Make: Talk 008 – Kyle Machulis, Kinect Hacker

Here’s the 8th episode of MAKE‘s podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is Kyle Machulis, a hardware and software hacker who led the team in making the reverse engineer drivers for the Microsoft Kinect. Kyle is also an avid self-tracker, which means he uses technology to measure different aspects of his health and biology.

Here’s what we talked about in this episode:


Badgermin = A Stuffed Badger Slash Theremin

What a great start to the year – this brand new instrument was finished just in time for a New Year’s Eve party in the beautiful Dorset countryside. A selection of talented musicians, none of whom had played a Badgermin before, treated us to a debut performance in the early hours of January 1st, with grand piano accompaniment.

The electronics are from a PAiA Theremax kit, with new 8mm diameter removable antennae.

[via TIFI]


Clenching Lego Hand

Check out this cool Lego Terminator hand that Jason Devine and his sons built, complete with strings that curl the fingers. See the Flickr set for more views and a video of the hand in action.


NEWS FROM THE FUTURE – Department of Defense’s Fracture Putty Could Heal Bones in Days

News From The Future-10


NEWS FROM THE FUTURE – Department of Defense’s Fracture Putty Could Heal Bones in Days:

Researchers at the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense are developing a new “fracture putty” with the aim of  significantly shortening the healing time of bone fractures in humans. According to the researchers, complex fractures can often lead to amputations for U.S. service men and women. The lengthy healing time often associated with these injuries can also prove to be a major burden for the patients and providers.

Sugru for bones :)


Math Monday: Color 3D Printing

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


Color 3D printing allows one to make beautiful objects that are pretty much impossible to fabricate by any other technique. Here is a 9-inch diameter sculpture I designed and built on a 3D Systems Zprinter 450. The underlying geometry is based on one of the well-known stellations of the icosahedron, but I modified it, punctured it, and colored it to suit my taste.

If you are lucky enough to have access to a color 3D printer, you can make a copy for yourself using the data file available here. Below is a closeup shot of another example in this series, which emphasizes curves and gradations of color. You can see the rest of it and a series of related 3D printed color forms see here.

See all of George Hart’s Math Monday columns


Owl and Mouse Automata

This paper automata entitled “Nervous Owl,” from the folks at cool4cats, shows an owl with its head turning around and back again trying to keep its eye on a motorcycle-riding mouse down below its tree. The whole mechanism is controlled by a crank below the piece that the user can use to set the animation going.

Cool4cats has the kit for sale on its site with detailed instructions on how to make one of these yourself.

[via The Automata / Automaton Blog]


Alt.SXSW: ArcAttack! and More at SXSW Maker Show and Tell

Chris Locke from Heartless Machine

MAKE alt.SXSW content badgeIf you have already been watching MAKE’s alt.SXSW livestream, stay tuned today until 3:30 CST and you’ll catch MAKE’s official SXSW podcast.  We are doing a SXSW Maker Show and Tell, profiling local Austinites and makers here for THE FESTIVAL.  (If you have a SXSW badge, the panel is 3:30 at Driskill Hotel’s Maximillian Room, 6th and Brazos.)

Some of the fun we’ll be having:

  • Joe DiPrima of ArcAttack! will be showing off some mad electricity tricks.
  • Christopher A. Locke’s Heartless Machines (pictured)
  • Dr. Bleep of Bleeplabs fame
  • Ethan Reesor’s Jacob’s ladder
  • Austin Tinkering School’s giant bow & arrow project
  • 17 year old Markus Clardy’s “Android in Steel”
  • YOU!  If you’re here for SXSW and have a project you’d like to show off, come to the Driskill / Maximillian Room by 3 PM.
See all the #MakeSXSW coverage at

ALSO at SXSW:  The MAKE and O’Reilly booth is hopping!  Learn to solder, meet makers, see the new MakerBot Replicator, shop O’Reilly publications, MAKE, and O’Reilly special swag and free MAKE Kits Special Issue. Come say hi; we’re booth #510 in the Convention Center Trade Show.


In the Maker Shed: Mintronics – MintDuino

Do you want to learn what makes an Arduino tick? Check out the MintDuino, available exclusively in the Maker Shed! It’s an Arduino in its most simple form and it’s perfect for anyone interested in learning or teaching the fundamentals of how microcontrollers work. Everything you need to build the Mintduino is included in the reusable mint tin. Just follow the extensive online build documentation, add a 9V battery and FTDI programmer (neither included), and you’ll be up and running in no time. After you build your MintDuino, hone your wiring and programming skills with the MintDuino Maker Press book. It will take you from lighting an LED to building a 2 player game!


How-To: Low-Cost Gyroscopic Camera Stabilizer

DIY physics guru David Prutchi coveted one of the expensive professional-grade gyroscopic camera stabilizers made by Kenyon Laboratories. “These devices,” he observes, “don’t seem to have changed much since Kenyon’s founder filed the following two patents in the 50′s: US2811042, US2570130.” Referencing those patents, David reverse-engineered the basic geometry of the Kenyon stabilizer using a pair of inexpensive precision gyroscopes from Glenn Turner of These are really beautiful machines, in and of themslves, each of which costs a bit less than $100US as of this writing. Positioned on a bracket suspended below the camera in use, the two gyroscopes are driven by electric motors and mounted on gimbals with their axes crossed on symmetrical oblique angles that provide both horizontal and vertical stabilization components. [Thanks, David!]

d.i.y. Gyroscopic Camera Stabilizer that Really Works!



Lattes And Laser Cutting Under One Roof

Shibuya, Tokyo is now home to Fab Café, a coffee house with a public use laser cutter. Just walk in with a vector design and your material and enjoy a cup of coffee while the laser does its thing. According to Spoon & Tamago, the café opened on March 7th and is operated by Loftwork, a local digital media production company. [via NOTCOT]

Thanks to masakiishitani on flickr for the above photos of Fab Café.


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