The Woz playing Segway polo

I admit it. Most the weekend I was making quips about the Segway polo guys like, “Those guys look like walking would do them some good, especially that one.” Well, Will and I finally put two and two together and realized that “that one” was Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. He is feared on the polo ground because he has got at least three backups with him and doesn’t mind breaking one.

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Building IR peripherals for the PSP

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C.K. has always been the goto guy around here when it comes to testing out new PSP hacks. Firstly because he was writing a PSP Hacks book and had plenty of hardware laying around; Secondly because it kept me from having to field questions in the excessively long firmware threads. The book has been published and O’Reilly has posted some sample chapters. Thomas Novotny wrote this chapter on interfacing the PSP with peripherals over IR (PDF). It’s similar to our previous entry, but has better documentation and doesn’t assume that you are experienced with microcontrollers.

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MF2006: Human powered Ferris wheel

human powered ferris wheel

There is a set of bike pedals attached to each seat. The chain on each one drives a sprocket attached to the chair’s pivot point. Spinning the pedals tilts the chair and the entire frame reacts by rotating. They only had one set of pedals attached, but it was more than enough to spin the wheel at a pretty good clip. It did look like some damping on the chair pivots would help, since the chairs would swing pretty wildly. I’m sure adding two more chairs would help as well.

A Cyclecide creation [thanks Sasha]

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12″ RC ornithopter

rc ornithopter

There was a little interest in Graham’s 3D scanning probe, but this is what he is normally using his tiny CNC machine for: manufacturing components for a tiny RC ornithopter. The scale of this thing is amazing. From the tiny gear train to the 0.5mm carbon spars the frame is constructed from. The rudder control only weighs one gram and the entire device comes in at 17 grams.

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MF2006: Monome


The people from the Monome project are out in full force at the Faire. They’ve got five of the 8×8 pads hooked up for people to play with. The first two pictured above actually work together as a 16 step loop system. There’s also one hooked up as a mixer and another as a drum machine. The fifth one is showing pixelated video from an iSight. The box is really well built. The $500 price point has shocked a lot of people, but it’s really unavoidable since they’re only doing a 200 device run. Something I hadn’t realized before is that the buttons are unique to the device, not off the shelf parts. The button is really a rubber cap that sits over the LED and has a conductive ring at the base. I hope they post a schematic for their 8×8 matrix controller so that anyone could build one. Here are a few more pictures: one, two, three.