NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 79

industry spotlight Manufacturing A Hexrotor robot demonstration. One such exciting new product is Gocupi, a portable polargraph made from a small, credit-card-sized computer that was created at Dallas Makerspace. Gocupi can robotically draw images on any vertical surface on which a pen can write. A suction cup-based motor mount allows the system to deploy anywhere in a matter of minutes and start drawing immediately. Led by Brandon Green and Brandon Dunson, both of whom are members of Dallas Makerspace, the project was recently funded via Kickstarter and owes its success to the innovation it was born into at Dallas Makerspace. Projects like Gocupi show the economic potential of creating in these communal environments where creativity is fostered but not limited by barriers to entry or business liability. But it’s not just business or specific inventions that Makerspaces are building; the organizations are also building young minds. Inspiring and educating miniature makers is something that both Dallas Makerspace and Tarrant Makers are dedicated to doing. When talking about the kid-centered classes that Dallas Makerspace offers, Davidson rambles off a list of projects not found in many classrooms. “We are doing DNA extraction from strawberries, which is hands-on, practical application of STEM education. We help them put something together, mix it up, and see what happens. You have to give someone the ability to fail and learn,” he says. Other kid-focused Dallas Makerspace projects have included building marshmallow shooters, robots and even a vending machine the group made last year that EXPLORE THE OPPORTUNITIES IN BENBROOK asks science questions and rewards candy to those who correctly guess the answer. Kids can even “let it ride” and answer more questions correctly for a chance to win a bigger piece of candy. The vending machine is currently on display at the SciTech Discovery Center in Frisco. Osman stresses that Tarrant Makers also includes the arts in STEM, making it “STEAM.” “The arts are very import to makers,” he says. “These places offer a lot of skills enhancement and general practical experience that you’re not going to see with people who have a very narrow focus. They are providing facilities that allow people to learn very rapidly and the community and mentorship that makes learning rapidly possible.” From air-powered shooters to cardboard box banjos to eggbots (robots that allow you to draw on anything round) and even arduino classes, Tarrant Makers provides an opportunity for kids to grasp a basic understanding of a concept and get the inspiration and motivation to learn and research more. That helps grow the next generation of creators who can help define a new world in advanced ways. Creating a world limited not by your age, your profession, or even your current skill set? If that’s not a hallmark of Texan ingenuity, we don’t know what is. An ideal location adjacent to Fort Worth and centrally located in North Texas, Benbrook is part of one of the nation’s fastest growing regions. Benbrook offers great sites and sound infrastructure essential to growth and success and is easily accessible by IH–20 and US 377. Benbrook is open for business, and looking to help you develop commercial, residential and industrial properties. Economic growth and opportunity awaits you in Benbrook. FORT WORTH Contact: Ron Rainey Benbrook EDC 817.249.6990 Dallas Makerspace robotic project. Winter/Spring 2015 www.ntc-dfw.org 77