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Today we’re launching a new video series: Making Fun with Jeff Highsmith.

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Jeff Highsmith.

Jeff is a North Carolina-based maker who says he’s guided by curiosity and a passion for learning. He says his ideal project would lead him to learn new things, make good use of his existing skills, involve the creative use of materials (too much MacGyver growing up), and result in a fun contrivance that the world has yet to see.

He was introduced to electronics through amateur radio at age 11, but didn’t start the hard-core tinkering until his first son was born and he realized he wouldn’t be spending as much time outdoors hiking and backpacking.

In the Making Fun video series, Jeff hopes to inspire folks to cultivate their own creativity by showing them how easy it is to make fun toys and gadgets. With two boys aged 3 and 5, he has toys on the brain, and most of his projects involve creating or enhancing play possibilities.

In his first video, Jeff modifies a race car set with an Arduino, servo, and sensors to act as a speedometer and deploy a police car when a racer breaks the speed limit. The code for the project is on GitHub. Enjoy.

See the entire series here.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


  • Byron Winchell

    All the best, Jeff. But when I saw your portrait in the RSS reader, “Ford Prefect” instantly popped into my mind (a disorganized place).

  • http://www.jeffhighsmith.com Jeff Highsmith

    :-) Is it the TV series (David Dixon) or movie (Mos Def) Ford Prefect whom I closely resemble?

    • Byron Winchell

      No, certainly not Mos Def. It was Douglas Adams description of Ford Prefect in the original novel:

      “He was not conspicuously tall, his features were striking but not
      conspicuously handsome. His hair was wiry and gingerish and
      brushed backwards from the temples. His skin seemed to be pulled
      backwards from the nose. There was something very slightly odd
      about him, but it was difficult to say what it was. Perhaps it
      was that his eyes didn’t blink often enough and when you talked
      to him for any length of time your eyes began involuntarily to
      water on his behalf. Perhaps it was that he smiled slightly too
      broadly and gave people the unnerving impression that he was
      about to go for their neck.”

      Now that I’ve looked it up again, I’ve decided that you don’t look like Ford Prefect after all. Only Tony Blair does. Cheers!