Zach's Cool Stuff update for May 2005
- Our very popular 8 week Electronics Prototyping class will be starting
June 1. Learn the basics of electronic design while building your own
electronic creation. At the end of this class you will walk away with
a fully functional electronic gadget on a circuit board that you
designed. Cost: $350
For the future robotic engineer (ages 6-12) we have our
Robotics-4-Kids week long robot building workshop June 27-July 1.
Kids will learn about math, science, and engineering while building
fun and exciting robots in this action packed week. Cost: $275
We also have our Ro-Boat class for teenagers July 11-22. In this
class students will learn to use sophisticated technologies (GPS,
electronic compasses, etc.) to program their floating creation to
navigate treacherous waters of Lake Merritt.
As always, we offer full and partial scholarships to those who
couldn't normally afford the tuition costs associated with our
classes. Please email scholarships@... for more info.
If you have read this far, than you must really be interested in what
we do at ZCS. So, I figured this month I would include some info on
the cool projects we are working on.
One -BIG- project we are working on is our "Parts Vending machine".
This machine is a 12 foot long, 6 foot high shelving unit containing
400 plastic bins. These bins hold everything from motors and
resistors to nuts and bolts. We are in the process of building and
mounting the robotic system to the front of the shelves which is
capable of grabbing the proper bin and delivering it to the receiving
station where the students can grab their parts. In addition to just
finding the parts, this device will keep inventory and automatically
order more parts when stock is low.
Another project we are working on is an interactive video display. ZCS
is located just a few blocks from BART, and we get tons of people
walking by our space. We thought it would be fun to give these
passerbys something cool to interact with. This is where the idea
began. We are going to use a camera and a video projector to create a
large "magic mirror" which will be projected onto one of our large
picture windows. This "magic mirror" will act just like a standard
mirror allowing observers to see themselves. However, a computer will
warp and modify certain areas of the image to create fun and cool
effects. Imagine seeing your head "blow-up" like a balloon as you
Another new project we are doing is our BBQ-bot. While walking though
Ikea the other day, I saw something that looked just like the first
Russian satellite Sputnik.
Instead, it turned out to be a stainless steel spherical BBQ.
However, I could tell that it was destined to become a robot. So, I
bought one and have started adding wheels, motors, and sensors. I'll
be posting some pictures of this on the website soon.
Last and definitely not least, I have been working on a special
project with my wife. Our daughter, Taylor Jules Radding was born
last week. She is a healthy 6lb-12oz beautiful baby girl.
That's it for this month, I hope to see you in a class soon!
ZCS Director, Instructor, and Builder of Cool Stuff