This design has been around for a few years, but it looks like a good introduction to ultrasonic sensors. The design is surprisingly simple with a low parts count. Of course, if you prefer PIC controllers, you might like this version.
I haven’t seen an augmented reality setup in a while. The Tinmith backpack consists of a VR helmet, with helmet mounted GPS tracking, firewire video camera, orientation tracking, glove based user interface and a belt back that contains the mobile computer and batteries. These systems have very interesting applications. From navigation to correcting information in real time to work around partial blindness.
[Andy] sent in his ‘Network Something‘ hack. For his proof of concept, he used a parallel port printer network adapter to create a set of network controllable LEDs. The virtual printer was implemented with a set of shift registers and a set of nand gates. (and a power regulator). Old print servers can be had pretty cheap – my HP $8 on ebay. Definitely an interesting way to get inexpensive network control of your projects.
Note: We’ll be making some server changes today and tomorrow, so comments will be offline for a bit. They’ll be back.
[Mark] sent in his wireless classic nintendo controller project. He built a wireless NES and SNES controller to use with his Wii via the Gamecube port. He used off the shelf TX/RX hardware and used some PIC controllers to glue everything together. iPod batteries keep em powered and keep the weight down. He provides all the schematics and a walk through on constructing the SNES controller. The circuits are pretty simple, so it’s definitely repeatable. This is almost enough to get me to buy a Wii.
— video after the break.
I was plotting one of my future projects and found this diy RF remote control. I was struck by how simple the circuits are thanks to the micro-controller and RF modules. This is an older write up, and I know you can get newer modules from Spark Fun electronics, but when I was younger, RF controls always seemed to be the black magic of diy electronics.
[john] sent in his uncles Keybot project. The device accepts input (a parallel port in this case) and generates standard keyboard output. It allows a computer to create its keyboard input for itself or another machine. Personally, I go for serial consoles, but it’s a good study of our old friend the keyboard. (If legos are more your thing, you could do something like this.)
[David] sent in his laser beam analyzer project. It’s a complete analysis system built from off the shelf hardware. Even if you’re not into lasers, the project combines several technologies that are useful for the hardware hacker. A laser beam is focused to shine onto a spinning reflector. Beam signal is attenuated by adjusting the distance with a stepper actuated sled. The beam is then measured using various sensors.
I thought we were due for a laser hacks category, so I created it and added some of the older laser hacks to it.