News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
March 7, 2021
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Hobby Night for Mechanists

By Alexandra Glorioso
Robotics engineer Dustyn Roberts teaches the process of designing gears for a specific application, using Inkscape and While there is a plugin for Inkscape that allows you to basically drag and drop gears, this writeup will take you through the math to get exactly what you need.

Thurs., Jan. 13, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Author and engineer Dustyn Roberts will run a hobby night, help with your project and donate a copy of her new book, Making Things Move: DIY Mechanics for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists. Bring all your mechanical questions.

In Making Things Move, hobbyists will learn how to build moving mechanisms through non-technical explanations, examples, and do-it-yourself projects – from art installations to toys to labor-saving devices.  The projects include a drawing machine, a mini wind turbine, a mousetrap-powered car, and more, with the applications of the examples limited only by the imagination. A breadth of topics is covered ranging from how to attach couplers and shafts to a motor, to converting between rotary and linear motion. The book assumes no prerequisite knowledge of electronics or robotics.

Each chapter features photographs, drawings, cross sections, and 3D models of the components and systems involved.  Emphasis is placed on using off-the-shelf components whenever possible, and most projects use readily available metals, plastics, wood, and cardboard, as well as accessible fabrication techniques such as laser cutting.  Simple projects are designed to engage the reader in applying the material in the chapter at hand.  Later in the book, more complex projects incorporate material from multiple chapters.

is a mechanical engineer, teacher, author, and perpetual student.  She founded a consultancy, Dustyn Robots (, and developed a course for NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) called Mechanisms and Things That Move. Dustyn started her career at Honeybee Robotics as an engineer on a project for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission.  She holds a BS in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS in Biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at NYU-Poly.

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