Parallel Computing Platform for Makers

Within the last year, economically priced Hardware platforms especially targeted to Makers appeared, such as Arduino (8bit Microcontroller platform dedicated to physical computing) or Raspberry Pi (full multimedia enabled 32bit CPU).

Now the Startup Adapteva plans to develop a basic open source platform for prallel computing. Adapteva calls the project Parallella Project, which represents a hardware platform with a proprietary Epiphany-CPU that supports from 16 up to 6 parallel RISC CPUs cores. Two Cortex-A9 cores are responsible for management tasks.
Adapteva just started a Kickstarter pledge in order to reach a budget of $750.000, in order to produce and ship the hardware.

Twine: The Internet of Things for your own Use

Twine - eine kleine Box mit Sensoren und WLAN zum Einbinden von beliebigen Dingen ins Internet (Bild: Supermechanical)

Twine, one of the first Kickstarter projects dealing with specific hardware to connect sensors and aktuators with the Internet, is starting to ship the first bundles these days. For around $100 you can buy a Twine box, that is shown above, that offers WLAN and a multitude of different sensors to check the status of your house or any other real world object you can think of. It runs on two batteries that should offer enough energy to keep Twine up for more than two month.

Another interesting feature is the Web interface Twine offers for specifying event condition action rules for reacting on user defined situations, without programming. The Web interface and ECA rules look quite similar to Microsoft’s On{X} Android App, which we discussed some month ago.

TangiBot – MakerBot 3D Printer Clone

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TangiBot, the latest clone design of the popular Makerbot 3D printer, should offer the same performance and features as the original printer, by 33% reduced costs. Matt Strong, the creator of the clone MakerBot 3D printer Kickstarter pledge, tries to rise 500K $ for his project. Matt describes himself as an 3D printing enthusiast who is creating and printing stuff since several years now. TangiBot is one of the latest initiatives in the hyped area of desktop fabrication. Citing Kickstarter you can TangiBot for 1.254 bucks directly shipped to your door worldwide. The TangiBot prints anything you can imagine out of ABS plastic (and PLA).  ABS is the same plastic used in Lego. You can design your own parts using free tools like or Google Sketchup.

Platforms like Tingiverse offer thousands of open source 3D printing designs for all kind of purposes, ranging from play figures to machinery parts. Screw-On Steves HotEnd Bowden Clamp

Beside the hyped 3D printing technology other similar projects try to establish desktop assembly and fabrication. PopFab for example implements a portable multitool robot for assembly and processing steps such as drilling, painting or even customized toolheads.

Help GeoGebra crowd source for the iPad

Remember my recent post on GeoGebra, the innovative and open source mathematics learning software that has attracted a global community of school teachers? GeoGebra is the best interactive software for explaining and teaching mathematic examples. And the best thing is that you can get and distribute GeoGebra for free.

Now the creators of GeoGebra started a Kickstarter pledge for porting this cool piece of software to the iPad platform.

We want to make GeoGebra available for the iPad. An html5 version of the software is already available and partly working on tablets without Java. But this is not enough, we want a real iPad Application. A GeoGebra app free to download for everybody from the Apple AppStore.

The reason why we want to keep the iPad application free is because GeoGebra itself is free and keeping it so we want it to be available for everyone. If we reach the desired 10,000 dollars, we can support the development.

I think the team around GeoGebra really deserves a huge crowd of backers for their enthusiasm to bring maths and MINT topics to children wordwide!



eBook Shop that rescues out of print sci-fi books from copyright

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Singularity & Co. is a eBook store that tries to rescue sci-fi books that are gone out of print and could fall in a copyright limbo. So the Singularity & Co.’s mission is to buy the rights of these sci-fi books in order to publish them as ebooks, which i find is an excellent idea. Singularity & Co. got around 50K $ startup funding by their popular Kickstarter pledge. They even try to build an open source desktop book scanner.

We’ve seen too many sci-fi books that are out of print, out of circulation, and, worst of all (given the subject matter) unavailable in any digital format. Meaning, as of now, these books may never be seen in the future imagined in their pages. That’s just not right.

growerbot: the social gardening arduino

The goal of Luke’s Kickstarter project growerbot can be summarized by one simple statement:

Automate growing food and share your real-world farming activity with your friends. Grow faster and better by sharing!

Growerbot combines the growing of food in the real world with enhanced social any community activities. It keeps your friends and followers updated about late braking results in your automated greenhouse. Luke’s  Arduino powered desktop greenhouse couples the power of automation to keep food growing optimally. By adding gamification to get you excited about gardening, you’re going to grow better food with less effort and more fun than ever before.

This project reminds me on a similar project that was presented at the Prix Ars Electronica festival. The project was called Telegarden and it allowed the community growing of seeds by using a remote controlled (through Web) growing of seeds:

1Q – Flexible High End Bluetooth Sound System for Smartphones

1Q in natural Bamboo
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David Laituri’s first Kickstarter project 1Q is a very flexible Bluetooth wireless sound system that allows smartphone users to play their music on high-end speakers. According to long lasting akku power this wireless speakers are able to operate more than 10 hours without reload. 1Q offers a nice and tight design, as you can see in the video below, as the speakers are built with either Bamboo, Walnut or limited edition Red Beach. 1Q takes Bluetooth v2.1 as input signal or alternatively an 3.5mm Aux In plug for external cable bound sources. It offers full 6.5W of high-end sound power while it offers more than 10hours of operating time. It weights around 8 oz (226g) and comes with a size of 3 x 3 x 3 (76mm x 76mm x 76mm).

I think he will be surprised by his success as he easily crushed his pledge limit of 10.000$ (at the moment he has 40.000$ and still 18 days to go).

Quite nice sound system, although there are plenty of Bluetooth sound systems available, some of them really cool, as this public park bench Bluetooth speakers:

Crowdfund a Book on Crowdfunding

As i was reading BoingBoing recently i found a post where Glenn Fleishman, a promotes his Crowdfunding effort to fund a book on crowdfunding: Crowdfunding: a Guide to What Works and Why. I think it is a really good idea to highlight some stories and strategies on funding your own idea, no matter if it is a hardware project, an art installation or a book writing project. Crowdfunding opens a real door for creative solutions that no bank or investor would take the risk to fund. All these inventions and creations would otherwise never appear on the market.

Ringbow – Next Generation Gaming Accessory

Ringbow really is an amazing new kind of controller that comes in the form of a typical (eventually a little bigger than normal) ring on your finger. It supports all kind of control strategies that a typical console controller also supports. With around 50 bucks you get a controller which none of your geek friends has ever seen before 😉

Ringbow is the world’s first wearable accessory for touch devices that provides the functionalities of a mouse, keyboard and joystick simultaneously with your touch. Ringbow transforms touch screen gaming, allows remote control of your operating system, applications, music apps and presentation tools, allows you to operate and answer your phone remotely and turns your device into a multi-user or multi-player platform.

Since touch screens are controlled with fingers, a finger-worn tool, specifically a ring, is the natural choice for complementing them. Operating Ringbow with your thumb, in conjunction with using a touch device, enables countless new features and a much more efficient user experience. Ringbow multiplies the functionality of your finger together with allowing amazing simultaneous actions providing powerful capabilities and layers of functionality that are simply not available in today’s technologies.

Operating the ring with your thumb while using your finger to touch a device provides powerful capabilities and layers of functionality that are simply not available in today’s technologies. Ringbow multiplies the functionality of your finger together with allowing amazing simultaneous actions.

Ringbow lets you free your fingers from your device, leaving your hands available to do whatever you feel like doing: eating a sandwich, drinking a beer, high-fiving your buddy or stroking a puppy. Whatever you’d choose to do with your hands!

Homemade Satellites are Just Around the Corner



The Nanosatisfi team has made it their mission “to provide affordable space exploration for everyone!,” and with ArduSat, they move one step closer to reality. ArduSat is a Arduino-controlled miniature 10cm cubic satellite, weighing 1 kg, which is roughly equivalent to half a store bought loaf of bread. Its size might not be impressive, but it packs over 25 sensors including: Myspectral’s open source spectrometer, inertial measurement unit, magnetometer, along the standard set, and many others. This impressive little machine boasts a camera to take photographs, it could send messages back to earth, or it can run your space experiments. With the ability to upload code directly to the ArduSat while in space, the possibilities are virtually limitless. [via Make]

Be sure to check out their YouTube Channel for more technical details. You can also support their efforts via their Kickstarter page .