Get a tiny Raspberry Pi Zero with adapters

The Raspberry Pi Zero is a tiny Linux computer. Ever since they were announced last year for $5, they have been hard to get. But if you are willing to spend about $20, you can get one on Amazon. This Raspberry Pi Zero kit from Argon Forty is $18.50, and it also includes a Mini HDMI to HDMI adapter and a Micro USB OTG to USB Adapter, both of which I needed anyway, so it's a good deal. The Raspberry Pi Zero W is $2 more and comes with onboard Wi-Fi. You will also need a Micro SDHC flash memory card (here's a 16GB one for $7) If you are coming to Maker Faire this year, you can see what I made with it, I'll be presenting at 1pm on Sunday. Read the rest

MIT students create and circulate open source, covert RFID rings to subvert campus tracking system

A reader writes, "A couple years ago MIT changed their dorm security/student tracking policy. They hired security contractors to work in dorms and required everyone to tap their RFID cards upon entry (no vouching for friends/guests). Most students complied. Some moved out. Some got in trouble ;)" Read the rest

Watch: Scotty buys spare parts in China to upgrade his iPhone memory 800%

Scotty, who runs the excellent Strange Parts YouTube channel, went to Shenzhen, China to upgrade the memory in his iPhone 6s from 16GB to 128GB. "I've been hearing for several years that this was something the repair shops here in Huaqiangbei could do," he says, "and I'd even seen one do it to a friends phone, so naturally, I had to learn how to do it myself. It was harder than I thought." Read the rest

Make: a crawling, Arduino-controlled scrap cardboard spiderbot

Raz85's Instructable for a Cardboard Spider Quadruped offers a nice demonstration of the surprisingly durable material properties of humble cardboard, replacing the more familiar milled metal or plastic limbs for a quadruped robot with scrap cardboard. Read the rest

Gorgeous scrap-electronics wearable cyberpunk assemblages from Hiroto Ikeuchi

Tokyo designer Hiroto Ikeuchi creates amazing wearable cyberpunk assemblages out of scrap electronics and other odds and sods. Read the rest

Kitchen knife made from aluminum foil

kiwami japan (previously at Boing Boing) shows us how to turn a pack of kitchen foil into a ready-to-chop kitchen knife. See also the pasta kitchen knife and the chocolate kitchen knife. Read the rest

Tinkercad has a nifty Arduino simulator

Tinkercad is a web-based 3D design application. It's free and easy to use. I've been using it for years to design models for 3D printing. What I didn't know until recently is that Tinkercad also has a circuit design and simulation app, including an Arduino simulator. You can program the simulated Arduino with text or with Scratch-like drag-and-drop blocks. Here's the getting started page. Read the rest

Small wireless keyboard with built-in touchpad for $10

My daughter and I are building a portable device to play the 1981 RPG computer game, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. We're running it on a Raspberry Pi using a a DOS operating system emulator called DOSBox. Here's what we've got so far:

Next, we have to design a case using TinkerCad, and then print it out on our Prusa 3D printer.

I've been looking for a small wireless keyboard and it looks like the one shown in the above photo will fit the bill. It's on sale on Amazon for $10 if you use the promo code BQZZXVBB. It also has a trackpad, which is not needed for Wizardry but will come in handy when using the Raspberry Pi's GUI. Read the rest

Man builds full kitchen in back of tiny electric car

This man made a functional kitchen -- complete with cabinetry, stove, sink, running water, and refrigerator -- in the back of his little electric car. "I learned that making a car kitchen is hard if you want it to actually look like a real kitchen," he says. The best part is that the entire kitchen is easily removed from the car. Read the rest

Bionic prosthetic Nerf gun for man without an arm

Maker collective Hackerloop modified a Nerf gun into a bionic prosthetic for their friend Nicolas Huchet. He fires the gun via EMG (electromyography) sensors that detect when he tenses his forearm muscles.

"It all started with jokes about the fact that it was too easy for us to win over him in a nerf battle, as he’s missing his right hand," writes "tinkerer in chief" Valentin Squirelo.

From Medium:

DIY hardware is not just about temperature sensors and automated door locks anymore. Every hardware component used to make this gun can be found online.

“Electromyography is a great way to make the body communicate with hardware. We used it to detect electrical impulses and translated them into instructions for our gun. You could think of a thousand other uses.

You could think it’s not the first problem to solve for people with disabilities, but in fact being able to have fun with your friends with these wonderful toys is also a real game changer”.

Read the rest

A mechanical, wooden Turing machine

Richard J. Ridel's all-wooden, mechanical Turing machine uses the smallest set of data elements capable of computing any calculation: 0, 1 and blank; it was inspired by Ridel's viewing of The Imitation Game. Read the rest

Men: Rest your weary head while urinating

In 2002, Eric D. Page was granted US patent #6681419B1 for a "Forehead support apparatus" enabling men to rest their head (the one atop the neck) while standing at a urinal. The device includes a "mounting member," which contrary to what you might think is actually a fitting for attaching it to the wall. It's also suitable for the shower. From the Abstract:

A compressible head support member is attached to and extends from the wall and said mounting member. The head support defines an elastically deformable or resilient forehead support surface which is spaced above the floor and from the wall a distance sufficient for the user to lean his forehead thereagainst and be supported while using the commode or urinal.

(Weird Universe) Read the rest

To do at SXSW: Cypherpunks Strike Back! and Cyborg Pride Parade

EFF-Austin's Jon Lebkowsky writes: "Every year while thousands flock to a certain large festival that temporarily colonizes Austin, EFF-Austin throws a honking big geek soiree. Keynote speakers are this year are Caroline Old Coyote and Michael Running Wolf, Native American VR/AR activists who are using technology to preserve their culture and heritage. Additional speakers include EFF Investigative Researcher David Maass discussing police surveillance, government transparency, and legislation in California, former EFF-Austin president Jon Lebkowsky, Carly Rose Jackson with Texans For Voter Choice, and Vikki Goodwin, Democratic candidate for Texas House District 47. Also music by Michael Garfield, Pilgrimess, and UBA, plus custom video game consoles, lockpicking, and cosplay. " Read the rest

The ingenious perpetual flip calendar from the 1920s

This Perpetual Flip Calendar has a nifty way of displaying the date every time you rotate it 180 degrees. The Measured Workshop YouTube channel got the 1926 patent application and recreated one out of wood.

Here's a 3D printed version!

[via Core77]

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Watch this excellent 1977 documentary about makers and mad inventors

Directed by Howard Smith, "Gizmo" (1977) is a delightful collection of mid-century newsreels celebrating ingenuity, invention, and the eccentric minds who make their wild ideas real.

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Maker Update: Contraptions and QR Coasters

Every week Donald Bell posts a video about interesting maker projects. This week in Maker Update he looks at an animated wooden sign, new mesh boards from Particle, 3D printed QR coasters, 3D printing on fabric, and his talk with CNC router whiz Jon-A-Tron. This week’s Cool Tool is a Retractable Cardboard Cutter. Read the rest

Scotty goes to China to make a custom iPhone from spare parts

Last year Scotty of Strange Parts made an iPhone from spare parts he picked up at the mind-boggling electronics markets in Shenzhen, China. He recently returned to buy parts to make a one-of-a-kind iPhone from parts. In this video he selects a back and gets it laser engraved with a neat design.

Enough of these boring looking iPhones - let's make a custom Strange Parts iPhone here in Shenzhen, China. I headed out to the cell phone parts markets in Huaqiangbei, to find a custom iPhone back. I then headed off to the laser engraving booths to have them etch a custom design in the iphone back. I think it came out pretty well!

Read the rest

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