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  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 16:00
    GEMMA NeoPixel Ring T-Shirt #WearableWednesday

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 16:00
    Using SIMMs to Add Some Extra RAM on your Arduino UNO


    A Single In-line Memory Module (SIMM) is a type of memory module containing Random Access Memory (RAM) which was used in computers from the early 1980s to the late 1990s (think 386, 486, Macintoshs, Atari STE…). [Rafael] just made a little library that allows you to interface these modules to the Atmega328p-based Arduino UNO in order to gain some memory space. His work was actually based on the great Linux on the 8bit ATMEGA168 hack from [Dmitry Grinberg] but some tweaks were required to make it work with [Rapfael]‘s SIMM but also to port it to the Arduino platform. The 30-pin SIMM shown above is capable of storing up to (hold on to your chairs…) 16MB but due to limited amount of available IOs on the Atmega328p only 256KB can be used. Our guess it that an SPI / I2C IO extender could lift this limitation. A quick (shaky) video is embedded after the break.

    Filed under: Arduino Hacks, hardware

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 15:00
    Adorable Rapunzel and Flynn Costumes

    rapunzel and flynn costumes

    Whenever I consider a Rapunzel costume from Tangled, I immediately get hung up on the hair. She has a lot of it and about the only way to wear it and make it look believable is in the giant braid we saw in the movie. RPF user aelynn000 came up with a lightweight way to fashion the braid, and I’m impressed by how she put it together. It looks like it’s right from Tangled! She used foam strips covered by beige semi-shiny nylon and hair. Here’s how she tackled it:

    It will be done, however, by making beige-blonde coloured sleeves for foam strips ( about 3-4 inches wide and about 1.75 inches thick ) and then attaching wefts around the widths in intervals. The ‘sleeves’ are just to cover any white that may show through the hair. I’d rather have a slightly thin layer of hair with a coloured base as opposed to a 7 lb wig ( which I’ve heard many girls’ are ). The foam is pretty much weightless and the one tube which I wrapped in hair ( the method that was scrapped ) remains pretty close to weightless so so far, so good!

    Read more at The RPF.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 14:00
    25 Dresses for 25 Cities #WearableWednesday

    Jule Waibel was commissioned by Bershka to make 25 paper dresses, one for each of their strode windows around the world. via Feel Desain


  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 14:00
    Space Craft: 21 Works of Art Inspired by the Cosmos

    david-yu-rgrWhether the medium be welded metal or crocheted yarn, makers are creatively showing their love of outer space.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 13:00
    Create Your Own J.A.R.V.I.S. Using Jasper


    Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. needs no introduction. With [Shubhro's] and [Charlie's] recent release of Jasper, an always on voice-controlled development platform for the Raspberry Pi, you too can start making your own J.A.R.V.I.S..

    Both [Shubhro] and [Charlie] are undergraduate students at Princeton University, and decided to make their voice-controlled project open-source (code is available on GitHub). Jasper is build on inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware, making it very simple to get started. All you really need is an internet connected Raspberry Pi with a microphone and speaker. Simply install Jasper, and get started using the built in functionality that allows you to interface with Spotify, Facebook, Gmail, knock knock jokes, and more. Be sure to check out the demo video after break!

    With the easy to use developer API, you can integrate Jasper into any of your existing Raspberry Pi projects with little effort. We could see Jasper integrated with wireless microphones and speakers to enable advanced voice control from anywhere in your home. What a great project! Thanks to both [Shubhro] and [Charlie] for making this open-source.

    Filed under: home hacks, Raspberry Pi

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 13:00
    Lap Stopwatch with Adafruit OLED #WearableWednesday


    gyroscope on Instructables writes:

    This instructable will show you how to build your own stopwatch to record multiple splits using an ATmega328 programmable microcontroller. When one presses the start button (or slaps the metal band in my watch), the screen displays the last lap for a second then continues the time on the next lap. It’s great for all you runners out there doing an interval workout.


    Monochrome 128×32 I2C OLED graphic display

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 12:48
    Nice bag featuring many of the Adafruit skill badges!


    Nice bag featuring many of the Adafruit skill badges!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 12:05
    Teach kids how colors are made with the color machine

    color machine

    The Color Machine (La macchina dei colori, in Italian language) is a tool to teach children about the use and the operation of RGB color coding, which is used in all digital devices (TVs, smartphones, computers, etc.). It was created with Arduino Mega by an italian duo composed by Fabio Ghidini and Stefano Guerrini:

    Using 3 knobs you can increase the percentages of red, green and blue separately, and the LED strip at the top of the machine lights up consistently with the color mix choosen.

    The Color Machine has 4 different operating modes: “let’s create colors”, “guess the color”, “the names of the colors” and “demo”. Under the guidance of a teacher, children can play and learn at the same time to recreate colors with additive synthesis. This device is currently used in the educational workshops of Musil – Museum of Industry and Labour of Rodengo Saiano (Italy).


    This is the first propotype:


  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 12:00
    Squeeze-Controlled Flashlight #WearableWednesday

    Jung Soo Park made this soft flashlight with FLORA!

    By grabbing the handle and squeezing, the light turns on and the brightness increases as the handle is squeezed harder. Not only it is interesting as an interactive function, but also it is a useful function as the users can control the brightness of the light in order to not wake the other person that might be in the same room, or prevent themselves from squinting their eyes at disturbingly bright LED in the dark room.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 11:00
    Getting Solar Cells in T-Shirts #WearableWednesday



    Reduced battery size and flexible circuitry are always fave topics of discussion at any geek’s table. A recent post on Nanowerk introduces polymer solar cells that can be woven into fabric, thus transforming t-shirts into comfy energy harvesters. Notice the Nano in the pic (no pun intended).

    Reporting their results in the March 27, 2014 online edition of Advanced Energy Materials (“Weaving Efficient Polymer Solar Cell Wires into Flexible Power Textiles”), researchers in China have developed a novel efficient wire-shaped polymer solar cell by incorporating a thin layer of titania nanoparticles between the photoactive material and electrode.

    Sounds like a lot to take in, but their graphic makes it look approachable.


    The above image schematically shows the structure of the wire-shaped polymer solar cell (PSC) with a titanium (Ti) wire and an aligned multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) fiber as cathode and anode, respectively. In a typical fabrication, a Ti wire was modified by growing aligned titania nanotubes on the surface by electrochemical anodization, followed by coating of a layer of titania nanoparticles. Two polymer layers were then dip-coated onto the modified Ti wire. The resulting Ti wire was finally wound with an aligned MWCNT fiber to produce the wire-shaped polymer solar cell.

    This material represents many of the changes happening in the industry. The ability to move and endure repetitive movement is critical with wearables. The team did a lot of testing in this regard, and the PSC material handled well, even after 1000 bending cycles. This is good news for tech that really needs to learn how to play well with stretchable fabrics. It’s also clear that nanotechnology is moving swiftly into our clothing, whether it be fabric that is stain proof, bullet proof or color changing. Finally, energy harvesting is a move in a much needed direction, and there is a growing population of people that want to be off grid. This will help take us there, however, if you want some instant gratification, you could give our Solar Charging Handbag tutorial a try.

    Solar Handbag

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:50
    Xbox360 chips decapsulated
  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:49
    Onishi Yasuaki’s vertical volume

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    Onishi Yasuaki via URDESIGN.

    Japanese artist Onishi Yasuaki has created a floating installation for the window of Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center ‘Granship’ in Japan. ‘Vertical Volume‘ consists in translucent structures that bounce up-and-down from floor to ceiling. The site-specific installation includes just plastic bags-like structure  and some fans that invite passers-by to interact with them.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:47
    Cornea Ti Luminale

    Corneati Slideshow 14
    Cornea Ti Luminale 2014.

    CORNEA TI is the transformation of light, shape and sound in space. Letters transform into each other and morph into an illuminated anagram. For this purpose, three containers on a container boat form an interactive stage. But only from the perspective of the audience can visitors experience the installation in its entirety: the transformation of light and form thorugh music – visual music.

    Read more.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:45
    ‘Experimental’ Vodka Distillery (video) #makerbusiness

    Adafruit 2872-1

    Video – An ‘Experimental’ Vodka Distillery – WSJ.com.

    Industry City Distillery in Brooklyn is among a new crop of small U.S. distillers producing craft vodkas. The company’s do-it-yourself ethos is reflected in its equipment and techniques.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:00
    A glowing ring powered by body heat and how it works #WearableWednesday


    Popular Science did a nice write up on this project from Sean Hodgins. It’s a great example of how a Peltier module works.

    Sean Hodgins enjoys ring smithing, a hobby he adopted from his grandpa, and loves building small electronic gadgets. So he combined his passions to make a ring that turns body heat into light. Hodgins milled a two-finger band out of aluminum—an excellent thermal conductor—to cradle a 6-millimeter by 3-millimeter Peltier module and custom circuit board. The Peltier module converts heat flowing from the ring into a small voltage, and the circuit board amplifies the current. For now, cold weather best illuminates an LED on the ring, but Hodgins is designing a new circuit to make it blink brightly at any temperature.

    Approximate time: 150+ hours

    Cost: $200 to $250

    Read more.

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:00
    Building a Quadcopter with a CNC Mill and a 3D Printer


    Quadcopters are a ton of fun to play with, and even more fun to build. [Vegard] wrote in to tell us about his amazing custom DIY quadcopter frame that uses a commercial flight control system.

    Building a quadcopter is the perfect project to embark upon if you want to test out your new CNC mill and 3D printer. The mechanical systems are fairly simple, yet result in something unbelievably rewarding. With a total build time of 30 hours (including Sketchup modeling), the project is very manageable for weekend hackers. [Vegard's] post includes his build log as well as some hard learned lessons. There are also tons of pictures of the build. Be sure to read to read the end of the post, [Vegard] discusses why to “never trust a quadcopter” and other very useful information. See it in action after the break.

    While the project was a great success, it sadly only had about 25 hours of flight-time before a fatal bird-strike resulted in quite a bit of damage. Have any of your quadcopters had a tragic run-in with another flying object? Let us know in the comments.

    Filed under: cnc hacks, robots hacks

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 09:00
    How to be a Fiber Optic Lamp #WearableWednesday

    If you want to resemble the coolest fiber optic lamp ever, you are going to have to get in line behind Natalie Walsh. She has created a mesmerizing flow of fiber optics. The balloon style underskirt encourages movement of the hanging fibers, which seem to shift color like melted sherbert. You can check out all the details (and challenges) in her Instructables. Fiber optics pose an interesting issue because they rely on a central light source, which means you have to allow room for this in the outfit. Natalie did a great job with her design.

    I designed the back to include a pouch for the handle, and the straps of the dress to bring the fiber optics from the center back to the front, and back around the body to an even distribution at the hips.


    In an odd way, working with fiber optics is a lot like dealing with a thick head of hair. You have to group all of the strands from one area, like a ponytail,  and allow them to spread out in another.  You can even trim them, much like you would for doing a layered haircut, to add interest. Natalie has some special suggestions for handling the light.

    Aside from just cutting the filaments, there are lots of options for making your fiber optics shine. As the light will escape wherever there is a cut or nick in the filament, distressing them with sandpaper, scissors, or simply natural wear and tear creates very cool effects. For this project I wanted to keep the light focused at the bottom, however depending on the look you are going for, it’s something fun to keep in mind!

    This is really an impressive dress, but it does take some time. Feeling inspired, but only have a few hours?  We’ve got a great Tron Hoodie tutorial waiting for you using El Wire. You can still look plugged in.

    Tron Hoodie

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 08:00
    Glimmer the Mermaid: Beautiful LED Mermaid Tail using #Adafruit Neopixels! #WearableWednesday


    The Arduino blog posted this awesome mermaid costume by Erin St. Blaine. Check out her site for more gorgeous photos!

    I call her Glimmer the Mermaid. :)

    I made the LED swimmable mermaid seashells at the end of 2013, and wore them to the NC Merfest convention and they were a huge hit. When I got home, I decided the shells needed a light-up tail to complement them. The rabbit-hole opened up, and I dove right in.

    The end result is absolutely stunning, and I am completely delighted with it. This was the most learning-intensive and difficult and frustrating project I’ve attempted in.. well, since college, I think. I have had to learn so much in so many different fields, and I’ve encountered so many amazing people and communities along the way.

    This tail uses about 180 Adafruit Neopixels and an Arduino Micro to control them. It’s got a bluetooth feature — I can control it with my android tablet and change the animations and brightness of the lights. I plan to add audio sensors and possibly motion or color sensors as well (that’ll be phase two, I think).

    Read more.

    Fire Pixie Happenings Glimmer the Mermaid New tail creation and show offering

    Featured Adafruit Products!


    Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2 – Pack of 4: What’s a wearable project without LEDs? Our favorite part of the Flora platform is these tiny smart pixels. Designed specifically for wearables, these updated Flora NeoPixels have ultra-cool technology: these ultra-bright LEDs have a constant-current driver cooked right into the LED package! The pixels are chainable – so you only need 1 pin/wire to control as many LEDs as you like. They’re easy to sew, and the chainable design means no crossed threads. Read more.


    Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip 60 LED -1m: You thought it couldn’t get better than our world-famous 32-LED-per-meter Digital LED strip but we will prove you wrong! You wanted twice the LEDs? We got it (well, its 1.875 times as many but that’s within a margin of error). You wanted thinner strips? Now only 12.5 mm wide, 10 mm if you remove the strip from the casing. You wanted less noticable strip color – this strip has white-colored flex PCB, which will be less visible against white-painted walls. This is the strip with white flex PCB, its identical to the black 60 LED/meter except it has a different color mask on the flex strip Read more.


    Adafruit GEMMA – Miniature wearable electronic platform: Love FLORA but want a bite-sized version? Look no further, GEMMA is a tiny wearable platform board with a lot of might in a 1″ diameter package. Powered by a Attiny85 and programmable with an Arduino IDE over USB, you’ll be able to realize any wearable project!

    We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation. Perfect for when you don’t want to give up your Flora and you aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design. It’s our lowest-cost sewable controller! Read more.

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 07:00
    VCF East: PR1ME And AT&T Unix Boxes


    At the Vintage Computer Festival last weekend, there was a wonderful representation of small 8 and 16-bit home computers from the 80s, an awful lot of PDP and VAX-based minicomputers, and even some very big iron in the form of a UNIVAC and a Cray. You might think this is a good representation of computing history, but there was actually a huge gap in the historical reality. Namely, workstations and minicomputers that weren’t made by DEC.

    [Ian Primus] was one of the very few people to recognize this shortcoming and brought his PRIME minicomputer. This was a huge, “two half racks, side by side” computer running PRIMOS, an operating system written in FORTRAN. Of course this made it extremely popular with engineering teams, but that doesn’t mean [Ian] can’t have fun with it. He had two terminals set up, one running Dungeon (i.e. Zork pre-Infocom) and a text-based lunar lander game.

    Because the VCF East is held in New Jersey, it’s probably no surprise a few vintage AT&T Unix boxes showed up. [Anthony Stramaglia] brought in a few very cool vintage Unix workstations, dating from the early to mid 80s. In the video, he shows off two AT&T boxes. The first is a UNIX PC, containing a 68010 clocked at a blistering 10 MHz. Next up is the UNIX PC’s bigger brother, the 3B2 400. This is the workstation found on just about every desk at Bell Labs in the 80s, meaning this is the same computer [Ken Thompson] and [Dennis Ritchie] used for their work on UNIX.


    Filed under: classic hacks