Advanced Beauty generative video art


Advanced Beauty is a collection of 18 “sound sculptures” pairing artists and programmers to create a collaborative work visualizing sound. The styles run a broad range from fluid simulations to manipulating cell animation. The demos were built using Processing. While all of these were built using human input, we see potential for them to help improve standard visualizers. Hopefully, to bring out more information about what’s actually being played. Below is just one of the videos in the series. You can find more on Vimeo. [Read more...]

Stupidly huge POV display


[Mario Mauerer] and friends were commissioned to build this 2m persistence of vision display (translated) for a party (in a hight-voltage lab no less). Dubbed “Display from Hell”, it uses 100 blue SMD LEDs to generate the POV images. They’re connected to an ATMega64 via shift registers. Their target speed is 600rpm for a flicker free image, which means the propeller tips are moving at 140mph. The board can be updated wirelessly via IRDA and plans for adding SD storage are in place. You have to see and HEAR this thing in the video embedded below. [Read more...]

Slot loading Xbox 360


File this one under: “Wow, that’s even possible?” xbox-scene hacker [RDC] has been hard at work converting his Xbox 360 to slot loading. To start, He removed the slot loading drive from a blueberry iMac G3. The loading mechanism is the top half of the drive. He split this off and married it to the reading mechanism in the Xbox’s Hitachi drive. The difficult part came with getting the drive to properly signal when it had a disc. He put together a custom circuit to do the detection and has a thorough description of how he solved the problem.

[Thanks, bic]

Tennis ball fetcher


Reader [Julian von Mendel] and his team built this tennis ball fetching robot for a competition (translated). The first version used distance sensors to locate the tennis balls for pick-up, but they changed to a camera based approach. The robot has three omniwheels and is designed to calculate the shortest path to the ball despite orientation since it can rotate while traveling. The wheels are monitored using rotation sensors from PS/2 mice. The control is provided by 3 Atmel microcontrollers that communicate via SPI. The multiprocessor design is fairly generic and could be reused for a different style of robot. While their robot performed fairly well, there were some shortcomings. The limited storage space meant frequent trips to drop off balls. The tilting bucket kept them from picking up tennis balls that were against the wall. Also, the bot had to be disassembled for battery swaps. The project is very well documented and they’ve released all of their control code. You can see the robot retrieving a ball after the break. [Read more...]

CCFL bike wheel lights


We’d never discount the beauty that is the SpokePOV bike wheel kits, but if you want to just turn your bicycle into a blinding blur, [depotdevoid] has the solution for you. He had a CCFL tube left over from an abandoned LCD monitor backlight repair, and decided to see what it would look like as a wheel light. The result turned out fairly well. He had to figure out how to mount the 8 batteries plus step-up board. He says the extra weight isn’t really noticeable and the light output is quite bright. CCFLs can be incredibly fragile, so take care when you do the actual mounting.

Cythbot, pneumatic Guitar Hero


Here’s yet another robot hoping to dominate the human race through the power of ROCK. Cythbot was built to demonstrate Cyth Systems machine vision systems. The device uses a camera to watch the Guitar Hero monitor and identify notes for button presses. The strum bar is then triggered after a delay. The notes are identified solely by pixel intensity since star power can cause them to change shape and color. All button presses are done using pneumatics. The whole system is self-contained and doesn’t require a separate computer for processing. Our favorite part is that the controller remains completely unmodified and the industrial light tree used to indicate notes. The team says that the pneumatics aren’t quite fast enough to hit 100%, unlike some humans. Video of the bot in action after the break. [Read more...]

Simple servo bot plans


oomlout has posted some interesting plans for a simple robot. It’s based around an Arduino and is a platform similar to the Parallax Boe-Bot. The Arduino sends PWM signals to continuos rotation servos that drive the two main wheels. All of the structural components are laser cut from acrylic with slots to hold standard hex nuts. It’s an interesting technique, but the design has a lot of potential for improvement. Right now it uses two different power supplies and a breadboard for simple connections. From the video below, you can see that the balance could be improved as well. [Read more...]