Broadcast Engineer at BellMedia, Computer history buff, compulsive deprecated, disparate hardware hoarder, R/C, robots, arduino, RF, and everything in between.
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Why is it Hot Underground? [Science Video]

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The deeper we go underground, the hotter it gets, but why is that? Sure, we all know that the Earth’s core is hot, but the answer is a little more complex than that.

[Minute Earth]

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Build Your Own LEGO Batman Tumbler This Fall! [PICS]

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Arriving in September, you, too, can build your own Batman Tumbler out of LEGOs!

After assembly, it will measure 15 inches high and 9 inches tall AND have a detailed cockpit.

Batman and Ledger-as-Joker minifigs will also be included in the $200 kit.

LEGO tumbler 1 LEGO tumbler 2 LEGO tumbler 3 LEGO tumbler 4 LEGO tumbler 5 LEGO tumbler 6

[via Gizmodo]

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The RC White House Robot

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IMG_20140726_124812_164

This remote controlled, Arduino-based robot was created by a young student named [Quin] who likes to teach electronics classes at hackerspaces. It is an adaptation of this awesome, fast, fully autonomous mini Roomba that has since driven its way into the Presidential building during the 1st ever White House Maker Faire.

The quick, little device uses a robot chassis kit with an XBee wireless module so that the controller and the robot can be connected together. An NFC Shield was hacked and split in half so that the wires could be soldered in place.

[Quin]‘s goal was to develop a fun game that records the number of times the robot drives over NFC tags laid across a flat surface. Points are shown in the form of blinking lights that illuminate when the device goes over the sensors, keeping track of the score.

The controller container was made with an open source 3D printer called a Bukobot. The enclosure holds an Arduino and another XBee shield along with a joystick and a neopixel ring, giving it a nice polished look complete with a circle of beautiful, flashing LED’s.

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We saw the robot in action during an Arduino workshop at a local 3D printing store/makerspace in Pasadena called Deezmaker. [Quin] told us that will.i.am, the musician, tried it out during the Maker Faire in Washington DC. He also said that he met Bill Nye the Science Guy there as well.

This simple project, and more inventions of his, has opened up many doors in the maker community. And yet [Quin] seems unphased by all the attention, staying very focused on teaching his skills to anyone who is eager to learn.

Documentation of the project is on his website (Qtechknow) along with this color-changing Christmas star; which is perfect for sprucing up a holiday Christmas tree. Another project is this methane sensing fart cap. All 3 can be seen in the photo below.

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A video with the robot being demoed comes next. In it, [Quin] talks about what it was like to be invited into the White House.

Also, check out this spectacular video about the Maker Movement with [Quin] in it.

In addition, here is a Popular Science article and this feature in Make Magazine about him.


Filed under: robots hacks
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A Better Google Glass For $60 (This One Folds)

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glassFor [Tony]‘s entry for The Hackaday Prize, he’s doing something we’ve all seen before – a head mounted display, connected to a Bluetooth module, displaying information from a smartphone. What we haven’t seen before is a cheap version of this tech, and a version of Google Glass that folds – you know, like every other pair of glasses on the planet – edges this project over from ‘interesting’ to ‘nearly practical’.

For the display, [Tony] is using a 0.96″ OLED connected to an Arduino Nano. This screen is directed into the wearer’s eye with a series of optics that, along with every other part of the frame, was 3D printed on a Solidoodle 2. The frame itself not only folds along the temples, but also along the bridge, making this HMD surprisingly compact when folded up.

Everything displayed on this head mounted display is controlled by  either an Android phone or a Bluetooth connection to a desktop. Using relatively simple display means [Tony] is limited to text and extremely simple graphics, but this is more than enough for some very interesting applications; reading SMS messages and checking email is easy, and doesn’t overpower the ‘duino.


SpaceWrencherThe project featured in this post is an entry in The Hackaday Prize. Build something awesome and win a trip to space or hundreds of other prizes.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, wearable hacks
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Cloning Tektronix Application Modules

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SIM

Tektronix’s MSO2000 line of oscilloscopes are great tools, and with the addition of a few ‘application modules’, can do some pretty interesting tasks: decoding serial protocols, embedded protocols like I2C and SPI, and automotive protocols like CAN and LIN. While testing out his MSO2012B, [jm] really like the (limited time) demo of the I2C decoder, but figured it wasn’t worth the $500 price the application module sells for. No matter, because it’s just some data on a cheap 24c08 EEPROM, and with a little bit of PCB design it’s possible to build this module for under $5.

The application module Tektronix are selling is simply just a small EEPROM loaded up with an SKU. By writing this value to a $0.25 EEPROM, [jm] can enable two applications. The only problem was getting his scope to read the EEPROM, a problem easily solved with a custom board.

The board [jm] designed is available at OSH Park, with the only additional components needed being an EEPROM, a set of contacts for reading a SIM card, and a little bit of plastic glued onto the back of the board for proper spacing.


Filed under: tool hacks
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Herb Deutsch and the First Moog at Maker Faire Detroit

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IMG_6699Moog synthesizer co-inventor Herbert Deutsch played Maker Faire Detroit as part of The Henry Ford's 50th anniversary celebration of the first Moog.

Read more on MAKE

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