Make: Volume 64 — Connected Everything

In this issue of Make: learn to connect and automate a variety of gadgets with the easy-to-use IFTTT (If This Then That) cloud service — set your coffee machine to brew a fresh pot when you wake up or send a message to do your homework right away when you get back home. Then explore how hackers use the Shodan search engine to discover and take advantage of your connected devices and get up to speed on how to lock them out. And in our cover story, read about Let’s Robot, the whimsical platform for telepresence robotics. Log in and communally control a roving robot, and build your own for the internet to collectively control 25 projects including:

  • Hack the original Space Invaders arcade audio chip and produce classic and novel sounds
  • 3D print an awesome set of egg-shaped speaker enclosures that provide incredible sound
  • See how prop and costume maker Michelle Sleeper built a real Mad Max: Fury Road-inspired prosthetic arm for an amputee cosplayer
  • Add sass to your simple sweater with ribbon and grommets
  • And much more!

ON THE COVER: Jill Ogle with Roxi. Posing assistance from the internet.
Photo: Hep Svadja

Table of Contents



Find inspiration at Maker Faires.Page 04

Reader Input

Notes from readers like you. Page 05

Made on Earth

Backyard builds from around the globe.Page 06


Bright Ideas

MythBuster Kari Byron and “geek mom” Debra Ansell chat about technology, art, and the magic of being self-taught.Page 14

Fast Food

BattleBots team Poor Life Choices cooked up their fighting bot “Battle Royale with Cheese” in just five weeks. Page 16

Flying Toward the Future

The Daedalus suit soars closer to realizing our jetpack dreams.Page 18

Connected Everything

Connected Everything

Our smart devices and projects will make our lives easier — as long as we are as smart as they are.Page 20

Remote Control

Let’s Robot offers an open telepresence platform for everyonePage 22

Seek and Deploy

How hackers use the Shodan search engine to discover and take advantage of your connected devices.Page 26

If This Then That

Get started with the popular IFTTT cloud service for gluing together web services and hardware.Page 28

Lock it Down

Top tips to tighten security on your homebrew IoT projectsPage 30

At Your Service

Take your project online with these maker-friendly options.Page 32



Build a lap steel guitar from your favorite skateboard deck.Page 37

Synthetic Sounds

Make a minimal sliding synth and drum machine for just a few bucks each.Page 38

Egg Speakers

3D print these awesome enclosures that provide incredible sound.Page 40

Beauty and the Beats

Nothing less than a sound-reactive light show will do for rock band Less Than Jake.Page 42

Pecan Blaster

Make a twin-solenoid power nutcracker that bashes the shells and saves the meats.Page 44

DIY R/C Hovercraft

Made from cardboard and trash bags, these things rip! Make a bunch and race your friends.Page 52

Building Furiosa’s Bionic Arm

Inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road, prop and costume maker Michelle Sleeper built a real prosthetic arm for an amputee cosplayer.Page 56

Chipped Nails

Add NFC RFID tags right into your manicure, then command your gadgets with a fingertip.Page 58

Reverse Engineering Furniture

A cheap homage to a famous mid-century modern writing desk.Page 60

Hands-Free Photography

Rig a DIY foot-switch shutter remote and give yourself a hand — or two — in documenting your project steps.Page 65

Altered Apparel

Add sass to your simple sweater with ribbon and grommets.Page 66

Squarely Rooted

Use a grid to get big gardening results in small spaces.Page 70

1+2+3: Straw Oboe

Craft simple wind instruments from drinking straws and strike up a summertime band.Page 71

Skill Builder

Get to Know Arduino

Here’s a crash course on the popular microcontroller.Page 72

Tech Tunes

Create music from floppy drive sounds with a Java application and Arduino sketch.Page 74



Gear up with reviews of the latest tools and kits for makers.Page 76

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Check out the winners of our Mission to Make: contest!Page 80