MakerFaire 2013 Wrap Up

makerfaire

Whew, MakerFaire Bay Area 2013 is over and it was astoundingly fun. Not only did we get to interact with so many people doing awesome things with ThingM products (like these BlinkM MinM earrings) but we got to show off a bunch of projects made with blink(1) and BlinkM-family stuff to thousands of new people. We heard tallies of 120,000 people showed up over the weekend, and we love seeing the concepts the Maker community inspires diffusing out into the larger world, as this LA Times article speaks to.

This year not only were we fortunate enough to have a ThingM table in the Maker Shed (Thank you Leah, Alex, Will, Carlyn, & Mike for helping staff it), but we also gave talks. Mike spoke about the future of manufacturing in a work filled with Maker-inspired tools and techniques, while Tod gave a talk on the process we went through to take blink(1) from an idea to Kickstarter to production.

Below are slides from both talks.

Mike’s talk:
MFBA 2013 336

The New Product Ecosystem: How design will reinvent manufacturing (Maker Faire 2013) by Mike Kuniavsky

Tod’s talk:

todmakerfaire

From Prototype to Kickstarter to Production: How blink(1) was made by todbot

High-five robot with BlinkM MinM

They said it couldn’t be done: a robot that only does high-fives. They were wrong. Thanks to a courageous BlinkM MinM who donated his brain to be rewritten with an BlinkMuino ATtiny85 Arduino sketch, the High-Five Robot exists.

BlinkMuino updated for Arduino 1.0

I finally got around to updating the BlinkMuino guide for turning your BlinkM, BlinkM MinM, or BlinkM MaxM into a tiny ATtiny85 or ATtiny84 Arduino system. BlinkM boards make great tiny development boards, especially if you’re interested in driving LEDs. BlinkM MaxMs are particularly great because they have more inputs and those three beefy MOSFET power transistors. And MinMs are good because they’re super tiny, but still contain a fully-programmable computer.

Thankfully, the ArduinoISP sketch has also been updated for Arduino-1.0, meaning you can use your Arduino as an AVR-ISP programmer, like this:

blinkmuino-arduino-500px

Here’s the original video I made about BlinkMuino:

We’ll be showing off some examples of BlinkMs programmed with Arduino at Maker Faire, some say “hi”!

BlinkM-controlled by iPhone via BLE and BlinkM with Xbee

Twitter user Yoshimune KITTA made two cool BlinkM hacks, complete with pictures and code. It’s really cool to see how small the code can be, thanks to powerful libraries.

The first is a Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE)-controlled BlinkM. Control BlinkM from your iPhone! The code gist: BLE Shield + BlinkM gist

blinkm-ble

The second is an Xbee-controlled BlinkM. The code gist: XbeeBlinkM

blinkm-xbee

Thanks @epic_yoshimax!

ThingM November Newsletter!

blink(1) NOVEMBER KICKSTARTER UPDATES
November has continued to be an incredibly busy blink(1) month.  The most exciting news is – we’ve started shipping!  To  read about all of the highs and lows of our manufacturing and assembly process please read our full posts.

To follow the blink(1) progress and updates please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thingm/blink1-the-usb-rgb-led/posts
To pre-order a blink(1): http://shop.thingm.com/blink1/
Questions: blink1@thingm.com

THINGM BLOG
We’ve shared some exciting new ThingM projects of the blog this month!  Including a incredible BlinkM architectural model (it uses over 650 BlinkMs!) created by our friends over at EOS Lightmedia – and a Star Trek glow pin.

THINGM SEEDKITS
End of semester reminder!

For the last few years we’ve been offering students and institutions an opportunity to experiment and play with ThingM products through our Seedkit program. This year we’ve changed it up a bit, in exchange for a greatly reduced price, all we ask is participants commit to documenting and sharing their process with us. We’ll hopefully inspire our ThingM community by sharing the best ideas on our blog and in our newsletters. This year we have two options, a whole schmogasborg of ThingM goodies called the Grab Bag, as well as a Wearables Kit specifically geared for soft goods.

  • Wearable Kit: $60 for 10 MinMs and 2 LinkMs
  • Grab Bag: $100 for 10 BlinkMs, 5 BlinkM MaxMs, and 2 LinkMs

All Seedkits are intended for educational, non-commercial purposes, you must have a .edu email address to request a Seedkit.  If interested please contact Kim directly at: kim.karlsrud@thingm.com