Hacklab is going to have an awesome booth at the Toronto Mini Maker Faire, a celebration of maker culture:
Toronto Mini Maker Faire is the ultimate celebration of making, crafting, DIY-ing, tinkering, hacking and sharing. It’s a weekend where makers of all kinds will show off their projects and hold how-to workshops, with hands-on activities for all ages. Exhibits on display will include robots, laser cutting, letterpress printing, a 3D print gallery and kinetic sculptures.
At hacklab’s booth, you’ll be able to meet our members, and see some of our various projects including:
- 3D printers: Maker Bot, RepRap, Hacklab RepRap, lots of printed objects
- Soldering workshop! We have blinky LED kits available, learn how to solder!
- Train Overlord, our robot on rails (now with laser!)
- Buttons, stickers, fliers: get your Hacklab swag!
- Laser poster – information about our laser cutter
- Sensebridge: North Paw compass anklet, Heart Spark pendant, conductive thread
- HUGE Capacitor bank, good for making HDD platters jump (can crushing demo!)
- Slide show of Hacklab activities
- Some members have their own booths: GoodRobot (Alan) and Strich Labs (Sarah & Lisa)
Come visit us and support making stuff in Toronto! The Mini Maker Faire is Saturday and Sunday this weekend, 10am-6pm, at the Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto.
Eight people met tonight and we decided on a plan for hacklab’s new robot overlord. Some of us will be meeting at 9am to start the shopping expedition (first stop: George’s Trains). We’ll be reconvening at or before 1pm tomorrow (Saturday) in order to start construction.
The robot will be a gondola robot, hanging from train track suspended from the ceiling. It’ll have a winch, enabling it to raise and lower a load up and down. We envision an ultimate application being to carry empty pop cans from the desk to the recycling bins :-)
At least four different teams will work in parallel:
– suspended track construction
– gondola train mechanism
– motor control electronics & programming
– winch mechanism
Once the robot is moving, we have a super long list of cool features to add such as responding to light & sound, wireless control via ZigBee, pan & tilt laser “eye”, eyebrows for expression, R2D2 sound effects, etc. Hopefully we will get to some of that fun stuff tomorrow!
If you’re keen to learn about robotics or get put to work in any way on a robot, please show, we can totally find something for you to do! 1pm tomorrow, Saturday April 8th, 2011.
Come one, come all and help build a robotic denizen for hacklab! Announcing the first ever robot hackathon at hacklab. We’ll be gathering on Friday April 8th 7pm-onward to brainstorm and discuss what to do, and then all day Saturday April 9th to hack on our robot! Alan and I will be running the session, thanks also to Rob and Geordie who will hopefully be there as well.
The plan is basically to make a robot of some sort that will be a permanent resident of hacklab. A possible idea is to make a “spider bot” that would live above the bar area, roving back and forth on a clothes-line type of thing. It would be able to raise and lower itself from the line, and could have light and sound sensors to enable it to respond to it’s environment. It would be Arduino based in order to make it easily hackable. Bonus points if it can lower itself into a charging port when needed! But this is just one idea, if we can come up with something better that would awesome! We’re keen to have something fun to show off at the hacklab party later that month.
If you’re at all interested in robotics, please come! No experience necessary, we will be forming small teams so that more experienced people can help less experienced people learn, in the true spirit of hacklab. Stay for as little or as long as you like. If you’ve got stuff to donate to our cause (motors, batteries, electronics, etc.) that would be super awesome as well. The more stuff we get the less we will have to buy and the more things our robot will be able to do!
So mark your calendars for April 8th and 9th and prepare for your new hacklab robot overlords :-)
The soldering workshops are coming up real soon! The women’s workshop is coming up this Monday. The general audience workshop is a week from Monday, on March 21st. Please RVSP today, space is limited and the last soldering workshop was filled to capacity!
This coming Monday the 21st is the Arduino Workshop II. There is ONE ticket remaining ($20 to cover materials).
Monday Feb 28th, Chris will be doing a workshop on the mathematics behind fractals. It isn’t just pretty pictures, it’s pretty math too! Chris will post more details later.
Monday March 7th, I’ll be leading a workshop for hacklab members only on how to use the laser cutter. We’ll be using Inkscape to draw shapes, an Inkscape plugin to generate gcode, and of course EMC2 to do the laser cutting. By the end of the workshop you’ll be able to operate the laser cutter by yourself.
Monday March 14th, Leigh will be leading a Soldering Workshop for Women. Gents never fear because…
Monday March 21st, I’ll be leading another Soldering Workshop which anyone can attend. Both soldering workshops will have the same selection of kits as before (Bliplace, TV-be-Gone, Trippy RBG Wave, Truth Kit, North Paw).
More details (including eventbrite RSVP links) to follow as the dates get closer.
Tickets are on sale at eventbright: Hacklab Arduino Workshop II. Tickets are $20, there are only 10 spaces available. Text from the event (copied here for your reference):
We’ll be using Arduino to do an edge-lit acrylic lighting project. This will involve:
– bread-boarding, placing a number of circuit elements unto a solderless breadboard and connecting the bread-board to your Arduino pins.
– attaching a super bright RGB (Red Green Blue) LED (Light Emitting Diode) to the acrylic and wiring it into the bread-board.
– writing code to make the RGB LED do pretty things. A momentary switch on the breadboard will allow the use of multiple modes without changing the program. Your imagination will be the only limit to how colorful or complicated it will be. Properly controlled an RBG LED can make any color that the human eye can perceive – and it can fade between them!
I will prepare small kits for each attendee, consisting of a small bread-board, the RGB LED, a bunch of wires, the mom-switch, and a laser-cut, laser-rastered piece of acrylic. The $20 charge is for these materials, you’ll get to keep them all at the end of the night (repurpose and use them for your next project!). Bring your own Arduino – any Arduino will do, including clones. Arduino’s can be purchased at Creatron.
This class is a follow up to the previous Arduino workshop, but is still suitable for near-beginners. You should have your Arduino working, software installed, and understand the Examples->Basics->Blink example.
I’ll be hosting a follow-up to the previous Arduino workshop, since it was so popular. I’ve scheduled it for Monday Feb 21st at 7pm, which is two weeks from tomorrow.
This workshop will be a little more advanced than the last one, and there will be a materials fee, so that we can have a little more to work with than some surplus LEDs, and you’ll get to take stuff home with you. I’m not sure exactly what that cost will be (gotta go to Creatron and see how much the stuff I am thinking of will cost), but we’ll be learning some bread boarding skills (laying out a more complicated circuit), and writing a moderate sized program. I expect the class to take about 2 hours total. It will be helpful if you’ve already done at least the Blink tutorial (as we did the last time), but total beginners are welcome as always. Hacklab-membership not required, but RSVP will be – attendance will be capped so that I know how many kits of stuff to buy, and we have room to work. Watch this blog for RSVP link to follow sometime in the next week.
Also, quick reminder: this Monday’s workshop is LaTeX, the widely used text markup language, it’s open to beginners and non-members, hope to see you there! Note also that there will be no workshop on Feb 14th – rumors of “kissing for geeks” are just that, rumors!
Hacklab’s second Monday Workshop is coming up in just a few days! It’ll be on arduino, the open source microcontroller platform that anyone can use to make their projects more interactive and fun! The workshop is open to the public, anyone is welcome to attend. January 17th, starting at 7pm, I will lead a brief tutorial for beginners, including how to set up the software, how to make an LED blink, and some very basic electronics stuff. I will demo some more advanced uses of Arduino. Then, at 8pm, we’ll open it up to people’s projects – if you’ve got one, bring it and I or some other knowledgeable hacklabber will be glad to help you out. If you don’t have a project yet, come get inspired and maybe you can learn something by helping someone else with theirs.
Note: if you’re planning to attend, bring your laptop and an arduino. Arduino’s are sold by the most excellent Creatron Electronics, only a few blocks away from hacklab on College street. If you set out a bit early, you can swing by Creatron on your way here!
Global Hackerspace Cupcake Challenge! Objective: to mail a cupcake to another hackerspace in pristine condition. Cupcake must travel at least 1600 km. We are participating! Practice session number one at hacklab was a success, free cupcakes available! We’re gonna send to Noisebridge, and also to at least one Canadian hackerspace, such as VHS in Vancouver, ENTS in Edmonton or Protospace in Calgary. Join us and enjoy more awesome hackcakes!
I’ve been busy ordering kits and getting ready for the upcoming workshops. Due to the limited amount of desk space and soldering irons at Hacklab, and the awesome number of people who have sent me an email about the workshops, I have decided that we need to take RSVPs for the Circuit Hacking workshop (Monday January 24th). Please RSVP here: http://circuithacking.eventbrite.com. Currently RSVPs are limited to 10 people. We might be able to handle a few more if some people can agree to come later, we will cross that bridge if we get there.
Kits we will have available:
- learn to solder merit badge kit ($3)
- bliplace sound reactive pendant kit ($10)
- Trippy RGB Wave kit, responds to movement ($10)
- TV-be-Gone remote control kit ($20)
- Truth Kit galvanic skin response bracelet ($50)
- North Paw compass anklet kit ($149)
Also, quick reminder – Rob’s MakerBot workshop is less than a week away! See you all soon!