tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:/posts makeystreet 2015-12-15T15:31:25Z Alex J V tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/827905 2015-03-21T07:25:29Z 2015-03-21T07:25:30Z Creating a sub-assembly Your project most likely has sub-assemblies. For eg, if you are building an electric bike some of your sub-assemblies are front suspension, drive train etc, battery pack etc. You can document and version-control each sub-assembly separately.

The following steps guides you in creating sub-assemblies.

Step 1: 
Go to your Makey page and click on "Overview" tab.

Step 2: 
Click on "Add a subassembly" button.

Step 3:
Creating a sub-assembly is similar to creating a new project.  Notice that on the image above is says that the new module that you are creating is a sub-assembly to your existing project (Super fast rocket) 

Enter required details click “submit”. 

Here we just created a sub-assembly “Propulsion System”. It is now visible on the overview page of your original project.

Step 4: 

Hover on any sub-assembly – it will show you basic stats on that sub-assembly

Click on any sub-assembly – it will show you insights that are added to that sub-assembly

As you can see, we just created a new sub-assembly. The new sub-assembly does not have any insights. To create insights in a sub-assembly you will need to navigate to the separate page of that sub-assembly. Click on “Go to Propulsion system” (Dotted oval) 

To get a better idea on how sub-assemblies work, check out this project - http://www.makeystreet.com/alex/firefly-v1/overview

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/827904 2015-03-21T07:06:33Z 2015-03-21T07:06:33Z Editing Makey description You might want to edit makey description at some point of time. Here is how you do it. 

Step 1: 

On your Makey page, click on "settings". 

Step 2: 

On the settings page, you will find "Description" Field. Edit the field. 

Step 3:

Click on "Update" button to save changes. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/827903 2015-03-21T06:59:37Z 2015-03-21T06:59:38Z Editing Makey name You might want to edit your Makey name at some point of time. Here is how you can do it. 

Step 1: 

On your Makey page, click on "settings". 

Step 2:

On the settings page, you will find "Makey Name" Field. Edit the field. 

Step 3: 

Click on "Update" button to save changes. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/827902 2015-03-21T06:39:08Z 2015-03-21T06:47:29Z Adding a collaborator to your makey If you are a collaborator to a makey, you have admin rights to add another person as a collaborator to a makey. Others can make one off contributions to your makey without being a collaborator. Being a collaboration give you editorial and admin rights. Here is how you can add a collaborator to your makey. 

Step 0: 

Make sure that the new collaborator is signed up on Makeystreet.

Step 1: 

On your makey page click on "settings" button on the top right

Step 2:  

On this page you can edit your makey's name and description. Towards the bottom of the page you will find the "collaborators" section.

Step 3: 

Type in the name of new collaborator into the "add a collaborator" field. The auto fill will suggest possible people who you are looking to add. Select the person and click on the "add" button .

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/816411 2015-02-27T17:23:09Z 2015-11-22T04:38:54Z Ninebot one - tear down to fix a puncture The Ninebot one that we have, was lying idle for a couple of days due to a puncture in the tire. We are demoing the unicycle at Construkt fest here in Bangalore. So we decided to fix the puncture. 

Overall it took us close to 4hrs to fix the puncture. Apparently it seems we have to tear down the entire unicycle to repair a puncture. This was super painful. This time includes 2 trips to the puncture shop, tear down, putting it back and taking pictures in between. 

The picture above shows all the parts in Ninebot one teardown

Following are roughly our thoughts regarding the design of the Ninebot one - what we liked and what we did not. 

To get access to the wheel, the pedal needs to be removed. We had a lot of trouble removing the pedal. There is a pin that needs to be removed to remove the pedal. The pin was jammed on one side. That took us a lot of time to pull that out. 

There are a bunch of bolts that needs to be removed to remove the casing on one side. Those bolts were obvious except for one side. This one set was close to the pedal and hidden behind a pad that was glued to the plastic casing. The image above shows these sets of bolts that I am referring to. 

These set of bolts also came with a split washers as shown in the image above. They are 4 in number on each side. These split washers makes sense for this bolt as these bolts attach the body of the unicycle to the wheel axle. This is one of those critical joint where any loose connections on this joint would introduce errors in gyro readings and make the unicycle misbehave. 

The rest of the bolts are without split washer. Couple of things that we liked - 1) They are using bolts instead of screws. This means we can afford to remove and assemble the unicycle a number of times. 2) All structural bolts are allen bolts. Star screws are used for fasteing covering plastic members that adds aesthetic to the device. So if you are removing an allen bolt, you are most likely removing a structural bolt. You might definitely not want to loose these bolts. 

Once these bolts are removed, the casing on one side came of pretty easily. When one side, is removed it looks like the image above. 

Our guess is that for fixing the puncture, this should do. But since we are half way though a tear down, we decided to go all the way. Moreover this is the second trip that we are making to the puncture shop - was not in a mood to make a 3rd trip in case if this level of disassembly was not sufficient. 

So we removed everything, so that finally it was only the wheel assembly (tyre & hub motor). That we took to the puncture repair shop and got it fixed.

Couple of other observations made 

There was a ton of dust on the circuit board. We are super surprised to find this amount of dust on the circuit board. We are even more surprised that it still works. It looks like the Ninebot was not designed to work in the conditions in the farm/India. The typical places that we drive though has a lot of loose dust.

Weirdly there are 3 openings into the wheel cavity. You can see them in the image. This is where the dust in entering the circuit board cavity. When you drive though sandy/dusty area the wheel picks up a lot of dust, which eventually ends up here. 
The battery pack cover casing is biting into the battery pack. This is bad for the battery pack. If it punctures the battery pack, the battery pack will most likely catch fire. This is not good at all. For the time being we left it as it is. We should put a double sided tape at those points.

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/806513 2015-02-03T19:42:19Z 2015-03-08T19:07:56Z Firefly Developer Meetup at Maker's Asylum This is a quick minutes of meeting of the Firefly developer meetup that we did at Maker's Asylum on 27th Jan, 2015. 

Talk on the open source electric unicycle project, Firefly Unicycle. 

Speaker: Alex JV Co-Founders, Makeystreet. 

What is an electric unicycle?
What is this project about? 
What are they trying to achieve with this project? 
How can they get involved? 

We bought an electric unicycle with us, so that people could try it out. We had roughly about 8-10 people who turned up. Looking forward to having the first build group for electric unicycle at the Maker's Asylum.

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/787332 2014-12-24T09:54:11Z 2015-01-02T16:03:55Z Prior Art / Setting bench marks

We are doing a prior art study to understand existing electric unicycles in the market. To do the study we have chosen 5 different unicycles based on various parameters. Our first internet based study showed that the primary variations are in motors capacity, diameter of the wheel, size and chemistry of the battery pack. Based on possible variations we have placed order for 5 unicycles as shown in the image above. Once we get the unicycles in our possession we will know first hand how does all these parameters feel like in real world. This will help us design our open source unicycle better. 

We have already got Freefeet in our possession. Playing with it now. We will be opening it up as soon as the holiday season is over. 

Best part - We now have a lot of unicycles to play with. Want to try them out? Come over to the Jaaga farm on Sarjapura road. 

Specs of the unicycle that we are getting:


48V 1000W motor, 122Wh LiFePO4 battery, 18" wheel

Detailed tech specs - http://focusdesigns.com/sbuv3/tech-specs/

Freefeet unicycle

500w, 60v,3.5Ah, lithium-ion battery (130wh), 35cm diameter [ brand of battery is Samsung}

Gotway 14"

Image credits - www.gotway.fr

10.8kg, 14inch wheel, 60V 500W motor, 340Wh Panasonic Lithium-ion battery. Bluetooth connectivity. 

Gotway 18"

Image credits - www.gotway.fr

14.8kg, 18inch wheel, 60V 1000W motor, 700Wh Panasonic Lithium-ion battery, Bluetooth connectivity.

Ninebot one 

image credits - www.ninebot.com

12.8kg, 16 inch wheel, 1500W motor, 240 Wh Lithium ion batter, Bluetooth connectivity

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/777679 2014-12-02T20:18:09Z 2015-01-31T23:29:38Z We have five 800 Watt motors !

We now have five 800 Watt 48 V brushless motors. Thanks to BSA for sponsoring the motors and thanks to Ather Energy for getting it on our behalf. 

That leaves us with 5 motors that we know are really powerful but with no specs. Challenges ahead of us :
1. Get the motor to work
2. See if we can get data from the position encoders/hall effect sensors in the motor. Does the motor even have sensors?
3. Hopefully the motors does not have flywheels inside them and are bi-directional. We hear that some motors used in electric scooters are uni-directional. 
4. Find out how to attach wheels to this. Hopefully we should be able to get off the shelf wheels. 

We might be opening them up one of these days. Will post updates for the same. 


Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/777634 2014-12-02T20:01:19Z 2015-12-15T15:31:25Z Firefly basics of self balancing - first workshop We build a small robot to understand and implements the basics of self balancing. The robot works on the principles of self balancing. Here is a short video of it working. Since its a small robot, we are calling it Firefly Larvae :)

If you want to know the principles of how the self balancing robot works, check the documentation for the robot here - www.makeystreet.com/makey/3188

Here is video of us testing the self balancing code - 

Other than the organizers we had 14 people turn up for the discussion. 10 people were present for the workshop. 

Check out the pictures from the day

The documentation for the entire project coming up very soon - Hold on tight. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/777882 2014-11-26T11:40:00Z 2014-12-03T06:31:30Z Firefly Unicycle at Reva On 20th Nov, we went to meet the awesome people at Reva at their factory at Bommasandra Industrial Area here in Bangalore. We went their to introduce them to the electric unicycle. Nothing much, just show them the unicycle and possibly get some feedback on how we can take this forward as an open source hardware project. 

The response for the unicycle was immense. People were crowding around it. Here are some pictures of it. 

Team Reva seems excited. They mentioned that their engineers would love to answer questions that this hardware community would have. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/777883 2014-11-26T10:27:00Z 2014-12-03T06:35:06Z Firefly unicycle at Intel hackathon On 22nd Nov, Intel conducted its hackathon in Bangalore as part of its roadshow. They were giving off a lot of free hardware. I totally wish I was a participant. 

We were there to demo the unicycle and get some developers interested. We did not get a lot of pictures but here are some of them. We had a lot of people try them out when they wanted to take a break from the hacking session. 

Above are some of the pictures taken at Intel Hackathon of people trying out the unicycle. 
Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/777881 2014-11-15T16:09:00Z 2014-12-03T06:40:12Z First developer meet for Firefly Unicycle in Bangalore (minutes) We had our first developer meetup in Bangalore at Jaaga. 

Quick minutes of meetup

1. Getting to know each other

We had 8 people who showed up and we were 3 organizers (Freeman, Numaan & Alex). So in total we had 11 people.

2. Intro to the project

Above is the presentation used for intro section 

Our objective is to build really a strong community of hardware hacker in India.

2. Understanding the overall technical architecture 

We had a discussion on the basics of the tech - Find the reference slide here.

Further the discussion was based on a bunch of youtube videos. Some of them include:

Inverted pendulum basics - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuAZ5zOP0yQ

Stunts on a unicycle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPipASMcAqM

Electric unicycles are already popular in china - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqr2ZpSxR2w

Electric unicycles used offroad - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7b3n-Jicls

3. People got to try a Unicycle

We have one electric unicycle - Freeman's. The attendies got to try that and get a sense of how it works and feels like. We are planning to get a couple more of electric unicycles for testing and development purpose from China. 

4. Getting started 

The system design for the open source project will be hosted on Makeystreet - www.makeystreet.com/makey/3187/

If you were at the meetup, pick the subsystem that you are interested and let me know, will add you to that subsystem. 

If you were not at the meetup and would like to contribute to the subsystem, let me know when subsystem are you interested in and we will take it forward from there. 

5. Next steps

  • Getting a couple of self balancing cycles from China to open up
  • Doing an arduino based workshop on inverted pendulum at workbench project
  • Getting the first version of the unicycle up and running 
  • Setting up developer communities in other part of the city
  • Creating a video for the project

Alex (@alexjv89)

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/729189 2014-08-19T03:53:05Z 2015-04-04T19:13:14Z How do makerspaces manage their operations We were trying to setup a makerspace ourself and we found it really difficult with the amount of stuff that needs to be done. There are 2 main things that a makerspace needs to do 1) Build a culture and an experience 2) Manage operations. (There might be more, but this is what we learned)

Both are important, but building a culture and an experience is what defines the personality of a makerspace. Managing operations is the part that needs to be done in order to keep the makerspace and the community from falling apart. We struggled with these 2 things before we shut shop. 

Space is one aspect of culture and experience. (Image credits-http://makezine.com/2013/09/22/the-makerspace-chasm/)

What we realized is that 1) Building a culture and an experience is the fun part. It is the unique part. This is the part that differentiates one makerspace from another. This is the part that makes you want to go hang out at a makerspace. Part 2) Managing operations is a lot of work, it is more or less common between makerspaces and most importantly it can be automated, freeing up time for the awesome folks at the makerspace to build more interesting experiences. 

These are the items that we realized that a typical makerspace management role includes:

1. Multiple membership plan details
2. Membership payment collection and follow up
3. Member access permissions/tool usage permission
4. Tool certification for members
5. Member demography and contact information
6. Member emergency contact information
7. Equipment / space rental management/waiting list
8. Managing members in a discussion

We are building a service for membership management for makerspaces. Our objective is simplify running a makerspace operations so that  more amazing makerspaces will pop up around the world. We ran a quick survey with some makerspaces - link to survey

Here are some response from the survey. We will be publishing a detailed info graphic soon. This was the most important question that we asked in the questionnaire - "What tools are you using for membership management now? How do you know which member has what level of membership, what level of permissions?" Here are responses from some makerspaces.  

South London Makerspace We have a custom system that we built.
shackspace We use several Excel Sheets for membership collection. There is only a very limited permission system which is kept on paper. Usually, when someone takes over the responsibilities of treasurer, they want to change to another tool which itsselfs usually not that well suited for our purpose.
HSBNE Xero, Xero API hooked into RFID door system
South London Makerspace We use our own membership database and subscription system written in node.js, and using GoCardless for payment processing.

All other matters are handled in an ad-hoc manner. We are not yet large enough to require dedicated management software.
i3Detroit We use SeltzerCRM, which was written in-house. It tracks people, keys, membership plans, and payments. It doesn't currently integrate with Google Groups for adding/removing people from the discussion groups, that's done manually. It doesn't currently integrate with OpenAccessControl for door key updates, that's done manually. It doesn't currently track tool permissions or usage, that's done on the honor system. It doesn't currently allow members to sign themselves up, data entry is done manually.
57North Hacklab LDAP + homebrew PHP/MySQL solution
We only have one level of membership
Permissions are managed as LDAP groups
toronto tool library & Makerspace paypal, RFID access, Basic excel sheets. not very effective. Im interested in this kind of thing.
We have just started to use "sumac". membership based database management program.

- we have lasersaur laser cutter
- CNC router
- makerbot 3d printers

1. all three need 2-3 hour (2 days) training and a physical certification made. We have waivers for any permanent use or member use. Payed jobs to anyone who doesn't want the membership.
Phoenix Asylum Members pay with check or cash monthly, which is tracked on a google spreadsheet. When rent fees are changed annually additional spreadsheets are used to calculate the new rates based on actual increases.

Equipment is not managed in any structured way right now. Large use of the space that would dominate the common area is managed on a Google Calendar.
Hackerspace Maringá We use a wordpress plugin to do the job, but we control the members and budgets in a google docs spreadsheet.

We are still collecting data. So if you are an admin of a makerspace, we request you to put in your thoughts on this survey - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10gz5qdliLdeclAYyl0dOaAXuhfrY-TAGu0Cs0OiyFmU/viewform?usp=send_form

If you know admins of makerspaces, share this article with them. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/724212 2014-08-07T06:23:52Z 2014-08-07T08:54:42Z Embedding a makey on your website New feature announce. You can now embed a makey on your website or blog, like this -

Makeys build at Seeedstudio workbench:

How to embed a makey on your website?

Step 1: Finding the ID of your makey,
First find the makey that you want to embed. Go to that makey page and find the ID for that makey. You will find the ID for the makey in the URL link. A typical makey url link will be - http://www.makeystreet.com/makey/2976/. The ID is the number that comes after www.makeystreet.com/makey/. In this case the ID is 2976. 

Step 2: Embedding the makey on your website/blog
In order to embed the makey on your wesbite, copy this embedded code and paste this on your website. 

<iframe src="//www.makeystreet.com/embed/makey/id/" width="250" height="430" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Replace the "id" with the id of the makey that you want to embed. Lets say you want to embed this makey - http://www.makeystreet.com/makey/2976/, The makey id here is 2976. So the final embedded code will be 

<iframe src="//www.makeystreet.com/embed/makey/2976/" width="250" height="430" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

and the result that you would get is:

Step 3: Adjusting the width and height
<iframe src="//www.makeystreet.com/embed/makey/2976/" width="250" height="430" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Notice the "width" element and "height element". You can adjust them according your preference. Width of 250px and height of 430px is recommended. If you are using bootstrap, you can make this responsive by enclosing the embedded code in a column element and setting width ="100%" , leave the height as 430px. You could try this reference for setting height to 100% if necessary - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20357992/iframe-in-bootstrap-will-not-take-up-100-of-height. Setting height to a 430 pixel is recommended. 

If you have any integration issues, let us know. We will be glad to help you out. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/724275 2014-08-06T10:19:00Z 2014-08-07T10:56:11Z How to add an image to a makey Currently makeystreet does not have the functionality to upload an image. Temporarily we support only image web urls. 

If you want a place to upload your images we recommend imgur. Here is how you upload an image on imgur and then link it to your makey. 

Step 1: Upload the image on Imgur.

Step 2: Getting the image url

Once the image is uploaded you will land on a page similar to this. 

At the section "Markdown Link (reddit comments)", copy only the link part. In this specific image, the link that we are looking for is - http://i.imgur.com/Kwx0LTU.jpg

The speciality of this link is this link points to the image. When you open that link, it should open up only that image, like this - http://i.imgur.com/Kwx0LTU.jpg

Step 3: Adding this image link to the makey

Go to the makey page, and add the image link to the gallery. Click add and you are done.

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/715560 2014-07-18T16:28:21Z 2014-08-05T09:08:18Z Dont wait till it is perfect I wanted to talk about something that I learned but still finding it really hard to practice it myself. "Dont wait till its perfect". This is in the context of being an entrepreneur but I see it applicable everywhere.

The world is full of contradictions. There are people who preach contradictory statements. At times you are left wondering which one to follow. Today I am going to tell you - "Dont wait till its perfect". Firstly this contradicts with "build a great product". Well if you want to build a great product, you have to slog on it till its perfect. Doesn't that mean that you wait for the product till its perfect. Well its yes and no. 

You should build a great product. You should try your best to build an amazing product that solves a real world problem. But then again you should not wait till its perfect. You will need to deploy it. Give it to the hands of real customers and ask them what they think about it. I know this is really hard for some of us, particularly the engineers turned entrepreneurs. We have been taught to see value in the engineering. We find it really hard to show a product that is not perfect yet.

Here is one case where I waited for it be perfect and totally screwed up.

Magic Karpet: Months were spend on building this project. Did this as a final year project at college. Wanted to use it to leverage my startup. I wanted to get some momentum out of it for my startup. Waited for it to have the best support content. Since I felt it was not perfect I did not talk about it enough. Now, 2 years since, its hard to talk about the project. It has lost its newness. Its just something that I worked on in the past. Today neither is it perfect nor did I get much mileage out of it. Couple of months back I put that on quirky.com and now I have it documented on my own website. You can find it below.

 I should not have waited for it get perfect and deploy it. Here is why waiting for it to be perfect will screw it up for you too.

1) Most opportunity are time limited. There is a time in which you should make the most out of it. Some times it is explicit like applying for a competition. There is an obvious deadline. Sometimes the deadline is not so explicit. For example in the Magic Karpet case, I started forgetting details. I am not able to answer questions as effectively as just after completing it. Also the prototype degrades on use, parts gets salvaged for other projects etc and it comes to a point where the prototype is not in working condition for me to give someone a demo. 

2) A lot of time you dont know what perfect actually means. You might thing that making it perfect means this feature, this article, this blog, blah, blah etc, but finally when you take it to people you realize that your definition of perfect was so very different from your target users definition of perfect. At the end of all the wait you still have a crappy product/project in the eyes of the people who you targeted. 

3) You run out of enthusiasm. There are moments of inspiration, when you get a lot of things done. There are other times when you get nothing done. The longer you wait for it to get perfect with out outside feedback you run of inspiration and enthusiasm. When you see real people using your product, even if it is not perfect yet, you get more driven and inspired to perform, to perfect your product. 

So what does all this boil down to? Aim for perfection, but dont wait for it to be perfect to show it to your target users. They will help you perfect your product. This however has a very real barrier. Your ego. You dont want to show someone a crappy product. You are scared that they will say bad about it. Thats something that you will have to overcome. There is no way out of it. 

PS: Until now I have waited for the perfect thing to talk about to post the blog. Today is the day we ship. Today, the blog might not be perfect, but one day it will be.. 

Note a lot of these thoughts are reworded from Rework by Jason Fried. 

Alex J V
tag:blog.makeystreet.com,2013:Post/708190 2014-06-27T09:38:43Z 2014-06-27T10:21:37Z First Makers' Meet at Chandigarh Maker culture is picking up at a fast pace in India. Various enthusiasts are organizing meet ups, setting up makerspaces across country with a will to make a greater impact. One of them is the first ever maker's meet was organized last Sunday (22nd June 2014) in Chandigarh to encourage and maker culture in Tricity. The event featured not only innovations from all over India but also speakers - Priya Kuber (MD, Arduino India), Sandip Patel (Founder, Espin Nanotech) and Charls Vincet (Fiin). 

The event also had a demo of 3D printer by LBD Makers, which is the major manufacturer and service provider for 3D printers in the north. In its demo, an actual iphone cover was printed in just 30 minutes. Event also discussed about setting up a Maker space in Chandigarh first of it’s own kind. Maker space is a community lab where people of all ages and interests come together to build something. Maker space has all the resources necessary for building something such as 3D printer, laser cutting machine, electronic components etc. While there are several maker spaces in US, we expect various such maker spaces coming up in India in a year, with a growing community of makers.
The event was organized by makers from Chandigarh - Manisha Mohan (Innovator & Student, and developer of Society Harnessing Equipment), Karan Checker (Founder, Start up Elves), Nitin Gandhi (Cofounder, LBD Makers) and Jatin Sharma, (Cofounder, LBD Makers) who came together to encourage maker culture in Tricity.

Guest Post by Manisha Mohan,
Innovator & Student, and developer of SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment)
Alex J V