditional fuels, solar cells and batteries, and then race it on a 5 mile long course. It sounds like it would be a great challenge for a hackerspace to rally around, and rumor has it that Chicago's Pumping Station: One already has two teams signed up. From their website:

It is our mission to create a venue, in Whiting Indiana, where inventors of engines and self propelled vehicles powered by nontraditional sources can come together to compete and exchange ideas. We wish to encourage inventors, whether novice or seasoned professional, in their craft by offering recognition, media coverage, and cash prizes so that it is exciting and worthwhile to take up our challenge. We are dedicated to nurturing of the creative spirit in all men and women.

[via hackerspaces flux]

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Profiling the tradesmen and women of the 21st century


Michael Doyle, of OmniCorpDetriot, pointed us to The Journeyman Project, a wonderful photo essay blog being done by Troy Paff, photographer and cameraman for Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Troy writes on the blog:

In the five years since Dirty Jobs' premiere, its small crew has experienced an unprecedented number of vocations. With nearly 300 jobs and 50 states under their belt, Dirty Jobs has investigated - and celebrated - those occupations which, while often unsavory, keep the country running. A common thread which runs through these occupations is a particular character required to do them. It is a fundamental commitment to do a job and do it well, where glamor takes a back seat to service, and where pride in a job done well is its own reward. It is this sense of character that Troy will explore, shining a light on the individual behind the job, and expressing the personality and the motivations of the worker.

Some of the folks he's profiled are MAKE pals Jeff Sturges, of OmniCorpDetriot, and Bethany Shorb, of Cyberoptix Tie Lab (top two photos), as well as metalsmith Carlos Nielbock (bottom).

The Journeyman Project


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Krampus costumes


It's so strange how these memes work — I'd never even heard of Krampus, St. Nick's evil companion, until last week and now I've run into it four times. Nat Berman, of Unreality Mag, just sent me this round-up of Krampus costumes. Here's what Wikipedia says about Krampus:

According to legend, Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children.

In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria during the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December, and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells.

So coal in your stocking is apparently the least of your worries.

Krampus: The Evil Companion to Santa

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Make It Last: Contest deadline extended!



With everyone busy preparing for the holidays, we've had a few requests to extend the entry deadline for the robotic plant contest a bit. Well -- Robot Santa doesn't want to disappoint, so we've decided to push the entry deadline until January 30th, at 11:59PM PST. So enjoy your 'nog (or spiced motor oil, as the case may be) and relax a bix, but don't forget to finish your plant! Also, if you've already submitted an entry and want to tweak it a bit, feel free to re-submit an updated version.

Awesome robot santa photo by Flickr user luckywhitegirl.

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Create a Lego flash drive with functioning cap



There are a number of projects online for re-casing a flash storage drive using Lego bricks, but most of them leave the USB connector exposed. In this project, we show you how to create a Lego case-mod that includes a Lego cap that snaps into place.

legoUSBDremel2 copy.jpg


Dremel Rotary Tool
Dremel 561 Multipurpose cutting bit
Dremel 650 straight router bit
Lego 2×2 brick (3) for the case body. I used light green for the cap, and yellow and dark green for the body.
Lego 2×2 brick, 1/3-thick (2) for the ends. I used brown and white.
USB flash drive I used a PNY Micro Swivel Attaché
Hot glue gun with glue sticks
Super glue

MAKE_DownloadPDF_icon.gifDownload the Project PDF
(Right click to save the PDF to your desktop.)

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DIY plastic mini lens


One of my side projects has been to develop an open-source visual motion / optical flow sensor that may be usable in all sorts of devices, whether robotic related or not. I've found though that one of the most difficult parts of developing tiny vision sensors is finding the right optics. Ideally we want something that is cheap, easy to mount, has a decent field of view, and yet creates a reasonable image. For higher resolution images (hundreds of pixels across or more) and image sensors four or more millimeters wide, there are many excellent lens assemblies available from companies like Sunex. (We've used and still use their products in higher resolution sensor designs, always with success.) However there is really nothing available for image sensors a millimeter wide.

Make your own plastic mini lens via DIY Drones

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In the Maker Shed: Netduino is back in stock

We just received a new shipment of Netduino micro-controllers in the Maker Shed. What's a Netduino? Glad you asked! Netduino is an open source electronics platform using the .NET Micro Framework. The board features a 32-bit microcontroller and a rich development environment, making it a perfect solution for engineers and hobbyists alike. If you are picking up a Netduino, be sure to check out our exclusive MakerShield. It's a perfect match for the Netduino, and any other 'duino flavored micro!

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DIY power meter


Bill Porter built this excellent DIY Power Meter to monitor the electricity usage of his home. It's capable of measuring not only the amount of power that his house consumes, but also other fun facts such as power factor, voltage and frequency, and transmits the information wirelessly to a separate display system. He has a thorough explanation of the design process on his website, along with source code and schematics for the project. [via Hacked Gadgets]

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Building an engineer

The element14 holiday tool giveaway, day 9


Our holiday giveaways continue, thanks to our friends at element14. Check back daily, between now and December 22nd, for your chance to win tools from the element14 Holiday Guide leading up to a special Ben Heck Kit grand prize (see below).

Today's offering is a Weller Soldering Kit ($75 value). To enter, fill out the form below (comments do NOT count as entries) and tell us what you plan to do with your cool tool booty, should you win. Eligible entries will end at 9:30am PST tomorrow.

And today is your last chance to enter to win the grand prize: a "Ben Heck Kit" (valued at $200) and a year's subscription to MAKE! Hurry on over to to enter.

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Japano pop promo for Fireplace Simulacra

Banana Design Labs whipped up this adorable Japano-pop promo for their Fireplace Simulacra, a neat ambient toy light designed right onto a circuit board. We carry them in the Maker Shed, as well as their Angler Fish of similar design.

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Kinect Pong

A classic pong game controlled via Kinect hand tracking. Created with openFrameworks and ofxKinect as a proof of concept for hand tracking.
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Android controlled RGB rope lights


The iGloLED programmable RGB rope light kit falls somewhere between your garden variety X-mas tree lights and professional grade carnival ride lights. At $300 for a 16.4' set of 120 lights, they're one of the more expensive options out there, but if you're looking for a novelty lighting effect that's fun to operate, the iGloLED set has to be one of the cooler options out there. They've been out for a while now, but have been an iPhone-only option until now. [via AndroidWorld]

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Jointmaker Pro tabletop hand saw

Whoa. I suddenly NEED this (and I don't even do much woodworking). Via Dinosaurs and Robots.

Bridge City Tool

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