I just received an email from my new chum Ross Mohan who said that he was pointed to my recent FPGA-Based Arduino Clones on Steroids column on EEJournal by old chum Jason Pecor from Alorium Technology.
It turned out that Ross was familiar with my work from my days with EETimes, but he’d lost track of me after that, and he asked if there was any kind of service to “get a mail” anytime I post anything anywhere. Well, that’s music to my ears, but all I could suggest was following me on Twitter or LinkedIn because that’s where I post links to any of my new articles that are published online. Ross then went on to say:
I have an 11-year-old with a graveyard of Lego, Technics, and Gundam models (some Perfect grade!) and he wants to build his own mechanisms. He’s not content with the Technics stuff — he wants to Frankenstein something. Are there and posts or places where a young lad (and his benighted father) can put together a mishmash of basic motors, batteries, actuators, and duct-tape them onto cannibalized Lego/Gundam models? I cannot say exactly why, but he prefers to “scrap” things together rather than use kits like Technics, SnapCircuits, yada^3.
Well, my knee-jerk suggestions would be sites like Hackaday.com and Hackaday.io — in fact, I just saw an amazing Nautilus Sculptures Based on Logarithmic Gears project on Hackaday.io — so I offered these, and I also suggested that Ross might want to get his son into 3D printing because that way he will be able to create custom parts to hold his motors and servos and suchlike, plus the ability to create 3D models will be a really useful skill for him to know in years to come.
Ross replied, “About 3D printing… Yes, that might work, but this kid makes just about anything out of cardboard, of all things. Predator/Terminator masks, Transformer body suits, hacked-up rubber band guns, on and on. Plastic tape and glue guns are his friends (for now), but 3D printing might interest him…”
I well know the delights of cardboard and glue guns myself. I invariably build a cardboard mock-up of whatever new hobby project I’m poised to build. But that doesn’t answer the question. I know what Ross is looking for, but I’m not sure where to go. So, if you are aware of “…any posts or places where a young lad (and his benighted father) can put together a mishmash of basic motors, batteries, actuators, and duct-tape them onto cannibalized Lego/Gundam models…”, then it would be wonderful if you could share any suggestions with the rest of us.