Since shipping in 2012
, Raspberry Pi boards have found themselves the brains of such diverse DIY projects as a mobile phone
, a touchscreen computer
or even a treat dispenser
for the family dog. Now there are three new boys in town that promise faster processing, more system memory and more connectivity options. Yes indeed, SolidRun's new HummingBoard family has all the makings of a serious Pi killer.
The latest validation that maker culture has arrived came this week from Washington, D.C., where the date of the first-ever White House Maker Faire was announced. We've collected some of the most impressive, innovative or just undeniably interesting Maker projects that deserve to be included.
Ever dashed to catch your train only to get to the station and realize it's running late? Or left home without an umbrella when you need one? iStrategyLabs came up with a solution for just such problems. Transit is a conveniently-placed sign displaying real-time commuter info from the internet.
Seeking to cross the relaxed-back comfort of a recumbent with a higher seating position, German engineer Christoph Lenz has innovated the MaynoothBike, named after his home in Maynooth, Ireland. In place of the usual bottom bracket-mounted crankset, the dual drivetrain is built into the fork. The linear drive not only creates a more relaxed seating position, it offers some claimed efficiency advantages, too.
Since its launch and slightly delayed shipping
in 2012, we've seen Raspberry Pi computers used for everything from a bartender
to a bizarre musical instrument
. Now dedicated tinkerer Dave Hunt has used a Model B to create a touchscreen smartphone called the PiPhone, though he readily admits that it would be easier and cheaper to pick up an (arguably much better looking) budget cellphone from a shop in the mall, "but hey, where’s the fun in that."
Last year, German laser weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe
built a working replica of Ironman's laser gauntlet
. Now, he's paid another visit to the world of superheroes, creating his own take on the "energy beam"-emitting eyewear worn by the X-Men's Cyclops.
Following the tsunami that hit Japan in March, 2011, designer Chris Robinson was inspired to create an escape pod to ensure he and his family could survive if such a disaster were to occur in his home city of Palo Alto, California. After some two years of painstaking design and construction, his floating off-grid shelter, dubbed Tsunamiball, is nearing completion.
Oregon boat builder Brian Schulz has turned his carpentry skills towards creating the Japanese Forest House – a 200 square foot (18.5 sqm) home built from predominantly reclaimed wood and salvaged materials.
Industrial Design lecturer Mark Richardson, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has created a velomobile prototype made from salvaged materials, a few off-the-shelf parts and modular 3D printed components. Dubbed FAB Velo, the open source project features a modular design that was developed with the aim of enabling users to build their own velomobile.
If you hated losing to the computer at Pong
, then at least you could console yourself with the knowledge that the computer was on home turf; the contest took place in the computer's ethereal realm of ones and naughts. Now, a project by Spanish tinkerer Jose Julio has given rise to a competitive, merciless air hockey machine that will lay bare your mortal frailties and beat you into submission on your own physical terms. What's more, it's built largely with 3D printer parts.