Due to bad weather and road conditions, we’re canceling our focus group scheduled for 2 pm today (unfortunately). Thank you to everyone who signed up, and we hope you can make it to one of the other sessions scheduled, which are this Tuesday the 28th at 6:30 pm, or next Saturday the 1st at 11 am. Stay warm everyone!
Arduino is back!
Demo Night – January 30 (Project Night, 7-9 pm):
To gear up for our Arduino workshops in February, we are holding a special demo night with instructor Tim Bieniosek. If you have your own Arduino projects to share, bring them in!
Intro to Arduino Workshop
3-session class on Tuesdays
February 11, 18, and 25 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
In this class you can expect a fun crash course on everything you will need to get busy creating with your Arduino. We’ll cover all the key concepts, from learning the fundamental aspects of programming with the Arduino language, to the different types of materials you can use in your projects and prototypes. Our aim for this course is to send you home with a cool project to show your friends, a whole bunch of new ideas and the knowledge and resources to produce some Arduino magic! All participants must have a laptop to bring to each session to work with the Arduino code.
If you have some knowledge of microprocessors, basic circuitry and/or programming, you may come to individual sessions that work best for you. Individual sessions are $40 each if purchased separately.
General tickets are $90 for all 3 sessions or $40 each.
The cost of the class does not include materials. We will have a kit with an Arduino Uno and an assortment of sensors, buzzers, and more for you to experiment with in class. This kit is an additional $45, which you can pay for online or with cash in person. After the class is over if you don’t think you’ll use them anymore, you may return the kit with all the parts intact for a full refund of $45.
Force Field is a new opportunity for artists in Philadelphia to do “large-scale installation, film, audio/video, and performance work. The work should be experimental, engage the public and no more than 3 years old.” If you’re familiar with Data Garden, then some of the amazing and talented artists behind Force Field will be familiar to you. From their website: “This project will allow emerging artists the chance to design, execute and exhibit substantial new projects. Each artist will be provided time, funding, space, and an exhibition so they can experience the full cycle of creativity from idea to public engagement. Funding for the project will be raised through Indiegogo and distributed to the selected artists. The project will benefit Philadelphia by inviting the local community of Kensington, the various arts communities, gallery-goers, and students to experience contemporary art and music like never before. We love what we do and love Philadelphia.” Heck yeah! Apply here.
Join us next Saturday, January 11, when we’ll be packing T-shirts and Raspberry Pi cases to send to donors from our recent Kickstarter campaign. We’ll also be assembling the electronics for our LED lightbox starting around 1pm. If you are comfortable soldering, we can put you straight to work; if you want to learn to solder, now’s a great time!
Over the summer, we had an idea to build an LED lightbox for our Market St. display window. We built a 4′ wide plywood case with a 16×10 grid of “pixels”, and we have 160 addressable RGB LEDs to light up each cell of the grid. We’ve also started writing code to drive the display with image files; the first images on display will be chosen by several of our Kickstarter backers. Now we need to solder all those LEDs together and attach them to the case, and we want your help!
The 11th is also Soft Circuit Saturday. We’ll be hosting a contingent from the Fashion|Tech PHL Meetup, who held a cool roundtable on wearables here in December. We will also be featuring a demo using Bare Conductive Paint and a few other projects. Whether you’re just picking up a needle for the first time or you have a great project idea using the newest Adafruit toy, join us from 1-4pm for our monthly craft afternoon.
We’re still planning on hosting Jason Fagone and Kevin Smith today to talk about building a 200-mpg car by hand, and the spirit of American invention. Jason and Kevin are coming from another event in NJ and may be a bit delayed, but we’ll still be there at 3 to welcome you in from the snow. Hope you can make it!
One of the benefits of being part of the Department of Making + Doing is that we’ve had access to more resources, such as a grant we won from the Cognizant Foundation, which is doing a lot to support the creation of maker programs around the country. One of the first things we decided to do with those resources was to create an after school program. We’ve had some experience working with the Fleisher Art Memorial, to help create a class called “Gadgets and Sculpture that Moves!” so we wanted to build on that experience. We were fortunate to be able to use some connections through volunteers to set up our program with students at the Lea School, at 48th and Locust. The Lea School is part of Philly’s public school system, which pretty much everyone knows is operating in spite of a really bad situation. We’re very happy to be putting our skills to use there, and the students in our program are also warming up to our activities, and have already started coming up with great modifications to the projects we’ve built. The theme for the program is “How Things Work” so we’re covering simple machines, basic circuits, and some concepts of optical illusions. So far, we’ve made a tower-building challenge with bendy straws, mousetrap cars, and this past Tuesday we built tabletop catapults.
Check out this set of photos of the projects (we’re still getting permission to use photos of the kids so there aren’t so many pics right now). Our program is scheduled to run through December 19, and possibly into next year. Though we have some great teachers running the program, we could use a few extra sets of hands to help out in the classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4:30. If you’re free and interested please email georgia[at]thehacktory[dot]org. (Any volunteers will need to complete a background check and child abuse clearance, but we can help with that.) In the future, this exactly the class we’d like the artists in our T.E.R.A. Incognita project to help out with. We’re running a kickstarter to help fund that right now, so please back it today!
We’re pleased to announce a new event coming up Dec. 8th with local author Jason Fagone about his recently released book “Ingenious.” Join us at 3 pm on the 8th for the kick-off event of a Northeast tour for Jason and Kevin Smith, one of the book’s characters, who built a 207-MPGe electric car by hand out of junkyard parts in an Illinois cornfield. That means that car will be here at our space for you to check out! We’re very happy to be hosting Jason, who also tells the story of the West Philly Hybrid X team in the book, which you can read an excerpt of here, and purchase in lots of places, including Amazon.
We just got confirmation that our kickstarter campaign for our artist residency program is now live! That means our Galactic Gatsby Masquerade/Fundraiser tomorrow is our official launch! Tickets are going fast so be sure to get yours soon!
We had a great discussion last night after our screening of the documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply. This is the first of several events we plan to hold about online surveillance and how you can protect your privacy, next one is coming up Nov. 6.
Most people at the screening expressed how they already knew much of their activity was being tracked, but were surprised by the extent of the tracking, and that it’s already been used to stop nonviolent protests before they even happen.
If you’re interested in taking action to preserve your 4th amendment rights, here’s some info about what you can do this Saturday:
On Saturday, October 26 — the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act — thousands of people from across the political spectrum will unite in Washington, D.C. to proclaim: Stop watching us. Read More
Here’s a story from Leslie Birch, designer of the award-winning FLORAbrella and electronic designer extraordinaire! She’s teaching our upcoming workshop, Program a Blink-tastic Costume: Intro to Lilypad, this Saturday, October 26, 10am-4pm. There’s a few spots still open, reserve yours today!
I don’t think I will ever forget the first time I lit up LED’s. In fact, it was at one of The Hacktory’s first classes on simple circuits and we made little spiders that were so adorable. Now I’m lighting up 5 meters of LED strips and loving it! My recent project was part of the Adafruit/Element 14 Get Closer Challenge. The idea was to create something that would bring people together using the FLORA microcontroller. So, I decided to make an umbrella that would use LED strips and a color sensor, so that it could either match your clothing, or do fun patterns like a changing rainbow or random rain. I did a lot of research and planning, and I even learned how to do Fritzing — a drag-and-drop program that allows you to make circuit diagrams. In the end, the project really surprised me, and I still find myself laughing at how amazing it looks.
So, I feel like everyone needs to connect with their inner maker, and I want to help them do it. My “Program a Blink-tastic Costume” workshop offered the end of this month will teach people the basics of a circuit, give them creative freedom with LED colors and placement, and allow for awesome programming. It is so cool to make lights do what you command them to do, especially when it is on your own outfit! I can tell you just from walking around with my umbrella, that people are truly amazed by the magic of lights. So, expect an entourage with your blinking costume. The best part is that you can tell others the story of how you created it and spread the word about DIY electronics. Be emPowered!