Category Archives: Drones

Nova Mini Maker Faire 2015

2nd Annual NoVa Mini Maker Faire, March 15, 2015

The NoVa Maker Faire is gearing up for its second annual family-friendly event that will bring more than 100 makers to a fun-filled day celebrating the diversity of makers across the region. The Faire will take place on March 15, 2015 from 10am to 5 pm at Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia.

The Faire will include makers, activities, speakers and sponsors. Makers will share their knowledge through hands-on projects for adults and kids on topics ranging from blacksmithing and primitive skills to 3D printing, drones and robots to building customized equipment for special needs children to creative art-making. Makers will be grouped in neighborhoods by their topic. Neighborhoods include: Young Makers, Creativity Lane, Drone Zone, Robotics, 3D Printing Village, Science Lab, Flight Path, Sustainability Village, and more.

Nova Labs members will be presenting Vehicles – Flight Simulator and Go Kart, STEM4Makers, Top Drone, and others.

There are many other makers to explore. The Chaos Machine is a large marble machine that can be modified by participants. Gravity is Optional presents science experiments you can do at home. The DC Area Drone User Group will also demonstrate drone design and capabilities. Jennifer Gluck of JenmadeIt and Jade Garret will present adaptive equipment for special needs children. Artistic topics include hand spinning yarn, creating art from recycled materials, 3D printed artwork, woodworking, and creating ArtBots presented by the Children’s Science Center.

You can learn about makerspaces in area schools at Camelot ES, Kilmer MS and Falls Church HS; the STEAM program at South Lakes HS; Robotics program at Westfield HS, and the maker program at Loudoun Country Day School.

There will also be five activities for Faire-goers to try: Nerdy Derby, Catapults and Ballistas, KEVA Planks, GEMS Take Apart Zone and Demo-Vation with UpCycle Creative Reuse Center. Nerdy Derby is a no-rules miniature car building and racing competition inspired by the Cub Scouts’ Pinewood Derby. In the Catapults and Ballistas you can explore trajectory, torsion, torque, force, and materials using these safe tools. KEVA Planks are addictive small building blocks to build and explore with – fun for children and adults. In the GEMS Take Apart Zone you can disassemble machines to explore how things work. And then in the adjacent Demo-Vation with UpCycle Creative Reuse Center you can create something new out of these discarded elements.

Children building with KEVA Planks. Over 10,000 KEVA Planks will be available for building during the Faire, courtesy of KEVA Planks.

G EMS (Girls in Engineering, Math & Science) Take Apart Zone

Nova Mini Maker Faire 2015

The Faire will present eight speakers this year including: Dr. Lance Bush, CEO of The Challenger Center for Space Science Education; Jennifer Gluck who creates DIY adaptive equipment for special needs children; Vicky Somma, winner 2014 White House 3D Printed Design Challenge; and Chris Vo, Chief Scientist at Sentien Robotics and President of DC Area Drone User Group.

V icki Somma, winner 2014 White House 3D Printed Design Challenge, will present “3D Printing Without a Printer”

Nova Mini Maker Faire 2015

Credit – Vicki Somma

Food will be available for sale on site by area food trucks including: Doug the Food Dude, Fava Pot, Hardy BBQ, Mama’s Donut Bites and Tasty Kabob.

Advance tickets are available online now. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children through March 14, 2015. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $8 for children. Volunteer opportunities are still available which include a free admission ticket.

The Faire is thankful for the support of its sponsors including: Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax Connector, The Innovation Fund of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, Google, AOL, School for Tomorrow, Reston Association, and Merrill Lynch. Community partners include: Reston Community Center, GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math & Science), and Workhouse Arts Center. Media sponsors include Activity Rocket and Reston Association.

Free parking is available at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station in the County garage. Free shuttle bus service will be provided from the south side of the Metro station to Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. Only handicapped parking is available at the schools. A bike valet will be available at the event.

Check the mobile website for complete list of makers and speakers, to volunteer and to purchase tickets. The site will be finalized the week of the Faire.

Nova Mini Maker Faire 2015

Blacksmithing, Credit – Everest Gromoll

Nova Mini Maker Faire 2015

Drone from DC Area Drone Group, credit – DC Area Drone Group

Nova Mini Maker Faire 2015

Solutions for special needs by Jennifer Gluck, Maker and Speaker, Credit – Jennifer Gluck

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

The 1st annual Nova Labs Lost Rhino fundraiser was a success! The ride toured from Nova Labs in Reston to the The Lost Rhino Brewery in Ashburn. Proceeds benefited the Nova Labs RhinoHawk team, which is competing in the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge to stop rhino poaching in South Africa.

Here are some pictures from the event!

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Commemorative pint glasses etched at Nova Labs featured the RhinoHawk UAV and The Lost Rhino logos.

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

These glasses were etched on the Nova Labs laser cutter!

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Matt was our lead safety guide.

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

 

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Some UAVs and other model aircraft were put on display.

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Riders were treated to a private tour of the brewery!

Bike Riders Enjoy Great Weather, Fun Games at the 1st Annual Nova Labs UAV Team Fundraiser

Some fierce cornhole broke out!

 

Bike Ride to Stop Rhino Poaching: Nova Labs Lost Rhino Fundraiser this Sunday June 29th

UPDATESign-ups for the RhinoHawk bike ride fundraiser are coming in as we prepare for the big day this Sunday, June 29th. With a few days left, we are about 30% of the way to our $2000 goal. Support our cause and have a great time at the Lost Rhino Brewery for a $20 donation. You will receive raffle tickets, swag, and discounts at Lost Rhino. You can register or contribute here at www.nova-labs.org/ride.

Nova Labs has partnered with The Lost Rhino Brewery and The Bike Lane to create The Nova  Labs Lost Rhino Bike Ride from Nova Labs in Reston to the Lost Rhino Brewery in Ashburn, VA to support development of our counter poaching UAV!

Bike Ride to Stop Rhino Poaching: Nova Labs Lost Rhino Fundraiser this Sunday June 29th

Bike Ride to Stop Rhino Poaching: Nova Labs Lost Rhino Fundraiser this Sunday June 29th

The distance of the ride is ten miles each way and once at the Lost Rhino Brewery, there will be live music, discounted food and beverages and demonstrations by the Rhino Hawk team!

Check out our Rhino Hawk Intro video.

Bike Ride to Stop Rhino Poaching: Nova Labs Lost Rhino Fundraiser this Sunday June 29th

If you’re looking for more reason to sign up, check out these souvenir pint glasses made on our very own laser last night. Each $50 donation comes with a pair of pint glasses as our thanks for supporting the cause.

Background on Rhino Poaching

There has been significant growth in poaching in just the past few years. 1004 rhino were poached in 2013.

Bike Ride to Stop Rhino Poaching: Nova Labs Lost Rhino Fundraiser this Sunday June 29th

This event will raise money for the Rhino Hawk UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) project. The project team is comprised of volunteers from the local area who are participating in the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge. Our team currently has two flight demonstration models and we are well on our way to having a fully integrated flying model.

Bike Ride to Stop Rhino Poaching: Nova Labs Lost Rhino Fundraiser this Sunday June 29th

Your donation of $20, $30 or $50 will get you benefits and discounts and will support the development of our low cost UAV specifically tailored for wildlife conservation. Go to the ride page to donate and register!

We hope you will join us and support our fight against rhino poaching on Sunday, June 29th!

Vint Cerf, “Father of the Internet” and Google’s Internet Evangelist, Visits Nova Labs

RESTON, VA — Vint Cerf donned special “drone goggles” and steered an onboard video camera while Nova Labs member Daniel Allen flew his six-bladed “hexacopter.” He quickly got the hang of the controls and was able to see himself from afar.

Vint Cerf, “Father of the Internet” and Google’s Internet Evangelist, Visits Nova Labs

Screen capture of drone video feed controlled by Dr. Cerf

Vint Cerf, “Father of the Internet” and Google’s Internet Evangelist, Visits Nova Labs

The visit by Dr. Cerf and the team from Google Thursday May 15th highlights a growing interest in the “Maker Movement” and specifically makerspaces like Nova Labs, which is providing STEM programming for children, innovating new devices, and incubating businesses.

Vint Cerf, “Father of the Internet” and Google’s Internet Evangelist, Visits Nova Labs

Nova Labs Business Development Director Jim Sweeney provided a guided tour and gave a presentation about how Nova Labs’ facilities and programs are enabling community innovation.

Nova Labs Co-Founder Ted Markson and member Fred Briggs represented the Nova Labs RhinoHawk UAV Team. The team is competing in a global challenge to engineer a low-cost UAV to help fight rhino poaching in South Africa.

Vint Cerf, “Father of the Internet” and Google’s Internet Evangelist, Visits Nova Labs

Bob Coggeshall, Founder of Small Batch Assembly, a low-volume PCB assembly service that started as part of Nova Labs’ incubator program, also co-authored a well-known unix-based computer command known as “sudo.” Coggeshall said meeting Vint Cerf was “a major highlight of his career.”

“It was an honor to host Dr. Cerf and the Google team at Nova Labs. The story of his visit and his profound contribution to science and technology will impress upon the thousands of children who pass through our doors that a commitment to STEM education can lead to great things,” said Justin Leto, Co-Founder and CFO of Nova Labs.

About Dr. Vint Cerf

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for the company.

Widely known as a “Father of the Internet,” Vint is the co-designer with Robert Kahn of TCP/IP protocols and basic architecture of the Internet. In 1997, President Clinton recognized their work with the U.S. National Medal of Technology. In 2005, Vint and Bob received the highest civilian honor bestowed in the U.S., the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It recognizes the fact that their work on the software code used to transmit data across the Internet has put them “at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.”

Source: Reseach at Google

Nova Labs Represents Makerspaces at The U.S. Science and Engineering Festival

WASHINGTON — This past weekend, Nova Labs joined Unallocated Space and HacDC in helping to represent area makerspaces. Among the exhibits were robots from Nova Labs FIRST Robotics teams, led by Tom Welsh, a 3D printer of the same design used by our current 3D printer build group, as well as drones!

Member Bob Coggeshall was on hand to represent Nova Labs’ incubator program and to spread the word about how Small Batch Assembly is lowering the cost for hardware innovators.

Nova Labs Represents Makerspaces at The U.S. Science and Engineering Festival

Nova Labs’ booth was graciously provided by Gary Mauler, organizer of RobotFestan annual event for anyone interested in the creative use of technology.

Nova Labs Represents Makerspaces at The U.S. Science and Engineering Festival

Nova Labs Drone Program Will Help Reston Association Enforce Covenants

Update: After just one day of operation, the Nova Labs drone program to enforce Reston Association covenants was summarily cancelled.

Our drones discovered that a number of the association’s Directors were in violation of various covenants and so they decided that human enforcement was ‘good enough.’ It was quite shocking actually. These were some of the filthiest gutters we’ve ever seen.

                        —Ariel Hawkins, Nova Labs Drone Pilot

Nova Labs Drone Fleet grounded after feathers ruffled.

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

RESTON, VA — The kickoff meeting of our design and build UAV team competing in the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge was held this past Thursday, March 20th. The global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Challenge, which held a kickoff meeting at Nova Labs back in September, now has over 130 teams from 60 countries, making it the largest UAV incubator in the world.

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Team RhinoHawk

The team will be called “RhinoHawk” and was started by Aerospace engineer and Nova  Labs Business Development Director, Bo Pollett. The team will be led by Nova Labs Co-Founder, Ted Markson, who has extensive experience mentoring FIRST robotics teams. The finals for the competition will be held at the Amakhala Game Reserve in South Africa.

The team was formally announced at a standing-room-only fundraiser held March 6th at the offices of Nature’s Best Photography. Reston founder Robert E. Simon and other local dignitaries were in attendance. The event was sponsored by The Lost Rhino brewing company based in Ashburn, VA.

At the event, Bo presented an early prototype of a 1/4 scale model of the RhinoHawk UAV currently under development.

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

These UAVs are intended to extend the range and efficacy of the rangers. They can be fitted with infrared cameras to see at night and on-board image processing will be able to detect movement of people and alert the rangers.

       —Bo Pollett, Nova Labs Business Development Director

Rangers Appeal for Help

Special guests appearing at the fundraiser were two South African rangers from the group, Our Horn is NOT Medicine. Rangers Lee-Anne Davis and Dylan Davies presented a sobering account of the fight to save the rhino.

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

The rangers highlighted the seriousness of the problem, noting significant growth in poaching in just the past few years. 1004 rhino were poached in 2013.

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Demand for rhino horn on the black market is being driven primarily by superstition and ignorance. Rhino horn is made of keratin and has no medicinal value.

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Rhino at the Amakhala Game Reserve.

“The rhino are being slaughtered for their horns for what is essentially the same material your fingernails are made of,” Davis said.

American Response

Nova Labs Forms UAV Team to Help Fight Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Following the presentation, Nova Labs Co-Founder Justin Leto, who joined the UAV Challenge’s fact finding mission to South Africa in November, spoke about the need for Americans to contribute to the cause.

I’m proud to know that Americans in large numbers are contributing their time, their money or their skills to help protect the rhino in South Africa. At Nova Labs we believe our skills can have a significant impact in the world.

                            — Justin Leto, Nova Labs Co-Founder

Warren Buffett’s son, Howard, recently donated $23 million for border control initiatives. President Obama signed an Executive Order July 1st stating that “Poaching operations have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates.” The $10 million pledged then has been supplemented recently with new policies and increased sanctions intended to fight poaching.

RhinoHawk Systems Development  and Organization

The following teams will be formed to manage the organization and develop the various systems of the UAV:

  • Aircraft refinement
  • Ground station software integration
  • Radio integration
  • Camera integration (FM10X MICRO 700TVL ZOOM)
  • Gimbal development
  • Image recognition software development (open CV)
  • Mission planning and operations development
  • Product development and commercialization
  • Marketing and fundraising

Prototyping our UAV, preparing and publicizing our marketing materials, doing local flight tests and competing in the challenge all requires monetary resources. To inquire about sponsorship or to join a team, email info@nova-labs.org.

Read up on the Fact Finding Mission and the UAV Challenge:

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

RESTON, VA — Showing a child what’s possible could be all it takes to awaken a passion for creation and lifelong learning. That possibility was very much in the minds of the more than 300 volunteers on hand to welcome the nearly four thousand attendees for Northern Virginia’s first ever Maker Faire.

Held Sunday March 16th at South Lakes High and Langston Hughes Middle Schools, the Faire featured drones, rockets, spy gadgets, 3D printers, 3D scanners, robots, costuming, jewelry, crafts, antique bicycles, unique projects, and one of the largest selections of hands-on making activities of any Maker Faire to date.

All this week we’ll be taking a closer look at the many exhibits and activities featured at the Faire but here’s a preview. First, a special thanks to the sponsors who helped make NoVa Maker Faire possible: Innovation Fund of The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, WyoLumIdeaventions, Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) Club,  Holland and Knight,   Amazing Race TimingActivity RocketFairfax County Public SchoolsSmall Batch AssemblyThe International Spy Museum, FairFax Connector, and Future Makers.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Children of all ages had the chance to solder their first electronics project.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

I CAN HAZ ROBOT ?

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

This was the first opportunity for many to see a 3D Printer in action!

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

The robots took to the skies in a special caged in area for drone flying.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Crafts and arts play a major role in creativity and it had a major presence at the Faire.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

RESton Founder Robert E. Simon enjoys Nova Labs’ tweetable light sign with member Eric Mitchell.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

“Squishy Circuits” uses conductive play dough to make it easier for children of all ages to make electronic circuits.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) Club host Take Apart Zone.

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Craig Trader’s Chaos Machine!

Thousands Attend Northern Virginia’s First Maker Faire

Future careers in STEM are ready for liftoff !

HARDWARE INNOVATION WEEK: Lighting For Drones

Once you get your drone to fly, the next question will inevitably be: how can I quickly add LEDs to it and create an international incident?

Thanks to Ted Marskon, who designed The ArduPilot Mega (APM) LED Breakout Board for the DC Drone User Group, we now know the answer.

HARDWARE INNOVATION WEEK: Lighting For Drones

The APM LED Breakout Board controls LED strands that indicates “arming” of the drone and GPS lock.

Check out this video demonstration to see how it works.

 

We’re featuring Nova Labs hardware innovation all this week leading up to NoVa Maker Faire. Stay tuned!

HARDWARE INNOVATION WEEK: Lighting For Drones

Meet the Maker Behind The Pocket Drone, Now the Largest Drone Kickstarter Ever

With a little more than a day to go, The Pocket Drone is nearing $1 million on Kickstarter. It is now the largest, most successful drone Kickstarter project ever.

Read the full story about T.J. Johnson, the “maker” of The Pocket Drone, and who has ties to the DC maker scene, at MAKE.

Meet the Maker Behind The Pocket Drone, Now the Largest Drone Kickstarter Ever