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On Saturday of the Detroit Maker Faire, I caught an impressive project on the Make Demo StageEric Merril gave a talk on his DIY RC QuadCopter:



The i3 Detroit hackerspace member based the design for his QuadCopter on the AeroQuad project.  The rotor motors are controlled by software running on the on-board Arduino embedded system and responds to the wireless input from the RC controller:



One local blog covering the event, the urban life, further described the exhibit:


Merrill, a programmer at Oakland University and member of Ferndale’s I3 Detroit, an art and technology collective, will be showing his QuadCopter at Maker Faire this year. He’s still in the “software-tuning stages” but his remote-controlled device can be used to take aerial photographs. The event inspired him to make one, something he’d been wanting to do for some time.



After the talk, Eric moved the crowd outside the MakerShed tent for a demo flight:



Merrill limited the maneuvering for crowd safety, but the QuadCopter was still impressive to see take flight:






element14 will be sponsoring the Open Hardware Summit in NYC.  The Summit occurs on September 23rd which is the Thursday just before World Maker Faire New York weekend (where element14 will have a booth!).  If you are coming to Maker Faire, then be sure to arrive a couple days early and attend!

The schedule is packed with leaders from the Open Source & DIY community such as:

  • Limor Fried - Adafruit Industries
  • Phil Torrone - Adafruit & Make Magazine
  • Bruce Perens - Open Source Initiative
  • Chris Anderson - DIYdrones & Wired Editor-in-Chief
  • Massimo Banzi - Arduino
  • Leah Buechley - MIT Media Lab & Lilypad wearable Arduino
  • Gerald Coley - Texas Instruments & Beagle Board


Anyone else planning to attend on the Open Hardware Summit or Maker Faire?  I hope to put some element14 usernames to faces!





Don't miss out on the special circuit hacking workshop by Mitch Altman (TV-B-Gone & Brain Machine) and Jimmie Rodgers (LoL Shield) tomorrow at Chicago's Hackerspace, Pumping Station: One:

Circuit Hacking Wednesday Special Edition

Wednesday, August 25th


Maker Faire Detroit was filled with clever gadgets and wonderful creations.  Looking back on the event, one exhibit pops to the front of my mind - the  Sashimi Tabernacle Choir.  I first caught of glimpse of it in between performances and wondered to myself what the heck it was:


However, upon my second time passing the car, the delightful assortment of electromechnical sea creatures sprung to life and danced about in rhythm with the B-52's "Lobster Rock" playing through the car stereo system.  To quote the Maker Faire info card on the vehicle:

This award winning art car from Houston has 250 electromechnical lobster and fish, 300 pounds of batteries, 2 Linux computers to coordinate all the singers, and more than 5 miles of wire in the control system. "Quiet please, this is serious."


Richard Carter has more information on his wonderful, scaly choir on wheels at:


I was too slow on the draw to catch 'Rock Lobster', but I did manage to shoot some video of the song & dance show at Maker Faire:



More photos of this fantastic automobile can be seen at:



Stay calm & Solder On,


Hey Chicago -


Come get your electrons & solder on at Pumping Station: One’s Circuit Hacking Wednesday (2nd & 4th of the month)!


Mitch Altman presents 'Hacking Cool Things with Microcontrollers' at Maker Faire Detroit 2010


Mitch Altman (co-founder Noisebridge & TV-B-Gone inventor) and Jimmie P. Rodgers(creator of the OpenHeart & LoL Shield) will be our special guest stars on Wednesday, August-25, 7pm-10pm.


Jimmie P. Rodgers instructing makers of all ages in the Learn to Solder tent at Maker Faire Detroit 2010


Inspired by Noisebridge’s Circuit Hacking Monday, any experience level is welcome. Beginners can learn to solder and make cool stuff in a couple hours.  DIY electronics kits from Adafruit Industries, Cornfield Electronics (Mitch Altman), Jimmie P. Rodgers will be available for sale.


And remember: Soldering is Easy!


Solder is Easy - Here's how to do it!