A colorful new book, Fashioning Technology, offers high-tech projects for the fashionable woman
By Amy GeppertPosted 08.18.2008 at 3:36 pm 2 Comments
Bored with knitting? Weary of felting? A new book called Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting will pull you out of your craft rut, as author Syuzi Pakhchyan shows step-by-step how to incorporate a tech flair to your projects. Armed with LEDs, phosphorescent ink, and polymorph plastic, among other "smart materials," you'll be making fun and funky accessories and toys in no time. Projects range from "Rock Star Headphones" to a "Luminescent Tea Table," combining the trendy handmade movement with a hip aesthetic.
By Chuck CagePosted 08.12.2008 at 11:57 am 5 Comments
The next time you catch crap from your tool buddies for carrying such a gadget-geeky cell, tell them to kiss your iPhone-carrying ass. Then point them here to see how handy Apple's finest can be in the hands of a Toolmonger. I've found dozens of shop-friendly uses for my phone. Launch the gallery here to see five.
Turn a regular flashlight into a powerful LED torch that will run for years
By Dave ProchnowPosted 08.11.2008 at 12:09 pm 31 Comments
There's an inherent dilemma in purchasing a flashlight: The really bright and long-lasting LED models are pretty expensive, and the heavy, cheap traditional ones always seem to be dead just when you need them the most. Good thing it's possible to build your own superbright, reliable and inexpensive hybrid light.
Customize a circuit’s firmware and make your own personal weather forecast system
By Dave ProchnowPosted 08.08.2008 at 11:13 am 1 Comment
If you've ever wanted to learn how to hack a circuit's firmware, a great beginning point would be SparkFun Electronics. Many of the development, prototyping, and sensor products sold by SparkFun come equipped with a special programming interface. Even better, most of these products feature downloadable firmware. Therefore, with just a modest amount of effort, you can modify one of these products' firmware, reprogram the circuit, and create your own customized product.
Announcing the Build-a-BUG Challenge winners. Thanks to all who entered!
By PopSci StaffPosted 08.06.2008 at 12:05 pm 2 Comments
Last December, we launched the PopSci.com/Bug Labs Build-a-BUG Challenge. Users were tasked with building their ultimate BUG based off the BUGbase and BUGmodules—an open, modular consumer-electronics hardware and Web-services platform that you can use like Legos to build practically any gadget you can dream up.
The second-prize contest called for future module ideas. Bug Labs has more than 80 upcoming BUGmodules spec'd and in the pipeline, but that didn't stop you from sending in a slew of wholly unique and innovative ideas.
So without further ado (and in no particular order), below are our contest winners Congratulations to them and to all who entered, and keep an eye out for future PopSci contests.
In kitchens all around the world, cooks are experimenting with liquid nitrogen. It is a dramatic and very useful culinary tool that can cool or freeze things in an instant. It is made of pure nitrogen in a liquid state. Daniel Rutherford discovered the element nitrogen in 1772. It makes up 78.1% of the earth's atmosphere by volume. In its gaseous state, nitrogen is odorless, colorless, non-flammable, non-toxic, and largely inert. Nitrogen is found in organic materials, foods, explosives, fertilizers, and poisons.
By Melissa PerensonPosted 08.01.2008 at 12:53 pm 7 Comments
Ah, that sinking feeling: You’ve just left for a business trip when you realize you’ve forgotten the PowerPoint presentation on your PC at home. No matter: With the right tools in hand, you’ll be able to retrieve your file regardless of where you are.
Convert a cheap, dumb RC truck into an autonomous “smart” auto
By Dave ProchnowPosted 07.31.2008 at 11:07 am 2 Comments
If you're looking for an easy way to add DC motor control to your next Arduino project, look no further than the Orangutan LV-168 Robot Controller by Pololu. Equipped with two bidirectional, low-voltage, H-bridge motor controls, this ATmega168 board can handle many of the tasks that are typically sought by Arduino DIYers. Plus you won't have to monkey around with lots of complex programming, either.
A designer chooses an unlikely material as the basis for his newest audio project: slime
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 07.30.2008 at 4:41 pm 1 Comment
That’s not a carnivorous blob escaped from a B-movie—it’s a musical instrument called the Slime-O-Tron II. When Brooklyn engineer Eric Singer isn’t building elegant, music-playing robots, he designs unconventional audio controllers that send digital signals, known as MIDI data, to music software, turning them into sounds. For his latest such invention (he built the original Slime-O-Tron last year), Singer cooked up some slime from a recipe he found online and infused it with graphite to make it conductive.
Two chemicals create a glowing (and poisonous) mixture that’s a window into the weird world of quantum physics
By Theodore GrayPosted 07.24.2008 at 4:51 pm 11 Comments
Before the discovery in the 1920s of quantum mechanics—laws that explain the way the world works on the very small scale of atoms and electrons—the fact that bleach and peroxide glow when mixed would have seemed like just another chemical reaction that gives off light, like fire or fireflies. But it’s actually a glimpse into the impossible.