Three years ago, they wanted to build a project group to develop electrical gadgets or programs to turn such ideas into reality. By opening a sharing web site on the internet, they made information and manuals about a basics, sensors, modules available in Korean, also created a lot of open source DIY projects. It become a fast growing community in Korea. We had this great opportunity to talk with group and ask them to share their story with us.
We are all curious about the story of HardCopyWorld. What makes you decide to set up this community?
I often sip beer in the pub with my graduate school friends (most of them are engineers) and like to exchange ideas we want develop in future. 3 years ago, we agreed on building the project group for developing some electrical gadgets or programs to make such ideas into reality. Over a year we made various gadgets like toy-car controlled by brainwave, DIY drone, WiFi controlled RC car, Arduino smart watch and activity tracker.
And we opened DIY manuals and source codes through our homepage, hardcopyworld.com so that anyone can reach if they want. HardCopyWorld represent “If you have an idea, stop thinking. Make it!”.
Did you meet any difficulties during the process of building this community? How did you overcome them and make HardCopyWorld move forward?
In Korea, we have difficulty to find open sources and online information for physical computing, but only in English. So we made information about Arduino basics, sensor, module and project manuals in Korean. In an effort to provide qualitative data and innovative idea, it became fast growing community for the Korean makers. We’re getting attentions from publishers, media and government and building relationship through various projects.
We have casual site visitors for basic manuals for Arduino but what we most like is to release new project idea. We makers hope to share such new idea and encourage people to make something different and more innovative. HardCopyWorld is a way to talking and sharing innovations with makers, also this is our way to dominating our talent to society and enriching the maker movement.
How does your community become famous? A project posted on the Internet? What projects are you working on?
What make us famous is “RetroWatch: Aduino smart watch” project. This project guides people to make their own smart watch with Arduino, OLED display, Bluetooth and LiPo battery. After sharing DIY manual at instructables.com in Jan 2014, this project records over 360,000 view. And still makers ask about this project by email. I started this project with a simple reason that is “it seems to be possible”.
Since I’m a SW engineer I can make mobile app by myself. In this reason I likes to hack and make with Bluetooth module which is one of easiest ways to connect to my mobile life. Arduino smart watch is one of Bluetooth projects.
Though DIY manual is opened, making an Arduino smart watch is difficult for Arduino beginners. I want to make them to more simple and small device interacting with smart phone. SocialBug is my solution. SocialBug is simple mes
sage notifying device made by BLE module, vibration motor and battery. In android smart phone Blinky app gathers messages(notifications) and sends signals to SocialBug. And SocialBug blinks LED or vibrates motor. To make this you don’t need an Arduino, just an BLE module is sufficient. This is simple project but there are chances to apply this. Currently I’m developing new toys in cooperating with Nabi Art Center.
These two project and Arduino network game-pad project were shown in Maker Faire Shenzhen 2015. Also I’m going to post these DIY manuals in SeeedStudio Recipe.
Korean makers have become a strong power in Asia. Can you introduce some Korean makers and their interesting projects to us?
A Korean maker, Kim Yongseung attended the first Maker Faire Seoul. His most famous project is Kog’Maw robot. He summoned this LOL game character into reality. LOL users had been inspired from this robot.
He invented many other robots. Recent project “Moya” is very interesting. Moya is tiny robot world in the box. When you open wooden box, you can meet tiny robot world, where small semi-sphere robots are wandering around. And according to your voice they react with emotional face expression. You can see the details at his blog.
Moya: tiny robot world in the box
CatchCat: Interactive Cat Fishing Toy. See his international campaign.
Yoo SangJoon has launched his project, CatchCat, successfully in the social funding sites. CatchCat is a playful toy that cats can enjoy with. His two cats, DingDing and BaBa, and many other cats would be pleased with this arduino based toy. With this successful campaign at social funding he became a good start-up example started from maker project.