The Video Critter hardware video synth kit seen here last year has been incarnated as a Cellular Automata kit from the good folks of MAKE Magazine. MAKE has been nice enough to do the scary bits for you: the board is assembled and programmed, so all you have to do is make a nifty case.

Cellular automata video synthesizer kit [MAKE:blog]

And if that’s not enough motivation, maybe free prizes will be. Our friend Wiley of Video Thing writes in to let us know he’s got a contest in the works:

MAKE: Cellular automata video synthesizer kit & Videothing CONTEST! [Video Thing]

Finish up a project using the synth by July 1, and you could win some nice hardware: an MP4 recorder or EyeTV.

This is indeed a great idea, but I’m still interested in what else the Video Critter can do — or what other analog hardware projects might be possible. Somewhere out there there’s someone building an open source video mixer; I can feel it. Or not. But I can imagine there might be.

Clearly, we also need to work with MAKE to follow up the music event we had in Brooklyn last month. They have some other themes and the Maker Faire in May, so maybe this summer. New Yorkers, get in touch and let us know your DIY projects and we’ll start to plan.

And just as we’re agnostic about mixing analog with digital on Create Digital Music, I hope to see more analog-digital hybrids here on Motion, too. This particular project isn’t quite tearing me away from my ongoing OpenGL lust yet, but I can see mixing in some hardware.