[Gerritt] wanted to give his crippled Atari 1024 STf a new purpose in life. He cracked it open and set to work filling it with some modern components. The keyboard from the nearly 25-year-old dinosaur doesn’t have all the keys we’re used to, nor did they all work, so he replaced the original with a 101 key model. The internal hardware was replaced with a microATX board, a picoPSU, Bluetooth and WiFi transceivers, a hard drive, and a slot-fed DVD drive. He even rebuilt the original mouse to use the circuitry from an optical mouse.
The final product is a 1.6GHz Pentium Mobile with one gig of ram. Now he has no need to pick up an EEE Keyboard PC when they hit the market.
Xerox has announced a breakthrough in printable circuits. They’ve developed a conductive ink called “silver bullet” that can be printed on many different types of substrate to create circuits. The key part of the new ink is its lower melting point. Plastic film substrate melts at 150 degrees Celsius but the ink is liquid when ten degrees cooler to avoid damaging the film. This begs the question: how do you then solder components to the circuit?
The benefits of printable circuitry are obvious. Aside from cheaper and easier RFID, disposable circuits like greeting cards, and fabric-based electronics, we’re hoping this will facilitate more environmentally friendly PCB fabrication. That really depends on the ink’s production process and the resilience of the resulting circuitry.
[isotope] must really hate himself. He has built a torture device of pure evil. Mr. Wake, his alarm clock robot, should be considered a torture device. This cute looking little bot, with its bright and colorful clock and neat plastic tube frame is an alarm clock. As soon as it’s alarm goes off, Mr. Wake starts watching for you. If it detects your presence, it takes off, only to wait for you to stumble, bleary eyed, to its current location. Do you know what it does when you catch up to it? It takes off again. Why would you build a robot that you know you are just going to destroy in a groggy fit of animalistic rage?
We actually like Mr. Wake more than clocky, simply for its hackish feel. If you really really have problems getting up, you may want to consider something a little more drastic.
Today Google released the Android 2.0 SDK, allowing developers to begin writing for their latest cell phone platform. Unlike programming for Apple’s iPhone or Touch, however, there isn’t as much documentation on the installation and setup process. AndroidandMe steps in at this point for all those that have gone a muck by writing a very detailed how-to on the install process. So what are you waiting for, start now and you might just be the next Android Developer Challenge winner.
[Lauren] has created a facial conditioning device dubbed the Happiness Hat. The hat measures a sensor at the wearer’s cheek to determine if the wearer is smiling. When the hat does detects the wearer is not smiling, it activates a servo that prods the wearer. This project is fairly unique in that it provides haptic bio-feedback of what the body is doing, a similar project to the Happillow. While the Happiness Hat seems to work for treating the outward symptoms of unhappiness, this is but an early step towards the droud.