Move over, Martha. When it comes to DIY, Limor Fried is the queen. Alternately — and often simultaneously — described as an engineer, artist and hacker, Ms. Fried was pursuing a master’s degree at MIT when she started publishing designs for her homemade consumer-electronics products (think an MP3 player encased in a mint tin) and amassing a following of folks who wanted to know: How can I do that?
Enter Adafruit, the DIY business that sells kits to create everything from a small battery-powered USB charger to the EggBot, an “open-source art robot that can draw on spherical or egg-shaped objects from the size of a ping-pong ball to that of a small grapefruit.” While most traditional hardware makers go to great pains to protect their proprietary IP, Ms. Fried gives hers away and accompanies them with online tutorials. “The more it’s shared, the better it gets,” she said.
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