How to Purify Your Air With Hacked Plants @PublicLab @zBoratory @gretchengehrke @lizbarry #CitizenScience


I’ve always been told plants clean air, but it wasn’t until I saw NASA info on the subject that I started to pay more attention to the plants in my house. Then I received this exciting update from Public Lab about a Plant Air Remediation kit they are working on that just had a very successful 2nd field study. They are boosting the natural air scrubbing of plants by hacking what’s in the pot. It all has to do with increasing the airflow around the plant’s root system.


They start with a plant that gets a high rating on toxin busting, like a Snake Plant. Soil is removed from the roots and the plant is placed in a pebbly hydro-culture mix with activated carbon. Essentially the plant will form water roots, and the new medium will allow for more breezes from the star of this project—an aquarium pump. The pump is hacked, reversing the flow to create a vacuum, and then coiled inside the pot; that’s how this plant becomes an effective toxin reducer.

One of the top toxins this project targets is formaldehyde, found indoors in cigarette smoke, pressed wood, carpeting and paint products. It is also found outdoors from auto exhaust, forest fires and industrial sites. Residents in Waycross, Georgia, have experienced high levels of this toxin, most likely due to their proximity to a superfund site. In fact, they are a cancer cluster with many complaints of headaches, skin disorders and neurological problems. A community grass-roots group, Silent Disaster, asked to work with Public Lab and a resident’s house was used as a test site with a plant remediation unit placed in the main room. There was a big change in formaldehyde levels in the house from the first documented 0.62 ppm.

5 of the 6 readings, and all of the readings in the room with the remediation planter, were below the RKI detection limit of 0.10 ppm.

That’s not the only amazing news. The resident of the home saw changes in her health.

The 86 year-old had improved vision, and most noticeably, she had improvement in her dermatological lesions. The right leg and hand had previously had large red patches of irritated skin with well-defined above-the-skin knots that would often itch, bleed, and ooze. Most of these symptoms had improved by 70% or better. The community scientist member of the household had suffered from ear ringing and hoarseness, both of which improved after the purifier was installed. Additionally her neurological symptoms of headaches, cognitive decline, and memory loss have significantly improved since the cohabiting with the degradation unit.

All I can say is that I’m so glad I get Public Lab’s updates; this is yet another exciting moment with a kit near completion. Big congrats to Nick Shapiro, Gretchen Gehrke and Liz Barry for their work. As for Silent Disaster, keep doing what you are doing because you are making a bigger difference than you think. For other citizen scientists interested in gas detection, we do offer a Gas Sensor Breakout. Don’t consider this as your go-to for security, but it is a good choice if you want to learn more about detecting CO, Ammonia, Ethanol, H2 and Methane/Propane/Iso-Butane. Environmental testing is an important use of tech.


via Adafruit

Cycle: A Trippy Experimental Animation About the Human Form #ArtTuesday

Cycle 1

Via Thisiscolossal

Cycle is a new animation from art director Kouhei Nakama that uses a wide range of physics-based particle animations to explore the human form. We’ve seen a number of similar short films in recent weeks including the AICP award video and Asphyxia, both of which also used motion capture techniques. If you liked this, see Nakama’s prequel of sorts titled Diffusion. Music by Kai Engel.

See more


Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

via Adafruit

Amazing Balloon Animals by Japanese Artist Masayoshi Matsumo #ArtTuesday


How cool are these balloon animals? Via BOOOOOOOM



Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

via Adafruit

Maker to Market 7 –Marketing – How Adafruit developed Circuit Playground @makerio @DigiKey #DeskOfLadyada

From Maker to Market 07 – Marketing – How Adafruit developed Circuit Playground, an educational board for makers.

Once your idea has secured funding, your natural enthusiasm for your idea can finally shine—it’s time to generate buzz amongst the outside world. When you’re considering a marketing plan, you’ll need to think about your branding, steps you’ll take to foster public relations, conventions and conferences you might attend, and networking opportunities. It’s also the right place in the process to begin planning packaging and to start a website—get viral!

The best marketing is free marketing! In this episode, using Circuit Playground as an example, we will go behind the scenes on how we write a tutorial, possibly including a little Vine/Instagram action to demo the lights and sound and get people excited. We will run through our past tutorials and show how good ones can get picked up by popular blogs. The tutorials we’ll be doing for Circuit Playground will be based off of the most popular projects people have built, so we will spend some time looking at what videos are the most popular and which can help guide your plan!

This series is a special edition of “From the Desk of Ladyada” with our Circuit Playground launch partner, & Digi-Key (be sure to check our interview with the CEO of Digi-Key, Dave Doherty, too!).

Adafruit and (powered by Digi-Key) are airing the next episode in this new series live, Saturday 8/13 @ 10pm on YouTube LIVEFacebook LIVE and!

In case you missed the previous episodes:

1.  “Concept” → 2.  “Research” → 3. “Evaluation” → 4. “Design” → 5. “Prototyping”  → 6. “Funding”

Why are we doing this? It would be challenging to meet the demand we’re expecting with Circuit Playground orders, shipping, outreach and more – so we’re working with -the best- to get as many out there, to as many people as possible, and “showing our work” about the entire process. Special thanks to David, Jim, Dave, Brooks, Dawn, Jennifer, Paula, Kevin, Wayne and everyone at Digi-Key.

Digi‐Key was started by a maker professional and has a long history of being a destination for entrepreneurial engineers. is the first site to help those people take their ideas from concept to product. was created to help makers understand the phases that occur from concept through production. Digi-Key knows designers will have stumbling blocks throughout the phases, and the main objective of the site is to walk makers through the design-chain “Roadmap” that offers an aggregated community of tools, ideas, solutions, and information that properly meet the needs of the marketplace every step of the way.

By leveraging Digi-Key resources including design tools such as Scheme-it and PCBWeb, complete BOM management support, leading edge maker-friendly solutions from companies like Adafruit that are augmented with full line support from industry leaders and having the world’s largest available inventory for immediate shipment, Digi-Key truly is the best destination for the maker professional.

The availability of very low cost modular hardware tools combined with simple-to-use free software development environments has led to an explosion in the number of makers and developers. As a result, is platform (Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi, Photon…), post, and project based. Beyond the roadmap, maker professionals as community members can submit projects either publicly or privately. This collaborative and project-based approach will help designers better understand the phases along the map. is the perfect complement to Whether you are just starting out or are already down the design path, you are able to access pre-curated content, solutions and resources from industry professionals, as well as your peers, to help guide you through the phases. No matter where you are on your design roadmap, can help you bring your product and dreams to market.

Adafruit is proud to partner with Digi-key and introduce to all our customers and fans. This is our second installment of Adafruit’s video series Maker to Market, which will take you on the journey that was the creation of Circuit Playground, Adafruit’s all-in-one board — the perfect microcontroller for learning electronics.

via Adafruit

Extensive Documentation of Homemade ‘Maker Workbench’ by @TinWhiskerzBlog

You know the itch. You need to upgrade your workspace – or in Bill’s case here establish a new non-woodworking space for electronics projects – and you don’t want to use a readymade desk or bench. You want something custom. Custom for your person (size, stature, even disabilities if afflicted), your needs and style, and of course the projects you plan on making.

Bill got the itch, and decided to fabricate his own ‘maker workbench’ putting his woodworking skills to the task of building a wood bench top topped with MDF, designing and wiring electrical for easy access to back-panel electricity outlets without the need for power strips, and more. The result is pretty magnifique, and I especially appreciate his thorough documentation, down to full bill of materials listed on his blog – 3D printer not included 😉





It can be tough working on a maker project if you don’t have a good space to work. Many times my electronics work surface was an ESD mat on the dining room table, but as my projects grew and my family grew I was under increasing pressure to find somewhere else to work. (Really it was the 3D printer that put my wife over the edge — rightfully so). I also didn’t want to have my electronics out in the garage which is my woodworking shop and full of saw dust.

The task of finding a decent place to work on electronics was more of a challenge than I expected. Lots of folks who left the dining room table seem to work on card tables or random repurposed Ikea tables and benches or purchase very expensive commercial electronics benches that are out of the range of most folks working part time as a maker. I knew there must be something in the middle that could be a reasonable solution and a reasonable bench.

Read more.

via Adafruit

Resident Evil Mutation Cosplay Is Worth Being Grossed Out

resident evil costume

About a year ago, Gai made a monstrous cosplay that featured the Stage 2 mutation/transformation of William Birkin in Resident Evil. That costume was massive and required construction and sculpting talent to achieve. It apparently wasn’t challenging enough because now Gai has made the Stage 1 version. Birkin isn’t quite as far gone so this look involved a different sculpt, including a slightly mutated human chest. Yuck but also, cool!

Gai wore the mutation at the World’s Cosplay Summit in Japan. How much of it is a costume and how much is human? This picture answers that question:

He’s pretty much wearing a fully coverage suit. As you can imagine, it was warm in there. Gai tweeted about having to pick up batteries for an additional fan to keep him cool (or, at least not quite as hot).

via Kotaku, photo by @Zan_Woo

via Adafruit

LED Infinity Skirt with Arduino

LED infinity skirt 1

Redditor SexyCyborg is skilled when it comes to crafting wearables. Last summer she made a skirt with interior lighting that made it glow, and now, she’s made a dazzling infinity skirt with mirrors and LEDs — the design is inspired by traditional Chinese armor. She came up with the design for Maker Faire in Shenzhen and began her work with the intention of making it completely original. She also wanted it to be Open Source and a project any maker can tackle.

She talked about the flexibility of the mirror tiles:

The tiles form a flexible matrix that can be reconfigured into different garments, or even a bag. Every tile measures 66mm on each edge, and has four magnetic electrical conductors that can link it to it’s neighboring tile. So long as each row and column gets power, there is endless variations that can be tried. With an Arduino and LED matrix controller, each individual tile can be controlled so complex patterns can play across the surface. This is just a first prototype though so all the lights get power continuously and there is no matrix control. There is room in the battery pack to add a Arduino later though.

LED infinity skirt 3

LED infinity skirt 2

See an entire construction gallery with making of notes at Imgur. You can also download her files there.

via Fashionably Geek

via Adafruit