One of the rewards from the Kickstarter campaign for our WaterColorBot was a “Robo-Painted” thank-you card. Our collaborator Sylvia designed the cards and supervised while the robot painted them.
We (the humans) were a little tired after just signing the insides of 75 cards— we can only imagine how exhausted the WaterColorBot must have been after painting the fronts and insides! They were actually painted in three passes: for the inside “Thank you” text, for the light-blue (extra-wet) background on the front, and for the flower subject on the front.
Of course, the real magic of robotics is that it is so reproducible, card after card. And yet, the real magic of watercolor as a medium is that it isn’t completely reproducible. Look at the subtle little variations caused by the amount of water either in the light blue background or in the flower subject. We see the same kinds of “organic” variation that we might expect from a human artist. Simply wonderful.
The Peek-O-Book is a close relative of the Snap-O-Lantern. The book occasionally opens and peeks out with its LED eyes before snapping shut again to look like a normal book on a shelf.
A compartment is cut into the pages of the book and the circuitry is hidden inside.
The orange LED eyes are affixed to a small piece of wood which is then glued to the cover of the book so that they just fit inside the compartment. The rest of the electronics are nestled inside the compartment.
We made the Peek-O-Book for The Art of Tinkering book release party at the Exploratorium Afterdark event last week. Many of the tinkerers featured in the book were invited to hack a copy of the book. The cabinets in the Tinkering studio were packed full of hacked books and projects from the book. You can see pictures of some of the other hacked books in our photo set.
On their own, science, art, and technology all make for interesting, fun, and rewarding explorations. But when you mix them together, you get a veritable tinkering trifecta in which technological tools and scientific principles let you express your own artistic vision.
We flipped through the wonderful pictures and projects before we took it to the bench for some quick pictures. In the spirit of the book, we put it among a few tools and parts from recently photographed projects that were still on the table.
We found projects by some of our friends, including Ken Murphy, Jie Qi and AnnMarie Thomas. We’re excited that we have a few projects in the book, including our Circuitry Snacks, in a section on Surprising Circuits. The book itself incorporates some circuitry on the cover, which we hope to play with soon!
The book launch party will be at the Exploratorium Afterdark (ages 18+) event on November 7.
a food safe sugar based electromechanical kinetic sculpture. Utilizing digital fabrication and mold making techniques, Refined represents a few select stages from the manufacturing process for refining sugar.
At Maker Faire New York, Eric brought along not only the mechanisms, but also the molds he used to make the gears and other components out of sugar.
Matt Mets of Blinkinlabs assembled a crack team of volunteers to assemble BlinkyTape for the Crystal Archway at Maker Faire NY. They sat in the dark with their soldering irons and LEDs, making Maker Faire happen in real time.
It was great to see the installation come together over the course of the fair.
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.