Makers was started in the Fall of 2016 by three engineering students at the University of Southern California as an effort to promote more innovation and interest in electronics on campus. The mission of Makers is to facilitate the exploration of concepts in electronics design and stimulate interest in fields of electronics such as the Internet of Things, Embedded Systems, and Robotics. The organization hopes to serve as a resource for its community by offering its assistance with electronics-related projects and hosting workshops that are open to the general public.








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Watch the Spring 2021 Showcase

Pass the Butter

The purpose of this project is to build a robot which is capable of locating different people at a dinner table and passing butter to them when commanded. This is an idea made popular by a scene from Ricky and Morty. It combines knowledge of mechanical, electrical, software, and robot design.

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Project GitHub

Smart Glasses

Smart Glasses are a pair of glasses that can do smart things, including voice recognition, image recognition, and text to speech. The system includes an iOS app, ESP-32 CAM microcontroller, and a Node.js server. BLE connects the iOS app to the ESP-32 CAM and regular HTTPS is used to connect the app to the server. A speaker on the microcontroller streams microphone data to the app for voice recognition. Then, the recognized text is sent to the server where it is proxied to DialogFlow to handle bot responses. The bot response is parsed by the app which commands the ESP-32 to take a picture or turn on a light.

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Robo Dog

Based on the Boston Dynamics dog, RoboDog took the SpotMicro Dog and wanted to make this dog more aesthetic friendly. The goal of the project was to show that Robotic animals can be aesthetically pleasing as well as cool. This was done by attempting to attach a tail and fixing the head of the dog.
One of the biggest parts of this project was learning how to use the Robot Operating System and it also required a lot of CAD knowledge. This project is purely mechanical, and took a lot of time to do because we were still learning how to 3D print things.
This will not be the last time this dog will be seen as the goal is to still have it more functional, during the time of showcase one of the big issues was learning how servos worked. As it turned out the servos were not calibrated properly so the goal is to fix the calibrations so we can have a walking dog.

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Project Zoomba

Zoomba is a telepresence robot that a user anywhere in the world can operate over the Internet. The user can drive Zoomba as well as see, hear, be seen, and be heard by people on the robot's side.

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teenage Jeanette makes a garden.

teenage Jeanette makes a garden. is an outdoor, interactive deep water culture (DWC) hydroponics system that plays synthesizer sounds and lights up depending on any one person's proximity to it. This project was installed in the parking lot of the USC Graduate Fine Arts Building (IFT) on Flower St. and is planned to be reinstalled in the E-Quad of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
teen Jean was inspired by artists Félix Gonzáles-Torres, Andy Goldsworthy, Olafur Eliasson, Noah Purifoy, and the music of Emily A. Sprague. It was made to commemorate the lives lost due to the pandemic and to showcase human resilience and the experience of loss and love that ultimately connects us to something higher than ourselves.

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Dude Where's My Bike

Dude Where's My Bike is an LTE IoT security system aimed to prevent bike theft on campus. It has motion sensors and a gps module so the bikes position will always be known by the user via a mobile app. The backend uses a http/mqtt bridge which enables smooth and streamlined communication between the microcontroller on the bike and the native mobile app on the phone. With Dude Where's My Bike your bike is always safe!

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Portal Gun Portal Fun

Portal gun’s goal was to create a replica of the portal gun pictured in Rick and Morty. The user enters a location on an intuitive dial UI and then presses the trigger button. The raspberry pi inside then makes a request for google earth images of that location and stitches them together. Finally, it projects the final picture with the addition of a spinning portal behind it through an hdmi connection to the mini projector inside. This involved use of the google earth api, image stitching, opencv, soldering components together, and designing and 3d printing a shell.

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Wizard's Chess

The goal of our project was to create a real-life version of Wizard's Chess from Harry Potter, in which chess pieces move autonomously across a board as dictated by player voice commands. Players make moves by interacting with a web application built with React that contains voice recognition logic and a basic UI displaying the game board. These moves are then sent through HTTP requests to a Python Flask server running on a Raspberry Pi, which processes the moves and controls the stepper motors and electromagnets that carry the pieces across the physical board. Each chess piece contains a magnet sitting at its bottom that is attracted by the electromagnet moving under the board. The pieces also break open when captured, achieved by reversing the polarity of the electromagnet to flip the magnet within the piece above and trigger the sides of the price to fall open. This mechanism was created by 3D printing each piece to have 2 mirrored sides held together by hinges.

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Heat Press

Team Heat Press created a fully functional airbag heat press to print custom t-shirts. The electrical team focused on a bluetooth controlled heating pad, and the mechanical team created the heat press frame and airbag. The team had so much fun learning how to use power tools together!

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Dealer No Deal

Dealer No Deal is a BlackJack card dealing robot that makes the game a little more interesting if you know what you're looking for. By knowing the secret code of button inputs, the hidden camera in the robot looks at the next card about to be played and lets the player know whether they should Hit or Stand. The goal of this project is to help me make some money by scamming the rest of Makers :P and never lose at BlackJack. The robot is made of custom 3d printed parts and a dual-roller system to ensure that cards are accurately dealt. The software uses a python script for the BlackJack game logic as well as OpenCV on a pi camera for the card vision system.

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Project GitHub

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