Rotating radar visualization

We ask, who wouldn’t want a rotating motion and distance tracking radar? Sure in today’s day and age anyone could purchase a wide-angle sonar or IR solution that achieves the same goal, but [LuckyLarry] took it old school and made his own rotating radar. He used an Arduino, servo, and ultrasonic sensor as a base to gather data, and the open source programming language Processing to draw the data on the screen. He says it’s a little inaccurate currently, but will try out some other sensors in the future.

USB to serial adapter

[Spikenzie] is at it again. This time he’s posted a nice USB to serial converter. He points out that you can buy a USB to serial adapter pretty cheaply, but sometimes you want this functionality built into your project enough to justify the greater cost. In those cases where you want to integrate it, this is an elegant solution. This design was made to be fairly compact and still usable on a breadboard. As usual, you can download the files from his website.  If his work looks familiar, it’s because we’ve covered his work several times before.

[via Flickr]

LED Ring Light


[Jani] built his own photography ring light based on automotive LED rings. The rings he used are meant to encircle headlights on a car and are available at a low cost. The assembly is built around a filter that attaches to his camera lens. Two rings of LEDs are then glued to a case made from the plastic of a CD-R container. To diffuse the light, he sanded both sides of the clear plastic housing to make it translucent.

LED rings operate on DC power and unlike a ring flash, they provide constant light to help set up your shot. His finished project is well-built and should come in between $10-20.

Radio Assisted Drawing Device


An exhibition just wrapping up at the Russian Frost Farmers Gallery in New Zealand presented an interactive artwork hack. Called the Radio Assisted Drawing Device (R.A.D.D), it is a plotter that mounts on the wall. It isn’t computer controlled, but rather relies on a remote control with two sticks to move the plotter Etch-a-Sketch style.

A clear gantry mounts vertically and travels along the top edge of the wooden backing. A slot cut in the acrylic steadies the plotter and allows for smooth vertical movement. Obviously built by hand, the mechanics seem to have tight tolerances for precise movements of the stylus. See the exhibit in the video after the break.

Wouldn’t you love to have one of these on the wall at your next party? It adds a whole new spin on a guest book.

[Read more...]

Tauntaun costume

[Scott Holden] went all out this year and built an amazing Tauntaun costume. The Tauntaun from Star Wars was massive,  standing 8 feet tall, and usually carrying a rider. [Scott] wanted to make it the correct size, and ultimately pulled it off. He had to build custom stilts to get the leg angle correct as drywall stilts were too straight. The rest is mainly pvc and fur.  We think he did a fantastic job on this. The effect is quite nice, and we can imagine that in person it is even better.

Take note at the bottom of page 3. Apparently, he got pinned in the costume in his workshop and almost had to spend the night on the floor in the costume. That’s pretty wild, at least he was warm.

[via makezine]