Hand drill

Mini Rover Redux

Mini Rover Redux

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFGKa1pf2Pk?wmode=opaque&w=620&h=349] This project is based on work by MAKE magazine contributor Tom Zimmerman. Tom, who was honored in 2009 as California’s Volunteer of the Year for his unpaid teaching campaign in public schools, developed the idea as a hands-on activity to accompany his talks about the Mars rover program. Basically, he mounted an X10 […]

Continue Reading
Thumb Piano

Thumb Piano

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3M15Eii2TU] The thumb piano, known as a kalimba, mbira, and by many other names, is a lamellaphone that uses prongs called tongues, keys, or tines that you pluck to generate acoustic vibrations. The length of the tine determines the pitch. Generally, the thumb piano uses some kind of mechanism as an anchor that puts […]

Continue Reading
Portable Model Rocket Launch Pad

Portable Model Rocket Launch Pad

My new dog is terrified of fireworks. This wouldn’t be a problem outside of July 4th — if I didn’t fly model rockets. But she can’t tell the difference between an Estes B6-4 and a Joyous Family Whistling Fountain, so rockets terrify her too. This makes weekend trips to the organized launches in central Oregon […]

Continue Reading
Whack-a-Mole Game

Whack-a-Mole Game

Jim Chen designed an excellent electronic “Whack-a-Mole” game using 555 timers, LEDs, and bent-diode touch sensors, that you can build on a solderless breadboard

Continue Reading
Lensless Microscope

Lensless Microscope

Inside your webcam is an imager chip with thousands of sensors, each much smaller than a hair. Replace the lens with an LED, place a sample directly on the the chip, and you have a lensless microscope capable of streaming live video of plankton or other microorganisms to any display.

Continue Reading