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  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 15:00
    i2 Camp: a Summer Day-Camp to Invent and Inspire #makereducation


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    i2 Camp holds week long STEM-themed camps for middle schoolers in locations across the country during the summer months! Check out there schedules and courses, which range from engineering design to DNA barcoding!

    The program at i2 Camp has been developed with the goal of engaging middle school children in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Partnering with some of the world’s leading STEM organizations, the camp broadens a child’s exposure to STEM with a wide variety of new, innovative courses not seen in traditional middle school education. The fun and intimate, hands-on activities of the courses strive to excite and inspire campers about STEM, creating enthusiasm that will hopefully spill over to their schoolwork and school choices in future years.

    OUR PROGRAM

    The program at i2 Camp has been developed with the goal of engaging middle school children in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Partnering with some of the world’s leading STEM organizations, the camp broadens a child’s exposure to STEM with a wide variety of new, innovative courses not seen in traditional middle school education. The fun and intimate, hands-on activities of the courses strive to excite and inspire campers about STEM, creating enthusiasm that will hopefully spill over to their schoolwork and school choices in future years.

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    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 15:00
    Check Out This Cool Viola Costume from Soul Calibur


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    Soul Calibur is full of characters with interesting costume designs, and fortune teller Viola’s ensemble caught cosplayer Dessi-Desu’s eye. She knew she had to make the costume as soon as she saw it. Dessi-Desu said it was tricky to get the colors precisely right, but the end result looks gorgeous. She dyed fabric, stitched satin, strung pearls, and made the claws. The latter was her favorite part and here’s what she had to say about it:

    The claws were very fun for me to make. This was my first time using wonderflex! I followed the concept art for Viola’s claws, so I had mobility with my fingers and they wouldn’t be locked in place. They’re a system of two rings on each finger (one at the top and one just under the middle knuckle). The paint job was done with silver and black acrylic. I built up washes of watered down black to create shadow and highlight.

    Read more at DeviantArt.

    Via Cosplay Blog, Photo by Joseph Chi Lin

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 14:00
    BBB Controls The P.Brain For Hexapod Robot #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg


    Hexapodrobot com View topic Beaglebone Black controlling p Brain

    BBB Controls The P.Brain For Hexapod Robot via hexapodrobot

    This setup adds a wifi connected Beaglebone Black to the MSR-H01. The BBB communicates with the p.Brain through the 3.3V TTL located on the Bluetooth mount (CN22) on the p.Brain SMB. On the BBB runs a Java program, which sends PIP-commands to the p.Brain and receives sensor information obtained through I2C from the SRF10 back. A SRF10 sonar is constantly measuring the distance to the nearest object in front of the hex. When within 15 cm of an object, forward movement is prohibited.

    Through the wifi connection (simple socket) of the BBB, it receives information from a Sony Sixaxis controller, which is interpreted by the BBB and converted to PIP directional commands.

    Power for the BBB is provided by the LiPo battery pack on the Hex, routed through a DE-SW050 http://www.dimensionengineering.com/products/de-sw050 voltage regulator.

    Read more

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 13:00
    The Art of QR Codes #ArtTuesday


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    Elena Belmann’s QR Code Sculpture

    German artist Elena Belmann mixes sculptured art with information technology in this intricate QR code sculpture.

    Read more


    Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 11:00
    USC Is Offering a Google Glass Course for Journalism Students #makereducation


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    USC will be offering a new journalism class centered around Google Glass. Professor Robert Hernandez, who will be teaching the course, hopes to encourage future journalists to take an interactive approach in shaping technology’s impact on the media landscape, via mashable.

    It’s a first-of-its-kind class for USC, and web-journalism professor Robert Hernandez believes the class offers a rare opportunity for journalism to get ahead of a budding technology trend. Hernandez said journalists have been followers — not trailblazers — when using other technology like mobile and social media, but that the industry has a chance for a head start with Glass.

    “As someone who hijacks technology for journalism, I want to be proactive about shaping what journalism will look like on this,” said Hernandez, who worked most recently as director of development for The Seattle Times before joining USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2009. “This platform is so new, no one has defined what journalism looks like on there. It’s such an opportunity for the journalism industry to jump on there.”

    Hernandez is opening the class to all students at the university, although he will approve each signup. He expects roughly 12 students will join the class, including students from a variety of different backgrounds and majors, such as design, computer engineering, public relations, and of course, journalism. The class is intended for the advancement of journalism, but is not limited to its disciples.

    According to the syllabus, students will create apps for Google Glass that help enhance both storytelling and story consumption on the platform. Hernandez hopes to answer questions such as, what does long-form content look like on Glass? Or, how can readers create and watch stories using Glass?

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 10:00
    SDR and SBC: Watching Airplanes with Adafruit SDR on BeagleBone Black – #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg



    Watching Airplanes with Adafruit SDR on BeagleBone Black:

    I recently gave a presentation on Software Defined Radio (SDR) at my hackerspace in Chicago, Pumping Station: One.  I’ve attached the slides to this blog post for reference.  After the talk, someone told me they had seen a program that maps out airplanes flying in one’s area based on data received via Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) on 1090 MHz.   After a search, I found dump1090 which works with cheap DVB-T USB sticks with certain Realtek chipsets thanks to the rtl-sdr library….

    Read More.

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 09:00
    Numen-Light Membrane #ArtTuesday



    N-Light Membrane – Rizzordi Art Foundation, Expression Beyond / 2011, St. Petersburg, Russia:

    Rizzordi Art Foundation, Expression Beyond / 2011, St. Petersburg, Russia

    Three out of six surfaces of the cube are made of flexible membrane (foil mirror) with air tank and a compressor connected to it and the other three mirrors are semi transparent spy-glass. By inflating or deflating the air tank, the membrane turns convex or concave, deforming the reflections.

    Read more.

    Membrane

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 08:00
    This Is Not Your Father’s STEM Job #makereducation


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    Jessica Lahey of The Atlantic highlights the alternative, creative routes many women are taking after pursuing STEM degrees.

    But what if girls bring a different perspective with them, and choose to navigate their STEM careers differently than boys? What if the traditional paths created and well-worn by generations of men are not the same paths girls follow as they apply their newfound skills to STEM fields? There are plenty of women out there engaged in traditional jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math, but many are forging novel, interdisciplinary, STEM-based careers that blur categories and transcend agenda.

    Emily Graslie, scientist, educator, artist, and host of the popular YouTube show The Brain Scoop, recently produced an episode about women in STEM fields, “Where My Ladies At?” Graslie’s own career provides a clue to the location of some of those ladies. They are out there, innovating, designing, researching, and teaching, but because some women in STEM have opted for careers that defy categorization within the acronym, they can be harder to identify…

    If our efforts to encourage women’s curiosity and passion for STEM succeed, we need to be prepared for the way female perspectives and approaches could expand the definition and scope of what it means to be STEM professionals. Because women have traditionally been excluded from these disciplines, and because their fresh eyes allow them to make connections between fields, many women are launching careers, and even entire industries, based on a flexible and creative definition of what it means to be a scientist, artist, or engineer. K-12 schools have done a particularly poor job of integrating study across STEM fields and encouraging creativity and interdisciplinary connections. We continue to teach science, technology, and math in isolation, as if they have little to do with one another. This sort of compartmentalized approach runs counter to what we know about effective learning: Students need to be able to connect content knowledge and concepts to real-world applications in order to develop mastery and passion for a subject.

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 07:00
    BoothStache: Facial hair fun with BeagleBone Black #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg



    Drew Fustini posted this fun project over in the element14 community.

    BoothStache is a version of BeagleStache by Jason Kridner optimized for an expo hall booth at a conference (like DESIGN West). Instead of a LCD cape, BoothStache uses the BeagleBone Black’s HDMI port to display the webcam feed on an HDTV. An added twist is a big red USB button that the user presses to send a tweet of their stache photo (thanks to Python helper that bonnie555 wrote called BeagleButan). Here’s the setup:

    NewImage

    See the full tutorial here and check out the BoothStache twitter feed here.

    NewImage

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 06:30
    A NASA engineer turned artist whose canvas is a huge fish tank #ArtTuesday


    NewImage

    Wired has a post about NASA engineer turned artist Kim Keever whose works are strangely beautiful.

    Artist Kim Keever is like a hydroponic Jackson Pollock. Instead of a canvas, though, he drizzles paint into a 200-gallon fishtank.

    Keever is reticent to share the secrets of his process, but says that after the Sears Easy Living paints are added to the tank, he has anywhere from five to 20 minutes before the liquids diffuse, leaving 200-gallons of murky brown water in their wake. In the moments where the colors whirl and eddy, Keever shoots thousands of photos, choosing one or two before embarking on the five hour processes of emptying, cleaning, and refilling the tank so he can start anew. “They only need to hold up for that ephemeral moment, and then it doesn’t matter,” he says. “Whatever impermanence exists in the materials is irrelevant once the photo is captured.”

    Keever’s dabblings in acquatic abstract expressionism are a far cry from his rigid college days, where he studied engineering. During summers, he’d intern at NASA, where he worked on missile skin technology and jet nozzles. He had the grades and work ethic to thrive at the space agency and envisioned a career dedicated to improving booster engines, followed by a creative retirement filled with art making. Ultimately, he traded in his slide rule for a low-rent loft in the East Village of New York City.

    Read more.

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    NewImage

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 06:00
    This giant globe is made out of thousands of hand-painted matchsticks #ArtTuesday


    NS4pmuW jpg 2 073×3 110 pixels

    Laughing Squid has posted about this piece from NYC-based artist Andy Yoder. Incredible!

    “Early One Morning” is a giant globe made out of thousands of hand painted matchsticks. Artist Andy Yoder spent two years on the sculpture, hand painting each match stick and gluing them to a frame of foam, cardboard, and plywood. As a precaution, he treated the entire sculpture with flame retardant. “Early One Morning” will be on display at the Winkleman Gallery in New York City as part of the PULSE New York Contemporary Art Fair, May 8 to 11, 2014.

    Read more.

    7GQti84 jpg 2 073×3 110 pixels and Trash


    5Kfw2BJ jpg 2 073×3 110 pixels


    Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 00:00
    How to turn a pencil into a diamond


    NewImage

    The Atlantic has a neat post about an accidental discovery made at Stanford’s SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis.

    A team of researchers at Stanford’s SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis say they’ve found another way to control the structural transition between carbon atoms—at the nanoscale. The team started with a platinum support, and loaded it with several sheets of graphene. Then, they added hydrogen atoms to the topmost layer. Their finding? The hydrogen binding that ensued started, essentially, a domino effect among the atoms: Structural changes started at the top of the sample, but spread to the carbon layers underneath. And those changes transformed the carbon sheets into a new arrangement of carbon atoms—an arrangement that resembles, yep, a diamond.

    This was, it’s worth noting, something of an accidental discovery: The researchers were initially testing whether the addition of hydrogen would change the chemical properties of graphene in a way that would make it useable in transistors. Instead, they learned something else that could prove useful for the material sciences. The “diamonds” that result from the hydrogenation process aren’t the kind you’ll find at Zales (sorry, guys); they could be the kind, though, that could prove useful in industrial applications like cutting blades and electrochemical sensors. And they’re the kind that offer hope to the would-be Rumpelstiltskins of the world: You may not be able to turn straw into gold, but you can, it seems, turn a pencil into a diamond.

    Read more.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 23:22
    Super slow motion video of slapshots examines the science of ice hockey’s most powerful shot



    Laughing Squid has posted this super cool video explaining the physics behind a slapshot.

    Smarter Every Day shot some super slow motion video on a Phantom high speed camera to get to the bottom of what makes the ice hockey slapshot so powerful. Filmed at 3,271 frames-per-second, the video highlights how the University of Alabama in Hunstville hockey player’s stick strikes the ice before coming into contact with the puck. This allows the flexible hockey stick to build up energy, which is finally released when it comes up from the ice and strikes the puck, launching the projectile at a speed faster than the player is capable of swinging the stick.

    Read more.

    NewImage

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 23:07
    littleBits Projects: Wireless Light Switch



    This is part of an on-going series of posts about littleBits projects. littleBits is available in the Adafruit store – Starter Kit, Extended Kit, Base Kit, Deluxe Kit, and Synth Kit.

    With new wireless capabilities, littleBits projects can now be untethered! Check out this wireless light switch that you can use to control your overhead lights from across the room.

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    For this project, we made a mechanism that flips a light switch on and off using a servo module.

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    This servo mechanism is connected to a wireless receiver module and is activated by a pressure sensor on a wireless transmitter circuit.

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    Automate your lights and make a handheld remote control with littleBits, or for all you pranksters out there, place the transmitter circuit in an unsuspecting place and trick your friends, like we did. We placed the pressure sensor on the transmitting circuit under the leg of a chair. When someone sits on the chair, the overhead lights will go off. When s/he gets up to turn the lights back on, the lights turn on again on their own… and so on. Sit back and watch hilarity ensue. To see our prank, check out this video!!!

    large_Wireless_ChairPrank_splitScreen

    Place pressure sensor on the transmitting circuit under a chair leg to trick your friends by wirelessly triggering the light switch mechanism.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 23:00
    Helpful Jessie Wig Tutorial


    where_are_you__pikachu__by_ryoko_demon-d352exl

    Though I like using my natural hair in costumes as much as possible, sometimes it’s just not realistic. Characters from comics and games can have some wacky ‘dos. Jessie from Pokémon has an intense hairstyle that pretty much requires a wig if the cosplayer wants to match it. DeviantArt user Ryoko-demon made a wig to go with costume and created a step-by-step tutorial to explain the process. I find it really helpful to get a closer look at working with synthetic hair! She started by combining two cherry red wigs:

    Two cherry-red wigs (51’’); steel wire (better to use a lighter, for example, aluminum!). It is very important for mannequin head to be a little bit smaller than yours (it was my mistake, mine was 4 cm smaller around, it’s too small, as a result the wig pressed on my head awfully). The skeleton is made of wire and right over one of the wigs and fixed by sewing it to the wig net. It’s necessary to make a strong bearing on the back of the head, on the top and the triangle, covering half of the forehead. Also remember about the ears and temples, you should create the form you need while making the skeleton of wire. The crossing wire can be fixed with the sellotape.

    jessie_wig_tutorial_by_ryoko_demon-d347kj9

    See the entire tutorial at DeviantArt. Top photo by Kifir.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 23:00
    Arduino Powers This DIY Vocal Effects Box


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    Arduino Vocal Effects Box by amandaghassaei

    This Arduino-powered vocal effects box pitch shifts and distorts incoming audio signals to produce a wide variety of vocal effects. This project is my first experiment with real-time digital signal processing using Arduino. It samples an incoming microphone signal at a rate of about 40kHz, manipulates the audio digitally, and then outputs 8 bit audio at 40kHz. To minimize the amount of computation required by the Arduino, I used a technique called granular synthesis to manipulate the incoming audio signal. Essentially, as audio comes into the Arduino it gets cut up and stored as small (millisecond or microsecond sized) samples called “grains.” These grains are then individually manipulated and played back; they may be lengthened or shortened, stretched or compressed, played back in reverse, copied several times, or mixed with other grains. You can hear a (somewhat creepy) audio sample from the effects box below:

    Granular synthesis creates a unique type of distortion caused by discontinuities between individual grains in the outgoing signal. Sometimes this distortion creates an effect I can only describe as a “ripping” sound, other times it introduces new frequencies into the audio that were not present before. Here is an example by Aphex Twin, the granular synthesis is especially prominent in the bridge at around 3min in. Another example of granular synthesis, this time applied to vocals for pitch shifting and textural effects, is from Paul Lansky. My favorite thing to do with this effects box is to use subtle pitch shifting to achieve an androgynous vocal sound, I got the idea for the project after listening to copious amounts of Fever Ray this past winter, you can hear how she pitch shifts her voice to sound somewhat masculine at times.

    See Full Tutorial

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 22:00
    Check out this awesome title sequence from the new chiptune documentary “Europe in 8 Bits” #MusicMonday



    We’re all big fans of chiptune here at Adafruit so this new documentary “Europe in 8 Bits” is definitely on our watch list!

    EUROPE IN 8 BITS is a documentary directed by Javier Polo that explores the world of chip music, a new musical trend that is growing exponentially throughout Europe. The stars of this musical movement reveal to us how to reuse old videogames hardware like Nintendo’s GameBoy, NES, Atari ST, Amiga and the Commodore 64 to turn them into a tool capable of creating a new sound, a modern tempo and an innovative musical style. This is a new way of interpreting music performed by a great many artists who show their skills in turning these “limited” machines designed for leisure in the 80’s into surprising musical instruments and graphical tools. It will leave nobody indifferent.

    Watch the full documentary on vimeo on demand here.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 20:09
    This suit is designed to simulate physical limitations that come with age



    This suit is designed to simulate the physical limitations that come with age. Although it might not be completely accurate, it is an interesting concept. Via Trendhunter.

    An aging population means it’s more important than ever to be mindful of the needs of senior citizens, including their physical limitations. The South Bank University in London acquired a suit that when worn simulates the types of limitations senior citizens might have.

    The suit was designed by Wolfgang Moll and it uses a few different techniques to simulate physical limitations. Weights wrap around the body, which reduce strength and dexterity, earmuffs limit hearing and goggles simulate different visual impairments.

    To really understand how age related physical limitations feel, The Guardians Josh Halliday wore the suit and tried doing simple tasks. You can watch this young man struggle going up and down stairs, walking along the streets and getting money out to pay for coffee.

    Read more.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 20:07
    #FixPatents #makerbusiness


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    Fix Patents.

    Tell policymakers that you care about protecting American innovation from poor patents and bad actors.

    The House has already passed an important bill, and the White House is ready to sign it. Tell the Senate to pass much-needed patent reform now.

    Call/Tweet now!

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 20:00
    Free online class on ‘Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots’


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    DIY Drones posted about this free online class starting May 6. Sounds interesting and challenging!

    Do I need to build/own a quadrotor?

    No, we provide a web-based quadrotor simulator that will allow you to test your solutions in simulation. However, we took special care that the code you will be writing will be compatible with a real Parrot Ardrone quadrotor. So if you happen to have a Parrot Ardrone quadrotor, we encourage you to try out your solutions for real.

    Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots

    In this course, we will introduce the basic concepts for autonomous navigation with quadrotors, including topics such as probabilistic state estimation, linear control, and path planning.

    About this Course

    In recent years, flying robots such as miniature helicopters or quadrotors have received a large gain in popularity. Potential applications range from aerial filming over remote visual inspection to automatic 3D reconstruction of buildings. Navigating a quadrotor manually requires a skilled pilot and constant concentration. Therefore, there is a strong scientific interest to develop solutions that enable quadrotors to fly autonomously and without constant human supervision. This is a challenging research problem because the payload of a quadrotor is uttermost constrained and so both the quality of the onboard sensors and the available computing power is strongly limited.

    In this course, we will introduce the basic concepts for autonomous navigation for quadrotors including topics such as probabilistic state estimation, linear control, and path planning. You will learn how to infer the position of the quadrotor from its sensor readings, how to navigate along a series of waypoints, and how to plan collision free trajectories. The course consists of a series of weekly lecture videos that we be interleaved by interactive quizzes and hands-on programming tasks. The programming exercises will require you to write small code snippets in Python to make a quadrotor fly in simulation.

    Read more here and sign up for the course here.

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