This little wood automaton is meant to mimic the effect of a water drop hitting a body of water, all using concentric rings cut from wood that are manipulated by a hand crank. The piece was created by UK-based designer Dean O’Callaghan, inspired by the work of Reuben Margolin (most likely his round wave sculpture).
YouTube user XiongWeiLun made this really cool motion controlled targeting system.
A Beaglebone Black based system. The Beaglebone receives video feed from a simple USB camera, processes the images, finds the approximate center point and moves the laser turret servos that point.
The Beaglebone is running Ubuntu and the system was programmed in Python. The OpenCV library was used to handle the image processing. A great deal of help was received through both the OpenCV reference website and Stackoverflow.com. Excellent resources for anyone attempting image processing, especially for their first time.
Immeasurable help was received from professors and classmates at Brigham Young University – Idaho.
The Armory Show is an annual event held in New York City celebrating artists and galleries from all around the world. It’s NYC’s largest art fair and believe us, it was huge. This year there were so many amazing works of art it’s hard to pick what our favorites were! Here we’ll outline some of what we saw but we encourage all NYC locals to go take a trip out next year for a fun and interesting (and exhausting!) day with the arts.
One of our favorite booths featured works by LA based artist Channa Horwitz. Visually complex, her works are stunning once you realize the meaning behind the systematic linear code. Channa is the creator of sonakinatography a process of visualizing music into eight-to-the-inch squares of the graph paper they appear on. It was like coding as performable, musical art!
Seeking to capture time and motion—she dubbed her series of drawings initiated in the 1960s Sonakinatography to reflect her commitment to sona (sound) and kina (movement)—Horwitz lays down her drawings on graph paper, the lines and squares rendered in deep black or the colors of the spectrum to create oftentimes deliriously intricate patterns.
Neon was theme throughout the show and you know how Adafruit likes their glowy art! The lit up books above are by artist Airan Kang. Below is a piece by Den Flavin, who is known for his incredible light installations.
3D printing made an appearance as well. Artist Karin Sander is turing traditional portraiture on its head with her full body 3D scans that she then prints into miniature figurines. Using a custom made scanning system that surrounds the model with 4 full body white light 3D scanners, she is able to capture every angle with precision. She then uses a face scanner to get more detail and is able to reproduce the person in 1:5 scale. We tried to get a picture of the set up but the booth was so crowded we couldn’t get a shot! Below is one of the 4 unique figurines that were on display.
Another one of our favorites was this piece by Haroon Mirza. Haroon used a grouping of solar panels and copper tape to light up LED strips (just like the ones we sell at Adafruit).
We always enjoy works that play with form and this translated vase by Yeesookyung, was deconstructed and put back together again with surprisingly beautiful results.
The show featured a large number of well known artists as well with works by Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, and, as shown below, Nick Cave. His mixed media “soundsuits” are even shinier and more impressive in person.
There was tons more to see and we took hundreds of photographs. Here’s a little history about the show:
The Armory Show, a leading international contemporary and modern art fair and one of the most important annual art events in New York, takes place every March on Piers 92 & 94 in central Manhattan. The Armory Show is devoted to showcasing the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. In its fifteen years the fair has become an international institution, combining a selection of the world’s leading galleries with an exceptional program of arts events and exhibitions throughout New York during the celebrated Armory Arts Week.
In its fifteen years, The Armory Show has become an international institution, and every March, artists, galleries, collectors, critics and curators from all over the world make New York City their destination. The concept of a week of arts-related events grew organically, and was formalized with the support of the city in 2009.
Click here to read more about this year’s show and stay tuned for next week when we cover the (Un)Fair Art Show- a DIY response to the Armory show that we stumbled upon on our way home.
The HackHers Robotics team from Needham High School in Needham Massachusetts stikes their “Rosie the Riveter” pose at the Massachusetts FTC Championship Tournament. HACKHERS is an all girl team in their second year of competition. At last weekend’s tournament, they were the winners of the Promote Award for community outreach and promotion of STEM education.
The wide range of costumes inspired by World of Warcraft always impresses me. Cosplayers devote a lot of time to bringing tons of classes and races from the video game to life. Antonio Style created an impressive blood elf paladin costume with glowing additions to the armor. He used latex for the armor with what appears to be foam accents and LEDs for the lighted orbs. He painted each piece by hand, and it looks like several hours went into the project. You can visit Antonio’s Facebook page for step-by-step photos that give you an overview of the build.
Bored of the skiing down mountains? Maybe you should try skiing up them with the Uphill Racer. via Popular Mechanics
A lifelong downhill skier and industrial mechanic/Âmillwright, Jim Maidment was frustrated by the fact that he could pursue his favorite pastime only near a chair lift. “When you’re on a slope, all that energy is free–as long as you’re going in that one direction,” he says. So Maidment hacked together a 6.5-hp generator engine (bought from Costco for $125) with a small, off-the-shelf snowmobile track from Bombardier, inventing a machine he calls the Skizee. He then headed for the mountains to refine his creation, moving from Ontario to Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada’s second-loftiest city. So far, he’s decreased the size and added a variable torque converter to change the power ratio and climb hills. His latest Skizee can go 12 mph uphill and can reach 25 mph in flat powder. Maidment continues to test his invention in the snowy woods around his home, and he’s making final tweaks to the design now. One day he hopes to see the Skizee in pro shops everywhere.
I was talking about the planets with my 5-year-old daughter the other day. I was trying to explain how taking a summer vacation to Mars in the future will be a much bigger undertaking than a trip to Palm Springs (though equally as hot). I kept trying to describe the distance using metaphors like “if the earth was the size of a golf ball, then Mars would be across the soccer field” etc., but I realized I didn’t really know much about these distances, besides the fact that they were really large and hard to understand. Pictures in books, planetarium models, even telescopes are pretty misleading when it comes to judging just how big the universe can be. Are we doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring all the emptiness?
Not that pixels are any better at representing scale than golfballs, but they’re our main way of interpreting most information these days, so why not the solar system?
Ladyada and pt had an old NeXT keyboard with a strong desire to get it running on a modern computer. These keyboards are durable, super clicky, and very satisfying to use! However, they are very old designs, specifically made for NeXT hardware:, pre PS/2 and definately pre-USB. That means you can’t just plug the keyboard into a PS/2 port (even though it looks similar). In fact, I have no idea what the protocol or pinout is named, so we’ll just call it “non-ADB NeXT Keyboard”
There is no existing adapter for sale, and no code out there for getting these working, so we spent a few days and with a little research we got it working perfectly using an Arduino Micro as the go between. Now this lovely black deck works like any other USB keyboard. Sure it weighs more than our Macbook, but its worth it!
Here is the official press release for the Arduino Micro in collaboration with Adafruit.
Arduino Micro in collaboration with Adafruit
Arduino Micro board – Based on the technology behind the Leonardo board, its main feature is the very small size.
The Arduino Micro packs all of the power of the Arduino Leonardo in a 48mm x 18mm module (1.9″ x 0.7″).
It makes it easier for makers to embed the Arduino technology inside their projects by providing a small and convenient module that can be either used on a breadboard or soldered to a custom designed PCB.
The Micro has been developed in collaboration with Adafruit Industries, one of the leaders of the Maker movement. Adafruit is already developing a series of accessories for the new board that will complement its power and simplicity.
Throughout the month of November the product is available exclusively from Adafruit online and Radio Shack in retail stores.
Main features of Arduino Micro:
The Arduino Micro is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32u4.
Like its brother the Leonardo board, the Arduino Micro has one microcontroller with built-in USB. Using the ATmega32U4 as its sole microcontroller allows it to be cheaper and simpler. Also, because the 32U4 is handling the USB directly, code libraries are available which allow the board to emulate a computer keyboard, mouse, and more using the USB-HID protocol.
It has 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a micro USB cable to get started.
This allows the Micro to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.
Operating Voltage: 5V
Input Voltage (recommended): 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits): 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins: 20
PWM Channels: 7
Analog Input Channels: 12
DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 50 mA
Flash Memory: 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM: 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM: 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Clock Speed: 16 MHz
Arduino, the first widespread Open Source Hardware platform, was launched in 2005 to simplify the process of electronic prototyping. It enables everyday people with little or no technical background to build interactive products.
The Arduino ecosystem is a combination of three different elements:
A small electronic board manufactured in Italy that makes it easy and affordable to learn to program a microcontroller, a type of tiny computer found inside millions of everyday objects.
A free software application used to program the board.
A vibrant community, true expression of the enthusiasm powering the project. Every day on the www.arduino.cc website thousands of people connect with other users, ask for help, engage and contribute to the project.
About Adafruit Industries
Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Since then Adafruit has grown to over 25 employees in the heart of NYC. Adafruit has expanded their offerings to include tools and equipment that Limor personally selects, tests and approves. Adafruit has one of the largest collections of free electronics tutorials, open-source hardware and software to help educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Science Daily has this story about engineering a low cost inkjet printer to do much more than just printing ink.
Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices, make wireless technology faster or print magnetic materials….
A recently discovered technology called plasmonics marries the best aspects of optical and electronic data transfer. By crowding light into metal structures with dimensions far smaller than its wavelength, data can be transmitted at much higher frequencies such as terahertz frequencies, which lie between microwaves and infrared light on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that also includes everything from X-rays to visible light to gamma rays. Metals such as silver and gold are particularly promising plasmonic materials because they enhance this crowding effect. “Very little well-developed technology exists to create terahertz plasmonic devices, which have the potential to make wireless devices such as Bluetooth — which operates at 2.4 gigahertz frequency — 1,000 times faster than they are today,” says Ajay Nahata, a University of Utah professor of electrical and computer engineering and senior author of the new study.
Using a commercially available inkjet printer and two different color cartridges filled with silver and carbon ink, Nahata and his colleagues printed 10 different plasmonic structures with a periodic array of 2,500 holes with different sizes and spacing on a 2.5-inch-by-2.5 inch plastic sheet.
This is a stunning new music video for American indie band Hundred Waters latest single Cavity directed by Michael Langan. Langan previously worked on the wildly popular experimental film Choros featured here last year. Amazingly Cavity was filmed without the use of CG, but instead relies on simple lighting effects. He shares via email:
The video is a kind of pas de deux between the woman (Nicole Miglis), and light − evading it, summoning it, and ultimately being consumed by it. We’re playing with the idea of hollowness, attempting to define emptiness by its edges, visually.
There’s no CG in the video, just practical effects. Most of the video is lit by a single flashlight, drawn slowly over the landscape and later “echoed” up to 500 times to create patterns that fill the scene with light. We used a projector mounted to a motorized lazy susan to achieve the “sliver” shots of Nicole.
Check out this fully functional lego keyboard from Jason Allemann, via JK Brickworks
I actually built the first prototype for this project all the way back in 2005! You can see a picture of that original prototype in the images below. I shelved the project for a number of reasons. Mostly because I was trying to build it onto the membrane of a Microsoft Natural keyboard, and working around the various angles of the keyboard was giving me a lot of trouble.
Last year I stumbled upon an old keyboard someone was getting rid of on the side of the road (nothing like doing a little free-cycling!). My interest was piqued again and after testing that the keyboard still worked I resurrected the project.
The biggest challenge was creating a frame that allowed the keys to be precisely spaced above the membrane. As I show in the video this was accomplished with a grid of Technic connectors and axles.
The second biggest challenge was finding appropriate printed tiles for all the symbols on a keyboard. Thankfully The LEGO Group has released all the main characters, numbers, and even a few special symbols over the years. I had to get creative with some of the keys though, which was actually quite fun. Still, there a few keys that could use some improvement.
Thankfully it is extremely easy to replace keys, so as I get inspired, or as The LEGO Group releases new printed tiles, I can easily upgrade the keys. It would also be quite easy to customize the layout, or add custom symbols to make a gaming specific layout.
The performance of the keyboard is quite good. There is a bit of flex in the Technic frame as you are using it, but this doesn’t seem to affect the performance at all. I can type just as well with this keyboard as with any other, as you can see during the introduction to the video.
In attendance were a number of those featured in the film: Max Lobovsky (co-founder FormLabs), Zach Hoeken Smith (co-founder of MakerBot), Cody Wilson (founder of Defense Distributed), Michael Curry (formerly of MakerBot), and many others. (Including myself, as former MakerBot Community Manager and a writer on topics of 3D printing today.) Current staff from 3D printer manufacturers re-united with former colleagues, once-competitors shaking hands and talking about exciting developments in the field. It was an occasion for the sharing of many “battle tales” of the tough road that has taken “desktop 3D printing” from an extreme margin of industry into the mainstream media spotlight.
This was the first time most of us were seeing the festival cut of the film and we were as eager to see it as the festival attendees who lined up around the block. Print the Legend has as its backdrop the recent rise of the desktop 3D printing field as a whole, but focuses most of its screen time on intimate exploration of two key companies in this space: hardware startup darlings MakerBot and FormLabs.
ather than attempting to cover the thousands of participants in the movement — for example, the crucial RepRap movement and the DIY printer hobbyists (which would make a fantastic Jason Scott style archive like BBS: The Documentary), or the decades of inventors of countless numbers of printing methods duking it out to secure contracts and customers — the film sets as its central aim to create a nuanced document of the 21st century hardware startup. At heart this documentary is a film about hardware startups and those who participate in them — and the filmmakers had tremendous access to the thrills, upsets, hard calls and tough lessons that are typically invisible behind the meteoric rise of the technology brands that spring into prominence in our lives today.
While FormLabs and MakerBot are the chief focus, the documentary covers a number of additional figures from the field as well. 3D Systems’ Avi Reichental plays a central role — efforts on the part of 3D industry leader 3D Systems (and Stratasys also) to engage with and venture into the consumer space. Disrupting received notions about the role of 3D printing in contemporary society, sequences featuring Cody Wilson — (in)famous for the 3D printed handgun and other provocations — offer an anarchist counterpoint to the frequent claims of this recent period in 3D printing history as the “3D Printing Revolution.” And first hand accounts from participants in all stages of this time period weigh in on passionate dreams and hard realities from the factory floor.
This film is still in its first stages of release — doing the festival circuit while being wooed by distributors and various release platforms/venues — so there are limited opportunities to see it for now. Hopefully, in the near future, all of you who are curious about this film will get an opportunity to see it. And I look forward to all of the exciting conversations it will stir up about hardware startups and the 3D printing movement.
Scientists are studying ways to use the potential of waste heat in order to reduce carbon emissions. Via Phys.org.
Industrial processes that require high temperatures often expel any surplus heat into the environment. While industries are fairly good at using as much of this surplus as possible, a small amount of heat is always wasted…
In a new study, published in Applied Energy, scientists from the University of Bath evaluated the opportunities for industry to recover heat, and analysed which technologies would work best.
‘A large potential was seen in opportunities for re-use on site, which is the simplest method often practiced at the moment. If you have this heat currently going into the atmosphere, and you have a demand for heat at a lower temperature elsewhere in the manufacturing process you can directly use it,’ explains Dr Jonathan Norman of the University of Bath, lead researcher on the project.
‘We also found good potential for converting heat into electricity. The advantage with this is that you don’t need to re-use the heat nearby, because electricity is easily transported, and can be used for many things,’ Norman says….
‘If we supplied electricity from the heat surplus, it wouldn’t have to be generated by a fossil fuel, and if it was used locally then it wouldn’t place more pressure on the emission-intensive national grid. Overall, through a combination of technologies, we think recycling heat would save about 2.2 mega tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. In comparison, onshore wind generation in the UK saved about 3.5 Mt of CO2 equivalent in 2010, compared to the average emissions of the national grid’ Norman explains.