[Zack Anderson] built this computer controlled autonomous robot (back in 2003) out of an old, ugly powerwheels Jeep. It’s got a full onboard computer with wifi, video camera, SONAR sensors, a robotic arm and it can self-navigate. He’s provided server and client code (I haven’t tried it yet), and The project shouldn’t be a surprise, since he’s been working on entries for the DARPA challenge for a while.
[Auger] sent in this nice little hack. The instructable says to get a USB keyboard (it looks like a Dell USB keyboard to me), gut it and label the flexible membranes inside after you join them together. If you’ve got a supply of this style of keyboard, it could be a cheap source… or better yet, maybe you can use the guts to produce high quality custom keybads.
[kernsy] sent in this nice little PICAXE based hack to provide computer control of a VExpolorer kit robot. The PICAXE takes serial commands and outputs the pulse commands normally generated by the controls directly to the RF chipset in the remote.
[Jock] sent in HALO, a nice diy high altitude recon project. Taking a page from the Kite Arial Photography guys, they mounted the camera on a servo tilt mechanism, had radio modem control and SMS gps position updates. I’m waiting for someone to put together a similar package that glides back to home base after the balloon is released.
By the way, if you’ve got a newer CRT RPTV, you might be interested how I fixed mine.
[Matt] sent in this excellent wifi finder reverse engineering project. The goal is to enable custom embedded apps that take advantage of the independent operating mode of the wireless adapter. One of the chips lacked any useful manufacturer markings, so he got some guys at a lab to etch the top of the chip off and get a partial chip id. So far he’s got boot-loader access, so now it’s just a matter of some development.
[Artur] sent in this instructable showing how to make your own back-lighting for LCD displays. It’s a simple process, but I thought it deserved some attention given the cost difference for back-lit LCDs. It’s also a good exercise if you’re building your own projector and considering removing the polarizing film.
This isn’t quite a traditional Hackit, but I think you guys will dig it. Here’s the challenge: Given a budget of $600, put together the best hacking workbench you can. Don’t include computers or the actual bench in your budget. Oh, and you have to spend it all.
By the way, the best five submissions will get a chance to win a secret prize that I’ll be announcing around the end of next month.