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

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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.


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

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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.



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Hacking Micro Copters – Flying Dragons

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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?

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We the Geeks: “Don’t Be Bored, Make Something” – White House Google+ Hangout Tuesday

We the Geeks  Don t Be Bored Make Something | The White House

Look what the White House just announced for Tuesday afternoon (ET):

Have you ever considered what you might create with a state-of-the-art digital design studio? Have you ever thought about planning and printing a new pair of sneakers, instead of just buying some? Have you ever dreamt about what you would make if you had all the tools of industrial design at your fingertips?

Well, those dreams may be closer than you think.

A new generation of American pioneers is democratizing the tools of the industrial revolution and spreading them to students around the country. But these tools aren’t the rusty machines you might imagine – they’re 3-D printers, laser cutters, and water jets, and they give you the ability to make almost anything. Not only that, they may be coming soon to a school near you.

Announcing the first ever White House Science Fair, the President called for an all hands on deck approach to grow a generation of Americans who are, “the makers of things, and not just the consumers of things.” And at the 2012 White House Science Fair, the President met student Joey Hudy and launched his marshmallow cannon, noting that Joey’s motto was, “Don’t be bored, make something.” Responding to that call, citizens, communities, and organizations are coming together to give students the tools to design with their minds and make with their hands.

Join us and leading tinkerers, educators, and innovators on Tuesday, November 12th, at 2:00 pm EST for a “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout, called “Don’t Be Bored, Make Something”.

The Hangout will be moderated by Kumar Garg, Assistant Director for Learning and Innovation, and Cristin Dorgelo, Assistant Director for Grand Challenges, and will feature a panel of these leading experts:

Hear from the people building the next generation of shop class by tuning into "We the Geeks: Don’t be Bored, Make Something" live on and the White House Google+ page on Tuesday, November 12, at 2:00 pm EDT.

Got comments or questions? Ask them using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks on Twitter and on Google+ and we'll answer some of them during the live Hangout.


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