NYC’s Hardware Startup Meetup, and New York’s Next Top Maker

Arduino Raspberry Pi


Over 100 “hardwarians” gathered yesterday at NYU-Poly’s Incubator facility in Manhattan for a few presentations, including three by entrants to the New York’s Next Top Makers competition. With public voting going live early next month, makers were presenting their pitches in an attempt to drum up awareness and support for their projects. Using components like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, makers are able to quickly prototype projects to reimagine how we interact with everything from sound to urban traffic data.

Bolt at Hardware Startup Meetup
The meetup opened with a presentation by Ben Einstein, a co-founder of Boston-based hardware incubator Bolt. A new initiative, they will provide startups with everything from 24/7 access to prototyping machinery, to co-working space, and even cash to keep startups afloat.
Looking to open-source bicycle and vehicular traffic data, the TrafficCOM gave one of three presentations by entrants in the NY Next Top Maker competition. Their current prototype is built using an Arduino, which the makers are looking to “shrinkify,” along with upgrading the power source (currently a 9V battery) and make the container sealed and tamper-proof.
View their project submission here.
The Sounder is a “natural amplifier” cut from old-growth yellow pine. The wood is sourced from buildings throughout New York City that get torn down–materials would otherwise go into the waste stream. The product is designed to accommodate various iOS and Android devices in portrait and landscape orientation.
View their project submission here.
ALPHI is a Wi-Fi speaker system. The idea is multiple speaker units could be plugged in to power plugs throughout your house and simultaneously stream the same song over Apple’s AirPlay protocol. It would also have an internal battery so you could grab-and-go the device and take them to an outdoor picnic, for example. Their prototype was built using a Raspberry Pi.
View their project submission here.
The folks from JumpDrive talked about their startup, giving vehicle owners more access to on-board diagnostics (OBD) data, using a “vehicle tag” that plugs into the vehicle’s OBD port. The tag is a small physical device (seen on the left in the slide) that operates over ZigBee PRO.
The folks from I Heart Engineering gave a demonstration of their TurtleBot open-source robot running ROS. Powered by a netbook, this model employs a Kinect and the robot was described as a “scaffold” for everything from moving supplies around in warehouses to delivering drinks. (Think bar bot!).

Public voting for New York’s Next Top Makers begins on March 8th.

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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