Rafe Needleman on Muck Rack

Rafe Needleman

San Francisco, CA
As seen in:  Yahoo, CNET

Editor in Chief at BestReviews, Geek Dad, Skeptic

The UP1 Robot Is Serious Hardware for Robotics Software Developers

makezine.com — If you want to get started doing serious development work on robots, you will likely find Lego Mindstorms and similar educational kits too limiting or frail. There are more serious hardware platforms, like the humanoid robot, but for those of you who are looking at budget-busting numbers: The Nao is $9,500.

Homemade Jet Engine Build by a High School Student |Make:

makezine.com — Want to learn to build a jet engine? Just go to high school with Chris Tomko. The 18-year-old student, with a few friends, has built his own jet engines. From scratch. At the World Maker Faire in New York, we saw Tomko demo his G1 home-built engine.

Ahmed Mohamed Races DeLorean Go Kart at Maker Faire

makezine.com — Clock-building celebrity Ahmed Mohamed had a super-concentrated World Maker Faire experience this weekend in New York. He raced a DeLorean go kart, turned the crank on the life-size Mouse Trap game, flew some drones, and got smiles from everyone he met. We were glad to welcome Ahmed to the Faire.

PlasmaBot! at Maker Faire

makezine.com — Found in the "dark room" at the World Maker Faire in New York: a larger-than-life robot marionette made of hand-blown glass tubes, noble gases, and a highly unusual marionette motor drive. It was the glass sculpture's eerie, squirming glow that caught my eye, but as I got closer I realized that it was moving, too.

Robot Head Restraint to Save Racers' Necks

makezine.com — A system of gears and pulleys designed to protect racecar drivers' heads in crashes won the Pitch Your Prototype challenge at this week. The Mechanek active head restraint is designed to be more effective than the standard head brace, the HANS device, at immobilizing a driver's head during a frontal crash.

All Makers Have to Start Somewhere, Including Ahmed Mohamed

makezine.com — Not surprisingly, there is blowback to the national story of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed's vindication. As you of course know by now, he was led from his school in handcuffs for bringing a clock project to school that some people thought could have been mistaken for a bomb. Then he became a hero.

Block the Car Door Relay Hack with a Faraday Cage

makezine.com — Is your car door safe from electronic hackers? If you've seen the news lately ( Wired; New York Times), you might be worried that bad guys are now able to steal the electronic codes you car key sends when it unlocks your car from a distance using your remote.

6 Life Lessons from Robot Combat

makezine.com — While I was watching BattleBots with my 9-year-old son, he learned a valuable life lesson when the Overhaul team captain, Adam Bercu, refused to shake hands with Lock-Jaw driver Donald Hutson after a perceived illegal hit during a battle. "Why did he not shake hands?" my boy asked.

The Physics of a Record-Breaking Hot Wheels Loop

makezine.com — DETROIT-When you are trying to send Hot Wheels cars through a giant loop, you can tell you're getting a good run by the sound. If it's consistent and quiet, like a drop of water sizzling on a hot skillet, you're got a shot to make the loop.

I Wore the Ekso Bionics Industrial Exoskeleton

makezine.com — "You should come to our office and try on our exoskeleton," Nathan Harding told me at a group dinner. That is an offer a nerd cannot refuse. So I went. Harding is CEO of Ekso Bionics, a company that has been making battery-powered exoskeletons for medical and rehabilitation applications.
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