Our collaborator Sylvia went on the Katie Couric show yesterday. She showed off the WaterColorBot and did a couple of science demonstrations with Katie. Her video segments are here and here. Fantastic job, Sylvia!
Today we’re thrilled to be launching our newest kit: the WaterColorBot.
The WaterColorBot is a brand-new project from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and Super Awesome Sylvia — a friendly art robot that moves a paint brush to paint your digital artwork onto paper, using a set of watercolor paints.
We’ve previously written about how we got started on this project (in a guest post by Sylvia), and about Sylvia’s visit to the White House Science Fair, where she was able to give President Obama a personal demonstration of the WaterColorBot.
And now, you can get one too! We’re launching the WaterColorBot today on Kickstarter, and we’d like to ask for your support in getting it out there. The WaterColorBot is an enormously powerful tool for helping to get young people interested in technology:
Beyond simple fun, we think that the WaterColorBot has enormous potential for STEM and STEAM education, especially as a way to get young people engaged with hands-on technology and robotics. We are particularly interested finding ways to inspire young women to pursue careers in science and technology. We cannot imagine any better way to do so, than starting with a robot co-designed by a 12 year old girl.
Perhaps more than anything else that we’ve done, we think that the WaterColorBot really can make the world a better place, one (young) Evil Mad Scientist at a time.
Today, Tuesday, July 16, Super Awesome Sylvia and I will be joining Maker Camp for a special Google+ hangout focused on robots at 1 pm PDT. Sylvia will be demonstrating her WaterColorBot, which we’ve worked together on.
The 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire is a wrap— and it was amazing. And we took pictures. We’ve uploaded 362 photos from maker faire right here for your browsing pleasure. But first, a little preview.
Kids play with giant cardboard robot arms at the Giant Cardboard Robots booth. As they say, “The revolution will be corrugated.”
Glo-Puter Zero, by Alan Yates, with its phosphor-based memory. Truly a highlight of the show.
Lenore shares a nerdy moment with Akiba from Freaklabs.
An unusual LED badge, from the Bay Lights project.
The Western Pyrotechnics Association is a club for people that make their own fireworks. It’s incredible to see the complexity and artistry of the fireworks and the tooling that makes them.
A beautiful hovercraft, designed to look like a flying DeLorean; you can see video of it on the project site.
An unexpected application: Our friend Bilal Ghalib stopped by and enlisted the WaterColorBot to help him make a birthday card for another friend.
And one of our favorite moments of Maker Faire: a young visitor, tickled pink as she tries out the WaterColorBot, watching it paint a drawing that she had just sketched.
Some of the creations are simpler, like this sidewalk-chalk wielding vibrobot, spinning on a tabletop chalkboard at the Exploratorium booth.
Some of the creations are more technical, like the OpenPNP project to create open source pick and place machines for electronics assembly. We’re excited by where this is headed, along with a few related projects.
And of course, there’s no shortage of LED goodness.
Please click right here for the rest of our 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire photo album.
- Sylvia Todd, Science Star, Tinkers With the Idea of Growing Up The New York Times
- A Presidential Pat for Young Scientists The New York Times
- Young Science Minds Impress at White House (video) The Rachel Maddow Show
- Auburn girl invited to White House science fair (video) News10 Sacramento
- President Obama to Host White House Science Fair White House Press Release
- President Obama Tours the 2013 White House Science Fair (video) White House YouTube Channel
- Live from the White House Science Fair with LeVar Burton and Bill Nye (video) White House YouTube Channel
- Meet Super Awesome Sylvia and her Watercolor Bot (video) White House Twitter Feed
- Tween girl gets Internet famous for being really, really good at science Salon
- Auburn 11-year-old takes project to White House Auburn Journal
- Fremont student’s science project brings her White House honors San Jose Mercury News
- Sylvia Todd, 11, the ‘maker’ behind ‘Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show’ making her mark New York Daily News
- 11-Year-Old Web Series Star Inspiring Girls in the Name of Science (video) ABC news
Congratulations to Sylvia on her participation in this fantastic event! We’ll add to this list as we find more articles and links.
We are super-excited because Super-Awesome Sylvia, who we have been working with on the WaterColorBot, has been invited to this year’s White House Science Fair to show off her project! Way to go Sylvia!
Tune in Monday, April 22 starting at 11:30 am EDT, at wh.gov/sciencefair, to watch the event live!
We are right in the middle of National Robotics Week, which runs April 6-14 and starts a string of events all over the country for makers of all kinds. We’ve listed a few upcoming highlights below:
- Robot Block Party—Wednesday, April 10 at Stanford University
- Exploratorium Opening Events—Wednesday, April 17 at Pier 15 in San Francisco
- RoboGames—Fri-Sun, Apr 19-21, 2013 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds
- Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam—Fri-Sun, April 26-28 at ITP-NYU in New York City, sponsored in part by the Open Source Hardware Association
- Robotfest—Saturday, April 27 at the National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, Maryland
- Exploratorium After Dark—Thursday, May 2 at Pier 15 in San Francisco
- Silicon Valley Surplus Crawl—Saturday, May 11 starting in San Francisco
- Hardware Innovation Workshop—Tues-Wed, May 14-15 at the College of San Mateo
- Maker Faire—Sat-Sun, May 18-19 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds
You can look for events in your area on the National Robotics Week Events site and the Maker Faire Map site—feel free to add your favorites in the comments. We’ll be exhibiting at RoboGames and helping Super Awesome Sylvia show off the Watercolorbot at Maker Faire. We hope to see you there!
Editor’s note: Super Awesome Sylvia has been visiting Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories for the last week and is guest blogging about her experience and project.
Last year I got to go to RoboGames and watch the competitions. This year I wanted to enter a robot of my own. I looked at the different types of robots you could enter and found out you can enter in a drawbot!
I drew a few sketches of what I wanted my robot to look like. I asked EMSL if I could come over to their shop for a week and make this bot!
When I got there I thought that I would start immediately making the base to my bot but instead we worked in inkscape making detailed drawings.
For the first couple of days I worked on doing a great detailed model on what this bot would look like. This bot was going to be a Watercolorbot!
Also, we visited a FIRST Robotics team while EMSL helped out with their robot named Oddjob. Oddjob is a Frisbee throwing pyramid climbing robot.
Once we had a good set of drawings for my watercolorbot we used the router to create the basic pieces of the bot and laser cut the carriage that holds the paintbrush. We also used dowel pins, screws, nuts, washers, and string to make a cool amazing bot. I will write more about the robot later but it took four different versions of the carriage to fit it in, three different pulleys, and two different ways to tie the string.
I am so surprised at how fortunate I was to go to EMSL and build this bot. I had some amazing meals, great experiences and had a lot of fun. I hope to come back soon and build another revision or build another bot! I really liked hanging out and playing games during my free time. Thanks Evil Mad Scientists!!