|Claudio and his quadcopter, built from parts |
he made on a 3D printer, which was made from
parts printed on yet another 3D printer.
... not that anyone was home.
The burglar is frightened away by a cheap motion-detector you plugged into a hobby microcontroller that turned on the electric motor that slowly waved a plastic fin in front of a lamp.
No, it's not that scene from Home Alone but a practical example of the many kinds of devices people can hack together with like-minded tinkerers thanks to the "maker movement" — inventors, hackers, and artists forming local groups around the world — that is now also emerging in Memphis.
"It's a gym for geeks," said Brett Henley of the +MidsouthMakers [their site], describing the three-year-old group's community workshop (or "maker space") tucked away in the light-industrial south end of Bartlett's historic district. The facility is bristling with tools and technology ranging from a glass kiln to a sandblasting booth to cutting-edge 3D printers that Henley's colleagues built from parts they made on other 3D printers. more
UPDATE: The week after this was published, the national Hacker Scouts organization announced that its new name is "Curiosity Hacked." The group yielded to cease and desist orders from the Boy Scouts of America, which even fought the Girl Scouts over the use of the S-word back in the 1920s.
Groups or sites mentioned in this article:
- MidSouth Makers
- Hacker Scouts (national, now called Curiosity Hacked)
- +Maureen Barger (Memphis Hacker Scouts leader)
- Start Co. (business incubator)
- Make Magazine
- Maker Faire (global)
- Hackerspaces (find other maker groups)
- Arduino (Open-source prototyping platform for creating interactive electronic objects)
- Lulzbot (3-D printers)
- Instructables (project examples)
- Boy Scouts of America's "Protecting the Brand" page
- Catholic Troops of St. George (BSA spinoff, formerly "Catholic Scouts of St. George")
- Trail Life USA (evangelical BSA spinoff)
- Republic Coffee (site of bi-weekly MidSouth Makers meetings)
My second Flyer cover story, "Up on a Crippled Creek: A firsthand look at Memphis’ most ravaged urban waterway — Nonconnah Creek." April 21, 2011.
PDF of my first Flyer cover story: "River Rat: John Ruskey brings adventure tourism to the Mississippi River" December 7, 2000. (It's no longer on the Flyer site.)