- Class A / Full Membership, available on an annual basis
- Class B/ Associate Membership, available on a 3-month basis
- A University/College Associate Membership, available on 4-month school term basis
Membership has its privileges… and problems.Pre-announcing membership fees and models is just not smart until we have all the details in place. We’re making progress, with mandatory things like codes of conduct and liability waivers – you know, those things to prevent us from getting sued. We’re fortunate to have other maker spaces leading the way and providing us great examples. Stay tuned. We want to have everything in place by Jan 1 (yes, 2016) – with a deal for people participating during December.
Jay’s Markham Makers group on meetup.com has been a big part of ylab from the start. The group was the initial core, providing a great mailing list for our successful kick-off event. We’re moving from subtle usurping to all-out takeover. It’s now a formal part of ylab. Some of the recent changes include:
- Our Robotycs discussion forum
- It’s where we store our design and tutorial documents
- Accepting payment for our events, without the service charge you get on Eventbrite.
- Rebranding to be less Markham-specific. After all, our space at the DDO is in Richmond Hill!
And we all know how that turned out!Because it’s all about community, we reached out to others to join in and help out – or, as often as not, they reached out to help us. It might be as simple as spreading the word, giving some advice, loaning a piece of equipment, or as time consuming as rearranging an office or a schedule to host a ylab event. We’ve mentioned them before – companies like Canada Robotix, Logics Academy, Proto3000, Keating… organisations like Markham Public Library, Startup York, David Dunlap Observatory, York Region Amateur Radio Club… Toronto maker spaces Site3 and Hacklab.to… meetup groups Markham Makers and Coffee and Code York Region… the list goes on and we apologise in advance for any we missed. But most of all, it’s the people. Every time we run an event, we ask ourselves “will this be the one where we fall on our faces?”. It hasn’t happened yet. You’ve shown up as attendees. You’ve shown up as volunteers. We’ve had people jump in to build the web site. To build the social media presence. To volunteer as board members. To do the legal work. To do the accounting. To join in and teach others. To start an amazing robotics group. As we announced here a couple of weeks ago, the community is giving back to us in a most incredible way.We have a maker space.We have it in one of most spectacular and historic sites in all of York Region – the David Dunlap Observatory. This is a big transition. We have a lot of organisational things to take care of. We’ve already covered some big hurdles – incorporation as a non-profit; creation of a board; liability insurance. We’re working fast (not fast enough!) on the rest of it. Membership types and pricing. Formal agreements. Codes of conduct. Crowdfunding campaign. We’ve come a long way in – wait a minute – is it really just 4 months since July 25???So stay tuned for more announcements. We’re reaching out to more groups. We have more plans for more events. But we’re going to be really focused for a few weeks on crossing all those Ts and dotting all those Is to get the maker space going. In the meantime, your feedback would be appreciated by all the volunteers who’ve worked so hard. Be sure to let us know what you think on those twitter (@ylab_maker) and facebook links on the right side of the page. Or send us a non-public comment on our About Us page.The ylab team.“Be careful what you wish for”, they say. ylab is making the transition to become a maker space. ylab started with the goal of building a real tech community up here in southern York Region – Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill and Vaughan. There are scores of technology companies in the area, but outside work, everything seemed to be happening in downtown Toronto. While we thought a maker space would be a great way to do it, we needed to first build up the community. We decided to do it by running a bunch of one-off events. So we started reaching out to people, and with hardly any notice, we announced our kick-off event on July 25, 2015.
York Region Amateur Radio Club came out to the David Dunlap Observatory to give us a presentation on how they’ve moved on from vacuum tubes to the Internet age. The presentation was a real eye-opener. Amateur radio has dropped in cost, and they use Arduiono, Raspberry Pi and all the other things we’re used to in robotics other maker stuff. Computer technology is now central to it. Even the full radio sets have serial and USB interfaces to provide PC interfaces, as there are only so many buttons you can cram on to the front of the set. Software defined radio has revolutionised the technology, with a full receiver now down to a USB stick. Their members have created GPS transmitters, hooked them up to small helium balloons, and tracked the signal all the way across the Atlantic! Big thanks to YRARC members Chris, John and Geoff for the excellent presentation and for all the demo gear they brought out. We wrapped up the evening with tours of the DDO telescope, and visits to our maker space in the DDO basement. Ylab volunteers brought out a great assortment of demo equipment, and Nathan from Vanguard showed of a VR headset that uses an Android phone as the screens. Final thanks to the DDO volunteers for hosting the event and the telescope tours, and to Albert from Keating Technologies for the loan of the MakerBot Replicator to print an improved model of the telescope dome. We’ll be back to the regular Robotycs toy hacking next week – and you can register here.Volunteers from the