Shenzhen Mini Maker Faire was a blast!  We had tons of fun with dancing robots, a soldering workshop, and craft making with super light clay.  It was great to see all of you who made it out to the event, and a special shout out to Ian whose charm was infectious.  Since then, we’ve been working hard designing and sourcing new items.  Take a look.  There are at least one or two items that you can’t live without.

Our first item comes straight from Paris, the capital of design. ReaDIYmate Main Board is a fun Wi-Fi based and Arduino compatible MCU.  It combines paper art with modern technology.  Simply build your Wi-Fi art object, specify a single action or two, and then see the object move or play sounds based on feedback from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and more.  Plus, it is compatible with our Grove system which enables you to design more sophisticated options with the 50 plug-n-play bricks available.  The designers have launched their project on Kickstarter, and you must see the videos to appreciate how unique this product is.  Or check out our blog for the abbreviated version.   Right now we’re selling it at a discount during our pre-order sale.  You’ll save $15, and we’ll ship it out to you as soon as the product is released.  Currently, the ReaDIYmate is expected to ship on May 20, 2012.

Next up is the ZigFlea, a wireless transceiver “shield” for the CUI32Stem, an open-sourced microcontroller board.  The ZigFlea is a reduced version of the ZigBee.  It has the same IEEE 802.15.4 support with standard SPI pins and 2.4 GHz operating frequency.  The ZigFlea differs from the ZigBee in that it sends data in only one direction at a time, and its protocol stack is a tenth of the size at 3KB.  This is a perfect fit for your wireless connectivity needs when you need a simpler, skinnier solution.

You’ve heard of wearing your heart on your sleeve, the Heart-felt Shirt takes this concept to a whole new level and displays your actual heartbeat on the front of your shirt.  It utilizes sensors that read the wearer’s EKG results and displays them via pulses of light on the shirt.  This is a brilliant project from Sean Montgomery, who taps into his neuroscience PhD knowledge to create wearable art with a scientific twist.

We have a great new kit for beginners, the Arduino Experimentation Kit or ARDX for short.  This kit uses a breadboard layout, so no soldering is required.  The kit comes with an Experimenter’s Guide and illustrates step-by-step how to build 13 fun circuits.  You’ll be able to make an LED blink, control a motor, make music, measure temperature, and much more.  It’s a great stepping stone for anyone who wants to get into the Maker arena.

If you like your BeagleBoard but want a slimmed down, smaller, low-cost version, then the BeagleBone is for you.  It has the same high performance ARM capabilities of the BeagleBoard, and it still brings the benefits of fully-featured Linux to your project.  It acts as either a stand-alone board or an expansion module for your BeagleBoard.  It’s great for use in thin clients, 3D printers, home media centers, etc.

All of that clutter can now go away with the medium sized components storage box.  A new Shenzhen 2 U product, you get five green 70mm x30mm x20 mm storage boxes in a lot.  These boxes have been designed for SMD components storage, but any small item will fit.  The boxes are able to connect to each other on all four sides, so you can attach them to each other and make larger boxes in any configuration imaginable.   In addition, they’re easy to open which is always a plus.

Thinking only Green is a little tedious?  Six Grove – LEDs with different colors and v2.0 PCB design have arrived!  The ingenious PCB design allows you to bend the LED into any position you want, which makes it easy to use standalone, horizontal or Panel Mount.  Choose from blue, purple, red, green, white and random multi-color flash.

That’s all for now.  Until next time, keep on making.

(Written by Erin Linke)