One thing that really excited me at the Newcastle Maker Faire was the
Arduino. This is an open source microcontroller that you can buy for
about $30. There are a lot of people tinkering with the Arduino and
making lots of very interesting stuff. Basically it is an I/0 board, so
an input/output device: a piece of hardware that you can program with
your computer. It seems to now have found a niche in making LED’s go on
and off but this kind of tool can grow to be a very powerful one in the
years to come simply due to the creativity and numbers of the Arduino
community. I was so enthusiastic about it that even though I’m an
electronics noob I got an Arduino book and am planning to tinker with it also.
Oomlout was at Maker Faire and they make really nice kits that you can then build yourself. Their SERB for example is a little cute open source robot that you can either build completely from the ground up by yourself using their Instructable or you can buy a kit from Oomlout and assemble that. My only issue is do I build a robot first or make Buho29’s helicopter first?