For many people, keeping indoor plants happy is a task they just can’t get their heads around. The mysterious fine line between care and over-indulgence; occasional attention and neglect… the simple truth is that we don’t all have a green thumb.
With this laser cut arduino-driven project from Instructables user 10DotMatrix, some of the guess work is taken care of. An array of solar panels mounted on 3D printed brackets track the direction and strength of the sun, and then navigate the unit into the optimal position for maximum sun exposure.
Combine this with the clever Plant Friends moisture sensor and you could be well on the way to creating an arboreal cyborg.
A lot of thought has gone in to how to achieve this, so if your indoor plants could do with a techno-makeover, check out the project page over at Instructables.
Ponoko laser cut Kickstarter trains you to fall asleep. Eyes closed, now breathe…
Chasing those Z’s is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to this nifty innovation from Jeremy Wilson on Kickstarter. The Sleep Sensei sits on your nightstand and gently guides you towards a deep, restful sleep.
How does it do this? To some insomniacs, such an achievement may sound like pure magic, but there is some serious science behind the device. Jeremy’s own insomnia saw him trial numerous sleep aids before he set out to use his Arduino skills to sort out their collective shortcomings.
The functional laser cut prototype pictured above is at the core of this Kickstarter campaign, with the final design yet to be revealed. The key technology has all been sorted out already, as can be attested by an overwhelmingly positive outcome from product trials on real sleep-challenged volunteers.
“The Sleep Sensei primarily helps those with sleeping problems caused by stress or an overactive mind at bedtime.”
If you are one of those creative over-achievers who just can’t stop their mind racing at the end of the day (we probably all know at least a few people who fall into that category!) then head over to Kickstarter to discover more about The Sleep Sensei.
Anatomy of a successful Kickstarter Jeremy Williams is the San Francisco based engineer / hacker / programmer / maker / video game enthusiast behind the Game Frame, a fully-programmable grid of LEDs designed to make it easy to display animated pixel art and old-school video game graphics.
Earlier this year Jeremy raised over $154,000 on Kickstarter for the Game Frame – an amazing sum considering the project’s original $15,000 goal.
7 months later – With the last of the Kickstarter rewards fulfilled, we sat down with Jeremy to get some insight into what led to his amazingly successful campaign.
Here’s a look at what has happened before and after the campaign was funded, along with some important lessons—both good and bad—that crowdfunding hopefuls can learn from Jeremy’s success story.
Providing the magical ability to scan not only the surface, but also to reveal details of the insides of an object, the CT (computed tomography) scanner has quite literally changed the way we see ourselves.
Modern CT scanners are frightfully expensive and are usually found in hospitals but Canadian-born Peter Jansen has built one himself out of laser cut wood.
“After seeing the cost for my CT scan, I decided it was time to try to build an open source desktop CT scanner for small objects, and to do it for much less than the cost of a single scan.”
With a design quite similar to the early commercial CT scanners, Peter’s device began as a quarter-scale laser cut acrylic version that he whipped up in a single day.
He then used this mockup to help refine the design, under the watchful gaze of a friendly house cat. (more…)
OFFRobot design iterations resolved using laser cutting
Responding to the tempting possibilities posed by the Hack The Arduino Robot challenge, the OFFRobot is a neat little walker designed by John Rees from the UK.
He’s documented his development process and thoughts along the way, from design of the walking mechanism (including inspiration from Disney Research and the ever-impressive Strandbeest) through to various stages of laser cut and 3d printed leg assemblies.
One interesting point to note is that John’s prototyping went from laser cut cardboard in the early stages, on to laser cut plywood and then 3d printing which came into play once the design was more resolved.
With the deadline of the competition looming, he went back to laser cutting in acrylic for the final burst.
“I did more 3d printing. It gave me some great, really solid and light pieces but I left it too late to print everything, so I will revert to laser cutting once again!”
By ‘reverting’ back to laser cutting for the robot’s legs and gears, John was able to achieve reliable, accurate and tangible results really quickly. That’s one of the major advantages of laser cutting – the unrivalled speed and precision.
Here’s a look at how the OFFRobot mechanism works:
Imagine controlling a serious laser cutter with the dynamic ease of an Etch A Sketch. Having first toyed with the idea years ago, Just Add Sharks have finally followed through and attached a fully functional Etch A Sketch controller to their laser cutter. Talk about dreams coming true!
Complete with authentic twiddly knobs and retro-Etch styling (all laser cut, of course) the modification uses an Arduino Pro Mini to bypass the machine’s existing wiring.
Click through for a video of the controller in action, where you can see the different functionality of either Etch or Cut being demonstrated.