(Photo by Juliana Reyes)
Every Wednesday evening at Hive76 is open house night.
That means that hobbyist hardware hackers gather at the Callowhill space to battle with homemade robots, 3D-print bracelets and build their next cosplay prop — all while drinking Lionshead or Genesee (and the occasional Magic Hat).
Member Chris Terrell said it’s a great time to recruit new members for the five-year-old hackerspace.
Here’s what people were building last night:*
Clyde is like Hive76’s resident Ouija board, “but so much more awesome,” said member Chris Thompson, who is also the 3D printing manager at makerspace NextFab Studio. You ask a question into the attached microphone and Clyde answers yes or no. It’s actually a random number generator, and Thompson said it’s his favorite thing he’s helped make.
David Morfin, an engineer at cloud-based billing company Aria Systems, was 3D-printing nylon bracelets for his Fitbit, a device that tracks your activity and how many calories you burn throughout the day. He learned how to 3D print at Hive76. Morfin is using a Bukito portable 3D printer he got through Kickstarter.
Throughout the night, people battled with remote-controlled robots, trying to pop their opponent’s balloon. Hive76 developed kits that members could use to build the robots, which are equipped with razors. Combat robots are a Hive76 specialty.
Jon Price, a student at Penn State Abington, is building a “custom sonic screwdriver” as a prop for Dr. Who cosplay. Dr. Who, Price explained to us, uses a sonic screwdriver to do things like pick locks and operate computers. He’s building a sound system to put inside the screwdriver so it can make different sound effects.
Tashia Tucker (far left) is a design professor at Drexel and a recent graduate of Drexel’s Design Futures Lab, where students have built devices like a bed that nudges you when you snore and countertops that detect bacteria. Tucker started coming to Hive76 while she was still a student. One of her current students wants to build a headset equipped with LEDs in hopes of exploring the effects of light on mood, so Tucker came to Hive76 to learn how to build something like that. She plans on bringing her students here, she said.
*Remember the giant Connect Four that Hive76 members built for Philly Tech Week this year? On Wednesday it was set up in a nearby hallway.-30-
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