For day two of Black Hat, we sat in on on [Joe Grand], [Jacob Appelbaum], and [Chris Tarnovsky]’s study of the electronic parking meter industry. They decided to study parking meters because they are available everywhere, but rarely considered from a security perspective.
[Don] had some Serial RFID readers that he needed to work and be powered by USB. He went out and purchased a simple serial to USB converter, but was left with the problem of the operating voltage. He supplies the schematics on his site for his solution. Basically he gutted the converter and integrated it all with the appropriate voltage broken out. The final project is nice, using the serial to USB convert as the project box and even including a nice LED to show when an RFID tag has been read.
Ishikawa Komuro Laboratories are doing some amazing stuff with robots right now. The video above starts out looking like a clumsy and somewhat failed attempt at dribbling a ping pong ball. Once it goes into slow motion however, we see the true action. This robot is dribbling that ball amazingly. Utilizing 1000 FPS cameras, it readjusts and hits the ball on every bounce. As the ball drifts out of the reach of the bot, suddenly we are struck with the lifelike motion. Personification can be a fleeting thing, appearing so strongly as the little bot tries in vain to reach for that ball, then disappearing again an instant later. If you really want to see some personification worthy of the crab fu challenge, check out their tool manipulation by a multi fingered hand video.