More inspirations (than you can poke a stick at)!

There are truly so many really interesting projects around, it is getting hard to stop reading, and hard to stop buying and it is becoming a challenge to make time to progress my own projects!

There is a LOT of really interesting activity in the ‘large power’ board space – ie run an operating system and have access to the IO. There has been a lot of work put into the openWRT project and supporting a wide range of off the shelf hardware. Other groups are creating new hardware and development environments, some examples are:
Just announced this week was the Lophilo, it looks to beat the Olinuxino board to market. There is an interesting discussion about the the Olinuxino and rPi (now delivering the boards!) in the DangerousPrototypes forums and of course there is also the DangerousPrototypes Web Platform. Microsoft have already released their open source Gadgeteer and in recent days even Intel announced they are about to release a system in this space.

Other things that caught my attention include:-


Beijing Maker carnival, five dollar micro controller, candle replacement and more!

Beijing Maker Carnival was held last weekend: “makers and hackers from around the world and China came together to show off their projects, do talks and lead workshops. The event was mainly organized by Beijing Maxpace with a lead role by Justin Wang (王盛林) and the help of many students from various Chinese universities in Beijing”. Ricky from Xinchejian attended and presented and has published some very interesting highlights .

A portable, rechargeable, affordable candle replacement has been developed by the Wyld Collective and Foul labs in Canada to help reduce very frequent fires in Bangkok! They gave a presentation at Xinchejian in Shanghai and also attended the Beijing Maker Carnival. It is really inspiring to hear how such a simple LED light can have a major social impact, quite possibly worldwide!

Mitch Altman and his “crew” were in Beijing for the Maker Carnival and also visited Xinchejian in Shanghai a few weeks ago. The inspirations that I gained from there talks were:

  • Mitch has been living of the proceeds of the TV-b-gone for several years! UPDATE – Mitch just blogged his trip report.
  • $5 micro controller MC HCK that is roughly equivalent to an Arduino is being developed by Simon Schubert. This extremely affordable price will make the board very accessible to those who otherwise cannot access these tools and also means the board can be “left in place” as a permanent project, rather than disassembled for the next project! I really like this idea!
  • Yair Reshef showed how extremely simple ideas can have a huge influence: {coin battery + LED + tape} = fun toy to introduce very young kids to electronics! I scored some that were left behind and a couple were still working a week later!