This weekend, Oct. 4-5, is CalGames 2013, an off-season FRC competition. It’s being hosted by the team we mentor, Firebird Robotics, at Fremont High School here in Sunnyvale, California. The event is open to the public and free of charge for spectators. Matches are scheduled for 6:15-7:15 Friday night, start again at 8:15 on Saturday morning and everything wraps up with awards at 5:15 on Saturday afternoon.
If you’re in the area, come watch the robots shoot frisbees and climb the pyramids!
Eric Weddington of Atmel shows off a wafer full of ATmega328P chips (as found in Arduino and many of our own kits) at Maker Faire New York.
That’s about 1500 chips on an eight inch wafer, and not something you see every day!
Day one of the 2013 Maker Faire New York was incredible. We’ve nearly lost our voices after speaking with folks about our projects, all day long in the Atmel area of the Make:Electronics tent. However, we tag-teamed a bit and managed to take photos of many of the sights to see– costumes, robots, oodles of 3D printers, handmade furniture, mars rovers, UAVs, underwater ROVs, electronics, and so many other incredible projects. You can see the full photo set here.
We’ll be back for more; Maker Faire continues tomorrow (Sunday) at the New York Hall of Science.
NeoLucida was the subject of one of the best presentations and demos at the 2013 Open Hardware Summit.
The NeoLucida is a drawing aid that allows you to trace what you see. It’s the first portable, authentic camera lucida to be manufactured in nearly a century. We love camera lucidas, and we think they can help people understand art history in provocative new ways.
The NeoLucida is was launched in a wildly successful kickstarter campaign to make a modern version of a camera lucida available to a new generation of artists. It’s not a complicated device, but it is an extremely specialized one, and niche products like it are a place where open source hardware and crowdfunding can come together incredibly successfully. They were able to bring the cost of owning a camera lucida into the realm of possibility for artists who can’t afford antiques. By publishing how the device works and how they make it, they have increased understanding both of the device itself and of historical works of art made using it.
It was exciting to try out a NeoLucida during the demo session at the summit, especially after hearing about its history.
This week is Maker Week in New York, and on Friday, September 20, Windell will be moderating the Atmel Analyst Panel: The Maker Community and Education. Panelists will include Massimo Banzi of Arduino, Quinn of QTechKnow, Reza Kazerounian, Bob Martin and Sylvie Barak of Atmel, Brian Jepson of Make Books and AnnMarie Thomas of the University of St. Thomas. The event will be at the Hilton Manhattan East at 11:00 am, and walk-ins are welcome. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about attending.
Maker Faire New York is almost here! We’ll be in the Atmel booth, showing a few of our favorite AVR projects, including Meggy Jr RGB, Art Controller, and Octolively.
We’ll also be bringing our new Three Fives timer (despite it not having any microcontrollers). The schedule for the fair is up, so if you’re in the area, you can start planning your weekend now.
BarBot 2013 has just been announced: the event will be at the Odd Fellows Hall in San Francisco on October 25-26 and tickets are on sale. Registration for robots is also open— there’s still time to get your cocktail robot ready!
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.
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.
Today was the monthly Electronics Flea Market in Cupertino, and we came across some gems this month.
Above, an AN-OIL-IZER. The seller said her geologist father used it for testing oil purity.
It’s described in patent number 3182255, a device for capacitively testing lubricating oil (e.g., engine oil) for contaminants, by looking for changes in its dielectric constant. To use it, you place a drop of the oil in the holder, and the ball bearing into that drop of oil. The bearing is held down by a leaf spring, keeping it indexed against the holder. This forms an oil-filled capacitor between the ball bearing and a lower curved plate that is insulated from the bearing. The capacitance will vary as the dielectric constant of the oil changes due to contamination. It comes with two ball bearings, as well as oil samples for calibration.
The E-Z-Code Jr. is a tool for learning morse code: when you draw the “electric pencil” through the slots, it crosses contacts in the correct spacing to make the characters. It also has a hinged telegraph key which can be tucked away below the device.
The seller of the E-Z-Code Jr. told me that the thing I really should be photographing was this magnetron. It is a beautiful old piece of hardware, with its wave guide and high-power tube.
We found a book on Magnetic-Bubble Memory Technology. We also saw a book on tube delay memory. We’re not sure if these are a step up from the single-bit flip-flop memory in our Digi-Comp II.
I’d love to see the circuit diagram for the Cosmic Energy System by Psy Herabel [sic] Health Town, Inc.! (Sadly, their domain no longer seems to be active.)