Tying the knot with MakerBot

makerbot-ring

De Beers would have you believe that only diamonds will do, but hackers are hardly ones to follow convention. How better to say “I love you” than with a MakerBot-extruded black ABS engagement ring? [Adam Elkins] did just that, creating the design with a combination of GIMP, SketchUp and Blender, then producing the final output on a MakerBot at Philadelpha hacker space Hive.

From the steampunk wedding at the 2008 Maker Faire, to the science-meets-romance web comic xkcd, hackers certainly have some unique ways of expressing their devotion. What are some of the wildest or most charming that you’ve seen? Comments are open…speak now or forever hold your peace.

Oh, and the engagement ring? She accepted. Congratulations to the lucky couple!

[via MakerBot blog]

Mouse runs through VR maze

vr_mouse_setup

In an effort to determine the brain of animals during movement, scientists have built this contraption. It is a VR pod for a mouse. While we’re pretty sure/hopeful that none of you need a mouse VR system, we think the rig is interesting enough to stand on its own. It appears to be a convex mirror setup, projected in a dome. The controller is interesting in that it looks like a giant trackball hack. They’re using an optical mouse rigged to a ball floating on a cushion of air. This makes it much easier for the mouse to move. There’s a video of the whole thing in action after the break.

[Read more...]

Skittles, The Robotic Blimp

Blimp 4_0

Funky Shiitake Mushrooms, a high school design team from Fremont, CA, have created a low cost airship they call Skittles the Second. Skittles is a remote control robotic blimp, complete with 4 reversible propellers, wireless video, and 2.4 a GHz remote control. Somewhere between a regular RC  blimp and a Predator Drone, Skittles and FSM have managed to gain a large number of awards including winning the Digital Open grand prize. The ship performs amazingly, and can perform a full 360 in just over one second. There is a video after the break.

For the future, the group plans to give the ship autonomous capabilities, in order to avoid losing another drone in strong wind. Fortunately, after that happened to Skittles the first, they were able to hunt it down after it had floated 3 miles down the road. Since they are all high school students under 17, we would say they have a lot of potential. I, for one, welcome our new robotic blimp overlords.

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RFID-enabled robot…mood…tail…thingy.

moodtail

Furries: is there nothing they cannot do? Well okay, “shower” remains an elusive concept, but wearable technology seems to be in, as evidenced by this robotic mood tail. [Wei-Chieh Tseng]’s adorable Arduino-driven fashion accessory operates either via Wii Nunchuk or a set of RFID cards tagged with specific emotions to depict.

Details are scant. It appears to have been a project for a physical computing or design class. One thing’s for certain: Halloween is going to be awesome.

[via Engadget]

Animatronic winged demon terrorizes local garage

WingedDemonVideo005

Halloween is on its way, and if you’re going to do it right, you’re going to overdo it right. A few days ago we showed you [Jake's] flying Crank Ghost, the idea is simple and creates lovely motion that is sure to scare some small children. But what if you want people leaving your little shop of horrors needing a new pair of pants? Meet the Animatronic Winged Demon by [Woody]. Very little info is given except for the touch screen controller, the central control system, and his unique use of a modular skeleton, but the project is very impressive none the less. If the demon doesn’t scare you, take a look at the miles of wires needed to control it. Check out a video after the break.

[via HackedGadgets] [Read more...]