Making things. It’s a bastion of New Zealand culture. We call it the “Number 8 Wire” mentality. Some would argue that the future of our economy relies on our ability to keep on with the makery. I love making stuff, and I love local kiwi company Mindkits, because they supply all sorts of electronic goodies to help you and me make anything we might put our minds to.
So it is my pleasure to announce that Mindkits and Ben.geek.nz are teaming up to give you a little bit of inspiration. Tim from Mindkits is giving away a SparkFun Arduino Starter Kit, and I’m going to throw in a dual motor gearbox, motor controller, and couple of tiny servos from my collection of RC bits. All you have to do is tell us what you would make if you had free reign of the Mindkits store room. Let your imagination run wild. We won’t make you prove you can build it (but we would love it if you did). If we get enough entries, we’ll put the top three (selected by Ben and Tim) up for a vote.
Step 1: Browse Mindkits
Have a look around at the items available. Arduino boards, Lilypads (for the laydees!), gearboxes and proximity sensors, LCD screens, carbon monoxide sensors, wifi transceivers … heck we’ll even let you branch out a bit and consider using Xbees.
Step 2: Tell us what you’d build
Tell us what you would construct using anything from Mindkits and your imagination. Go wild. Feel free to imagine up some magic parts too. Just tell us by leaving a comment below. What would it do? For fun or a serious endeavour? Points for imagination! Get your entries in by 8pm Sunday 8th November.
Step 4: Win!
Tim and I will choose the most creative and/or amusing entry. That person will win:
- 1 SparkFun Arduino Starter Kit
- 1 dual motor gearbox
- 1 motor controller
- 2 tiny servos from my collection of RC bits
What is Arduino?
Arduino is a physical computing platform based on a simple I/O board and a development environment that removes much of the complexity of programming and building self contained electronics projects powered by a micro-controller. You plug sensors and output into the board and it follows the instructions you give it tirelessly. So, you may want to build a project that clicks your camera whenever a beam is broken. You’d connect the beam and camera to the Arduino and give it instruction of what to do when the beam breaks. Voila!
If that sounds all to hard you can take comfort in there being a massive amount of information out there to make connecting things up and giving the board instructions a real pleasure (Mrs MindKits even build her own textile based Arduino projects).
MindKits? Who the..? What the..?
MindKits is a small company run by Tim Carr that was born out of the passion for tinkering and building electronics and creative projects involving technology.
Tim noticed that although Kiwi’s have a fantastic culture of being ‘makers’ and ‘tinkerers’ building something out of nearly nothing there was very little to bring this cultural trait into todays language of microchips and circuit boards.
So, MindKits was born out of passion and a desire to make it easy for anyone to get started with building their own technology projects. MindKits are not just focused on providing the best priced electronics and Arduino, but also strong community and support.
- We run community catch ups at an Auckland Pub to enable you to meet new people interested in tinkering with electronics projects
- We have forums that enable you to ask questions and talk about the projects you’re building or would like to build
- We run courses regularly to help you get started with building your Arduino based projects
- We’ve also got some pretty cool new ideas which we’d love to share with you once they come together.