Mini Rover Redux

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... Read more »

Thumb Piano

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... Read more »

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... Read more »

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 Read more »

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. Read more »