AFOL Simon Primordial Greeble of Toronto, ON, built this sweet depiction of Asimov’s legendary Three Laws:
1: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2: A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
See the Flickr set for close-in shots. [via GeekDad]
NEWS FROM THE FUTURE – Busting Teenage Partying with a Fluksometer…
I returned to Adelaide the next day (1 Jan). My home was very clean but I found a few tell-tale signs: disposable cups with sticky red liquid in them in one of the bins, a trace of the same red sticky stuff on my sink, and post it notes accidentally left on my fridge saying things like “Molly, you may have to open up another bottle”.
What happened to Amy? Well to be honest I wasn’t very mad, just curious about the mystery. I actually enjoyed the detective work side of guessing what was going on and finding supporting evidence. Bart, the inventer of the Fluksometer, was rolling on the floor laughing when I told him the tale.
All my friends knew about the incident so when Amy joined me in Geelong for the next week she was teased relentlessly. Eventually she came clean, and said:
“All my friends who didnt know Dad said ‘How could he do that? Who measures power from across the country’? Those that did know Dad said ‘He knows. Dont worry!’”
“When I realised we were busted there was a mass exodus. I was the last one out and could see a continuous line of teenagers stretched up the street over three blocks.”
One of Amys friends put it well: “You gotta get dumber parents Amy.”
The maker movement is a remarkable new source of innovation. We are starting to see what results from a powerful combination of open hardware + personal fabrication tools + connected makers. Sometimes this innovation is hard to identify in the excitement that surrounds Maker Faire. Yet at Maker Faire, you can find new products and new startups at various stages of development that you will see almost nowhere else. Business people tell me they come to Maker Faire expecting to have a good time with their family but unexpectedly walk away impressed by the creativity and innovation they find there. As the song says, “there’s something happening here.” Even now, the pace of development is quickening and the number of hardware startups is rapidly growing.
Tim O’Reilly has been urging that the opportunity is now to showcase makers as professionals who are starting new businesses and developing new products. So, I’m happy to announce a new business conference during the week of Maker Faire, taking advantage of the makers who are already coming to Maker Faire. Presented by MAKE, the Hardware Innovation Workshop will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15-16, at PARC, a Xerox company, in Palo Alto, CA. (I’m excited to have PARC host us and this event because of its long history as a source of technology innovation.)
The Hardware Innovation Conference will present a number of hardware-related startups and review the major platforms and the new toolset for prototyping and personal fabrication. It’s an intimate setting to meet the leaders of the maker movement and understand how makers are changing the technology landscape, in much the same way that enthusiasts once helped to create the personal computer industry.
Our presenters will include:
- Massimo Banzi of Arduino, an Italian interaction designer and engineer who created this open source microcontroller. The Arduino platform has become the Linux of open source hardware and it is found at the heart of many maker projects.
- Carl Bass of Autodesk, a maker himself whose new consumer division, which acquired Instructables, is exploring the software and services needed by this emerging maker market.
- Jay Rogers of Local Motors is creating an open source car through collaborative design and he’s built a micro factory for assembly of these cars by the owners themselves.
- Ayah Bdeir of Little Bits is one of those non-traditional product designers who has developed a new educational product.
- Allan Chochinov of Core 77 is starting a new program called Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, which is reshaping product design around what makers are able to do.
- Nathan Seidle of SparkFun Electronics runs one of the major suppliers for maker projects. He’s also a partner for makers who have the idea but not the factory to build a new product.
- Bre Pettis of MakerBot will explore the 3D printing opportunity in consumer markets. MakerBot is the Apple II of the personal fabrication revolution. Brad Feld of Foundry Group will tell us why he’s invested in Makerbot.
- Mark Hatch of TechShop, whose membership model for a community workshop has become a hub for hardware innovators.
- Bunnie Huang of Chumby and author of “Hacking the Xbox,” who understands how Asia’s manufacturing capacity might be tapped by makers.
Check our event website for full program details.
The lesson for us from makers is that hardware isn’t as hard as it used to be. It’s benefiting from the same forces that allowed open source to reshape the software industry and create the web economy. Makers are part of a prototyping revolution that is inviting a new audience to design and develop products. Open technologies and new collaborative processes just might change the face of manufacturing by making it much more personal and more automated. Unlike traditional manufacturers, makers are able to pivot easily to serve niche markets. In addition, larger companies are hiring makers and maker advocates to infuse their own teams with creative ideas and keep track of these new market opportunities.
The conventional wisdom is that Silicon Valley investors don’t like hardware startups, but that’s not stopping makers. We even see hardware startups raising capital from non-traditional sources such as Kickstarter. (Twine raised over $850,000.) This is causing some investors to pay attention. As an angel investor said to me recently: “Everybody’s just looking at mobile/social. I want to look at things outside that well-developed space and that’s why I’m looking at makers.”
Please join me along with Tim O’Reilly and the creative team of MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire for a program focused on maker-led innovation at a historic location in the Silicon Valley. Due to the venue, we are limited to 300 participants. If you’re coming from outside the Bay Area, you can stay for the weekend of fun at Maker Faire, May 19-20th.
Event: Hardware Innovation Workshop
Dates: May 15-16
Location: PARC, a Xerox company, Palo Alto, CA
By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics
If you are looking for a giant canvas on which to make mathematical patterns, how about fields of snow? Simon Beck has been stomping out giant patterns for years with just snow shoes. Here are some of his more mathematical examples: a Koch curve, a Sierpinski triangle, and the pattern of overlapping circles that everyone likes to make with a drawing compass.
All you need to make your own is some fresh snow and imagination.
See all of George Hart’s Math Monday columns
From Al Westpfal:
My 10 year old son Albert based his school entrepreneurial project on Arvind Gupta’s Touching Slate. He sold his product at the school marketplace event. Albert also got in touch with the Concordia Learning Center at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City N.J. to donate dozens of his product.
Al’s project came from the pages of MAKE volume 28, and is a pen that expels yarn instead of ink. When written onto an adhesive surface, whatever the user writes becomes tactile, serving the blind and visually impaired.
His creation was covered in an article in Wayne Patch in which he says “I’m glad that I could make something that helps other people.”
Cheers to Al for taking another maker’s idea and running with it.
From the Pages of MAKE
MAKE Volume 28, Toys and Games
MAKE Volume 28 hits makers’ passion for play head-on with a 28-page special section devoted to Toys and Games, including a toy “pop-pop” steamboat made from a mint tin, an R/C helicopter eye-in-the-sky, and a classic video game console. You’ll also build a gravity-powered catapult, a plush toy that interacts with objects around it, and a machine that blows giant soap bubbles. Play time is a hallmark of more intelligent species – so go have some fun!
Buy or Subscribe.
And the Hack a Day writers have seen a bunch of them. We’ve covered quite a few, ourselves, and I have to concur that this 8x8x8 RGB from Nick Schulze is the best looking, best designed, and (certainly) best documented LED cube build of the lot. Don’t miss the vid, embedded above, to show off what it can do, or the tutorial, linked below, to show off the thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and ingenuity that went into its design and construction. [via Hack a Day]
RGB LED Cube