Halloween props: Techy Jack-o-lanterns

Halloween is this weekend. If you still have some time and parts available, you might be looking to spice up your Jack-o-lantern.  We’ve found a few projects that we thought might be nice to share. None of them would merit a post on their own, so we thought we would just round them up and share them all at once. They all appear to be powered by the Arduino, which we know will bring some comments. Just to clear up some questions, they don’t pay us to advertise Arduinos. People just do a lot of projects with them.

First, the silly string shooting Jack-o-lantern which you can see above. He’s using a single servo hooked to an Arduino and a motion sensor.  When it detects motion, it lets out a short squirt of silly string. You can download the code from the project page. We might suggest you arrange this in a manner to avoid spraying directly into some kids eyes.

Check out the next two after the break.

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Keepon, eat your heart out

[Ruyck] sent us this video of his mini Keepon robot. For those who haven’t been initiated, Keepon is a very emotive, and extremely expensive, dancing robot. He is deceptively simple looking, but as you can see in [Ruyck]‘s version, it is fairly complex. [Ruyck] has used a mini RC collective pitch helicopter assembly for the motion, which makes controlling it fairly intuitive. At first, we were not too impressed with [Ruyck]‘s final implementation, which you can see along with a comparison video of Keepon after the break. Then we realized, all he as to do is find a way to attach the bottom of the foam body to the base to achieve much more of the squash and stretch motion of keepon. A little creative programming and this little fellow could be made autonomous and synchronized to music.
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libTISCH 1.0 released

picview

[Florian] is proud to announce libTISCH 1.0 is finally ready for release. We told you about libTISCH just under a year ago and how it is a multitouch framework that factors more on the software side of things, instead of hardware for multitouch interfaces. A lot has changed including more widgets, more gestures, more hardware support, and some other nice features. If you’re looking into making your own multitouch surface, or making your own widgets for a multitouch surface – libTISCH would be a great place to start.

Upgraded Atari 1024STf

atari-1024STf-case-mod

[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 ink will print circuits

xerox-silver-bullet-ink

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.

[via Gizmodo]

Mr. Wake, wakes up and runs

[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.

 

[via Makezine]

Hot off the presses its Android 2.0 SDK.

androidemu

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.

[Thanks Taylor].

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