APRS tracking


We really wish we had a little more information on the construction of this, but [Jeff] made this APRS tracker several years ago. APRS, or Automatic Packet Reporting System is a system where shortwave radios put out small packets of data that are uploaded to a database available via the web. This specific one is relaying GPS data so his family can see where they are located. With current phones, you might think this is antiquated, but he notes that he took this through New Mexico and was able to transmit his position even when there was zero cell phone coverage.

Robotic sheep shearing

This contraption was made in the late 80′s, expressly for shearing sheep. For some reason, it never really took off. We’re guessing because it takes forever and still requires a person to wrangle the sheep on to the holding rack. Having that person just shear the sheep themselves might be much quicker. We think they need to refine it a bit. It should be fast, and not require a person to load it. Maybe something like a modified version of this.

LED buttons


For their final project in ECE 4760 at Cornell, [Christina] and [Joe] made a small single octave keyboard using LEDs as the input. They used a total of 63 LEDs to make the keys. Each key consists of 9 LEDs, with the center one acting as a sensor. When you lay your finger on it, the light reflects off of your finger and is picked up by the center LED. An ATMega 664 runs custom code to play a sound. You can find out more details about the construction as well as download the source code on the site. You can also download an example movie of it in action ( 7MB .mp4)