These slide shows are awesome. As you pointed out, its amazing how today's Makers are quite clever in developing cool and innovative products using ordinary materials. One item I'm always discussing with my Electronic Engineering Tech students at ITT Tech is to venture into the land of creativity. There are so many cool tools to develop personal technology such as the Arduino, the Basic Stamp, LEGO NXT, and the Propeller, to name a few, that the only constraining factor is time. I'm currently working on some cool robotic controller gadget projects for a book I'm writing for Apress. I'm using microcontroller platforms such as the Arduino, LEGO NXT, and a bunch of discrete electronic parts along with my Motorola DroidX smartphone to create wireless controls for robots. BTW, I do like the robotic hand and the Kindle products as well.
Hey, Mr.Don, we're always looking for new gadgets to feature in Gadget Freak. If you or any of your students have gadgets, we'd like to see them. Design News will pay $500 if we feature your gadget. We often feature student teams. Send me a note at email@example.com and I'll send along the Gadget Freak details.
Charles, you're right on the mark! The LEGO NXT has wealth of free programning tools like NXC (NXT Not Quite C) and Python. The traditional programming tools like LabView, VB, and Visual C allow rapid prototyping of a variety of cool and innovative gadgets only limited by one's imagination.
So, Altoids aren't just for your breath any more, huh?
I think you should have a column for what we can design into an Altoids box. That would be fun. I can see it now, "Engineers design first home generator in an Altoid box. Altoid stock rises fast!"
Ever wanted to see light beyond what's detectable by the human eye? You can with DOLPi - a homemade Raspberry Pi-based polarization camera. You can even use it to detect unseen objects like landmines, IEDs, pollutants, and maybe even UFOs.
A Design News contributor takes on the challenge of building an old-fashioned metric clock that uses French Revolutionary time, which divides the day into decimal units, and shows you how to build your own.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.