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  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 16:46
    2014 Summer Workshop: Teaching Through Technology #makereducation


    MKB05

    2014 SUMMER WORKSHOP: TEACHING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY.

    Teaching through Technology is a one-week intensive professional development workshop for experienced educators in the design of learning experiences using design and emerging technology including digital fabrication, physical computing, and new approaches from design and the maker movement.

    This workshop brings together the teaching practices of experienced teachers with design-driven approaches to the application of technology for teaching and learning. This hands on learning design program helps teachers use new tools to expand and deepen their teaching practice.

    Workshop 1: June 23-28

    Workshop 2: July 7-11

    Workshop 3: July 14-19

    Workshop 4: July 21-25

    WHAT THE WORKSHOP INCLUDES:

    • Working sessions in design thinking skills for education from leading design faculty
    • Collaborative development and prototyping of design + technology approaches to lesson development, including development of a lesson roadmap for the application of new techniques to your teaching practice
    • Immersion in technologies emerging for the classroom, especially digital fabrication
    • Classes taught in SVA’s state-of-the-art Visible Future Lab
    • A field trip to schools, cultural institutions, and fab labs where new applications of technology and learning are making a difference in NYC
    • A seminar in the innovative teaching practices emerging throughout NYC public schools
    • Evening enrichment lectures and dinners with leading figures from around NYC in design and education

    IMG 0257

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 16:07
    NeoPixel rings on a little quacopter! #crazyflie


    Blq5C Piuaeygxn
    NeoPixel rings on a little quacopter! Thanks Bitcraze!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 16:00
    Watch as artist Miguel Endara “dots” a piece of art #ArtTuesday


    NewImage

    The art of pointillism is creating a piece of art with only dots. Miguel Endara created Hero with approximately 3.2 million black dots using a single Sakura Pigma Micron pen. It took him 210 hours to create. via creative bloq


    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 15, 2014 - 16:00
    Automated Bed Leveling For 3D Printers Is Now Solved

    bed

    The latest and greatest feature for 3D printers – besides being closed source, having no meaningful technical specs, and being on track towards pulling in $10 Million on a Kickstarter – is automated bed leveling. This amazingly useful feature makes sure your prints have proper adhesion to the bed, reduce print errors, and put even inexpensive printers into the realm of extremely expensive professional machines. Automated bed leveling has been extremely hard to implement in the past, but now [Scottbee] has it figured out with a working prototype on his Makerbot Replicator 2X.

    Earlier attempts at automated bed leveling used some sort of probe on the tool head to measure the build plate, calculate its flatness and orientation in space, and compensate for any tilt in software. [Scottbee]‘s solution to the problem took a different tack: instead of trying to compensate for any odd orientation of the build surface in software, he’s simply making the bed level with a series of springs and cam locks.

    [Scottbee]‘s device levitates the build plate on three springs, and replaces the jack screws with three “gimballing pins” and pin locks. With the pin locks disengaged, the bed plate is pressed down with the printer’s nozzle. By moving the extruder across the build plate and locking the pins in place one by one, [Scottbee]‘s device defines the plane of the build plate along three points. This makes the build platform parallel to the extruder nozzle, and also has a nice benefit of setting the distance from the build platform to the nozzle precisely with incredible repeatability.

    The mechanics of locking the three gimballing pins in place  only requires a single DC gear motor, driven by an extra fan output on the Makerbot’s electronics. It’s simple, and with a bit of rework, it looks like most of the device could also be 3D printed.

    An awful lot of RepRaps and 3D printers out there already use three points to attach the build plate to a frame. With a little bit of effort, this same technique could be ported and made a bit more generic than the Makerbot-based build seen above. It’s amazingly simple, and we can’t wait to see this applied to a normal RepRap.

    Thanks [Josh] for the tip.

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:51
    Shell Shorts: A concise history of the Eames Shell Chair and how they are made today #ArtTuesday #manufacturing


    NewImage

    Herman Miller has a great write up on the history of the iconic Eames Shell Chair as well as some fun animated gifs on how they are made today. Check out the full story here.

    Below is some history of the chair written by Amber Bravo.

    The story of the Eames Plastic Shell Chair really began more than ten years prior to Charles and Ray’s 1950 debut of their now iconic design for Herman Miller. Understanding this decade-long evolution not only helps shed light on Charles’ oft-quoted—“The details are not the details. They make the design”—it says a lot about the responsibility Herman Miller and the Eames Office and family have assumed at Charles and Ray’s request, to stay true to the designers’ tireless drive to improve and refine their designs.

    The Eameses were notoriously material agnostic, and the seeds of the plastic shell we know and love today were really planted in the late ’30s, when Charles and Eero Saarinen first began exploring plywood seating in curved forms at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where Charles served as the head of the design department. Saarinen’s father, Eliel, was the head of Cranbrook and Eero was a junior partner at his father’s architecture office. It is likely that both Eames and Eero were influenced by the work of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, who’d lectured at Cranbrook in the early ’30s and was well known for his bent plywood furniture. Eames and Saarinen’s first attempt at shaping plywood was realized in a chair concept for Eliel’s design for the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY, in 1939. While that chair had two-dimensional curves, their next design, an entry for The Museum of Modern Art’s “Organic Design” competition in 1940 had three-dimensional curves. For this they won first prize, but it was only produced in very limited numbers and not anywhere near to their desired quality. By this time, Charles had met and married Ray Kaiser, a student at Cranbrook, and the two moved to Venice, California to open their eponymous office. Eero abandoned the project, but Charles and Ray were determined to figure out a completely new process for molding plywood into compound curves.

    Charles and Ray continued to experiment with their new technique for molding plywood, and their efforts yielded stretchers, lightweight, stackable leg splints (1942), and a glider seat (1943) for the U.S. Navy. When the war ended, they returned to the concept of a mass-produced chair. Despite their best efforts, they were still unable to produce a single-shell plywood form, but instead landed on a compelling alternative: a chair comprised of separate molded plywood panels for the back and seat, which would become the Eames Molded Plywood Chair (1946), which is still in production today and was subsequently named “Best Design of the Century” by Time magazine. Two years later, they produced a single form shell chair made out of stamped metal for Museum of Modern Art’s “International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design.” It took second place in the competition, but the, neoprene-coated prototype was too costly to produce, so Charles and Ray began looking into new materials like plastic reinforced with fiberglass, a material that could be molded into organic shapes and produced cost effectively, but had not yet been used in a consumer application before.

    It was this iteration—released in 1950—that went on to become the first mass-produced plastic chair, but it was not the end of the design’s evolution. Through the years, color and height options, shock mounts, base variations, and choices of upholstery have redoubled, making the chair not only easily reproducible but also highly customizable. Manufacturing processes have also been closely monitored and modified, and, in the late 1980s, almost a decade after Charles’ death in 1978, the environmental implications of fiberglass production were called into question by Ray and Herman Miller. In the early 1990s, Herman Miller ceased production. After years exploring more sustainable solutions, the company reintroduced the Molded Plastic Shell Chair in 100% recyclable polypropylene in 2004, based on prototypes in the Eames Office archives, which Charles and Ray had made with fiberglass-free plastic in the 1970. In 2013, again working with the Eames Family, Herman Miller realized Charles and Ray’s vision for the shell chair design in a new and quite appropriate material—molded wood, thanks to advancements in the 3D veneer technology, and this year, the company has reintroduced the Shell Chair in a sustainably reformulated, Greenguard Gold Certified molded fiberglass as well as in upholstery.

    Taking off where the Eames left off with their 1970 film, “The Fiberglass Chairs: Something of How They Get the Way They Are” WHY revisits the fiberglass production process in our fiberglass manufacturing facility in Ashtabula, OH and in Herman Miller’s own Greenhouse facilities in Zeeland, MI, in ten bite-sized videos, which we’ll be releasing over the course of two days on Instagram (along with some corresponding gif trailers below) and exploring the ways in which Herman Miller is honoring the Eames original design and ethos by pushing the manufacturing process and quality to be the best and most sustainable it can possibly be.

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:00
    Becoming Lady Skeletor


    lady skeletor costume

    Skeletor is He-Man’s archenemy. He has a frightening countenance that comes through even in cosplayer’s Constantine In Tokyo’s femme adaptation of the outfit. She designed the armor using Worbla and craft foam, sometimes using the foam as template to cut Worbla. It’s clear an impressive amount of work and creativity went into building this detailed costume. Here’s how she handled creating the crossbones on the armor’s breast plate:

    - Skeletor has a pair of crossbones strapped across his chest. For my Lady Skeletor, I decided to attached the crossbones directly to the armor breast plate and forgo the straps – I don’t feel like it’s a design element that would translate well onto a (relatively) curvy lady! For my belt, I cut out a base belt from craft foam, then cut out the raised edges, glued those details onto the craft foam base, THEN covered the whole thing with ONE layer of Worbla. The process I used for creating the crossbones is identical to this. NOTE: If I had more time, I would have sculpted the crossbones out of clay, let it dry, and then attached it to the breast plate to give them even more dimension. I had 36 hours left at this point and not enough time to make that happen.

    - I drew my desired crossbone shape onto paper, then transferred it onto craft foam. Basically, I wanted a circular base, then the cross bones, then a circular ring to set the gem into. So, there are several layers of craft foam here.

    Read more in a detailed tutorial at Constantine in Tokyo’s site.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:00
    Immaterials: Light painting WiFi networks in urban spaces #ArtTuesday



    Very cool project from Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen and Einar Sneve Martinussen. Read more about the project here and here.

    This project explores the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.

    A four-metre long measuring rod with 80 points of light reveals cross-sections through WiFi networks using a photographic technique called light-painting.

    More here:
    nearfield.org/2011/02/wifi-light-painting
    yourban.no/2011/02/22/immaterials-light-painting-wifi/

    Behind the scenes: yourban.no/2011/03/07/making-immaterials-light-painting-wifi/

    Photos:
    flickr.com/photos/timo/sets/72157626020532597/

    In case Vimeo has video problems, there is also a Youtube version here:
    youtube.com/watch?v=cxdjfOkPu-E

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:00
    A Clever New Chemistry Kit Your Kid Will Actually Want to Use #makereducation


    Chem set

    Bioengineer Manu Prakash is an innovator in STEM education. Earlier this year, we celebrated Prakash’s debut of his awesome paper microscope. Now, along with his graduate student George Korir, he has won first prize in the the Science, Play and Research Kit (SPARK) Competition with the development a hand-crank chemistry set for kids, from Wired.

    Prakash hopes to kindle some of the same curiosity about chemistry (minus the actual combustion) with a new hand-crank operated chemistry set for kids. A prototype of the device just won the $50,000 first prize in a contest for inspiring science toys sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public…

    The chemistry kit developed by Prakash and graduate student George Korir manages to be both cutting edge and retro at the same time. It uses microfluidic channels like those found in modern DNA chips and other molecular biology equipment to move chemicals around and mix them together. But it also uses punch cards like the ones used in 1950s era computers to control the experiments.

    As you turn the hand crank, the punch card moves through the device, and the pattern of holes punched in the paper controls which chemicals mix with which, and when. Small chips with tiny fluid reservoirs can house up to 15 different chemicals. These could either be pre-loaded or filled by a teacher or parent with an eyedropper. “It’s purely mechanical,” Prakash said. “There’s no electronics, no battery.”

    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 15, 2014 - 14:07
    P++CB – paper based approach to making electronic circuits by Phillip Stearns @pixelform


    Img 3563 Pcb 2400
    P++CB – paper based approach to making electronic circuits by Phillip Stearns.

    P++CB is a paper based approach to making electronic circuits with an emphasis on education and modular design. The core concept is inspired by the paper circuit work of Peter Blasser and the modular approach to designing expressive and expandable creative systems used by Peter Edwards, all in the spirit of the super fun LittleBits project.

    Learn more.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 14:00
    BeagleBone + Logibone FPGA Drive 96×64 RGB LED Matrix #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg



    BeagleBone + Massive Logibone FPGA Drive 96×64 RGB LED Matrix:

    I expanded the RGB LED matrix project from a single 32×32 panel to six panels to form a 24″ by 16″ matrix of 96 by 64 LEDs. That’s 6,144 RGB LEDs or 18,432 individual LED chips. The entire matrix has 12-bit color and a 200Hz refresh rate.

    The video demonstrates seamlessly looping 3D Perlin noise, an audio spectrum analyzer, a generic falling blocks video game, still images, animated GIFs, and a short video clip all running on the BeagleBone Black and being displayed on the 96×64 RGB LED matrix.

    After the demonstration, I turn the panel around and walk through some of the significant parts of the mechanical construction and electronics.

    Complete details on the project including links to the source code and mechanical design can be found on this page of my blog….

    Read More.


    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 13:21
    Super Planet Crash – Can you feel the gravity?


    Adafruit 2903
    Super Planet Crash – Can you feel the gravity?. Simple game right? Just make a solar system that lasts 500 years :)

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 13:00
    Fragile Beasts Sculpture Made From Paper #ArtTuesday


    NewImage

    Fragile Beasts sculpture made from paper

    by Łódź University of Technology students. via dezeen

    Students from Łódź University of Technology in Poland built this delicate stacked sculpture to demonstrate the structural properties of curve-folded paper.

    The Fragile Beasts sculpture was designed and built by 17 undergraduate architecture students from Łódź University of Technology during a three-day workshop with Suryansh Chandra, a senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects.

    “Curved folding isn’t just the aesthetic, it’s also the structure: it can lend substantial stiffness to fairly flimsy material,” explained Chandra.

    The sculpture was designed using digital modelling software to determine the slender polyhedra forms, which were then subjected to scripts that broke them down into shapes suitable for curved folding.

    Once the forms and net shapes of the irregular-sided polyhedra were determined, they were sent to a laser-cutting facility that transferred the design onto a series of flat cutout sheets in five hours.

    The 0.5 millimetre paper was then folded and glued into shape by the students, who had no previous experience of curved folding.

    “It never fails to amaze me how nicely this shape lends itself to fabrication and quick assembly,” said Chandra.

    NewImage

    It took just five hours for the students to fabricate the components and arrange them in two stacked clusters that reach a height of 1.9 metres.

    Zaha Hadid Architects has been exploring different applications for curved folding and thin-shell structures for several years through a series of academic workshops and commissions.

    Zaha Hadid Architects has been exploring different applications for curved folding and thin-shell structures for several years through a series of academic workshops and commissions.

    Its Arum installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale resembled a huge pleated funnel made from folded metal, and was described by the firm as the first to combine its research into lightweight shells and tensile structures.

    NewImage

    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 15, 2014 - 13:00
    Extracting Gesture Information from Existing Wireless Signals

    A team at the University of Washington recently developed Allsee, a simple gesture recognition device composed of very few components. Contrary to conventional Doppler modules (like this one) that emit their own RF signal, Allsee uses already existing wireless signals (TV and RFID transmissions) to extract any movement that may occur in front of it.

    Allsee’s receiver circuit uses a simple envelope detector to extract the amplitude information to feed it to a microcontroller Analog to Digital Converter (ADC). Each gesture will therefore produce a semi-unique footprint (see picture above).  The footprint can be analyzed to launch a dedicated action on your computer/cellphone. The PDF article claims that the team achieved a 97% classification accuracy over a set of eight gestures.

    Obviously the main advantage of this system is its low power consumption. A nice demonstration video is embedded after the break, and we’d like to think [Korbi] for tipping us about this story.

    Filed under: wireless hacks

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 11:00
    Student Honored at Local Science Fair cites Adafruit Tutorials as Helpful Resource #makereducation


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    For the second year in a row, 8th Grader Sophia Buckwalter was named junior high champion of her county science fair. Sophia reached out to Adafruit to thank us for our tutorials!

    Sophia writes:

    “I wanted to follow up with how I did at my local County Science Fair in Lancaster, PA. I was awarded Junior Champion, as a middle school student that is the highest award one can receive. I was also nominated for the Junior National Science Fair (Broadcom)…I really want to extend my gratitude for your tutorials (especially Tony DiCola’s) again, because I would not have been able to construct my STEM project and make it this far with out it.”

    Sophia’s project focused on measuring guitar notes, via lancasteronline:

    This year, Buckwalter’s project focused on the tone of notes played by a guitar, while last year she looked at how long a guitar note was sustained.

    The daughter of Kathy and Greg Buckwalter, of Manheim, Buckwalter used two methods to test the tone of different woods used in making guitars. For her project, she obtained 10 samples of exotic woods, including Sitka spruce and ovangkol, from Martin Guitar in Nazareth, Northampton County.

    She found that both methods worked to predict the tone of notes but one method, spectrogram analysis, revealed more about the piece of wood used in the guitar.

    Buckwalter plays both acoustic and electric guitar, and likes classic rock. She is partial to Les Paul, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

    For her next year’s project, she said she might actually try to make a guitar herself.

    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 15, 2014 - 10:00
    The Egg-Bot Gets A Little Wax Stabby

    eggbot

    With Easter just around the corner, [Windell and Lenore] over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have come out with a new upgrade for their Egg-Bot. It’s called the Electro-Kistka and it allows your Egg-Bot to do wax-resist egg dying — in the same style as Ukranian Pysanky.

    This isn’t the first time someone’s strapped a kistka to an Egg-Bot, but after seeing how much fun their customers were having, [Windell and Lenore] decided to make their own. It consists of two main components, a heater assembly that attaches to the Egg-Bot’s arm, and a power control board. To apply the wax they are using a kistka tip (looks like a soldering iron tip with a hole through it) which feeds molten wax onto the egg through capillary action.

    It works almost exactly the same as the regular Egg-Bot arm, but allows you to dye your eggs with a very stark contrast as the wax repels dye perfectly. Just take a look at the following intricate designs.

    multi

    An example of a 4-step multi-color egg using this method

    Still — using the EggBot kinda seems like cheating. Of course it would be fun to make a whole bunch of super intricate eggs, take them to the extended family get-together on Easter, and convince everyone you’re a master egg decorator.

    Filed under: cooking hacks

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 10:00
    Getting Started with the Beagle Bone Black @ Ben Heck Show #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @BeagleBoardOrg



    Getting Started with the Beagle Bone Black @ Ben Heck Show:

    Ben tries out the Beagle Bone Black and shows you what he learns along the way. He shows how to get it set up, three ways to connect to it, and tries out a cool LCD cape. By the time he’s done experimenting, he’s got an idea for how he’ll use the Beagle Bone Black in a future project.

    Ben takes his use of 3D printers to the next level and tries 3D scanning. He attempts to scan a variety of objects with the Cubify Sense 3D scanner to discover how to get the most out of the device and to create the best prints possible. Ben shows you how to build a rotational device for the scanner and shares what he learns about 3D scanning along the way.

    Read More.


    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:01
    Filed under: major

    Filed under: major tom

    Read the rest

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 09:00
    DJ Spooky’s Global Show Fuses Real-Time Performances in New York and Korea #ArtTuesday



    DJ Spooky’s Global Show Fuses Real-Time Performances in New York and Korea. From FastCompany:

    “In the era of the Internet, geography doesn’t matter anymore,” says Paul Miller, a.k.a DJ Spooky. “We’ll have an orchestra playing live in Korea with a string quartet in NYC and me sampling. We’ll be responding to each other using a high-speed connection.”

    In both New York and Seoul, a thin scrim will be hung near the back of the stage. Then via super hi-def, hi-speed live video, the action in Seoul will be projected onto the scrim in New York and vice versa. There are also small monitors, so that performers in each city can see what the others are doing.

    The show is called Seoul Counterpoint and it fuses electronic and classical music, visual art, and dance. It grew out of a residency that Miller recently concluded at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. “They’ll be playing their style in Seoul and I’ll sample it and flip it around,” says Miller. “It’s a collage: how art and design and music really respond to one another in different contexts.” And, of course, in real time.

    Read More.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 08:00
    High School Students and their Robots Play Ball at FIRST Robotics Regionals 2014 #makereducation


    First robotics nyc 02 0414 de

    Two weekends ago, High School Students from across the globe competed at the New York City FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. The students faced the challenge of creating multi-talented robot athletes that could proficiently play both volleyball and hockey, via Popular Mechanics.

    The 2014 edition of the high school robotic Olympics asked kids to build machines that could compete in a hybrid hockey/volleyball game. Box-shaped goals were positioned at each corner of the rectangular court, and high goal slots sat above each end. Each team was paired up with two other teams for the 3-on-3 matches; robots scored points for getting balls into the squares or shooting them into the higher slots. The robots had to run autonomously for the first 30 seconds of each match, after which their human operators could take over.

    The cleverly named Fe Maidens—Fe is the chemical symbol for the element iron—from the Bronx High School of Science wanted to make their robot a top-goal sniper. “We assumed it would be like a volleyball game,” Ashley Hu, 18, said. So the team went for height. The Maidens’ bot uses a ramp that descends with a roller at the top to drag a ball into the machine. Pistons and bungee cords lift the assembly back up, and another piston punches the ball out using compressed air, shooting it toward the goal.

    The Mechanical Bulls from Smithtown, on New York’s Long Island, wanted their robot to be primarily an offensive shooter, so they built in a catapult molded to fit the game ball. A single-motor winch brings the scoop back and launches the ball up to 19 feet. Brian Sheridan, 17, said that the team molded the catapult arm out of two PVC pipes, making it durable and flexible. In fact, the Mechanical Bulls are working on a patent for their model.

    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 15, 2014 - 07:30
    “Code and Canvas” unites SF startups and artists under one weird roof #ArtTuesday


    NewImage

    TechCrunch has posted a great write up of San Francisco based community Code and Canvas.

    Fast-rising rent was about to force a dozen artists out of their studios in San Francisco. But it turns out all that tech money that’s gotten so much hate lately can actually do some good. Four entrepreneurs leased the whole warehouse, let the artists stay, and renovated the place. Now there’s enough room for at least five startups to move in to what the founders are calling Code And Canvas.

    This co-working and creative warehouse could create a model for how tech workers in the Bay area can take the rent crisis into their own hands.

    Restrictive zoning laws and entrenched property owners have strangled the supply of housing and working space in San Francisco. As the tech industry booms, thousands of engineers, designers, marketers, and managers have flocked to the city, exacerbating the problem. The result has been rapidly rising rent that’s forcing out long-time residents, and widespread malice towards technologists that has culminated in protests of company shuttles.

    But while there are certainly some tech workers who are happy to collect their fat checks at the expense of their new neighbors, others want the community to retain its artists, families, and heritage. Those include Code and Canvas founders Nik Ajagu of Facebook and Ecosystem Ventures, Gi Fernando of Free:Formers and Techlightenment, Jeff Miller of Punchfork and Pinterest, and John Yi of Pinterest, Facebook, and US Army Special Operations.

    Yi told me the story of how a family had owned the Code and Canvas warehouse for 30 years and was generous in keeping it affordable for the artists who worked there. Eventually, the family needed to bring the rents closer to market rate, though, which would have pushed out the artists. Luckily, a friend asked if Yi wanted to rent a desk as he’s an aspiring novelist on the side. That wouldn’t be enough to pay for the whole space, though, so Yi brought the other founders together to create Code and Canvas.

    Unlike other tech co-working dens that may be displacing local culture, Code And Canvas tries to bring it in-house. “It’s definitely industrial, but that’s part of its charm” Yi tells me. Yi says the space is designed so the artists and entrepreneurs have physical proximity and will commune around the proverbial water cooler. Also, “We’ve architected the entire space so all the walls fold over to use the main area as one massive continuous space for events that will be curated by artists, architects, and graphic designers.”

    Artists who occupy Code And Canvas include Calixto Robles, a Oaxacan-born painter (whose work is featured atop this article), and Marlene Aron (seen below), a poet and sculptor that does site-specific installations.

    Yi says the anger pointed at the tech industry and the tales of its especially insensitive members seem “a little overblown…a little anecdotal” to him. But he’s sensitive that the tech boom is causing real hardships for other people in the bay. “If even 1 or 2 or 10 people are getting moved out because of [real estate] profiteering, that sucks.”

    The city certainly doesn’t need tech workers thinking of themselves as saviors of the local artists, but that’s not how Yi came off. He seems legitimately concerned about his industry can be obsessed with “short-term quarterly revenues” instead of compassion. That’s why Code and Canvas’ principles center around craft, mastery, cross-pollination, and an endeavor to improve lives. It’s not just about tech and workers co-existing peacefully, but actively inspiring each other.

    Read more.

    NewImage

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