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October 2, 2012 AT 4:58 am

How the ‘Maker’ Movement Plans to Transform the U.S. Economy

Adafruit 531

How the ‘Maker’ Movement Plans to Transform the U.S. Economy @ TIME.com.

In his new book, WIRED editor-in-chief Chris Anderson writes that technology has “democratized the means of production.”

Chris Anderson was trying to fire up his kids about science and technology when he flew the family’s radio-controlled airplane into a tree on Hopkins St. near their Berkeley, Calif. home. After a lot of rock-throwing and branch-flinging, Anderson finally retrieved the wreckage. “My kids were mortified,” Anderson told me last week. “I had to bribe them with ice-cream.”

It was Anderson’s second attempt in as many days to do a science project with his children, and the experiments weren’t going well. The previous day, he had brought home a Lego robot review-model from the office. Anderson and his family spent all morning assembling the device, only to finish with a “three-wheeled rover that bounced off the walls.” His kids were unimpressed. They’d seenTransformers. “No lasers? No rockets? It’s doesn’t turn into a truck?” No, Anderson replied, robots are harder-to-make in real life than in the movies.

After the tree mishap, Anderson realized that he could combine features from robotics and aeronautics in order to engage his kids in technology more effectively. “I thought, you know, that Lego robot could have flown the plane better than me.” And that’s how the Anderson family got involved with do-it-yourself drones, which they now build on weekends at home.

Read more.

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