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Conference-goers had fun building tiny robots and high-tech graffiti at the TEDActive event in Palm Springs last month, thanks to Newegg and the Maker Shed. The annual get-together of big thinkers had a Newegg-sponsored Tinker Box “lab” area where conference attendees built bristlebots, LED throwies, and RGB LED origami lamps.

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My friend Tod Kurt and I were asked to come up with some maker projects for Newegg. We had a month to do it. We ruled out soldering-based kits; too slow. We decided on the three kits mentioned above, but knew it would be tough to source the parts we needed in time. Enter Rob and Marc of the Maker Shed. They turned around the custom order in record time, with no hitches, other than the proclamation that “it’s not a lot of fun to try to separate huge stacks of magnets into individual kits”.

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Tod ran a number of very successful classes at the event, and attendees came away smiling. Some surprised us with their creative mash-ups of bristle bots and LED throwies. Inspired by the awesome Young Makers event at the Exploratorium, Tod laser cut a cool little racecourse for the bristlebots. Check out this video to see them in action.

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To make the bristle-bots robust, I soldered two leads to every single one of the pager motors in that bowl there! (About a hundred of them; it was actually very meditative.)

Thanks to Lora at Newegg for making it all possible. Newegg Tinker Box press release


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