Cool Projects Archive

  • Forever 21 “Thread Wall” Makes Pictures from Spools

    Popular fashion-chain Forever 21 commissioned BREAKFAST to build them a one-of-a-kind art installation. Using amazing ingenuity, software engineering, and meticulous construction, BREAKFAST created a machine that can recreate an Instagram photo using an 80×80 grid. Here’s the catch: each “pixel” is a spool of thread. Using material looped around spools and intensely sophisticated software, the thread screen imports the Instagram photo (hashtagged appropriately), breaks it into 6400 pixels, then assigns a color value to each pixel in order to build a low-res replication. Apparently, the machine has eight times as many parts as a car. See the thread screen-behind-the-scenes video

  • Jewelbots Inspires Girls to Code

    A new company “Jewelbots” has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their Arduino-powered friendship bracelet designed to help girls learn to code. Jewelbots comes equipped with a few outputs, including LEDs and motors.  Using the Jewelbots app, girls can start learning “code” right out of the box.  When they’re ready to move on to the next level, this open-source device is fully customizable using the Arduino IDE. “Using basic engineering logic, girls can program their Jewelbots to do just about anything they—and their besties-turned-collaborators—dream up, opening their minds to STEM during an age when many lose interest. “ Sara Chipps, Brooke

  • Interview with Erin St. Blaine, Creator of a Fully Submersible LED Mermaid Costume

    Erin St. Blaine is a life-long maker with a mission to bring incredible characters to life.  One of her more recent creations, Glimmer the Mermaid, is a fully submersible LED Mermaid costume.  With over 180 LED lights, Glimmer is a masterful work of ingenuity and engineering. Watch the video below to see Glimmer in action, then read our interview with Erin to find out how she created this incredible underwater spectacle. Your company, Fire Pixie Entertainment, does costumed entertainment for kids and adults.  I noticed a lot of your creations feature in your company’s shows.  Did you start making for your

  • A Self-Returning Shopping Cart Inspired by a Faucet

    Meet John McClaire and David Vogeleer, engineers who are out to build a better supermarket parking lot. We’ve all done it: after a long day of shopping, you get your cart to your car, unload the groceries, look around for the “cart return” area, only to see it’s about eight hundred million yards away.  What do you do? That’s right. You put it in a metal cruncher. Nope, most likely you just left it there, or left it next to the other car, or pushed it into a bush. Well John and David admit to being terrible shopping cart etiquette

  • MOVI: Speech Recognition for Arduino

    Audememe, developers hailing from California, have developed a voice recognition system for your Arduino project! MOVI (My Own Voice Interface) is “the first standalone speech recognizer and voice synthesizer for Arduino with full English sentence capability”.  The project claims to hold up to 200 English Sentences and be completely plug and play. Neat! Audememe launched their Kickstarter Campaign last week.  If you want a MOVI, go donate! (actually, we’re probably gonna do that right now…)

  • DIY Your Garden Because Spring is ALMOST HERE

    We’re located in NYC, which means that yesterday was our so-called “last snow of the season”.  That’s right – we have finally been promised a sightly end to this unending misery. So what does that mean?  It’s time to do stuff outside!               This DIY CD-Mosaic Birdbath Tutorial from Threadbangers is way too cool not to watch (and possibly make this weekend.) But why stop there?  Don’t just make a cool birdbath/fountain.  Make one that runs on Arduino! But why stop THERE? Spring is incredible people!  You need to celebrate the wonder of being outside!

  • Breaking Glass with Science! Bottleneck Slide Tutorial

    Play guitar?  Need a cheap custom slide? Swiftlessons on Youtube (known mostly for lessons on how to play the guitar) has recently released a video on making your own bottleneck slide out of an old wine bottle, a glass cutter, and pots of cold and hot water. The video’s below, but before you get to watching, here’s a quick science rundown on how and why this works: Glass and Thermal Conductivity Glass isn’t a stellar conductor of heat.  Unlike certain metals, glass molecules take a long time to heat up and expand.  That being said, when you stick the neck

  • Stress Relief: Maker Style

    Feeling stressed? Who isn’t? The cover story of Popular Science magazine sparked the idea for this blog post. According to recent surveys, stress is more prevalent in American than ever before. 37% of adults say they’re overwhelmed by stress, with 33% reporting that chronic stress “strongly impacts their mental health”. Stress can make you less productive and overall less healthy. It impacts your nervous system, your cardiovascular system, your immune system and more. So if you’re leading a stressful lifestyle, what’s there to do? Popular Science has a few suggestions. We’re gonna give ’em back to you, but make ’em

  • Arduino Metronome Might Make You Take a Pause

    Efficiency “is the extent to which time, effort, or cost is well-used for the intended task or function”. Efficiency is generally to be aspired to, especially in engineering.  But for one maker/artist, efficiency takes on a slightly darker connotation.  Watch the video above to see ‘Tempo, Tempo’ in action. ‘Tempo, Tempo‘, a new art installation created by Sanela Jahic, uses a metronome and maker ingenuity to tell “a complex narrative about the interrelationship of technology, labour, subjectivity and the criticism of capitalist production relations.” According to Make Magazine, “The metronome, which is wound up like a mechanical alarm clock, uses a flyback

  • This Curved Door: An Minor Engineering Miracle

    This door. This door.  How incredible is this door? Designed by Matharoo Associates, this one of of a entrance is made of 40 sections of thick burma wood and makes use of “160 pulleys, 80 ball bearings, one wire rope, and a hidden counterweight” (DesignMilk). The door is massive, and when closed, looks entirely inconspicuous.  However, when you push on its smooth, carved handle, the door opens much like a curtain would. Read the rest of the report on this forward thinking entryway here. Now this is an entryway! Designed by the architectural firm Matharoo Associates, the Curtain Door is most