Kilobots are small, low-cost, open source vibrobots designed by the Self-organizing Systems Research Group at Harvard to study swarming behaviors. A group of these bristlebot-inspired robots were demonstrated at the Open Hardware Summit.
Photo by Michael Rubenstein.
This Friday, September 6, we’ll be at the 2013 Open Hardware Summit at MIT. The schedule looks great, and the event is now sold out. Those of you lucky enough to get tickets will love this years e-badge by WyoLum, featuring a programmable e-paper display.
Our friend John made Sconic Sections for a dinner party, with a slight variation: he baked the scone dough in ice cream cones. That led to a little bit of extra difficulty in slicing them, but the cone also provided an outline for the ellipses, hyperbolas and parabolas.
Over on buildsmartrobots, Sai posted about a mechanical maze solving project. He uses an EBB (the same controller board we use on the Eggbot and the WaterColorBot) to control a couple of steppers to tilt the bed of the labyrinth using OpenCV to see both the path and the ball.
Alex Ray (@machinaut) has been playing with our Octolively open source interactive LED kits and says, “Physical computing interfaces are fun.”
Instructables user alstroemeria has lovingly documented a clock build inspired by the D/A Clock by Alvin Aronson.
Each of the paper segments is moved in or out by a servo motor to make the mechanical digital display. The whole thing is run off of an Arduino with a servo controller board and a clock module.
Amazon today decided to remind me about some of our past projects through book recommendations. We contributed a bunch of projects to The Hungry Scientist Handbook and were interviewed for Cooking for Geeks. Well targeted, Amazon— perhaps too well…
Over at ZeptoBars, they have an incredibly detailed “take-apart” post on what’s inside the ULN2003 seven channel Darlington driver chip. The ULN2003 is commonly used for driving LED displays—you can find it, for example, in our Mignonette game.
We often receive comments that while out microchip photos are beautiful and interesting, it is completely unclear how integrated circuit implements basic elements and form larger circuit. Of course it is impossible to do a detailed review of an 1’000’000 transistor chip, so we’ve found simpler example: ULN2003 – array of Darlington transistors.
They’ve stripped off the outer housing and put it under the microscope. They then analyzed the photos to show you what parts make up the individual transistors, resistors and diodes inside the chip.
The stent pictured above is an example of an Open Stent from NDC, makers of nitinol materials and devices, particularly for medical applications. In their introduction to the project, they write:
The first problem that we encounter when developing useful and practical educational resources for stent design is that every design we might want to use as an example is proprietary! That leaves us without much to talk about… So to solve this problem, the first step was to create a design to use as an example. The Open Stent is designed to be completely generic, but also realistic, and relatively easy to modify and extend to be useful for whatever purpose a designer intends.
In addition to publishing their draft of Open Stent Design, which they call “a practical guide and resource for design and analysis of a generic Nitinol stent,” NDC has provided extensive calculation tools and CAD files as well, to help others evaluate and create derivatives of the design.
The project is a fascinating open source hardware use case, where creating an open design provides a platform for education and discussion where none existed before. It’s also very exciting to recognize this as an early example of open source hardware in the field of medical devices— one of the places where open hardware can potentially make a very big difference in the world.
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area next Monday, we hope you’ll join us for an open house:
When: Monday, August 12, 5 pm − 9 pm
Where: Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
175 San Lazaro Ave, Suite 150
Sunnyvale, CA, 94086
Come see the WaterColorBot in action (just a few days before the end of our Kickstarter campaign!), meet minor internet celebrity Zener the cat, and share in food and conversation.