Maker Project Lab
February 1, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GIF Books & Soda Lockers [Maker Update #19]

This week on Maker Update, a kid turns his locker into soda vending machine, a serious word on laser cutter fumes, printing GIFs into books, string launchers, a breadboard/Arduino/LEGO brick mashup, contests ending on Instructables, and why I’m flying to Iowa.  SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE

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January 25, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Asus Tinker Board Challenges Raspberry Pi [Maker Update #18]

This week on Maker Update: the classic bristlebot gets an upgrade, Eagle CAD drops a bomb, ASUS takes on Raspberry Pi, musical domes, hacked Furbys, vape tech, and Chi-town gets a big ol’ Maker Faire.  

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January 19, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: Project Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Light Paintbrush for Circuit Playground

I love when a DIY project gives you something that feels almost like a magic trick. The TV-B-Gone project is one such project, but so is this LED paintbrush project published by John Park on Adafruit.

John Park has an embarrassing number of great projects, but I ordered up the parts for this one specifically because I’ve been looking for an approachable project with a fun payoff to use for a beginner electronics workshop I’m teaching in April. I love the idea of students walking away with a unique gadget to show off, rather than just a blinking LED.

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January 18, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Camera Explains Your Picture [Maker Update #17]

This week, an artificially intelligent word camera, the launch of the Pi Compute Module 3 and why it’s ok not to care, a goofy walking Arduino bot, a slot-together octopus lamp, a $20 color-matching laptop light, shop tips, battery tips, and where in the world is this week’s Maker Faire? SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE 

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January 11, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Overwatch Blaster & Star Wars Interfaces [Maker Update #16]

This week on Maker Update! A sonic blaster from Overwatch, the Arduino reconciliation gets real, the BBC Microbit crosses the pond, the demise of 123D, another LED Nixie to consider, 3D printed Amazon Echo accessories, a study Star Wars user interfaces, and upcoming contests from Instructables. SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE

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December 21, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cocktail Robotics and Laser Cats [Maker Update #15]

This week on Maker Update, a Nixie tube alternative for the 21st century, Arduino puts your sketches in the cloud, robot cocktails, laser cats, making it rain, making music, and making the cookies. SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE!

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December 14, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Ways to Slice a Raspberry Pi [Maker Update #14]

This week on Maker Update, highlights of the best projects from our WD Labs Raspberry Pi contest, Minecraft in your Pocket, Coding for Medieval Glory, Fish Feeders, Alien Finders, and a maker show to put in your queue. SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE

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December 7, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let Me Give You a Raspberry Pi [Maker Update #13]

This week on Maker Update: making your own 3D printed computer museum, Fusion 360 learns a new trick, a smoking laser sword, a new drawbot, a reason to buy a dental vacuform, and a giveaway for a full Raspberry Pi computer setup from our show sponsor, WD Labs. SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE

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November 30, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time to Print the Ornaments [Maker Update #12]

This week on Maker Update: a payphone that calls the 90’s, a moon for your nightstand, a way to finally get your fish talking, a mini NES with NFC, 3D printed ornaments, a sewing machine for makers, a ridiculous amount of maker contests, and the first Maker Faire in L.A.
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November 18, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: Project Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Hack Alexa into a Billy Bass Talking Fish

As many of you know from watching my Maker Update video series, I’ve been obsessed with hacking together a Billy Bass novelty talking fish and Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. About a month ago, an artist named Brian Kane published a viral video showing a Big Mouth Billy Bass novelty singing fish, seemingly voiced by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. The internet went nuts for it, and so did I — but mostly I just wanted to know how it worked so that I could make my own.

After a few weeks tinkering with it and collecting the components I needed, I’ve come up with a workable hack. The project documentation and code are available on Instructables. I encourage you to provide feedback and ideas on how to improve it.
Make an Amazon Alexa talk through an animatronic Billy Bass singing fish.

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