Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire

Yesterday my eight year old and I attended the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire. We both had a great time, and experienced some very cool stuff. He got to do his very first soldering, doing a great job building a Wee Blinky. I showed him how to do the the first contact, and he did the rest 100% on his own.

There were also a bunch of teams there from a robot competion. My son spent a lot of time driving some of the big 'bots around. He didn't get into the some of the smaller ones scooting around, but he really liked the big stuff.

My favorite was the juggler. She had a cigar box fanny pack on that contained four motors and a spark generator. The motor shafts had zip ties on them so when they spun they'd make a rythmic clicking. The circuits where all incomplete, with wires led up to bare conductors in gloves or rings she was wearing. While juggling, when she caught a conductive ball the circuits would be complete causing the motors to spin or the spark to spark. This resulted in her juggling being accompanied by her own cool little rythm section.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

B.bro in action

Here's a video of B.bro drawing a very simple starburst pattern on posterboard.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

B.bro Stills

Here's some quick shots of my robot B.bro - he's named after the character in the song "Baby Brother" by the White Stripes.

The brass tube is a holder for Sharpie pens so he can draw patterns on the floor. He's got a dead simple user interface (an LED and a pushbutton). When I turn him on he sits there and waits for me to push the button. Then he takes off and draws a simple pattern - stopping and lighting his LED when he's done. This allows me to pick him up and move him, or change pens to a different color. Then I push the button again and he takes off once more. In the near future I'll be posting some video of him in action, and technical stuff like schematics and source code. Hope you like him.