‘To be equipped for the future, you need to know smart materials’:
Catarina Mota at TEDGlobal 2012
Catarina Mota has many friends. One of her friend’s fathers, when her friend was a kid, built a vehicle out of a bicycle and washing machine, because the family couldn’t afford a car. Culturally, we used to know how to make and fix everything. As the 20th century progressed, we lost that ability, but thanks to the maker community, we are slowly getting it back. By fostering the development and invention of new smart materials, Catarina hopes to help makers reach the next level.
What are smart materials? Fundamentally, they’re materials we are already incredibly familiar with like paint, paper and plastic. The trick is, all of these materials now come with a twist. Paint and ink, for example, can now conduct electricity such that people are able to paint circuits with a brush or, with the addition of a magnet, make a speaker out of a sheet of paper. Acrylic, a type of plastic, can now be infused with light diffusing particles so light can reflect through its entire surface instead of just the edges. What this means practically is, by flipping a light switch, you can turn your windows from see-through to opaque. Thermochromic pigments can be added to plastics so you can see when your baby’s bottle is hot. Possibilities are becoming endless.
However, in order to harness the full potential of these materials, Catarina believes that we need to have a deeper understanding of the components that are making up our world. We need to have a deeper understanding because when we do, we are able to shape the objects we use instead of those objects shaping use. Beyond being savvy consumers, by delving into tinkering, we open the doors to innovation. From mountain bikes to airplanes, semi-conductors to computers, history has repeatedly shown that it’s been the amateurs who have been the significant inventors and improvers of the world.
To bolster the tinkerers’ ability to create, Catarina co-founded openmaterials.org, a website where people publish information and aggregate research, papers, and tutorials by other makers. Her overall message is simple: draw from the experiments of the crowd and understand smart materials. Like learning about computers in the 1970s, the best way to ensure we have a say in our future is to acquire pre-emptive knowledge of emerging technologies now.
Photos by James Duncan Davidson
VIA [TED Blog]
“ IV EDIÇÃO DO FESTIVAL CIDADE PRE0CUPADA
Oficinas do Convento | uma co-produção com a Câmara Municipal de Montemor-o-Novo
A IV edição do festival Cidade Pre0cupada resolveu espreitar além-fronteiras e trazer até Montemor-o-Novo o Chile, a Holanda, a Espanha, a China, Cabo Verde e Japão. Música, Cinema, Conferências, Workshops, Residências Artísticas, Exposições, Instalações e Animação voltam a reclamar a cidade, invadindo conventos, festas populares, jardins e terreiros, mercados e sociedades. Esperamos por vocês na cidade criativa.
André Sier (PT), Clara Brito (PT), Carlos Maza (CL), Dead J (CH), Dora S (CH), DJ Marcelle (HL), Gecko Turner (ES), João Bastos (PT), Ka Keong (CH), Lula’s Cachupa Psicadélica (CV), Magau (PT), Manuel Silva (PT), Nuno Lemos (PT), Onishi Yasuaki (JP), Peng Yun (CH), Rancho Folclórico e Etnográfico Montemorense (PT), Tiago Fróis (PT), Tiago Pereira (PT)
A Música Portuguesa a Gostar Dela Própria, Alt_Lab, Associação Cultural +853, Associação Espaço do Tempo, Câmara Municipal de Montemor-o-Novo, Casa João Cidade, Casa de Harina, Centro de Ciência Viva de Estremoz, Cooperativa Cultural PIA, CUT – Associação Cultural, Filmes da Praça, IndieLisboa, Junta de Freguesia de N.ª S.ª da Vila, Lines_Lab, Rede de Cidadania de Montemor-o-Novo
Our founder Catarina Mota @ NYC Resistor
From NYC Resistor website
Eric Skiff wrote:
The piano box is a (somewhat polyphonic) paper toy synthesizer with 12 keys, each triggering a tone and an LED. The keys are a set of capacitive sensors, made of copper tape, controlled by an Arduino Mega running the CapSense and Tone libraries. The code for this project, written by Will Byrd and Catarina Mota, can be downloadedhere. Please note that the current version of the Tone library has some problems on Arduino 1.0. so it’s best to use version 23 or earlier.
The libraries used are available here:
So it was, yesterday AltLab meetup was full of win.
It started with someone showing off his project, Laser Tag… no, no laserish paintballish kind of laser tag, it was more graffiti tagging, but using a laser pointer, a video projector, a camera and a kind off nifty software :)
Everyone played with it, and headed back inside, it was a kind of chilly in the back alley.Next, João Neves and me went on a date with Violeta… It was a kind of threesome, but Violeta is AltLab Cupcake 3D printer!I tried printing a part from a Wallace, bat as usual, Violeta didn’t finished the print, and I was using my computer, so the plot thickens! :(
The problem is in the printer, now we’re certain of this! We scavenged AltLab junk… err… the nice and very organized warehouse for ATX PSU, and tried a few, but that didn’t, so we plugged the original one back, and it worked! Violeta is printing again, at least two parts for Franky (a mini-mendel) without a hitch, the future will tell us.
And the pièce de résistance was the first test of a stereo lithography printer… “what?!!?” it’s a 3D printer using photo sensible resin as a medium, very impressive piece of technology. They made some exposure tests to understand how long they need to expose the resin for a perfect cure, it’s around 15 seconds and they-re ready for the next layer :) A full of win day!
——– Original Message ——–
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:39:03 –0000
From: João Alves
To: Ferdinand Meier
Olá tudo bem?
Era só para dizer que gostei muito do workshop.
Está aqui uma animação que realizei em casa com os conhecimentos adquirido no teu workshop.
Podes ver também o meu website que tem alguns projetos realizados no Blender.
Gostei muito e espero que haja mais workshops do Blender que achei espetacular.
A swarm of robot’s invaded yesterday AltLab meetup… swarm… meh… should I say… 3? Well… 3 it’s greater than 2, so… a small swarm of robots invaded AltLab!
They were brought by André Almeida, from Artica.Two of them were Guibots and the bigger one is a Magabot.
The Guibot is Farrusco is a small robot based on the Arduino platform, in this case it’s using a Motoruino wich is an Arduino clone with a couple of enhancements – dc motor dual controller, servo and sensor plugs, possibility to select 5v or external power source for motors and PWM pins.
With Farrusco you will be able to make it avoid obstacles, follow walls, enter in free space mode, and in the future more add-ons will be available, just to name a few: line follower, speakers and light sensors, RGB leds, and so on.
Magabot is an Arduino based, open source robotics platform designed to give mobility to any portable computer and in this case Skype was used to control it… video conference with the ability to stroll around a remote room/office.
Don’t worry, he’s mostly harmless!
Basílio, a goodfella, a Lobster, a good friend and a Google SketchUp ninja!Well, yesterday was AltLab meetup day, and the plan was: make a 3D model of an X axis carriage for a mini-mendel.It was a success! After a few hours using Google SketchUp, we’ve managed to create a darn good looking carriage.
The next step will be print it and assemble it.