Just in time for Halloween, we’re launching a Snap-O-Lantern kit. You can still build this robotic snapping pumpkin from scratch using our original instructions, or you can do it the easy way with this kit, which uses one of our ATtiny2313 target boards and has all the parts you’ll need— except the mini-pumpkin and three AA batteries.
We’re putting the full documentation for the kit on our wiki.
Pumpkins are being featured today on a special Halloween edition of Maker Camp, and I’ll be there, showing our Snap-O-Lantern project. Tune in at 5 pm (Pacific), today, Thursday, October 10.
Dan at Maniacal Labs posted a review of our Three Fives kit:
… yay for creative kits that cause you to go out and (re)learn stuff! The cool thing about the 555 chip is that it is very much a building block to bigger things. There are plenty of resources out there for 555 applications and project ideas. I’d like to thank Eric Schlaepfer for his awesome kit idea and Evil Mad Scientist for helping make it available to the masses!
dinofizz posted in the forums about the LED display based on the Peggy 2 he installed on his vertical blinds:
I had custom PCBs made to help daisy chain the vertical blinds (they’re sitting on top of the horizontal beam from which the blinds hang). 300 ft spool of 16-way ribbon cable completely used up. Around ~4000 individual solder joints, and I’m still using breadboard to hold things together at the moment! Took me forever.
He linked to a few more build photos over in the forum post, and he even posted some video of it in action:
One of the treats at Maker Faire New York was watching kids playing Michael Newman‘s mechanical Video Sans-Video Game. The play field is a scroll of paper with drawn-on caves and channels through which you must navigate (via joy-stick) your little paper space craft on an X-Y stage. If your craft collides with a wall or an asteroid, an infrared detector sees the darkened part of the paper, and it is game over!
Michael brought two versions— a large arcade style one with a belt driven stage, and a smaller one modeled after the WaterColorBot cord and windlass system.
One interesting thing about the young kids playing the game is that none of them had ever seen a media system that required rewinding to restart. Michael drew a new game Sunday morning to replace the slightly tattered roll after a full day of play at Maker Faire on Saturday.
We’d like to welcome listeners to today’s Science Friday show. We’re a small company that blogs about cool DIY projects and sells hobby electronic kits. You can find our archive of Halloween projects here, and our store is here.
Update: the Larson Scanner kit mentioned on the show is here, and the Snap-O-Lantern kit is here.
This week on the NPR radio show Science Friday, our co-founder, Windell Oskay, will be talking with Ira Flatow about Halloween hacks and projects and will likely be taking calls from listeners. Find out how to listen online and what radio stations will be broadcasting in your area. The show airs live from 2-4 p.m. Eastern Time (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific) and Windell should be on around 3:30 p.m. Eastern (12:30 p.m. Pacific).
Our archive of Halloween projects and hacks can be found here.
Update: Here’s the audio from the segment:
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!
Refined by artist Eric Hagan is described as
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.