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Automated Tea Maker

พฤ, 01/29/2015 - 10:01

[Pariprohus] wanted to make an interesting gift for his girlfriend. Knowing how daunting it can be to make your own tea, he decided to build a little robot to help out. His automated tea maker is quite simple, but effective.

The device runs off of an Arduino Nano. The Nano is hooked up to a servo, a piezo speaker, an LED, and a switch. When the switch is turned to the off position, the servo rotates into the “folded” position. This moves the steeping arm into a position that makes the device easier to store and transport.

When the device is turned on to the “ready” position, the arm will extend outward and stay still. This gives you time to attach the tea bag to the arm and place the mug of hot water underneath. Finally the switch can be placed into “brew” mode. In this mode, the bag is lowered into the hot water and held for approximately five minutes. Each minute the bag is raised and lowered to stir the water around.

Once the cycle completes, the Nano plays a musical tune from the piezo speaker to remind you to drink your freshly made tea. All of the parameters including the music can be modified in the Nano’s source code. All of the components are housed in a small wooden box painted white. Check out the video below to see it in action.


Filed under: Android Hacks

A Camera With Computer Vision

พฤ, 01/29/2015 - 07:00

Computer vision is a tricky thing to stuff into a small package, but last year’s Hackaday Prize had an especially interesting project make it into the 50 top finalists. The OpenMV is a tiny camera module with a powerful microcontroller that will detect faces, take a time-lapse, record movies, and detect specific markers or colors. Like a lot of the great projects featured in last year’s Hackaday Prize, this one made it to Kickstarter and is, by far, the least expensive computer vision module available today.

[Ibrahim] began this project more than a year ago when he realized simple serial JPEG cameras were ludicrously expensive, and adding even simple machine vision tasks made the price climb even higher. Camera modules that go in low-end cell phones don’t cost that much, and high-power ARM microcontrollers are pretty cheap as well. The OpenMV project started, and now [Ibrahim] has a small board with a camera that runs Python and can be a master or slave to Arduinos or any other microcontroller board.

The design of the OpenMV is extraordinarily clever, able to serve as a simple camera module for a microcontroller project, or something that can do image processing and toggle a few pins according to logic at the same time. If you’ve ever wanted a camera that can track an object and control a pan/tilt servo setup by itself, here you go. It’s a very interesting accessory for robotics platforms, and surely something that could be used in a wide variety of projects.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, Microcontrollers

DIY RC Hovercraft Makes Batman Action Figure Envious

พฤ, 01/29/2015 - 04:00

[Bauwser] had some spare RC Helicopter parts laying around and cobbled together an RC Hovercraft. It worked but not to his liking. That’s okay though, he know it was just a prototype for what was to come; a fully scratch built hovercraft with parts spec’ed out specifically to make it handle the way [Bauwser] wanted.

He started out by sketching out some cool faceted shapes that would both look good and be easy to construct. Sheets of a light but rigid foam were then cut into the appropriate shapes and glued together to create a three-dimensional body. The foam was then covered with a layer of fiberglass and resin to add some strength. A hole was cut in the body to mount a 55mm ducted fan which provides the required air to fill the skirt and lift the vehicle. Another ducted fan is mounted at the back of the craft and points rearward. This ducted fan provides the forward thrust and a servo vectors this fan in order to make turns.

[Bauwser] sewed the skirt himself. It is made out of an old beach tent. The fabric is extremly light and flexible, perfect for a hovercraft. During the test runs, dirt and debris was getting trapped in the skirt tube. A quick trip back to the sewing machine to add some gauze netting fixed that problem and keeps debris collection to a minimum. In the end, [Bauwser] shows what a great DIY RC build can look like with a little planning and experimentation.

Need more DIY RC hovercrafts? Check this out

Video after the break…


Filed under: toy hacks

Universal Active Filters: Part 2

พฤ, 01/29/2015 - 01:01

An easy way to conceptualize active filters is thinking about audio speakers. A speaker crossover has a low-pass, high-pass and band-pass effect breaking a signal into three components based upon frequency. In the previous part of this series I took that idea and applied it to a Universal Active Filter built with a single chip opamp based chip known as the UAF-42. By the way, it’s pretty much an older expensive chip, just one I picked out for demonstration.

Using a dual-ganged potentiometer, I was able to adjust the point at which frequencies are allowed to pass or be rejected. We could display this behavior by sweeping the circuit with my sweep frequency function generator which rapidly changes the frequency from low to high while we watch what can get through the filter.

In this installment I’ll test the theory that filtering out the harmonics which make up a square wave results in a predictable degradation of the waveform until at last it is a sine wave. This sine wave occurs at the fundamental frequency of the original square wave. Here’s the video but stick with me after the break to walk through each concept covered.

It’s all about that edge

 

When looking in the opposite direction using the high pass filter (and bandpass) we see that there is energy right at the rising edge of the square wave. This is the infamous “edge” or what I have referred to as “the bite” meaning that the energy is this rising or falling edge is what leaks out and gets into FCC emissions or picked up by analog circuitry.

Looking at a square wave through a hi-pass filter.

This rising edge can be described as representing part of an angular frequency, or Δv/Δt (pronounced “Dee Vee Dee Tee”) which is the change in voltage vs. the change in time. The faster the voltage change in a set period of time, the higher the equivalent frequency and energy.

Knee Frequency due to Rise Time of Signal. From High Speed Digital Design

There is a whole slew of semiconductor devices that freak out a bit when faced with very rapid transitions: SCR’s, TRIACs, transistors, MOSFETs and even diodes have been known to turn on with high Δv/Δt. The good news is you can find this susceptibility in the appropriate datasheets.

The rise time of a signal also has something to do with how much of the higher frequencies are present. Simply put the faster the rise time the higher the amount of energy present in the RF spectrum. If you’re interested in the math, I have seen this represented as FKNEE = .5/TRise. FKNEE is the point in the frequency domain where the spectra of energy rolls off (6.8db in this case) and TRISE is the standard time it takes to get from 10% to 90% of full signal.

 

You might find surprising the number and accessibility of good filter design programs available directly on the web. Texas Instruments’ Webench starts out by asking what kind of filter; low, band, or high pass and then allows you to pick the attributes you are designing for in general. The next step allows you to observe firsthand the effects of different types of filters and the results are instantly available. In the old days, (before VisiCalc) we might have to crank through the equations repeatedly searching for the best compromise. Finally the program shows a schematic and a Bill Of Materials of standard parts. Again this eliminates the need to try and keep solving for the right set of parts where real resistor values could be used (typically 1% resistors).

Analog Devices Filter Wizard does essentially the same thing allowing the hobbyist or small lab the ability to define an accurate, effective filter without doing a single math equation using imaginary variables (such as the square root of negative 1). A good text back in the day was [Don Lancaster’s] Active Filter Cookbook, though my first exposure was from flipping every single page of the National Semiconductor Analog Databooks.

Finally, if you want to keep exploring this concepts here’s a breadcrumb to guide you: Did you know you can use the phase shift of a filter to create a sine waveform generator or that you can reverse bias the emitter-Base junction of many common transistors to create a white noise source useful for testing filter (or sound system) responses?


Filed under: Featured, slider

Resurrecting Capcom’s Kabuki

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 22:00

About a dozen old Capcom arcade titles were designed to run on a custom CPU. It was called the Kabuki, and although most of the core was a standard Z80, a significant portion of the die was dedicated to security. The problem back then was arcade board clones, and when the power was removed from a Kabuki CPU, the memory contents of this security setup were lost, the game wouldn’t play, and 20 years later, people writing emulators were tearing their hair out.

Now that these games are decades old, the on-chip security for the Kabuki CPU is a problem for those who have taken up the task of preserving these old games. However, now these CPUs can be decuicided, programming the chip and placing them in an arcade board without losing their memory contents.

Earlier we saw [ArcadeHacker] a.k.a. [Eduardo]’s efforts to resurrect these old CPUs. He was able to run new code on the Kabuki, but to run the original, unmodified ROMs that came in these arcade games required hardware. Now [ArcadeHacker] has it.

The setup consists of a chip clip that clamps over the Kabuki CPU. With a little bit of Arduino code, the security keys for original, unmodified ROMs can be flashed, put into the arcade board (where the contents of the memory are backed up by a battery), and the clip released. [ArcadeHacker] figures this is how each arcade board was programmed in the factory.

If you’re looking for an in-depth technical description of how to program a Kabuki, [ArcadeHacker] has an incredibly detailed PDF right here.


Filed under: classic hacks, security hacks

Laser Trip Wire With Keypad Arming

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 19:01

Most of us have had a sibling that would sneak into our room to swipe a transistor, play your guitar or just mess with your stuff in general. Now there’s a way to be immediately alerted when said sibling crosses the line, literally. [Ronnie] built a laser trip wire complete with an LCD screen and keypad for arming and disarming the system.

The brains of the project is an Arduino. There’s a keypad for inputting pass codes and an LCD screen for communicating if the entered code is correct or not. [Ronnie] wrote his own program using the keypad.h, liquidcrystal.h and password.h libraries. A small laser pointer is shined at a Light Dependent Resistor which in turn outputs an analog signal to the Arduino. When the laser beam is interrupted, the output voltage drops, the Arduino sees that voltage drop and then turns on the alarm buzzer. The value that triggers the alarm is set mid-way between the values created by normal daylight and when the laser beam is hitting the LDR. [Ronnie] made his code and wiring diagram available for anyone who’s interested in making their own laser trip wire.

Hopefully, [Ronnie’s] pesky little brother didn’t watch his YouTube video (view it after the break) to find out the secret pass code. For a laser trip wire sans keypad, check out this portable one.


Filed under: security hacks

Long Exposure Thermal Photography

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 16:00

For apparently inexplicable reasons, the price of thermal imaging cameras has been dropping precipitously over the last few years, but there are still cool things you can do with infrared temperature sensors.

A few years ago – and while he was still writing for us – [Jeremy] came across an absurdly clever thermal imaging camera. Instead of expensive silicon, this thermal camera uses a flashlight with an RGB LED, a cheap IR temperature sensor, and a camera set up to take long exposures. By shining this flashlight/IR sensor around a dark room, a camera with a wide-open shutter can record color-coded thermal images of just about anything.

Since then, an interesting product appeared on the market. It’s the Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector, and it’s basically an infrared thermometer and LED flashlight stuffed into one neat package. In other words, it’s the exact same thing we saw two years ago. We’d like to thank at least one Black & Decker engineer for their readership.

[Jeremy] took this cheap, off-the-shelf leak detector and did what anyone would do after realizing where the idea behind it came from. He set up his camera, turned off the lights, and opened the shutter of his camera. The results, like the original post, don’t offer the same thermal resolution as a real thermal camera. That doesn’t mean it’s still not a great idea, though.


Filed under: digital cameras hacks

Dumpster Dive Results In 3D Print Server Project

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 13:00

3D Printers are super convenient when you need a part quickly. However, they can be seriously inconvenient if the 3D printer has to be tethered to your computer for the duration of the entire print. [Matt] purchased a Makerfarm i3v printer and has been using it a bunch. The only thing he wasn’t crazy about was having it occupy his computer while printing objects. Then one day [Matt] was dumpster diving (don’t roll your eyes, we all do it) and found a Netgear WNDR3700v1 WiFi router. This particular router has a USB port and it made [Matt] think, “can I use this to run my printer?

[Matt] started by checking out 3D print server software OctoPrint and found out that it was entirely written in Python. He had a feeling that he could get Python running on that found Netgear router. The first step was to install OpenWrt to the router and configure it as a client. That was straight forward and went well.  The router only had one USB port so a hub was necessary in order to connect a USB drive and the printer. The USB drive was necessary because the router itself did not have enough memory for OctoPrint. Installing OctoPrint to the router was a little complicated and took a bit of trial and error but [Matt] figured out the best method and documented that on his site for anyone interested in doing the same. So now, [Matt] can use his computer’s web browser to access OctoPrint on the Netgear router, start a print and go back to using his computer without fear of a failed print. OctoPrint and the router are now solely responsible for controlling the printer.

If you’re interested in more ways to remotely control your printer, check this out.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

Motion Activated Alarm for your Bag

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 10:00

Many of us carry around a bag with our expensive personal belongings. It can be a pain to carry a bag around with you all day though. If you want to set it down for a while, you often have to try to keep an eye on it to ensure that no one steals it. [Micamelnyk] decided to build a solution to this problem in the form of a motion sensing alarm.

The device is built around a Trinket Pro. The Trinket Pro is a sort of break out board for the ATMega328. It’s compatible with the Arduino IDE and also contains a USB port for easy programming. The Trinket is hooked up to a GY-521 accelerometer, which allows it to detect motion. When the Trinket senses that the device has been moved, it emits a loud high-pitched whine from a piezo speaker.

To arm the device, the user first holds the power button for 3 seconds. Then the user has ten seconds to enter their secret code. This ensures that the device is never armed accidentally and that the user always remembers the code before arming the device. The code is entered via four push buttons mounted to a PCB. The code and code length can both be easily modified in the Trinket software.

Once the code is entered, the status LED will turn solid. This indicates to the user that the device must be placed stationary. The LED will turn off after 20 seconds, indicating that the alarm is now armed. If the bag is moved for more than five seconds at a time, the alarm will sound. The slight delay gives the user just enough time to disarm the alarm. This parameter can also be easily configured via software.


Filed under: security hacks

Parts.io Aims at Better Component Discovery

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 07:01

Online parts search and ordering is a godsend compared to the paper-catalog days of yore. This is fact, there is no argument otherwise (despite [Dave Jones’] assertion that sourcing connectors is so much simpler if you have pages full of images). Just being able to search was a game changer. But how far do you think the concept has come since the transition online? [Chris Gammell] plans to spark a leap forward with Parts.io, an electronic component info delivery system that spans both manufacturers and distributors.

So what’s wrong with what we’re doing now? Nothing… unless you hate wasting time. Sourcing parts is time consuming. Certainly the parametric search on distributors’ sites like Mouser and Digikey have improved. Plus we’ve seen hacks that do things like automatically pull in stock data to a spreadsheet. But the real issue isn’t figuring out how to buy stuff, it’s figuring out what to use in a design. Surely there is opportunity for improvement.

Parts.io has its sights set on a better path to part discovery. Yes, this is parametric search but it will return data for all parts from all manufacturers. The distinction may not be completely obvious, but for example if you are searching on Element14 you’re only getting data on the parts that Element14 carries. Once you have drilled down to a reasonably manageable pool of components you get what you would expect: one-click datasheets and a roundup of pricing and availability from worldwide distributors. The presentation of the parts is grouped into families that differ in trailing parts designators, and I must say I am impressed at the interface’s ability to roll with you. It feels easier to find alternative parts after the drilldown where in my past searches I would have started completely over again.

The service started in private alpha in October but is now available for public use. You can search for a part without logging in, but a few features have been held back for those that sign up for a free account. Most notably this includes the ability to upload your BOM, add parts as favorites, and access their forums.

Is this a game changer? That’s for you to decide. You can give it a try yourself or watch [Chris’] feature walkthrough video found after the break.

Full Disclosure: Parts.io is produced by Supplyframe Inc. Hackaday is an Editorially Independent part of Supplyframe.


Filed under: tool hacks

DIY Phone Charger Born From Cyclone Disaster

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 06:00

As convenient as cell phones are, sometimes these power-hungry devices let us down right at the worst time. We’re talking about battery life and how short it is in modern cell phones. Sure that’s totally inconvenient sometimes but it could be way worse. For example: during a natural disaster. A cyclone hit [Ganesh’s] home city and the entire area had lost power for 10 days. He couldn’t plug in his phone to charge it even if he wanted to. After realizing how dependent we are on the electrical grid, he did something about and built a phone charger out of parts he had kicking around.

The charger is quite simple. The user cranks on a DC motor and the output power goes into a LM2596-based step-down voltage regulator. The output of the regulator is then connected to a female USB connector so that any USB cord can be plugged in. As long as the motor is cranked fast enough to put out at least 8vdc, a steady stream of 5v will be available at the USB connector. Max current output of the system has been measured at 550mA.

[Ganesh] admits this isn’t a practical every-day charger but in a pinch it will certainly do the trick. It is even possible to build a makeshift charger out of a cordless drill.


Filed under: Cellphone Hacks

Retrotechtacular: The Gossamer Condor

พุธ, 01/28/2015 - 01:01

For centuries, human-powered flight eluded mankind. Many thought it was just an impossible dream. But several great inventions have been born from competition. Challenge man to do something extraordinary, offer him a handsome cash incentive, and he may surprise you.

In 1959, London’s Aeronautical Society established the Kremer Prize in search of human-powered flight. The rules of the Kremer Prize are simple: a human-powered plane must take off by itself and climb to an altitude of ten feet. The plane must make a complete, 180° left turn, travel to a marker one-half mile away, and execute a 180° right turn. Finally, it must clear the same ten-foot marker. While many tried to design crafts that realized this dream, man is, at his strongest, a weak engine capable of about half a horsepower on a good day.

By 1973, no one had claimed the Kremer Prize, and the incentive was raised to £50,000. This was enough to catch the interest of [Paul MacCready], an aeronautical engineer living in California with his wife and two sons. [MacCready] was an avid gilder pilot who devised the theory behind the MacCready speed-to-fly ring. He also enjoyed hang gliding with his family, and while driving around sometime after one of these trips, he daydreamed about a design based on a hang glider that could win the Kremer Prize.

[MacCready] assembled a team of friends to help build what he called the Gossamer Condor. Constructed out of thin aluminium tubing, piano wire, Mylar sheeting, and tape, the Condor weighed just 55 lbs. and was easy to repair or alter in a matter of minutes. It was designed to have a 96-foot wingspan with a second, smaller wing for stability. One of [MacCready]’s sons, [Tyler] was chosen as the pilot due to his size and hang gliding experience. By Christmas of 1976, the Condor had taken many test flights and [MacCready] was confident he could win the Kremer Prize.

Around that time, he and the team got wind of a group of students in Tokyo who had built a plane out of balsa wood and handmade paper. It had already made a straight, mile-long flight in under five minutes. But [MacCready & Co.] didn’t know if it could turn. For that matter, they didn’t know if the Condor could turn, either. It was time to get serious.

[MacCready] hired [Greg Miller], a professional cyclist, to take over as pilot. He also made some changes to the Condor, loosening the strings a bit, tightening the Mylar sheeting, and embiggening the propeller with a manila folder. For all of [Greg]’s cycling prowess, the lack of control over the Condor was out of his . . . control. The Condor must be able to turn in both directions, or there was no hope of winning the Kremer Prize. The team added rudders and flaps here and there, but nothing worked. [MacCready] went so far as to make a mini model of the Condor, which he flew around in a swimming pool in order to better understand the effects of air mass on the square wing with respect to making turns. It was about this time that he decided to go back to the drawing board.

Three weeks later, they had completely re-imagined the craft and moved to a different airport with less wind. Now the pilot would be completely enclosed in Mylar. The new wing was stiffened with Styrofoam and had a new, more aerodynamic V shape. The changes paid off: in March of 1977, the Condor set the record for man-powered flight in a trip lasting just over five minutes. They tested it on a mock-up of the Kremer course, but the trial ended with a crash that bent some poles and tore some Mylar.

Repairs were complete in under 24 hours, but it didn’t fly as well as it had before the crash. [Greg] had to leave for Belgium to do professional cyclist stuff, and so [MacCready] found the Condor’s third and final pilot in [Bryan Allen], who was skilled in both cycling and hang gliding. As [MacCready] pondered the crash that twisted one side of the wing, he wondered how a twist could be advantageous. The final design contained a lever that the pilot could use to pull the wires going to one end of the wing, which aided turning control tremendously.

After several redesigns and over 400 test flights, the Gossamer Condor claimed the Kremer Prize on August 23, 1977. It currently hangs from the ceiling of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian, right next to the Wright Brothers’ plane and the Apollo 11 capsule. As for [Paul MacCready], his company, AeroVironment went on to capture the second Kremer Prize in June 1979 for crossing the English Channel with his second human-powered aircraft, the Gossamer Albatross.

[Thanks for the tip, Josuel]

Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.


Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Retrotechtacular

Using HID Tricks to Drop Malicious Files

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 22:00

[Nikhil] has been experimenting with human interface devices (HID) in relation to security. We’ve seen in the past how HID can be exploited using inexpensive equipment. [Nikhil] has built his own simple device to drop malicious files onto target computers using HID technology.

The system runs on a Teensy 3.0. The Teensy is like a very small version of Arduino that has built-in functionality for emulating human interface devices, such as keyboards. This means that you can trick a computer into believing the Teensy is a keyboard. The computer will treat it as such, and the Teensy can enter keystrokes into the computer as though it were a human typing them. You can see how this might be a security problem.

[Nikhil’s] device uses a very simple trick to install files on a target machine. It simply opens up Powershell and runs a one-liner command. Generally, this commend will create a file based on input received from a web site controlled by the attacker. The script might download a trojan virus, or it might create a shortcut on the user’s desktop which will run a malicious script. The device can also create hot keys that will run a specific script every time the user presses that key.

Protecting from this type off attack can be difficult. Your primary option would be to strictly control USB devices, but this can be difficult to manage, especially in large organizations. Web filtering would also help in this specific case, since the attack relies on downloading files from the web. Your best bet might be to train users to not plug in any old USB device they find lying around. Regardless of the methodology, it’s important to know that this stuff is out there in the wild.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, security hacks

DIY 6502 Laptop Computer Looks and Works Great

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 19:00

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of DIY retro computers, but [Dirk Grappendorf] has created one of the most polished looking 6502 systems to date. His battery-powered portable machine utilizes a 4 line by 40 character LCD, and a modified USB keyboard. Cover all that in a slick 3D printed case, and you have a machine that reminds us quite a bit of the venerable TRS-80 Model 100.

[Dirk] has some great documentation to go with his computer. He started with a classic MOS 6502 processor. He surrounded the processor with a number of support chips correct for the early 80’s period. RAM is easy-to -use static RAM, while ROM is handled by UV erasable EPROM. A pair of MOS 6522 Versatile Interface Adapter (VIA) chips connect the keyboard, LCD, and any other peripherals to the CPU. Sound is of course provided by the 6581 SID chip.  All this made for a heck of a lot of wires when built up on a breadboard. The only thing missing from this build is a way to store software written on the machine. [Dirk] already is looking into ways to add an SD card interface to the machine.

The home building didn’t stop there though. [Dirk] designed and etched his own printed circuit board (PCB) for his computer. DIY PCBs with surface mount components are easy these days, but things are a heck of a lot harder with older through hole components. Every through hole pin and via had to be drilled, and soldered to the top and bottom layers of the board. Not to mention the fact that both layers had to line up perfectly to avoid missing holes! To say this was a lot of work would be an understatement.

[Dirk] designed a custom 3D printed case for his computer and printed it out on his Ultimaker. To make things fit, he created his design in halves, and glued the case once printing was complete.

If awesome hardware and a case weren’t enough, [Dirk] also spent time designing software for the machine. He wrote his own abbreviated BASIC interpreter along with several BASIC programs. You can find everything over on his GitHub repository.

We always love writing up well-documented, and just generally awesome projects like [Dirk’s]. If you know of any retro computers like this one, drop us a tip!

[Thanks MicroHex!]


Filed under: classic hacks

3D Printed Speaker Pushes Rapid Prototyping Boundaries

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 16:00

We think Formlabs has really figured out the key to advertising their line of 3D printers — just design really cool stuff that you can 3D print in resin, and release them publicly! To celebrate a firmware upgrade to the Form 1+, they’ve designed and released this really cool 3D printed speaker which you can make yourself.

Designed by [Adam Lebovitz], the speaker can be printed in just a few jobs, using their flexible resin for the dynamic components. It even sounds pretty damn good.

As you can see in the following exploded view of the speaker, almost the entire thing is 3D printed out of just two materials — minus some copper wire, 37 disc magnets, and one cap screw.

Of course, this isn’t the first time someone has 3D printed a speaker, but [Adam’s] done a pretty slick job of it. They’ve released all the design files for free (you do have to request them), but it’s foreseeable that it could be printed on a standard FDM machine with support material — it’s just much easier with a resin based printer.

Similar to their 3D printed monocle (which includes the lens!), this is a great example of how far SLA based printers have come.

[Thanks for the tip Jennifer!]


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

A Remote for CHDK Cameras Made Possible with Arduino

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 13:00

[AlxDroidDev] built himself a nice remote control box for CHDK-enabled cameras. If you haven’t heard of CHDK, it’s a pretty cool software modification for some Canon cameras. CHDK adds many new features to inexpensive cameras. In this case, [AlxDroidDev] is using a feature that allows the camera shutter to be activated via USB. CHDK can be run from the SD card, so no permanent modifications need to be made to the camera.

[AlxDroidDev’s] device runs off of an ATMega328p with Arduino. It operates from a 9V battery. The circuit contains an infrared receiver and also a Bluetooth module. This allows [AlxDroidDev] to control his camera using either method. The device interfaces to the camera using a standard USB connector and cable. It contains three LEDs, red, green, and blue. Each one indicates the status of a different function.

The Arduino uses Ken Shirrif’s IR Remote library to handle the infrared remote control functions. SoftwareSerial is used to connect to the Bluetooth module. The Arduino code has built-in functionality for both Canon and Nikon infrared remote controls. To control the camera via Bluetooth, [AlxDroidDev] built a custom Android application. The app can not only control the camera’s shutter, but it can also control the level of zoom.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

3D Printed Surfboard

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 10:00

You whippersnappers these days with your 3D printers! Back in our day, we had to labor over a blank for hours, getting all sweaty and covered in foam dust. And it still wouldn’t come out symmetric. Shaping a surfboard used to be an art, and now you’re just downloading software and slinging STLs.

Joking aside, [Jody] made an incredible surfboard (yes, actual human-sized surfboard) out of just over 1 kilometer of ABS filament, clocking 164 hours of printing time along the way. That’s a serious stress test, and of course, his 3D printer broke down along the way. Then all the segments had to be glued together.

But the printing was the easy part; there’s also fiberglassing and sanding. And even though he made multiple mock-ups, nothing ever goes the same on opening night as it did in the dress rehearsal. But [Jody] persevered and wrote up his trials and tribulations, and you should give it a look if you’re thinking of doing anything large or in combination with fiberglass.

Even the fins are 3D printed and the results look amazing! We can’t wait for the ride report.

Shaka.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

Sonar Built from Piezo and Microphone

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 07:01

[Jason] has continued to plug along with his sonar build and recently showed up a monostatic active sonar using a piezo element and microphone. Regular readers will remember [Jason’s] experiments from a Fail of the Week post which focused on his water-proofing woes from a much earlier prototype.

We find this offering far more engaging. He has ditched the ultrasonic module seen in those experiments. The new rig drives the piezo element using a 27V source. After each ping is sent out, the microphone input is immediately captured to detect the return of the audible sound. [Jason] mentions that the TI Launchpad he’s using for the project is fast enough for these experiments but he may switch to a Teensy 3.1 in order to double the RAM and thereby increase the sample size he is able to record.

Of course this is intended for underwater ROVs so his next iteration will involve a DIY hydrophone. We can’t wait to see that one as the process of converting this test rig into one that works underwater evades us. If you have some tips on that topic please let us know in the comments.

[via Dangerous Protoypes]


Filed under: robots hacks

TorqueScreen: Haptic Feedback On-the-Go

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 04:00

If you’ve been keeping your skills fresh with any console video games in the last 15 years (or you’ve acquired a smartphone), you’ll know that “rumble,” or “haptic” feedback plays a key role in augmenting our onscreen (or touch-screen typing) experience. Nevertheless, this sort of rumble feedback is surprisingly boolean, and hasn’t developed into a richer level of precision since it started to be introduced in gaming over 30 years ago. In response, [Martin] and his fellow design teammates at the University of Salzburg, Austria have introduced the TorqueScreen, a mobile haptic attachment that puts a twist on conventional force feedback.

At its core the TorqueScreen is a gyroscope attached to a servo with the respective rotational axes in a perpendicular alignment. When the servo rotates the live gyroscope, the user can sense the tablet’s resistance to rotate about the servos axis.

The team’s conference demonstration model features a brushless motor plucked from an old hard drive controlled by an Arduino and driven manually by a Wii nunchuck. Currently only one rotational axis resists changes in rotation, but a gimbal may be the next step in this project.

We’ve certainly seen budget handheld haptic devices before, but this project allows for an entire spread of responses proportional to the speed at which the gyroscope is rotated about the servo axis.

Unless you’re reading this post on your already-torquescreen-enabled mobile device, it’s a bit difficult to get a feel for what kind of interactions you can produce with this setup. The video (after the break), though, can give you a pretty good idea of what kind of interactivity you’d expect with device clipped onto your tablet.

[via the Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction Conference]


Filed under: Virtual Reality

Rendering Fractals With Just HTML and CSS

อังคาร, 01/27/2015 - 01:00
What’s better than spending hours and hours with CSS trying to get images and text to center properly? Not [Jim], but he did notice that CSS3 was a very powerful language. He wondered about building Tetris, a Turing Machine, or rendering fractals purely in CSS and HTML. The jury is still out if a Turing machine is possible, but he did manage to generate some simple fractals using just CSS and HTML, no JavaScript required.

Most fractals are recursive, and CSS rules can be applied to HTML objects that have already have rules applied to them. It’s not quite recursion, because there’s no way to dynamically generate HTML with CSS. However, with just a few tags, [Jim] can generate one level of a Pythagoras Tree. This method requires placing tags in the HTML for every level of the tree, greatly limiting the cool factor. That’s easily remedied by a few CTRL+Cs and CTRL+Vs.

The same technique can be used to render a Koch snowflake – seen on this page. Yes, it’s all HTML and CSS, without JavaScript. Why? Because he can, and that’s good enough for us.


Filed under: Software Development