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Adafruit Industries - Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

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You might not pay for your next wearable #WearableWednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 10:00, modified on 2017-08-17 21:46

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Insurance companies are increasingly looking into giving their customers free Apple watches! Interesting read on that and other free wearable trends, Via Wareable

In the first three months of the year, about 25 million wearables were sold worldwide. Fairly impressive considering that the most popular choice, the Apple Watch, ain’t that affordable. Then again 3.6 million of those were very cheap Xiaomi trackers which can be bought for as little as $15.

We’ve talked about the need for smartwatch prices, say, to come down to what people think is reasonable. But how about free?

The idea that wearables should be free has been around as long as this current wave of connected-self tech has. In November 2014, before Wareable existed, Frog’s then chief creative officer Hans Neubert argued the point: “Make wearable devices free, and monetize the data, or risk losing out on the possibility of mass-market adoption.”

Companies giving away wearables is now a legit way for people to end up owning one of these devices and the trend is only set to grow in 2018. So what does this mean? Why give them away, or heavily discount them, and is there more appetite for a freebie smart accessory than one you have to pay for? We’ve covered the rise in health insurers offering wearable tech schemes and explored what workers need to think about before agreeing to a complementary tracker or smartwatch from their boss.

The freebie wearable scene is still taking shape so we thought it would be good track who is giving away free devices and why in mid 2017. Some of them might surprise you. Either way, if you’re looking to get a free or almost-free wearable, keep an eye on these trends.

To save money on healthcare

This is the big one you’ve probably already heard about and it’s going to get bigger. US health insurance company Aetna is reportedly in talks with Apple to provide free and discounted Apple Watches to its customer base.. of 23 million customers. Remember, Apple only sold 3 – 4 million smartwatches in early 2017. This deal, if it goes ahead as rumoured in early 2018, could be huge for Apple and for wearable tech.

Another health insurance giant, Vitality, already has the jump on Aetna – it offers super cheap Apple Watches as well as big, sometimes 30 – 40 % discounts for customers on wearables from Garmin, Polar, Misfit, Fitbit and Nokia. For years, Fitbit’s own Health Solutions, previously Group Health, has run schemes at big employers like BP, Barclays and notably the Fitbit Zip giveaway for 340,000 Target workers.

In the UK, the National Health Service is coming at the idea from a different angle, looking to treat patients at home thereby saving time and resources in hospitals. Its Test Bed trials program is giving out all sorts of wearables for free, including the Philips Health Watch and in Surrey, where 700 people are taking part in a Test Bed on connected medication for dementia, the project heads reckon it could benefit up to 16,000 people in that area of England alone.

See more!

Behind the Scenes With ROAR’s Awesome Safety Tech #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #tech #college #womensafety

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 09:00, modified at 06:26

Athena's Dynamic Duo

I remember the day Yasmine Mustafa walked into my hackerspace asking questions about Arduino and prototyping. She had a great idea for a wearable personal safety device and now a few years later the company she co-founded with Anthony Gold, ROAR for Good, is shipping finished product. I reconnected with Yasmine to get the inside scoop on the successful launch of the tiny wearable Athena. So, grab your coffee for this success story.

How did you get the idea for this wearable?

Athena was inspired by events that unfolded during my six-month solo-trek across South America where I met many women (both locals and travelers) who had been victims of assault. Then, just one week after I came back to Philadelphia, a woman was out feeding her parking meter when she was grabbed from behind, dragged into an alley, severely beaten, and brutally raped. It was at that moment my co-founder Anthony Gold and I made a commitment to leverage our skills, resources, and energy to make a difference. And it was at that moment ROAR for Good, and eventually, Athena, was born.

Athena and app

What are Athena’s capabilities?

Athena is a simple device with a big mission – to protect women with the touch of a button. It has two modes, one for emergencies and another for discreet situations. For emergencies, the user would hold down the button on the device for 3 seconds to activate Athena. At this point, an alarm would sound and Athena would connect to the user’s smartphone (via Bluetooth) to send alert messages with the user’s location to their loved ones. We also know there are occasions when the wearer doesn’t want the attacker to know that the device has been triggered. So, we also engineered SilentROAR™, a feature in which alert messages can be sent without the alarm being activated.

The unfortunate truth is that every woman knows what it’s like to have the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Many women live in a constant state of alertness due to the threat of potential violence. From modifying their wardrobe to attract less attention to taking the long route home to avoid dark alleys to clutching their phone and keys between their knuckles, women are constantly thinking about what to do in case of danger. For many, this fear dominates their lives. Athena is, therefore, a way that women can take proactive steps for empowerment. And, unlike existing self-defense tools, Athena cannot be used against the wearer. The goal of Athena is to empower women to live their lives boldly.

What has been the most challenging part of this project?

There are many challenges.  First, our original manufacturer couldn’t handle the volume of orders that came through our crowdfunding campaign, which exceeded our original goal by 668. While it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we ended up finding Flex (a top-tier manufacturer that produces 90% of today’s wearable), it immediately set us back 4 months. The tooling process took much longer than we anticipated as well—every tweak would affect a seemingly unrelated component which had to be tested and then adjusted. In addition, working with contractors who moonlighted elongated the process further which was a big lesson learned for us. Because we did so much testing every step of our DFM (Design For Manufacturing) process, we ended up making a handful of technical changes to enhance the product. This included increasing the sound level of the alert buzzer, adding a vibrator motor to indicate a silent alarm, increasing the battery life, and overhauling the mobile app.

Athena as pendant

What are people’s reactions so far?

The reactions towards Athena have been overwhelmingly positive. We launched an Indiegogo campaign back in 2015 and hit our goal within 3 days. The response was more than we could have ever imagined and we are truly grateful for our wonderful community. Since then, we’ve been working on catching up on our pre-orders and now that Athena is finally in the hands of our community members we get to hear how pleased they are with their device and what it means to them. Here’s one testimonial we just received from a customer and it’s why we do what we do: “I live in NYC and am constantly harassed and followed. Athena has helped improve my quality of life immensely. Thank you so much for making this product. Seriously it’s changed my life.”

Tell me about your efforts in educating others about assault

As a social-mission certified B-corp, we don’t want to just put a band-aid on the problem. In addition to Athena, we are committed to getting to the root causes of these attacks. That’s why for every Athena device purchased, we invest a percentage of proceeds into nonprofits that teach young boys and girls about empathy, consent, and healthy relationships which have been shown to reduce harassment, abuse, and attacks against women. Some nonprofits that we currently partner with include One Love, Women Against Abuse, and Women Organized Against Rape. We also educate our local community through various events to raise awareness. Most recently we hosted two screenings of The Hunting Ground, which is a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. Additionally, on the ROAR Personal safety app we curate articles and resources within StoriesforGood™, which provide resources such as self-defense videos and general safety awareness tips in an easily digestible way.

Athena Friends

What is next for ROAR?

In the short-term, we plan to integrate 911 capabilities with the device and app so when Athena is pressed the authorities can be alerted immediately. We are still a few months away from this feature (coming in October), but luckily it won’t require an additional Athena purchase – it will instead be a firmware update. As for our next product, we are working on creating a device that has LTE/GSM embedded directly into it so a phone isn’t needed in order to notify the police or send out messages. We also hope to create a more affordable product so a wider range of people can use Athena and feel empowered.

It’s been great catching up with Yasmine and I’m very excited about this product and future models. Chalk this one up to my top ten wearables for the year! Although women are often mentioned on ROAR’s site, Athena is getting attention from many people of different ages. It’s sad to think there is so much harassment and violence in the world, but at least this is one approach that is adding education and defense. Actually Yasmine has one more update to add saying companies are actually approaching her about using Athena for employees that work late at night. Safety should be everyone’s business and it’s nice to see this movement happening.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Make Dancing Robot Friends, Not Dancing Robot Enemies

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 08:00, modified on 2017-08-18 17:49

via Mashable

These 1,069 harmless (we assume) “Dobi” robots from WL Tech were dancing their little metal hearts out this week to set a record for the most robots dancing simultaneously.

And it looks like congratulations are in order because, according to the feat-measuring folks at the Guinness World Records, these nearly knee-high-sized robots did in fact break the world record.

See and learn more!

This Is What Happens When 3d Printing Goes Rogue #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #3dprinting #art

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 07:00, modified at 03:18

Saadon's 3D printing

One day a friend demonstrated the 3Doodler, that funky 3D printing device that allows you to make freehand sculptures. After some rounds of what looked like spinning cotton candy, he handed me a wispy hot pink earring. It was exciting to watch and he did warn that it was not easy to master, so I was not in a hurry to get the tool. However, catching this post on The Beauty Bitch Blog about a new technique got me re-invigorated. Eden Saadon, artist/designer, uses the Doodler to create lacy shapes on tulle fabric. It’s a lot like witnessing someone doing lead work for glass windows, tracing intricate patterns that allow light to pass through. The fabric adds stability and also makes the images appear to float. It really is spectacular.

Saadon Doodling

Eden also adds Swarovski crystals as embellishments, which results in pieces that look perfect for goth masquerades. Her work ranges from ethereal gowns to cob-webbed faerie coverings and after-midnight baby-dolls. I can see this technique being used for elaborate costumes for both sci-fi and fantasy movies or cosplay. It can resemble embroidery, macrame or even an alien spine. 3D digital printing certainly allows for repetition and precision, but there is something about this free hand style that flows. It reminds me of Japanese Sumi-E painting, and I’m sure it would also be attractive as decoration on paper or lampshades.

Saadon Doodler Mesh

It has been a while since I checked out the 3Doodler, but it appears they have three different models—a basic, a mid-range and a pro version. Interestingly the pro-version can handle more unusual materials like wood, polycarbonate, nylon, bronze, and copper. For people that enjoy the feeling of crafting, this is an exciting way to explore 3D. Sending big thanks to The Beauty Bitch Blog for this great intro to an artist I might have otherwise missed. The tools change, but the desire for wearable art continues.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!


Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 06:00, modified on 2017-08-18 17:41

via Motherboard

To study how Antarctic Gentoo penguins communicate while out on the water, scientists attached ‘penguincams’ to their bodies and the footage is great.

Gentoo penguins are open-ocean foragers. That means they hunt for fish and krill far out into the water, which makes it even harder for scientists to study them—not only are they in Antarctica, the least populated continent on the planet, they’re out on the open ocean, which isn’t easy to access either. Scientists from the Korea Polar Research Institute in Incheon, South Korea had to figure out another way of observing them. And like any good scientists, they did so by attaching cameras to penguins. I’m in the wrong line of work.

See more!

How to Make a Dancer the Spotlight #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #tech #dance #Arduino #art

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 05:00, modified at 02:02

Marc Gesmundo, a student at Victoria University of Wellington School of Design decided to create a project that would add excitement for dancers. It’s an Arduino circuit worn between a layer of stockings connected to a NeoPixel strip. The surprise comes from a pressure sensor at the bottom of the foot, which allows a readout in LEDs depending on the force. Here’s Marc’s description of Step Up.

It helps to convey messages just like the different kinds of dance routine convey messages through movement and visual effects added with video editing or external source of light effects. It reduces the effort of using other external tools while maintaining a good amount of visual effect. Step Up can help create or expand more dance routines for dancers based on this idea.

Although this is a beautiful light effect, I could also see this becoming purposeful. In ballet a lot of time is spent working on pointing toes when doing various positions. It’s easy to forget when you are new to dance and still concentrating on the arch of the back or just the position of the legs and arms. So, I could see the device becoming a fun instrument in checking for point or alignment. LEDs can be useful to display visual information or they can be unique ornamentation. Do you have a project that needs some shine? Check out our Überguide for all things NeoPixel. You’ll learn about the variety of forms as well as the code tricks that make them so popular. Show us what you make and make sure you get us a video of the performance.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

#BackToSchool for the First Time: 5 Tips from Fellow Educators for New Teachers

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 04:30, modified on 2017-08-16 15:35

The PBS Teachers Lounge blog have a quick list of 5 tips from fellow educators for first-time teachers to prepare them for the classroom:

As the summer winds down, veteran teachers head back to school alongside their newly minted counterparts. Returning to the classroom can be daunting for any educator, but for a first-year teacher, the excitement of the first day of school might be mixed with nerves, anxiety, and uncertainty. How do you prepare for the unexpected? What will get students engaged and excited? How can you connect with fellow teachers? Educators can recall these uncertainties, questions, and more.

PBS reached out to veteran educators to ask what advice they have for first-year teachers. Educators are fantastic at sharing their experiences, and we received hundreds of responses from teachers with all levels of experience who reflected on their time as rookies. They share with us what has worked for them over the years.

Read more.


August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each week we’ll be bringing you a two #BackToSchool posts on the blog! Stay tuned for product and gift guides, tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System, and inspiration from around the web! Get started by checking out Adafruit’s educational resources, such as our kits and project packs, suggested products for young engineers, blog posts for educators and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!

NeoPixel Jean Jacket Bar Sign #WearableWednesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 04:00, modified on 2017-08-22 17:45

Nice jacket! Via rabbitcreek on Instructables.


Featured Adafruit Product!


Adafruit Metro Mini 328 – 5V 16MHz: We sure love the ATmega328 here at Adafruit, and we use them a lot for our own projects. The processor has plenty of GPIO, Analog inputs, hardware UART SPI and I2C, timers and PWM galore – just enough for most simple projects. When we need to go small, we use a Pro Trinket 3V or 5V, but if you want to have USB-to-Serial built in, we reach for an Adafruit METRO Mini. Read more.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

Google Searching for “My Eyes Hurt” Peaked After Yesterday’s Eclipse

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 02:45

Superpaow a Data is Beautiful Reddit user created a chart using google trends. It compares the search terms “solar eclipse” to “my eyes hurt” yesterday. They found that shortly after peak eclipse searching the popularity of “my eyes hurt” also peaked”.

[ Read More @ The Next Web ]

Universal Camera Tilt/Rotate mount #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-23 02:00, modified on 2017-08-22 21:31

TurtleRover shares:

This project showcases how to make your waterproof servo actuated pan/tilt camera holder.
We designed this project for everyone, who wants to test outdoor camera capabilities mounted on mobile platforms (like for ex. Turtle Rover).

download the files on: https://www.thingiverse.com/TurtleRover

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

Writing Hacks: Many Names Are Better than One Perfect Name

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 21:30, modified on 2017-08-21 16:47

Language is a technology. It’s a particularly strange one that’s made of squiggles and sounds and maps of meaning, but like any other technology, it’s hackable. So’s writing.

Here’s a trick for naming things.

Writing instructors often tell their students how important it is to give something the correct name. A great name can help get across character and tone. Just think of some of the great names from stories: Hermione Granger, Han Solo, Mary Poppins, Holly Golightly, Sherlock Holmes.

But what about characters who have more than one name, like everybody’s favorite dragon rider, Daenerys Targaryan/Dany/Daenerys Stormborn/Mother of Dragons/Khaleesi/Breaker of Chains.

What does this do? What are names anyway? The notion of a “perfect name” implies that each of us has some essential, never-changing self, but that isn’t how it feels to go through the world. There are parts of us that change over time. We’re different when we’re a child, when we’re a young adult, and when we grow into an adult.

We also change depending on who we’re with. When we’re with friends (Dany), warriors (Khaleesi), or subjects (Breaker of Chains).

Giving a character multiple names signals that they are dynamic. It also gives them an air of mystery. Are they all of these names or none of them? What are they hiding?

It can also reveal character. What does it say when they introduce themselves with a particular name, and what does it say about other characters based on the name they choose to use when addressing our character?

Different names can also create different effects. J. R. R. Tolkein, in his effort to carve out a mythological space for his characters, gave them a huge number of names, often based on the various languages of Middle Earth: Gandalf/Mithrandir/Tharkûn/Olórin/Gandalf Greyhame/Gandalf the Grey/The Grey Pilgrim/The White Rider/Gandalf the White.

George R.R. Martin wanted to create a more grounded world of gritty political machinations. The names of his characters reflect their lineage and political power in different spheres.

Names are another world-building tool. Use them.

<a href=”https://blog.adafruit.com/tag/writing-hacks/”>See previous writing hacks here!</a>

The Making of a Queen Hippolyta Costume

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 21:05

We showcased Beverly Downen’s incredible Queen Hippolyta costume back in March. Even though it was completed before the release of Wonder Woman, she nailed the regal and fierce look of the costume. She recently shared details of making each aspect of the ensemble on her website. It took her about four months to construct the entire costume, but with her notes and patterns, it could take someone else less time.

She designed the patterns for the armor portion of the costume (and the tiara and shield) from paper and traced them onto EVA foam and black Worbla. You can see how the vambraces took shape in the below photos. If you want to try your hand at making a Hippolyta costume, you can get patterns from Downen Creative Studio on Etsy.

Get full details on all aspects of the Queen Hippolyta build at Downen Creative Studios’ website. This post specifically focuses on the armor portion of the costume.

via The RPF on Facebook

David Ma #FoodFilms are Recipe Videos in the Style of Famous Directors #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 20:00, modified on 2017-08-16 19:46

From David Ma on YouTube via Foodbeast:

#FoodFilms reimagines recipe videos in the style of famous directors.

See more on YouTube and TheFoodFreeStylist.com

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Hyperrealism Drawings Use Colored Pencils to Perfectly Recreate Oil Paint #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 18:00, modified on 2017-08-17 18:05

Cj hendry hyperrealistic color paintings 1

Epic new work from artist Cj Hendry up on MyModernMet.

The vibrant series is a departure from Hendry’s typical style. Prior to starting Complimentary Colors, she worked exclusively in black and white, with subject matter depicting objects in pop culture—like a Chanel perfume bottle and Kayne West’s face on a $100 bill.

Read more.

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Life-Size Steel Wire Sculptures of Emotional Figures Trapped in Boxes #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 17:00, modified on 2017-08-09 18:55

Wire sculptures nadia zubareva 1

Via My Modern Met:

Sculptor Nadia Zubareva creates incredible figurative wire sculptures from stainless steel threads and polymer coating. From Siberia, Zubareva now lives and works between St. Petersburg and Finland, constructing her life-size sculptures with incredible skill. The wire sculpture artist manipulates her medium deftly, molding the metal into expressive figures that at times mimic classical art.

Sewn into metal boxes, Zubareva’s creations are often inspired by Greek and Roman sculptures. She takes on classic figures like Apollo and the Three Graces, yet seems equally inspired by the spirit of dance. Her ballerina, placed in a snowy forest, rests pointing her toes, while other dancers delicately arch their torsos.

Nadia zubareva wire sculptures 11

Fixed in their boxes, each translucent sculpture is trapped in their own environment. They are all at once a part of, yet also separate from, our world. As light passes through, the emotions change, each stage of the day bringing out new evocative shadows. Whether in the gallery or placed dramatically in a natural environment, each figure takes on a graphic quality characteristic of Zubareva’s work.

Nadia zubareva wire sculptures 9

See more

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

How Transistors Work Explained with 3D Printing by @ChuckHellebuyck

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 16:25, modified at 16:19

Chuck Hellebuyck’s latest project showcases how 3D printing can be used to educate and visualize concepts.

Chuck uses a custom 3D printed design to show how Bipolar Transistors work. He explains its two main functions using the 3D print along with some actual circuits using Snap Circuits. If you’ve ever wondered how a Bipolar Transistor (often used in Arduino circuits and Radios) works then check out this video.

If you’re an educator and looking to make your own, you can download Chuck’s design on his Thingiverse page.

Be sure to subscribe to Chuck’s YouTube channel for more electronics and 3D printing projects!

Simple Relay Control with ESP32, Smartphone, and Netconn (Explained) | #IoT #IoTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 16:13, modified on 2017-08-08 16:16

Installment #14 from lucadentella’s ESP32 tutorial repository on GitHub shows how to control a relay from a web page interacted with via a smartphone touchscreen. Luca does a brilliant job on his blog of explaining netconn and the breakdown of how the webserver operates on the ESP32.

One of the most popular projects among the ones included in my tutorial about the enc28j60 chip is fore sure WebRelay. This project allows to control an output pin of Arduino using a simple web page, designed to be accessed also using your smartphone. Today I’m going to show you how to implement a similar project with the esp32 chip; it’s also the opportunity to teach how to write a TCP server, especially a web server.

Read more.

Art in Films Edward Hopper Edition #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 15:00, modified on 2017-08-16 19:46

From Ignacio Montalvo on vimeo via No Film School:

“Art in films” is a series of video essays that analyze the relationship between cinema and art.

In this first video essay, I look into EDWARD HOPPER and the films that have been influenced by his art.

See more

Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

Glowing NeoPixel FeatherWing Indicates &#8220;We&#8217;ve Got Mail&#8221;

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 14:28, modified on 2017-08-14 21:29

Thanks to forums user sketchy from the bitknitting blog for sending this in:

I built (yet another) “we’ve got mail” detector using the Feather M0 RF95 LoRa. The device that tells us we’ve got uses sparkly neopixels behind a translucent enclosure…for some reason just seeing it sparkling makes me smile just for a bit.

I’ve been delighted with the results of my We’ve Got Mail project. Now we know when mail is put into our mailbox. Our mailbox is down the road from our house. There are days when my husband goes down and checks for mail delivery several times. A little exercise is a great thing. But some days it is cold, rainy, and dark.

NOT ANY MORE – when mail comes, the super-dah-dee-duper We’ve Got Mail home device starts to sparkle…a DEFINITE YIPPEE moment…It knows when to sparkle because the Mail Box Puck – which sits inside the mailbox – sends a message to the controller when the mailbox door is opened.

Read more here and check out the code powering the project here on GitHub.

Featured Adafruit Products!


Adafruit Feather M0 with RFM95 LoRa Radio – 900MHz: This is the Adafruit Feather M0 RFM95 LoRa Radio (900MHz) – our take on an microcontroller with a “Long Range (LoRa)” packet radio transceiver with built in USB and battery charging. Its an Adafruit Feather M0 with a 900MHz radio module cooked in! Great for making wireless networks that are more flexible than Bluetooth LE and without the high power requirements of WiFi. Read more.


NeoPixel FeatherWing – 4×8 RGB LED Add-on For All Feather Boards: A Feather board without ambition is a Feather board without FeatherWings! This is the NeoPixel FeatherWing, a 4×8 RGB LED Add-on For All Feather Boards! Using our Feather Stacking Headers or Feather Female Headers you can connect a FeatherWing on top or bottom of your Feather board and make your Feather board strut like a peacock at a rave. Read more.

6pm ET 8/24/17! Kristof De Ceuckelaere &#38; Patrick Degrendele from Velleman! @vellemanusa @adafruit #adafruit

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 14:05, modified at 13:55

Ladyada’s interview with Kristof De Ceuckelaere & Patrick Degrendele from Velleman goes live 6pm ET 8/24/17! See you there… here! And join us in the Discord chat!

Since 1997, Velleman, Inc. has been a thriving electronics supplier and wholesaler servicing North, Central, and South America. As the U.S. headquarters for Velleman, Velleman, Inc. works with industry-leading retailers to provide electronics enthusiasts with the means to bring their digital creations to life.

Our wide selection of products ranges from hard to find electronic components, connectors, and adapters to the latest tools and equipment from brands like Peak, Toolland, and Perel. Our most popular products are our line of Kits and Minikits which challenges makers to assemble, solder, and build projects. These DIY kits along with our extensive line of tools and components spark the inventor in everyone and help inspire the engineers of tomorrow.

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Velleman, Inc. boasts a 20,000ft² warehouse and in-house tech support team to provide one of the best logistical and technical service experiences in the industry. Our sales team includes both on-site sales members as well as sales representatives located throughout the United States. Our goal is to provide an easily-accessible, trustworthy team to assist distributors and retailers in the expanding consumer electronics industry.


LeapFrog Letter Discoveries Alphabet Learning Toy Gets the Teardown Time Treatment

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 13:11, modified on 2017-08-11 19:12

electronupdate tears down a LeapFrog Letter Discoveries alphabet learning toy. Some really interesting features including the multiple ‘spill proof’ parts and single-sided PCB for cost-saving measures make this an interesting – and quick – teardown video:

How to Cover Armor with Spandex Fabric

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 13:00, modified on 2017-08-21 20:59

When you make armor from EVA foam or Worbla, you have to seal and prime it if you want to paint over it. Silver Ice Dragon has a different technique for “painting armor.” She covers the surface with spandex fabric.

She used the method on her Diablo monk costume, pictured above, a couple of years ago and put together a tutorial. Besides saving the step of sealing and preparing the surface for paint, she said the fabric leads to a uniform color with clean edges and offers more flexibility for consistent effects. The key to applying the fabric to the foam or Worbla is using contact cement. For the first step, she explained:

Cut out a piece of fabric slightly larger than your armor and secure it upside down to your work surface. I like to put tape around the edges, since the fabric tends to stick to the brush when I’m painting the cement on. Mix the cement very well before using.

Visit DeviantArt to see part one and part two of the tutorial.

Photo by David Ngo

&#8216;Schoolifying&#8217; Minecraft Without Ruining It #MakerEducation

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 13:00, modified on 2017-08-15 14:41

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Interesting read from NPR Ed.

Steven Isaacs — @mr_isaacs on Twitter — is a full-time technology teacher in Baskingridge, N.J. He’s also the co-founder of a new festival that set the Guinness World Record for largest gathering dedicated to a single video game.

The game that cements both halves of his life together? Minecraft.

(In case you haven’t heard, Minecraft, originally developed by Markus Persson of Sweden, offers players the chance to build a 3-D world out of “blocks.” Since its release in 2009, Minecraft has sold more than 121 million copies, making it the best-selling game of all time after another blocky favorite, Tetris.)

Other games allow you to fight monsters, construct giant castles, build power plants, navigate mazes, chop down trees for wood, survive in the wilderness or band together into guilds. Minecraft has all of the above. It is so open-ended, in fact, that some refer to it as a platform instead of a game, or an “infinite Lego set.”

Read more.

Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

New Spray-painting Robot Creates 98-Foot-Tall Mural in Estonia #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 11:00, modified at 20:57


Towering over the eastern Estonian city of Tartu is a lean chimney stack that features a 98-foot-tall mural of a girl holding a potted plant in her cupped hands. The image required 14 hours of labor and 40 cans of spray paint but zero manpower: it was rendered by a little robot that scuttled across the chimney’s surface with five cans of paint on its back — a device its inventors hope will revolutionize the mural industry.

The robot was invented by Mikhel Joala, co-founder of SprayPrinter, a tech company focused on redesigning traditional methods of spray-painting. Previously, it released its namesake devise, a handheld printer that connects to your phone via bluetooth to let you spray-paint a digital image onto a wall, pixel by pixel.

“Basically, the image file that the computer read was a text file consisting of coordinates and laser power values,” Aet Rebane of Sprayprinter explained to Hyperallergic. “The computer sent lines of code (called G-code) one by one to the main controller that executed the commands. Instead of a laser, we had a five-color printhead … Another controller measured the laser control pin for different pulse widths that ranged from about zero to 1,000 microseconds. Then these values were wirelessly sent to the printhead to trigger different colors, everything happening about 100 times per second.” The final image consists of many dots two centimeters in diameter that were stamped closely side by side, rather than solid strokes.

See and read more!

Time Travel Tuesday #timetravel a look back at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 10:00, modified on 2017-08-18 17:27


1867 – Charles Francis Jenkins, American inventor is born.


Charles Francis Jenkins was an American pioneer of early cinema and one of the inventors of television, though he used mechanical rather than electronic technologies. His businesses included Charles Jenkins Laboratories and Jenkins Television Corporation (the corporation being founded in 1928, the year the Laboratories were granted the first commercial television license in the United States). Over 400 patents were issued to Jenkins, many for his inventions related to motion pictures and television .

Read more.

1913 – Bruno Pontecorvo, Italian physicist and academic is born.


Bruno Pontecorvo was an Italian nuclear physicist, an early assistant of Enrico Fermi and the author of numerous studies in high energy physics, especially on neutrinos. A convinced communist, he defected to the Soviet Union in 1950, where he continued his research on the decay of the muon and on neutrinos. The prestigious Pontecorvo Prize was instituted in his memory in 1995.

The fourth of eight children of a wealthy Italian family, Pontecorvo studied physics at the University of Rome La Sapienza, under Fermi, becoming the youngest of his Via Panisperna boys. In 1934 he participated in Fermi’s famous experiment showing the properties of slow neutrons that led the way to the discovery of nuclear fission. He moved to Paris in 1934, where he conducted research under Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Influenced by his cousin, Emilio Sereni, he joined the French Communist Party, as did his sisters Guiliana and Laura and brother Gillo. The Italian Fascist regime’s 1938 racial laws against Jews caused his family members to leave Italy for Britain, France and the United States.

When the German Army closed in on Paris during the Second World War, Pontecorvo, his brother Gillo, cousin Emilio Sereni and Salvador Luria fled the city on bicycles. He eventually made his way to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he applied his knowledge of nuclear physics to prospecting for oil and minerals. In 1943, he joined the British Tube Alloys team at the Montreal Laboratory in Canada. This became part of the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs. At Chalk River Laboratories, he worked on the design of the nuclear reactor ZEEP, the first reactor outside of the United States that went critical in 1945, followed by the NRX reactor in 1947. He also looked into cosmic rays, the decay of muons, and what would become his obsession, neutrinos. He moved to Britain in 1949, where he worked for the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell.

Read more.

1920 – Ray Bradbury, American science fiction writer and screenwriter is born.


Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction.

Widely known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and his science fiction and horror story collections The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and I Sing the Body Electric (1969), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in speculative fiction, he also wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) or the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992).

Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted to comic book, television and film formats.

On his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream”.

Read more.

Drones, Data, and Deep-Fried Doughnuts: STEAM at the Great New York State Fair #MakerEducation

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 09:00, modified on 2017-08-15 14:33

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The Scientific American Blog highlights the new STEAM exhibit that will be showcased at the upcoming New York State Fair up in Syracuse from August 23rd through September 4th.

Fairgoers to the 2017 Great New York State Fair will have more than Ferris wheels and horse shows waiting for them this year. The Fair will feature a new STEAM exhibit highlighting the latest and greatest from the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. A state fair may not seem like an obvious place to see drones or 3D printers, but Mel Chesbro – the State Fair Coordinator – thinks that it presents a perfect opportunity. That is why she and the sponsors from C&S Companies fought to have the exhibit greet fairgoers right as they walk through the doors.

The exhibit will be in the recently restored Science and Industry Building, one of the most high-traffic paths through the Fair. The eight booths will feature a daily rotation of New York companies itching to give young fairgoers a hands-on introduction to the unexpected side of a life in science. The Fair has a long history of combining learning and fun at the agricultural exhibits, encouraging fairgoers to get hands-on (or even elbows-deep) with the activities. Chesbro is excited to bring the same approach to the STEAM booths. Fairgoers will have a chance to try something new, maybe touch some things they wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to touch, and just have fun. Time for some “edu-tainment.”

Read more.

Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

Meet Singularity Black, the Blackest Paint on the Market #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 08:00, modified on 2017-08-21 15:24


Step aside, Vantablack. There’s a new superblack paint in town.

Named to reference the center of a black hole, Singularity Black is a solvent-based paint full of carbon nanotubes that absorb almost all light, from the visible to the long-wave infrared, that falls on them. You can apply it with a brush or even with a spray gun, to make objects look utterly flat, even if their surfaces are incredibly textured. The above screw, for instance, was coated in Singularity Black, and it disappears when set against a sheet of wrinkled aluminum foil, also coated in the pigment.

Singularity Black is technically less black than Vantablack, which is also chock-full of carbon nanotubes. The latter exhibits lower reflectance in the visible range — about 0.2% total hemispherical reflectance (THR) at 700 nm — and Singularity Black exhibits about 1.15% THR at 700 nm, Preston said.

But Singularity Black has the lowest visible reflectance of any paint in the world that is generally available to the public. You can buy it right now, by contacting NanoLab’s sales department, in volumes of 250mL, 500mL, or 1000mL. Preston, however, advises that artists first purchase a 20mL artist sample to experiment with Singularity Black and get acquainted with the prescribed coating techniques and its required treatment process. The artist sample, which resembles a vial of nail polish, costs $30 (shipping not included).

See more!

Slippery Geometry and Beguiling Color #ArtTuesday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 07:00, modified on 2017-08-18 15:38


The Washington Color School, which was centered in the nation’s capital, included such artists as Morris Louis, Gene Davis, Kenneth Noland, Hilda Thorpe, and Paul Reed. In 1965, Gerald Nordland organized the exhibition, “Washington Color Painters” at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art (June 25 to September 5, 1965), which traveled to other venues, including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, helping the group gain national exposure.

As the recent re-hanging at the renovated East Building of the National Gallery of Art makes amply evident, there were a lot of artists interested in the expressive possibilities of color who lived and worked in Washington DC between the late 1950s and the late ‘70s but were not included in Nordland’s landmark exhibition: Anne Truitt, Sam Gilliam, Kenneth Young, and Alma Thomas, for example.

While the Washington Color School is by now a well-known chapter of postwar American art history, there is another, lesser known though no less accomplished group of abstract artists who developed a meticulous approach to the phenomenology of color. Working in New York since at least the mid-1970s, these artists, who are centered at Hunter College, where they taught and, in some cases, continue to teach, have never been fully recognized.

See more!

What&#8217;s a Meteor Shower? #MakerEducation

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 06:00, modified on 2017-08-15 14:24

This fun video from SciShow Kids will teach you all about Metor Showers.

Have you ever looked up at night and seen a streak of light flash across the sky? Some people call that a “shooting star,” but it’s not actually a star at all! Join Jessi and Squeaks to learn what shooting stars really are and how they happen!

Read more.

Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

When You Want to Know How Good the Air Quality Is in Baltimore #CitizenScience #tech #DIY #airquality

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 05:30, modified at 01:43


Technician Charles Epperson shows off the WeatherCube

In the world of citizen science, air quality and water quality are hot topics. Urban planners, medical researchers and residents are seeking data to better understand the problems of climate change and pollution. A recent post by the Baltimore Sun highlighted the efforts of a group building their own air quality monitors to understand the city’s heat island issue. In the case of Baltimore Open Air, it really does take a village—there are climate change researchers, engineers, and some newly trained technicians from Civic Works. Of course my curiosity was focused on the monitors, so I decided to reach out to the team behind the project. Luckily they found time in between studies and soldering to give me some answers.

Why did you decide to create the monitor? Was there something specific to Baltimore you were checking?

We created our monitor—which we’re calling a WeatherCube—because we’re interested in understanding how air quality varies throughout the Greater Baltimore region. While local air quality has been improving in recent years, the Baltimore area currently has a non-attainment status from the EPA (meaning that we have exceeded the legal limits for what is considered healthy) for two key pollutants: ozone and sulfur dioxide. Like many areas in America, we’re only monitored by a few air quality monitoring stations, because while regulatory-grade air quality monitoring stations are incredibly accurate they’re also very very expensive. Being able to map air quality with better spatial resolution, even with some loss of measurement resolution, can better help us understand how our air varies within cities, how much pollution is where, and ultimately understand how this may affect our health.

Were you inspired by an existing open source environmental monitor?

Before beginning this project our team lead, Anna Scott, looked at a lot of personal air quality monitors on the market, but couldn’t find anything that fit her need for an affordable, outdoor-ready device with aspirated temperature and humidity measurement and capable of measuring what the EPA calls “criteria air pollutants” (such as sulfur dioxide and ozone). And while the indoor air quality monitoring market gives consumers a lot of options, the inner workings and performance benchmarks of most commercial devices aren’t well-documented publicly. Anna began talking with team member Chris Kelley, who builds low-cost, open-source water quality monitoring platforms, about an air quality monitoring collaboration that would be fully open in design and data sharing.

WeatherCube Solder

Technician Tonique Johnson solders boards

What parts did you use for your monitor?

The WeatherCube uses an ATMega328P (the same chip an Arduino Uno uses) as its main microprocessor, and also uses an ESP8266 for wifi connectivity. Its main circuit board has 128Kb of external EEPROM for storing readings in between data transmissions, and an MCP79412 real-time clock with battery backup. A separate analog signal processing board uses four LMP91000 analog front-end chips, each dedicated to a different SPEC air quality sensor (O3, NO2, SO2, H2S are measured). The analog signals are buffered and then measured with an ADS1115 analog-to-digital converter. This board also contains two temperature/humidity sensors, the SHT31 and the HDC1080, which are placed side-by-side for measurement comparison and redundancy. An additional circuit board with an SHT31 sensor and air intake slots is placed in the fan-aspirated (2510 fan) air intake column at the base of the device, to compare internal and external environmental conditions. These three boards were designed by Chris for the WeatherCube project. A solar panel, a battery, and a solar charging board are used for power management.

What were some of the challenges you faced?

It was challenging for us to do development at this scale. We’re set up in a garage-scale lab and had only previously done small orders with hand-assembled circuit boards and cases. Handling this project at scale, under budget, and within our time frame meant procuring tens of thousands of components from a dozen different vendors, coordinating timelines for multiple service providers, and building a contract labor team to handle final assembly and testing. There was definitely a learning curve, but we eventually got the hang of the logistics, and we’re on track to get the first batch of 250 WeatherCubes made and deployed this summer.

WeatherCube Group

What is your hope for the communities you are serving?

We hope that this project can in the short term help residents understand local air quality levels, and use that to make decisions that can better their health. For example, if you have asthma and walk to work or the bus, is there a route you can take that reduces how much pollution you’re inhaling? Maybe there’s a park nearby that you didn’t think to go to which has lower pollution levels. Many Baltimoreans bike to work and would be happy to take a different route if it meant breathing in less pollution; hopefully in a few weeks to months we’ll have the information that can help me make that decision. In the long term, depending on the results, we hope that we can use this project to support sound policy decision making that helps make our city cleaner and healthier for all.

The team at Baltimore Open Air sounds excited, and they will soon have results as they deploy their monitors in September. This is all a nice connection to research first done by Anna for the Urban Heat Island Sensors project for the Office of Sustainability. As for the folks at Civic Works, creating jobs that lead to a green economy just makes sense. I’m giving a big shout out to the team—Anna Scott, Chris Kelley, Dr. Yan Azdou, Dr. Ramya Ambikapathi, Anne Draddy, Kristin Baja and John Ciekot. A big congrats to the new technicians and may Arduino always be in your favor!

This Designer Built A Secret Studio That Hangs Beneath An Underpass

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-22 05:00, modified on 2017-08-17 21:47

P 1 behold the most inventive whimsical use of an urban underpass

Via Fastcodesign

Cities contain miles and miles of elevated infrastructure: bridges, elevated train tracks, swooping highway ramps. They support thousands of commuters, tourists, and others traveling through the city. Beneath them stretch miles and miles of urban underpasses that are empty, dangerous, and virtually unusable.

The best ways to clean up and make use of these spaces is an issue urban planners and architects in cities worldwide have sought to address, with efforts that include making underpasses well-lit and building parks in the unused space. They might take note of the work of self-taught furniture designer Fernando Abellanas, who has transformed the underside of a bridge in Valencia, Spain, into an ingenious, pop-up workspace. Abellanas’s design is half floating studio, half horizontal elevator: One part is a metal and plywood box that moves across the underside of the bridge on wheels. When it gets to the far side, a shelf, chair, and desk bolted into the wall fit into the structure to complete the studio.

See more!

Why Our Eyes Cannot Look at a Solar Eclipse

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 22:55, modified at 23:02


Staring at even a partial eclipse without eye protection can still cause retina damage. This one minute video from STATNEWS explains how our pupils cannot get small enough to handle the brightness when looking at the sun.

[ Read More @ STATNEWS ]

The Night Is Dark and Full of Melisandre Cosplay

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 21:00, modified at 20:37

Cosplaying as Game of Thrones’ fierce Lord of the Light priestess isn’t easy. Melisandre doesn’t wear gowns that are as fancy as Cersei’s or Daenerys’ dresses, but they’re still elegant and clearly made from quality material. Redditor and maker MeliTali replicated the character’s crimson robes and explained how she put together the look:

Dress is self-made from upholstery fabric
Necklace is self-made from thin craft foam sandwiched in worbla + rhodolite garnet E6000’d onto the worbla
Wig is from Pose Wigs
Torch is from Amazon

via Reddit, photo by Matthew Hermerding


Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 20:09

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Our team got a chance to safely look at the solar eclipse! Here are some photos from today.

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CSU C3LOUD-Ex Team Collects Storm Data with Drones #drone #droneday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 20:00, modified on 2017-08-22 17:30

From CSU’s Source:

C3LOUD-Ex, or CSU Convective Cloud Outflows and Updrafts Experiment, is led by Professor Susan van den Heever in the Department of Atmospheric Science. Supported by van den Heever’s Monfort Professorship, the project’s aim is to capture extremely hard-to-collect data from thunderstorms as they’re happening. Specifically, the researchers are making direct observations of storm phenomena called updrafts and cold pools, employing a signature technology of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

Updrafts are just what their name implies – a region of the fastest-rising air in the center of the storm. Cold pools are pockets of cold air that rush away from the raining region of the storm, along the surface of the Earth. Storm prediction models – crucial for early warning systems in tornadic areas, for example – do a poor job accounting for how updrafts and cold pools influence storms’ formation, intensity and length. The C3LOUD-Ex scientists, including about 20 students from several research groups, are providing observational data around these processes. Their eventual goal is to improve predictive insights for severe weather.

Read more and see more about C3LOUD-Ex on their home page and YouTube

Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.

Adafruit Extra Credit: Circuit Playground Slouch Detector #AdafruitExtraCredit #CircuitPlayground

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 19:30, modified on 2017-08-16 20:41

Adafruit extra credit blog

Slouching. It happens to the best of us. Did you know you can build a slouch detector with Circuit Playground?

Have you already made a remix of this project? Let us know! We want to see all the creative ways you’ve been using Circuit Playground this month. Share your projects on social media for the community to see with #AdafruitExtraCredit #CircuitPlayground and submit them at Adafruit.com/ExtraCredit!


Circuit Playground Slouch Detector: Sit up straight, or Circuit Playground will let you know!

In this guide we will go through the steps to turn your Circuit Playground into a slouch detector. Using one of several pinning options along with various battery supply options, you can then wear your Slouch Detector while sitting at a desk. It will provide a warning if you, well, get a little slouchy – hopefully with reminders, you can keep your good posture and maintain a healthy back!

This project uses the sensors already included on the Circuit Playground so no additional electronics or soldering are required. You will also need some batteries and a holder for the batteries.

Check out the full build and find more Circuit Playground inspiration

3530 15Here at Adafruit we’re happy to see what the community is up to. Whether you’re posting on our G+ Community Makers, hackers, artists & engineers, pinging us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or joining us on Show and Tell, we’re seeing what you’re creating and it’s exciting.

This August we’d like to see all of your Circuit Playground projects. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, regardless of how recently you completed a project with Circuit Playground, share it on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter with #AdafruitExtraCredit #CircuitPlayground and submit it at Adafruit.com/ExtraCredit for a chance to have your project featured on the Adafruit Blog and maybe even a surprise Adafruit treat!

Learn more and submit your project here!

YAY! #eclipse2017 #eclipse @adafruit #adafruit

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 19:28, modified at 19:22


Quickie video and photos from a few moments ago (video) & (photos) … video and Flickr embedded here.

Manage your Compost System using Arduino

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 19:00, modified on 2017-08-14 19:43

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Wonderful project and write-up from Team Boomer Sooner (Darian Johnson and Mike Bradford) up on Hackster.io.

A smart system that can help anyone compost. The system aerates and hydrates your compost, and lets you know when you need to take action.

Read more.

Featured Adafruit Products!

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Adafruit HTU21D-F Temperature & Humidity Sensor Breakout Board: It’s summer and you’re sweating and your hair’s all frizzy and all you really want to know is why the weatherman said this morning that today’s relative humidity would max out at a perfectly reasonable 52% when it feels more like 77%. Enter the HTU21D-F Temperature + Humidity Sensor – the best way to prove the weatherman wrong! (read more)

Recently Excavated Mosaic Depicts Chariot Race

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 18:00, modified on 2017-08-09 18:54

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Fast and the Furious 350 AD National Geographic shares a piece about this exciting piece of history:

After years of excavating, archaeologists in Cyprus have uncovered a rare, Roman-era floor mosaic almost 2,000 years old.
Scenes of chariot races in a Roman hippodrome, an open-air stadium for horse racing, span across the 85-foot long mosaic. The illustrations are accompanied by inscriptions in ancient Greek, indicating the names of the horses and their riders.

Still, the mosaic is the only one of its kind in Cyprus, and one of just nine other mosaics depicting hippodrome scenes found in the entire Roman world, Fryni Hadjichristofi, the chief archaeological officer in charge of the site, told the Associated Press.

“This is quite rare, as circus scenes—like we have in Akaki—are not often depicted on mosaics,” Hadjichristofi told AP. “We have most frequently isolated horses or charioteers taking part, that have taken part in the hippodrome, but hippodrome itself, the race in the hippodrome is quite rare.”

See More

A farewell to screen savers, the imagined dreams of our machines

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 17:00, modified at 17:35

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Jacob Brogan looks back a relatively recent relic, the oddly charming screen saver, in this piece from Slate.

(And no, I definitely didn’t used to wage war with my siblings over who got to pick our family computer’s screen saver. You for sure have me confused with someone else.)

I can’t recall the last time I watched a screen saver flicker to life. That’s largely because we don’t need them anymore, at least not for the reasons we once did. In the early days of computing, screen savers were a software solution to a hardware problem. Old cathode ray tube monitors were vulnerable to a condition known as burn-in, in which projecting a single image for too long would permanently alter the screen, imprinting it with a faint phantom double of the thing it had been forced to linger over. It’s this spectral quality that gave burn-in its other name, the one I’ve always preferred: ghost images.

The obvious solution was to simply turn off the monitor, and the first wave of screen savers did little more than automate that process. Leave the computer undisturbed for a few minutes, and the screen would shift to black, much as it does when a modern laptop sends itself to sleep. But as digital artist Rafaël Rozendaal explains, “Programmers later realized that you could do more interesting things. … That is when the screensaver changed from a purely functional programme into a space for play.” Along the way, they became the variegated static of early personal computing, a subtle thrum at the edge of perception.

Read more.

Use a micro:bit to control music on a Raspberry Pi with the bitio library @microbit_edu #microbit #microbitlove #microbitmonday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 17:00, modified on 2017-08-17 16:14

Learn how to control a computer-based mp3 player using micro:bit! Via Recantha.co.uk

Giles Booth likes to try out new hardware by seeing if it can be made into a music player. This time, he’s used a micro:bit to control a Raspberry Pi’s music playing capabilities. By pressing A and B, he can change channels and by tilting the micro:bit from side to side, he can change the volume. The magic sauce that makes this all work is David Whale‘s bitio Python library which gives users of Python on a Pi, PC or Mac access to the micro:bit’s sensors and buttons. You can read more about this project on Giles’ blog here and you can find out more about the bitio library here. Get hold of a micro:bit from The Pi Hut. Giles takes you through the operation of the system in the video…

See more!

3530 15Each Monday is Micro:bitMonday here at Adafruit! Designed specifically for kids and beginners, the micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customize and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life! Play, learn, explore: get started with micro:bit! Adafruit is an authorized Micro:bit reseller- check out all of our posts, tutorials and Micro:bit related products!

Experimenting with your own Micro:bit project? Use the hashtag #microbitmonday so we can feature your inspiring work on the Adafruit blog!

Combat Wheelchair Features Dual Nerf Guns

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 16:44, modified at 16:49

This awesome adaptation to a child’s wheelchair should provide lots of great fun. You can fire the Nerf guns using the regular wheelchair controls.

You might ask yourself, “Why would anyone mount dual Nerf machine guns on a wheelchair, and hack it to fire them from the drive controls?”

I might ask you why you hate fun.

The guns can be fired by any drive control connected to the chair. Joystick, head array, chin/mouth stick, sip and puff, single switch, etc. Pick your poison.

Read the details here.

micro:bit Projects: Fireflies @microbit_edu #microbit #microbitlove #microbitmonday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 16:00, modified on 2017-08-18 19:52

Here’s a project that will allow you and your friends to use multiple micro:bits to create a synchronized group of virtual fireflies! – via makecode.microbit.org

How do Fireflies synchronise?

Go to http://ncase.me/fireflies/ and read about the fireflies synchronization phenomenon.


We want to create virtual fireflies using multiple micro:bit (each micro:bit acts as a firefly). Let’s review some of the key points of the article:

“Each firefly has its own individual internal clock”

A clock in this case is like a counter, so we will start by adding a clock variable to our program.

“and every time the clock “strikes twelve”, it flashes.”

We can use a forever loop to repeat code that increments the clock. When the clock reaches “noon” (let’s pick 8), we turn on the screen briefly (by using the game score animation)

See full tutorial here!

3530 15Each Monday is Micro:bitMonday here at Adafruit! Designed specifically for kids and beginners, the micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customize and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life! Play, learn, explore: get started with micro:bit! Adafruit is an authorized Micro:bit reseller- check out all of our posts, tutorials and Micro:bit related products!

Experimenting with your own Micro:bit project? Use the hashtag #microbitmonday so we can feature your inspiring work on the Adafruit blog!

#ManufacturingMonday: How a Bratwurst Inspired the Invention of the Kickboard Scooter

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 15:59, modified on 2017-08-11 18:59

This is an interesting story about how his family’s past and a bratwurst lead Wim Ouboter to found Micro Mobility Systems, best known in the U.S. for their ‘kickboard’ products. The article is filled with nuances of manufacturing issues to deal with including the supply chain, I.P., even permission from loved ones to venture into startup business!

Bet you didn’t know that the invention of the kickboard scooter began with a sausage… the best bratwurst in Zurich.

Well, it did! In this Learning from InvENtors post, we’re going to highlight the inventor of the kickboard scooter – Wim Ouboter.

Ouboter’s first startup was a mechanical parts distributor. He readily admits that he lacks any formal engineering or technical training. Despite this, he continued working with wheel sizes, wheel bases and scooter decks for his first prototype.

He asserts that he ‘put a few things together’, and enlisted the assistance of a welder. At the same time, he decided to capitalize on the robust, but low-friction and absorbent plastics that were being produced for in-line skate wheels.

Read more.

ORANGE PI &#8211; Today on Maker Business @adafruit #adafruitdaily #makerbusiness @orangepixunlong

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 15:27, modified at 15:21

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Steven announces that Orange Pi can buy a good quality WiFi component for $ 1, that its cards will have a good Wi-Fi connection for this price.

-How, if the purchase of the component is $ 1, inevitably the exit fee will be a bit higher for the end customer, Mr. Zhao? - If you tell me the price, I will know your margin … –

– No, because today all Orange Pi cards are sold at the BOM (Bills of Material) rate.

-Does this mean that the cost of engineers, premises, development equipment, design and all that … is not impacted in the price of a card?

-That’s right.

“But how is this possible?”

-We are subsidized by the government.

And this is a breathtaking statement. Orange Pi is a private company in a state dumping system. This is what can be said from a Western point of view, from international agreements and from the whole conceptual framework designed to protect well-established industrialists.

Great article on how the Orange Pi is made… “The plan at 3 years is to sell ten times more Orange Pi than Raspberry.” That was would be 150 million units.

This appeared in our weekly maker business newsletter on adafruitdaily.com – sign up!

Pimoroni brings AdaBox005 to the UK and EU! #adabox

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 15:24

Adabox Birthday Instagram 2017 ORIG

We wanted to make sure everyone in Europe and the UK could enjoy the same AdaBox experience so we’ve partnered with our good friends Pimoroni to bring AdaBox005 to UK and EU customers at the same time as US and Canadian subscribers.

This isn’t an AdaBox subscription, just AdaBox005 – but will have the same extras and goodies (like our collectible pins) that the US and Canadian subscription version has.

Visit adabox.pimoroni.com to get your box – only 200 available! And thank you to the good folks at Pimoroni for helping us bring AdaBox to Europe 🙂

AliveInVR Controlling Abelton Live from VR #MusicMonday

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 15:00, modified on 2017-08-17 14:38

From CDM:

AliveInVR is a remote MIDI controller for Ableton Live for use with Windows virtual reality, available now on Steam. And – it’s a little crazy.

The idea is this: instead of using a physical controller or touchscreen, you manipulate Live parameters and clips by donning a helmet and waving your arms around.

You can use this via MIDI to control your copy of Ableton Live. (The title is currently in Early Access state – meaning it’s still being developed.

Read more and see more from AliveInVR on AliveInVR.io and YouTube

What Scientists Have Learned from Eclipses #eclipse #eclipse2017

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 14:00, modified on 2017-08-18 15:45

Via The Atlantic on YouTube

Humans have been obsessed with eclipses for centuries. But, what can they actually teach us about our place in the solar system? Total solar eclipses have helped bring about some of the most important astronomic discoveries. Nicolaus Copernicus’ eclipse observations helped him determine that the Earth revolved around the Sun; light spectrums of the sun’s atmosphere – only visible during a total solar eclipse – led to the discovery of helium in the 19th century. In this video we explore what scientific knowledge the few minutes under the moon’s shadow have uncovered over time.

Voltage Sequencer for Moog Mother-32 Made from 4040 Counter, 4051 Multiplexer, and a 40106 Oscillator

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 13:18, modified on 2017-08-09 19:18

This is a really simple and straightforward voltage sequencer (that sounds great!). Sebastian from little-scale demonstrates this using his Moog Mother-32 but it’s totally applicable for other devices as well.


A simple voltage sequence for Moog Mother-32 and other devices. The cost is very low, and the concept is somewhat expandable. No additional power supply is used. Instead, the VC Mix Output is used to power the sequencing circuit, consisting of a 40106 oscillator, a 4040 counter and a 4051 multiplexer.

Read more.

Artist Abstractly Animates the Transformation of Larva into Butterfly

Permalink - Posted on 2017-08-21 13:00, modified on 2017-08-14 17:34

.P.U.P.A. | THE LARVAL FORM is a mesmerizing work of video art from Miki Nemcek on Vimeo.

The pupa is a short exploration of the colors and shapes inspired by a macro nature. The stage when larva transforms into a butterfly is a biological term. It’s called Pupa. I decided to dive into an endless variety of abstract compositions, forms, and atmospheres. This short film is a result of a hard work in a constantly relaxed mindset that comes naturally with slow and lightly hypnotical movements of the larval bodies. Enjoy this piece with a proper sound in a dark room and let your mind relax.

Via designboom!