Makers Local 256 innovation in engineering

Hackerspaces and a date for the Volt

(Odometer: 16,980 miles) HUNTSVILLE, Ala.–The most-fun stops on this year-long journey around America are schools and "maker" places, and Makers Local 256 here was no exception. More design resources The idea was inspired six years ago by the Tech Shop in San Francisco, a hackerspace that was gaining recognition. Makers here grew slowly, but only recently found a new home,

Carlos Nielbock windmill at Maker Faire Detroit 2011

Tilting up windmills

DEARBORN, Mich.–At its fiercely pounding heart, electronics innovation is a graceful confluence of art and science. This becomes more evident as Moore’s Law, open-source software and, increasingly, open-source hardware conspire to lay innovation in the hands of the masses. More renewable-energy design insight Exhibit A: Carlos Nielbock, a legend here among Maker Faire attendees, participants and organizers. German-born Nielbock is


The time-travelling radio

DEARBORN, Mich.–The story of the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company is the stuff of legends, not the least of which is how an established company, realizing it would ultimately be doomed if it stuck to its core product line, shifted horses mid-race and became a household name: Philco. Depending on your age, your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents had a Philco radio,


Maker Faire: Innovation inspiration

(Odometer: 2,547 miles) DEARBORN, Mich.–So often we bemoan how few kids are entering engineering and other technical disciplines in college. Yet so often we hear from engineers who were inspired to get into engineering because, at very young ages, they made something. Kevin Smith at Illuminati on this trip. Jeri Ellsworth earlier this year. At this confluence of two forces

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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