Maker Project Lab
June 21, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Slow Motion Reality [Maker Update #39]

This week on Maker Update, Maui Makers, slow motion frames, the launch of Maker Share, zip-tie lamps, rocker switch walls, magnetic wristbands, and a cheap way to brand wood. This week’s featured Cool Tool is the MagnoGrip magnetic wristband.

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April 26, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beach Art Robot [Maker Update #31]

This week on Maker Update: an autonomous beach-roving art bot, Kickstarter wants your ideas, a project that makes kits for other projects, GUIs for Raspberry Pi, stipple ceramics, and I’ll show you why digital calipers are cool (and why you should buy them here: http://amzn.to/2ov1YJU).

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April 5, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Arduino Time, the Hard Way [Maker Update #28]

This week on Maker Update: telling time with a rack and pinion Arduino clock, a knitting machine you can buy, a Pi photo booth that won’t let you down, my favorite glue tool, hammerhead Pi pins, and Maker Faires.

Link to the FastCap Babe-Bot bottle featured on Cool Tools (using this link supports our show):
http://amzn.to/2ni1Ls3

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March 29, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Kimono for the Self Involved [Maker Update #27]

This week on Maker Update, an egotistical kimono, a personal cloud for your MP3s, your basic cocktail robot, makerspace storage, tiny joysticks, one feather to rule them all, taming eye hooks, tracking Pis, and tinker techno. SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE!

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February 15, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hacking a $2 Voice Recorder [Maker Update #21]

This week on Maker Update, a circuit-bent voice recorder hacked into an intercom, a $500 laser engraver, a Raspberry Pi robot arm, a Flick Face electronics project, Pi Cams compared, a PocketCHIP review, and contests! SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE

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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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November 29, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News, Tools, Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , ,

Hands-On with the Fotokite Phi Drone

About a month ago I got a call from the people behind a drone called Fotokite, wondering if I’d be interested in seeing a demo of their product. I already knew the product pretty well based on a demo of their prototype I was given last year while I was on staff at Make Magazine. With this in mind, I was curious to see how the product had evolved into its final state.

So here are my thoughts based on my hands-on time with the shipping version of the Fotokite Phi, a drone with a thin, strong leash attached to it, selling now for $249.

Fotokite Retractable Leash

The prototype model of this I played with last year had limited features, no camera controls, and a somewhat fragile 3D printed construction — but it was a fun product and the concept was still strong. It’s a fold-up drone you can fit in a backpack and launch in the air in just a minute with no fear of it flying off or getting stuck in a tree.

Fotokite Foldup Design

This final shipping version uses a stronger injection-molded plastic that I bounced off the wall a few times without losing control. It also includes more control features in the handle, which help steer it around and can directly control a GoPro mounted on the front. You have to provide the GoPro, though, so that’s an extra cost. A less expensive GoPro alternative can be substituted in the same space, however you’ll have to operate the controls manually directly on the camera before and after flight.

Fotokite Camera Front

They’ve also included a new follow mode that allows you to just tow this thing behind you while you’re snowboarding or biking or whatever. The included leash extends 25ft, but can be upgraded to 100ft. To hear them tell it, this is a big deal because many of the more expensive drone solutions with follow modes still have a tendency to wander off.

Fotokite Outdoors

All-in-all, I walked away wanting one — not because it’s a drone, but because it’s like a kind of magic kite really. This sounds sorta obvious when you consider the name, but when you first look at this thing it takes a minute to reconcile that it’s not the drone toy you expect it to be — and as someone who’s not a big fan of drones that’s a good thing.

And to be clear, this isn’t a paid endorsement. I just wanted to share my experience because I thought it was pretty cool, and neat to see a unique product go from concept to finished design. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on the video above.

October 26, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The $500 CNC Router That’s Too Good To Ignore [Maker Update #08]

This week: a fog machine for your pocket, a CNC for under $500, flipdots, fidgets, contests, Maker books and Maker Faires. 

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