We have the technology (to quote The Six Million Dollar Man), but commercial tools for exploring, assisting, and augmenting our bodies really can approach a price tag of $6 million. Medical and assistive tech manufacturers must pay not just for R&D, but for expensive clinical trials, regulatory compliance, and liability — and doesn’t help with low pricing that these devices are typically paid for through insurance, rather than purchased directly. But many gadgets that restore people’s abilities or enable new “superpowers” are surprisingly easy to make, and for tiny fractions of the costs of off-the-shelf equivalents. MAKE 29, the “DIY Superhuman” issue, explains how.
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See our predictions for 2012, reporters will have drones too.
The Melbourne Mini Maker Faire is being organized by Paul Szymkowiak, Andy Gelme, and the members of Melbourne’s Connected Community Hackerspace. CCH is a not-for-profit association of hardware hobbyists and software programmers. They have a variety of digital fabrication tools and meet regularly out of a garage. A number of them, like Jon Oxer and Marc Alexander from freetronics.com, will be individual makers at the Faire.
Who else will be showing and sharing? The CCH’s Maker Faire blogroll is brimming with recent profiles of participating makers, like Malcolm Faed, Peter Barratt, Maria Meza, and Andee Napiorkowski. CCH is planning on around 30 makers, and are still open to accepting some last-minute entries.
MAKE will be there too… Author Brian McNamara will be crewing the MAKE table, and showing off some of his great musical instrument projects.
NOTE: We are looking for more Melbourne makers who might have a completed MAKE magazine project to show who would be game to help Brian at the MAKE table. Leave a comment below and we’ll ping you back!
If you just want to attend, tickets are free of charge—however they need you to register online in advance as numbers are strictly limited.
Here’s a little measuring tape hack from the always-industrious Craig Smith:
In this episode of Becky’s Workshop, learn to make a headband that glows with your heart beat. First construct a stretchy headband from brocade and grosgrain ribbon, then embed the circuit boards and clip the sensor to your ear. You can find the Beating Heart Headband in MAKE v29, and see the complete how-to on Make: Projects.
Three key components of this project are available in the Maker Shed:
Rob Faludi, author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks, writes:
Lots of cool projects in there: an Environmental Network, Exercise Monitoring, Postal Mail Chute, and Elevator Visualization: Sensitive Buildings: Final Projects
Clever gimmick from Germans Jirko Bannas and Oliver Seltmann, who, under the name Lightboys, market a few different types of these wall- and ceiling-mounted “light pictures.” This one, with a frame designed to suggest a giant instant film print, is called Polaboy. [via Dude Craft]
Want to get started with e-textiles? The new Lilypad Beginner’s Kit, available in the Maker Shed, includes everything you need – right down to needles and thread. Your e-textile creations will be able to sense and react to light and temperature with LEDs, buzzers, and vibrating motors. The Arduino based Lilypad Simple Board acts as the brains for your project and can be programmed using the included FTDI interface. The Lilypad board also has an integrated charging circuit for the included LiPo battery to ensure you’re never left in the dark. Need a little inspiration? Check out Becky Stern’s Make: Project!
This idea fascinates me — an open-source, DIY multimeter. This video, from the EEVblog, serves as more of a brainstorming session on what it would be like to rebuild a tool from the ground up with the features you want. [via Dangerous Prototypes]
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