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Capacitive buttons control all life

capacitive_game_of_life

Projects involving Conway’s Game of Life and utilizing a Nokia 3310 screen are quite popular with electronics hobbyists. [Droky] put these two together and went one step further by adding capacitive sensors to control the Game of Life. His work is a great example of how to use the Atmel QTouch capacitive sensor (QT100a datasheet). This chip does the heavy lifting that we’ve seen in other touch sensitive solutions. It operates from 2V-5.5V, requires only three capacitors and a resistor, has a one pin active high output, and sells for around $1 in low quantities. One thing [Droky] overlooked in his board layout is the ground pad on the bottom of the WSON6 chip. He was able to make it work by masking the trace that runs under the chip but you will want to alter the layout in your own designs.

If you’ve used the QT100a before we’d like to hear about your experience, and find out if button debounce handling is necessary with this chip. Let us know in the comments. You can see a video of it in action after the break.

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OmniZero.9 multi format biped

There are so many biped bots circulating the web that we tend to overlook them. This one caught our eye this morning due to its interesting ability to change its layout. Named OmniZero.9, this biped can drive on 4 wheels like a car, walk like a biped, and even carry a person. While it certainly doesn’t look like the most comfortable mode of transportation, it looks less awkward than some of the latest “innovations” coming from big names.

[via GetRobo]

Open Source Weapon Makes You Puke

[Limor] of Adafruit Industries and the Ice Tube Clock has made her own open source non-lethal weapon: The Bedazzler. After attending a conference by the DHS where she saw the big-budget Dazzler, she decided to make her own. Thirty-six LEDs, six switching FETs, a Boarduino, and a former flashlight later, the Bedazzler makes a better rave toy than a weapon. It doesn’t work as-is, but we figure it will only be a matter of time before someone hacks this to make people… umm hack.  See the video after the break.

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