Balloon based satellite


This project provides an opportunity to conduct near space experiments. The flight computer, BalloonSat Extreme, is controlled by a BASIC Stamp 2pe. The complete BOM with PCB artwork is provided. There is enough hardware to control cameras, servos, a Gps, and five digital I/O. The computer is also equipped with a 12 bit ADC to log experiment results. The device seems limited to 30KB of storage. Though the author suggests this memory limitation is more than adequate, we are wondering if an implementation of the Nyquist sampling theorem is in use at all. For further reading the author has provided information regarding Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning.

[via adafruit]

Smart can crusher

[Mangonha] has put together this interesting project involving aluminium can recycling (translated, sortof). They’re using an arduino to tally up how much aluminium they have accumulated. That information is then passed on and displayed on a google map. There are families that go around collecting the cans as a means of income, and this system could be very helpful to them. They state that their goal is to eventually have restaraunts and more families included. We’re a bit curious about how helpful this really is. How is that information actually changing the actions of the collectors? Would a simple flag on your door or window signalling enough cans to pick up or not be just as effective?

[via the Make flickr pool]

Robots learning facial expressions

einstein (Custom)
Researchers at UC San Diego have been working on a robot that learns facial expressions. Starting with a bunch of random movements of the face “muscles”, the robot is rewarded each time it generates something that is close to an existing expression. It has slowly developed several recognizeable expressions itteratively. We have a few questions. First, are we the only ones who see a crazy woman with a mustache in the picture above? Why is that? What makes [Einstein] look so effiminate in that picture? Secondly, what reward do you give a robot? You can actually see this guy in action in a video after the break.

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