At 13 years of age, Quin Etnyre is already an accomplished Maker and teacher working to change the world – one Atmel powered Arduino board at a time.
Today, Bits & Pieces had the opportunity to interview the young Maker about America’s burgeoning DIY culture on the sidelines of the very first White House Maker Faire.
Atmel: Who, or what inspired you to become a Maker?
Quin: I was inspired by LEGO. Every day I would build a kit. To be a Maker, you have to think outside of the box, and come up with new ideas on your own. Later on, I started ‘hacking’ LEGO, and making my own versions of kits that worked just as good, maybe even better. This concept led to me hacking other electronics and mechanical objects around the house, which made me a Maker.
Atmel: How do you feel about being chosen to attend the very first Maker Faire at the White House?
Quin: It is awesome!!! I can’t believe that last year I started to show my projects at Maker Faire, and just the next year I am picked to go to the White House, and show the President what I’m making! It is super fun to show people what I make, and teach them how they can learn how to make projects, too! Atmel: How do you think the Maker Movement democratizes the tools and skills necessary to design and create just about anything?
Quin: It allows more and more people the knowledge they need for free (open source), allows them to modify projects – and contribute to to the community in the end. Many people can learn, and many people can teach.
Atmel: What projects of yours are powered by Atmel-powered Arduino boards or stand-alone MCUs?
Quin: All of my projects with a microprocessor are Atmel-powered! Many of them are based on Arduino boards, like the FuzzBot, Gas Cap, and TFT LCD screen Instructables, and the Quasi-duino Arduino clone (also on Instructables!) uses the ATmega328 MCU with the bare minimum components needed to function as an extra small Arduino. [Since it] uses [a minimal number of] components on the breadboard, I even had to rewrite the Arduino core for it!
Atmel: How do you think the Maker Movement and DIY culture make the world a better place?
Quin: The average child or adult will be much smarter! They will have even more access to the digital tools and DIY machinery necessary to build complex projects with ease. Every open source product made will enable an average citizen to learn more and become ore knowledgeable, whether it is building space engines, or making light-up cupcakes.