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'Dreams is Full of Mystery and Magic ...'Roald Dhal (The BFG)

DIY Dream Catchers for Story Makers Sophie: What do you do for work?  BFG:  I catch dreams.  Whilst other giants use the 'witching hour' to gobble up people the BFG is doing something nice for them by giving them their dreams instead. And this is how Sophie, who wakes up in the middle night, first spots the BFG, he is blowing a dream into the bedroom window of the children across the street.  In both the book and the film the BFG is surrounded by dreams he has bottled and that is the inspiration for this make - to make a dream catcher complete with a dream. But before you reach for a jam jar and fairy lights and given that dreams are both mysterious and magical, why not create your own unique light show to represents your bottled and dream.  NeoPixels are easy to program with a micro:bit. Here I have created a NeoPixel string from 4 x Flora RGB NeoPixels and programmed in Python using the code editor here . You could also use a NeoPixel strip and the JavaScri
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Introducing Hannah Festival 2016

Maker Fun is celebrating Hannah Festival this week by developing new makes for the summer. We are enjoying the good weather and taking inspiration from the garden  as a starting point for activities. We made sun pictures, a big hotel for bugs and a hang out for fairies. This is just the start we have lots more ideas to try out.     Bug hotels Fairy Dens 

Manchester CoderDojo 3rd Birthday Party

Thanks for having me at Manchester CoderDojo earlier today. Some great micro:bit programs being created, will put code not cakes onto the  #microbit  website.    I finally have something cooler than twinkle twinkle to play out on my micro:bit. Name that tune?!

Count Down to Hannah Festival 2015

Two weeks to go to our Hannah Festival celebration and it is all hands on deck to get our Aerobots finished to support our first robot workshop. Follow our journey in pictures. Find out more about this year's Hannah Festival .   1. From BOM to unwrapping! 2. Preparing to apply the solder paste 3. Three up, now with solder paste  4. Double sided tape holds those tiny components in place  5. Really wishing I had my reading glasses 6. Vacuum pick and place by hand   7. First Aerobot out of the oven 8. Triplets! Many thanks to Kitronic  for letting me hang out out their place and cook up my first three robots in their lovely oven!

Sneak Peak

Here is a first look at my new yellow Maker Fun Aerobot boards and a glimpse of my hot off the press (literally) Robot Fun T-shirt made at Fab Lab Manchester yesterday! 

Red Robots and Drinks Coasters!

Having challenged myself to make my first robot I placed an order for 15 circuit boards.  On the 29th of January I received my first batch of 15 'drink coasters'.  If you would like to buy one feel free to get in touch! How did my robots turn into coasters? Lesson Number 1:  When downloading open hardware files make sure that ALL the files are the latest version.  Check, double check and check again before you click on order, buy or get anywhere near the checkout. If you  the don't you may end up with circuit art.  It is not that I didn't look at the files before I ordered them it's just that I hadn't realised I could open all the files simultaneously in my gerber viewer.  Thankfully have a hands on approach that goes beyond simply making what you ask for and extends to checking your files. When I asked them to print a stencil that didn't match the board they explained the problem.  Karen Lin got back to me with this picture showing

From Zero to AERobot

Just before Christmas I saw this article in Wired for a DIY  10 dollar robot  called AERobot. Not to be confused with an aerial robot this is an affordable educational robot, AERobot. It does all the cool things that you would want of a first robot like following edges, lines and light too. The robot can be programmed using a graphical programming language called Minibloqs  and it captured my imagination as being the perfect project for getting young children into robotics.  Michael Rubenstein and colleagues at Harvard Research give a really good overview of the AERobot:   Join me over the course of the next few weeks as my robot adventure evolves from bare boards to a world record attempt and lots of lessons learnt in between!