We cleaned out our closets and brought all of our favorite video games from our childhoods. Come play all the classics! No RSVP necessary.
When: Tuesday, April 8 from 6 PM to 10 PM
Edit: The arcade jawn is now April 5th @7pm because of weather.
Philly Tech Week 2014 kicks off on April 5 at The Oval in front of the Art Museum, and we’ll be there! The big draw, of course, is Tetris on the Cira Center. But just to show that we can play the gimmicky-oversized-kid’s-game game too, we’re building our own gimmicky oversized kid’s game:
While everybody’s staring at the Cira Center, you can play our giant electronic game of Connect Four. The jams will be pumping while you skillfully use a DDR pad to strategically place your checkers. Pretty sneaky, sis.
Plus: The whole oval is gonna be filled with games from local developers, presentations, musical performances, food trucks, and a Yards Beer Garden. Nice! The fun begins at 7pm. See you there!
Got a sweetheart? Want to meet a sweetheart? David and Leslie are back to share the Valentine’s love. Make sweet gifts and learn about 3D printing and paper circuits at the same time. For the gamer in your life, there’s a Valentine Creeper. Got an inspirational do-gooder? Here’s a movie inspired MockingJay pin. Just want to show you care? Well, they’re working on a pixel heart necklace/keychain, that is sure to please.
While your piece prints, make a Valentine card that will illuminate your sweetheart’s soul. Bring some materials from around your house and combine them with a variety of papers, copper tape, LED and battery to create the perfect paper circuit. If you love crafting and electronics, you are about to experience maker heaven. If you’ve never been here before, you can tour the space and find out more about other member’s projects. Munchies will be on hand. Don’t forget to comment below so we know you are coming!
Hot on the heels of their wildly successful Build My Lab contest (still 5 days left to enter!!), our friends at Tekla Labs are putting together another breakthrough event to unite DIYers and the science community (NOTE: These events are happening in Berkeley, CA).
Julea Vlassakis writes:
The Point of Care Diagnostics IdeaLab, Tekla Labs, and the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases is excited to announce a series of coordinated events to promote global health design and innovation.
January 9, 2014 Diagnostics by Design: A Workshop on the design, development, and implementation of Global Health Technologies (details/registration here)
January 10, 2014 The 6th Annual CEND Symposium. Academia and the Global Health Pipeline: Basic Science Innovation and Translation (register here)
January 11-12, 2014 Diagnostics by Design: A Hack Day for Global Health (register here)
The Diagnostics by Design workshop is an interdisciplinary forum for discussing the challenges and lessons learned in developing and implementing global health technologies, specifically at the point of care. Through interactive talks, a panel discussion with experts from industry and academia, and a hands-on build session, we will explore the challenges associated with translating technologies beyond the lab. This workshop will draw on the expertise and experience of individuals from across disciplines to explore collaborative solutions to global health issues. The workshop will feature Columbia Professor and mChip inventor Samuel Sia as the keynote speaker. See our eventbrite page for a full list of speakers and panelists and for registration.
The Diagnostics by Design hackathon is an interdisciplinary effort to bridge the gap between makers and do-it-yourself innovators and the sphere of global health. The event is posed as a challenge to participants: with minimal materials or through innovative coding, tackle a technological or informatic need in the space of point-of-care diagnostics. These can range from generating DIY lab equipment alternatives for medical clinics with limited resources, informatics for disease monitoring, or redesign of diagnostic tools for resource-limited settings. Attendees will be given a kit with some materials and have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, mills and more. Visit our eventbrite page for more details and to register.
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.
Date: Friday December 13th, 2013 Time: 6:00-9:30 PM Location: The Trestle Inn Address: 339 N 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Come and learn about that latest and craziest ideas the DIY community is working on in your own back yard. See demonstrations in 3D printing, hydroponics, wearable electronics, and much, much more. Find out how you too can become a hacker and join open source movement!
Proceeds help our efforts to bring you more classes, more equipment, and more support on making your latest inspiration a reality!
Okay, so the boys and girls haven’t been nice. However, that shouldn’t exclude you from having some fun holiday hacking. Join us this Sunday at Hive for either of these workshops:
1:00 – 5:00 PM
Want to witness 3D printing live? Join David Morfin and Leslie Birch for this festive workshop where you can choose from a variety of ornaments to print (including an epic Star Wars snowflake). Then, hack it here with a battery and LED to get it glowing. Tour our space and enjoy holiday snacks at the same time!
Price: $10 Collected at door
1:00 – 5:00 PM
Learn how to turn almost any toy RC vehicle into a simple robot. Because most RC toy vehicles are incredibly similar, you can easily learn how to hack them. We’ll teach you some of the theory behind these circuits and then we’ll help you put it into practice. A cut here, a jump there, a microcontroller and a little code and — voila! — you will be the proud creator/owner of a small-but-evil robot, just in time for XMas.
We will have microcontroller kits and cars available if you need them, or you are free to bring your own. If you bring your own controller, we would recommend that you bring an Arduino or an MSP430 Launchpad. If you bring your own vehicle, just make sure is has a TX2/RX2 chip (as a suggestion, the Thunder Tumbler is one of my favorite bot platforms).
Prices: Based on car and will be collected at door
Base Price — Donation for materials etc. in whatever amount you feel is appropriate
Large Car — $20
Medium Car — $15
Small Car — $5
Micro-controller kit — $5 (MSP430 Launchpad)
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.
Early in my gameplay in Minecraft I began making redstone contraptions. For those that don’t know Minecraft, you can use resources in the game to make analog electronics. People have extended this feature to build entire working computers all in redstone logic in Minecraft.
I only used redstone to make traps and novel machines, but the strong connection between redstone and electronics led me to imagine extending these machines out into the real world. I figured the easiest thing to make was the Redstone Lamp, pictured to the right. The redstone lamp is a block that will provide light when powered. My real life replica redstone lamp does the same thing. It lights up when a redstone lamp ingame is lit up. Here is a video of how it works:
I’ll describe how I got to a working replica in a few stages.
I am not the best getting started with software projects, so I enlisted the help of Vince who was hanging out a bunch at Hive76. We made a quick prototype with a python Minecraft client called pyCraft, an Arduino, and transistor, and a papercraft redstone lamp. You can see that first success here.
While I worked on the physical stuff, Vince moved away and Kyle Yankanich stepped in to help me finalize some stuff. PyCraft connects to any server as a simple chat client, in our case as the user LAMPBOT. Kyle wrote a plugin for pyCraft that listens for a whisper of “on” or “off” and sets pin 16 on the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO high or low respectively. You can download my fork of pyCraft here with Kyle’s plugin and my shell script to start the client. I set my home server to Offline mode so that I wouldn’t need to purchase another Minecraft account.
For the replica, I did my best to turn pixels into straight lines. I designed a laser-cuttable box in six parts with finger joints on the edges. I used 16 finger joints because the a block is 16 pixels wide. The material is MDF with a zebra wood veneer laminated on top. I laser cut six sides and glued all but one together. I acquired some amber cathedral glass from Warner Stained Glass, cut, and glued it in place with silicone adhesive. The RPi is attached to a MDF board sitting diagonally in the cube. The LEDs were torn from inside a failbot and glued around the RPi to light up the inside as much as possible.
In order to turn the LEDs on and off, we use the signal from the RPi GPIO to control an NPN transistor and turn the lights on and off. There is a fritzing wiring diagram of the electronics here. On the NPN transistor, the Collector is the negative lead from the LEDs, the Base is connected to a 100KΩ resistor and then pin 16, and the Emitter goes to the ground on the LED power supply.
There’s no room for a power regulator, so there are two power sources and ethernet running through a hole in the back.
To trigger the lamp, command blocks are used ingame as you can see to the left. When a lever is thrown powering a specific redstone lamp, we also power a command block that sends the server command:
/tell LAMPBOT on
We also send the inverted signal to a different command block that outputs:
/tell LAMPBOT off
This can be used on any server with no mods. You would need a Minecraft account for the lamp so you don’t expose your server to cracked clients. The server this was designed for runs Minecraft 1.6.4 now, but in 1.7.2 the /testforblock command and a clock could also trigger the lamp.
I really hope you take what we have done here and continue to connect your Minecraft creations to the real world. Enjoy!