NASA launches three smartphone satellites into orbit

Consumer hardware and open source software help build a $3500 satellite.

NASA recently put three nanosatellites powered by Google HTC Nexus One smartphones into orbit. Dubbed PhoneSats, they are about the size of a coffee mug. The satellites are intended to demonstrate how the rapidly decreasing cost and increasing power of off the shelf hardware and open source software can be used for a new generation of accessible, low-cost space research.
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A soft circuit textile interface using Arduino

The Nama, a textile-based instrument.

The Nama Instrument is a textile-based interface that uses a Lilypad Arduino and 5 Lilypad Accelerometers to wirelessly control custom software. The project was made by Luiz Zanotello for his BA graduation project in Design from Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil.

The software shown in the video demonstrations generate music and animation based on how the instrument is handled, but Zanotello proposes that input from the Nama could be used for other applications as well.
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3D Printed Headphones

Hi-Fi goes Low-fi for some DIY audio gear

Having previously applied some 3D printed augmentation to Apple’s famous little earbuds, Paris-based designer Jean-Christophe Karich has once again turned his talents to the mysteries of portable audio products.

The proposition is simple. How would you go about producing a fully functional pair of audio headphones, without using any commercially manufactured parts? In this research project, only the wire, solder and magnets have been supplied – everything else can be printed on a standard 3D printer.   (more…)

Opensource Craft Camera

Build your own DIY Arduino camera!

The Craft Camera is a collaboration by Coralie Gourguechon, electronics engineer Stéphane Delbruel, Graphic Designer Laura Messaglio, and maker-space Tetalab.
The project is based on the theme Low-Tech Vs. Hi-Tech, in response to in-built obselence in many consumer products to limit the product life-span to encourage consumers to continually upgrade. Rather,  the materials used and accessibility of open source design encourages Craft Camera users to repair and upgrade the camera themselves rather. (more…)

Connect your Arduino to the cellular network with the new GSM shield

Control and communicate with your next project with your cell phone.

Arduino has just released their new GSM shield that allows your Arduino to make and receive calls and text messages. You can even control specific functions of your project by text. Light up a LED, turn on a motor, all via cell phone. This isn’t the first time someone has figured out how to Arduino to the cellular network, but now it’s easier than ever before. This is very nearly a plug-and-play device.
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A DIY digital camera made with cardboard and an Arduino

A simple, open source camera you can make at home.

Photographer Product Designer Coralie Gourguechon made the Craft Camera as a way of countering the “planned obsolescence and complexity of electronic products.” All of the components are open source, and the design has a Creative Commons license.

The major components, in addition to an Arduino UNO, are a lithium battery pack, a Snootlab SD card Arduino shield, and a JPEG color camera TTL interface. The design for the case can be printed onto cardboard, cut out with a utility knife, and glued together. More detailed information is available on the project’s open source page, but the code and detailed plans are, unfortunately, not yet available. The site says they will be “released soon,” so be sure to check back later.
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3D print your own humanoid robot

It picks up objects, talks, and obeys your voice.

An open source, 3D printable humanoid robot is in development and available for download from Thingiverse. Right now only the arms can be downloaded, but the head and torso are promised as soon as the design has been refined.

InMoov is a project by Gael Langevin, a French sculptor (Thingiverse user hairygael). Langevin has been working on InMoov since early 2012 and has gone through numerous design iterations and discarded 3D prints since that time. The progress is nothing short of outstanding. As you can see in the video below, this is a fully articulated humanoid robot, a rarity outside the research labs of corporations and universities.
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Controlling Population with 3D Printed IUD

Protecting the future using 3D printed contraceptive implants

Israeli-born, Berlin-based designer Ronen Kadushin structures his work around a process called the Open Design Concept, where products can be downloaded, copied and modified much in the same manner as with Open Source software.

He has produced a diverse array of products and designs that follow this distributive method, with a notable concept that targets the much-lauded intrauterine device (IUD).

When one of the world’s most widely used methods of reversible birth control for women costs only a few cents to make, you’d think that it should be affordable to the women who need it. However, an IUD is priced out of reach for many, in particular the younger women who may not be able to afford the $400-$850 price tag.

Ronen’s Bearina IUD is a concept designed to demonstrate the disruptive potential of 3D printed Open Designs to give free and global access to essential products and challenge big players such as the medical juggernauts that aggressively defend their intellectual property.

Click through to discover how the Bearina IUD works, and where to download or purchase one.   (more…)

All-in-one controller board for making your own 3D printer

New grassroots hardware from the Pacific Northwest.

The BrainWave board by Metrix Create:Space and Matthew Wilson is an all-in-one controller specifically designed for DIY 3D printers. It includes support for 4 stepper motors, a heated extruder, and a heated print bed. It’s also open source. And did I mention it was fabricated, assembled, and tested in the Pacific Northwest? The components are from overseas, but that’s nearly impossible to avoid these days.

Unfortunately, it’s not widely available quite yet; it is currently being beta tested to work out the bugs. Once launched, the BrainWave will sell for the very reasonable price of $100.
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An open source computer controlled Jacquard loom

Introducing the Osloom.

Osloom (Open Source Loom) is an ongoing project to make an open source, computer controlled Jacquard loom.

The alpha prototype has a 64-thread count and is on an aluminum extrusion frame. The actuators we are using are muscle wire. They contract when electricity is run thru it. The loom itself is a little under 2 feet wide by 4 feet long by about 7 feet tall. The loom is controlled by software running on a laptop via an Arduino using a bit-shift register circuit . . . It works off bitmap images.

Speaking as someone who has seen computer-controlled loom in operation, they are astoundingly complex machines. Making one is an impressive undertaking, to say the least. Despite the fact that they predate 3D printers by a considerable margin, I suspect it is considerably more difficult to make a loom like this than a 3D printer.

Via MAKE