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The completed MAKI robot

Hot on the heels of InMoov, the 3D-printable android, comes a similar but much less intimidating project for DIYers by Hello Robo. MAKI is a cute communication robot that can be assembled from 3D-printed parts and some off-the-shelf electronic components for less than US$500, making it an affordable platform for hobbyists and university labs. Hello Robo has opted to launch MAKI via crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where a $30 pledge will net you the 3D blueprints.  Read More

The XOPAD for Android is a USB-based controller for Android phones

As smartphones become more akin to pocket-laptops, the evolution of mobile gaming is also forging ahead, going far beyond such classics as Tetris and Frogger. Yet touch screen control for complex gaming is inhibitive, and sometimes it’s just downright clumsy. XOPAD, a USB-based controller for Android phones, is looking to join a growing list of products that turn your smartphone into a fully-fledged hand-held gaming machine. The creators are also aiming to make it open-source for developers.  Read More

Both the TinyDuino and TinyLily Mini are significantly smaller than, but compatible with, ...

The popular open-source Arduino microcontroller has been implemented in countless projects worldwide, and this very success has led the hacker community to create several smaller and cheaper alternatives to the Arduino, such as the Digispark. TinyDuino continues in this miniaturization trend but, crucially, does so while promising to retain all the flexibility of its illustrious forbear.  Read More

The Vision ConnectedDrive is one of BMW's visions for the future; what's yours?

One of the most established luxury auto marques is teaming up with one of the market's latest, buzziest firms to visualize the future of design and technology. BMW is working with crowd-source guru Local Motors in a new contest designed to gain a broader perspective on the future of sustainable urban mobility.  Read More

Thymio II is a new educational robot designed by Swiss research institute EPFL

In the past year alone, Swiss research institute EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) has brought us things such as a mini ionic motor for satellites, “nano velcro” that removes pollutants from water, and a system that allows paralyzed rats to walk again. While none of these items will ever likely be available to regular consumers, now there is a piece of EPFL-developed technology that you can get your hands on. It’s an open-source educational robot known as Thymio II, and it only costs a little over a hundred bucks.  Read More

The Eliodomestico costs US$50 to build (Image: Gabriele Diamanti)

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Concerned about the lack of fresh water in the developing world, designer Gabriele Diamanti wanted a solution to desalinate water that was available to households rather than relying on giant centralized plants. He also wanted it to be something inexpensive that could be made by local craftsman. The result is a ceramic solar still called the Eliodomestico that operates like an “upside-down coffee percolator”.  Read More

The Digispark measures roughly the same size as a US quarter coin

The open-source Arduino micro-controller is a very useful piece of kit which has been implemented by hackers to power countless endeavors from Musical Umbrellas to Angry Birds Slingshot Controllers. For some projects however, the flexibility of the Arduino can be overkill and it's this issue which prompted Digispark to create a simpler, cheaper alternative - a tiny Arduino-compatible developmental circuit board that costs as little as US$12.  Read More

It doesn't look all that appetizing, but it gives you more control than the average Mexica...

A 3D printer that pops out steaming hot burritos before your very eyes? That sounds like the plot of the next stoner movie turned cult hit. In this case, though, it's actually the thesis project of an NYU masters student. And it's fast becoming a reality.  Read More

OpenROV is an underwater remote-operated vehicle that will be available in a kit or fully-...

Underwater remote-operated vehicles, or ROVs, are almost impossibly fascinating. They’re controlled by a surface-based operator, who watches their real-time video feed and pilots them via a long umbilical cable. Although the big-league multi-million-dollar ROVs are used for things such as exploring the wreck of the Titanic or studying hydrothermal vents, hobbyists have quite a bit of fun using their own home-built versions just to see what’s under the surface of the local lake. Unfortunately, even to build one yourself, you need to be pretty technically skilled. That could change, however, as the OpenROV project is developing “easy to assemble” kits – it may even provide li’l ROVs that are ready to go, right out of the box.  Read More

A few short months after being successfully funded by the Kickstarter crowd-sourcing porta...

After attracting more than three times its funding target on the Kickstarter crowd-sourcing portal, the TriggerTrap universal camera trigger is now speeding towards production. The battery-operated, pocket-sized device has five built-in trigger modes - including firing the flash or shutter release in response to light or sound input - and is compatible with a growing list of camera models. It has a touch-sensitive user interface and an LCD display to help take the guesswork out of choosing settings, and can control hundreds of different cameras via wired or IR trigger systems. It has also been built to allow (if not actively encourage) hacking.  Read More

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