Those of you that live in snowier climates will drool over the I-Shovel, a battery powered robot that shovels the snow off your driveway, saving you countless hours of backbreaking labor over the course of a single winter. Its inventors claim that, despite its relatively underpowered motor, it keeps the driveway clear even in heavy snowfall; the trick, apparently, is that the robot constantly monitors the amount of snow on the driveway and springs into action whenever a significant but manageable layer has built up. Unfortunately, the I-Shovel is still a prototype, but with any luck you’ll be able to actually buy one soon. If you’re impatient, of course, you could always try building your own.
There are a ton of digital picture frame tutorials out there. Most are old laptops with crafty case reconfigurations that fit a photo frame profile.
We set out to build a 100% DIY, scratch-built digital picture frame. Our frame has a 12bit color LCD, gigabytes of storage on common, FAT-formatted microSD cards, and you can build it at home. We’ve got the details below.
Continue reading “How-to: Digital picture frame, 100% DIY”
Bug Labs, the company that makes modular electronics that allow you to build your own tech doohickeys quickly and easily, has announced five new modules: BUGprojector, a mini DLP projector developed in conjunction with Texas Instruments, which sounds very much like the tiny DLP projector we posted about last week; BUGsound, an audio processing module with four stereo input/output jacks, a microphone, a speaker, and builtin hardware codecs; BUGbee (802.15.4) and BUGwifi (802.11 and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR), which will let you connect wirelessly with your PAN and WLAN, respectively; and BUG3g GSM, for connecting to (you guessed it) 3G GSM networks. In conjunction with Bug Labs’ existing series of modules, especially the highly versatile BUGvonHippel universal module, you’ll be able to create some pretty kickass gadgets. No word yet on pricing, although Bug Labs expects to ship by the end of Q1 2009.
ArtFall allows you to draw on a whiteboard, then have small geometric shapes interact with your drawing like a barrier. Imagine a pachinko machine where you have to draw the pegs in. Not only can you draw barriers, but you can change the direction of gravity with either an iPhone or a Wiimote. The footage also shows some sound interaction as the pieces seem to bounce with the bass from some music. The effect is quite nice and somewhat reminiscent of the whiteboard pong we saw recently.
The Coby DP-151sx Digital picture frame keychain seems to be ripe for hacking. At roughly $9, you get a screen, and Li-Ion battery. That’s not bad considering a similar screen alone would cost $20 elsewhere even though it runs on a slower serial connection. While they’ve only put a 3 color pattern on it so far, more can’t be far behind. If you don’t feel like actually tearing it apart, there are some projects that have managed to customize what it displays via the USB connection.