Part art, part science, NYC Resistor is a “hacker collective” that shares information about and builds electronic…stuff. Amazing stuff: an interactive embroidery machine, books that “breathe,” cyber woodpeckers, a painting robot.
Not surprisingly, the founders include folks like Bre Pettis, who produces a weekly video podcast called “Weekend Projects” for Make: Magazine; Nick Bilton, the lead technology writer for The New York Times Bits Blog; and Diana Eng, who mixes fashion design and technology to create clothes that have blooming flowers and change color.
At the heart of this group is a device called the arduino—a programmable microcontroller that’s a far cry from the capacitors and resistors my brother and I spent weekends soldering together to make various gizmos. Cheap and easy to program, the arduino has fostered a huge community of DIY-ers and arty geeks. Like NYC Resistor.
In their shared space in downtown Brooklyn, the collective runs a Microcontroller Study Group and offers classes such as Introduction to Electronics, Audio Fun with Coils, Make Your Own Arduino and Learn to Program It, and Paper Engineering. They often put on events such as “Superstars of the Arduino,” a March 27 show that featured the cool projects described above. Membership is by invitation only, but classes are open to the public, as is Craft Night, which the collective hosts most Thursdays. Check ‘em out next time you’re in New York.