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.
PJ and a number of other Hive members have been fortunate enough to participate in preparations for the Drexel Design Futures Lab “Projects 12/13” exhibition. PJ was almost certainly the most involved Hive contributor — he helped with the development of a number of key software elements for several of the exhibits.
I wound up getting involved in the creation of a special display screen that was part of an interactive piece which allows people to “play” with a computer model of bacterial swarms. This piece was part of Tashia Tucker’s exhibit, and she wanted an “organic looking” display surface. After some brainstorming that included condemnations of the high price of silicone etc., PJ suggested bacterial cellulose. What!? The idea of a movie screen made by real bacteria to show movies of simulated bacteria was too “meta” to pass up.
I had grown some fairly large sheets of bacterial cellulose in the past, and was interested in having an excuse to grow something even larger — so sign me up! Tashia wanted a sheet that started out about 4’x8′ so that the final screen could be cropped to dimensions that were about the size of a slightly gigantic person.
Yikes — this was literally a tall order. Bacterial Cellulose (BC) is created by the same organisms that are used to ferment Kombucha — in fact, the “Shroom” or “Scoby” in a Kombucha culture is a big lump of cellulose. So this was simple, in principle, but the scale of the piece left a lot of novel details that had to be worked out.
This Thursday, please join us at a FREE exhibition of the work of Cornelius Varley (1800-1860) put on by the venerable American Philosophical Society. It is a fantastic exploration of the life work of this fellow tinkerer and inventor who’s insight and explorations reminds me a lot of our Hive76 members!
A few of us will also be presenting at this event! We will have live 3D sugar glass printing, exhibitions of Brendan’s boom cases, Dan’s 8 mm RockBox, PJ’s electronics, Corrie’s textiles and artwork, Chris Terrell’s wood burning, and maybe a few more things.
We hope to see you there! Deets and directions below.
Free Refreshments (wine, food, music) will be provided at the event!!
APS Requests your RSVP HERE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
APS Museum in Philosophical Hall
104 S. Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA
On Thursday April 25, our series of events for Philly Tech Week continues as we open our doors for DIY Music Night (5pm-???). If you’re into music, making music, or making things that make music, you won’t want to miss it! If you’ve been to the space before, you’ll know that we run on a steady diet of tunes. And on Thursday, we’ll have all our audio and music-centric projects out in what is sure to be the loudest night of PTW. Come by and see the space, make some amplified noise, hang out, or share your own projects.
We’ll have guitars, amps, synthesizers, sequencers, speakers, fuzzboxes, tremolo pedals, signal generators, oscillators, speakers, drum machines, pickups, karaoke machines and probably alot more – all made at Hive76.
Plus we’ll have a handful of contact microphones to give away! We’ll help you turn anything into an amplified electric instrument in 10 minutes flat.
Hey everyone, as you may know, Philly Tech Week is coming up in late April. Hive76, as always likes to make ourselves as available possible during the week, and offer as much as we can. We’ll be open from 5pm-10pm Mon-Thur, and Noon-10pm on Saturday while showing off one unique and interesting aspect of what we do each day.Update: There’s no registration required for these events.
- Monday: 3D Printer / OpenSCAD modeling class where we help people model ideas with OpenSCAD and Illustrator, and then allow them to print it on our 3D printer.
- Tuesday: Combat Robotics Demo: Duke it out with miniature R/C machines in tabletop matches – it’s Robot Wars on a hand-held scale. Choose one from a field of 1-lb robots designed and built by Hive76 to drive and fight in a display of electro-mechanical fisticuffs. Learn the basics of building and strategy, and get a taste of upcoming combat robot classes offered at Hive76.
- Wednesday: Open Hack Night, for anyone who wants to come and build, hack, or program. We’ll also have a Microcontoller session for individuals who want to become more familiar.
- Thursday: Music Night: Come talk to our best music hackers and learn how to build effect pedals, make anything into a speaker and learn about amplifiers.
- Saturday: Hive76 Ultimate Open House and Expo: Hive76 will have everything from the previous week available for display, and to play with.Also available will be Karaoke, Music, Movies, Food and Refreshments.
One of my first projects here at Hive76 was the Burning Zombie Dummy. A friend of mine had called me, asking me if I knew how to set people on fire safely, and that led into a very stern discussion about what he was trying to do and that I would take over so that noone would get hurt. So I became the Special Effects Design Engineer for Exile: The Family You Choose, and it was one of the best times of my life. I got to do some pretty awesome things (including making an impromptu harness for doing a shotgun-to-the-chest effect), met a lot of really great people, and learned a lot about a hobby that would ignite my passion in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. Seeing our end result, this thing that we made together, from start to finish, without any adults (of course, we’re all adults, but you never really feel like it) helped to further cement my belief that anyone is capable of doing anything. The hacker spirit is strong in the indie film world. (more…)
Today, several hive members were contacted by a major Philadelphia news organization, asking if they could interview us about hacking.
Unfortunately, their idea of hacking has more to do with unattended Facebook accounts than the hacking we do, and we thought it might be a good time to clear up just what hive is, what our hackers do, and what hacking actually means within the hacking community.
Hive is a hackerspace. A hackerspace is not full of people who try to break into your computer, steal your bank account info, or send spam. A hackerspace, or at least THIS hackerspace, is full of people who are trying in very real ways to build, modify, and improve things. Our battle cry is “Make things awesome, make awesome things!” and we take this to heart. Visit the space on a Wednesday night, and you’ll find people who are excited about the things they are creating both in and out of the hive space, from chocolate chess pieces, to amazing pieces of audio equipment, all the way to organs which could save someone’s life.
The common theme here is that these people that define themselves as hackers are not breaking into your computer. Some of us write software, to make things work better. Some of us build things, to make things work better. And some of us screw around just to see what might be possible, or impossible, just to do it. Bottom line, this hacking is positive. What most of the public and the media refers to as hacking, the technical world refers to as cracking, and it rarely is it “as seen on TV.”
So lets hit on a few of the real dangers, and if the media is paying attention, they can feel free to make use of this. Here are a few things that actually endanger your accounts and computer, which the media often refers to as hacking, but which really are not.
1.) Spammers like to send emails that look real, talking about your phone bill, your bank, or a deposit that needs to be made in your account. Often these take you to fake sites. Instead of clicking the links in these emails, call the phone company, bank, or other company that claims to be sending the email and verify it that way. It’s not cracking (or hacking) if you hand over your username and password.
2.) If you use the same password on all your sites, and someone gets that password, they now have access to all of your sites. Likewise, if you use a simple password for your email, and someone gets access to that, it is easy for them to request new passwords for many of your other accounts. Use more difficult, hard to guess passwords (Good password guidelines), and don’t use the same password for all sites. At the very least, use a different password for your email, a different one for your taxes and other financial matters, and a different one for your online accounts at sites like Facebook. It’s not cracking if someone knows your password, or has access to your email, and gets access to your stuff.
3.) Don’t leave your account logged on in an unsafe place. Many accounts get taken simply because someone leaves them logged on in some unsafe place, like a sample machine in a mall store. It’s not cracking if you’re already logged on and walk away.
None of this is hacking. None of this is cracking. It’s poor security, usually because of a lack of understanding of the technology. And you know, that’s understandable. Not everyone is a computer expert or even really a computer beginner, but as long as the media keeps pushing these things as hacking, the public won’t learn. If anyone would like to discuss what this means to Hive76, feel free to e-mail us, or leave a comment below.
Whoa! Fosscon is tomorrow and Hive76 is going to be there!!
What’s fosscon? From the fosscon crew:
Fosscon 2012 is a free and open source software conference, and will
include six general-interest talks, and workshops on topics including
development, community building, hackerspace activities, and more.
Learn about 3D printing, security, and protecting your privacy.
Network with the local tech community and discover new technologies.
Whoa, workshops?! That’s right! Some of which will be conducted by Hive76! We’ve actually been given an entire ROOM for the conference, so be sure to stop by when you’re there!
The workshops that we’ll be running cover Intro to soldering, Intro to Arduino, Build Your Own Flat Panel Speakers, and several workshops on Building Your Own Simple Square Wave Synthesizers.Several? Yeah, Sean will cover using 555 timers, MSP430s, and also Arduinos!
The costs for these workshops will vary from $10-$30 to cover instruction and also cost of materials used.
Make sure to register for fosscon! Seating is limited! If you’d like to financially support fosscon (you should, it’s awesome!), it will only cost you $25 and you get some nice swag! Otherwise, fosscon is a free-as-in-beer event, but you still have to register!
One of our core members, Jordan Miller, has just published a scientific paper using RepRap 3D printing technology to engineer living tissues for regenerative medicine. I’ll give you a rundown of the science and a step-by-step guide of how Jordan got to this great spot in his career. Jordan is quick to point out that this is work that would not have been possible 5 years ago, or without the help of RepRap, Hive76, and this wonderful city of Philadelphia.
There are other labs around the world that are attempting what Jordan and the rest of the team at UPenn and MIT have been working towards. The end goal of regenerative medicine research is engineered tissues and replacement organs for treatment of human disease. As Science news says,
Imagine a world where if your heart or kidneys failed, you wouldn’t have to endure an agonizing, possibly futile wait for a donor whose organ your body might reject. Instead, a doctor would simply take cells from your own body and use them to “grow” you a new organ.
Other lines of research are attempting to 3D print directly with living cells and gel. These so-called “bioprinting” approaches involve loading cells and gel in syringes to be used as feedstock to create a structure from scratch. The problem is that healthy liver cells, for example, usually die of starvation (lack of nutrients) and suffocation (lack of oxygen) while enduring the slow 3D printing process.
Enter Jordan and his innovation: since vasculature provides the lifeblood to resident cells, why not focus on the vasculature first?
Jordan and the rest of the research team at UPenn and MIT have developed a new way to create vasculature for living tissues. This 4 step process involves: 1) 3D printing a network of sugar filaments, 2) surrounding it with living cells in a gel, 3) dissolving away the sugar to leave behind a vascular network for 4) the delivery of nutrients and oxygen. He accomplished this with a custom built 3D printer, extruder and control software.
Here’s a step-by-step of Jordan’s many year process:
- Get a crazy idea to link sugar and vasculature when comparing the interior of a 3D print to a capillary network.
- Get a PhD in bioengineering
- Move to Philadelphia
- Join a hackerspace
- Get introduced to 3D printing, MakerBot and RepRap
- Assemble your first MakerBot
- Invent a heated build platform to dry your sugar while printing.
- Add a heater to the Frostruder so you can print molten sugar.
- Assemble a customized RepRap Mendel that fits your new extruder.
- Get help from your hackerspace to properly control your pneumatic extrusion.
- Work for months perfecting recipes and methods for printing vasculature.
- Write it all up in a research paper and submit!
You can read the Penn press release about this awesome science, an overview from Science News, or the full paper. A more detailed post about the hardware used in this project will follow and soon you’ll be able to make your own sugar extruder. (It prints chocolate too!)
We’re starting a new group at Hive 76 called “Scheduled Sunday Security Sessions” (an homage to PJ Santoro’s Monthly Monday Microcontroller Madness). S4 will focus on computer and electronic security. We’ll have demos and presentations on security related topics, as well as group penetration testing challenges each month.
The first meeting will be on June 10th, at 6 PM.
See you there!