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Kickstarting a cardboard CNC mill for mixing drinks, drawing circuit boards and frosting cookies

Ryan Wistort is an MIT roboticist (we covered his dancing bird robot while back) with a new project up on Kickstarter. He sez, "I am a MIT nerd/robot maker and just released a CNC Robot for Makers on Kickstarter. It's like a Shopbot or other CNC mill, but made for doing things like drawing, painting, frosting cookies, and mix drinks."

This is one of my favorite kinds of Kickstarter projects. It embodies the greatest of Eno's oblique strategies: "Be the first person to not do something that no one else has ever thought of not doing before." In this case: build a super-cheap CNC mill by constructing it out of flimsy materials that won't manage any of the usual milling projects, and then find other use cases for it: frosting cookies and painting pictures, mixing cocktails and drawing circuit boards with conductive ink.

Wistort's had some successful business experience before, suggesting that he has at least a fighting chance of shipping something here. Kits start at $250.

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Kickstarting an album of music made from junk hardware - and plans for recycled electronics instruments

Chiron sez, "I'm making an album and music video on Kickstarter, creating music and art from the most powerful tools human kind has ever discarded. Using recycled electronics, you journey into a secret world, with dollhouse-sized scenes filmed inside technology itself, and sounds made almost entirely out of retro computers & video games. E-waste is a huge environmental problem, and so my mission is to inspire artists and musicians around the world to turn the problem into creative artistic solutions. I've got 13 years professional experience in technology as a senior project manager, and this adventure represents the peak of a 5-year labor of love."

Backers pledging to this project can choose rewards, for both people who love listening to music, as well as making it. You can get download and CD versions of the music, and various hardware and software used to make the sounds on the album. This includes software and MIDI hardware for vintage systems, as well as guitar pedals made out of modems and PDP-11 electronics, and art prints featuring scenes from the final music video. Right now there is also a free song and free instruments you can download directly from the Kickstarter page. Everything is designed, built and hand-tested by me and once the project has launched, and after backers get a 6-month head start, I will release everything under an open-source license.

Trash Secret - A Musical Journey Inside Technology (Thanks, Chiron!)

Kickstarting an anthology of diverse steampunk stories

Publisher Steven Saus sends us a Kickstarter for "a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors, including Jay Lake, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, and Lucy A. Snyder."

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Kickstarting a set of Kooky Kreeps papercraft Hallowe'en masks

Matt Hawkins is a talented papercraft designer and illustrator who's work we've featured before. He's got a kickstarter up for his Kooky Creeps papercraft Hallowe'en masks ("You know, just in time for Xmas!" -M. Hawkins), which are absolutely terrific. $25 gets you all four masks in a coffin-portfolio. For $1,000 he'll make you a one-of-a-kind piece.

Kooky Creeps

Kickstarting turning Walt Disney's birthplace into a museum

Ricky sez, "Two theme park attraction designers have purchased the Chicago home in which Walt Disney and his brother Roy were born and lived until 1906. They have launched a Kickstarter project to fund the restoration of the house that was built by Walt's father Elias in the late 1800s to turn it into an historic landmark and high-tech museum. They are well on their way to their hefty goal of $500,000, aiming to complete the project in 1 year's time." (Thanks, Ricky!) Cory 6

The Wrecking Crew - documentary about the famed studio musicians of the 1960s and 1970s


I've seen the fantastic documentary, The Wrecking Crew, about the legendary group of studio musicians who played the instruments on a great many of the songs recorded by famous groups of the 1960s and 1970s. The documentary is finished, but the filmmaker (son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco) needs $250k to pay the licensing fees for the 120+ music cues in the film. He's launched a Kickstarter to raise the funds and is well over halfway towards his funding goal. I'm rooting for this to happen because this film deserves to be seen.

This is a documentary film about an elite group of studio session musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960’s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, 5th Dimension, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Johnny Rivers and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and that’s just a few! The amount of work in which they were involved was tremendous.

"The Wrecking Crew" The Untold Story of Rock & Roll Heroes

Kickstarting a massive poster of the Internet

Benjamin writes, "I've always been fascinated by pictures of the Internet. However, I usually find that they aim to visualize the connections between the screens rather than the people behind them. This drawing experiment is about trying to create a more human representation of the web made up of requests from people around the globe. You can ask me to draw anything you like. Pledge a minimum of one dollar through Kickstarter, message me your request and I'll add it to the final drawing."

Internetopia - the supersized Internet drawing.

Kickstarting a print edition of Jörgits, a kids' story that was well-loved in app form

Anders writes, "I've launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish my novel the Jörgits as a hardcover book. It's an all-ages illustrated novel about a group of aliens whose planet has become too cold for them. Fortunately, they've discovered a planet nearby which is rapidly heating up - Earth. The novel is set to the backdrop of global warming and introduces the reader to this complex environmental issue with humor and tact. In April of 2012, I ran a successful Kickstarter to raise $25,000 to publish the Jörgits as an Ipad app. The app went live in March of this year and has been critically well received. I'm currently raising $7000 to finance a first print run."

$40 gets you your own copy.

The End of Winter: Jörgits Printed Book (Thanks, Anders!)

Rollerball pen draws conductive circuits

Laura sez, "Circuit Scribe is a rollerball pen that draws with conductive silver ink-it makes building circuits as easy as doodling. Electroninks just launched a Kickstarter to fund the pen. They make low-cost, high-quality electronics for STEM education. The pen could replace breadboards and lets you prototype instantly. The pen only costs $20 plus they're offering kits for kids and Makers. You can use it with Makey Makey and Arduino. It's pretty cool, check out the video! I love their utilitarian vibe."

Looks like a good team, too! $30 gets you the basic kit.

Circuit Scribe: Draw Circuits Instantly

Kano -- small computer to teach kids programming

This Raspberry PI based computer kit looks like a great way to get kids interested in programming. The programming language looks kind of like Scratch, the free drag-and-drop programming language developed at MIT. A Kickstarter pledge of $9 or more gets you "downloads of the Kano books, OS, and projects. Plus, we'll put your name in our source code."

Kano: A computer anyone can make

New Disruptors 49: Actually, Quite Likely! Recorded Live in Brooklyn

We recorded a special live episode of The New Disruptors in Brooklyn's fantastic DUMBO district in the Galapagos Art Space as part of the Nearly Impossible conference in which we talked about the joys, challenges, and surprises in prototyping, funding, producing, and distributing products. On stage, we had Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy of CW&T, Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost of Studio Neat, and Jessica Heltzel of Kern and Burn.

The New Disruptors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode | Listen on Stitcher

This episode is sponsored by Shopify: use Shopify to create your online store. Everything you need to start selling online – today!

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Kickstarted rescue for the marionettes of Ralph Kipniss

Jason sez, "Ralph Kipniss is a master puppeteer who has fallen on hard times. In 2005, he lost both his life partner (after a grave illness) and his puppet theater (in an accidental fire). In the years since, Kipniss has had to move out of Chicago, but hundreds of his specially-created marionettes are still in storage in his old apartment building. Local filmmakers Joseph R. Lewis and Lew Ojeda are running a Kickstarter campaign to help reunite Kipniss with his puppets and hopefully help him get back into performing regularly."

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Kickstarting a documentary about cops shooting dogs

Amy sez, "Every 98 minutes in the USA, a dog is shot by law enforcement. (In the past fifty years, no police officer has been killed by a dog, and yet evidence suggests the police use lethal force as their one and only response when dogs are present - even lying down, tales wagging, or running away.) This new indie documentary explores an untold story. Everyone should check it out!"

PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary (Thanks, Amy!)

Kickstarting an artist-in-residence for Philly hackspace

Georgia sez, "We've launched Kickstarter campaign to fund a residency just for artists who want to learn to code and hack hardware. The residency was created by The Hacktory, a makerspace in Philly that is proud to be friendly and inclusive. The project has already been awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant that needs to be matched, so all pledges count twice towards our overall goal!"

This sounds like a good cause, and they've got some sweet donor rewards.

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Kickstarting Kudzilla: a kudzu-covered monster roadside attraction

Chris Lindland (who founded the awesome Betabrand writes, "I went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with my partner in kudzu crime, Anthony Jaffe, who now lives in Atlanta. For years, we've talked about building a giant monument to Godzilla out of the famed Vine That Ate The South. While everyone knows what Godzilla is, for the most part only Southerners are truly familiar with kudzu. It's an invasive vine that grows up to a foot a day and fully envelopes trees, telephone poles, and buildings -- making them look like giant, leafy monsters.

"So we naturally thought, "Why not crowdfund an enormous, Godzilla-like structure and allow it to be covered in Kudzu." The result: Kudzilla.

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