Tag Archives: electronics

Introducing Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Integrated booth

This year, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will be participating in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with an integrated booth to showcase their diverse variety of makers. Below is a summary of our interview with the six featured makers, and an introduction provided by Dr Yeo Wee Kiang, Maker Coach, Singapore Polytechnic, who conducted a workshop at last year’s SMMF.

Introduction

SPlogo(Colour)Makers from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) have been actively participating in their own capacities at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire since its first run. This year, SP is proud to participate as Team SP in one integrated booth which showcases the diverse capabilities and innovative talents from our various academic schools and student clubs. SP firmly believes that making is an important part of education today. We are actively promoting the maker movement within SP.

For example, Makerspace@SP has been set up in SP Library to promote curiosity-driven tinkering. In addition, an institution level facility the FabLab@SP has been setup and provides the technical expertise, trainings, tools, and machineries necessary for digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping. The Singapore Mini Maker Faire provides an excellent platform for makers from SP to connect with creative talents from the local Maker community and vice versa.

Jolyon P. Caplin (Big on the Mind but Light on the Pocket)

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon is a familiar face at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. For past visitors of the event, you might remember him for the Jolyonophone1, reason for the constant crowd at his maker booth at SMMF 2012, or for the colourful light displays at his Science-Art Fusion maker booth last year. This year, Jolyon who is a lecturer at SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, is returning with “Big on the Mind but Light on the Pocket” and he promises devices that will both be interactive and entertaining.

When asked about his thoughts on the Singapore maker scene, he noted that it is a good sign to see many maker events and facilities appearing, with good take-up as well. However, he felt that more people need to build the confidence to become really involved. This is something he felt could be improved. Do you agree with this?

His advice for interested makers-to-be would be to simply plunge in, find a more experienced maker first to see how things are done and build up the confidence, before dropping by a hardware shop to browse around and get ideas.

When asked about his challenges in making, Jolyon conceded that time is his biggest problem, as it would take a full 4 hours to really complete a project. I recalled him mentioning time as a challenge last year as well, and I believe this is a problem that many makers would have as well. Yet, despite so, Jolyon has still made it to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire with a variety of new showcases each year. Isn’t that a great example for all?

Tan Kok How (Dancing Robot)

Next, we would like to introduce Mr Tan Kok How from the SP Robotics Innovation Technology Enterprise (SP-RITE, a Student Club). Mr Tan will be showcasing a bioloid robot programmed to dance!

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We asked Mr Tan to share his making journey and he told us the story of how he started with LEGO bricks from a tender age of 7 and progressed into robotics by the time he reached Secondary School. Joining the Robotics Club then provided him the chance to explore various types of robots and participate in competitions. It also opened the way for him to build robots out of LEGO Mindstorms and learn about simple electronics. Mr Tan shared that budget is his biggest challenge in his making journey because it is not easy to build a robot without sufficient funding. This has however brought the maker spirit out of him, when he innovated with the use of self-fabricated parts and parts from obsolete robots. Challenges always bring out the best in people, isn’t it?

When asked on his advice for budding makers, this was what he said:-

‘Life is full of mysteries and surprises. You must have that motivation and vision in whatever that you are doing in order for you to start and even more to continue. Also, willingness plays an important role. You are going to make something new or innovate something that is already out there. You will need a strong will in trying as “failing to try is trying to fail”.’

Liew Hui Sing (Development of the intermeshing Tandem Configuration VTOL UAV (Vertical Take-off and landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) System)

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Mr Liew with his students and their “makes”

Next, we would like to introduce Mr Liew Hui Sing from the SP School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, who would be showcasing an intermeshing rotorblade helicopter. Want to see a flying machine at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire? Look out for Mr Liew’s booth.

Mr Liew shared with us that he began liking airplanes since he received his first foam airplane from his parents at about 8 years old. Since then, he had enjoyed making his own airplane out of any scrap materials he could find, until he became of age to join the Singapore Youth Flying Club Aero-modelling Club to learn how to build flying aircraft models. He continued to pursue his degree in Aerospace Engineering, worked in the aerospace industries and finally became a lecturer and course chair at SP to pass on his love for aeronautical engineering to the next generation.

Because of his love for aeronautics, things he has made naturally revolved around this theme, for example UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Propulsion Systems like Rockets and Engines, and Motion Simulator System to give people the experience of flight. Interested to know more about what he has made? Do drop by his booth and speak with him!

Mr Liew also have some advice for those who are interested to pick up engineering. He felt that “it is about following your passion even though engineering necessitates doing the less glamourous work like ‘putting your hand in grease’”.

Michael Spicer (Spatial Controlled musical instrument)

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A performance using the spatial controlled musical instruments

Mr Michael Spicer is from the SP School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology and he would showcase a project that adapts various spatial controllers to become semi intelligent musical instruments. Mr Spicer shared that he enjoyed building things and music since young and it naturally led to him creating various electronic music systems, using available resources. He usually build interactive music performance systems that tend to have large software component, but sometimes consists of a combination of sound generators and signal processors in novel combinations.

Mr Spicer advises new makers to start small and have fun, and to start with modifying something that exists as it would be an easier first project. He also reminded that things would never work right the first time, and noted that creating something is an exploratory activity, hence if you create exactly what you set out to do, you have probably overlooked an opportunity.

Isn’t that so true? Therefore it is important to keep the right spirit and attitude in the process of making and creating things!

SP Design School – Diploma in Interior Design [ SUPERSURFACE. ]

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Students’ exhibition at a library

Next, we would like to introduce the Year 1 students from the SP School of Design – Diploma in Interior Design and their showcase of [ SUPERSURFACE. ], an ergonomics design project which was planned and carried out in collaboration with their lecturers Mr Muzammil Aziz, Mr Ivan Ho, Mr Foo Yoong Sheng, Ms Fiona Ho, Mr Tony Tan and Ms Janice Tan.

The design process comprises of four main stages where the students had to collect data, analyse, make prototypes and finally fabricate. The project which started as a study of human ergonomics ran for slightly more than three months.

On the maker scene in Singapore, Mr Muzammil and Ms Tan observed that there is now additional government support in terms of funding and initiatives, hence beneficial to the community of makers. However more publicity and outreach could be done to gain more traction both locally and internationally.

To young makers, their advice is to have passion, determination and perservance, as these are the factors that will bring one far.

Teo Shin Jen (Assorted Electronics and Digital Fabrication Projects)

Last but not least, the final maker from SP would be Mr Teo Shin Jen who is a lecturer at SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He also happened to be the first person interviewed for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire when it first started in 2012. In that blog post, we saw Shin Jen’s “see-say-do-it” spirit and his passion to use what he makes to inspire his students’ interest in learning programming, electronics, and computer engineering. This year, we see Shin Jen returning to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire again with his band of merry makers from SP Makers’ Club and the community members of FabLab@SP after his stint in UCL Computer Science Department, and Institute of Making, London last year.

Shin Jen’s focus is still the same and we applaud his efforts for making learning more applied. His emphasis, which I thought was notable, is that a maker should not concentrate on just making in solidarity, but involve the community around him or her (students in his case) to “DIT: Do It Together” by making things together. Here is a photo of Shin Jen’s class on making solar cooker for the children of SP’s staff.

Shin Jen’s workshop with 3 children working on the solar cooker outdoors

Shin Jen’s workshop with 3 children working on the solar cooker outdoors

1 The Jolyonophone is currently on display at Science Centre Singapore, Quirky Science Exhibition

“Fix it, Give it” – A project by the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES)

Good Karma ToyThe Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) will be embarking on a “Fix It, Give It” project to collect unwanted toys and work with volunteers to give the toys a new lease of life. The toys will be donated to one of the children’s home in Singapore.

A collection box will be set up at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC (at the registration booth). If you have mechanical or electronic toys which are spoiled and you would like to contribute them towards this meaningful cause, SAYES would like to appeal to you to bring them down to us this weekend. A very big THANK YOU to you in advance!

If you have any enquiries about the project, please email to sayes@science.edu.sg.

Shi En, a student maker from SUTD

Shi En, a student from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), will be taking part as a maker in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire for the first time this year and he shared with us how he actually got started.

He shared that he enjoys 3D printing, electronics, robotics, and the use of machines, and he picked up these hobbies about 2 years ago. The following are some projects he had made since then. Interesting, aren’t they?

An angrShi Eny bird:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g5rJyWopmw

8x8x8 led cube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTD9yQ7yu48

Light dance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRaF-TAy54M

Shi En first attended the Faire last year as a visitor. Earlier this year, he responded to our call for makers for lead-up events and took part at our first pop-up event at Tampines Central CC to teach participants about paper circuits. By participating as a maker this year, he wishes to inspire others to start their own projects and also get to know other makers in the maker movement.

That’s the spirit, Shi En, and we hope you get to inspire many through this weekend’s event!

DeCONSTRUCT – How Nishant shares his tinkering passion with his peers

Nishant is an 18-year-old student from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and he will be participating as a maker at the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day that will happen at University Town (National University of Singapore) on 19 July together with other student makers.

He shared that he liked to take things apart since he was young and he thanked his parents for being very supportive of him, although he admitted that he is still chided for making a mess and damaging the floor and other household objects in the process of his tinkering. His parents also make sure that he tinkers within safety limits, though he admitted that he still tries to challenge the limits at times. Well, that sounds totally characteristic of a maker, doesn’t it?

Tinkering challenges

Nishant shared that he has always worked with minimal tools. Although he would have appreciated more tools, he feels that it has taught him how to make do, which is actually a good chance to innovate! Nishant also shared that tinkering had affected his school work a bit when he was building a Tesla Coil in Secondary 3 but he does not regret that because he really love what he did and he is glad to have done it. Well, the important thing is to learn through experience and manage things better the next time round!

Sharing this hobby with peers

Nishant thought it would be great to share his tinkering hobby with other people. A lot of his friends find Science boring and do not see the purpose behind what they learn. Nishant feels that most people will not see the purpose unless they are shown the possibility of application of what they learn. He cited the case of his friends who were not particularly interested in the details of things even though they thought it cool when he built a Tesla Coil in school when he was in Secondary 3. Hence, he thought a hands-on session might make a difference, and it would make people learn in the process of creating.

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From left (standing) – Yun Da, Nishant, and Gabriel (Organisers of DeCONSTRUCT)

He decided to run an event with two other friends, Gabriel Tan and Lee Yun Da, to let his fellow schoolmates take things apart and make something new from the parts, and in the process they will be able to apply Physics, design and electronics. The event was DeCONSTRUCT and it was a collaboration project between ACS (Independent) and Science Centre Singapore, run by Nishant. It was not all pink and rosy initially. He had a tight timeline to advertise the event to his fellow schoolmates and was worried about a meagre sign-up, although it picked up towards the end. After the three-day tinkering workshop, he was glad it was a success, with many participants giving him encouraging feedback after the event. One participant wrote to him, “It’s such an eye opener for me. I never liked Physics although I’ve been studying it for 9 years. It is only today that I realise how wide is its applicability and how far your imagination can stretch. I will re-approach Physics from a new perspective now”.

With the success of this year’s event, Nishant hopes to bring DeCONSTRUCT to other schools as well, so that other students can also get to experience it. Sounds like a great plan!

We wish Nishant all the best with his tinkering endeavours and hope he can continue to inspire his peers and make a difference! Catch Nishant, Gabriel and Yun Da at their booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Education Day on 19 July at University Town, NUS!

Tiny Electronics: Workshop

Teaching kids the wonders and magic of electronics. To teach them the fundamentals of Electronics through basic breadboarding  using our cute tiny little electronic kits and also basic programming using the Arduino. By Gabriel Perumal

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Kids will learn how to create cute tiny little switch circuit with colourful LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) for kids they are known as cute tiny light bulbs.

Kids will learn how to program to synchronize blinking patterns of LEDs.

Details:

26th July: 11.00am-12.30pm
27th July: 10.00am-11.30am
Cost: $15/ child
To register, please contact Gabriel Perumal: chessmasterg@gmail.com

Using Arduino to improve others’ way of living

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Did you notice a group of students showcasing their arduino-related projects at last year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire?

There was an Android phone-controlled RC Car running around right in front of it and there was an interesting “Home Automation using Smartphone” project.

The same group from the Arduino Club of ITE College East, led by Mr Arthur Pedida, will be participating at this year’s Faire again, but this time, they will be showcasing new hardware electronic projects using Microcontroller such as PIC and Arduino, and different types of “Mobile Robot” which could be controlled using Smartphones and Personal Computers via the Internet.

Experience at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013

artMr Pedida shared that it was exciting and eye-opening for his team to meet other Makers showcasing their projects, thus allowing them to broaden their ideas in building new projects. It was also a fun experience for them to interact with other Makers and members of public, especially the challenges that they experienced from planning to construction to testing.

Discussing challenges is something that Mr Pedida has highlighted as sometimes visitors can help the team discover solutions during the process of the sharing. Hence, Mr Pedida felt that this should be encouraged.

Arduino Club

Jannah ITE College East Arduino Club President, Nurul Jannah Bte Mohamed will be leading her club members at their booth, together with Mr Pedida. He shared with us that Jannah is currently a 2 nd year Student of Nitec in Electronics specialized in Mobile Devices and she is actively involved in Arduino as her CCA. She also participated with her group at the “Assistive, Rehabilitative & Therapeutic Technology” competition jointly organised by the Singapore Therapeutic, Assistive and Rehabilitation Technologies Centre and the Centre for Enabled Learning in March this year, receiving a Merit Award for their project. Jannah will be showcasing her project which helps elders with disability to control their appliances without the need of touching any switches.

Interested to speak with Mr Pedida and Jannah regarding their projects and challenges they faced? Check out their booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC on 26 & 27 July!

Mini Maker Faire Workshop for Secondary School Students

A few days after the yarnbombing event, we held a Mini Maker Faire Workshop for Secondary School Students conducted by Kiruthika, our lead organiser for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. The workshop took place on 28 May afternoon at Science Centre Singapore.

Students from various schools came together and learnt how to make paper circuits and how to turn a laser pointer into a microscope. Sounds fun?

Here are some photos taken during the workshop!

 

Introducing the next maker – Gabriel Perumal

The next maker we would like to introduce is Gabriel Perumal.

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Gabriel Perumal (Extreme Right)

“It is an honour and a calling to be a maker.”  This was Gabriel’s ending line to my email interview with him. It is telling of his pride to be known as a maker.

Despite that, Gabriel described himself as an average youth. He graduated with a Diploma in Clean Energy and he is currently a full-time National Serviceman.

Gabriel loves electronics. His passion for electronics and his belief to educate electronics to young children has driven him to be actively involved in the Maker Movement since his first involvement last year. Gabriel first learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through William Hooi, a fervent activist in the local (and sometimes regional) maker scene. He had since regarded William as a mentor who had guided him in his maker journey. Gabriel  shared with us how he began his maker journey at the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) booth area at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013. He made a Musical Plant using piezo sensors and Arduino, and it played music upon the touch of a leaf! To Gabriel, it was an awesome experience meeting makers with similar passion and devotion.

This year, Gabriel will be setting up his own Maker booth. At his booth, he would like to conduct two mini workshops, the first being an electronics workshop where children will use Tiny Lights Kit, an electronics kits that he came up with. Tiny Lights Kit is an electronic kit with tiny colourful LEDs, and children will learn to fix a basic LED (Light Emitting Diode) Switch Circuit on a tiny breadboard. The inspiration of this Kit came from a LittleBits, a cool electronics kit designed for kids age for 7 and up. Gabriel was inspired to design a similarly fun yet more affordable kit. He also duly credited his friends Zhen Hao and Arshad for contributing to the plan and the design of the kit, at an affordable cost of just SGD10. The second mini workshop is on introductory Arduino programming as it would be complementary to the hardware workshop. The target audience is similarly children. Gabriel highlighted that he would like to see parents accompany the children at these workshops and take the chance to bond with them. Honestly, I was surprised to hear this from a 21-year-old, but what a nice thought, isn’t it?

Although the actual Singapore Mini Maker Faire is taking place only in the month of July, many of our active Makers were already actively involved in the lead-up workshops. Gabriel is one of them. On 5 April, Gabriel took part in one of the lead-up family workshop, and ran some electronics activities for the participating families. When asked on his takeaways, Gabriel shared on his sense of mission to help bring out the potential in children in the field of electronics and technology. He believes that such engagement will leave an impact in the lives of the children later on. He also wished that more technological companies can come forth to sponsor the events or provide their technological expertise to inspire and educate the next generation. We also hope to see that happen!

When asked about future plans, Gabriel shared his dream for electronics education to be made compulsory in schools and for his electronic kits to be used widely in Singapore in future. For now, he would start off with a “Startup” Electronics Made Easy (EME). We wish Gabriel all the best in materialising his dream. For a preview of what you will see at Gabriel’s booth, check out this youtube video which he put together.

This year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire will be even more meaningful to Gabriel as he will be turning 21 years old on the first day of the Faire. What an awesome way to celebrate! If you see Gabriel on 26 July, do not forget to wish him “Happy Birthday!”

Hands-on activities for the month of June!

Like the idea of family bonding over hands-on fun with clay, electronics, paper circuits or other activities to “wow” your children?

Leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 26 & 27 July at Senja-Cashew CC, Science Centre Singapore has organised a series of hands-on activities since the beginning of the year. Bring your child to join us on 7 June (Saturday), 10am – 1pm, and immerse into a morning of creativity.

Interested? Sign up at https://www.regonline.sg/makerworkshop2

June SMMF

Introducing our Makers – Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014

Just earlier this month, we held a family workshop as a lead up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 that will take place at Senja-Cashew Community Club on 26 & 27 July. We would like to showcase some of the makers from that workshop who have contributed their time, effort and other resources to share their making knowledge with members of public, and who will be joining us at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 itself.

The first maker that we would like to introduce is Mr Ng Pan Yew.

Activity booth at 5 April family workshop

DSC_0010If you were with us during the family workshop, you will likely remember Mr Ng Pan Yew’s busy activity booth where you can solder your own wireframe models. Mr Ng expressed his initial concern about the participants’ interest in his station activity, but his worry was soon allayed when the young participants and their parents slowly streamed to his station. In fact, he observed that some parents were even more excited than their children!

This was when Mr Ng realised that activities which allow participants to be involved will tend to draw the crowd. He commented that this would guide him for future workshops.

Yes, Mr Ng had intended to return for another round of workshop leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. Do look out for it!

Here is a showcase of the wireframe models.

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About Mr Ng Pan Yew

Mr Ng Pan Yew, a 52-year-old research assistant, is new to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and had only heard about it at the beginning of this year through his ex-colleague. With background in communications and electronics, Mr Ng enjoys hands-on activities and experiments. He described himself as hardworking but not smart, and as someone who will persevere to complete a project. Mr Ng should probably also add on “humour” to his self-description, as he described how indulging in these electronic hobbies had made him feel like 25 years old instead.

The SMMF14 showcase

Mr Ng shared his fascination with the vibrancy and attractiveness of Marina Bay’s cityscape, and his view that the iconic buildings and landmarks had overtaken Sentosa as Singapore’s main place of interest. Hence, that inspired him to make a mini Marina Bay acrylic model (the Merlion, Singapore Flyer and Esplanade, etc) to be placed at home. To inject life to the acrylic model, he added LED lighting and programme them to operate in sync with your choice of music.

When asked about the project, Mr Ng shared that although he had tried to look for people to build the model together, he couldn’t find any. He opined that it was hard to find like-minded people who likes hands-on hobbies. Well, I am guessing Mr Ng might probably be surprised when he meet these like-minded people at the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire! If you are one, do remember to look out for him!

The interview with Mr Ng reminded me that there might be many more makers and hobbyists who have not heard of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and the opportunities that exist to showcase what they can do. We hope that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire can continue to be that platform and allow more like-minded hobbyists and makers to get to know each other, work together and come up with more marvellous projects.

Want to see a preview of Mr Ng’s mini-LED light display of Marina Bay area? Check out this video that he has done up, together with his daughter who aided in the sub-titles.