Category Archives: Current Projects

The Hackspace Hat

Libby and Barney have a plan to create a telepresence hat which will allow remote visitors to have a first-person tour of the space, by the magic of webRTC and modern autonomic millinery.

Watch this space for future news (and to book a tour)! In the meantime, here’s a picture to whet your appetite:


We’re going to try it first with the Cheltenham Hackspace. We’re not quite there – WebRTC is turning out to be a bit more complicated than we’d hoped on the Pi2, but we’re hopeful it’ll work.

Here’s some more technical information, and more pictures here & here.


The Converging World build a solar phone charger at the hackspace

Over the last few days there’s been loads of activity at the hackspace, today we’ve had mosfet power controllers, Bristol Braille, bike automatons, CNC spoon milling, PCB design & fab, cardboard surfboards, set design and solar phone chargers! It’s fantastic to see so many varied activities all going on in the space.

I spoke to the guys from The Converging World about their solar phone charger and persuaded them to pose for a photo.


They’re using an old farm’s 120W solar panel to charge a 12V battery (inside the drawers). Then using the classic trick of car mobile phone chargers (the circles in the top drawer) to step down the battery suitable for mobile phone charging. It’s all come together over the last 2 days and they just left the space on their way to the festival. Good luck!

Sab’s Spoons

Sab has been making spoons on a CNC router. He put a photo of an existing he liked the look of into Blender , and then tweaked it. Later he used Vectric, which lets you choose the texture.

Here are some of his prototypes:

and here’s the current version, before finishing (Sab rather likes the diagonal lines):


The key, he says, was a combination of parameters and tweaking until he got the effect he wanted. Vectric has a free time-limited trial, which was very useful as he could simulate the shape and texture without having to come down to the Hackspace.

At the regular Hackspace open evening on thursday he was discussing with Richard and Anton how to finish the spoons. His original plan was to finish it by hand: Richard’s suggestion was a fine and fast last pass on the router; Anton suggested buffing it with a wheel and Tripoli.

Here’s  the CNC router he used:

Pictures are all by John Honniball:


After Makerfaire 2015 we were really impressed with how much time and effort had gone into lots of projects.  Really polished and professional looking demos.
This is great, but it can also be off putting for beginners who might feel unable to get started.
 So we want to answer that by developing a £5 robot that is quite bodged together.
Probably based on a shrimp kit, using steppers or dc geared motors and a CD for a base.
To keep it accessible we won’t be using any PCBs or anything laser cut.
It will draw with a pen and maybe communicate with other robots. Here’s a video of what we’ve got so far:

Arduino workshop prep and sharpening tools

Some of the wood lathe chisels had got blunt so Anton took them home where he has a jig ready to give the chisels the right shape again. We’re currently discussing which grinder to upgrade to, and it seems it might be a good idea to get one with a jig for these tools.

Anton has reground the wood-turning gouges, and they are back in the space.

Our latest skill share workshop is using 10 Arduinos and a Raspberry Pi. We bought a brand new bunch of 10 but wanted to make sure they stayed at the hackspace! Joe kindly offered to design a board to hold one alongside a breadboard. We think they came out great! Thanks Joe!


Crappy Robot Super Capactitor!

Last Christmas party we had a few crappy robots fight it out. Here’s one made by John Willis.

John’s upping the ante by making a crappy robot powered with a home made super capacitor.  Right now, it’ll light an LED for a few seconds.

Its approximately 10 sq in carbon reinforcement cloth in tap water.

John W's graphite supercapacitor test rigThe next steps are:

  • measure the capacitance
  • then test effect of temperature, ph, etc on output.

Watch this space for the crappy robot!