We here at Hack a Day are really interested in power suits, so the ReWalk suit for paraplegics immediately caught our attention. By using unique robotic control algorithms, the suit works with the user rather than for the user. This allows the user to experience the sensation of walking autonomously and a chance at a normal life. Argo, the design company, also claims that a suit like this will end up saving the user money considering the high price of medical and transportation equipment. The core design is not entirely new. It has a batterypack and DC motors placed at the joints. The wearer uses crutches and the sensors and software monitor upper body movement to predict when and where the user wants to move their leg.
TechCrunch is asking its readers to help them design a web tablet costing just under $200. They claim that there does not yet exist a cheap and usable web tablet designed for things like browsing, web conferencing, mail, chat, and VoIP. Here are some of the specs they are asking for:
thin as possible
touch screen (except for power button)
video camera and low-end speakers
4 Gigabyte hard drive
1/2 Gigabyte of RAM
Linux and Firefox (in kiosk mode)
no desktop interface
We are not completely sure that this device does not exist in some form. Tablets have been around for a while and many cover most of these features. Consider the Nokia N800 or the Pepper Pad.
We also think the TechCrunch readers, who generally concern themselves with what they can buy rather than what they can make, are not really the best crowd for this job. Considering our reader’s abilities to do things on the cheap, we thought we would pose the question ourselves with our own spin. What old and cheap hardware could you re-purpose to create this product?
[GonzoMPM-1] Has gutted an NES knock off called Super Joy III and crammed it inside of a light gun. Inspired by a daughter that loves duck hunt, he wanted to consolidate the package and make it more portable. He’s managed to pull off some nice finish, it look almost professional in the picture above. The unit is powered by 3 AAA batteries in the handle. The game system works just fine, and he claims that the controls are actually more responsive now. The light gun works as well if you have a CRT television around.
You many notice that there is no cartridge slot. There really isn’t a need for one in this mod. The Super Joy III comes equipped with 76 games on the board. He notes that he can make an external cart at some point, but may leave it off in favor of the compact design.
While he acknowledges that this is not a completely self contained gaming device, we feel it earns honorable mention for being cool.
We’re used to central A/C, so we were surprised by this PIC controller based heater controller. It’s based around a pump controlled boiler/radiator system. A PIC 16F84 is used to input the set point and control a pump to circulate the heated water as needed. You can grab full schematics on the project page.
Update: We added a screen capture of the schematic after the break since the site keeled over.