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ถูกปรับปรุง 3 hours 31 min ก่อน

What Does ESD Do To My Circuit and How Can I Protect Against It?

4 hours 57 minก่อน

[Kevin Darrah] is risking the nerves on his index finger to learn about ESD protection. Armed with a white pair of socks, a microfiber couch, and a nylon carpet, like a wizard from a book he summons electricity from his very hands (after a shuffle around the house). His energy focused on a sacrificial 2N7000 small signal MOSFET.

So what happens to a circuit when you shock it? Does it instantly die in a dramatic movie fashion: smoke billowing towards the roof, sirens in the distance? [Kevin] set up a simple circuit to show the truth. It’s got a button, a MOSFET, an LED, and some vitamins. When you press the button the light turns off.

He shuffles a bit, and with a mini thunderclap, electrocutes the MOSFET. After the discharge the MOSFET doesn’t turn the light off all the way. A shocking development.

So how does one protect against these dark energies out to destroy a circuit. Energies that can seemingly be summoned by anyone with a Walmart gift card? How does someone clamp down on this evil?

[Kevin] shows us how two diodes and a resistor can be used to shunt the high voltage from the electrostatic discharge away from the sensitive components. He also experimentally verifies and elucidates on the purpose of each. The resistor does nothing by itself, it’s there to protect the diodes. The diodes are there to protect the MOSFET.

In the end he had a circuit that could withstand the most vigorous shuffling, cotton socks against nylon carpeting, across his floor. It could withstand the mighty electric charge that only a grown man jumping on his couch can summon. Powerful magics indeed. Video after the break.

Filed under: misc hacks

A Glimpse Into The Mind Of A Robot Vacuum Cleaner

7 hours 57 minก่อน

What’s going through the mind of those your autonomous vacuum cleaning robots as they traverse a room? There are different ways to find out such as covering the floor with dirt and seeing what remains afterwards (a less desirable approach) or mounting an LED to the top and taking a long exposure photo. [Saulius] decided to do it by videoing his robot with a fisheye lens from near the ceiling and then making a heatmap of the result. Not being satisfied with just a finished photo, he made a video showing the path taken as the room is being traversed, giving us a glimpse of the algorithm itself.

Looking down on the room and robot

The robot he used was the Vorwerk VR200 which he’d borrowed for testing. In preparation he cleared the room and strategically placed a few obstacles, some of which he knew the robot wouldn’t get between. He started the camera and let the robot do its thing. The resulting video file was then loaded into some quickly written Python code that uses the OpenCV library to do background subtraction, normalizing, grayscaling, and then heatmapping. The individual frames were then rendered into an animated gif and the video which you can see below.

Watching the video it’s clear that the robot first finds an obstacle and then traverses its perimeter until it gets back to where it first found the obstacle. If the obstacle defines the outer boundaries of a reachable area then it fills in the area by crossing back and forth. It makes us wonder if the robot programmers can get some optimization hints from fill routines used in drawing programs. If you did want to experiment with other algorithms then you can without too much trouble using iRobot’s hackable Roomba, the iRobot Create, though you’d have to add back the vacuum. You’ll also notice that it couldn’t fit between the two boxes placed in the middle of the room. We’re guessing that it’s aware of this missed area. How would you solve this problem?

Filed under: robots hacks

Dual-boot Your Arduino

9 hours 26 minก่อน

There was a time, not so long ago, when all the cool kids were dual-booting their computers: one side running Linux for hacking and another running Windows for gaming. We know, we were there. But why the heck would you ever want to dual-boot an Arduino? We’re still scratching our heads about the application, but we know a cool hack when we see one; [Vinod] soldered the tiny surface-mount EEPROM on top of the already small AVR chip! (Check the video below.)

Aside from tiny-soldering skills, [Vinod] wrote his own custom bootloader for the AVR-based Arduino. With just enough memory to back up the AVR’s flash, the bootloader can shuffle the existing program out to the EEPROM while flashing the new program in. For more details, read the source.

While you might think that writing a bootloader is deep juju (it can be), [Vinod]’s simple bootloader application is written in C, using a style that should be familiar to anyone who has done work with an Arduino. It could certainly be optimized for size, but probably not for readability (and tweakability).

Why would you ever want to dual boot an Arduino? Maybe to be able to run testing and stable code on the same device? You could do the same thing over WiFi with an ESP8266. But maybe you don’t have WiFi available? Whatever, we like the hack and ‘because you can’ is a good enough excuse for us. If you do have a use in mind, post up in the comments!

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Microcontrollers

Sailing Ships, Slide Rules, and the Quality of Engineering

10 hours 57 minก่อน

We recently ran a post about engineers being worse, better, or the same than they “used to be” and it got me thinking. Of course “used to be” is in the eyes of the beholders. To me, that’s the 1950s and 1960s. To some of you, my generation is the “used to be” generation. To some of you, I’m past even that.

I’ve often said, there are two things that are simple: something really simple, and something really complex. For example, when a caveman grabbed a log floating down the river and hitched a ride a few miles downstream that was pretty simple. Today, you can go on a well-equipped boat, stab your finger at a map, click go, and the boat will do almost all the work. However, get onboard a sailing vessel from 1850 and you better know what you are doing. What’s more is, some sailors were better than others.

What’s Better or Best?

Were yesterday’s engineers better than today? That’s like asking who is the “best” driver. It depends a lot on what “best” means? Safer? Faster? Most efficient? I would suggest that yesterday’s engineers were better at doing yesterday’s jobs. I own several slide rules and I can use them, but I bet my mentor who finished college in the 1940s was faster. I don’t need to be faster. On the other hand, he might have some trouble doing a good Internet search.

But here’s the problem. Doing basic math is like the caveman on the log (and yes, that begs for a slide rule joke). Asking Wolfram Alpha to solve your set of simultaneous equations is like the modern computer-controlled ship with GPS. You can bet that the sailing master of a barque in 1850 knew a lot more about sailing and winds and ship construction than the average guy on a modern ship. He had to. That gave him extra reasoning tools when faced with a problem.

Slide Rules Do (Most) of the Math

By the same token, using a slide rule is very helpful but–paradoxically–you have to know a little math to be able to use it. In particular, you had to have a rough idea of the magnitude of the answer to get the right answer. If you couldn’t get that concept or do the simple estimate in your head, the slide rule was useless and you probably dropped out of engineering school. Today, you may or may not have that kind of math smarts, and it doesn’t matter.

I’ve know graybeards that keep up with the modern technology. I’ve also known plenty who are stuck in the past, talking about how horrible transistors, or ICs, or software is and how it has ruined everything. Of course, they haven’t.

Lesson Learned

As Gerrit pointed out, we tend to remember the brilliant engineers and projects and forget the bad ones (unless they are really bad). Even in “the golden age” there were good engineers and bad.

So how can you maximize your chances of being one of the good ones when this turns into some kid’s golden age? Two things, I think. Never stop learning the new technology. The hot-shot engineer with the slide rule wouldn’t function as well in today’s world unless he was willing to learn about the new things. But also, learn the fundamentals. You don’t have to know how an engine works to drive a car. But all the race car drivers do know. Having tools to do circuit analysis or solve thorny math equations is a great time saver. But you ought to know how to do it without those tools. The insights you’ll gain will give you more tools at your disposal when faced with a problem.

Engineering is a series of abstractions. Always try to drive down the abstraction layers. Know how to program? How does a CPU work at the logic gate level? Know how that works? Then how do the transistors form those gates? When you understand that, dig into why the transistors work at all. Sure, you probably aren’t going to build a transistor from raw materials. But you’ll gain new insights and those insights will help you solve future problems. Besides, if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, it might be good to know how to use a slide rule or build a transistor.

Filed under: rants

Hacker’s Wishlist: What Must-Have Components Let You Build Anything?

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 23:01

We’re putting in a parts order at the end of the week, yet we don’t have a specific project in mind. Trying to wrap your noggin’ around a bill of materials to build anything is tough, but that’s the gist of stocking components for a hackathon.

So we put it to you: what components can’t you live without when you roll your sleeves up for some good old fashioned hardware hacking?

What Can You Build in Two Days?

This parts order is for the badge hacking at this year’s SuperCon. What we saw last year was amazing considering the parts we had available. What you see above is the back of the conference badge with a lot of caps and diodes added to it. It’s a voltage multiplier that [Sprite_TM] built onto his badge to get the 9V input up to a 1000V output.

So diodes and caps, check. They’ll be on the order. But we want to know what you would add to a parts order where anything is possible? Let us know in the comments below.

Unlock Beast Mode

Part of the fun last year was starting from a badge that had no circuitry built onto it at all. [Brian Benchoff] joked in his coverage of the hacking that this year’s badge would just be a piece of copper clad FR4 — a great idea and challenge accepted. In addition to the normal badge, for those willing to test their mettle, we want you to go for Beast Mode. We’ll have copper clad (single and double-sided) and protoboard on hand.

We’re looking for Manhattan style, dead bug, and any other elegant, interesting, or hacky method of rapid prototyping. Bring along your own pre-spun or home-etched boards — if they’re not already populated you can do that in the badge hacking area. If you want to learn the awesome X-Acto knife method of carving up copper clad, Zach Fredin will be helping out in the badge hacking area. You’ll also find Voja Antonic, Paul Stoffregen, and others hanging out there too.

But What About the Badge?

Yes, there is a hardware badge and it’s a doozy this year. Voja Antonic designed it and published a great explanation last week. It’s based around a PIC18LF25K50 and features an LED Matrix and user inputs. This will be a lot of fun for the firmware hackers, but why not get in on the hardware hacking action while you’re at it?

The back of the badge has a 9-bin breakout header (2x 3V, 2x Gnd, 5x GPIO). This pin header is 0.1″ pitch so you can design in advance for any add-on circuits you might want to build. We’ll also have connectors on hand to use in your hacks.

Last year Paul Stoffregen’s Teensy audio workshop was hugely popular and one of the most interesting badge hacks added a Teensy, audio board, and LCD to the mix to create a spectrum analyzer with waterfall display. I’m sure we’ll see some hacks that reach that level this year. But it’s a welcoming and jovial environment; even if you never blinked an LED there will be throngs of people waiting to cheer your accomplishment in the name of getting everyone in the world excited about hardware.

Seriously Though, What Components Should We Order?

Tools are going to be no problem this year since we have the Supplyframe Design Lab at our disposal. But we really are putting in a parts order this week and need your advice. We’ll have the usual suspects: pin headers, shift registers, voltage regulators, level converters, 7400 series logic and 555 timers, extra battery holders, passives, etc.

Even if you’re not in on the hacking, let us know what you can’t live without. What’s your analog hacking wishlist? What type of sensor breakouts would you like to see people playing with? Sound off in the comments below.

Filed under: cons

Want to Make a PCB? The Pantum Knows…

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 22:00

We’ve done a lot of PCBs with the toner transfer method over the years. The idea is simple: print a pattern using toner (which is just ground up black plastic) and then use an iron or other heat and pressure device to transfer the toner to a copper-clad board. It works and it works well. But getting just the right combination of heat, pressure, release paper, and toner is sometimes tricky.

Some people hack their printers to turn off the fuser wire (to make the toner not stick to the paper) or to run a PCB directly through it. If you have a big expensive laser printer, though, you might not want to chop it up just to run PCBs. Have you looked at laser printer prices lately? We aren’t sure if it is cheap units flooding the market, or the overwhelming popularity of color printers, but you can pick up a Pantum P2500 for about $25 or $30–and probably get WiFi printing at that price. [Mlermen] picked one of these up and shows you how to convert it to a PCB printer.

The mod isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll have to cut slots in the printer, add a microcontroller, and you wind up using the printer rotated (to provide a flat path for the PCB. The results, though, look impressive. For $30 and some elbow grease, it could be worth it if you make a lot of boards using toner transfer.

The printer, by the way, is an amazing deal by itself. It is small, fast, and does a fine job. Sure it doesn’t do automatic duplexing, but it does have Windows, Mac, and Linux drivers. It also has a WiFi hotspot to print with a phone. Out of the box, ours didn’t do Airprint, but there’s a firmware upgrade that allows it (and has a few other new features; see the video below). It is supposed to directly support Google Cloud Print, too, but we haven’t found the firmware for that. The toner is programmed to self-destruct after 700 pages and it might be cheaper to buy a new printer instead of replacement toner, so be prepared for that.

[Elliot] posted about toner transfer and you might want to read up on that. If you don’t want to cut up a printer, you might try doing a chemical toner transfer, instead. We’ve also seen [Mlermen] do this with other printers before.

Filed under: tool hacks

Death To The 3.5mm Audio Jack, Long Live Wireless

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 21:01

There’s been a lot of fuss over Apple’s move to ditch the traditional audio jack. As for me, I hope I never have to plug in another headphone cable. This may come off as gleeful dancing on the gravesite of my enemy before the hole has even been dug; it kind of is. The jack has always been a pain point in my devices. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky. Money was tight growing up. I would save up for a nice set of headphones or an mp3 player only to have the jack go out. It was a clear betrayal and ever since I’ve regarded them with suspicion. Is this the best we could do?

I can’t think of a single good reason not to immediately start dumping the headphone jack. Sure it’s one of the few global standards. Sure it’s simple, but I’m willing to take bets that very few people will miss the era of the 3.5mm audio jack once it’s over. It’s a global episode of the sunk cost fallacy.

In the usual way hindsight is 20/20, the 3.5mm audio jack can be looked at as a workaround, a stop over until we didn’t need it.  It appears to be an historic kludge of hack upon hack until something better comes along. When was the last time it was common to hook an Ethernet cable into a laptop? Who would do this when we can get all the bandwidth we want reliably over a wireless connection. Plus, it’s not like most Ethernet cables even meet a spec well enough to meet the speeds they promise. How could anyone reasonably expect the infinitely more subjective and variable headphone and amplifier set to do better?

But rather than just idly trash it, I’d like to make a case against it and paint a possible painless and aurally better future.


Let’s say you had to design a consumer facing device that goes in someone’s pocket. A pocket is dusty. It’s moist and sweaty. You know your stuff so you’re already thinking about gaskets and IP ratings. Then someone hands you the spec sheet. They let you know that they want you to drill a hole right in it and put an unserviceable deep hole in the case. Now rinse repeat for every portable device on the planet and it seems like an odd mass hallucination.

I guess if someone were having a really bad day they could spill coffee at the switchboard… [CC Joseph C.]There is no good way to seal or maintain a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some phone makers have tried by adding a little gasket or a flap, but this doesn’t last. There’s also a chance that it could be sealed off, but since it has to have little springs inside and holders it’s still susceptible to damage from liquids and dust by nature. I’ve even seen some get irreparably corroded by the salt from sweat alone.

It’s like we all agreed to ignore the fact that these connectors were designed to be used in a switch board. A nice clean dry switchboard in a professional location where it would be used by trained personnel and serviced regularly. It was designed to be an easy to use connector that could be plugged in and removed quickly for low-quality audio phone switching. It was never designed to be the end-all connector for quality audio signals. Moving it out into the world could arguably have just been a quick hack. Using a connector that was already adopted and manufactured on a large enough scale when home audio began to be a common thing.

Since we’ve already gotten rid of the keyboards on mobile devices (which is a shame, but that’s another article). Since every manufacturer seems to be horribly committed to irreplaceable batteries. There’s just no reason not to move towards fully waterproof and dustproof devices. There could at least be a bright side. The audio port is holding us back.

Cable Strain

It’s not the cord’s fault. It was sent to the frontlines without the right equipment.  [CC Paul Hussey]Next comes cable strain. People like to complain about how the iPhone earbuds would constantly break at the joint. This is true, and other brands had better strain relief. However, it’s also true that all audio cables that go into a pocket will break before any of the other components will reach their end of service life. By nature, a pocket exceeds every reasonable expectation of in-tolerance cable strain. It is a hostile environment. My last set of headphones went through two cables during regular use. Which segues right into the next design flaw, force.


As mentioned before, the audio connector was designed to be easily inserted inside a switch board room. It would see no dramatic force on it. So it’s a tall connector that is easy to hold and easy to use. It also is supposed to be a low insertion force connector. So it’s unreasonable to expect it to be able to hold a cable in place reliably.

However, when put into a pocket it suddenly sees forces perpendicular to its axis. This can cause some extremely large moments on a very tiny plastic and spring-metal socket. We all know that the longer we own our phones the less able our headphone socket will be to hold the jack in place. There’s simply no way to design something that small to take that much force and keep it cost effective. Rather it looks like we’ve just adjusted our expectations and then forgot that we even made that adjustment.

This seems even more insane from a design perspective when you consider that this connector which sees dramatic forces is actually attached to the mainboard of your device (to be fair, most smartphones do use spring connectors for jack to mainboard but think about laptops and other gear). Solder connections are not flexible. The metals we use for solder are very susceptible to work hardening and breaking under cyclical forces. So not only do you flex the connection of the port to the board itself, you also flex all the surrounding components. So It’s no mystery that one of the most common repairs on mobile devices are the audio and USB ports.

Sound Quality Bluetooth’s codecs perform comparably 320kbps mp3. Which is beyond the ability of most listeners (including the author) to distinguish. From Serene Audio.

Right now there is still a difference in sound quality between Bluetooth and wired. There’s no reason to expect it to last long. Bluetooth is now capable of some seriously impressive bandwidth and with an actual market erupting for the headsets, it won’t be long before this is a moot point. I’m picking on Bluetooth specifically because it’s the only standard that’s both universal and intended, at least, for hooking peripherals up.

There’s a big argument for the sound quality aspect of the 3.5mm headphone jack. I think that, frankly, most of them make no sense against the transition. If you’re sitting still in your home-listening-chamber with a perfectly tuned preamplifier connected to quality headphones while listening to FLAC audio from your dedicated music computer you might be able to hear a perceptible difference from hooking directly to your phone with a Bluetooth headset. But you’re not. You have a noisy connection from a worn out port to a low quality cable with an unamplified signal to some cost engineered headphones. It’s a wash I think.

Plus, it’s not like switching to a wireless standard is going to absolutely kill the wired headphone market. You’ll still be able to get wired headphones for when the wire matters. People who are paying a hundred dollars plus for quality sound out of a wired headset will still have their toys. That market is very far from death. People who were paying ten bucks for whatever are not going to notice at all.

Most phones and portable devices waste zero energy trying to amplify the signal in a meaningful way. So if you want the full range of your headphones you have to add an amplifier. Then there’s the fact that they’re already class D audio amps trying to maximize the device’s battery life. By the time it gets to your ear it’s been triple digitized to death. Fortunately, we now have more processing power inside greeting cards than we reasonably know what to do with, so it’s unlikely that most would notice the difference.

However, the modern Bluetooth audio chips are actually really great, they’re only getting better. They’re ultra-low power class D amplifiers which were built and optimized for sound quality. With a lithium battery right there inside the headphone there’s no reason not to expect engineers to take advantage of that and stop designing every driver in the world to run off the two or three magic pixies a cell phone is willing to give it. It should actually be possible to have significantly better sounding wireless headphones than wired.

Convenience and User Experience It’s a cross-cultural joke at this point.

I bought a very cheap set of Bluetooth headphones off Amazon. I have rarely been so pleased with a purchase. Did they sound good? Not really, but I don’t expect any ten dollar headset to sound good. What I did get was an average of ten days of on and off use before the battery needed charging. I could go to the climbing gym and leave my cellphone on the ground while I climbed. When I worked on projects in the hackerspace I could walk up to thirty feet from my phone and not miss a word of my audio book. It connected automatically. It played nice. It was a better experience in every way.

With my headphones I’m always fighting with the cable. I’m always arranging my phone in my pocket so the cord isn’t flexed too much. It’s a cultural meme that headphones know more knots than we do.

Sure there are some flaws of the Bluetooth. Will we cover battery replacement hacks in a few years? Probably. Will there be growing pains? Of course. Will they be ironed out in the next few years? Most likely.


So how do we transition? Well, the first step is done. Have a big player finally give up on the port. It’s time. But what about all the things that are nice about corded headphones? The global standard? The fact that you can contribute to the complete devastation of our planet by buying them cheaply by the pound instead of being a grown adult who can hold on and take care of a quality item? How about their universal integration with every device that wants to put a sound out?

It’s not like we don’t have other really nice global standards that could power a headphone set. [CC Maurizio Pesce]But we do have other global standards that can transmit sound signals. We have USB. While I hedge to give Apple too much credit after they threw their lot in with Beats, in this regard they are also showing the way. A dongle is an inelegant example, however, only as a transition out of the 3.5mm port. What if your headphones just had a USB C port on one end and you could plug the cable of choice right into your mobile. The phone has the ability to power some accessories and as long as it’s designed to switch off the charging circuit while it’s at it, there’s no reason it won’t work. We can all transition painlessly. We really won’t miss it.

Laptops could definitely simultaneously charge and play. If your battery is running low, just hook it up to USB. You get the cord experience and the universal standard experience we’ve all come to love. Just without a weird analog connector from the birth of electronics. All the LEGO pieces are there, we just need to build the spaceship.

All that is pedantic though. Portable audio has never been a power-hungry game and in the end I just don’t think people will notice the cable woes. I thought I would and I don’t. I’m already so used to plugging things in when the situation requires that I just do it and that’s that.

It’s time for the 3.5mm legacy to go. I hope others follow Apple’s lead. I hope all the major headphone makers turn their eyes to wireless audio and the possibilities it offers. There are already quality sets out there and it will only get better. I won’t miss it. I don’t miss magnetic hard drives. I don’t miss CDs and Mini Disks. I haven’t tuned the bunny ears on a television in at least a decade. I don’t even own an Ethernet cable nor have I used a DB9 serial cable for hardware development in years. The future moves on and this time I think it will show itself to move in exactly the right direction.

Filed under: Current Events, digital audio hacks, Featured, rants, slider

Sometimes Square is Square: Basic Machinist Skills

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 18:01

Is it possible to make an entertaining video about turning a cube of aluminum into a slightly cubier cube? As it turns out, yes it is, and you might even learn something along with the sight gags and inside jokes if you watch [This Old Tony] cover the basics of squaring up stock.

Whether you’re working in wood or metal, starting with faces that are flat, smooth and perpendicular is the key to quality results. [Tony] is primarily a machinist, so he works with a nice billet of aluminum and goes through some of the fundamental skills every metalworker needs to know. When you’re working down to the thousandths of an inch it’s easy to foul up, and tricks such as using a ball bearing between the vise jaws and the stock to prevent canting are critical skills. He covers tramming the mill, selecting which faces to cut and in which order, and ways to check your work on the surface plate and make any corrections if and when things go wrong. Look for cameos by fellow machinist [Abom79] and [Stefan Gotteswinter], including one with [Stefan] in a very compromising position. But a ball in a vise and no [AvE] reference? C’mon!

[Tony] makes a potentially tedious subject pretty entertaining by keeping things light, and we appreciate both the humor and attention to detail. He’s turned out some great videos that we’ve covered before, like making your own springs or a shop-built boring head, and his stuff is really worth checking out.

Filed under: classic hacks, misc hacks

Building The Brightest Light Sabre In The World

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 15:01

If you are looking for a Star Wars light sabre, sometimes your choices can be a little disappointing. “Replica” sabres from toy and novelty vendors may superficially look the part, but with their tinny speakers and lacklustre show of LEDs they often have less of the Force about them and more of the Farce.

[Jeremy Lee] offers a solution; he’s built what he claims to be the brightest light sabre in the world. That’s a bold assertion, and one which we think might even throw down a gauntlet to other sabre builders and spark an arms race among Jedi wannabes.

The super-bright sabre uses a 144 LED double-sided strip of Neopixels in a polycarbonate tube, with a DC to DC converter powered by a 1000mAH LiPo battery. Sound effects come from a SparkFun Pro Micro powering a 2W speaker through a small audio amplifier. The handle meanwhile is constructed from PVC pipe fittings.

His first attempt at the sabre had the LEDs at full power, and promptly melted his tube. Thus the final version runs at 40% of its maximum rating, with a “burst” mode for those moments at which combat demands it.

His write-up is a series of posts, with plenty of video at all points. It might seem odd to show you the shortest of them here at only a few seconds long, but since the unique selling point is its brightness we think the best way to show that is at night.

We’ve featured plenty of Jedi weapons over the years. A lot of them use LEDs like this colour changing one, but the most impressive is probably this one using flame. Please, keep them coming!

Filed under: led hacks, weapons hacks

Hackaday Prize Entry: A Big, Inexpensive 3D Printer

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 12:00

When it comes to 3D printers, most machines you’ll see are pretty small. The Ultimaker, Prusa, Lulzbot, and the Rostock Max are desktop devices. While they have entirely usable build volumes, you’re not printing furniture with these machines. Yes, large format 3D printers exist, like the SeeMeCNC Part Daddy (they’ll build you one for ~$90,000, IIRC), a house printer that uses concrete, and a number of very large printers from various other manufacturers with very high price tags.

There is no 3D printer designed to print large objects without spending tens of thousands of dollars on a machine. That’s the focus of this Hackaday Prize entry. [RigTig]’s Big 3D Printer is designed to be big, but also inexpensive.

A big, inexpensive 3D printer can’t use the usual machine setups seen in other large format printers. Big machines with traditional kinematics demand big pieces of aluminum, counterweights, and a design that might spiral out of control. Instead of a thousand pounds of metal, [RigTig] is using something like the Skycam system seen at every NFL game; put a few towers up at the corners of a triangle, run some string or cable through some pulleys, and you have a simple, light movement platform.

With the machine side of the problem figured out, the next question is what material to use. [RigTig] has decided plastic filament is impractical because of cost. A clay extrusion system has a lot of problems. Concrete is a good idea, but the prints would weigh several tons. Right now, [RigTig] is planning on using dirt with a polymer binder. It’s an interesting idea, and one we haven’t seen elsewhere.

Building a 3D printer from scratch is easy. Building a huge 3D printer is one of the most interesting engineering challenges out there. Not only do you need a motion platform that can make it work, but you also need to print in a material that is cheap enough and prints fast enough for the printer to make sense. We don’t know if [RigTig] is on the right track yet, but we’re glad to see him put in the effort for this excellent addition to the Hackaday Prize.

The HackadayPrize2016 is Sponsored by:
Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

The Most Impractical Bluetooth Speaker of 2016

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 09:00

Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of usable surface area in your house? Ever wish that your Bluetooth speaker was fluffier? Do you ever long for a future in which all your music is accompanied by perfectly timed light flashes. Is the gentle passing of a cumulus cloud across a bright blue sky the only thing that will keep the voices at bay? We might have the speaker for you.

Joking aside the effect is pretty cool. It’s a standard levitation doohickey at it core. While we don’t know what the inside looks like exactly, we can take our guesses. The cloud has some magnets and a coil for receiving power. Inside is a hacked apart Bluetooth speaker, a microcontroller, and some LEDs. It’s all surrounded by fluffy white pillow stuffing and hot glue.

The base has a power supply and a rechargeable battery. We’re not sure why, we suppose it’s a pain to reset the floaty cloud. It’s certainly not portable. If you’d like one, it can probably be replicated with a few challenging weekends of work. The other option is to wait, as they claim to be pursuing a commercial something or another. Which these days means they’re gonna file for a patent on something everyone and their grandmother has done and then sell it as a six thousand dollar desk ornament. Still! Pretty cool. Video after the break.

Filed under: misc hacks

When Your Screen Breaks In The Himalayas

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 06:00

If you’ve ever had the screen break on your laptop, you’ll know it can be rather annoying to have to use an external monitor for a while as you either wait for a replacement panel to arrive from the other side of the world, or wait for that new laptop you were just desperate for an excuse to upgrade to.

Spare a thought, then, for [tom bh] whose laptop screen broke while he was in Ladakh, Northern India. Two days bus ride from the nearest city in which he could hope to source a replacement part, he had to make do with the resources in front of him. A laptop with a broken screen, and his Android phone.

He was fortunate in that a few lines at the top of the screen still worked intermittently. So after logging in blind and finding himself in a shell, he could execute commands and then scroll the results up to the point at which they were visible. He first enabled an SSH server, then connected his phone via USB. A bit of work to find the laptop’s IP address, and he could get himself a laptop shell on his phone with an Android SSH client. He goes into detail about how he was able to use the laptop’s keyboard to emulate a Bluetooth device which he connected to the phone. He could then run a VNC server on the laptop and connect to it with a VNC client on the phone, resulting in a phone-sized laptop display using the laptop’s keyboard as input. Not a perfect physical terminal by any means, but enough for him to continue working.

His writeup is an especially interesting read for its side-by-side evaluation of the various different application choices he made, and contains some useful suggestions as to how anyone might prepare themselves for a dead screen related emergency.

We’ve featured a dead-screen laptop connected as a serial terminal with an Arduino in the past, but unlike this one that only gave its owner a prompt.

Via Hacker News.

Filed under: Cellphone Hacks, computer hacks

Faux-AI Clapper Almost Seems to be Listening

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 03:00

When a job can be handled with a microcontroller, [devttys0] likes to buck the trend and build a circuit that requires no coding. Such was the case with this “Clapper”-inspired faux-AI light controller, which ends up being a great lesson in analog design.

The goal was to create a poor man’s JARVIS – something to turn the workshop lights on with a free-form vocal command. Or, at least to make it look that way. This is an all-analog circuit with a couple of op amps and a pair of comparators, so it can’t actually process what’s being said. “Aziz! Light!” will work just as well as any other phrase since the circuit triggers on the amplitude and duration of the spoken command. The AI-lite effect comes from the clever use of the comparators, RC networks to control delays, and what amounts to an AND gate built of discrete MOSFETs. The end result is a circuit that waits until you finish talking to trigger the lights, making it seems like it’s actually analyzing what you say.

We always enjoy [devttys0]’s videos because they’re great lessons in circuit design. From block diagram to finished prototype, everything is presented in logical steps, and there’s always something to learn. His analog circuits that demonstrate math concepts was a real eye-opener for us. And if you want some background on the height of 1980s AI tech that inspired this build, check out the guts of the original “Clapper”.

Filed under: home hacks, misc hacks

Internet Doorbell Gone Full-Hipster

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 01:31

There are things and there are Things. Hooking up an Internet-connected doorbell that “rings” a piezo buzzer or sends a text message is OK, but it’s not classy. In all of the Internet-of-Things hubbub, too much attention is paid to the “Internet”, which is actually the easy part, and too little attention is paid to the “Things”.

[Moris Metz] is a hacker in Berlin who has a bi-weekly national radio spot. (Only in Germany!) This week, he connected the ubiquitous ESP8266 to a nice old (physical) bell for his broadcast over the weekend. (i”Translated” here.) Check out the video teaser embedded below.

Never mind how important it is to have your gadget look good for a radio show, this thing sounds fantastic. And loud, which makes us question the wisdom of giving the IP address out to listeners while trying to broadcast a live radio show. But the show must go on, despite over 424 individual rings from 135 distinct IP addresses ringing his bell within ten minutes of announcing the IP address.

Let us go officially on the record here. As a literal doorbell, this is silly. You don’t need to host a webpage on the public Internet on a doorbell, and millions of super-cheap 433 MHz radio doorbells available in home stores worldwide bear this out. However, when you need to be scared out of your skin by a loud alarm bell triggered by a friend in a different city, the Internet is your best bet, and whipping up a quick webpage on an ESP8266 is good fun.

But what we liked about this project was the “Ding” itself, as they say in German. Old hardware paired with new brains is the new hotness. What’s the oldest or most unlikely Thing that you’ve seen given a modern brain transplant?

Filed under: wireless hacks

Engage Tinfoil Hat: Samsung Note 7 Battery Theory

อังคาร, 10/25/2016 - 00:01

For the most part I believe things are as they seem. But every once in a while I begin to look at notable technology happenings from a different angle. What if things are not like they seem? This is conspiracy theory territory, and I want to be very clear about this: what follows is completely fictitious and not based on fact. At least, I haven’t tried to base it on facts surrounding the current events. But perhaps you can. What if there’s more to the battery fires in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phones?

I have a plausible theory, won’t you don your tinfoil hat and follow me down this rabbit hole?

Bill Hammack’s explanation of uranium enrichment centrifuges

Remember Stuxnet? It’s a computer virus that infected and took down the centrifuges Iran was using in its uranium enrichment program. These centrifuges are super-precise; they need to be in order to separate isotopes into depleted uranium and enriched uranium. The process involves software that continually tweaks the balance of the centrifuge — something well explained by Bill Hammack — and disrupting that balance can damage the equipment itself. Many believe that Stuxnet was used in a government-backed attack on Iran’s program to put these centrifuges offline.

Why am I bringing up Stuxnet now? I started to think about the Samsung battery fires and the horrible effect it is having on the world. It certainly has put Samsung in a rough position — perhaps the most respected and trusted maker of Android phones got the battery tech in this phone wrong… twice. How could that be? Perhaps it was corporate espionage. But of course it wasn’t — if anything you’d have to call it corporate sabotage.

How Can You Sabotage a Battery?

Lithium batteries have monitoring circuits built into them. These are responsible for cutting off the cell before it gets too flat (which will damage it), and maintaining acceptable temperatures and constant current profiles during charging. In some cases they can even shunt around cells but this is more of an industrial trick for applications like electric vehicles.

These battery-tending circuits run software, of course. Just last month we saw all the secrets for the controller of a laptop battery unlocked. Smartphones usually have a single cell, but there is still data there — a third conductor that can transfer data like temperature from the battery to the phone.

What if a very carefully crafted virus were able to rewrite the battery charging code of a carefully targeted phone and cause it to fail on purpose? With so many of this particular model in the wild — 1M of the 2.5M manufactured — a virus could be programmed to delete itself 99.99% of the time to avoid detection. The other 0.01% it would go into action — pushing the temperature of the cell past the failing point and thereby destroying the evidence in the fiery process. That would equate to about 100 incidents which is very close to the 112 being reported.

It’s a surprisingly enticing “what-if” and this thought process even opens up my mind to other possible industrial sabotage scenarios. Toyota’s uncontrolled acceleration, for instance. But the simplest answer tends to be the correct one: these are engineering failures. Toyota’s code is a mess, and… well what exactly did happen with Samsung? They have a track record of producing safe phones with energy-dense lithium-ion batteries. I can understand that they got it wrong once… an accident. But how do they get it wrong twice when the stakes are so high?

Discounting the loss in Samsung’s stock value, throwing in the towel on the Note 7 is estimated to be a $9.5 B (yes, Billion) write-off — $5 B of that profit. Which means they could have devoted $2,000 per phone to fix the problem and still broken even. How in the world did they get it wrong the with the recall? Speculation is easy; flying too close to the sun on battery chemistry, a bug in the charging software, a yet-to-be-discovered manufacturing process breakdown, take your pick. The odds are cosmically small that it’s a nefarious battery-torching virus but we’ve come this far so let’s walk through the reasons on why that’s so unlikely.

This is All a Load of Bull

The packing instructions for sending a battery back. You can’t make this stuff up. [via XDA-Developers Portal]Even if phone batteries have rewritable firmware or the phone’s charging code can be attacked, it would be incredibly hard to get at that functionality from user space on an unmodified OS — then again there were a lot of people sideloading malware-laden versions of Pokemon Go.

Even if someone discovered a way to do this, wouldn’t they be looking for personal gain by selling information on the exploit to Samsung who have the most to gain by fixing it? I feel a recursive conspiracy theory loop coming on so let’s move on.

Motive. There is very little motive for someone to target Samsung. Yes, there is a very public beef between Apple and Samsung over phones that is being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States right now. If you were to make a list of likely sabotage suspects, Apple would be on it. But that line of thinking doesn’t scratch the surface. The only thing to gain here is for Samsung to lose market share, and the risks to a company like Apple are huge. This event could sully the market for battery-powered devices in general, damaging Apple’s own business. And if the plot were discovered the fallout would be devastating.

Some people like to watch the world burn… could it be a lone wolf hacker? Again, very unlikely. This isn’t ransomware or boosting your friends list. These failures can kill and injure — anyone malicious enough to use them would be looking to make a statement rather than flying under the radar.

No, it’s just a promising plot for a sci-fi novel. The irony is that had this recall (minus the conspiracy theory) been in a novel instead of actually going on around us we’d all say it was to far-fetched to be plausible. Keep those mind-control signals out of your head and let us know if you have a favorite tech-related conspiracy theory that’s too good to keep to yourself.

Filed under: Current Events, Hackaday Columns, Original Art, rants

Raspberry Pi Zero as a USB Stick

จันทร์, 10/24/2016 - 22:31

The Raspberry Pi Zero is small enough that it could almost be mistaken for a USB gadget, rather than a standalone computer. Maybe that was the inspiration that drove [Novaspirit] to completely “donglify” his Zero.

This is a great convenience hack if you’ve got a Zero just kicking around. With minimal soldering, he converted the Zero’s onboard female USB jacks into a male USB plug. From there on out, it’s all software, and the video (embedded below) takes you through all the steps on Windows.

First, he attaches the Raspberry Pi Zero running Pixel OS to his main computer as a USB network device, and then configures it to be useful. He sets up VNC on the Pi so that you can log into its desktop in a window, sets up networking on the Pi so that it can connect to the wider Internet through the laptop, etc. He installs OwnCloud so that the Zero serves as a cloud storage solution, only the “cloud” is plugged into your laptop’s USB port. The point of all this is getting the maximum benefit out of a Pi Zero without having to lug around any cables: just plug it in and you’re networked.

Of course, [Novaspirit] isn’t the first person to have ever connected a Zero over USB networking. But his hardware hack is neat and dead simple, and setting up the software side will teach you something if you’ve got a Windows background. Check it out.

Filed under: Raspberry Pi

Should You Outsource Manufacturing? A Handy Guide

จันทร์, 10/24/2016 - 21:01

A lot of people assume that the product development cycle involves R&D, outsourcing to a Chinese manufacturer, and then selling the finished product. It’s almost ingrained in our heads that once a prototype has been developed, the next step involves a visa and airplane tickets. Here is a guide that will explore a few other options, and why outsourcing may not be appropriate for everyone.

First, let’s talk about goals. We’ll assume you’re not a large company, and that you don’t have a huge budget, and that you’re just getting started with your product and don’t have big volumes; a startup trying to sell a kit or breakout board, or a consumer electronics product. Your goals are the following:

  1. Validate your product in the market. Build a minimum viable product and get it in the hands of lots of users
  2. Get the most bang for your limited bucks. All money should go towards getting products out the door
  3. Reduce risk to your company so that any single failure doesn’t crater the whole operation and you can safely grow.

With that in mind, what are your options?

Foreign Outsourcing

Some people will say that you should start in China early because you will have access to assembly methods and components that can be used in the design process to ensure that the final product will be assemble-able and components easily sourced when manufacturing does take place, as well as forging a relationship with the factories that will make the product. No.

You want parts whose datasheets you can read and that can be reliably sourced, and you probably won’t stick with the same company that manufactured in dozens when you move up to tens of thousands. For all the speed that’s advertised, there are just as many delays for unforeseen and more annoying reasons. Remember that reducing your risk is a major goal of a startup, and is a serious consideration for any potential investor or customer. If you are outsourcing manufacturing, you are accepting an enormous risk, and worse yet there are no consequences if your manufacturer messes up any of the billion things that can go wrong. You’re putting the fate of your company in the hands of a manufacturer who doesn’t care and is half a world away.

It is my firm opinion that outsourcing to China (or other countries where manufacturing is stereotypically cheap) is only appropriate if:

  1. You are dealing in large volumes and your current manufacturing strategy cannot handle it
  2. You have been manufacturing a while and are looking to shave some of the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
  3. You have been manufacturing a while and have ironed out many of the assembly kinks, the test jigs, the molds, and the product has all the features the customer wants.

So why those three qualifications? Let’s look at each one:


It is likely that you will start in small volumes, on the order of hundreds, maybe even a few thousand. Assembly lines take a long time to set up. Travel to a foreign country is time-consuming and expensive. There are many hidden overhead costs that are essentially the same whether you are dealing in small volumes or large. But with small volumes, those costs don’t amortize well into the volumes, so while the COGS may be small, the actual costs once all the hidden ones are accounted for can be significantly higher.

As a small company with a risky product that is just starting to get customer validation, the goal is to stretch money and time as far as it can go, and outsourcing can be really hard on both of those. Delays of a month in transit can be extremely rough for a startup on a time crunch, too.

Cost Savings

You may be able to get components cheaper, and you may be able to get labor on the assembly line cheaper, but that’s about it when it comes to cost savings. You still have to account for a lot of other expenses which are not in the COGS, and which will throw your accounting out of whack. Some of those costs include shipping.

Cheap shipping is also relatively slow

Although shipping by sea right now is super cheap, if you are in a hurry to get product, then air shipping is still and will likely always be expensive. You will have to pay duties, and you will probably have to fly and live over there for a while, both during the design process and the assembly line setup, and possibly even during the production. For a large volume where these kinds of expenses can amortize easily, it makes sense. But when you are looking at making a thousand of something, and a flight costs a thousand dollars, you’ve just increased your COGS by $1, so your spreadsheet comparing local vs outsourced should consider that.

Ironed out Kinks

New products have kinks. They may have certain components that are particularly difficult to attach, or require some skilled labor to assemble. Consistency is challenging, and rework is normal. It is during those first few rounds of assembly that it is crucial to have the designers participate, working on building jigs to aid in assembly, tweaking part designs as necessary to make it come together more reliably. Outsourcing too early means you miss this step, and have a bunch of low-wage workers who have fewer skills and no idea what your product does or how it works trying to assemble it. You will have lots of problems with this. It’s better to have experienced the assembly for a while and know where the hangups are, design them out or build tools to accommodate, and have a test and assembly process that you know works and that is as bulletproof as possible.

The Big Picture of Foreign Outsourcing

Look at the Pebble smartwatch, or the Coolest Cooler. These are projects that were so successful that they had to outsource production. Their volumes were too high to manufacture at home, but that meant that they had to skip the important step of manufacturing locally and ironing out the kinks. If you see where they struggled (or failed entirely), it is largely because they outsourced manufacturing their product too early and quality, cost, and timeline all suffered in the long run because of it. Most projects aren’t runaway successes like this and have a much more realistic opportunity for easing into production in larger and larger volumes, eventually transitioning to a need for large scale outsourced manufacturing.

Local Outsourcing

You probably have a manufacturer capable of handling your product within 100 miles. It might be a few different manufacturers; a plastics company, a PCBA company, a packaging company, and a fulfillment company. Check them out.

Yes, they will be more expensive than you’d like. But they’ll help you along the way, often with free and extremely useful advice. Your plastics guy is going to say: “that wall is too thin, that undercut means you need a slide, and I need to know what color and texture you want. Come down to our office and check out the book of colors and textures we have.”

They’re going to do that because they want high yield and no returns or scrapped product, so exacting specifications and easy to manufacture parts are in their best interest, too. You can’t rely on them to do all the work for you (not without paying for it anyway), but that kind of help is extremely valuable, and locally available. Yes, there will be some extra cost associated with it on a per part basis or in tooling, but you’ll have your parts sooner, you’ll be able to trust the manufacturer and hold them accountable if they fail, and you’ll be supporting local businesses, which goes a long way. If you scale up, then you can re-examine the relationship later, but when you are small and risky, finding a stable partner has lots of advantages.

You don’t have to outsource all production. Pick and choose the parts you can do yourself vs. things you can’t. Final assembly, testing, and fulfillment are probably entirely within your capability in your garage.

Manufacturing Yourself

This is likely more accessible than you think. We recently finished a series on doing PCBA using home-made tools, and in volumes up to a few thousand boards per month, it’s a reasonable possibility. Sure, there are limitations, so BGA and double sided boards are more challenging, but for most applications, it’s not far-fetched.

Some kinds of enclosures can be purchased outright from sites like New Age Enclosures or Hammond. Others can be made with a laser cutter or 3D printer for small volumes. Eventually you can work with a manufacturer and get maybe just the plastics done locally but the rest assembled and tested in the garage. The biggest reason to do this, though, is that it will force you to work through the assembly line process and figure out all the quirks of your product. You’ll develop all the jigs and make modifications to the design to aid in assembly, and because you are feeling the pain yourself, you’ll be a lot more motivated to do it. Because you are doing it in house, it’s so much easier to just change the design a little and make an immediate change to the assembly line accordingly.


Remember your 3 goals as a startup: get an MVP, spend every dollar on getting product out the door and servicing customers, and reduce risk as much as possible. Make your production decisions with these goals in mind, and you’ll be a happier and more successful company.

[Main image source: Our own SuperConference Badges are being assembled in the USA by Small Batch Assembly]
Filed under: Business, Featured, slider

Umbrella Drones — Jellyfish Of The Sky

จันทร์, 10/24/2016 - 18:01

Mount an umbrella to a drone and there you go, you have a flying umbrella. When [Alan Kwan] tried to do just that he found it wasn’t quite so simple. The result, once he’d worked it out though, is haunting. You get an uneasy feeling like you’re underwater watching jellyfish floating around you.

A grad student in MIT’s ACT (Art, Culture and Technology) program, [Alan’s] idea was to produce a synesthesia-like result in the viewer by having an inanimate object, an umbrella, appear as an animate object, a floating jellyfish. He first tried simply attaching the umbrella to an off-the-shelf drone. Since electronics occupy the center of the drone, the umbrella had to be mounted off-center. But he discovered that drones want most of their mass in the center and so that didn’t work. With the help of a classmate and input from peers and faculty he made a new drone with carbon fiber and metal parts that allowed him to mount the umbrella in the center. To further help with stability, the batteries were attached to the very bottom of the umbrella’s pole.

In addition to just making them fly, [Alan] also wanted the umbrella to gently undulate like a jellyfish, slowly opening and closing a little. He tried mounting servo motors inside the umbrella for the task. These turned out to be too heavy, but also unnecessary. Once flying outside at just the right propeller speed, the umbrellas undulated on their own. Watch them doing this in the video below accompanied by haunting music that makes you feel you’re watching a scene from Blade Runner.

Also interesting was that in some countries he couldn’t fly his jellyfish due to drone restrictions. Fortunately the FAA clarified their rules regarding drones just in time for him to be able to fly them in the U.S.

But this isn’t time we’ve seen flying umbrellas. Check out this delta kite made using an umbrella, and though tethered, there’s also this umbrella-based windmill.

[via Popular Science]

Filed under: drone hacks

Toyota’s Code Didn’t Meet Standards and Might Have Led To Death

จันทร์, 10/24/2016 - 15:01

We were initially skeptical of this article by [Aleksey Statsenko] as it read a bit conspiratorially. However, he proved the rule by citing his sources and we could easily check for ourselves and reach our own conclusions. There were fatal crashes in Toyota cars due to a sudden unexpected acceleration. The court thought that the code might be to blame, two engineers spent a long time looking at the code, and it did not meet common industry standards. Past that there’s not a definite public conclusion.

[Aleksey] has a tendency to imply that normal legal proceedings and recalls for design defects are a sign of a sinister and collaborative darker undercurrent in the world. However, this article does shine a light on an actual dark undercurrent. More and more things rely on software than ever before. Now, especially for safety critical code, there are some standards. NASA has one and in the pertinent case of cars, there is the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association C Standard (MISRA C). Are these standards any good? Are they realistic? If they are, can they even be met?

When two engineers sat down, rather dramatically in a secret hotel room, they looked through Toyota’s code and found that it didn’t even come close to meeting these standards. Toyota insisted that it met their internal standards, and further that the incidents were to be blamed on user error, not the car.

So the questions remain. If they didn’t meet the standard why didn’t Toyota get VW’d out of the market? Adherence to the MIRSA C standard entirely voluntary, but should common rules to ensure code quality be made mandatory? Is it a sign that people still don’t take software seriously? What does the future look like? Either way, browsing through [Aleksey]’s article and sources puts a fresh and very real perspective on the problem. When it’s NASA’s bajillion dollar firework exploding a satellite it’s one thing, when it’s a car any of us can own it becomes very real.

Filed under: car hacks, slider

Hackaday Prize Entry: A Modern, Universal Power Glove

จันทร์, 10/24/2016 - 12:00

The Nintendo Power Glove was one of the amazing 1980s experiments in alternative user interfaces for video games. It was bad. It was cool, but it was bad. Recently, interest in the Power Glove has grown thanks to an amazing stop motion animator. Prices of these gloves have gone through the roof, and the Power Glove is in the middle of a resurgence not seen since the feature-length motion picture advertisement for Super Mario Bros. 3.

[Nolan Moore] is a fan of the Power Glove, and after finding a highly collectible new in box Power Glove, he decided to take this wearable to the next level. It’s now sporting custom circuit boards, it can control a drone, and talks wirelessly to every device on the planet. It’s also [Nolan]’s entry for the Hackaday Prize.

First up, the glove itself. [Nolan] was lucky enough to find a new, in shrink-wrapped plastic, Famicom Power Glove. His old one had been in storage for 27 years, and this new old-stock version gives him a beautiful matte glove, flex sensors that work, and brand new everything. You can take a look at the unboxing here.

A Power Glove is only as cool as the electronics inside, and that means tearing out the old boards, the old ultrasonic sensors, and a rats nest of wiring. This meant [Nolan] had to spin a few PCBs, integrating a Teensy, an IMU module, battery, and an ESP8266. This is the Power Glove as it would be invented today – perfection in 80s cyberpunk.

We first saw [Nolan]’s Power Glove at the Bay Area Maker Faire last summer. Here, [Nolan] was flying a quad around a netted cage, his replacement Power Glove electronics, and his fist-pumping grin. It’s a great project, and one we’re happy to show off in the Hackaday Prize.

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Filed under: The Hackaday Prize