Here’s a quick hack to try if you have a blink(1) and want a light that is large and viewable from more angles than what blink(1) normally provides. It does make things a bit larger though. It turns out ping-pong balls make excellent diffusers for LEDs. Here’s how to attach a ping-pong ball diffuser to your blink(1) so you can put a computer-controlled notification light just about anywhere.
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.
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.
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:
On the Raspberry Pi forums, Will is working on an Internet-connected catflap using blink(1), Raspberry Pi, Twine. The Twine is the sensor (it has a tilt-detection) and the Raspberry Pi + blink(1) are the output notification. Can’t wait to see the final installation!
ThingM will be at Maker Faire Bay Area again, come visit us! We’ll be showing off blink(1) USB LED notifier, the entire BlinkM Smart LED family, including the wearable BlinkM MinM and the powerful BlinkM MaxM. We’ll be demonstrating cool uses of BlinkMs as part of home lighting, art installations, and using them with Arduinos & Raspberry Pis. You can even make a BlinkM into a tiny Arduino by itself.
blink(1) is a super status light. It fits into any USB port on almost every type of computer: Mac, Linux, Windows, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, WRT router, etc. No drivers needed and APIs in about every language you could want. And it's all open source.
Buy one now!