The Tech Bandits

Here be robots! 

This is the official site for The Tech Bandits…a makerspace/breakerspace, drone building, assistive tech teaching, 3d printing, robot ruling, YouTubing chaotic adventure in Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics, STEAM inspiration.

Now… the first thing you should do to really get in on all the fun, is to sign up for my Tech Bandit’s ‘Techletts’ mailing list!

A Treasure Trove of Tech Banditry

Check out our past TECHLETTs here!

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
― Socrates

David Hewlett and his EZ Robotlett, Marvin…fuelling up for another Tech Bandits club meeting!

Going Hollywood with Unreal and making Roblox Money in Lego thanks to Unity!

We’re Back! Prepare to drink your fill GameBandit Know-how…and maybe even play a little Among Us too!

It’s possible that this first piece of news may make you want to dive right in and keep us busy the entire session today… it was that exciting to me!

It seems crazy to me that it’s taken Lego this long to get into the…well, the Roblox game!?

The Many Faces of Roblox

Roblox has been providing the same kind of game design tools for a while now… and when these Roblox developers create something that people like playing they’re making millions… actually, according to Roblox, it’s over 250 million dollars!

If this is something you’re interested in… the game design or the money… you should definitely check out this guy,:

The Great AlvinBlox!

Roblox also got a great getting started in Roblox programming centre should you want to get in on this developer gold rush!

And they’re really pushing to get into education. How could you see using Roblox in school? Why do so many of these “learning” games fail to get your interest…or do they?

I imagine that Roblox’s education initiatives are taking a lead from Microsoft’s

Minecraft Education

But back to Lego…this new Unity game development partnership feels like an amazing opportunity for us game bandits to get in on the ground floor of a new DIY Lego gaming trend! Could we become the first wave of Lego Unity Game designers?

What kind of a game would you want to create? Do you think we could pull it off with these new Unity tools? Which could you see using to make the latest Mark the soviet sicklefin lemon shark gaming epic!?

Fall Guys written in Unity

Unity has been around for a while now and is the game engine behind a ton of serious triple A game titles! Including Among Us, Fall Guys, Genshin Impact, Phantasmophobia and Kerbal Space Program 2

Of course if Unity isn’t your cup of tea, or you’re too young to drink tea, there’s always Unreal Engine… used in just about every other game you’ve ever heard of and even some TV shows and films (The Mandalorian)

But don’t count Unity out of the film business… though they seem to be more focussed on animation:

Here’s a Canadian Batman fan turned filmmaker using Unity to make Batman movies on a fan’s budget!

So? Filmmaking, Gaming…what do you think you’d enjoy most about animation or game development?

CNC and you looking at me!?

Get ready to be creative Bandits!

High-Five Bandits

We’ve got a new addition to our arsenal heading our way thanks to TechBandits supporter UK Jonathan with his very kind donation of a stonkingly great, full sized, CNC machine! Check this mega-beast out!

So what the heck is a CNC router? Well, let’s let YouTube tell us! Ours is a 3 axis machine… so the cutting bit can move left and right, forward and back and up and down…

3d Hubs has a description of a few different types of CNC machines:

Allowing us to build all sorts of wonderful things… first on the list? Something like this…

Which I’ve been dreaming about making for the students over at McCordich School for kids with developmental and physical disabilities… They’re using eyegaze technology instead of a mouse, as these students are unable to move it themselves. But the laptops sit on desks and are difficult to adjust to the correct eye-level… this could fix that!

What kind of things do you think we could be making with this amazing new tool?

Here’s a bit about the eyegaze technology company Tobii whose eye tracking software and hardware I’ve been lucky enough to play with and get to the kids at Mccordich!

Now I’d only thought of this as assistive tech for people with disabilities… but the problem with assistive tech is that it’s expensive…which is certainly the case with the Dynavox software that connects the eye tracking with the computer. So what else could it be used for to help drive the usage up and the cost down…how about one of the biggest industries on the planet…gaming!?

This is definately something we should talk about on GameBandits. It also makes complete sense that they are now putting this technology into glasses…How do you see Eye Tracking being used in the future? Perhaps with some of the new Augmented Reality Glasses that are beginning to reappear after Google’s failed Google Glass?

Early sighting of GlassHole Hewlett

Votes, Witchers, Hacks and Haunted Game lobbies!

Trash Panda of Terror

Gaming Goes for Votes as US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a dynamic, new addition to American politics, joined twitter and immediately started looking for people to play Among Us with…

Ms Ocasio-Cortez quickly teamed up with twitch royalty Pokimane and HasanAbi …but then needed to get her hands on a gaming and streaming computer! Could this be a welcome new approach to politics in our neighbour to the South? You can check out the stream… which happens (happened) Tuesday Oct 20th at 9pm EST:

Alexandria isn’t the only politician with gaming credentials… it seems Joe Biden has a rather impressive Animal Crossing Island!?

And of course there was the infamous Roblox hacking that added MAGA (Make America Great) hats and “Tell your parents to vote for Trump” to Roblox accounts!

And speaking of Hacks… you may not get that quiet time you’re looking for between games in Phasmophobia. If you happen to be using a modded version of the game that’s been allowing hackers to add extra scary and traumatizing Jump scares to the lobby!?

I have no idea what they actually did, so take care following links if you don’t want your own jump scare… and turn your sound off…or down if you do… a bit of swearing in these too I should say!

I thought is was really interesting to learn how Poland has doubled down on video game development by investing in education… specifically the math skills needed to equip the next generation of game developers:

One of the big winners in Poland’s bid for video game supremacy is a company called Projekt Red who you’ve probably heard of because of their game, The Witcher! Here’s a great history of the game series, including some awesome gameplay!:

If they sound familiar it might be because they are behind one of the biggest new upcoming game releases… Cyberpunk 2077!:

Caution! Violence & Language and the amazing Keanu Reeves! You have been warned!

Here’s the latest on what we know about it thus far!

Now… let’s play some Among us!!!!

Little follow up … here’s some coverage of the AOC Among Us event…

Asteroid Mining, SpiderRoboMan, robo swarms and Deep Sea Fakes?

Hello TechBandits! We’ve got some solar system highs and ocean trench lows and a whole lot of fun stuff in between!

Us humans are getting another giant leap closer to asteroid mining!

On Tuesday October 20th 6:12pm EDT OSIRix Rex is going to do a touch and go (TAG) sample grab from the surface of the asteroid 101955! If you want to watch NASA’s coverage live, you will be able to tune at Nasa Live

Why am I so excited about asteroid mining? Well, let’s find out… with the always amazing kurzgesagt!

This reminded me of Nordea’s expose on child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Amnesty International’s coverage of this natural resource rich country which is also one of the poorest!? There are whole communities, kids included, working in terrible mining conditions, hand-picking the cobalt and other rare earth minerals, from toxic, life threatening environments, so that we can get our new cell phones, electic cars and laptops etc… WARNING…this is some disturbing stuff!

Who would buy materials mined like this!? Well, it looks like we all do!

Who is buying Child Labour Tech materials?

It’s a really startlingly awful result of our technology-centric existence. How do you think we could fix this?

It all makes Asteroid mining look far more attractive, no? Here’s a bit of background about the Asteroid Bennu:

And an idea of just how hard it is for NASA to make this happen!

I should point out, that we have done this before…but is there ever too much asteroid landings? And look how cool it was!

So if we can land on asteroids, why is it that we haven’t explored more of our own oceans… we’re trying, but it turns out we’re under a lot of pressure certainly when we recently broke the deepest solo dive record of 10,928 meters… which is deeper than Everest is tall!

Record-breaking Mariana Trench dive | What the Future

Underwater crafts like “The Limiting Factor” are a great way for us to learn about our own oceans, but autonomous robo-subs are capable of doing much more than the human piloted ones! Here are new approaches we’re taking to exploring some more spacey oceans… like, on other planets!

Cool fact: The pitch black, ocean areas deeper than 6,000 meteres are named after the Ancient Greek god of the Underworld Hades, and called the Hadal Zone!

When we last visited Marnineland, we were shocked to realize how wrong it has been to keep all these magnificent creatures trapped in tiny pools and forced to intereact with hordes of tourists. We came away thinking it was completely wrong! To fix that, and rapidly declining attendance, marine parks are trying out some incredibly life-like robots!

They are already doing stunts for Spiderman!

And if they can do spiders, then how about ants, man?

And if you’re making tiny robots, you want them to be able to work together… even if it’s just for the most incredible light shows!

See you all Monday at 4pm EDT!

Making Big Money in Esports… it’s more than just gaming!

Welcome back Bandits! I trust you all had a wonderful long Canadian Thanksgiving weekend… and everyone else should obviously move here as we have the best holidazes! 😉

Today we’ll delve into the world of professional E-sports!

Popcorn Racoon

I’m not sure about how legit the numbers are on this website, but Wow! Take a look at the earnings on some of these gamers!

But I’ve done a little digging… ’cause, you know, who doesn’t dream of being a professional gamer for a living…especially such a crazy great living in fact?

Esports Arena

It used to be (that’s how you sound old, say things like “used to be”) you could only earn a living as a professional gamer if you were in that tiny portion of the top 0.001 percent of players in the world. But now, it seems that there’s more than just gaming in the gaming industry. Did you know that there are professional in-game camera operators as well as the live event camera folks?

Let’s hope that women are better represented in this field than they are in the film and television industry… this Guardian article about Oscar nominated Cinematographer Rachel Morrison was an eye-opener to me!

‘Ever heard of a woman cameraman?’: why female cinematographers get overlooked

BTW… she didn’t win the Oscar, but she WAS the first woman ever (!?) to be nominated for one in Cinematography! Any ideas on why do you think this is the case?

Back to gaming (Squirrel!) we’re seeing all sorts of esports related job titles; everything from coaches, consultants, trainers, to nutritionists, physical therapists, designers, editors, programmers, commentators, hosts, broadcasting techs, visual effects, as well as musicians, account managers, business development executives, digital marketers and there are certainly even more! The esports industry has reached a level of popularity (and profitability) where it’s employing people with a wide range of different skills, talents and knowledge.

Esports is Hiring

There’s even a whole conference about behind the scenes of Esports:

Esports – Behind the Scenes

Want to see for yourself what jobs are out there and what they’re offering? There’s an amazing job site just for people in esports if you want to have a look:

What kind of job would you want to have in the esports industry? Are there any that surprised you to find on there? Are there any parts of gaming that interest you as much as the gaming itself? Are there any jobs that might not exists yet that you could bring to the industry?

How I got a job in Esports

Gaming News Time!

Final updates to final updates for Terraria?

Re-Logic had originally said that Terraria was done with the last update… but it seems they couldn’t leave their Journey just yet. They’ve released another “final” update to the popular game… but this time it’s for real…maybe?

Genshin Impact made over 100 million dollars in the two weeks since it launched… and that covers everything they spent on making the game. I guess that means we’ll be seeing even more microtransactions based games in our future? We didn’t get a chance to dive into the whole gambling/microtransactions gaming strategy last week, but it looks like we’re sure to be revisiting this contentious egaming topic soon enough!

Phasmophobia Scares up Top Steam Seller…

Not for the faint of heart…or in my case the motion sick… Phasmophobia is a huge hit and even heralded as the “best ghost hunter game ever”! Do you think this is just about Halloween? Why is it so popular? Do you dare to play? How about making it through the trailer!? We should check in with the prince of terror, IronhamTV about this, as he’s been streaming it with friends this week!

Have a great day and we’ll see you all 4pm EDT Wednesday after school!

Caves, chemistry, gambling on Addictive content and Arresting Canadian Bowser?

Hello GameBandits!

It’s been FAR FAR too long since last we had a good game geek-out session!

Virtual Hug Bandit

Why don’t I start with the News!

Minecraft Caves & Cliffs

Minecraft digs deep for its next update…Caves and cliffs!

Minecraft just had another huge live stream detailing all the latest and greatest game related news…and there’s lots to unpack in here!:

Minecraft Live 2020

Along with glow squids and Minecraft joining Super Smash Brothers I was very happy to see a new map called “Good Trouble: Social Justice Movements Around the World” in the announcement! This upcoming map will be based on the teachings of US Congressman John Lewis.

Young UAE residents use Minecraft to help design the future of their city and earn their home a Child-Friendly City designation from UNICEF. Credit: UN-Habitat

There’s also an incredibly exciting initiative called Block by Block which is a very cool collaboration with UN Habitat that allows community members to redesign their neighborhoods in Minecraft. Is there anything we could…or should be working towards with something like this…keeping in mind we’re still dealing with a pandemic? Maybe some fundraising? What about Toronto areas that might need this kind of attention?

For those of you too busy to enjoy the entire event… here’s the recap!

Canadian Bowser Console Hacker Arrested!


Team Xecuter is a console hacking and modding group that sells kits for switch which allow you to customize your console in ways never intended…including adding pirated games…well, now the owners, including one Canadian (whose real name is Bowser!) have been arrested for their adventures!

Should we be allowed to modify consoles we own? Isn’t that what we do with or PCs? Why would companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft not want us to have free access to the technology we paid for?

Fall Guys Season 2!

Already!? Looks like Season 2 of Fall Guys starts next week. Is the game still on the GameBandits radar? Is this going to be another huge hit? Does anyone still care? There is a lot of competition out there for gamers eyeballs… thumbs? Is Fall Guys going to stand the test of time?

Genshin Impact Hits Hard!

Genshin Impact is getting rave reviews. But this so-called Waifu (wife) of the Wild game has got people raving about micro transactions and gambling addiction thanks to loot boxes.  But isn’t it just a great way to get games for “free”? It certainly makes a ton of money for the gaming industry:

Come to think of it Bratlett and I buy a lot of trading card booster packs…

…is this the same thing? Could our UnlistedLeaf style excitement over finding those shimmering rares be the signs of gambling addiction!?


And what is the problem with gambling? Why is it such a big deal!? What makes it so addictive? What do we need to be careful about when it comes to addictive behaviour…both on and offline?

Here’s a very thorough look at the chemistry of addiction from the always inspiring Hank Green!

The Chemistry of Addiction

Though it doesn’t get into video games, Scientific American has a great article about gambling addiction…I guess I better keep an eye on my Magic The Gathering booster pack purchasing!?

SIMS 4 is getting a festive update!

In what looks to be a reaction to public pressure against AE’s lack of diverse representation options in the game EA has chosen Hispanic Heritage Month to release a new Latin American inspired series of updates.

Look forward to talking about this all with you Wednesday night!

Billions and Billions of Dollars?!

Helllloooooo Game Bandits,

I’m back from filming and ready to try out a new time-slot for our Banditry.
4:30pm EDT

Monster Deals!?

I had better start with the ginormous Game Breaking News, right?! 
Microsoft has just spent a staggering 7.5 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!! to buy Zenimax Media and all of their gaming ventures… which means Microsoft now owns The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom… including Playstation 5 exclusives… Deathloop, Starfield & GhostWire: Tokyo!

I don’t know about you, but I get a little nervous when giant companies start swallowing up all the indies… but to be fair Microsoft has done a great job with Minecraft… and the seemingly insane 2.5 billion they paid for it way back in 2014 BECAUSE OF A TWEET!? … actually looking at that now, it seems to me like they might have been a steal of a deal!?

Wouldn’t you just love to have a company show up and make you a star, overnight and hand you a few billion dollars?  Someone who could bring in sponsorships and appearance fees, for you?!  Well, you may want to think twice before you start signing your life away…I was shocked to read this recent Wired article which includes all kinds of tales about gaming Influencer Management from hell!

This reminded me of a really shocking video by one of IronHam and my favourite YouTubers GameTheory

Wherever there are desperate people hoping to “make it” there are even more people ready to take advantage of them.  I’ve personally dealt with these kind of scammers in the film industry!  I’ve always found that the more of the hard work you do yourself the better the result.  I’ve yet to find anyone (except maybe Jane) who cares as much about what I do and how I do it as me…it just makes sense.  Do you know of any other Streamers of Youtubers who go ripped off? How did it happen? What kind of scams are out there? How do you protect yourself from them? Are managers and agents really evil?

Of course, before you have to consider these things, you’ll need to do the work… I’m a huge fan of AlphaGamer and his tips and insights (including real world numbers for earnings!) into the world of being a successful YouTuber and Streamer. If you hope to succeed online then I highly recommend you watch his videos and take his advice!


We were talking about Myst the other day… a classic classy mystery and puzzle game from the early days of PC gaming…

Original Myst

well… it’s about to get remade for VR! Here’s the trailer!

VR Myst

If you want to know more about the genesis of this amazing game then check out this Brief History of Myst…I had no idea about this little family operation Cyan turned global sensation!:

A Brief History of Myst

Which got my thinking about how much video game graphics have changed over the years… here’s a really nice walkthrough detailing the history of computer graphics:

A Brief History of Graphics

And finally I have new news source for Video Game News thanks to a new STEAM update… it seems the centre of all gaming is now the news

See you all at 4:30 EDT!

Contagious Curiosity -> Inspired Learning

Fluorescent Boogers!!!?

Hello Bandits!  Today we’re learning about fluorescent boogers (if you don’t like it, blame Jane, she thought it was funny!)… wait what!?

Ren & Stimpy

I’m running late this morning, so let’s start at noon today…but is that 12 am or 12 pm?!  I ended up having to look it up! 

Sounds like I’m not the only one confused, so let’s go with the 24 hour clock! 12:00 EDT

Me Hulk

Thanks to my recent return to filming, I’ve had 3 covid tests getting right up my nose in the past two weeks.  As well as making my eyes water, they got me wondering how exactly these tests work. 

COVID Testing

How do COVID tests detect the virus?  Turns out it’s all about the DNA!
PBS covers this quite well and goes on to address some of the issues with everyone and their dog needing to get tested right now and as fast as possible!BEWARE!  It starts with some very long swabs going up noses!

Nova: How Coronavirus Tests Work

And if you want a slightly deeper dive into this stuff…

This is a Smithsonian Magazine has a piece that actually includes a step-by-step tutorial for technicians doing the test!

Turns out, this kind of DNA based testing is also an incredible tool for helping modern detectives to solve crimes, new and old!

Here’s a goofy little video that touches on the basics:

Oxford: DNA Fingerprinting

And here’s a fantastic video that really gets into how it all comes together to solve crimes!

Fuse School: DNA Fingerprinting

My friend Josiah Zayner runs and amazing company called The Odin that gives classes on biohacking and sells all the tools needed to do this kind of thing and a lot more. 

Josiah Zayner –

The amazing Canadian Charity Let’s Talk Science has a number of cool DNA projects and information about this amazing technology including DNA extraction!

Let’s Talk Science’s DNA Extraction

and DNA barcoding!

Let’s Talk Science’s DNA Barcoding

And my personal favourite the Food Detectives! It’s an eye-opening Let’s Talk Science project that shows us how to uncover food fraud… are sellers selling the food that they say they are!?

Let’s Talk Science’s: Do you know what’s on your plate?

Agarose Gel Electrophoresis …that we can do!

See you all at noon!



A few things we talked about during the stream that you might be interested in…

Open Source Faceswapping program that you can play with:

Goldenwolf, our lady in London UK mentioned a book she liked in reference to our discussion on biotech, DNA and genetic engineering and another that touches on the subject of Quantum computing which we chatted briefly about… the idea that instead of having ones and zeroes we could have one zeroes and both for computing purposes…along with something called quantum entanglement which could possibly solve our long distance space communications issues, like the telegraph did back in the 1800s!?:

DNA and gentic engineering also got us talking about the possibility of tiny mouse sized Wooly Mammoths!

Here are a couple of articles from that got me thinking more about the science behind this silliness!

Game Changing Pandemic summer

Greetings GameBandits!

11am EDT

I have to admit, I AM missing my gaming buddy…just a little!?

Grade Eight Gamer

Ironham just started back to school so he won’t be able to join us for our 11am timeslot… and he’s not alone apparently! Schools have begun to grind back into action, some IRL, other just keeping things virtual. I’m thinking of trying out our TechBandits and GameBandits streams as a after-school thangs… around 3:30 or 4pm moving forward?

Polar Bear Slide

How are you all feeling about school? Is it better going back after all this time away? Do you prefer the home based schooling, or are you a in-person scholar all the way? I’d love to hear how it’s going and how you’re feeling about going or being back!

Talk to the paw

Fall Guys just landed at the top of the summer gaming heap!

Fall Guys – Ultimate Knockout
But as with any new game… it doesn’t take long for the cheaters to start running amok!Sounds like the plan is to add “Easy Anti-Cheat” which is the same system used by Fortnite!

I will not cheat…
I always love to find out how companies that make games like these got started… these folks were in business from university!  Check out their website to read their history and take a look at the kind of jobs they have available…you never know!

Among Us

Another game racing up the charts is space based, team mystery game “Among Us”… they just had a record breaking 1.5 million players on their servers at the same time!

For those of you not familiar with the game and for those who want to laugh knowingly…here’s Among Us in a Nutshell!

Among Us in a Nutshell

This is a big deal for a little company of three people with a very short history of games including Henry Stickmin … how could you plan for sudden success like this!? 


Marshmello Fortnite in-game Concert

Fortnite… might not have been the biggest game of the summer…but it’s about to become the  biggest concert venue on the planet!

Did you watch any of the concerts or movie trailers they’ve presented in-game so far? Do you like this idea? Have a look at what they’ve done thus far, I gotta say, Baz I were blown away!

Marshmello Event
Travis Scott Fortnite Event

And for those of you thinking of going Console… and not saving for the latest and greatest NVIDA GPUs here’s what we know so far about the upcoming PS5 and XBox Series X!

Playstation Vs Xbox

Gamespot Compares the Competition

Neuralink’s Smart Pigs, DIY Arduino glasses…and lock picking, there’s an app for that!?

I think the biggest news of this week has to be Elon Musk’s new Neuralink demonstration!

This may be somewhat familiar to you as we’ve already played with this kind of tech with our Brain Computer Interface… you remember that spikey 3-d printed skull-cap that we used to capture electrical signals from your heads?

Well, Elon’s new company is planning on using robots to surgically implant much more sensitive sensors right into people’s heads…though for this demonstration they used some very happy pigs…

Including Gertrude, who had no intention of doing what she was told to… even when the richest men in the world was telling her to do it!

The Neuralink is a tiny looney-sized chip with over 1000 spikes…or sensors, a fraction of a human hair in width.  You can even have multiple neuralinks imbedded too. 

Not only can the neuralink directly read the signals coming from your brain… it can write signals to your brain as well!  What do you think?  Would you sign up to have a robotic surgeon insert 1000 sensor spikes into your head? How could, should or shouldn’t we be using this new “brainy” tech? I’ve got to say, I’m really excited about how this technology could help people with disabilities and all kinds of brain related issues…not to mention unlock the secrets of how our brains actually work!

Speaking of unlocking… I believe I’ve shown you how locks work (and even how to pick them) before?  Well, here’s a great video on how locks and lock picking works just to remind you…

The thing about traditional lock picking is that you need to have unrestricted access to the lock.  Nobody be around while you’re trying to pick it.  And even  if you do succeed in picking the lock, it’s a one time deal… the next time you want to get in, you have to pick it all over again!?
So get this!  A new paper from the National University of Singapore  demonstrates how locks could be picked just by recording the sound of the key being inserted…and and some seriously cool math!

Now… how about some inventive inspiration? A 16 year old from Arizona just announced his new smart glasses…a working prototype that people are already saying are better than Google Glass!

The whole thing was created by using open source software, an Arduino and a transparent screen… all of which you can buy online!

What do you want to build… or invent!?  What’s the first thing you’d need to do to actually make it reality?!