• Google AIY Starter Kits are now available!

    The Google AIY Voice Kit for Raspberry Pi allows you to add do-it-yourself artificial intelligence to your maker projects. This kit, when completed, will give directions, send a hands free email, check the weather, and more!

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  • The BBC Micro:bit has arrived in Canada!

    The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer designed for beginners in electronics and coding. The micro:bit makes getting into these often daunting fields as easy as possible.

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assembled plush game controller

Plush Game Controller

I absolutely love video games so I decided to try out the plush game controller designed by Adafruit Industries. I went along with most of the instructions provided but decided to change a couple! Having a laser cutter sitting right next to me, I thought laser…material…let’s make this go faster! Laser cutting the black material worked and made for really nice lines! Who doesn’t like playing with lasers too? To make the black cover more secure, I sewed around the entire piece. Tisk, tisk, I didn’t use a hoop to complete the stitch from the conductive pads to the Flora. It still works!

This project was really fun to complete and plan on making another set but smaller. If sewing isn’t something you like, getting into wearables might be what gets you to start to like it. It definitely is not like sewing in high school (back how many years ago – HA!).

Here is a link with all of the instructions on how to complete your very own plush game controller. The one thing I did not enjoy was how annoying the conductive thread gets…twist, twist, twist! Have fun making your very own controller! Let us know what changes you made!

selection of E-textile components


You may have asked yourself – “what are wearables?” They are embedded electronics combined with fabric and textiles. Wearables are also know as smart garments, smart clothing, electronic textiles, smart textiles or smart fabrics. They share many of the same familiar components as conventional electronics including microcontrollers, battery packs, sensors and LEDs as well as some that may not be so familiar such as conductive thread, fabric, and sewable components.

Many people consider this section for Halloween, Parties and Intelligent Clothing (ie. Jacket with built in GPS to help you navigate). This category is becoming increasingly popular in Canada, United States, just about anywhere! BC Robotics is currently expanding in this section and would love to hear what else you would like to see in stock. For more ideas on wearable projects, check out Adafruit’s Wearable Electronics channel on YouTube.

VIU Online Auction

Today is the first day of the Vancouver Island University Online Auction and we are proud to say we have donated two items this year! 100% of proceeds from the VIU Online Auction go to support student awards, equipment and learning opportunities. Head on over to http://bit.ly/VIU15 to bid!

Raspberry Pi Media Center Workshop

Raspberry Pi? Media Center? Makerspace Nanaimo will be hosting a Raspberry Pi Media Center Workshop.

When: Wednesday, October 21st @ 6:30pm
Where: 2221 McGarrigle Road, Makerspace Nanaimo

We will be covering the entire process of setting up a Raspberry Pi for use as a Media Center including installing the software, configuring the system, plugging it in, and how to use it once set up.

Not sure what a Raspberry Pi Media Center is? It is a device that can stream HD movies, music and pictures to your television.

Makerspace Nanaimo will provide the monitors and internet access for set up. Please bring your Raspberry Pi Media Center kit or if you require a kit, the cost will be $95.00 plus the workshop. Bringing a laptop is recommended but not required.

The workshop will cost:
Non-Members: $20.00
Members: $15.00

Makerspace Nanaimo accepts cash and all major credit cards. All proceeds from this event go towards further development of Makerspace Nanaimo and future events like this!

To sign up, please get in touch with info@bc-robotics.com or register on Makerspace Nanaimo’s Facebook Event.

Soldering Level 2 Workshop

Makerspace Nanaimo will be hosting a level 2 soldering workshop.

When: Saturday, October 17th @ 1:00pm
Where: 2221 McGarrigle Road, Makerspace Nanaimo

We will be learning to solder a Game of Life kit. This kit will include soldering 16 LEDs, 16 resistors, 1 capacitor, 1 tactile button, 1 18 dip socket, and a battery pack.

The Game of Life is a 1-player game created by John Conway in 1970. The game simulates ‘colonies’ that grow or die based on the colonies around them. This electronics project plays Conway’s game automatically once assembled. Completed kits can be connected together as modules, allowing for much larger display.

Makerspace Nanaimo will provide the soldering iron and kit. The workshop will cost:
Non-Members – $25.00
Members – $20.00

Payment can be made at the workshop; they accept cash and all major credit cards. All proceeds from this event go towards further development of Makerspace Nanaimo.

Space is limited due to number of soldering irons, so be sure to sign up early by emailing soldering@makerspacenanaimo.org