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13 Dec 00:00

A Simple Hoverboard Everyone Can Understand

by James Hobson

To be honest, we were wondering when we would see someone try this…

[Ryan Craven] has successfully built a working hovercraft that looks like a skateboard. It floats on two pockets of air generated by four Black and Decker leaf blowers — and by golly, it certainly looks like it works!

Ever since the HUVr hoax earlier this year, [Ryan] has had the goal to make a real, working hoverboard. Hendo may have beaten him to the punch with their $10,000 eddy current inducing halbach array board, but alas, it only works on copper or aluminum floors. [Ryan’s] can be used anywhere a normal skateboard can be. It’s far from sleek, but it’s only just the prototype — though we’re curious to see how far this could actually go.

Which is precisely why he’s shared it over on and is hoping to draw some support and ideas from our wonderful community here.

What do you guys think? Is it worth continuing the pursuit of a hovercraft style hoverboard? Can we shrink the technology enough to make it feasible? It’s come a long way from the classic hover craft using a giant shop vac…

Filed under: transportation hacks
13 Oct 15:05

How-To:Quick & Easy Digitigrade Stilts For Halloweeen

by Kyle Scheele
stiltsHalloween is fast-approaching, and makers everywhere are gearing up. They’re strolling right past the aisles full of mass-produced costumes, heading instead to the hardware aisle, the fabric section, or the arts & crafts department, gathering materials for their own custom costume creations. One item that can play a starring role in a […]

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31 Jul 02:00

A Dead Simple, Well Constructed FM Transmitter

by Brian Benchoff


[Angelo] is only 15, but that doesn’t mean his fabrication skills are limited to Lego and K’Nex. He’s built himself an amazingly well constructed FM transmitter that’s powerful enough to be received a quarter mile away.

The FM transmitter circuit itself is based off one of [Art Swan]‘s builds, but instead of the solderless breadboard construction you would expect to find in a small demo circuit, [Angelo] went all the way, etching his own PCB and winding his own coil.

Using photosensitized copper clad board, [Angelo] laid out the circuit with Fritzing, etched a board, and went at it with a drill. The components found in the transmitter are pretty standard and with the exception of the trimmer cap and electret mic, can be picked up in the parts drawers of any Radio Shack. He gets bonus points for using a 1/4 – 20 bolt for winding the coil, too.

The power supply for the transmitter is a single 9V battery, the battery connector being salvaged from a dead 9V. Awesome work, and for someone so young, [Angelo] already seems to have a grasp of all the random, seemingly useless information that makes prototyping so much easier. Video below.

Filed under: radio hacks
16 May 09:45

A Process for Lost PLA Aluminium Casting from 3D Prints

by Staff
Very detailed procedure to cast aluminium! This page describes my first successful attempt casting aluminum parts directly from 3D printed PLA parts. The process is practically identical to lost wax, but instead of burning out the wax, I burned out the PLA plastic (which is a bio-plastic). I needed some aluminum parts to mount my […]

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06 Jun 09:29

Single and Double Channel Automatic and Open Receivers

by Boris Landoni
  Single and double channel 433.92 MHz Receivers able to be matched to a maximum of 10 transmitter each. Monostable or bistable. Specifications - Number of outputs: 1-2 - Output Mode: Monostable, Bistable - Power supply: 12 V DC - Power consumption: 40 mA max. - Memory: 10 codes per channel - Encryption: MM53200/HT-12   […]

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25 Apr 19:51

Piggy Coffee Table - CNC Router

by alepalan
As a furniture designer + maker I like to be surrounded by beautiful furniture. When I joined Instructables as an Artist in Residence at Pier 9 we had recently moved to a new office space that had no “lounging” space except for a sofa. We really needed a coffee table to go in front so I decided to...
By: alepalan

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26 Apr 11:00

The Arduino Operating System

by Brian Benchoff

WGPIOhile Arduino and its libraries are the quickest way to interface with a sensor and blink an LED, sometimes you shouldn’t have to write and compile code to do something exceptionally simple. [Oliver] realized most of the overly simple functions of a microcontroller could be done from a command line running on that microcontroller and came up with the MiniPirate, the Arduino command line tool.

The MiniPirate is just a sketch compiled on the Arduino that allows pins to be set high or low, set a PWM value, or reading and writing I2C bytes. It’s basically an extremely slimmed down version of the Bus Pirate meant for extremely simple modifications of circuits and peripherals.

[Oliver] demos his MiniPirate by taking a DS1307 real-time clock, wiring up the I2C bus, and writing values to set the time. It’s a very simple implementation meaning he needs to write everything in hex, but it’s still easy enough to find a use in many other projects.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks
25 Apr 03:17

New Ultrasound Device Will Detect Risk For Heart Attack And Stroke

by T Goodman
Ultrasound devicePlaque is not a good thing, especially when it develops in our arteries. When ultrasound procedures reveal that we have atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, or peripheral artery disease, what our doctors don't know is how likely we are to suffer a stroke or heart attack from that condition, because current ultrasound technology cannot make that assessment. 
11 Apr 17:00

Reach Out and Touch Your Next Project with Long Range RC Controller

by Will Sweatman


Long range wireless control of a project is always a challenge. [Mike] and his team were looking to extend the range of their current RC setup for a UAV project, and decided on a pair of Arduino mini’s and somewhat expensive Digi Xtend 900Mhz modems to do the trick. With a range of 40 miles, the 1 watt transceivers provide fantastic range. And paired with the all too familiar Arduino, you’ve got yourself an easy long range link.

[Mike] set the transmitter up so it can plug directly into any RC controller training port, decoding the incoming signal and converting it into a serial data package for transmitting. While they don’t provide the range of other RF transmitters we’ve seen, the 40 mile range of the modem’s are more than enough for most projects, including High Altitude Balloon missions.

The code for the Arduino transmitter and receiver sides is available at their github. Though there is no built-in error correction in the code, they have not had any issues.  Unfortunately, a schematic was not provided, but you should be able to get enough information from the images and datasheets to construct a working link.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, drone hacks
31 Mar 11:59

CarLock – protect your car from theft in seconds

by Nigel


Here’s another of those ‘why did it take so long’ products, that make total sense. What could be easier than to hook your car alarm system up to the vehicle’s standard OBD connector (typically a socket under the steering wheel in the foot well area), to make it instantly trackable?

The idea behind CarLock is simple. Immediately the car is moved, the system will alert you on your smartphone via a standard GSM SIM card inside [...]

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26 Feb 21:02

Resistor Color Wheel

by robives
This project was originally released on my website www.robives.comResistors use coloured bands to show their value. There are usually four bands, the first two code for the first two digits of the resistors value, the third is the multiplier, basically the number of zeroes on the end of the number. ...
By: robives

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21 Mar 22:23

How to fix a bent pneumatic screen door closer

by trev25
During one of the last storms, the wind caught my screen door as I was stepping outside. It immediately flung it all the way open and bent the automatic door closer in the process. Now, it refuses to close by itself. But with just a little bit of work, I was able to repair it and get it back to work...
By: trev25

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19 Feb 21:30

GBA4iOS Emulates Gameboy Advance Games on iOS, No Jailbreak Required

by Thorin Klosowski

GBA4iOS Emulates Gameboy Advance Games on iOS, No Jailbreak Required

iOS: The popular Game Boy Advance emulator, GBA4iOS has been updated to version 2.0 and now works without requiring a jailbreak or any crazy workarounds. On top of GBA emulation, you'll also get support for Game Boy and Game Boy Color.



18 Feb 15:00

Low Budget Omnidirectional Treadmill

by Adam Fabio


Moving around in space is one of the major hurdles in virtual reality. A holodeck wouldn’t be much fun if you kept walking into walls.  [Gamnaught] is working on a simple solution to this complex problem with his budget omnidirectional treadmill. Omnidirectional treadmills have been around in various forms for a number of years. The idea behind them simple: allow a person walk in any direction without actually changing their position. This is a bit different from the unidirectional treadmill models found at the local gym. Some very complex solutions have been used to create omnidirectional treadmills, including multiple motors and computer control systems as can be found in the US Army omnidirectional treadmill.  [Gamnaught] kept it simple. He built a circular 2×4 platform 13-15 degree bowl. The bowl is covered with carpet, and the user wears furniture sliders on their shoes. The low friction of the sliders allows the user to walk, run, and even walk backwards on the platform. Bungie cords provide resistance so the user doesn’t walk off the platform.

The early results look promising. [Gamnaught] says the balance felt a bit weird at times and took some getting used to. Anyone who has spent time with the Oculus Rift or other VR systems will tell you – many aspects of virtual reality take some getting used to. The treadmill is still open loop, however [Gamnaught] hopes to add motion tracking with a Sixense STEM system. We think a OpenCV based system would work as well. We’ve also seen carpet sliders sold as a children’s toy to be strapped over regular sneakers. Going the toy route would avoid needing a dedicated pair of footwear for the treadmill. More build information can be found on [Gamnaught's] Reddit thread on the topic.

Filed under: Virtual Reality
11 Feb 19:30

New live-cell printing technology improves on inkjet printing


Cells printed in a grid pattern by block cell printing technology (left) and woodblocks used in ancient Chinese printing (right) (credit: Lidong Qin lab and Digital Museum of Science and Art, Beijing, China)

A new way to print living cells onto any surface and in almost any shape has been developed by researchers led by Houston Methodist Research Institute nanomedicine faculty member Lidong Qin.

Unlike a similar inkjet printing process, almost all cells survive.

The new process, called Block-Cell-Printing (BloC-Printing), produces 2-D cell arrays in half an hour, prints the cells as close together as 5 microns (most animal cells are 10 to 30 microns wide), and allows the use of many different cell types.

“Cell printing is used in so many different ways now — for drug development and in studies of tissue regeneration, cell function, and cell-cell communication,” Qin said. “Such things can only be done when cells are alive and active. A survival rate of 50 to 80 percent is typical as cells exit the inkjet nozzles.

“By comparison, we are seeing close to 100 percent of cells in BloC-Printing survive the printing process.”

BloC-Printing manipulates microfluidic physics to guide living cells into hook-like traps in the silicone mold. Cells flow down a column in the mold, past trapped cells to the next available slot, eventually creating a line of cells in a grid.

The position and spacing of the traps and the shape of the channel navigated by the cells is fully configurable during the mold’s creation. When the mold is lifted away, the living cells remain behind, adhering to the growth medium or other substrate, in prescribed formation.

Design and operation of BloC-Printing technique. (A) The device is displayed on a ruler to show scale, and red dye has been injected to aid visualization of the three distinct channel networks with trap spacings of 30, 50, and 90 microns, from left to right. (B) The BloC-Mold features symmetrical microfluidic channel networks and microarrays of traps. The black dashed line represents a large extended region between the input and output sides of the chip. (C) Scanning electron micrograph of the trap micro-array, taken at a 20° tilt-angle. A magnified, single trap is shown (Inset). (D) Schematic diagram of cell flow paths. Cross-sectional schematics (E) and corresponding bright-field micrographs (F) showing the entire BloC-Printing process: (i) single-cell trapping by the traps, (ii) in situ cell adhesion, and (iii) removal of the BloC-Mold. The numbers in E and F rep¬resent time in minutes. (Scale bars: 50 μm.) (Credit: Kai Zhanga et al./PNAS)

Qin’s group tested BloC-Printing for its utility in studying cancerous cells and primary neurons. By arranging metastatic cancer cells in a grid and examining their growth in comparison with a non-metastatic control, the researchers found they could easily characterize the metastatic potential of cancer cells.

“We looked at cancer cells for their protrusion generation capability, which correlates to their malignancy level,” Qin said. “Longer protrusion means more aggressive cancer cells. The measurement may help to diagnose a cancer’s stage.”

Printing neurons

BloC-Printing of a primary cortical neuron (scale bars: 25 μm) (credit: Kai Zhanga et al./PNAS)

The researchers also printed a grid of brain cells and gave the cells time to form synaptic and autaptic junctions.

“The cell junctions we created may be useful for future neuron signal transduction and axon regeneration studies,” Qin said. “Such work could be helpful in understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

While it is too early to predict the market cost of BloC-Printing, Qin said the materials of a single BloC mold cost about $1 (US). After the mold has been fabricated and delivered, a researcher only needs a syringe, a carefully prepared suspension of living cells, a Petri dish, and a steady hand, Qin said. Inkjet cell printers can cost between $10,000 and $200,000.

“BloC-Printing can be combined with molecular printing for many types of drug screening, RNA interference, and molecule-cell interaction studies,” he said. “We believe the technology has big potential.”

While the fidelity of BloC-Printing is high, Qin said inkjet printing remains faster, and BloC-Printing cannot yet print multi-layer structures as inkjetting can.

Qin and postdoctoral fellow Kai Zhang, Ph.D., are BloC-Printing’s co-inventors.

Support was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the U.S. Dept. of Defense, the Emily Hermann Research Fund, the Golfers Against Cancer, and the Alliance for Nanohealth.

In addition to his position in the Houston Methodist Research Institute’s Department of Nanomedicine, Qin is also a Weill Cornell Medical College assistant professor of cell and developmental biology.

Abstract of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper

A unique live-cell printing technique, termed “Block-Cell-Printing” (BloC-Printing), allows for convenient, precise, multiplexed, and high-throughput printing of functional single-cell arrays. Adapted from woodblock printing techniques, the approach employs microfluidic arrays of hook-shaped traps to hold cells at designated positions and directly transfer the anchored cells onto various substrates. BloC-Printing has a minimum turnaround time of 0.5 h, a maximum resolution of 5 µm, close to 100% cell viability, the ability to handle multiple cell types, and efficiently construct protrusion-connected single-cell arrays. The approach enables the large-scale formation of heterotypic cell pairs with controlled morphology and allows for material transport through gap junction intercellular communication. When six types of breast cancer cells are allowed to extend membrane protrusions in the BloC-Printing device for 3 h, multiple biophysical characteristics of cells—including the protrusion percentage, extension rate, and cell length—are easily quantified and found to correlate well with their migration levels. In light of this discovery, BloC-Printing may serve as a rapid and high-throughput cell protrusion characterization tool to measure the invasion and migration capability of cancer cells. Furthermore, primary neurons are also compatible with BloC-Printing.

09 Feb 09:00

Upgrading Home Automation to Home Anticipation

by Josh Marsh


[Bithead's] already built some home automation to control the lighting and temperature in his house while he’s away, but he wanted to take things a step further and have the house automatically anticipate his arrival and adjust the environment accordingly. The project takes advantage of geofencing to create a perimeter around the home that listens for a transceiver in [Bithead's] car. We featured a similar project with a Raspi a few months ago, which locked the doors upon driving away.

[Bithead's] implementation uses a pair of Digi Xbee Pro XSC radios with U.FL antennas to provide an impressive 2+ mile range of communication. The home-based Xbee hooks up to a Parallax Xbee USB adapter and subsequently into his computer—its antenna sits in a nearby window on the top floor of his house to maximize range. For his car, [Bithead] originally opted for an Xbee shield and an Arduino Uno, but he’s recently overhauled the build in favor of an Arduino Fio, which reduced the footprint and increased the range. Check out his page for the build log specifics and more pictures.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home hacks
22 Jan 20:29

Upgrading Smart RGB LEDs: WS2812B vs. WS2812

by acrobotic
The sheer number of projects we've seen making use of Smart RGB LEDs—whether it be strips, modules, or custom PCBs—over the past 3 years is quite astonishing.  This outbreak of RGB LED usage has gone hand-in-hand with a significant drop in pricing and an increased ease of use of these electronic d...
By: acrobotic

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01 Feb 16:34

Club Jameco 8x8x8 LED Cube Kit

by KDLaun
There's a plethora of 8x8x8 LED cube builds on the web, so I'll just share a few photos without going into great detail on my build and pass on a few tips that I learned along the way.   I found that "kit" in this case meant a box full of stock parts and some general, poorly-illustrated instruction...
By: KDLaun

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23 Jan 00:05

Thermoelectric generator (Heat to Electrical power)

by u971
Thermal Power Generator. A medium Size Improvised Heat to Energy be used in camping,survival,or general use charging of electronic devices,via the charging of rechargeable battery/s,and any source of fire..combined with a rocket stove or camping stove,along with maybe bio gas fuel (op...
By: u971

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10 Jan 13:52

Raspberry Pi Torrent, Samba and DLNA with 3+ hard drives

by rampadc
There are many Raspberry Pi guides out there that helps you to transform your Pi into a server supporting downloading torrents and sharing files via Samba and DLNA. However, they all have a major flaw: supporting only ONE hard drive. In this instructables, I will help you to setup Transmission, Samb...
By: rampadc

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05 Jan 18:07

Simple Hydroponic System

by akcarl
Grow your own fresh food in less than a month and for under $10 with this system. It is quiet and takes little maintenance. Much cheaper than store bought alternatives too. This system works well for plants that are fast to germinate such as leafy greens and herbs. Parts Storage Bin - about $10 ...
By: akcarl

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31 Dec 19:00

Build a Motorized Convertible Standing Desk from IKEA Storage Cabinets

by Adam Dachis

Build a Motorized Convertible Standing Desk from IKEA Storage Cabinets

We've seen a lot of standing desks, including those made from IKEA parts, but artist/designer Kelli Anderson managed to make one of the nicest convertible options yet. With IKEA storage furniture, Google Sketchup, and help from some friends, she was able to make this simple and stunning workspace with plenty of room for everything—regardless of how she wanted to work.



01 Jan 00:00

An Arduino With Better Speech Recognition Than Siri

by Brian Benchoff


The lowly Arduino, an 8-bit AVR microcontroller with a pitiful amount of RAM, terribly small Flash storage space, and effectively no peripherals to speak of, has better speech recognition capabilities than your Android or iDevice.  Eighty percent accuracy, compared to Siri’s sixty.Here’s the video to prove it.

This uSpeech library created by [Arjo Chakravarty] uses a Goertzel algorithm to turn input from a microphone connected to one of the Arduino’s analog pins into phonemes. From there, it’s relatively easy to turn these captured phonemes into function calls for lighting a LED, turning a servo, or even replicating the Siri, the modern-day version of the Microsoft paperclip.

There is one caveat for the uSpeech library: it will only respond to predefined phrases and not normal speech. Still, that’s an extremely impressive accomplishment for a simple microcontroller.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Arjo]‘s uSpeech library, but it is the first time we’ve seen it in action. When this was posted months and months ago, [Arjo] was behind the Great Firewall of China and couldn’t post a proper demo. Since this the uSpeech library is a spectacular achievement we asked for a few videos showing off a few applications. No one made the effort, so [Arjo] decided to make use of his new VPN and show off his work to the world.

Video below.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Software Development
01 Jan 04:21

Candle Powered Fan!

by Dylan Hart

Did you know you can generate electricity with a candle? We are using this method to power a fan. It works great and the energy is FREE! Get a free Hulu Plus trial at:

You can get a Peltier cooler here for pretty cheap:

What kinds of devices would you power with this? Let us know in the comments!

30 Sep 23:32

DIY Hacks & How To’s: Pepper’s Ghost Illusion

by Jason Poel Smith
peppers ghostPepper's Ghost is a special effects technique for creating transparent ghostly images. This technique has been a staple of theaters and haunted houses since John Pepper popularized it in the 1800's. It works by reflecting an image of the ghost off of a sheet of plexiglass. The plexiglass is set at a 45 degree angle in front of the audience. At this angle the background remains clearly visible, but it also reflects a partial image of the ghost that is located off to one side.

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09 Jul 18:14


by mark

How much extra vacuuming though ?

I ordered and received my Bug-a-salt gun late last fall, pretty late in the fly season to really get to put it to serious use. Well, early spring in Western Washington and they are coming back. Over the years I became very proficient with rubber bands, hunting flies and yellow jackets – this takes it to a whole new level.

The Bug-a-salt doesn’t “cream” the flies, leaves them pretty well intact, but it is quite effective. Non-toxic, environmentally friendly, it is spring powered and doesn’t eat batteries. Just table salt.

The gun has sights, but due to the shot pattern and the height of the sights above the bore for me it is a “point and shoot” proposition. A sheet of aluminum foil taped to the wall works well to pattern the shot, like a patterning board for a shotgun. It lets you see the spread of the salt, and calculate your effective range. I am definitely getting better. It is possible to shoot flies out of the air. There is nothing else like it.

The invention and marketing of this product are a story unto itself. I ordered mine early, when they were setting up for manufacture and was able to follow the trials and tribulations of getting this to market. The exportation to some of the countries they had orders from were amazingly complicated.

This year I switched to Morton Kosher salt and find it works better on flies than the table salt. Last year’s tests on yellow jackets were exciting, but not effective. Maybe with the kosher salt…

-- Norm Bolser


Available from Amazon

20 Jun 20:16

by triumphman
27 Apr 03:41

LED Piano Learning Strip

by tcone
Introduction How many times have you heard a song - on the radio, during a movie, or at a concert - and thought "Man I wish I could play that"?  Now you can! This project allows you to learn a song note by note on the piano by lighting up appropriate LED lights that correspond to each individual ke...
By: tcone

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23 Apr 09:00

Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips

by mark

This is the best introduction to ultralight backpacking there is. Ultralight means you carry less than 25 pounds of gear, food and water for a 10 day trip, and maybe less than 5 pounds for a weekend trip! That’s liberating. If you obsessively reduce the mass of things (or leave them behind) by onefold then you can raise your enjoyment of hiking tenfold.

But most of the stuff in a backpack is carried to overcome a lack of knowledge. So whenever you take away weight you have to replace it with knowledge — knowledge that this book supplies.

This book assumes you are persuaded of this zen-like way. If you need to be persuaded that carry-weight is worth obsessing over, or you want the full course of every option available, and the evidence and reasons for each method, and how to make all the stuff yourself, then you’ll need Ray Jardines’ bible on the subject, the previously reviewed and now updated Beyond Backpacking/Trail Life.

But instead of a bible, this fantastic book by Mike Clelland will give you cartoons. Lot’s of them.

It’s jammed packed with dense, informative, easy to digest, and remarkably helpful advice, hints and instructions on how to accomplish and enjoy walking with very little stuff — and this knowledge is mostly compressed into witty cartoons. I am a big fan of Clelland’s other previously reviewed cartoon guides to snow travel and ordinary backpacking and I really like how amazingly effective his drawings are. Each one is worth thousands of words. It’s fun but not silly. Clelland grapples with the real-world details of, say, not taking a water filter or toilet paper (!!!) and his solutions are born of many seasons of experience. The whole book is authentic and reliable. It will very quickly have you out on the trail carrying a lot less than you once did. Even if you don’t get as extreme as he does, you can move in the right direction by substituting knowledge for stuff. I’ve been going super light for a long time and I learned tons of new tricks on almost every page.

-- KK

Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips
Mike Clelland
2011, 144 pages

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:

image (1) image (2) image (3) image (4) image (5) image (6) image

21 Apr 02:12

New Bitcoin Mining Device Ships

by dendory
BFL ASICAs Bitcoin becomes hugely popular this month, new ASIC mining devices are being introduced to take advantage of the highly valued digital currency. The latest such model is now shipping to customers.