Charlie Brinson of eatART talks about what it was like to build a 50′ electromechanical snake. If you made it out to Vancouver Mini Maker Faire last year, you would have seen the in-progress pieces. Man, has it come a long way! A lot of hard work has gone into this project; it’s great to see it slithering! Learn more about Titanoboa on the Titanoboa website.
On the tail (or rather tentacle) end of Natural Materials month here on Makezine, we couldn’t leave the mighty squid out of the mix. Instructables’ own Christy Canida shared her easy technique for extracting squid ink and using it for printing or cooking in CRAFT Volume 04, and we’ve just made it available for you on Make: Projects. Once you’ve extracted the ink, check out the recipe for tasty squid ink risotto or try using the ink to make some linoleum block prints.
Emily Gertz and Patrick Di Justo, authors of Environmental Monitoring With Arduino (available from Maker Shed and O’Reilly), wrote it to let me know that the book got used as a textbook in the recent NYC Water Hackathon. They’ve got the pictures to prove it, too!
Announcing the Open Source Hardware Community Survey! The Open hardware summit folks created this survey because they wanted to get a snapshot of the people who make, use and share open-source hardware. Catarina writes:
If you make, use, or benefit from open-source hardware, please consider taking this survey to help develop a picture of the OSHW community!
Dezso should know. He’s been building flying cars for several years. I asked him to comment on the article. He wrote:
Using a web-based phone controller, Steffest controls an array of fourteen percussive instruments that are packed into a setup so tightly I can’t help but use the word “cute.” Despite the amount of instruments, the bot uses only eight servos, six of which play different instruments depending on which direction they swing towards.
The bot provides a convincing Bo-Diddley beat as the maker plays guitar and sings.
The phone’s interface is set up like a standard digital sequencer, and the string is sent to Arduino through a WiFi module and HTTP server.
[via Hacked Gadgets]
Jaundice in newborns, if untreated, can lead to brain damage or death. Fortunately there’s an easy treatment, called phototherapy, which just means exposing the baby’s skin to blue light with a wavelength of about 458 nm in sufficient amounts. This changes the excess bilirubin (the yellow chemical that causes jaundice) into a slightly different chemical that the baby’s body can eliminate much more easily, until their liver matures enough to take over the job itself.
Commercial “bililights” for jaundice phototherapy are too expensive for most of the world, so Tim Z. Falconer designed a DIY version that uses commodity superbright LEDs and is makeable for $50 at most. Because the bililights need to be calibrated for use, Tim also designed a calibration device in inexpensive, kit form. The first version of Tim’s open-source devices began saving babies’ lives last August in the Congo, and since then, his Luma League designs have also been locally assembled and put to use in Haiti, Guatemala, and (just this past week), Nepal, via local partner Nyaya Health.
With his kits and open source designs, Tim wants to facilitate local entrepreneurship and expertise — an approach that contrasts with that of companies such as Green Light Planet, who mass-manufacture inexpensive finished devices for centralized distribution and sale to the developing world.
Tim and the Luma League will be exhibiting at Maker Faire Bay Area this May 19-20, where Tim plans let people assemble strings of LED’s for actual bili lights that will be used where needed.
Luma League: http://lumaleague.org
Skylar’s Sphero car intractable shows you how to make your own.
A standard-sized AA cell is 0.5mm longer than a standard-sized C cell, but in practice that difference is negligible. Besides “stub case,” an adapter like this is also sometimes called a “sabot.” They can be purchased commercially, but I’d just as soon print my own. And now I can. Thanks again, Thingiverse!
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