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    Restoring Showbiz Pizza's Animatronic Robots!

    Jack Turner is obsessed with Showbiz Pizza's iconic animatronic robots. He and his father have scrounged up these old characters to restore them to their music-playing glory! We chat with Jack about his project and how he learned to rebuild these robots to animate the same way they did in the 80s.

    LEGO with Friends: VW Beetle, Part 4

    We recall vintage board games and schoolyard snacks as this vintage car build comes to a finish--the stick application is nerve-wracking! Thanks to Trace and Danica for joining us this week on this fun build! Find more of Trace's work at

    Prusa i3 3D Printer Upgrade Prints 4 Colors!

    The Prusa i3 was one of the best reviewed 3D printers of the past year, and we check out their newest upgrade that allows for 4-color printing with just one hot end. Sean chats with Josef Prusa himself to talk about how multi-filament printing works and why it's no easy feat.

    Transcript: Adam Savage's 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire Talk

    So last year I got here and I was getting ready to get on another giant animal to ride over to the stage and Sherry [Huss, the creator of Maker Faire] said, "You know, everyone is eager to hear your Sunday sermon." I said, "Sunday sermon? What's that?" She said, "That's what we call your Sunday talk."

    No one had told me so I decided this year to write something more akin to a sermon, a secular one to be sure, but oh, my brothers and sisters, sisters and brothers, welcome to Maker Faire. It is lovely to see your shining and beautiful faces, to see the inspiration that is here.

    Where are we, and where are we going? Where we are is amazing. Driverless cars might mean the end of a million vehicle-related deaths per year. With technology and science we have improved the overall health and wellness of humans to the point that it is better now than it has ever been in history. We can produce calories cheaper than imaginable 50 years ago, and luxuries like washing machines, cars, and televisions are part of nearly every single household. Where the internet makes so much connectivity possible that the Barbie-collecting banker in Japan can become best friends with the larping poet in Spokane.

    Things are pretty cool.

    Seeing what other mad geniuses, makers, tinkerers, modders, plodders, planners, organizers, teachers, parents, and inventors are doing invests our work with more purpose.

    This is also a terrible time. Where our open internet is under threat. Where automation will eliminate millions of jobs in the next decade. Where the disparity between the richest and the poorest of us increases every single day. Where the color of one's skin can radically alter the outcome of trivial interactions. Things as simple and quotidian as driving down the street or flying in an airplane are fraught with uncertainty at best and lethal danger at worst. Where interconnectivity still yields cliques and exclusive groups leading teens on social media to feel more alone and more marginalized. Where science, the crucible of human progress, has become attached to partisan politics, the engine of exclusion and marginalization. Where our planet is being irrevocably changed for the worse by our bad habits. As William Gibson famously said, "The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed." Both of these things are true.

    At the same exact time, things are as they have always been. They are both great and terrible. But where are we now? Now temporally we are at the Maker Faire Mothership in San Mateo, where we are celebrating the fact that it has never been a better time to be a maker. What unbelievable tools we have at our disposal. We have 3D printers, vinyl cutters, scanners, laser engravers and every hand tool imaginable, and we are here because you mad scientists, makers, tinkerers, modders, plodders, planners, organizing teachers, parents, and inventors find that being around each other is inspiring. And seeing what other mad geniuses, makers, tinkerers, modders, plodders, planners, organizers, teachers, parents, and inventors are doing invests our work with more purpose and gives us ideas to go back home. It's invigorating and it's heart warming.

    Transcript: Adam Savage's Q&A at the 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire

    If you missed Adam's Bay Area Maker Faire talk, you can watch or read a transcript of it.

    Question 1: What's Next

    What is next in my career? Your guess is as good as mine. I am still working hard with the amazing team at to do more one day builds. We are traveling to some far away lands soon to do some amazing builds there too. So Tested is still a primary center.

    I have pitched some other television ideas and am waiting to hear if some of them will take. I'm really excited about telling stories on television again, but I also love this new format where you don't necessarily need TV. Someone recently suggested on Twitter that I should host a Saturday morning maker show. We're actually starting to dive into the possibilities of something like that.

    Ultimately I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up and that's a big part of the plan. My boys are 18 so we're in a big massive shift. Our whole world is about to change.

    Question 2: Favorite Build

    What was my favorite build? It was whatever build I had just completed. Many of you know we went to Weta Workshop last summer and Peter Lyon, the amazing sword master at Weta, taught me how to make my own strider sword, and that was an amazing day. He also taught me the right kind of aluminum to use to make a movie-type weapon and a whole bunch of techniques. And last week I used the skills that he taught me to do my favorite one day build yet.

    Obviously I build stuff for a living. I build it all day long. I show my crew what I'm working on and we talk about it, but I finished this one build the other day and I walked in and there was this absolute level of: Wow, this is really good. Not just good. It's actually really good. I'm like, "I know. I'm just as impressed as you are."

    LEGO with Friends: VW Beetle, Part 3

    From underapprecaited 80s films to cult 90s flicks, we turn our talk to movies and video games in the third day of our LEGO build! We're into bag three, and the details of the Beetle are looking good!

    Goliath is a CNC Router That Runs on a Robot

    We check out a really interesting design for a CNC machine at this year's Maker Faire. Goliath CNC puts its router on a robot, which drives on top of a plank of plywood while making its cuts. We chat with one of Goliath's creators to learn how it works and the technical challenges of putting a useful router on wheels.

    LEGO with Friends: VW Beetle, Part 2

    Summer camp and Science fiction conventions are the topics of discussion as Trace, Danica, and Norm continue putting together the LEGO VW Beetle! Plus, someone reveals an obession with the Fast and the Furious films.

    Behind the Scenes: The Sounds On Set of Alien: Covenant!

    Adam Savage steps into the Sound Recordist Ben Osmo's audio mixing truck on the set of Alien: Covenant to learn how environment and creature audio is used during filming to aid in actors' performances. Ben also shares the growls and roars of the new alien that appear in the film!

    Microsoft's New Surface Pro: What You Should Know

    The fifth generation Surface Pro is finally here. After waiting for over a year and a half Microsoft has refreshed their most popular Surface device. They've dropped the number scheme, made a few tweaks, and the new Surface Pro will go on sale worldwide on June 15th. Been waiting for this refresh? Here's what you should know about it.

    The Surface Pro 2017

    Upon first inspection the new Surface Pro is nearly identical to the Pro 4. It has a 12.3 inch screen with a resolution of 2736x1824. And for better or worse it has all of the same ports in the same spots, including a USB 3.0 A port, mini DisplayPort, a microSD card slot, and the magnetic Surface Connect port.

    Inside of course are the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors with a Core m3-7Y30, i5-7300U, and i7-7660U. Now not only is the m3 model fanless, but the i5 one is as well. The 1866Mhz LPDDR3 RAM ranges from 4GB to 16GB, and SSD options from 128GB to 512GB. It still has a front facing camera for Windows Hello facial recognition, and the speakers have been upgraded too. There will also be an LTE option available later this year.

    The new Surface Pro features a next generation kickstand, and now moves up to a 165 degree angle. The new Surface Pen has seen a huge upgrade, now sporting 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity (up from 1,024), latency has been cut in half down to 21ms thanks to a new Pen coprocessor, and it can even recognize tilting. Microsoft is claiming this is the best digital pen ever, so we'll have to see how it stacks up against Apple's Pencil. The new Surface Pro will also work with the Surface Dial on screen. Finally, the new Type Cover is made out of alcantara, just like the previous Signature Type Cover and the Surface Laptop, and comes in burgundy, cobalt blue, and platinum.

    The Surface Pro now has more hidden costs than ever before.

    Microsoft says that the new Surface Pro starts at $800, back down from the price hike that the entry level Pro 4 saw. However, the Surface Pro now has more hidden costs than ever before. It still doesn't come with a Type Cover and the new version costs $160. (You can use the slightly cheaper Pro 4 cover at $130 if you wish.) Microsoft has also made the decision to take the Pen out of the box, costing you an additional $60 if you want that. That makes the "real" cost of a Surface Pro starting at $1020. A new Pro with an i5, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD is $1300, but after tacking on a new Type Cover and Pen it really comes out to $1520. That's more than the Surface Laptop with identical specs. Sure, the Pro is more difficult to engineer, but the average person won't know that.

    Eric Harrell 3D-Prints Mechanical Engine Models

    We meet Eric Harrell, who brought his collection of functional 3d-printed car engines and transmissions to this year's Maker Faire! Eric shows us his 1/3rd scale engines, which he designs from reference schematics and measurements to highlight how real engines work. Eric has also made his files available online for anyone to make their own replicas!

    Building and Playing the "Monolith", a Teensy-Powered Synthesizer!

    We invite Paul Stroffregen and Darcy Neal to our studio to assemble the Monolith, an interactive musical sculpture they and their friends created for this year's Maker Faire. Paul is the inventor of the Teensy, the small and power microcroller that powers the Monolith, generating all of its sounds in real-time! And it sounds AWESOME.

    No More Drone Registration for Hobbyists

    Last Friday (5/19/17), a federal court ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) drone registration policy for hobbyists is illegal. The immediate effect of this decision is that hobbyists no longer need to register with the FAA or maintain a current registration. It is not, however, a blanket exemption for all hobbyists. Recreational flyers must meet a few stipulations to be relieved from registration (more on that later). Those who fly RC models for commercial purposes must still register as well.

    It is important to understand that this decision only impacts the registration aspect of RC model flying. The rules of safe and responsible flying have not changed. Nor does this case completely remove hobbyists from under the FAA's umbrella. The FAA still has teeth to go after modelers who endanger others by flying recklessly or in prohibited areas. We still have to follow the rules.

    A federal court ruled that the FAA's drone registration policy for hobbyists is illegal.

    Genesis of the Lawsuit

    When Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, it included wording that specifically addressed model aviation. Section 336 of the bill stated that the FAA could not introduce any new rules related to model aircraft. While the widespread proliferation of RC multi-rotors was causing alarm in the halls of the FAA and even among long-time hobbyists, the agency would have to work within the bounds of any existing policies to address their concerns. For this reason, many were surprised when the FAA announced in late 2015 that it was introducing a requirement for RC pilots to register in a national database.

    The FAA's stance was that the policy was not new because model aircraft are still aircraft by definition, and aircraft registration had long been a requirement. That the agency had never previously demanded modelers to register could be attributed to them simply exercising enforcement discretion. Several legal challenges were filed, but none had sufficient traction to halt the registration program before it went into effect in December of 2015.

    The challenge that eventually struck down registration was filed by John Taylor, a hobbyist and attorney in the Washington DC area. The crux of his argument was simple: the FAA had created a new rule for modelers after Section 336 forbade them from doing so. Federal judges ultimately agreed.

    While it seemed obvious to many that the FAA was blatantly ignoring the letter and the spirit of Section 336, few were confident that Taylor would prevail. There is a precedent for courts giving leeway to government agencies in interpreting grey areas of statutes (Chevron deference). Apparently, the judges in this case felt that Congress' intent in Section 336 was clear and allowed no wiggle room. In fact, the written decision states, "Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler."

    LEGO with Friends: VW Beetle, Part 1

    Our guest this week is friend of Tested Trace Dominguez, from the YouTube channel Seeker! Trace joins Norm and Danica to build the LEGO VW Beetle, a beautiful kit that sits well next to the LEGO VW Van. We talk about science communication and share our science fair experiences from our youth!

    Adam Savage's Maker Faire 2017 Speech!

    Adam gives his annual Sunday "sermon" to the attendees of Bay Area Maker Faire, and fields questions from the audience! This year, Adam rides in on a beautiful kinetic sculpture by the artists at La Machine.

    Bits to Atoms: Thermal Detonator, Part 2

    Sean and Jeremy's epic quest to fabricate a metal thermal detonator comes to a thrilling conclusion! With Frank's molds perfected, it's time to experiment with pewter casting, using Kishore's backyard forge. But all the pieces still have to come together to fit Jeremy's electronics!

    Adam Savage's Maker Tour: Stanford Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program

    At SAYAC, Adam learns about an innovative and therapeutic program that designs makerspaces in children's hospitals in order to engage young patients in making and problem-solving. Then, as part of that "maker therapy," Adam helps Aaron, Ryan and Joseph build a doorbell that will help provide some privacy for Tia from all the nurses and doctors coming and going from her hospital room! (This series and tour is made possible by The Fab Foundation and Chevron.)

    Maslow Lets You CNC in Your Garage for $350

    We welcome Bar Smith and Hannah Teagle to show us their Maslow CNC cutting machine, which comes in a $350 kit. This CNC uses an upright design to hold a 4x8 foot sheet of plywood, and is completely open source. We talk about the goals of the Maslow CNC project and what kind of big things it can make!

    Science in Progress: The Self-Driving DeLorean

    Welcome to the debut episode of Science in Progress! Tested's Kishore Hari and Indre Viskontas explore the labs where scientists invent custom tools and technologies to further their research. Their first visit takes them to a workshop where Stanford engineers study autonomous driving by turning a DeLorean into a self-drifting car!