Science Channel did a pretty cool piece on our research using sugar glass for making vascularized engineered tissues last year at Penn (thanks Randy for the sighting). Enjoy.

Thanks again to our co-workers at Penn, collaborators at MIT, and again to Hive76 and our awesome members who helped us get this research done!

 

Our friends over at The Hacktory (Repurposing Technology, Making Art) are running a Kickstarter to raise matching funds for an excellent project to unite artists with the latest technology to empower new designs. From their Kickstarter page:

Electronics and digital technology can infuse works of art with an element of magic. At The Hacktory we have literally put this magic in people’s hands, through classes and large public events. We want to do more though. We want to make our classes available to artists. We’ve found that they are usually the most excited to take our classes and play with technology, but usually the least able to pay for our classes.

The Hacktory is creating a program called T.E.R.A. Incognita: Tech Education and Residency for Artists. Our goal is to support artists who want to create new work and experiment with technology such as cameras, projectors, sensors, robots, software and circuits. The name “T.E.R.A Incognita” is part acronym, part vision for the program. We want to give these artists an opportunity to learn and explore at the edges of technology and art, literally in unchartered territory, to create new experiences and new possibilities with code, hardware and creative expression.

The Kickstarter ends on Monday, so go check it out and consider making a pledge! Some great rewards are being offered too.

 

It didn’t take me and Robert long to find an RGB LED pushbutton. I composed a short part number using the NKK data sheet and found a KP0215ASBKG03RGB-2SJB. I made a simple perf board shield with the proper resistors for my Arduino Mega 1280 and re-learned Arduino to light it up.

Gaussian curves from https://www.desmos.com/calculator/zkmpvehya3
Gaussian curves from https://www.desmos.com/calculator/zkmpvehya3

When I wanted to smoothly fade between all the available RGB colors, I couldn’t find a good solution. So I made my own using Gaussian curves. Here is a picture and link to the online graphic calculator desmos that was very helpful visualizing the LED levels.
There is more:
(more…)

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We got some Raspberry Pis and began jumping through some tutorials. Adafruit has a particularly thorough and easy to follow series. We’ve had good luck with the Raspbian Wheezy distro and it works just like familiar Ubuntu since it’s based on Debian. Remember to run:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

upon first launch. That will make things a lot easier since the release is rather old by now.

I got some time to explore the Raspbian distro.

RaspberryPi-jmil

After seeing all of my efforts, Morfin couldn’t wait to give it a shot.

RaspberryPi-Morfin

Eventually we got my favorite light-weight print controller github.com/kliment/printrun running an active 3D print. It really was incredible to have a $40 computer connected to the interwebs and sending gcode with a full GUI over python->USB-serial. It’s a bit too slow for computational slicing, but would probably be GREAT for a bot-farm. Note that you should also use pianobar instead of full-blown pithos for pandora audio. Note that the audio worked great after we ran the apt-get upgrades mentioned above.

RaspberryPi-Desktop

And remember to grab our desktop background! It’s only 1.2 MB.

 

PTW Open Hack Event 4/24

Arduino SynthCome one, come fifteen or so!

On Wednesday, April 24, Hive76 will be transforming our typical Wednesday open house into a special Tech Week Open Hack!

Over the years, we’ve managed to accumulate a plethora of electronic detritus, as one might expect from a hackerspace. We’d love to invite you to come to our space and help us clean it put the junk to good use! We’ll have some microcontrollers on hand and several members around to help you along your way. The idea is to split attendees out into workgroups that will concentrate on designing and building objects from parts we have available for you at the space! Wanna throw together a bot that responds to table tapping? How about something that plays like a musical instrument? Dig making LEDs respond to external stimuli? Just wanna learn how some of these things might be possible? Slightly annoyed with how often I ask questions in my posts? ;)

—Please bring a laptop along if you have one available. Some programming experience is a plus, but definitely not necessary.—

Wednesday 4/24 5pm – 10
Gratis and Libre (free)

Hive76, suite 519 915
Spring Garden St
Philadelphia PA 19123

RSVP by commenting below.

***ALSO: If you haven’t been to Hive76 and want to see what we’re about, stop by on Monday April 8th for our Monthly Monday Microcontroller Madness (7-10PM) or on any (other) Wednesday night for our weekly open houses (7-11PM)***

 

TEDxYouth@SanDiego Logo

The critical shortage of organ donors in our healthcare system is the reason I’m registered to be an organ donor and motivates my research to develop suitable replacement technologies in the field of regenerative medicine. Video below! It was an honor and privilege to take part in TEDxYouth@SanDiego, which brought 400 San Diego high school students together to interact and think deeply about the future. It was incredible to speak with so many students who are truly the Architects of the Future.

From TEDxYouth@SanDiego:

Using simple yet illustrative analogies to help non-scientists understand his scientific discovery process, Biomedical Researcher Jordan Miller explains to his young audience how he developed vascular structures through 3-D printing. This exciting research is an important complement to advances medical researchers have made in 3-D printing bioidentical human tissue and organs in the lab. it’s a remarkable prospect for the future of organ transplantation.

Deriving inspiration from a cross section of bread and the sugar structure arcing over his dessert, Dr. Miller describes how he combined his background in regenerative medicine, a passion for the maker movement and reliance on worldwide open sourcing to develop viable 3-D printed vascular systems that he demonstrates actually transporting blood.

Jordan Miller, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral researcher in the Tissue Microfabrication Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. Involved with the 3-D maker community since its infancy, Jordan uses a 3-D printer in his work in biomedical research and regenerative medicine and credits open-source collaboration and the maker movement as important contributors to the success of his research.

 

The Creator’s Project released a new video, and our sugar printing, gelation, and blood pumping was featured in it! Trackback is to 3Ders.org The project goal is to unify artists and technologists and this video is focused on 3D Printing:

And I just got done with a talk at ScienceOnTap Philly! It was a truly excellent night! Special thanks to the Organizers and also the Hivers who came out or emailed in their support! You peeps are the best.

Here are some pics via the Twittersphere. Thanks to the photographers for posting!

 

The No-Video Game!

It’s a vidya game but not! A completely audio-based game, the objective is to use sonar to find the hidden submarine and destroy it with depth charges. But be careful! If you are not close enough to hit the submarine, it will get away and you must hunt it down again.

Got an Arduino Mega2560 on the innards side. Got the joystick and arcade buttons from Ada Fruit! Very nice quality, shipped very quickly, and not too expensive to boot. Box was just a little, prefab wooden deal from a craft store somewhere in the middle of nowhere. And the speakers, I think I pried them out of a few alarm clocks.

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I just got back from the 2012 Open Science Summit which took place in Mountain View, CA. It was an excellent meeting and a great opportunity to meet others using open tools and ideas to forward Science! Check out the list of talks and you can also access videos of all of the talks. And you can also read more about the speakers.

I gave a talk too where I delved deeper into the science behind our work with RepRap for research in Regenerative Medicine and I made the case that open source is a philosophy, not a checkbox. Try not to get caught up in semantics of open vs. not-open (e.g. one could try to label Arduino as not an “open” platform since it has proprietary Atmel chips on the board). Instead, try to think of open projects as those in which you see people as collaborators (“open”), not customers (“closed”). We all have many things we can learn from each other, and who doesn’t want more collaborators to learn science together? Some interesting Q&A at the end too.

 

Here are the videos from Open Hardware Summit 2012, it was a great meeting again this year.

And here’s my talk about using RepRap 3D Printing for basic research in Regenerative Medicine. Thanks again to the awesome members of Hive76, especially Chris Thompson and Rob Vlacich.