Take the show Shark Tank, throw in 3D printing and Printbot‘s Brook Drumm, and you’ve got 3DPI’s new favorite reality TV show, “All-American Makers”. Tonight on Science Channel at 10 PM ET/PT, you’ll get to watch the first of six episodes (so far) for a show that sees four makers from across the US pitch their latest inventions to focus groups and a panel of experts, including the founder of Printrbot, Brook Drumm.
Every week, inventors present their new ideas to Drumm, alongside mechanical designer and robotics expert Brian Roe and venture capitalist Marc Portney, in an attempt to launch a new start-up devoted to their products. Products are first tested by Drumm and Roe to see how they work and whether or not they deliver what they promise. Once they’ve passed these preliminary trials, the inventions are then presented to consumer focus groups. With all of this combined information, Portney determines whether or not he’ll invest his own money to help see the product get into retail shops.
Rita Mullin, General Manager of Science Channel, says of the show, “This series is something brilliantly new for Science Channel. ALL-AMERICAN MAKERS is our twist on celebrating dreamers, doers and disrupters – those people who are innovating and pushing to make their incredible visions reality. In the way only Science Channel can, we’re focusing on the science behind the inventions using Brook’s and Brian’s expertise, but also making sure there is a tangible business opportunity for the products. The stakes are high on each decision as Marc is writing a personal check.”
Most of our readers will immediately recognize the lovable Brook Drumm as the face of Printrbot, the first manufacturer of low-cost 3D printers to blow up on Kickstarter, earning $800,000 in one month. Roe has developed advanced 3D camera systems for such movies as Avatar and animatronics for such films as A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Outside of this new show, Roe is a mechanical designer on the 10,000 Year Clock for the Jeff Bezos-funded Long Now Foundation. Portney is the president Chelsea Home Imports, as well as the director of new business development and a special advisor to the Board of directors for Red Cardinal Holding Corp. He is also the head of a venture capitalist group “who will participate in any size deal that he feels is worthy.”
You might guess that I’m already stoked! Brook is a super charismatic guy and will make a great host, but I’m even more excited by the idea that TV-watchers all over the country will be exposed to the Maker community, hopefully inspiring them to move from being consumers to prosumers, too. The six episodes prepared so far cover everything from personal robots, hybrid vehicles, and thermal radars to dog toys and stain repellent. If you plan on watching any one of the six episodes (described below), let us know how you like it by commenting on this article or, heck, even writing a review for 3DPI. Just shoot me an email at [email protected]
“Heat Is On”
Wednesday, January 21 at 10 PM
Brook, Brian, and investor Marc Portney test out motorized roller skates users can strap to their shoes, a water filter that works like a French press, a 360º infrared surveillance device, and a gun that lets people shoot flies with table salt.
Wednesday, January 28 at 10 PM
Marc, Book and Brian scrutinize four big claims: a bike that can ride on the water; robots with programmable personalities; a device claiming to improve the speed of boxers; and a product claiming to give that user a healthy amount of sun without getting burned.
“Off The Leash”
Wednesday, February 4 at 10 PM
Experts Brook and Brian help Marc decide if he should invest in a brain-controlled toy helicopter; a non-toxic, liquid stain repellant; a fetch toy that dogs can control by themselves; or an airbag vest for motorcyclists.
Wednesday, February 11 at 10 PM
Brook and Brian help Mark vet four innovative products: a remote controlled lawn mower; a revolutionary digital guitar; an indestructible flashlight that can power your electronics; and a bike helmet that records brainwaves while you ride.
“Blood, Sweat and Tears”
Wednesday, February 18 at 10 PM
Brook and Brian help Marc vet the claims of four new products: as shirt that claims to change colors as muscles heat up; a non-glue that dries at your command; a robot that clears disaster areas for first responders; and a product that hopes to revolutionize prosthetics.
“Up In Flames”
Wednesday, February 25 at 10 PM
Brook and Brian help Marc vet four new products: a vehicle that allows cyclists to reach highway speeds; a robot that automatically helps its owner; an electric fan that promises scorching charcoal in minutes; and shoe laces that might be the first-ever indestructible shoelace.