Use iPhone to run yourself over

run-yourself-down-with-iphone

The Spirit of Berlin team has developed an iPhone app to remotely control a minivan. They didn’t have to do much to the vehicle to get this working because the platform was  developed for the 2007 Darpa Urban Challenge. The iPhone connects with the driving circuitry via WiFi and offers a gas button, a brake button, and a steering button to enable the accelerometer for turning. The front camera video is transmitted to the iPhone in real-time.

In the picture above you can see the operator in the center of the van’s camera view. It looks like the van’s top speed is limited, but remembering our own ineptitude in piloting RC vehicles, we hope this doesn’t result in a Darwin Award. We’ve embedded a video after the break. Everyone loves to see some Mario Kart reeneactment. You can catch some around 2:28 into the video. Enjoy.

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Desktop Decepticon repurposes cell phone

cell-phone-decipticon

We’ve got a few old cell phones sitting around and apart from salvaging the LCD screen we’re not quite sure what to do with them. [Gingerpete50] turned his into a desktop Decepticon figurine. This masterpiece is a delightful conversation piece and when he’s tired of it decorating his cubicle, we’re sure there will be plenty of people he can hand it down to. The figure doesn’t transform back into a cell phone and it uses a few extra parts he had on hand, but neither of these things bother us. What it does have is some articulated joints and a few LEDs that you can see above. We haven’t tried our hand at custom model building, but after seeing this you can be assured it’s on our list.

Vodaphone ringtone music commercial

When we first saw Vodaphone’s ringtone commercial where 1000 cell phones perform a section of the William Tell overture, we just assumed it was some slick video editing, not to be taken seriously. Apparently, we were wrong. They actually did this. They actually sent text messages to all the phones in correct timing to play the music.  In the video after the break, you can see some details on how they pulled it off. They had to perform this during non peak usage hours to ensure that all their texts went through. We think this project is pretty impressive. Actually, we still don’t know how they pulled it off, we can’t seem to predict how long a text message will take to reach its destination with any kind of reproducible accuracy.

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Halloween prop: glowing spooky eyes

spooky_halloween_eyes_pic_microcontroller (Custom)

Would you like some spooky glowing eyes that light up and play a sound when someone gets near? This circuit makes it pretty simple. It uses a single phototransistor to detect someones presence. Instead of having a preset threshold that needs to be met, it simply triggers any time there is a sufficient change in the amount of light it detects. If you put one of these in a nice dark spot, your halloweeners will only see the LEDs and perceive them as eyes. It might also be cool to somehow add motion to this.

We’re running out of time to prepare for Halloween, don’t forget to send in your projects.

[via HackedGadgets]

(the) Best Robotics competition

okbestLogo

If you give a mouse a cookie, he will ask for a glass of milk. If you give a team of geeks a box full of parts ranging from aluminum to plywood to motors to RF interfaces, they will build a robot. Introducing Best Robotics, a volunteer group that gives schools a box of hardware and 6 weeks to build a robot that will compete against other schools for the title of champion.

This past Saturday the17th, the OKBest regional competition was held and I, HaD writer [Jakob], was lucky enough to be invited personally to not only watch – but compete. Check out our full breakdown after the jump.
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