03 Feb 2017

Makey Makey Makes a Controller Out of Anything.

We’ve already mentioned this product in one of our Christmas Gift Lists, but personally I love the concept of the Makey Makey’s simplicity as a tool for learning.

Take a banana, or a key, or your grandma, or anything vaguely electrically conductive and then hook it up to a circuit to use it as a joystick controller or a keyboard input. It succeeds in such a way that it allows people just go through the process of being creative through making and playing with it without being dragged down by the technicalities.

As such it is pretty much perfect for school age kids, or their maker parents, to learn about electricity, making circuits or even programming games. That level of accessibility has ensured that the Makey Makey is pretty commonplace in schools and science museums, even featuring on TV shows such as Go 8 Bit.

We used an orange to start a youtube video running in the space of five minutes, but even from that base, it’s pretty easy to imagine how you could develop games for this system.

Makey Makey Orange

Whilst Ben Gray and I were discussing this post, we were talking about potentially making it so we would be able to control a Mearm with a makey makey type system. So watch this space!

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17 Nov 2016

Raspberry Pi Robot Arm Scoops 1st Prize!

The latest prototype for the MeArm Raspberry Pi addition has won 1st Prize on the Hackaday Enlightened Pi contest. We started documenting our latest creation with the lovely people over at Hackaday.io as was a form of open development for our first big project at Mime Industries - making the MeArm Robot arm and Raspberry Pi perfect parners.

Enlightend Pi at Hackaday.io

The New Design during the creative process

Judges said that “This robot arm project is very polished, consisting of both the mechanical design and software. The step-by-step construction instructions are clear and easy to follow. The mechanical design is well though out, with pieces that snap together nicely.”

Here’s some of the detail of the new arm and Raspberry Pi hat.

New Head and Gripper Raspberry Pi Hat Base Board PCB

It’s great to have this sort of recognition so early in our process, the next couple of months will consist of more finessing of the design and the sending out of some samples for feedback from a select few Raspberry Pi and technology enthusiasts.

We’re hoping to launch a Kickstarter for the new Raspberry Pi MeArm in late January. If you have any feedback on the project please let us know!

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22 Sep 2016

Introducing Mime Industries

Those paying attention to the activities at MeArm Towers and the Mirobot Volcano Lair will have noticed that they’ve been working together a whole lot lately. This process ultimately started when Ben Gray wrote this blog post back in 2014 praising the design and openness of the Mirobot design. The two founders met at Maker Faire 2014 and found a lot of common ground and mutual respect.

Mirobot from Alasdair Allan on Vimeo.

Since then they’ve met at various events and realised that they’d been running the same business, with the same ethics and similar products for the last two years. The logical conclusion was to fight a battle to the death for the title of UK Laser Cut Robot Maker Champion, or simply to combine forces and battle for the international title.

So after some back and forth and two months of harmonious co-working they’ve come up with a new parent company for both MeArm and Mirobot. Mime Industries. From Mirobot and MeArm, with Industries thrown in to make both founders feel a little bit more like Tony Stark.

Tony Stark, Iron Man

Frankly they need the help, as this is what they looked like on the day they founded the company in a pub, located just off the M1 Motorway half way between Nottingham and Hertford.

Tony Stark, Iron Man

(Benjamin Gray on the left, Ben Pirt on the right).

So on that day Mime Industries was born. Production has mostly been moved to Nottingham and work on some new projects is well on the way. A fantastic designer (the ever-awesome Tom Williams has put together a new identity that will be rolled out over the next few days.

Mime Industries Logo

Stay tuned for new product announcements in the coming weeks!

For anyone wanting to cover this news, here’s a handy press release.

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21 Sep 2016

Press Release - The Launch of Mime Industries

Mime Industries enables people to learn through play and exploration of technology. Their groundbreaking build-it-yourself kits have inspired children and adults to break through their own barriers and learn to build and code whilst having fun. Their products are simple to build and can be easily understood. Meaning you can use them to learn and play, adding your own imagination to make something great.

All Mime Industries products are fully Open Source. This means that as well as providing the physical and computational parts you need to build them we provide all of the design and production files you need to reproduce them. It also means that people all over the world can build them from just the plans! They believe by sharing their ideas freely you can learn more from the products, and they can learn more from you!

Kids building Mirobot


Mime Industries was formed from two independent companies. Mirobot and MeArm Robotics. Both had great success with their own laser cut, open source robot kits, but their founders Ben Pirt and Benjamin Gray thought that together they’d have a better chance of taking over the world!

Ben Pirt

Ben Pirt has been working as a CTO in startups since 2002 when he founded the energy monitoring hardware company Onzo. Since then he’s worked on platforms for the Internet of Things (Pachube / Xively) and on renewable technologies for the developing world. After creating Mirobot in his spare time for his two kids he decided to shift it up a gear and make it a product others could use. Two successful Kickstarters later and Mirobot is being used in over 50 countries around the world to help kids learn about technology, coding and engineering.

Ben Gray

Benjamin Gray has been around the Maker scene since 2003 when he founded Phenoptix, an online purveyor of fine electronic goods. Since then he’s completed a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry, attended Oktoberfest five times, run a couple of marathons and fathered three wonderful children. Also over a few days in 2014, with the help of a friend, he stumbled on the viral success of the MeArm which went on to raise nearly £25k on Kickstarter.

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