Thanks to my awesome job in Schenectady, I was able to manage traveling to NY the week before Maker Faire. Thanks to a great group of friends and connections, I was able to wrangle a free place to stay in Brooklyn (Williamsburg). There was a truly excellent food market there on Saturday morning, so I stopped in to see people serving cold concentrated coffee, raw kale chips, brown butter cookies, and artisan hash browns, of all things. There were lots more booths, but those were the ones where I spent my money.
Kits drive innovation. When a kit sells well, suddenly there are people in every town building newfangled TV sets (remember Heathkit? They’re back!) or aerial Arduino robots (check out DIY Drones). Like seeds in the wind, those kits switch on thousands of new makers, who become a community of innovators, excited and hungry for more advanced kits and products, in an upward spiral.
The Ultimate Kit Guide also includes an essay by MIT research fellow Michael Schrage on how kits drive technological innovation — and have since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Here’s Michael reading an excerpt from this revolution-minded essay, for your podcast-listening enjoyment. And, of course, if you’re looking for gift ideas this holiday season, kits are a great alternative that offers engagement, skill-building, and pride instead of passive consumerism.
I don’t think a day goes by without a blog post that mentions Arduino. But what if you’re totally unfamiliar with this popular physical computing platform? Where do you get started? To answer that question, we created this video. So if you have a friend or relative who has been asking “what’s an Arduino?” You can point them here. They’ll get an overview of what it is and what’s possible with it.