All posts by laura

29 Jun 2014

Meet the Maker – Doggy Internet Treater

Doggy Internet Treater

Brendan and Timber

My name is Brendan Brohan and I’ve recently become a Maker at the age of 56. As a youngster I was a tinkerer with a curious mind and my best Christmas presents were always things like chemistry sets and electronic kits (Denshi blocks, anyone?). Taking things apart and putting them (hopefully) back together was something I enjoyed. Then life intervened in the form of college (where I did a PhD in science) and my working career started in the pharmaceutical industry. During this period there was little time left for tinkering but I did develop an interest in computers as a hobby in the late 90’s and later, in 2005, turned that hobby into a business when my cool wife, Marie-Hélène, and I started a PC maintenance company. Solving other people’s computer problems as a business isn’t the same as tinkering around for fun and it was only when my wife got me an Arduino Starter Kit (I told you she was cool!) as a Christmas present last year that the latent Maker in me got into enjoying learning how it worked and what it could do.

Doggy Internet Feeder business end Doggy Internet Feeder top view

One of the best ways I find of learning is to make something that has a practical value for you and in my case that was a device that would allow us to treat our dog, Timber, either when he is home alone or when we are upstairs in bed and he is downstairs. So began work on the Doggy Internet Treater which will be one of the projects that I’ll be showing at Dublin Maker 2014 on July 26th. This combination of high-tech (Arduino + Internet shield and digital sound board) and low-tech (cereal carton and blu-tac) was a fun project that has a practical use. It’s currently at Revision 1.0 and fully functional but has certain limitations, so I would love attendees of Dublin Maker 2014 to drop by and offer any suggestions on how it might be improved.

A second project that I’m currently working on, and hope to have up and running for July 26th, is a multi-speed, infra-red remote controlled, pan-head for a GoPro camera. I’ve always found it difficult to get a smooth panorama shot when using a video camera on a tripod and I’ve used an Arduino Nano at the heart of this project. As with the Doggy Internet Feeder, there are improvements I want to make and would welcome visitors to drop by my stand to offer their suggestions.

IR Pan-head project at early breadboard stage IR Pan-head project prototype

I believe that you need ingenuity more than a workshop full of tools to get most projects off the ground, or at least to prototype stage. Having said that, I wouldn’t part with my Dremel rotary tool and the books Arduino Workshop (John Boxall) and Arduino Cookbook (Michael Margolis) are invaluable. Here’s hoping the price of 3-D printers keeps falling in time for next Christmas!


25 Jun 2014

Meet the Maker – LoveLace

Re-Inventing Handmade Lace – Fiona Harrington


Ireland has a strong history of Handmade Lace. It was introduced here as a means of creating employment after the Great Famine. At the turn of the 20th century, it was the second largest industry in the country employing hundreds of women. It was bought by aristocracy and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II. Wealthy people spent huge amounts of money on bedspreads and clothing made purely from Irish Lace. In 1886 in Kenmare, Co. Kerry, a large bed spread was sold for £300, at the time it cost £100 to build a good house!! For this reason, Handmade Lace is often known as the ‘Golden Fabric’.

Following World War I and the invention of machine made lace, the Handmade Lace industry almost completely died out. However, during the 1980’s a group of local women in Kenmare revived the techniques. They remain dedicated to preserving the tradition of lacemaking and these indigenous skills. Today there are only about 5 Lace Makers practicing in the region.

I learned Lacemaking at the Kenmare Lace Centre, Co.Kerry. Kenmare Lace is a needlepoint Lace made entirely from a needle and thread. The thread is as fine as a human hair!! I studied all the stitches, techniques, and patterns which have existed since 1861. I wanted to do something new with Lace, so I combined my love of Fine Art painting and contemporary design with the traditional practice. The result is a collection of work inspired by the Irish countryside. I am constantly exploring new ways to present Irish Lace while staying true to the intricacy and delicacy of the stitches. I often spend hours carefully intertwining the thread creating minute pattern detail. In doing this I hope to preserve an endangered tradition and bring a new lease of life to Lacemaking.

Check out Fiona’s website or Facebook page to learn more about Fiona’s work and lace.

FionaHarrington2   FionaHarringtonLace

23 Jun 2014

New Logo

Ta-dah! We can finally unveil our brand new logo for Dublin Maker. We want to thank all the makers who helped us choose our new logo. Special thanks to Andreea Wade and Brandalism for their fabulous designs.  We feel our new logo really captures Dublin Maker, which is a celebration of makers and their wonderful and intriguing creations.


Logo Dublin Maker

14 Jun 2014

Meet the Maker – Thingscape

The Intel Galileo is fantastic platform that enables people to create as many applications as their imagination will allow. To push the boundaries of technology, innovation and creativity.

Galileo is a Thing.

In the months and years to come these Things will be scattered around our landscape. We will place them around our homes to improve our energy usage. The city will place them around streets and parks to improve traffic and air quality. Things will be embedded in the devices we buy, from cars to cups to kitchen sinks.


This is a Thingscape.



The question we address is ‘How do you control the Thingscape?’ How do you reconfigure these Things over the air? How do you collect information from thousands, millions, billions of Things? And how to you get them to do what you want? How do you reprogram Thingscapes?

At CTVR we have created a framework that allows us to control Thingscapes using radios. The system allows simple Things to be programmed and reprogrammed over the air. It allows Things to be reused and recycled, even when they are embedded in hard to reach places. It allows us to remotely and individually control thousands of Things to do multiple tasks at once or none at all.

CTVR develops the radical radio systems to enable Thingscapes of millions of Things



Check out the Intel Meet the Sponsor post for more information about the Make It Wearable challenge.

10 Jun 2014

Meet the Sponsor – Intel

We are delighted to announce Intel Ireland as a Mega Sponsor of Dublin Maker 2014. Intel Ireland is celebrating their 25th anniversary here in Ireland. Intel will also be demonstrating their Intel Galileo boards at Dublin Maker 2014. Intel announced at the Consumer Electronics Show the Make It Wearable Challenge, a contest in which individuals, teams, and organisations are invited to submit a wide range of wearable product ideas in seven categories.

Make It Wearable Challenge

Intel Make It Wearable


Calling All Makers The Intel “Make it Wearable” competition – exploring the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) & wearable’s is open for submissions. Over $1,000,000 in prize money including a grand prize of $500,000. Read more about it here, gather your thoughts and get your submissions on line. For the Development track you need to sign up by June 24th, or June 15th for the Visionary track. Check out The Creators Project blog and the videos below for more information.