Maker Pro News: Makers Will Run the Factories of the Future

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Education Internet of Things
Maker Pro News: Makers Will Run the Factories of the Future

You’re reading our weekly Maker Pro Newsletter, which focuses on the impact of makers in business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Subscribe today and never miss a post.

Work on something that matters to you more than money.O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly

The Factory of the Future

The U.S. manufacturing sector has changed profoundly over the past two decades, with classic assembly lines giving way to a streamlined, automated environment that often harnesses the latest fabrication technology. And the best equipped workers in that new world are makers — practiced problem solvers who can straddle the factory floor and the digital fabrication space.

That’s according to Sarah Boisvert, a maker and public thinker who wrote “The New Collar Workforce” after retiring from the laser machine tool company she co-founded in the 1990s. Now she runs Fab Lab Hub (@FabLabHub), which is helping ease in that new manufacturing paradigm by awarding “badges” to workers in what Boisvert calls the “new collar economy.”

“Despite fears that robots are taking over manufacturing jobs, in reality, automation does the boring work while humans get to imagine, design, program, and of course, repair the Co-Bots that work alongside them,” Boisvert wrote in a new essay for Make:.

Boisvert will be talking more about her work at Maker Faire Bay Area, at 10:40am on Friday, at Industry Career & College Day, a full-day event that will explore opportunities for makers in the labor force. More on Maker Faire — and this groundbreaking event — below.

Bunnie Huang Launches Open Source Video Dev Board

Veteran maker pro and activist Bunnie Huang (@bunniestudios), perhaps best known for hacking the XBoxlaunched a wild new project this week: an open source video development board called the NeTV2, which Huang is currently funding on Crowd Supply (@crowd_supply), and which comes along with a lawsuit he filed with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (@EFF).

The gist of the suit is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a sweeping item of 1990s legislation that enforces copyright on the web, also prohibits certain types of video processing. The rule is intended to prohibit intellectual property infringement, but Huang and the EFF believe that it’s also hampering innovation in digital video by outlawing legitimate projects. The NeTV2 campaign met its $15,000 funding goal in its first day — so now the question is how the project will fare in the legal system.

Thought Leaders and Celebs at Maker Faire Bay Area

Maker Faire Bay Area had a superstar lineup of maker pros this year. Check out our exciting roundup that looks at women who are leading the conversation about the future of making and the economy. There’s Gina Lujan (@GinaLujan), the CEO of Hacker Lab (@SacHackerLab) and Code For Hood (@codeforhood), as well as STEAM advocate and Pixar (@DisneyPixar) animation expert Danielle Feinberg (@dafeinberg), designer Angela Sheehan (@the_gella) and YouTube personality Allie Weber (@RobotMakerGirl).

Another blog post looks at authors will make appearances at the show. Catch up with Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly), the founder of O’Reilly Media (@OReillyMedia) and a longtime friend of Make:, who appeared on Friday as part of our Industry, College, and Career Day to discuss his book “WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up To Us.”

“Work on something that matters to you more than money,” O’Reilly said of his book. “Remember that financial success is not the only goal or the only measurement of achievement.

Humble Bundle Cosplay 2.0

We’ve teamed up with Humble Bundle and other publishers to offer you an awesome cosplay book bundle!

Featuring over $240 worth of ebooks on everything from sewing to weaponry, this bundle features best-selling Make: books like Props and Costume Armor and Wearable Electronics.

When it’s over, it’s gone. Act now. Name your price through May 30!

Hardware Entrepreneurs in India Flex

Though it’s a huge nation with a vast skilled workforce, India has struggled to build a vibrant entrepreneurship sector, especially in hardware, where geographic neighbors like China have dominated in recent decades.

But, as we’ve covered previously, an influx of resources and capital could be poised to change that. Case in point is a new Entrepreneur profile of Dimension NXG (@dimension_nxg) a maker startup in Bombay that’s going toe to toe with Facebook and Microsoft with its own augmented reality platform.

Setting aside the company’s technological offering, what stands out is its ambition. Co-founder Abhijit Patil doesn’t want to build the next Foxconn; he wants to be the next Steve Jobs.

Elsewhere on the Maker Pro Web

RAPID, the accelerator program at Philadelphia makerspace NextFab (@NextFab_PHL), just launched a $100,000 fund for its member startups.

There are trillions of dollars in the construction industry — which spells opportunity for hardware makers that can make the space more efficient. A new Crunchbase roundup looks at the most promising startups aiming to disrupt the market.

Nintendo (@NintendoAmerica) is teaming up with Seattle venture capital firm Scrum Ventures (@ScrumVentures) to invest in companies with ideas for new hardware that connects to the Switch console.

This Make: profile of LA artist Jebediah Voltz, who creates tiny tree houses attached to potted plants that have found traction at art shows, is a thing of wonder.

Reno entrepreneurs take note: Filament (@FilamentHQ) CEO Allison Clift-Jennings (@amcjen) will be speaking on June 7 at an event about her experience building a hardware startup and navigating the funding ecosystem. Bonus: there’ll be free pizza.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

DC Denison is the co-editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

DC manages customer stories at Acquia, the digital experience company.

View more articles by DC Denison

Jon Christian is the co-editor of the Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection between makers and business. He's also written for the Boston Globe, WIRED and The Atlantic.

View more articles by Jon Christian