Pink wireless-terminal of wonder

[Hunter Davis] is at it again, this time hacking the pink IM-ME to use as a wireless terminal. It sells for between $12-16 and he ordered it to get free shipping with another purchase. The wireless antenna registered as an HID device when he plugged it into his Linux box. He then sat down for a long USB sniffing session only to be surprised by the lack of any type of security. Everything transferred to the device is just plain text in hexidecimal. Because of possible DMCA issues he hasn’t posted a driver but does explain most of the process to write your own.

[Hunter] has given us a lot of handheld hacks. This device is meant as a remote terminal for instant messaging. We’re sure you can think up a lot better uses so let us know in the comments and don’t forget to send in any projects you come up with.

[Thanks Paul]

DS based reader for the blind

[Epokh] has release some homebrew software that uses a Nintendo DS as a voice reader for documents. This is extremely useful for blind and visually impaired folks who normally use screen readers but can utilize this technology for reading books, documents, and email on the go. Future versions look to add an email client and implement OCR via the camera for reading documents on the go.

The flite package is utilized to provide the text to speech functionality. We’re familiar with this package and judging by the video after the break, it lost nothing in the port to the DS hardware. [Epokh] pointed out that similar readers can cost $1500 when a DS sells for around $130. We can’t wait to see the final version fleshed out!

[Read more...]

Robo-one dance competition

This year at the creepy robot dace-a-thon, also known as the Robo-one dance competition, we get to see the creepy brought to new levels. We thought the Lou Vega decapitated head bot was creepy, but somehow these people managed to make a biped out creep a hexapod. Watch above as this uncanny valley resident tries to shimmy into your heart. We really are impressed by these bots though. The world of robot dancing has come a long way, those little servo bags are doing a better job than us on the dance floor.

NXT Turing machine

This interesting use of Lego popped up on the mailing list of the University of Bergen. Build by a group of Norwegian Danish students, it’s a simple computer that implements Alan Turing’s design from 1937. Having both read and write functions, it implements its own (somewhat inefficient) medium of non-volatile memory. What we find interesting is that rather than move the ‘tape’ through the machine, the machine rolls over the tape. Thanks to [Thorsten] for the tip.

Xbox 360 controller on NES

Some may think that linking an Xbox 360 controller to an original NES console is overkill. [Francois] would not count him self among that group. When the robotics team at his school was done using the controller with one of their projects, [Francois] used a Cortex M3 processor to get it to run with one of Nintendo’s 8-bit consoles. Part of the code for using the controller with the robot and the NES is available. Now all that is left is being able to play Duck Hunt with a Sixaxis controller.

Hackaday Links: Sunday, November 29

Sometimes we wonder if we’re making good choices with PCB layout when using EagleCAD. Watch how the pros do it with a video of an hour-long Adafruit PCB layout session compressed into seven minutes.

[Elijah] documented his RepStrap build. This is a chicken-or-egg project in that RepStrap machines are built without the assistance of an already existing RepRap.

Here’s an ASUS concept from CeBIT this year for a laptop that has two touch screens and no physical keyboard. Isn’t this just the DS project we saw this week but in a nice case?

[James] conjured up a physical realization of the Spinning Wheel of Death for an art exhibit. We can’t stop smiling when looking at this artful hack.

I’m sure nobody will raise an eyebrow when you pop out that roll of duct-tape and affix your phone to the airplane window. That’s what [floe] did to make this airline flight time-lapse video with an Android phone. Aren’t you supposed to turn off all electronics for takeoff?

Xbox-intosh & an Atom-based Cube

Though [Will] is more of a PC guy, he needed a Mac to run the software he needed for his line of work (Final Cut). Making the best of an unfortunate situation, he constructed this hackintosh inside the case of Microsoft’s original gaming console – the Xbox. [Will] did a good job at documenting the build.

[Paul], who seems a bit more fond of Apple’s technology, still felt as though his hardware could use an overhaul. So he gutted his G4 Cube and dropped in an Intel Atom 330 based system to get his ultimate HTPC. To make controlling the 1 TB beast more fun, he hooked up a Wiimote through DarwiinRemote.

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