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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Taking Control Of Your Furby

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Furbys have been around for a while and they are an interesting (if annoying) toy that will teach the kids to be okay with their eventual robotic overlords. In the meantime, the latest version of the robotic companion/toy/annoyance uses Bluetooth LE to communicate with the owner and [Jeija] has been listening in on the Bluetooth communication, trying to reverse engineer the protocol in order to run code on Furby.

[Jeija] has made a lot of progress and can already control the Furby’s actions, antenna and backlight color, and change the Furby’s emotional state by changing the values of the Furby’s hungriness, tiredness, etc. [Jeija] has created a program that runs on top of Node.js and can communicate with the Furby and change its properties. [Jeija] has also discovered, and can bring up, a secret debug menu that displays in the Furby’s eyes. Yet to be discovered is how to run your own code on the Furby, however, [Jeija] is able to add custom audio to the official DLC files and upload them into the Furby.

[Jeija] points out the all this was done without taking a Furby apart, only by sniffing the Bluetooth communication between the robot and the controlling app (Android/iOS device.) Check out a similar hack on the previous generation of Furbys, as well as a replacement brain for them. We just hope that the designers included a red/green LED so that we will all know when the Furbys switch from good to evil.


Filed under: robots hacks, toy hacks



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tekvax
2 days ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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Stuff An Android In Your Xbox Controller’s Memory Slot

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What is this, 2009? Let’s face facts though – smartphones are computing powerhouses now, but gaming on them is still generally awful. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the horsepower to emulate any system from the last millennium when your control scheme involves awkwardly pawing away at glass when what you need is real buttons. You need a real controller, and [silver] has the answer – a 3D printed phone mount for the original Xbox Controller.

It’s more useful than it initially sounds. The original Xbox used USB 1.1 for its controllers. With a simple OTG cable, the controllers can be used with a modern smartphone for gaming. The simple 3D printed clamp means you can have a mobile gaming setup for pennies – old controllers are going cheap and it’s only a couple of dollars worth of filament. The trick is using the controller’s hilariously oversized memory card slots – for some reason, Microsoft thought it’d be fun to repackage a 64MB flash drive into the biggest possible form factor they could get away with. The slots also acted as a port for online chat headsets, and finally in 2017, we’ve got another use for the form factor.

For the real die-hard purists, [silver] also shares a photo of a similar setup with a Nintendo 64 controller – including a big fat USB controller adapter for it, hanging off the back. Not quite as tidy, that one.

It’s a neat little project – we love to see useful stuff built with 3D printers. If you’ve been looking for something functional to print, this is it. Or perhaps you’d like to try these servo-automated 3D printed light switches?


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks



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tekvax
2 days ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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A deep-sea fish with a transparent head and tubular eyes

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This video was shared by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

MBARI researchers Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler used video taken by unmanned, undersea robots called remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to study barreleye fish in the deep waters just offshore of Central California. At depths of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet) below the surface, the ROV cameras typically showed these fish hanging motionless in the water, their eyes glowing a vivid green in the ROV’s bright lights. The ROV video also revealed a previously undescribed feature of these fish–its eyes are surrounded by a transparent, fluid-filled shield that covers the top of the fish’s head.

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tekvax
2 days ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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What is Wire Bonding?

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wirebondWe take a look at wire bonding, a method for connecting integrated circuits in semiconductor manufacturing.

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The post What is Wire Bonding? appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

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tekvax
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Program with Robot Operating System for Smooth Servo Movement

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gswros_robotarm-4Learn how to use the open source ROS platform to bring your robot to life.

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The post Program with Robot Operating System for Smooth Servo Movement appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

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CNC-Telescope With Semi-Nasmyth Mount

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[GregO29] had a 10″ GoTo telescope but at 70lbs, it wasn’t really portable. And so he did what any self-respecting CNC enthusiast would do, he put his CNC skills to work to make an 8″ Newtonian reflector, semi-Nasmyth mount telescope of his own design. It also gave him a chance to try out his new Chinese 6040 router/engraver with 800W water-cooled spindle.

What’s all that fancy terminology, you say? “Newtonian reflector” simply means that there’s a large concave mirror at one end that reflects a correspondingly large amount of light from the sky to a smaller mirror which then reflects it toward your eye, preferably along with some means of focusing that light. “Semi-Nasmyth mount” means that the whole thing pivots around the eyepiece so that you can keep your head relatively still (the “semi” is because the eyepiece can also be pivoted, in which case you would have to move your head a bit).

We really like the mechanism he came up with for rotating the telescope in the vertical plane. Look closely at the photo and you’ll see that the telescope is mounted to a pie-shaped piece of wood. The curved outer circumference of that pie-shape has gear teeth on it which he routed out. The mechanism that moves these teeth is a worm screw made from a 1″ spring found at the hardware store that’s on a 3/4″ dowel. Turn the worm screw’s crank and the telescope rotates.

Cutting the telescope mount using the 6040 router/engraver
Cutting the telescope mount using the 6040 router/engraver

All the holes in the wood were CNCed out to make it lighter, but also give it a steampunk feel. In true amateur astronomer style, when you look down on all the holes in the two base plates, they depict all the phases of the moon. But for practical purposes, the smaller holes are sized just right for holding his various eyepieces. He mentions that three of the pieces were too big for his router. As the photo here shows, he solved this by cutting half, rotating the work piece by 180 degrees and then cutting the other half.

Hopefully this whets your stargazing appetite. Alternatively you can do what this star tracking telescope project is doing, which is to convert a manual telescope to a motorized one and sending it GOTO commands. If you want to record the images from your telescope you can do it for just 55 cents. [Xobmo] made a mount for attaching his iPhone. Either way, the sky is not the limit.


Filed under: cnc hacks



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tekvax
2 days ago
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Burlington, Ontario
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