Meccano Introduces Two New Humanoid Robot Kits at Maker Faire (video)

150516 Maker Faire 106

The original Meccano concept was extremely innovative and exciting, at least when it was first introduced in 1901. It enabled users in hacking together concept prototypes of mechanical structures, linkages, and movements. Tens of thousands of engineers, researchers, and young learners put the Meccano kits to good use in realising their dreams. They learned what worked, and what would fail, by experimenting with the Meccano metal strips, brackets, girders, wheels, and other components. Now, over a century later, the company has introduced two quasi-humanoid robot kits that they demonstrated at the Bay Area Maker Faire.

(more…)

Read More

Bay Area Kinetic Artist Displays Spooky “Twilight Zone-Like” Creation (video)

150516 Maker Faire 50

Mark Galt, a well known and respected Bay Area creator of kinetic art and automata, displayed several of his works at the Bay Area Maker Faire held in San Mateo last weekend. One of his more recent creations, “Sugar Time with Miss Bouffant” set a new high watermark for unsettling spookiness, to the point that it seemed to have been a leftover spirit from the Twilight Zone TV series.

 

(more…)

Read More

Hacking Micro Copters – Flying Dragons

150516 Maker Faire Flying Dragon 1

I guess it isn’t too surprising, but it hadn’t occurred to me how easily cheap off-the-shelf items like micro-copters can be hacked. At the Bay Area Maker Faire, I ran across quite a few of the under USD$100 mini drones that had been modified by replacing their standard frames with custom designed 3D printed bodies.

A good example is the Dragon Drone pictured above. As long as you maintain the basic geometry, keep the body weight to a minimum and keep it balanced, the modified drone should fly almost as well as the original multi-copter.

Birds, eagles, dragons, UFOs… what will you make fly?

Read More

Rethinking Personal Drone Design Yields Awesome Performance (Video)

CyPhy LVL 1 Drone in action YouTube

Drone popularity has skyrocketed. If you don’t already have one, then odds are quite good that you know someone that has a drone. Unfortunately, the low cost entry level drones leave a lot to be desired. It’s very difficult to get acceptable video quality from a low cost drone. Getting stable video typically, at least in the past, required adding a multi-axis gimbal. This is particularly true for the common quadcopter configuration because the drone body has to tilt in order for it to change horizontal direction, like moving forward. Thankfully, all that is about to change radically.

(more…)

Read More

Massive Robot Band Entertains at Maker Faire Paris 2015 (Video)

150502 Maker Faire Paris 2

Over the past decade, the Maker Movement has spread across the globe and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, even for an instant. Maker Faire events are currently staged world wide, with 131 taking place during 2014 in places as far afield as Norway, Mexico, Japan, and China. Of course, not all the events draw massive attendance like the 100,000 makers and maker fans that jam pack the World Maker Faire in New York City every Fall.

(more…)

Read More