Simple Linux robot with IR camera


Here’s something else we found while writing up our duplicate Ikea Linux Cluster post. [Janne] also built this simple linux robot. The robot uses the Qwerk robot controller, a webcam with the IR filter removed (something like this one), a usb WiFi card, an IR spotlight, and a set of repurposed model airplane wheels. The WiFi adapter and webcam attach directly to the Qwerk via its on-board usb ports; the servo motors are also connected via built-in ports. Although [Janne] doesn’t post specific instructions, the Qwerk platform seems fairly easy to work with. Have a look at the Qwerk overview for more information.

IKEA Linux cluster


Building a render cluster doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, even if you’re buying brand new hardware. [Janne] built this 6 unit cluster inside of a 6 drawer IKEA Helmer cabinet. He wanted the cluster to be low power and low cost. After finding a good price on 6 65nm Intel Core 2 CPUs, he found 6 cheap Gigabyte motherboards. The memory on each board was maxed at 8GB. With 24 2.4GHz cores consuming 400W, the power consumption and cost isn’t much more than a high end PC. Each board is running Fedora 8 and mounts an NFS share. Dr Queue is used to manage the render farm’s processes. [Janne] says jobs that previously took all night now only require about 10-12 minutes. The estimated capacity is 186Gflops, but plans are already in motion for a12Tflop version.

His site also has plans for an underwater camera housing like our recent post. If you want to see more IKEA abuse, check out IKEA Hacker, even if it’s not very technical.

[via Hackzine]

[UPDATE: yep, we duped ourselves]

Nintendo DS music creation


Homebrew developer [yaarglafr] recently released this video of his Protein DScratch in action. You can download a demo version here. The program simulates DJ scratching on the DS with an intuitive interface much like the ones on the touchscreen turntables we discussed the other day. It works well with any of the major DS slot devices; just run a DLDI patch on it and you’re good to go.

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LCD projector repair


[Kieth] picked up an Infocus projector only to find that it needed some repair. The polarizer on the blue light path was toast. When he parted out an Optoma projector he scored a polarizer that was just about right for the repair. It’s a good read even if you don’t have a projector in pieces at the moment. He ended up bending the mounting bracket a bit to hold the filter and got his projector fully up and running again.

Metalab’s LED matrix display


Our friends at Vienna’s Metalab have been working on this project quite a while. Soldering their hearts out to create an FPGA controlled monochrome LED dot matrix display. It’s 48×72 array totaling 3,456 LEDs, soldered by hand. It creates some serious geek bling thanks to an mplayer plugin developed just for the project and it runs up to 72fps. Build details and source code are on the project page. Be sure to check out the awesome video demo below.

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