Ara Dev Conference, Instructables, and Atmel!

The first Developer’s Conference for Project Ara was held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California on April 15/16, 2014. I was very excited to be picked as a developer for this unique modular smart phone from Google.

The Ara phone is mostly open source, allows personalization, and you can switch out broken parts yourself, and will hopefully last 5-6 years, helping our environment have less electronic junk.

I was happy to meet Dan Makoski and reconnect with Jason Chua, both part of the team for Project Ara. I hope to start developing a module for the phone as soon as it is available!

I also met Jessica Cobb of Mission Control Labs in Chicago, and Mickie Byrd of Minio from Texas. They both have very cool projects. Jessica made a skateboard that will be able to detect bumps and potholes in the streets, hopefully helping with city planning and street repair. Mickie made Minio, a smarphone hardware accessory for Android, so that you can easily connect your hardware projects with your smartphone through a simple USB board. Check it out!

I even tried out Jessica's awesome skateboard!

All the MakeWithMOTO people went on stage to talk about their experiences. It was a great conference!

I then headed to San Francisco, and met up with Randy Sarafin, who was nice enough to take us on a spontaneous tour of the new Instructables on Pier 9 at Autodesk.

This was the biggest 5-Axis CNC machine that I had ever seen!

This was the coolest conference room ever. The table and chairs swing in all directions.

And look who we ran into ... Matt Pinner from CRASHspace!

Next, a tour of Atmel in San Jose. They make a lot of my favorite components, including the chips for Arduinos. Bob Martin, chief Maker and roboticist, showed us around the labs at Atmel. They have really cool equipment and I met a lot of great engineers. It was a great spring break!

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