There is something liberating about being forced to shelter in place. I mean, there is a lot of stress that goes along with it too, but there’s no pressure to go out and enjoy the world or socialize when neither of which are allowed.
All of which is to say that if you’ve ever had a great idea for a business, now could be the time to start on it. And if you’ve ever had a great idea for a kitchen gadget (or any piece of hardware, really), then you should definitely check out the “Building The Future Kitchen: Rapid Prototyping Your Way to A Next-Generation Kitchen Product” virtual fireside chat we held this week with Seattle Food Geek, Scott Heimendinger and Larry Jordan Jr.
Seriously, watch the video because not only will it inspire you, but Heimendinger and Jordan also provide super practical advice, highlighting low and no-cost tools available to any budding inventor. Best of all, as the two point out, you don’t need a computer science degree to do it.
Here’s a brief checklist of the tools and materials they talk about that could help you prototype the next amazing kitchen device:
- Arduino‘s cheap micro controllers, buttons and sensors easily add functionality to your device
- Raspberry Pi‘s simple single board computers and accompanying “HATs” for computer capabilities
- TinkerCAD is a browser-based hardware design tool that lets you drag-and-drop pre-made starter circuits, design housings, and download code to run Arduinos
- EasyEDA is another browser-based design tool to help you design more complex printed circuit boards that you can even have fabricated and shipped to you
- Shapeways is an online 3D printing service because you shouldn’t buy a 3D printer right away, especially when you don’t know what materials your device will need (plastic vs. aluminum, etc.)
- The LoRa communication protocol is good for intra-device communication without the need to add WiFi components
- The Things Network provides tools to create an Internet of Things application
- Access to a CNC machine to create housing for your hardware
- If you do want to learn how to code, Jordan likes Python for his devices and there are lots of resources online to help you learn it
Again, watch the full video for more context and information, plus, you get to see the cool things Heimendinger and Jordan are working on (a texture analyzer and big-ass connected meat smoker, respectively).
And this virtual fireside chat is just the beginning for us. The Spoon is hosting three more talks over the next month:
- Hack-Proofing The Kitchen: Strategies & Tactics for Securing Connected Kitchen Appliances with Riley Eller (April 30 at 10 a.m. Pacific)
- A Conversation About Changing Food Habits in the COVID-19 Era with Susan Schwallie (May 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific)
- The Future of Kitchen Design in a Post COVID-19 World with Johnny Grey (May 14 at 10 a.m. Pacific)
All of these talks are free to watch, so register for them today and follow us on CrowdCast to catch up on all virtual events we hold in the future.