4 cool Brooklyn projects we saw at NYCEDC's 'Next Top Maker' event - Technical.ly Brooklyn

Jan. 19, 2015 7:32 am

4 cool Brooklyn projects we saw at NYCEDC’s ‘Next Top Maker’ event

Updates on Tangeez, BotFactory, Radiator Labs and Not-A-Camera.
Solidoodle staffers talk about their new 3D printers at NYU Poly’s Urban Future Lab.

Solidoodle staffers talk about their new 3D printers at NYU Poly's Urban Future Lab.

(Photo courtesy of Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

Brooklyn is the place where real stuff is getting made. From motorcycles to toys to coffee-making robots.

NYCEDC’s New York’s Next Top Makers program wrapped up its five-borough pop-up tour last week at the Urban Future Lab in Downtown Brooklyn. A wide array of creators of interesting local products that could one day make it into mass production were on display.

According to the program’s website, the goal was to put these products in front of the larger innovation community. The hope is that some of these products will find a market, go into production in New York and enliven a new type of manufacturing economy here. New York City’s economic development agency hopes that ultimately means good-paying jobs.

Here are updates on some Brooklyn products we’ve covered before:


Tangeez, at the Next Top Makers five-borough tour. (Photo by Brady Dale)

We first covered this light up construction toy when it was in the crowdfunding phase. We spoke to Mustafa Bağdatlı and Emily Webster last Wednesday and they said they are very close to selling out of the Tangeez from their first production run, which was funded by the Kickstarter. When that comes to an end, they are seeking some sort of commercial or manufacturing partner to make the toys at a larger scale.



Squink, from BotFactory
The Squink by BotFactory (Andy Zou / Imagination in Space, used by permission)

The Squink by BotFactory. (Photo courtesy of Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

The BotFactory team told us that they were confident that they would meet their production schedule for getting Squink out to the Kickstarter backers who pre-ordered one. Hardware releases are notoriously tricky, and often delayed.

You can see a big change from the prototype we showed in our first story about the Squink and the one shown above. There will be more to come. One change the team was excited about was making it quicker and easier to switch out the print heads (one lays down the circuit; another places components onto the circuit).


Radiator Labs
Radiator Labs, Updated Heat Sensor (Photo by Brady Dale)

Radiator Labs, Updated Heat Sensor (Photo by Brady Dale)

Radiator Labs founder Marshall Cox told us that, through a partnership with NYSERDA (the state’s energy research agency), the heat control system for old, boiler-style heating systems is going to be installed in 1,000 apartments in six buildings around New York City soon.

Radiator Labs makes an enclosure for radiators that traps heat, releasing it with a vent and fan based on the temperature reading of the room. It allows the building to pump out less heat, overall, and allows for more even heating throughout. This reporter can verify that some apartments in a steam-heated building get much, much too hot when the control is centralized.

Cox was showing off the updated heat sensor and more powerful fans in the latest version of the device. Radiator Labs has also developed mobile apps that allow users to control the heat of their apartments remotely. We covered the system when it was up on Kickstarter. Cox said that his company is available for building-scale contracts but the system is not yet available for individuals to buy for their apartments or homes.


Selfie Not-A-Camera (Photo by Brady Dale)

The Not-A-Camera “Selfie” model, by NYC Resistor member Olivia Barr. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Olivia Barr showed us her newest version of Not-A-Camera, which she has made in all kinds of materials now. We first covered the NYC Resistor project last May. The newest iteration is the Selfie Not-A-Camera. It’s features the same shape and etchings, but its surface is a mirror, so you can kind of see what the camera sees.


Look for more stories to follow from companies we discovered at the event.

And here are some nice photos supplied by NYCEDC.

Indian Larry Motorcycles (Photo by Andy Zou / Imagination in Space, used by permission)

Indian Larry Motorcycles. (Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

Matthew Epler, inventor of Kinograph.

Matthew Epler explaining his film digitizing system, Kinograph. (Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

BotFactory team explains Squink

BotFactory’s Carlos Ospina and Andrew Ippolito explain Squink. (Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

Olivia Barr with Not-A-Camera

Olivia Barr with Not-A-Camera, jewelry with a hidden camera. (Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

Poursteady at Urban Future Lab

The Poursteady system demoing its perfect robot pours, in this case, for hot toddies. (Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

Michael Lightman at Urban Future Lab

Makers Row staffers listen in as NYC ACRE Program Manager Michael Lightman welcomes everyone to the Urban Future Lab. (Photo by Andy Zou/Imagination in Space)

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