Author Archives: megadolen

What does the kampung spirit of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire reminds you of?

If you had come for the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire last year, it is unlikely that you would miss the biggest curated area by the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2).

Artistically decorated with the “kampung” feel, the booths of the SL2 showcased many treasures to our first Singapore Mini Maker Faire, bringing awesome surprises for many of us. The cardboard fire engine transformer stole the limelight, transforming itself into a popular photo spot. There were lots of hands-on booths for visitors to try their hands on, eg. painting on an elephant figurine, weight-lifting using DIY weights, urban farming methods and of course, the ever popular flying water rocket. There were simply so much things you can see, touch and experience.

Since their success last year, SL2 had been busy with several of their own events. We are glad that they are still able to take part at the upcoming second Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and are excited to learn what they have in store for us, and what learning points they would like to share with new makers. Read on to find out what we found out through an interview with Veera and Ibnur, founders of the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)!

Conceptualisation > Preparation > Execution

When asked about their experience curating their own space, Veera and Ibnur shared that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire was an opportunity for them to bring their existing maker community together and create a common shared experience. It started with bouncing of ideas almost 2 months before the Faire, settling on the “Kampung Innovation” theme which celebrates the inventiveness and resourcefulness of the Kampung, and weeks of intensive sessions of development and iteration of the prototypes to bring them to their final form.

Non-visitors would not know this, but we noticed that SL2 had a debrief session at the end of the day. When asked about it, we were told that those are reflection sessions, and they are part of their internal culture at the SL2, enabling their makers to think about how their day went, and to share their gratitude and thanks to each other for the support they had received from each other. Doesn’t your heart warm at this? Personally, I think such practices are great for any community. Reflections are useful because they aid in the process of personal growth and development. SL2 really treasures their makers. :)

Kampung_Makers small

What have SL2 been doing?

For those who followed us since last year, you probably would have also followed SL2 and their activities during the past year. They shared that they had been inspired by the large turnout at the last Faire and the interest in their activities, and have started conducting “Woodworking and Innovation” classes for families, students and adults. They have also started developing their product lines with the cardboard furniture, Jigusuo rapid assembly furniture (exciting concept and interesting design!) and cardboard building blocks. Along the way, they also organised a bunch of makethons – their version of hackathons in which physical prototypes are a must!

If you are curious about SL2, find out more at their website here.

New plans

This year, SL2 shared that they hope to have a sharper focus on sustainability and demonstrate various ways in which we can all be more gentle with the Earth. They said that we can expect more earthworks, home urban farming systems, traditional crafts and quirky upcycled products. There might even be some interesting smart furniture and humanitarian devices on display!

Words of advice

Veera and Ibnur’s suggestion for newcomers at this year’s Mini Maker Faire would be for them to spend time on creating a positive and memorable experience for those visiting their booths.

Simple, but it is probably one of the most important things makers should take heed when planning for your booth at the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Are you ready? Stay tuned for more news coming your way and block your calendar for 27 & 28 Jul 2013!

Heard us? Yes, it is you (makers) that we are calling!

If you were with us last year, thank you for making the Singapore Mini Maker Faire so loud that many more are keen to join us this year.

Now, it is the time that you join us again. Echo our call for makers for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013! More information can be found here.

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Pre-Maker Faire workshop: Kooky Krazy Piano 30 Mar 2013

“Imagine a wild way to play the piano, then make it using everyday stuff: fruits, stationery, people, even candy! The secret to a great invention is clever use of electrical conductivity and a little computer code.

Participants will invent their own device by connecting everyday materials to the computer then turn them into piano keys by programming their behaviours in Scratch. This workshop is a fun introduction to inventing and programming; perfect for kids to tinker, play and explore adventurous ideas.”

How do you like the sound of the above? If the visual cannot get to your mind yet, try clicking on this video. :)

Yes, this will be our first official pre-Maker Faire Workshop leading up to the July Faire, conducted by Playlab.me! If you are keen to join us for some tinkering fun, here are the details!

Date: Saturday 30 Mar 2013
Time: 10am-12pm
Venue: Einstein Room (Level 2)
Cost: 1 adult +1 child (7-12yrs) ( $50 (for members), $66* (for non-members)
*Cost of programme include admission to Science Centre
Registration opens till 29 Mar.

Please email wyc_hooi@science.edu.sg for registration and enquiry.

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How would you like to take part in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013?

Hello Makers!

It has been half a year since our first Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and we hope you have had a great time since then, building, crafting and making things.We’re pleased to announce the dates for this year’s Faire – Saturday 27 July and Sunday 28 July. The venue will be finalised soon, but it will be outdoor (tented).

Before we call for makers officially, we hope you can help us get a sense of how you would like to participate. Appreciate it if you could do so by spending a few minutes to fill out a survey form here.  (Edit: The Call for Makers is now open!).

Do note that the form is just for us to have a preliminary feel of the event, so you will still need to fill out the “Call for Makers” form later on to confirm your participation.

If you have friends, family or colleagues who might be keen in participating in the Faire, please share this with them as well!

Hope to see you at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013!

How would you like to take part this year?

Gearing up with the harmonograph

It is coming to half a year since the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire which was held on 4 & 5 August last year at Science Centre Singapore. So, what have all the makers been doing in this half a year? What projects have everybody been doing? It would be great if you could share them with us.

To start the ball rolling, we will share what some students under the club “Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES)” have been tinkering with in the month of December.

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The harmonograph

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Drawing of a harmonograph

Want to try your hands on it as well? The harmonograph they built will be set up for the first time in public on 19 January 2013 at Fort Canning as part of the Handmade Movement Singapore’s Indie Craft Fair and you are free to express your drawing creativity with this specially designed paper!

Harmonograph drawing on Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 design paper

Harmonograph drawing on Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 design paper

So, come look for us at Fort Canning Green and Patio, 52 Canning Rise, this coming Saturday!

Were we “loud” enough for you this year?

A month ago on the 4 & 5 August 2012, the Science Centre Singapore organised the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Stephen February – Urban Microfarming using Hydroponics

It was a bang. We had over 20 maker booths, 6 vendors, two fully packed days of workshops and talks, plus lots of visitors.

The venue was packed and activity-filled.

Everybody were full of anticipation; the organisers to see the birth of the inaugural event here in Singapore, the makers to showcase their makes, the volunteers to be part of the team, and the visitors to find out what a Maker Faire is all about. Some were even keen “followers” of the Maker Faire culture in the United States and were all excited about it. Overall, it was all excitment in the air.

Launch of the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire!

The event was launched by Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore.

The launch was truly amazing, not only because it was done with an in-house confetti cannon launch mechanism, but because of the warm spirit in the air. Everybody crowded enthusiastically near the stage and it felt like a countdown to a family party.

 The launch was also nicely accompanied with the impromptu launch music by Jolyon, one of our Makers! :)  

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Personally, I think it was an eye-opening experience. It felt as if I were at a country carnival. Every booth was fun and interesting. You can find ingenious makes and concepts, and you can find the gadgets that you need to do the same thing!

Veera from SL2 helping a little boy lifting DIY weights!

You get to produce music using bananas (with the use of the makey-makey), see a blimp fly all over the hall, see water rockets shooting all over the place just outside the hall and many others. More photos are available on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SingaporeMiniMakerFaire.

Joel Tong with his Gyrating Electrical Enigmatic Blimp

Before the event even started, many of you were already busy tweeting and posting Facebook posts about it. Thanks to all your active participation, the event even caught the interest of some local papers and some of the makers were interviewed.

It was an enjoyable two days. Thanks to you, the first ever Singapore Mini Maker Faire had indeed made ourselves heard. If we were not “loud” enough for you this year, come help us make the event “louder” the next time round!

P.S:- Did the Faire inspire you to make something? Did you embark on any project after that? I did, and you can read about it here. Cheers.

About National Instruments

At the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire, National Instruments (NI) presents the NI LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit, also known as DaNI, an industrial-grade, out-of-the-box robotics platform designed for teaching robotics and mechantronics concepts or for prototyping a robotic system, and Angry Eagle.

Read on to find out more.

About the booth

Through our interview, NI shared with us that their booth will showcase the above two items.  The robotic demo showcases a Platform that allows you to quickly start prototyping your own autonomous application. It comes with an NI Single-Board RIO embedded controller that is mounted on top of a Pitsco TETRIX erector robot base, Ultrasonic sensor, encoders, motors and battery. This is an easy-to-use platform to start designing your first autonomous robot.

The second demo is the Angry Eagle game with actual slingshot. A big slingshot is built to fire the angry eagle. A force sensor and a variable resistor are used to measure the force and the angle that the player asserted. The data collected is transmitted to the computer through WiFi using NI WiFi Data Acquisition device(DAQ). Upon receiving the data from the WiFi DAQ, the computer program simulate the force and fires an eagle to break the bricks. With LabVIEW, the graphical programming platform, and simple NI DAQ devices, a lot of computer games can be brought to reality without much knowledge in computing. 

Do visit their booth to speak with their engineers to learn more!

About the workshop

Besides the booth showcases, NI will also conduct a presentation entitled “Hack the Kinect and Other Cool Sensors with LabVIEW” . In this session, NI will introduce to you how to hack the Microsoft Xbox Kinect, iRobot Create, Neato lidar, Google Android, Apple iPhone, Texas Instruments ez430-Chronos, Nintendo Wii remote and Nunchuck, and the Arduino Uno with NI LabVIEW.
The common factor of the presentation and the booth is the platform behind all the interesting projects. This platform is called LabVIEW. LabVIEW is a graphical programming platform, inheriting the idea of a flowchart.  

They had conducted one session of the workshop at the first day, but you are still in time to catch them for the 1pm session today. Don’t miss it!

Encouraging more makers

When asked how we should encourage Singaporeans to make things, NI replied that the first step would be to educate Singaporeans on all the tools that are out there which will enable one to pretty much do whatever one wants. The next and much bigger step would be to provide Singaporeans access to these tools without breaking the piggy bank. NI’s main advice would be to find as many like minded individuals and work on team based projects, so that cost is distributed and teammates can motivate one another to stretch their goals further. They also acknowledge that the lack of facilities would be a limiting factor. NI is open to talking to anyone who is interested in building these core facilities up for Singapore.

Today is the second and last day of our Mini Maker Faire. Check them out!

GEEB

GEEB. It is short for the Gyrating Electrical Enigmatic Blimp, an Arduino-based remote controlled vehicle.

Joel and the GEEB

What makes the GEEB cool is its ability to understand tweets sent by you.

The GEEB is trained to understand spoken commands as a human would, based on a trained AI system using Natural Language Processing methods. It runs on an Arduino and Python-based system, and has a live camera feed on-board.

About the Maker

Joel Tong is a member of the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) and is also preparing to enter University in the United States. He has started prototyping the GEEB since February this year. Some pictures of his prototyping process could be found here. Joel will be at the SAYES booth on Saturday morning. Do catch him when he is around!

So what are you waiting for? Start tweeting! @TehZProject

Chemistry Quest and its young inventor Yoneyama Yuito

About Chemistry Quest workshop

Chemistry Quest

CHEMISTRY QUEST is a game where you will explore the world of elements by bonding atoms to create chemicals. Your aim is to maximize your points by making bigger and more complicated elements. This game is also suitable for children who may not be able to understand the word or subject of Chemistry. Use this game as an introduction to learn chemical bonding.  In the finale of the game, you would get a chance to challenge the original inventor of the game!

If you enjoy chemistry or card games, be sure to come for the Chemistry Quest tournament! Meet the game’s young inventor from Japan and get a chance to purchase the limited English editions of the game!
The tournament is free, but slots are limited – pre-register at http://bit.ly/LPSD9w to confirm your slot.

About Yoneyama Yuito (The inventor of the Game)

Yuito was born in 1999. During his International Preschool days, he came across the planets in the Solar System and became amazed by the mysteries and wonders in the Universe. When he was in Primary 2, he took interest in the composition of fossils and minerals. Hence, he started reading text books on elements which was meant for high school students. One day, he saw his fellow classmate making a card game.

This inspired him to make his very own. The concept he had was a game which emphasizes on getting friends together, rather than for friends to ‘fight out’ each other. Hence, he decided to build the game around the theme of atom bonding. Thereafter, he even attended the closing event of the Tokyo International Science Festival 2010 in attempt to share his creation with the others. In 2011, he founded ChemistryQuest Inc. He was then Primary 6 but he made an important step to make his game available to as many people as possible.

When asked what he thought should be done to encourage people to make things and advice he would give to other makers, Yuito shared his views on the importance of sharing with others what you have made or invented. He emphasised on being global.

Young Yuito is now working on the iPhone version of the game which will be released this summer.

DIY Life: Lifehacking 101

James Norris seemed a rather interesting personality. He will be conducting a 30-minute “DIY Life: Lifehacking 101” workshop at this weekend’s inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012.

Read on to find out how different this workshop will be compared to the others.

The workshop

You will not be getting a physical make out of this workshop. Instead, James promises you a practical and interactive workshop on some of the best ways of “hacking your life” to maximise your personal growth. It will cover High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to help you spend less time in the gym, the 6 Second Pause to help you manage your emotions, the 5:1 Ratio to improve your relationships, a formula from a behavioural psychologist that may change your life (B=MAT), and many others.

The facilitator

When I checked out James’ website, he has a page on his bio with a nice word cloud introduction. “Personal”, “Time”, “Focus”, “Everything” and “Life” stood out, amidst many other words that describe him. It seemed that he is someone who valued life and personal time a lot, but he is also very focused so that he can fully utilise his time (my interpretation).

James Norris’ Personal Word Cloud

James told us that he has given this talk or variants of it a few times at Barcamps and they were always well received. He has been speaking on the topic for a few years now. If you are wondering what are Barcamps, google it on the internet, but in short, it is a user-generated conference session where participants gather prepared with topics they would like to talk on, but whether they get to speak or not would depend on whether they get a vote from the other participants. Interesting, isn’t it?

When asked what inspired him to conduct this talk, James shared that he enjoyed doing it because he can summarise in 30 minutes the highlights of what he took a decade to learn, something which appealed to him, a self-proclaimed efficiency-and-effectiveness-junkie. Though amused, I think such efficiency would definitely appeal to many others as well, in today’s society. Isn’t it? Looking deeper, you can also see a person who is very keen to share his knowledge with us.

James also shared that he is also a maker although he usually use the term builder. He hangs out with people from Hackerspace a lot and sees awesome stuff happening in Singapore, e.g. a window farm in a Raffles office. He just felt that the Singaporean makers should receive more publicity. When we asked how Singaporeans should be encouraged to make stuff, he jokingly said to hand out a homework assignment with two words on it: “Make something”. I cannot help but smile at that.

Like many other makers, James advised that if you would like to make something, do not wait. You can even find someone to build with, but the crucial point is to do it now.

To learn more about James Norris and his project, check out www.jamesnorris.org/personalgrowth and www.selfspark.com.