Deren Güler shares an equal passion for engineering and teaching, and creates engaging interactive projects that directly impact the lives of the participants. With the FLOAT project, co-created with artist Xiaowei Wang, the Chinese national past-time of kite building/flying was extended by a simple DIY electronics kit she designed into hundreds of clandestine air quality weather stations all around Beijing assembled and flown by local citizens in a city that at the time permitted no official air quality reports. (For more details, check out their successfully funded crowdfunding project here.)
Invent-abling is her latest project, a kit to inspire children 5-15yo to experiment with smart materials and electronics, tuned to reach girls as well as boys. Read more about it below!
She has enjoying folding a bunch of Adafruit gear into her “tracelet” project: “a simple bracelet that ‘senses when you put something down’ and takes a photo, for helplessly forgetful people like myself to find things easily.” (Check out the video here.)
“Invent-abling” evolved from our realization that although there are great kits for creating electronic gadgets and wear-ables for young designers, they are gender coded “for boys.” We created a unisex kit which provides children ages 5-15 with interesting smart materials and electronics that can be embedded in a variety of dynamic projects.
The kit includes an illustrated guide explaining the properties of the contents, and instructions for several sample projects to get the young inventors started. The kit will provide materials such as color changing fabric, tilt sensors, solar panels, conductive ink and much much more. Invent-abling partnered with Assemble, a community space for arts and technology in the Penn Ave. Arts District of Pittsburgh, to hold a series of workshops to test the first version of this kit.
Deren Guler is the mind behind Invent-abling. She is a maker, tinkerer, designer, and physicist. She has a master of Tangible Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked on many education, community-based projects. She leads workshop at museums, universities and other venues around the world. She is interested in combining different materials, craft techniques, and computational methods to make accesible tools. She created Invent-abling in attempt to fill the gap of low-tech toolkits for children, especially for young girls.
October 15th is Ada Lovelace Day! Today the world celebrates all of the accomplishments of women in science, art, design, technology, engineering, and math. Each year, Adafruit highlights a number of women who are pioneering their fields and inspiring women of all ages to make their voices heard. Today we will be sharing the stories of women that we think are modern day “Adas”. We will also be referencing women from history that have made impacts in science and math. Please promote and share #ALD13 with your friends and family so we can promote and share with all of the world wide web!
Today everything in the Adafruit store is 10% off, just use the code ALD13 on checkout! Today’s the perfect day to spark the imagination of a future “Ada” with a gift from the Adafruit store!
By caging bacteria in microscopic houses, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin are studying how disease-causing bacteria, such as those found in the human gut and lungs, interact and develop infections.
In a recent experiment they demonstrated that a community of Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause some skin infections, became more resistant to antibiotics when it was contained within a larger community of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria involved in various diseases, including cystic fibrosis.
The work was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers use a novel 3-D printing technology to build homes for bacteria at a microscopic level. Their method uses a laser to construct protein “cages” around bacteria in gelatin. The resulting structures can be of almost any shape or size, and can be moved around in relationship to other structures containing bacterial microcommunities.
The method should enable an entirely new class of experiments that better approximate the conditions that bacteria encounter in actual biological environments, such as those in the human body.
“It allows us to basically define every variable,” said Jodi Connell, a postdoctoral researcher in the College of Natural Sciences. “We can define the spatial features on a size scale that’s relevant to what a single bacterium feels and senses. We can also much more precisely simulate the kinds of complex bacterial ecologies that exist in actual infections, where there typically aren’t just one but multiple species of bacteria interacting with each other.”
The Leidenfrost Maze was designed and built by University of Bath undergraduate students Carmen Cheng and Matthew Guy to demonstrate the self-propulsion of Leidenfrost droplets at public outreach events and schools. The video was created by Carmen Cheng as part of her undergraduate project.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is responsible for managing and coordinating the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) on behalf of the nation. This includes providing support personnel and facilities and coordinating transportation and other logistics for scientific research. Due to the lapse in appropriation, funds for this support will be depleted on or about October 14, 2013.
Without additional funding, NSF has directed its Antarctic support contractor to begin planning and implementing caretaker status for research stations, ships and other assets. The agency is required to take this step as a result of the absence of appropriation and the Antideficiency Act.
Under caretaker status, the USAP will be staffed at a minimal level to ensure human safety and preserve government property, including the three primary research stations, ships and associated research facilities. All field and research activities not essential to human safety and preservation of property will be suspended.
As NSF moves to caretaker status, it will also develop the information needed to restore the 2013-14 austral summer research program to the maximum extent possible, once an appropriation materializes. It is important to note, however, that some activities cannot be restarted once seasonally dependent windows for research and operations have passed, the seasonal workforce is released, science activities are curtailed and operations are reduced.
NSF remains committed to protecting the safety and health of its deployed personnel and to its stewardship of the USAP under these challenging circumstances.
Road? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. – Dr. Emmett Brown.
Here’s a look back at the maker world and beyond!
1914 – Explorer Makes First Trip, Leaves Mother’s Womb
Thor Heyerdahl, anthropologist, naturalist and adventurer was born was born 99 years ago this week, making his first of many explorations when he clamored out of his mother’s womb. He became famous in 1947 when he crossed the South Pacific aboard the Kon-tiki, setting out to prove that Easter Islanders and Polynesians were able to cross the ocean on small raft-boats that may have originated from South America. Further explorations later in life led him to Egypt, Azerbaijan, the Canary Islands and Turkey (among many other places).
Charles Cros, an often forgotten inventor (since he’s not credited for much), contributed many important elements that led to the invention of, among other things, recorded sound/the phonograph, color photography and improvements in the telegraph. He was a well-regarded poet and writer, and astronomer. Later in life, he also attempted to convince the French government to build a giant mirror to communicate with what he believed was life on Venus and Mars from the spots of light he could see from his night observations. The mirror was never built, but he died believing that life on other planets must exist, a thoroughly radical idea at the time.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider”
The 2013 Nobel Prize honours three scientists who have solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. Each cell is a factory that produces and exports molecules. For instance, insulin is manufactured and released into the blood and chemical signals called neurotransmitters are sent from one nerve cell to another. These molecules are transported around the cell in small packages called vesicles. The three Nobel Laureates have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this cargo is delivered to the right place at the right time in the cell.
Randy Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic. James Rothman unravelled protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of cargo. Thomas Südhof revealed how signals instruct vesicles to release their cargo with precision.
Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Südhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo. Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders.
Today, we are starting to see HIPS showing up in the stores of filament suppliers all over, from Filaco to Maker Geeks to Ultimachine (and probably more!). But it is with MakerBot’s announcement of their HIPS filament, which they have rebranded as MakerBot Dissolvable Filament, that more and more people are likely to hear about this process and find ways to experiment with this material. (And those who remember how difficult the various mixtures of PVA could be to print will be amazed how nicely HIPS prints with their other materials.)
The ready availability of so many HIPS options may re-inject FFF style printers with new life and range of expression at a time when more and more resin printers are creeping into the market. Check out this piece from Matt Stultz, the guru of exotic printing materials himself, addressing this recent announcement at 3DPPVD:
MakerBot has finally released their official support for dissolvable HIPS support material based on the research done here at 3DPPVD. They have branded their new filament line MakerBot Dissolvable and made it available to be shipped on the day of the announcement….
With this new material MakerBot has also upgraded MakerWare to support printing support structures on a secondary extruder. Now on a dual extrusion machine, HIPS can be printed alongside ABS without the need to generate two separate models. They have also included color matching support and rafts for dual extrusion multicolor prints. This will eliminate colored scars in your prints from the removal of a different colored support material.
You can read more about our research into soluble support material here and find out more about MakerBots announcement here.
Finally, don’t miss Hack A Day’s coverage of some of our advanced materials research that was on display at this years World Maker Faire.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
“We were inspired by the idea of symbiosis, the relationships between plants and animals, and the beautifully complex systems in nature where an animal and a plant keep each other alive…We wanted to design a plant to keep a wolf alive from extinction.”
The Wilds – And Nowhere a Shadow There is no nature anymore. We are wandering a new kind of wilderness, where the line between biology and technology is becoming increasingly indistinguishable. Through genetic modification, engineered meat, cosmetic surgery and geo-engineering we are remaking our world from the scale of cells to the scale of continents.
The woods, wild and mysterious from afar, appear as a stage on which every element is considered. Genetically engineered plants, artificially sustained, are hanging from the trees, embedded in the ecology yet detached from it. Their scaffolding systems of gleaming steel and neon light sway in the wind, waiting.
Grey wolves approach the structures during the night to scratch their body on the steel branches. In an intricate arrangement of devised symbiosis, the contraption takes on the role of host organism. The wolf’s movements generate electricity for the system, while the blueberries are engineered to contain rabies vaccine in its fruit to protect the animal from self-destruction. Cameras transmit footage of the wolf’s presence around the globe, adorned in invisible garlands of electric display, to be enjoyed by those whose passion for the spectacle of wilderness sustains its survival.
A floating garden composed of salt was made at the Ernst Barlach Haus in Hamburg, designed by Motoi Yamamoto. via designboom.
An intricately composed floor installation made from hand-placed piles of salt makes up the ‘floating garden’, the most recent artwork by Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. The glass courtyard of the Ernst Barlach Haus, in Hamburg houses the 100-square-metre continuous structure, whose fragile, interconnected white lines are accentuated by the deep blue ground it lays atop. Evoking imagery of a whirling cloud against a night sky, the ornate pattern draws reference from the spiral shape ubiquitous in nature — seen in the twists of tides and the vortex of a galaxy — which yamamoto reinterprets as eternity, regeneration, and the life-cycle. the laborious installation process is, for yamamoto, a significant expression of the final outcome. The lines of salt are laid directly on the floor through the constant, physical repetition of a rhythmically moving bottle. The closing of the exhibition on october 13, 2013 offers a participatory experience with the opportunity for visitors to take part in the dismantling of the artwork. Yamamoto asks the contributors to physically wipe away the installation and deliver the salt to the sea.
Road? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. – Dr. Emmett Brown.
Here’s a look back at the maker world and beyond!
2011 – America Invents Act Turns Two!
Two years ago last week, on September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a bipartisan bill creating significant reform the the U.S. patent system. Some important changes made by the act is that now instead of the “first to invent” having the right to a patent, it is the “the first to file.” So don’t sit on that genius idea! Another change is that false marking lawsuits are eliminated, except for those filed by the U.S. government or those who can prove a competitive injury.
1953 – WD-40 Lubricates Rockets, Unsticks Screws Across America
WD-40 turned 60 years old yesterday! Standing for “Water, Displacement, 40th formula” Norm Larsen recorded his 40th experiment with WD-40 in the Rocket Chemical Company Log Book on September 23rd, 1953. He was trying to develop a chemical for use on rockets to repel water and prevent corrosion, and only later was it discovered to have numerous household uses, including lubricating and loosening joints, hinges and stuck screws and bolts, removing dirt and residue and displacing trapped moisture. Though the specifics of WD-40 recipe are a trade secret, the ingredients according to U.S. Material Safety Data Sheet information, are:
The third legal definition of a meter was adopted in 1889 at the at the Paris General Conference. It defined a meter as the distance measured between two lines on a 90-10 platinum-iridium alloy bar at the temperature of freezing water, 0 °C. Duplicate prototypes were made and distributed to each of the countries that joined in the international agreement. The same alloy was used to prepare the international prototype of the kilogram. The standard stood until 1960, when the meter was redefined using the wavelength of radiation emitted by the krypton-86 isotope. The current definition, created in 1983, defines a meter as “the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.” The majority of countries of the world adhere to this definition and are member states to the General Conference on Weights and Measures.
Scientists at Ohio State University have developed a synthetic eye, intended to be used to surgery purposes, that is capable of seeing with the double talents of the depth perception adjustment capabilities of the human eye and the wide-angle lens through which an insect views the world (they have no ability to adjust for depth of field). via designboom.
Lead scientist Yi Zhao presented his project at the IEEE Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Conference this year, demonstrating the view of the word “Ohio” through his new eye. As designboom describes:
…the results could be smartphones that rival the photo quality of digital cameras, and surgical imaging that enables doctors to see inside the body like never before. the prototype is made of a flexible transparent polymer filled with a gelatinous solution similar to the fluids found inside the human eye. the new development consists of a composite of several separate dome-shaped fluid pockets with small domes sitting atop a larger one. each is adjustable; fluid is pumped into and out of the meniscus, such that different parts of it expand and contract to change the overall shape, direction and focal depth.”our eye can change focus. An insect eye is made of many small optical components that can’t change focus but give a wide view. We can combine the two.” explained yi zhao, associate professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology at ohio state. What we get is a wide-angle lens with a depth of field measuring 5mm across, the shape-changing device could potentially offer the same focusing capability as multiple moving parts in a single stationary apparatus, which would make for smaller and lighter cameras and microscopes.