TurtleBot Builds on Make: Projects

TurtleBot Arm Build on Make: Projects

In the Robot Roundup section of MAKE Volume 27, we featured the TurtleBot hobby platform as a great reasonably priced open source robotics kit. (Check out our review on page 77.) Now, the fine folks at TurtleBot are sharing project builds on our DIY wiki, Make: Projects. To date, there are eight TurtleBot projects, and there’s now a TurtleBot topic page nested under the Robotics category on the site.

Here’s a short video introducing TurtleBot:

And here are the tutorials available so far:
Add a Demo Button to Your TurtleBot
Wiring and Attaching an Arm to Your TurtleBot
Create Cables for the TurtleBot Power Board
Build a Pan and Tilt Head for your TurtleBot
Build an Arm for Your TurtleBot
Build Your Own TurtleBot: 2″ Standoff
Build Your Own TurtleBot: Plates
Build Your Own TurtleBot: Power and Sensor Board

Stay tuned for more!


NYC Resistor’s Hexascroller LED Sign

Phooky from NYC Resistor wrote about his hackerspace’s LED sign:

It’s Hexascroller, your friendly neighborhood integrated clock/wireless notification system/annoying beep generation solution! Hexascroller was hacked together from donated LED panels for this past spring’s Interactive Party. It’s got six 30×7 LED displays, an Arduino Mega, a charmingly obnoxious loudspeaker, a DS1307+ RTC, and an XBee all hanging precariously from a wooden frame assembled with sturdy hot glue construction techniques. It’s hanging from a ceiling beam in our front room like some demented Flying Saucer of Damocles.

At the Interactive Party we had Hexascroller displaying tweets, but nowadays it primarily functions as a clock. You can use an XBee to connect to it if you need to scroll a message or make a horrible noise to draw attention to the message you’ve just scrolled.

Via NYC Resistor, grab the code from github.


News From The Future: 15 Year Old, With Bionic Fingers

News From The Future: 15 Year Old, With Bionic Fingers

A schoolgirl from Swindon has become the youngest person in Europe to be fitted with bionic fingers. Chloe Holmes, 15, lost her her fingers as a toddler when she suffered from septicaemia after contracting chickenpox. She wore a prosthetic hand until her family paid £38,000 for the hi-tech hand. Her father Pete Holmes said: “We’d go out as a family and people would stare for the wrong reasons – they stare now in amazement.


Maker Faire New York: 10,000 Matchbooks Interview

10K Matchbooks 10K Matchbooks 10K Matchbooks

One of the things that makes each Maker Faire so incredible is the wide variety of makers presenting. Creative folks are out there making things you may have never thought about, and they are each so passionate about what they make. We’re merely two days away from the beginning of our second Maker Faire New York, taking place this weekend, September 17 and 18, at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. Next up in our interview series is a gentleman who goes by the name 0h10 M1ke. He’s on a mission (accomplished) to draw portraits in matchbooks and make thousands of new friends along the way.

1. Tell us about your 10,000 Matchbooks project. What inspired you to embark on it, and how many matchbooks have you completed so far?
I got really bored with art and I stopped drawing for about 2 years. When I returned to it, I had develop this single-line style and became more aware of the archaeology regarding location of street art and the sociology of the artists and their collectors. I’d spent years trying to revolutionize the concept of the “takeaway memento”: a keepsake that I could create live for someone on a memorable occasion. It needed to be personal, compact, utilitarian, possibly part of a larger set, signed, and most importantly dated. I had experimented with other ephemera until I realized that there were six bodegas by my apartment that give out blank matchbooks that look like little canvasses, so I started to buy them in packs of 50.

I would draw original illustrations signed and dated, tag the matchbook with my 0H10 logo, and give them all a consecutive serial number. Bodegas were giving them out, I was using them as cards, fliers, dropping them in galleries, bars, cafes, and everywhere I went for years. Everyone who took the chance to open the matchbook and take it was getting a receipt for the smile it hopefully gave them. They were a smash hit, and the art objects themselves became coveted. So I went into DIY factory mode and started making thousands of them, hundreds at a time, and passed them out faster than I could make them. So I started making them live. Then portraiture evolved. I’ve now drawn 5,000 people who lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan in the last two years! I completed matchbook number 10,000 in June on Governor’s Island at Figment. It has been crazy. I just got a commission to draw the Royal Family… psyche! So far, there are 10,004 total.

2. What are some reactions you’ve received from folks you’ve sketched for 10K Matchbooks?
Often, people will say I just blew their mind. Sometimes they say “no thanks,” which is the one that always blows my mind.

Other reactions include:
“I have mine framed in my living room.” “Mine’s above my bed.” “I just lit my last match to light a candle on my birthday.” “I have #34.”

This happened recently:
Sitter: What is this, a magic trick?
0M: Yes, this is the 10,004th time I’ve performed it.

3. How did you hear about Maker Faire and why did you decide to participate?
Nick [Normal] and Becky [Stern] found me drawing portraits on Governor’s Island and invited me to Maker Faire.

10K Matchbooks: Becky and Nick

4. Tell us about yourself. How did you get started making things and who are your inspirations?
They consider me an outsider artist because I never paid tuition at an art school. I remember getting very serious with drawing around age 5. My two favorite things have always been talking to people and drawing. I studied one and practiced the other. Now, I get to be a social worker and a live portrait artist in NYC, son!

My inspirations are: my Grandpa, Jim Borgman (cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer), author Dan Chaon, and Ween.

5. What are some other visual art projects that you’ve done previously? Were they as wide-reaching as 10K Matchbooks?
I stopped drawing for two years, then I started again and haven’t been able to quit. In 2007, I completed The Year of 1000 Drawings, 10K PPL (10,000 drawings of faces) in 2008, 100 collages in 2009, and continued performing L1VEDRAW (digital Wacom live drawing to music as visual projections in 2011 with my band, Comandante Zero, and others. I also serve as maître d’ of Dinner Theatre with TJ Hospodar.

10K Matchbooks 10K Matchbooks 10K Matchbooks

6. Is 10K Matchbooks strictly a hobby or is it related to your day job?
As a social scientist, in the last 4 years, 10K Matchbooks has granted me 10,000 interactions with people from all over the world who I may not have met. Most of them have walked away with a smile. I think it is aiding me in my goal to help improve the overall human condition.

7. What new idea has inspired you most recently?
Parp is a word created by a little girl in Brooklyn who attends my friend’s drama class. It means when something is too tart or sweet. It has to do with the face you make when you eat something parp. People can also be parp, like a school librarian. She’s parp. I want to start a Kickstarter for this little girl and sell Parp hoodies and bags to raise enough money to pay for her tuition to drama camp next summer as a reward for such amazing linguistic ability!

Also, wearing a fake mustache just below my belly button and calling it a “Gorgeois,” which means that it’s gorgeous but French, so even more so.

10K Matchbooks 10K Matchbooks 10K Matchbooks

8. What advice would you give to the young makers out there just getting started?
If you think you’ve gone as far as you can, you’ve probably only come halfway! P.S. Everything feels like a failure in the middle.

9. What’s your motto? Favorite tool?
Everything takes longer than you think. Charm.

10. What do you love most about NYC?
After all these years, she loves me back! Finally.

Thanks 0h10 M1ke! Folks, for all the information you need to attend this weekend and join in on the fun, head on over to the Maker Faire New York site.


Fire-breathing Gon KiRin Coming to World Maker Faire (video)

Meet Ryan Doyle, the co-creator of Gon KiRin, a 69′ fire-breathing dragon. Ryan learned to create in many mediums while working in his grandmother’s doll hospital, and took his recycled art-car-dragon to Detroit to finish it amid the artifacts of American auto manufacturing.

He will be at World Maker Faire this weekend to wow passersby with his beastly creation.

Subscribe to the Maker Faire Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v
directly, or watch it on YouTube and Vimeo.

Check out more Maker Faire videos here.


How-To: Homemade Plastic Bender

Cool vid from our pals at TAP Plastics showing how to build a strip heater, which is commonly referred to as a “plastic bender,” but really doesn’t do any bending in and of itself: It’s just a long skinny heating element that makes it easy to soften a sheet of plastic along a straight line, so you can bend it with your hands to an arbitrary angle, and/or against a jig for more precise control of the bend. Misnomer aside, it’s still a very handy tool to have in your shop, and a load of fun to use, and fairly easy and inexpensive to DIY, to boot.

If you don’t want to shell out for a new heating element, they can be recovered from a junked space heater or (like this one from Instructables user xeijix) from an old toaster.

Intern’s Corner – The Make: Labs plastic bender


Open Hardware Summit is Tomorrow! (video)

Ayah Bdeir is co-chair with Alicia Gibb of the Open Hardware Summit. Held in advance of World Maker Faire, the summit is a one-day event at the New York Hall of Science on Thursday, September 15th. The conference will be live-streamed here, and you can join the twitter conversation at #openhardware throughout the summit.

The superstars of open hardware will be on hand to share ideas and innovations. Ayah summarizes the conference and why it is important in this brief video, filmed at Collab in Manhattan.

Subscribe to the Maker Faire Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v
directly or watch it on YouTube or Vimeo.

Check out more videos from Maker Faire.


Steerable Bristlebot

Naghi Sotoudeh’s steerable buzzbot uses two vibration motors, an ATtiny45 microcontroller, and an IR receiver allowing it to be remotely controlled. [Via Hizook]


Maker Faire New York: John Hodgman to Reveal Secrets of Famous Magic Tricks

JOHN HODGMAN shall present information on THE SECRETS OF FAMOUS MAGIC TRICKS from his forthcoming book of FINAL WORLD KNOWLEDGE entitled THAT IS ALL.

Sat 9/17 at 2 pm Main Stage.


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