MakerBeam is a toy and tool for the open source imagination. Build a fire-breathing robot dinosaur, a miniature CNC machine, a remote control car, whatever your overclocked brain can produce! Or build a castle, or that perfect enclosure to hold the circuitry for your custom electronics project.
If you want to, scale it up! Scale by a factor of 2.5, 4, or 6, and your design can be rendered full-sized with easy, automatic conversion of parts.
Not only a tool for adult geeks to make incredible fun stuff, it’s also a fantastic way for children to do the same thing! If they’re getting a little tired of Tinkertoys and are old enough for LEGO, they’re ready for MakerBeam.
Mini-T is a miniature version of larger T-slot building systems. It consists of extruded aluminum beams, 10 mm on a side, and various connectors and panels that slot into the sides of the beam, making up the full MakerBeam system.
Yesterday I went to Tokyo MAKE Meeting 04 with Gianluca Martino: a member of the Arduino team. He has been super popular and he really appreciated the Japanese Arduino scene. During the show Gakken displayed the prototype of the JAPANINO (Arduino clone). It will be released next spring in the Otona no Kagaku (in Japanese it means “Science toys for adults”) magazine series with a Persistence of Vision plastic Toy with color LEDs. The price tag will be less than 3500 yen (ca$35) and it will help a lot of people to get into the “Makers” scene. I’m doing consulting for Gakken on this project so I can not reveal all details but this release will definitely make the Japanese Arduino scene the biggest in the World as in a couple of months the magazine will probably sell what the original Arduino sold worldwide in the last years. As all Otona no Kagaku issues there will be also a magazine with many information about original Arduino and simple guide for beginners. There will be a Japanese IDE downloadable from Gakken website but foreign users can use the standard Arduino software.
Can’t really tell if it’s a clone or if they’ve done more / added more…
The Holiday hours at Adafruit this week are really simple – we are open all week. On Thursday (Thanksgiving day) in the USA orders can be placed but will not ship until Friday when the Postal service and UPS resume their usual shipping schedule. If you need something this week, make sure it’s in stock before you order and choose the appropriate shipping. Happy Holidays!
President Obama has launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This campaign will include efforts not only from the Federal Government but also from leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and math. As part of the campaign, this Administration hopes to do a series of events, announcements and other activities that build upon the President’s “call to action” and address the key components of national priority.
Adafruit in Fry’s electronics in Fremont, Sunnyvale, San Diego and San Jose. If you’re in those areas stop in and look for the Maker Shed kiosk, there you will find the MintyBoost! Here’s what the MAKE gang had to say…
We’re ecstatic about the fact that we now have Maker Shed kiosks, with magazines, books, and electronics kits, in several California Fry’s stores. We think this is big news, not only for Maker Media, but for all indie makers — a major retail chain is now giving small kit- makers this level of exposure. And, we think it’s particularly cool that we designed and built these kiosks in-house, and even personally delivered them to the stores! What other publisher could claim that? Here, Assoc.
Publisher and General Manager of Maker retail, Dan Woods explains more:
Maker Shed kiosks are now installed in four of Fry’s largest superstores. Each kiosk merchandises current and back issues of MAKE, Make: Project books, and kits, with an emphasis on maker-made kits produced by indie makers like Limor Fried’s MintyBoost, Mitch Altman’s Brain Machine, Ken Murphy’s Blinky Bugs, Dale Wheat’s Tiny Cylon and Wee Blinky kits, and Amy Parness and Ariel Churi’s DIY Design Electronics kits. This indie maker angle was a really important selling point to Fry’s. The kiosk’s themselves are all-MAKE in their design and construction. The challenge was to create a merchandising/branding kiosk that could show off maker-made kits, as well as our books and magazines, all in a 2′ X 2′ footprint. The design we came up with incorporates the Maker Faire workbench framing as the internal structure, refurbished fence boards from West Sonoma, and some nicely weathered corrugated shed aluminum that was locally salvaged. The result is a nice combination of weathered shed and repurposed industrial tubing. They’re uniquely MAKE, and Fry’s is ecstatic. In fact, they were even trucked down and setup by Heather (Harmon-Cochran) and Rob (Bullington) in one day. These are the stores that currently have kiosks. (San Diego will be set up by Fry’s staff next week)
San Diego, CA
9825 Stonecrest Boulevard
San Jose, CA
550 E. Brokaw Road
43800 Osgood Road
1077 East Arques Avenue
Congrats to everyone at MAKE, this is a wonderful accomplishment getting DIY and electronics in more places!
This is an AIM instant messenger client for Arduino/Wiznet 5100, which allows you to communicate with your Arduino project from anywhere on the internet, in near real-time. You can communicate with your project through any AIM client or even your cell phone by using text messaging with Mobile AIM, and since communication is channeled though the AIM server, both the Arduino+Wiznet and chat client can exist behind firewalls.
Building the AVR toolchain by hand also thwarted me somewhere in the building of the avr-binutils package — it doesn’t want to build on my Mac. As soon as I entered the dependency hell of installing an upgraded gcc to build binutils and that didn’t work either, I got pretty fed up with that line of attack. Finally, I tried installing the AVR toolchain from the Fink project. Success! Here are the steps it took to get it up and running…
To program the ATtiny13 or other AVR tiny microcontrollers I use the USBtinyISP. It is a diy build programmer, you can buy a package and you only need to solder. The nice thing is that it works with USB and can power the circuit directly. More information about the programmer can be found here: http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/ I use Windows Vista for programming. USBtinyISP uses an USB driver to work under Windows. This works good on 32 bit Vista system, but on 64 bit system you need to disable Windows check of unsigned drivers. This can be done by pressing F8 during boot and selecting a boot option at the bottom. This needs to be done every time you want to program the microcontroller. Perhaps a reader knows a solution to that? Please post in the comments. The USBtinyISP is cheap and works great…
Mark your calendars! Big news for every Adafruit customer! We are going to do a “Christmas day ADAFRUIT KIT BUILD-A-THON” live on video you can view over the internet and in the text chat room on 12/25/2009 – Christmas day! That’s right, if you have any questions about your kits, need help or just want to pop in and see us work on some kits stop in to our video chat on the 25th! Of course you can post up in the fantastic customer support forums at any time, Christmas day will be a special event for all the makers out there that decide to start putting together their kits and projects right away!
A couple of weeks ago Jan came to me and asked me if I could build a special kind of twitter wall. At our company CoreMedia we do an Open Space every 3 months or so. This time we had a Hacking Day as well, so we needed something special. After throwing some ideas around, we came up with a twitter client that should print out tweets with an electric typewriter. A short google showed, that that has been done already (of course!). See it at oomlout. But that couldn’t stop us. Jan scanned ebay for a nice electric typewriter and found a Commodore SQ 1000. It was in really good condition, probably rarely used. It worked as advertised.