Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 22:58MakerBot Retail | Learning 3D Design, From Uganda to the US
The MakerBot Retail Store in Greenwich, CT is a long way from Gayaza High School in Uganda. But that’s not going to stop elementary school students in both places from learning about 3D printing, thanks to our relationship with educational non-profit Level Up Village.
This series of lessons will teach students how to make battery-powered reading lights with 3D printed cases, the first of many projects we at MakerBot hope will provide electricity solutions for the developing nation. To make this goal more personal for students, the girls at Gayaza High School have been sending videos and photos documenting the lack of electrical infrastructure in Uganda. Students in Uganda and the US will use this data to inform their designs.
MakerBot is donating a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer to the students of Gayaza High School, and we’ll be eagerly awaiting the results.
But you don’t have to wait. Participate! Sign your fourth and fifth graders up for the course at the Greenwich MakerBot Retail Store.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 22:15Shifting Gears
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 22:01Arduino Tour 2014: le nuove tappe di Rimini e Pula #Italy
L‘Arduino Tour torna nel 2014 con due tappe ’on the beach‘: Rimini e Pula. Le due location ospiteranno nelle prossime settimane due workshop dedicati all’alfabeto di Arduino e alle wearable technologies.
- L’appuntamento di Rimini si terrà sabato 22 febbraio negli spazi del nuovissimo MakerRn Lab di Rimini, dove Zoe Romano e Riccardo Marchesi di Plug&Wear introdurranno in otto ore di workshop il mondo dei wearables. Nella prima parte della giornata ci si avvicinerà a livello teorico alle applicazioni wearable, mentre nella seconda i parteciperanno produrranno un piccolo progetto con un sensore tessile. Appassionati di moda, design e smanettoni sono benvenuti, non è infatti richiesta alcuna conoscenza di programmazione o di taglio e cucito. Qui trovi i dettagli per prenotare uno degli ultimi posti ancora disponibili!
- La tappa sarda dell’Arduino Tour toccherà mercoledì 26 febbraio la sede dello IED di Cagliari (Viale Trento 39, h. 17) con un’introduzione alla scheda Arduino curata da Mirco Piccin e aperta a tutti. Tra giovedì 27 e venerdì 28 febbraio, il team Arduino si sposterà invece con Davide Gomba a Pula negli spazi del Parco Tecnologico della Sardegna, dove il Fablab di Sardegna Ricerche ospiterà le 16 ore di workshop vero e proprio. Al termine del percorso, i partecipanti avranno per competenze per mettere a punto mini-progetti, da implementare poi in autonomia a casa. Prenota la tua partecipazione qui!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 22:003D Printering: Making A Thing With Solidworks, Part I
Brian has graciously allowed me to hop on the 3D Printering bandwagon to write a brief intro to the wonderful world of Solidworks. We’ll be making the same ‘thing’ as done in the previous ‘Making a Thing’ tutorials:
- AutoCAD Part I
- AutoCAD Part II
- Blender Part I
- Blender Part II
- Autodesk 123D
- FreeCAD Part I
- FreeCAD Part II
Admittedly, most Hackaday readers probably don’t have Solidworks as it is a very expensive program. The main reason we are posting this tutorial is so that you can understand the work flow and compare it to some of the free/open packages out there.
As Brian has touched on in his FreeCAD post, the part features of parametric models can be modified at any time. For example, let’s say I made a solid block, then added a specific size hole in the center of one face. Later, if I wanted to change the size or shape of the block, the hole would stay the same size and stay in the center of that face no matter the other changes to the object. See the graphic below, all that was changed was the size of the block, the hole stayed the same size and position (center of the face). This is different than if you were to ‘scale’ the entire object as the hole would also become stretched along with the block.
Between school and work, I’ve had the opportunity to use several professional parametric modeling softwares, including ProE (now called Creo), NX (was Unigraphics) and, of course, Solidworks. They are all similar in work flow. If you remember these 4 steps, you’ll do ok: Plane, Sketch, Dimension, Extrude.
There are 2 main tabs we’ll be using in this example, the Feature and Sketch Tabs. They have all the tools we’ll need to make the sample part.
Let’s create a new part, File then New. A window will pop up asking what file type to make. We are just making a single part so we’ll pick ‘Part’.
You’ll start with a screen showing empty space, this is where the object will be created. There are 3 planes, in the graphic below I have clicked on the Top Plane to select it. Why? Because ‘Plane’ is our first of 4 steps! We are selecting the plane (or surface) that the sketch will be drawn on.
With the Plane still selected, click on the Sketch Tab and then select Sketch. The view will move to be perpendicular with the Top Plane. We are now in Sketch Mode and will be able to make a sketch of a portion of the part. I have decided to sketch the bottom portion of the part first, the one with the hole and slot. It is just as easy to start with the back portion of the part.
The best part about sketching in a parametric program is that you can just sketch it without worrying about size or proportion. We will dimension the sketch after it is complete. To show you what I mean, I am going to intentionally make a really out-of-proportion sketch.
All of the tools we need for the sketch are on the sketch tab. For this sketch I’ll be using the line, centerline, circle, trim and fillet commands. Sketching at this point is very similar to any 2D CAD software with the exception that you don’t have to worry about the dimensions at this time. Just make it look close.
Well, isn’t that one ugly part! Ugly but totally acceptable. Notice that I intentionally left the inside and outside fillets off the bottom right leg of the part. I did this so we can add them after the part is extruded into a solid, just to show another way of doing something. Also notice that I made the circular features concentric with the intersection of the Front and Right Planes. This is a personal preference but I think it makes dimensioning a little easier as I can dimension features in relation to both of those planes, which also happens to be to the center of the circles. The dashed line coming from the center of the hole is a centerline and will define the angle of the slot. The centerline won’t become a feature of the part, it is just a reference. Later, I will make the slot edges parallel to this centerline, a certain distance away.
You can see a bunch of little green boxes all over the sketch. These are the relations of each feature. Each symbol means something. The vertical lines mean that the adjacent feature will always be vertical. The circle with a line means the arc is tangent to the line and will always be. Two lines and a red dot means that the two adjacent lines share an end or mid-point.
Our sketch now needs dimensions. On the Sketch Tab there is a tool called Smart Dimension. Select this to start dimensioning the part features. Here’s how you do it:
- To specify a distance between 2 parallel lines, click on one line, then the other line. A dimension will appear, move the mouse to where you want the dimension label and click to place it. Enter the distance in the dialog box that pops up and the lines will move to satisfy the new dimensional requirement.
- To specify a radius of an arc or diameter of a circle, click on the curve and place the dimension. Then type the value.
- To specify and angle between two non-parallel lines, click on one line, then the other. Place the dimension and enter the desired angle value.
- To add a relation, like specifying the slot edges to be parallel with the centerline, select one of the slot edges, then select the centerline while holding SHIFT. The Add Relations option will show up on the left of the screen. Select Parallel. You can see all of the available relation options. Notice after completing the command that the two lines are now parallel as well as two green parallel relation indicator boxes showed up. FYI, you can not be in the Smart Dimension function when adding relations.
Keep going with the dimensioning and you’ll end up with something like the below graphic. Notice that some of the sketch lines were blue but are now black. A black line means that it is fully defined regarding its location and size. This is a good thing and prevents unexpected and inadvertent geometry changes in the future. A completely black sketch can be referred to as ‘fully constrained’.
The sketch is done. Click Exit Sketch on the Sketch Tab.
This is the fun part. You can now see the sketch on the top plane and a new line item in the Model Tree on the left called Sketch1. If we need to change anything on this sketch (even after the model is created) we can do that by going back and editing Sketch1.
Click on Sketch1 in the Model Tree to select the sketch. Then on the Feature Tab, select Extruded Boss/Base. A dialog box will pop up asking how much to extrude the sketch. Enter the desired amount and click the green check mark.
Done Deal! ….for this portion at least. In Part 2 (not yet published) we’ll get going on the rest.
If you would like to waste 4 minutes of your life, here’s a video:
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 21:51Reebok CheckLight Teardown #WearableWednesday
The Reebok CheckLight is a sports activity impact indicator for athletes at risk of head injury, like football and hockey players. The lights at the back of the neck light up in reaction to severity and cumulative number of head impacts as sensed by an accelerometer and gyroscope. Check out the guide on the Adafruit Learning System for more closeup photos and a list of the parts on the board.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 21:14The Belly Button Book, Kid Tested
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 20:58Bi-Color 24 Bargraph – Control small LED matrices with ease
This version of the LED backpack is designed for these bright and colorful bi-color bargraph modules. Each module has 12 red and 12 green LEDs inside, for a total of 24 LEDs controlled as a 1×12 matrix. We put two modules on each backpack for a 24-bar long bargraph (48 total LEDs).
This backpack solves the annoyance of using lots of pins or a bunch of chips by having an I2C constant-current matrix controller sit neatly on the back of the PCB. The controller chip takes care of everything, drawing all 48 LEDs in the background. All you have to do is write data to it using the 2-pin I2C interface. There are three address select pins so you can select one of 8 addresses to control up to 8 of these on a single 2-pin I2C bus (as well as whatever other I2C chips or sensors you like). The driver chip can ‘dim’ the entire display from 1/16 brightness up to full brightness in 1/16th steps. It cannot dim individual LEDs, only the entire display at once.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 19:54This Mind-Reading Bicycle Helmet Will Tell You When You’re Stressed #WearableWednesday
Biking reduces stress. That is, until you hit the pavement and start weaving in and out of traffic, pedaling alongside cars, trucks and a string of crowded buses. City cycling is an unnerving experience — one that’s bound to leave you perpetually paranoid you’ll be pummeled by the poorly-planned opening of a car door.
Arlene Ducao, a recent MIT Media Lab graduate, has felt a similar anxiety biking around New York City. To stay safe, she smartly straps on a helmet. Not just any helmet, however; one that reads minds.
Ducao has been working with Ilias Koen, whom she met at New York City’s School of Visual Arts. Together, they’ve spent the last decade focused on scientific data visualization, all while tricking out their bike helmets, rather recreationally, with different caps and lights to make it more visible.
MindRider is a helmet that’s undergone several “rounds.” The first? Translating the cyclist’s brain state to different colors on the helmet, similar to traffic lighting. Green is equivalent to calm and focus, while yellow represents slight agitation, and red equates to stress and a blinking red light symbolizes panic. The coloring is a way to present bikers’ mental state on the streets, according to Koen, although that’s just one way stress can be used.
The helmet is also capable of developing “Experience Maps” of cyclists’ geo-located brain activity. With these maps, MindRider is able to analyze relationships between the user and the environment, and assist other riders in charting a safer course.
“The data access of MindRider has evolved into something more useful for them,” said Ducao of the startup’s initial cyclists. “They could look up a map of all the users and all of the brain states and use that to plan their route.”
Knowing where you get stressed and others get stressed isn’t just helpful personally, however. The feature can also aid municipal government organizations looking to more effectively plan out bike lanes in their city. All data is customized to a user’s privacy settings, yet MindRider encourages cyclists to “add to street maps that show [their] community’s experience” and “share them with friends, other cyclists, even transportation planners.”
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 19:44How to make a “thing” - Lessons from the founder of @littleBits
My name is Ayah Bdeir, I’m the founder and CEO of littleBits, an open source library of electronics that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun. Each “brick” has essentially one function — light, sound, sensor, motors, logic—and the bricks come together to form larger circuits that can do anything: from an obstacle-avoiding robot, to acrayon lathe, to an interactive toy.
We have been called “LEGO for the iPad generation” but I’d like to think littleBits is much more, it is a versatile, age-agnostic, gender neutral hardware platform — the most extensive and easy to use invention platform in the world.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 19:33Making Fun: Mission Control Desk
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 19:30Designing a Vinyl Toy with Joe Ledbetter
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 19:01A Digital Condom a Reality Thanks to Arduino
[Bill Gates]‘ foundation is currently offering up a ton of prizes for anyone who can improve the condom. It’s a laudable goal, and somewhat difficult; one of the main reasons why male condoms aren’t used as often as they should is the, ”male perspective… that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom.”
While most of the work inspired by the [Gates] foundation is work investigating a change in the geometry of the condom, [Firaz Peer] and [Andrew Quitmeyer] of Georgia Tech managed to solve this problem with an Arduino.
The basic idea of the Electric Eel – yes, that’s the name – is to deliver short electric impulses, “along the underside of the shaft for increased stimulation”. These impulses are delivered in response to different sensor inputs – in the video example (surprisingly safe for work) they’re using a force resistor wrapped around the chest for an electrical stimulation with every breath.
Although this is only a prototype, the hope is the conductors in the condom can eventually be implanted along the inside surface of a condom during manufacturing.
Video after the break.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 19:00Wearable Electronics with Becky Stern 02/19/2014 – LIVE 2pm ET
Join Becky Stern and friends every week as we delve into the wonderful world of wearables, live on YouTube. We’ll answer your questions, announce a discount code for the Adafruit store, and explore wearable components, techniques, special materials, tools, and projects you can build at home! Ask your wearables questions in the comments, and if your question is featured on a future episode, you’ll be entered to win the show giveaway!
- #WearableWednesday on the Adafruit blog
- Reebok CheckLight Teardown
- Component of the Week: sewable battery holder
- Tools We Love: Fine-tip tweezers – ESD safe
Subscribe to Adafruit on YouTube
New tutorials on the Adafruit Learning System
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 18:57To Understand the Internet of Things, Think Chocolate
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 18:51It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Fendi Drone! #fashion #drones
Via The Cut.
Fendi is going to broadcast its fall/winter 2014 show on Thursday not just by regular photography or video, but by drone. A fancy little bot will fly above the runway during the show, taking aerial pictures with a high-definition camera that will be immediately visible on the show’s live-stream. This confirms our sneaking suspicions: Live-streams really are better than going to the actual show.
The Fendi drone, which the house hails as “an innovative project” that “surpasses the traditional notion of fashion shows,” is supposedly a sign of Fendi’s commitment to innovation and creativity — but demonstrates no discernible link to Jeff Bezos’s Amazon drones that will soon take over the world. To us, the Fendi drone just sounds like a good way to mix up the tried-and-true format of a fashion show.
But the real question: Will Fendi put them on key chains? The new Fendi bug bag: the Fendi drone bag?
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 18:07NEW PRODUCT – Infragram DIY Plant Analysis Webcam
NEW PRODUCT – Infragram DIY Plant Analysis Webcam – Use this specially modified webcam to analyze plant health, in combination with the Infragram.org image processing tool to measure photosynthesis. Based on the same multi-spectral satellite imaging techniques used by NASA, this USB camera lets you take simultaneous infrared and visible photographs at 1600×1200 pixel resolution.
The pre-installed filter (also sold separately if you want to convert your own camera) allows you to take an infrared photo in the “red” channel of your camera, and a visible image in the “blue” channel. These can be used to measure photosynthetic activity; you can read more about the technique here and here.
This technique was developed by contributors to the Public Lab, an open network of collaborators who develop affordable environmental science tools. Weighing less than an ounce, it’s perfect for connecting to your laptop, a Raspberry Pi, or a mobile sensing platform, and with unscrewable lenses and no infrared-block filter, it can be adapted for other uses as well.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 17:04OK Go – Last Leaf (VIDEO) #laser #lasercut
In case you haven’t seen this, Herb Hoover at NYCR shared this earlier and we thought you might enjoy it!
Official Music Video for OK Go’s “Last Leaf”
This video was made in partnership with Samsung NX100 iFn.
Directed by OK Go, Nadeem Mazen and Ali Mohammad
Produced by Shirley Moyers
Animation art by Geoff Mcfetridge, Champion Studio
Preliminary Animation by Nicholas Gibney
All 215 loaves of bread used in the making of this video were past their sell-by date and rescued from the clutches of certain disposal.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 16:52Flappy Bird in a Box Hack (In Real Life Version) Using Arduino #flappybird
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 16:00Audio Networking With GNU Radio
Thought GNU Radio was just for radio? Think again. [Chris] has been hard at work turning the signal generation and analysis of the best tool for software defined radio into a networking device for speakers and a microphone.
The setup uses GNU Radio to generate a carrier signal whose frequency is modulated with a data stream. With this modulated signal piped over a laptop’s speakers, [Chris] is able to send UDP packets across his desk using nothing but sound.
[Chris] had recently used a similar technique to transmit data via audio with GNU Radio, but this latest build is a vast improvement; this is now a duplex networking, meaning two computers can transmit and receive at the same time.
In the end, [Chris] created a strange, obsolete device called a “modem”. It’s not exactly fast; sending ‘Hello World’ takes quite a bit of time, as you can see in the video below.
Filed under: radio hacks
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 16:00Rick Winscot’s Firewalkers with GEMMA #WearableWednesday