Category Archives: CA

TON Talk: March 1st with Erin Kennedy aka Robot Grrl

Join us this coming Tuesday, March 1st for a special presentation! Starts at 8 pm.


Erin “Robot Grrl” Kennedy is currently a Studio[Y] fellow at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. She is an avid robot maker. Her current project is Robot Missions, which aims to enable makers and humanitarians to collaborate on improving the environment with the use of a robot platform. She participated in Fab Academy 2015 where she prototyped unfolding CubeSat robots. She launched a kit named RoboBrrd for people to learn how to build a robot character. Erin is the host of the Robot Party, a Google+ Hangout where robot builders join internationally and show the robots they are working on. She was recognized as an Intel Emerging Young Entrepreneur and won a gold medal in the RoboGames, the robot olympics.
RoboBrrd didn’t start out as the chirpy character it is today. Almost like nature, it evolved through iterations and iterations. I’ll give a history of how RoboBrrd began as a popsicle stick robot, to what it became with a lot of help from the maker community. This involved learning circuit layout, having boards made, learning CAD and laser cutting designs.

Fast forward a bit, and I’ll share the robot creatures that followed (like BotBait), the adventures had through Fab Academy  and now what I’m currently working on as a part of Robot Missions while at Studio[Y] and MaRS.If you’re a maker working on a hobby project, but can’t really envision how it could become replicated for 100 other people, this talk will be helpful to you. If you enjoy robotic creatures and seeing ways that digital fabrication can be used, this talk will be enjoyable for you.


Servo code

I’ve recently added a library to my arduino code that I thought was useful, so I’m sharing it with the world.

It allows you to move a servo at a speed slower then “as fast as possible”

It works by first calling SetAngle
void SetAngle(int newGoal, unsigned long thisTime, unsigned long goalTimeFromNow_);

which calculates the time it should take to go through each angle to the new goal.
Then periodically call Update with the current time, to see if the servo is moved.
bool Update(unsigned long currentMillSec);

It depends on the Arduino supported servo library.

Into to lighting with the Arduino – Sunday Jan 31st, 2015 Noon – 5pm

Have you been interested in Arduino micro-controllers? Don’t know where to start?

This workshop will teach you all the basics while you build a small project. At the end of this workshop you will go home with an Arduino controlling a color changing LED strip. Included in the workshops fees is a full Arduino starter kit. This includes an Arduino, color changing LED strip, knobs, buttons, and more. This is an intro course, no previous Arduino or programming experience is needed or expected.

What is an Arduino?
An Arduino board is an open-source, easy-to-use device that enables makers, students, hobbyists, artists, programmers, and professionals to make their projects come to life. If you can imagine it, you can build it with an arduino.

What makes Arduino so great?

Inexpensive – Arduino boards are relatively inexpensive compared to other micro controller platforms. The least expensive version of the Arduino module can be assembled by hand.
Cross-platform – The Arduino Software runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux.
Simple, clear programming environment – The Arduino Software is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users to take advantage of as well.

The Vancouver Hackspace,
1715 Cook Street #104, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sunday Jan 31st, 2015 Noon – 5pm

The workshop is open to non VHS member. VHS members receive a discount on the fees.

Note: If you are a minor, a parent or guardian will need to sign a liability waiver for you and accompany you while you are at the workshop.

You must bring your own laptop. Preferably Windows or Mac

Parts included with the workshop
These parts are included and used for the workshop, and are yours to take home:

– Arduino leonardo
– 1 Meter of RGB LEDs Neopixel (WS2812)
– female barrel jack with screw terminal
– 5v 2amp power supply
– micro breadboard
– Breadboard jumper wires
– 3x potentiometers
– Arcade button
– USB-B cable

Sign up here

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VHS Talks to CBC News About the New Pi Zero: A $5 Computer


Hackspace director Rob Mackenzie holds a Raspberry Pi. New versions are just $5 and have 512MB of SDRAM, a micro-SD card slot, a mini-HDMI socket for video output and micro-USB sockets for data and power. (Chris Corday, CBC)

CBC news recently interviewed some of our members about all the cool things you can do with a Raspberry Pi from setting up a computer to building your own photo booth, pinball machine, and loads more. And now, with the new Pi Zero, you can set up your own computer for around $5.  Don’t forget to come on down to one of our FREE open nights  to learn about RPis and all the other things we do at VHS.

VHS Talks to CBC News About the New Pi Zero: A $5 Computer

Jon Grieman is using the Raspberry Pi as the brains behind a pinball machine he’s developing at Vancouver Hackspace (Chris Corday, cbc)

VHS Talks to CBC News About the New Pi Zero: A $5 Computer

Luke Cyca, a Hackspace member showing off his camera that looks old fashioned but is powered by a Raspberry Pi, for self. Photo courtesy of CBC.