Mainland Maker visits for 9/1 meeting

Maker Meet spills into outside area for our 9/1 meeting

We had a special guest at our September 1 public meeting. Eric Gradman, a co-founder of SynLabswas on Maui for vacation. I had crossed paths with Eric back in the early days of CrashSpace, and he is friends with Garrett Lisi, Crystal and Reichart. It was great to have him stop in for some talkstory.

We had a fair bit going on at the meeting. Gabe Mott brought his kinect and mac and set up inside on the back bench. Ben Ward brought his multi-touch table again and set it up outside, along with a folding table that got used for some builds. His wife Hiro and sons came out too. We showed them how to make Bristle Bots.

A Bristle Bot - from Evil Mad Science Laboratories

These are very simple bots made from the head of a toothbrush, a pager motor and a battery (oh yeah some double stick tape). The kids loved em! I have a collection of pager motors and batteries and will plan a larger build nite for kids with these.


It was great to see the fairly large turnout. Setting up outside really helped a lot as that front area of the trailer has been getting way overcrowded. We did move the spare wood outside (underneath, out of sight), which freed up a bit of space in back work area. After most people left, several of the guys hung out for a bit talking – and then we got to cleaning up. We reorganized the front area a whole bunch. I brought the MIG welder home for a while – need to make a good welding stand for it. We got rid of a bunch of trash and WOW the front area now looks great. We talked about getting some more tables, chairs and some wind breaks so we can quickly set up a decent outside area for builds and hang outs. And about getting another small (20ft) container to store projects, etc.

Things are picking up STEAM!
Here’s the flickr set for the meeting…
[slickr-flickr tag=”Meeting090111″ descriptions=”on” flickr_link=”on” sort=”title” use_key=”y” ]

Arduino Demo Box - Bend sensor controls led color & servo position

Speaking of STEAM, I was at the MEDB fundraiser dinner for the Ke Alahele Education Fund last saturday night.  It was a good event and they managed to raise nearly $250,000!! I brought a small sampling of Maker stuff with me – a Makerbot whistle, some laser cut parts and a simple arduino demo board, all housed in a nice (medium) Otter BoxI just got from AdaFruit. The arduino demo was a quick (1hr) bit I threw together using a bend sensor to control the color of an led and position of a servo. It was powered by a 9v battery. It got some good response.

Laser Scrap Pendant necklace by Crystal Jean‎ Baranyk

Laser Scrap Pendant necklace by Crystal Jean‎ Baranyk

I also took one of the nice necklaces Crystal made from our laser left overs (see pics from 8/25 meeting). These came out incredibly well. Crystal is definitely an artist. Check out what she did with the laser cut gecko in that pic set.  Anyway, I wore the necklace and then at dinner I was chatting up Makers with the folks at the table. I took off the necklace and showed it to Carol Coe and Bob Cartwright.  Carol gushed over it, so I told her she could keep it.  She just about cried. It looked really good on her too.  Maybe it will come back round to makers someday, maybe not. At least I made someone happy.  Random acts of kindness.

Robert and Carol Coe (wearing Crystal's necklace) at the MEDB fund raiser dinner for Ke Alahele Education Fund


1 reply
  1. Brian T
    Brian T says:

    While I managed to end up in pic’s not smiling, I was super stoked to talk to Eric about my obstacles on a project. In awesome maker fashion, he listened, grabbed his laptop, searched for less than a minute, found a solution, looked around for whom he could find to translate technical description to me (Jerry but I understood it) and accelerated my progress. It was core to what makers are about. Thanks Eric!


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