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  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:00
    AWD Motorcycle Drives Over Anything, Fits into Dufflebag

    awd bike

    This has got to be one of the strangest motorcycles we’ve ever seen. It has huge tires, both wheels are chain driven, and it only weighs 100lbs or so — did we mention it also comes apart and fits into a dufflebag?

    It’s what appears to be a home-made Russian bike of some sort, in fact, the YouTube title when translated is “ATV Suitcase” and they aren’t wrong… Anyway, it appears to be designed off of the American-made Rokon Trailbreaker, which is another AWD motorcycle with giant tires, huge ground clearance and extremely versatile — except this one Russian one is either really light, or the rider is ridiculously strong the way he throws the bike around.

    In the following video the owner shows off the bike’s prowess climbing stairs, mountains, floating in water, and even uses it as a ladder to climb up a rock face — and then drags the bike up after him.

    Plus he can disassemble it in a matter of minutes and fit it in a car smaller than a Fiat.

    We’ve actually seen a dirt bike variant of the Rokon Trailbreaker as well, which is quite formidable with its AWD.

    [via Jalopnik]

    Filed under: transportation hacks

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 01:01
    Low-cost Solar Panels are Easy to Make and Reconfigure


    What’s the size of a deck of playing cards and can pump out enough power to charge your cellphone? These awesome little home-made magnetic solar panels!

    [Christian Pedersen] has just published a guide on how to make these handy little solar panels, and they only cost about $1.25 each! They are capable of providing between 0 – 0.5V at 400-1000mA depending on the light available and load being driven.

    All you need to make them is some multicrystalline solar cells, copper tape, Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA — a film used to protect solar panels) and Polycarbonate sheet for the external hard case. You can then assemble them in a matter of minutes, and laminate for a permanently sealed panel. He’s also added thin neodymium  magnets so the panels stick together when you arrange them in a line! Perhaps a future version could have the copper strips going in both directions to allow for larger arrays to be made.

    He also has a complete BOM on his GitHub, and if you happen to be at the Maker Faire in San Mateo in May, he’ll be showing you how — in person!

    [via Instructables]


    Filed under: solar hacks

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 01:00
    New Project: R/C Remote Drop Mechanism

    1H1A0400_jbr2-towelCarry a toy (or pizza) high in the air and drop it from your R/C plane or copter!

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:31
    Carnegie Mellon Student Gives a Lift to Lessig’s Ideas

    Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.32.04 AMLawrence Lessig is one of the most astute systems thinkers on the planet. Carnegie Mellon student Jordan Harrison decided to help bring Lessig's ideas alive visually, with this video.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:04
    Growing your veggies with a smart greenhouse called MEG

    MEG presented at PopupMakers

    MEG is the world’s first social and automated greenhouse, part machine and part community, now on Kickstarter. Carlo D’Alesio and Piero Santoro, the designer duo based in Milan presented the prototype  at Maker Faire Rome and also at a PopupMakers event last year.

    MEG means Micro Experimental Growing system, runs on an Arduino MEGA 2560 which controls an automated “light engine,” water and nutrient tank, fans and sensors monitoring humidity, temperature, and pH. It’s smart because if you are not really good with growing plants, you can crowdsource parameters from other gardeners: your neighbour’s tomatoes won’t be more red than yours!


    Last saturday they celebrated Arduino Day in Milan and launched the campaign right there with us, where I took a couple of pictures of the prototype!



  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:00
    Cool Down with This Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero Costume

    subzero mortal kombat cosplay

    Many of Mortal Kombat’s characters are memorable and popular, and Sub-Zero is no exception. He’s got a cool look and chilly powers. Cosplayer Lady Annaka has always wanted to portray a character from the game, and Sub-Zero has been her lifelong favorite. She adapted his ensemble beautifully and even though special effects made the photos look wicked, the costume also looks cool without any manipulations. Annaka told Geek x Girls the following about making the costume:

    I made the whole costume myself, except for the leotard I got off of Amazon. It took me a month to create the whole costume, including the mask, and all of the armor with Worbla and Eva foam. I couldn’t be Sub-Zero without his epic fatality move, so of course I added a skull with the spinal cord prop I found on Amazon, and just painted red for the blood and I even made a little Scorpion mask for it as well! I also made a really cool ice ball prop with LED lights image to look cool on pictures as well to have fun with. This is by far one of my favorite cosplays I have done and made.

    via Geek x Girls, photo by Adam Samaz

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 21:54
    NEW PRODUCT – Panel Mount RCA (Composite Video, Audio) Cable

    1729 LRG

    NEW PRODUCT – Panel Mount RCA (Composite Video, Audio) Cable: This handy Panel Mount RCA Cable is perfect for component/composite video and audio and perfect for connecting our Raspberry Pi to RCA component/composite screens.

    This cable comes with two nice RCA connectors and has two mounting screws 20mm apart.

    The cable is 264mm / 10.4″ long.

    In stock and shipping now!

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 21:00
    BeagleBone Black GPIO interactive map #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

    Pasted Image 3 31 14 8 41 PM

    BeagleBone Black GPIO interactive map from Le blog d’Eskimon.

    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 1, 2014 - 20:32
    MakerBot Events | THIS FRIDAY 4/4! Francis Bitonti at the MakerBot Retail Store, NYC


    Meet the Designer
    Come by the MakerBot Retail Store in New York City this Friday, April 4th from 8–10pm to meet acclaimed designer, Francis Bitonti. He will be speaking about his studio’s new 3D printed Bristle Dress, and discuss their expansion into cloud manufacturing with the Cloud Collection. The Bristle Dress will be on display along with 3D printed pieces from the Cloud Collection.

    The MakerBot Retail Store is located at 298 Mulberry Street in Manhattan. Click here to register. Space will be limited!

    If you can’t make it Friday, come see Francis and the collection at our Greenwich store at 72 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT on Tuesday, April 15th from 6:30-8:30pm.

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 20:00
    This Light Installation from United Visual Artists is their Most Dazzling Work Yet #arttuesday

    Momentum, a new exhibit from UVA, alters your perception of time and space by working with light and sound, from wired.

    Manipulating light and sound is typically a job for physicists, but every so often it’s best left to artists. To be fair, what United Visual Artists does isn’t physics exactly, but it’s pretty damn close. You can think of the London-based design collective’s work as artistic manifestation of all those brainy principles you learned back in high school. There are no head-scratching equations and formulas involved–at least none that are outwardly visible–but it’s not hard to see that UVA is adept at bending space and time.

    Walk into the Curve Gallery at the Barbican in London, and you’ll see how. Behind the museum’s concert hall is a narrow, curved room about 90 meters long. For its most recent exhibition, Momentum, UVA has transformed the space into an alternate universe where the normal rules of light and sound don’t apply.

    “With Momentum, what we’re really trying to achieve is to make you feel a different way,” explains Matt Clark, one of UVA’s founders. The sensation is created by 12 mechanical pendulums that swing down from the ceiling. These mechanisms move in four different patterns, casting hypnotizing lights and shadows through the gallery and emitting strange sounds from their built-in speakers.

    UVA BARBICAN PRESS 140212 9807 660x495

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 19:19
    Knowable: Collaboration for Hardware Engineers

    simon1How can people come together to make a hardware product? Knowable.org is trying to answer that.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 19:00
    This rare book opens 6 different ways to reveal 6 different books #ArtTuesday

    6 way book

    This is one of the coolest versions of book binding that we’ve ever seen! Via Visual News.

    Book binding has seen many variations, from the iconic Penguin paperbacks to highly unusual examples like this from late 16th century Germany. It’s a variation on the dos-à-dos binding format (from the French meaning “back-to-back”). Here however, the book opens six different directions, each way revealing a different book. It seems that everyone has a tablet or a Kindle tucked away in their bag (even my 90 year old grandma), and so it sometimes comes as a surprise to remember the craftsmanship that once went along with reading.

    The book, which comes from the Rogge Library in Strängnäs, features devotional texts printed in Germany during the 1550s and 1570s (including Martin Luther’s Der kleine Catechismus). Each of the books is held closed with its own ornate metal clasp, and was probably far more decorative than useful. Just imagine finding where you left off! See more images of this book and other rare examples on the National Library of Sweden’s Flickr page.

    Read more.


  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 19:00
    MC Escher Inspires a Reptilian Floor


    A simple room refinishing project lead [Kris] to his biggest hack yet, a floor inspired by MC Escher’s Reptiles printMaurits Cornelis Escher is well known for his reality defying artwork. His lifelong passion was tessellation, large planes covered identical interlocking shapes. Triangles, squares, hexagons all EscherExampleinterlock naturally. Escher discovered that if he cut out part of a shape and replaced it on the opposite side, the new shape will still interlock. In Reptiles, Escher created a lizard shape by modifying a hexagon. One side flipped over to become the nose, 4 others to become the feet, and so on. If the cuts are all made perfectly, the final shape would still interlock.

    [Kris] was inspired by a photo of a commercial flooring project using small wooden reptiles as the tiles. He wanted to go with larger wooden tiles for his room. He knew his shapes had to be perfect, so he wrote a computer program to split the hexagon perfectly. Armed with art in DXF format, he went looking for a flooring company to help him. The silence was deafening. Even with artwork ready to go, none of the local custom flooring shops would take his job. Undaunted, [Kris] bought an older CNC machine. The machine was designed to be driven from MS-DOS via the parallel port of a Pentium II era PC. [Kris] substituted an Arduino running GRBL. After some GCode generation, he was cutting tiles.

    The real fun started when it was time to glue the tiles down. With all the interlocking parts, it’s impossible to just glue one tile and have it in the perfect position for the next. In [Kris'] own words, “You have to do it all in one go”. Thanks to some family support and muscle, the flooring project was a success.  Great work, [Kris]!

    Filed under: home hacks

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 18:36
    REMINDER: Tomorrow/Wed at 8pm ET @PopMech’s @jbeilinson on @adafruit’s ‘Ask An Engineer’ webcast @HearstCorp

    See you there!

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 18:00
    Pamela McCauley Bush will host STEM event at MIT this Thursday #makereducation

    20140319110823 0

    Pamela Bush will host True Diversity: A Multiplier in Global STEM Innovation this Thursday April 3 at MIT, from MIT News.

    On Thursday, April 3, Pamela McCauley Bush, former Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, will visit the MIT campus to present “True Diversity: A Multiplier in Global STEM Innovation.” The event, hosted jointly by the Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals; Technology and Policy Program; and Sociotechnical Systems Research Center will take place at 4 p.m. in Building 1-190.

    Bush will address the critical importance of holistic diversity in STEM education, leadership, and innovation. She will present statistics, best practices, and practical examples to validate the impact of incorporating diversity into organizations. She will also offer implementable strategies for communities, organizations, and individuals to integrate diversity and achieve optimal outcomes for the next generation of global innovators.

    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 1, 2014 - 17:43
    April Fool's Prank Contest Winners!

    It’s April Fool’s Day! Today we’re not going to try to convince you Pete built a time machine or sell you a magic blue smoke refilling kit. Rather, today is the day we announce the winners of the SparkFun April Fool’s Day Prank Contest! If you missed the announcement - here are the general rules:

    We received a lot of great entries for this contest - honestly, more than we expected. Sadly, we had to narrow the entries down to three winners. So without further ado, here are your winners (in order from third place to first place).

    The third-place entry comes to you from SparkFun customer Eric Townsend. He built an “Arduino Scream Generator” and used it to scare the beejeezus out of some hapless victim. Congratulations Eric - you’ve won $100 in SparkFun bucks. We’ll be emailing you shortly with your prize!

    The second-place entry and winner of $200 in SparkFun credit comes via SFE customer Rhett Pimentel. It’s appropriately named “Too Much Toilet Paper.” While we can’t see this project actually in action (cameras and bathrooms are generally a no-no), we love the idea behind it! Congrats Rhett!

    And finally we have your winner! 11-year-old Riley used a linear actuator from an old printer, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, a clothespin, and the electronics from an annoying greeting card to build this candy vending machine with a surprise ending. Congratulations Riley - you’re the winner of $300 in SparkFun bucks!

    Thank you to everyone who submitted - check your email for a special April Fool’s treat from us! If you recall, we will also select one project from the original announcement’s comments and build it. We’ll start sorting through those comments and build the project and let you know the winner in the coming weeks! Cheers and happy pranking!

    comments | comment feed

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 17:00
    Help a Maker Out — A Call for School Project Advice

    2255370400_1833d0b11b_zKnow anything about accelerometers and measuring velocity?

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 17:00
    Setting VNC access on your BeagleBone Black #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @BeagleBoardOrg

    YouTube user Sorin Vatasoiu shows us how to access Linux from the Beaglebone Black using a single USB cable and a VNC client.

    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here at 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 1, 2014 - 16:35
    MakerBot Filament | Spring into Filament Savings

    033114_April Filament Promo4

    Get the Filament You Need—for Less
    You made it! Winter is officially over, and it’s time to treat yourself to some springtime savings. For the rest of April, we’re taking 10% OFF when you order four or more spools of large and 1kg size MakerBot PLA or ABS Filaments.

    MakerBot Filament is the best, most consistent filament for MakerBot 3D printers including the new MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer (Fifth Generation Model) and the MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer. For your convenience, the April promotion can be redeemed through online, telephone, and retail store orders.

    Make the most of your spring and save today.


  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 16:28
    Neil Armstrong on Being a Nerd

    “Science is about what is. Engineering is about what CAN be.” A Nerd’s Manifesto by the First Man on the Moon.