This is not a normal post by me. I do not normally make Public Science Awesomeness Announcements (PSAa), but I thought this would be something that the community at large may be interested in. On Sunday September the 28th, it is the Ontatrio Sceince Centers 45th Birthday. And on this special of occasions the Science Center is free from 10 am – 5 pm. Imax and parking is not. For more info on the festivity’s planned follow the link above.
Collaboration on the Retro Populator is still on going and some new progress photos can be found below. We have a new needle assembly, and have been doing minimum pressure testing to pick up components.
Additional news is that the Retro Populator has been announced as an semifinalist 1 of 50 top projects. In addition I learned earlier this week, that Hackaday.com featured the Retro Populator in an article post on there website. Eric, Charles, Rob, myself, as well as Hacklab Toronto was mentioned in this post. Unfortunately Hackaday did not mention The Ultimate workshop and I hope they fix this issue soon. The Retro Populator is a collaboration and joint creative adventure between both Hacklab Toronto and The Ultimate Workshop. Both sharing resources, knowledge, and skills to create something that we hope others in turn will create there own enhancements for, and use it to create new technologies.
As previously announced, hacklab will be moving to new much larger digs at 1266 Queen Street West. We’re interested to find out what people who are not currently members of the space would like to see us have. Here’s a quick 2 minute survey you can take to have your say! Totally anonymous, feel free to express yourself.
Please send a link to anyone you think would be interested in hacklab!
Here is a little video tour of our new space, on our fancy new YouTube channel!
We’ll be moving to 1266 Queen Street West, units 6 & 12. It’s at Dufferin Street, in Parkdale. The two units together have a HUGE amount of space, roughly equivalent to 5 existing hacklabs! Our lease starts Sept 1st, but we’ve got possession early to do some renovations. Many hacklab members are extremely excited about the potential of the new space!
Hacklab open house will continue to be at the current location (170A Baldwin Street in Kensington Market), likely till at least Mid-September. Every Tuesday evening 5:30pm-late as always. We will let you know when the location of the open house changes.
Thanks to everyone who supported our indiegogo and all of our activities throughout the last year – we wouldn’t be in a financial position to do this without you! I’ll be lasering up our thank you plaque soon!
If you’d like to contribute towards our moving expenses, we’re always happy to take donations, please click the button at the bottom of this page or just come to our open house and put some money in our donation box. We’re also looking for all kind of in-kind support (got some extra furniture?), please contact us.
This post could be a run on sentence if it were possible to do so with photos. Today I will be doing a double photo feature, about an ongoing collaboration between the Ultimate Workshop and HackLab Toronto, and one regarding what you will find at the Ultimate Workshop.
This on going collaboration between the two spaces is called the Retropopulator. The Retropopulator gets it name from its function and purpose. Retro is short for Retrofit, in this case we are re-purposing a 3D printer. While Populator is what happens when the 3D printer now is able to place components onto PCBs. The Retropopulator is intended to be a simple way of using older 3D printers as a pick and place. This project was born out of a response to Hackaday’s contest for the next new thing. To take a look at the Retropopulator on Hackaday.
For more photos of the build look below for (continue reading…) below.
Todays post is not quite what you think it is about, but the chosen title will make more sense as you read along. Hacklab has been around for a while on the maker/hacker/creator/incubator scene and could be seen as one of the original terminals that now make up part of the Mesh network that is our community in Toronto. As I have witnessed over the few years I have been visiting, making, and working within the community. I have seen how those who come to explore discover us or other parts of the community, and bounce around absorbing and finding the right fit. Many times those who are new to the community or those who are well versed in the community, have multiple links to the Mesh network by frequenting many of the other spaces beyond Hacklab’s walls. This is where I should note at times Hacklab has played host to other new groups in the community, be it the Haskell Users group, or the occasional DIY Bio group. I hope that Hacklab and other spaces in the community will play host to other groups that will ever increase the diversity of the community Mesh. The cross talk between each space informs one another through the sharing of ideas and others being partially mixed into others creating a noise of ideas and thought, spawning new projects that use the resources available at times of multiple spaces, and memberships. To get a better idea of the diverse community that has flourished within Toronto, I would like to draw your attention to a side project entitled Hacking-the-city, of mine that has been slowly creating an larger picture of the community, and those which influence and flow into others within the Hacker community. I have used pinterest simply to keep it semi organized and to attempt to create a visual idea of the community, as well as small description of the organization. If you as the reader can think of an organization, group, or other part of the community that I have not mentioned please tell me so I can pin them to the board. Cross talk may take some time to get really going, the intention is to visit other spaces with members of the community that frequent the lab and to get a sense of the other parts of the community threw photography. This I envision being a little difficult and taking time due to how does one accurately depict a community, or project via a lens. This is a constant challenge at Hacklab due to some projects are not easily conveyed. How does one take a photo of someone programming and convey what it is they are doing, or what the program is? To stage a photo or to shoot candid, which method is the more truthful and accurate? I look forward to this project and hope to share what I capture with you all soon. This past weekend the folks at The Ultimate Workshop, played host to some Hacklab members to work on a joint project. See below for a sneak peak at an upcoming blog post on the Retropopulator.
Out of necessity one of Hacklab’s members had to replace his pedal due to it literally falling apart leaving a stub, if he did not he would not make it to open house in time.
The new pedals that where picked up were the wrong size, so the only logical thing to do was to build a replacement pedal seeing as the stub of the former pedal was still good.
The new pedal functions fairly well but will need to be replaced or reworked for a smoother usage, and needs a little oil. The final pedal has been finished off with a coating of linseed oil that has been rubbed into it.
Recently one of our members decided that he would create a personal bartender in a form of a Droid bartender. This handy piece of equipment is functional and makes a great conversation piece. The bar bot is named Luma-Droid and mixes some mean drinks. Not all of these drink need to be alcohol, I am sure this Droid can can mix a mean punch as well. This handy Droid uses 4 different liquid sources to mix from 6 different drinks pre-determined programmed and dispenses at a push of one of the illuminated buttons. This is actually the second version of this little Droid. The first version did not have the ultra sonic humidifier that creates a further finished and polished look. But not every improvement is merely aesthetic. Many times when creating a project that delves into areas that is a first for anyone, creates problems and a list of things you would do differently if provided a chance. Well Eric had the chance and in the second version shown in the photos, the ultrasonic humidifier was added, as well as new pumps, reservoir for the humidifier, and for good measure a extra layer of sealing to ensure the water proofing.