Moar Good News!

Further updates on what’s going on at Protospace for those of you that don’t want to sift through the hundreds of emails on our mailing lists.

On Sunday, March 3rd, we did a big reorganization of the space. We ripped apart the old shelving units, built some new ones, moved the laser cutter and even installed a new lathe / milling machine! Other changes included the tear down of the two rickety shelving units, the build of two new ones, the moving on the laser cutter to the South Wall and the build of a new work table for the dirty work area. More details about the reorganization are found in a discussion on our mailing list.

Last week we were given a special presentation by DJ Sures. DJ is a local entrepreneur who founded EZ-Robot – a hobbyist robotics platform that makes building robots easier than ever before possible. DJ told us about his vision of why he started EZ-Robot, which was to enable everyone to have the same joy in building robotic friends as he finds every day. In addition, DJ has announced that all Protospace members get a discount on his EZ-Robot kits! Regular price is $235, but if you’re a Protospace Member you get the full kit for $199! Check out the EZ-Robot web store to see what comes in the kit.

We were again visited by the Western Canadian Robotics Society last Tuesday. Mark & Jeremie had build a rover bot named DAX in preparation for the Astronomy Night at TELUS Spark (which happened on Thursday, March 1st). During the event, Mark and I were at Spark with DAX and allowed the kids present to interact with it, and from what we can tell it was a huge hit. A few photos can be found on The WCRS’ Flickr stream. Now Protospace should start building more robots…

 

Dave Hrynkiw, founder of Solarbotics, has a special presentation for us this Tuesday during our Meet&Geek. Here’s an excerpt from Dave about the clock and what they have been working on:

Chinook Center did a major renovation about 10 years ago, and Solarbotics participated in some of the art installs. As we were the only one walking around with a voltmeter and soldering iron, they immediately thought of us when their “Time Capsule Clock” started to lose time. After several visits to reset and fix the clock, they finally contracted us to replace it.

We’re about to re-install the new “Chinook Bulbdial”, using a clock construction inspired by the work of Evil Mad Scientists and David Friedman (http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/bulbdial). Before installation, we’ll come by the Protospace and give a demonstration and discussion regarding the background, failure, and new design of the Chinook Center Time Capsule Clock. (7-7:30pm start)

Andrew P, Darryl K and I spent Wednesday morning at SAIT with the Telecommunications students helping them with their final project. We got the test battery bank & Solar panels delivered to the students and helped with a bunch of server / routing configuration. Unfortunately, we fried one of the students’ Ubiquiti Rocket M devices. We had assumed that each rocket had a regulator built in to avoid pulling too much current, but after connecting the Rocket to the battery bank for about 10 seconds we smelt burning plastic. A new rocket is on the way, now we just have to source a regulator or build a custom PoE injector. A few photos were posted to our Flickr stream.

This Thursday, TELUS Spark is having their Adults Only Night, and this months’ theme is Eureka! where we explore Eureka moments in history. Shannon and I will be representing Protospace a short presentation about the importance collaborative creativity and innovation. Details about the event are found here.

Also remeber that 2 weeks from now we are hosting Dorkbot at Protospace! We finally have a proper PA system & projector screen setup, so we hope to host more multimedia events like this in the future (dance party, anyone?) Details are found here on Dorkbot Calgary’s Blog.

And lastly, I need to clarify something. We had originally announced that we would be a part of the Calgary Science Road Show at Fish Creek Library on March 10th. Due to the short notice of our involvement and a lack of preparedness, we will not be participating in this year’s Science Road Show. That said, we hope to collaborate with the Calgary Science network on future projects and we still encourage families with younger kids to check out the event! Details here.

See you Tuesday!

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