Playgrounds may seem old school to some kids when compared to the latest video games, but Hybrid Play’s interactive game system turns swing sets and seesaws into games controllers through a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. The company hopes this open-source, customizable toy will encourage kids to play outside more and spur social interaction.
For the past couple of years, UNICEF Uganda and partners have been designing, developing, prototyping and rolling out youth-focused community computers that can operate on mains power where available, or solar-power in remote rural areas. Work has just finished on the design of the second generation Digital Kiosk, and the UK's fanless computer specialist Aleutia is now working on a new open source, low power computer system to squeeze into the table-topped repurposed oil drum that will become the Digital Drum.
The AirEnergy3D is an open source, 3D-printed, portable wind turbine prototype whose creators claim will be able to generate up to 300 W of power. Designed to be easily assembled and disassembled without tools, the device is intended to be compact enough to be transported in a backpack, allowing it to be taken camping or anywhere else that there is a breeze and no access to the electricity grid.
The days of being tied to a mains outlet to do a bit of soldering
are long gone, but what about the techie on the go who doesn't want to be lumbered with chargers, batteries, and cans of gas? Solderdoodle is a partly 3D printed device that can be charged using a standard USB cable.
The flood of smart devices aimed at hooking into the Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be turning into a flood of consortia of industry heavyweights looking to standardize the IoT. First we had the AllSeen Alliance
, which was followed by the Industrial Internet Consortium
(IIC) and now we have the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which boasts Atmel, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, Samsung and Wind River as members.
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.
At the Code Conference in California this week, Intel revealed that its 3D-printed Jimmy Research Robot, which debuted at Maker Faire NYC last year
, will be available through its 21st Century Robot Project later this year. Users will be able to download the files required for printing.
Pets that are home alone have a lot of time on their hands, resulting in boredom, anxiety, and a tendency to do things like tear up carpets. Not all of us can afford doggie daycare or have kids to coerce into playing with Bowser while we’re at work, so there’s definitely a gap for technology to fill. CleverPet is an interactive device that keeps your dog entertained by stimulating its mind and dispensing food as a reward. Fill it up with dry dog food and its software will run your dog through a selection of games designed to keep it stimulated and well-fed while you’re away.
Bee colonies are in decline worldwide. As Gizmag reported previously
, this is a growing problem, and a number of theories
and solutions are being explored. A team of eco-technologists from Europe and the US has come together to engineer a collaborative response to the problem, an open-source hive that can help house, track and understand the cycles movements of these vital members of the eco-system.
Aleph Objects, maker of the LulzBot line of 3D printers, recently made the switch to a new facility in Colorado, big enough to meet its expanding production needs and designed to add more injection-molded and laser-cut parts to the printers. I toured the massive cluster of 135 operating 3D printers, asked about AO’s upcoming plans for not only new printers but other hardware, learned how customers and community drive innovation, and met a fascinating LulzBot client who’s using the Open Source/Libre technology to jumpstart his vision of the future. If you’ve ever wanted to see 135 3D printers in action simultaneously, look no farther.