Jerry Beilinson, the deputy editor of Popular Mechanics, helps lead the coverage of diverse topics including the maker movement, advancements in biology, climate issues, and energy policy. He launched the magazine’s annual Breakthrough Awards program and led the development of its award-winning tablet magazine, along with other mobile apps.
Now, as never before, DIYers are empowered to design, manufacture, and market their creations. Call it the maker movement, a fresh industrial revolution, or the new innovation economy. By any name, it’s a great time to be an innovator. And these visionaries are leading the way.
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community — “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer — stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week.
READ MORE – Our Ladyada is featured along with a whole bunch of awesome makers!
While working on her master’s degree at MIT, Limor Fried used to relax at night by building synthesizers and other DIY electronics projects, then posting the instructions online. After fans started asking for help locating parts, she launched Adafruit. The company now sells electronics kits with open-source licenses, encouraging would-be inventors to experiment and have fun. The popular MintyBoost, for example, is a mobile-device charger housed in an Altoids-size tin. Fried’s site includes vibrant forums and video tutorials, and she awards badges for coding and welding. Her work is clearly making an impact: After watching the pink-haired engineer’s webcasts, one girl asked her father, “Are there any boy engineers?”
Mission statement: Fried calls Adafruit “an educational company that just happens to have a gift shop at the end.”
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.