Author Spotlight: M.C. Langer



editors note: this featured author interview was conducted & written by SHIFT!

One of my favorite Instructabrarians is the talented artist/designer Mario Caicedo Langer, or better known on the site as M.C. Langer.   Langer's exceptional instructables combine both aesthetic charm and DIY inventiveness, producing creations of upcycled art and cyberpunk technology.  He has created dozens of original projects such as “Ideas for discarded mice reuse” and “Cyborg Heart in A Can”, Langer also has a passion for reverse engineering movie props such as “Ghostbusters Ghost Trap Gift Box”. I got the pleasure of interviewing MC and talk about his project design, his work as a sculptor and his love of robotics.

How did you discover and what inspired you to start posting?

In 2009, I was looking for some guide for building a basic robot without too much electronics knowledge. Then I find Instructables and I fall in love with the site. Later in October, I found out that you make contests and I want to share the exoskeleton prop I made.

Out of all of your projects which one was your favorite to work on?

The Cyborg made of dead computers. It was awesome and pretty funny!

You mention in your bio that you are a Colombian Sculptor.  How do you think Colombia has inspired you and your projects?

I love my country, but unfortunately in Colombia there are not many opportunities for the DIY culture and the support to science is very limited. There is the paradigm that, if you want to success in science or arts, you must go to another country.  And the few makers are seen as smart aliens who don’t belong here. So, I believe I’m trying to change that, opening a new horizon for other Colombian makers.  With Mr.Sanchez (a fellow Colombian maker), we’re trying to make a name for Colombia in the contests and challenges. Instructables has been the biggest support we get and we thank you so much!

You have so many impressive instructables regarding art, robotics, and electronics.  How did you get so proficient in all of these skills?

Well, I have to be honest: my projects look hi-tech, but if you look closely, the electronics are very simple.  Simple circuits the most of cases. I want lo learn better robotics and electronics to make my projects much better. I’m good hacking and using ordinary stuff. I think the key is the curiosity. Take one screwdriver and open everything, Combine things in uncommon ways. Find a Dremel and destroy things until you learn how to build things.

How much of your time do you spend making Instructables?

I try to make at least one for month. It’s a good way for practicing English. I try to take pictures when I make things, and take one weekend day for making the instructable.

You've created so many great projects, what suggestions would you give someone new to posting an instructable?

Thank you very much! Well, my suggestion is to remember that you are posting in the most important DIY site in the world and people of a lot of countries will see what you do. So, in The Eleventh Doctor’s words: Be extraordinary. You have to be the best of the humankind. And it includes being respectful, ethic and tolerant.

Tell me more about your experience in robotics and robot design.  How did you find this niche?  Has there been a robot in your life that has been particularly influential?

I love robots. I wish I had studied anything robot-related, but life took me on a different way. Since I was child, I love robots. Battle robots, specially. Robocop (and the awesome ED-209), Johnny 5, Transformers, Megaman, Alien’s Power loader. And as you can see, evidently I got a crush on the Batteries Not Included robots.

You've stated in you Cyborg Heart in a Can that you've been lucky to find romance through one of your projects.  Any advice you might give to other aspiring DIY Instructabrarian Bachelors?

Make great stuff and don’t be afraid of showing what you make. But show it in the correct places and you will find someone who shares your interests. And if you’re lucky as me, you will find a die-hard fan who falls in love with you.

Anything new that you are working on?

In this moment I’m working in the Recycling Campaign in my office, building ecodesign stuff. But I want to make a bipedal robot, so I’m starting with the research.

And besides your own, what is one of your favorite projects on the site?

Randofo’s simplebotics are AWESOME! They’re simple but very inspiring. I love them!