Update: As our commenters have pointed out, now you can also vote by texting 170116 to 22333!
We were honored to participate in the creation of the awards which were given out this year. Using an Eggbot, we plotted the Open Source Award design onto lightbulbs which were integrated into the awards which were given out on stage. Additionally, the award recipients are each receiving an Eggbot. It is exciting and fitting that this year’s award is itself open source hardware which works on open source software and was created using open source tools.
Top photo by Sarah Novotny.
Whoa! What the heck is that?
It turns out that it’s a flying testbed for new gear-driven turbofan jet engines being developed by Pratt & Whitney. While much can be done on fixed test stands, this lets them test the engines on a real aircraft at high altitude and under a wide variety of environmental conditions.
The little engine under test above— destined for smaller regional jets —is mounted to a “stub wing” on a specially-modified Boeing 747SP. That’s the same short-body model of 747 that NASA adapted for the SOFIA aircraft-based telescope. This particular aircraft is a full-time testbed at Pratt & Whitney; its main engines are larger versions of the little one under test.
These new gear-driven engines are interesting on their own; a gearbox between the main fan and the turbine allows each side to run at a more optimal speed, and promises a significant increase in overall efficiency.
Adafruit has an awesome LEGO kit design for Ladyada’s Workshop up on LEGO CUUSOO. CUUSOO is a site where people can submit designs for new LEGO sets or vote to support designs that have already been submitted. With enough support, LEGO may eventually turn these into actual production kits. With your support, maybe we can all have the chance to play with a LEGO version of MOSFET, a pick-and-place and a soldering iron.
One of the great things about building electronics projects is seeing what they inspire other people to do, and the 625 LEDs of the Peggy 2 can be pretty inspiring:Mark at awe.com did some awesome scrolling text on Peggy 2 and has even shared his sketch for others to use. His video is embedded above or you can click on over to YouTube. Phillip at peilipu’s posterous hooked up a Peggy 2LE and a Danger Shield to play Pong, a game we’re rather fond of. Nick over at NJS Shredding wired up an off-board Peggy 2, neatly built into a wooden box and mounted to the ceiling. He also posted a video which shows the scale of it quite well. Another ceiling mounted Peggy 2 installation was recently posted on the Make blog. This one, with an amazing array of ribbon cables connecting strips of LEDs, is entertaining visitors at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and was created by the late artist Rick Gribenas. Thanks to Matt Mets for sending us the picture! Also at a museum in Pittsburgh, Deren Guler used a Peggy 2 in a kid-powered generator exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center. Thanks for sending the picture, Deren! You can read more about Peggy 2 on our store here, and full documentation is available on our wiki here and links to more projects are posted there as well.
…We’ll just go ahead and file this one under the sillier uses of the Peggy LED kits.