Autonomous Turret wielding biped bot

Pay close attention. At roughly 36 seconds we see Asimov’s laws going out the window. We’re pretty sure we saw this little autonomous battle bot take a shot at a human. We can’t tell for sure, but it looked like it enjoyed it too.

This bot is being built by [xdream] to compete in the Mech Warfare section of the Robo Games 2010. His target acquisition system and firing are completely autonomous. We think his motion is controlled by an operator though.

This little fellow may seem harmless enough, until you realize that those servos and guns could be replaced and this “little guy” becomes that “big fella”. That’s not anything the maker suggested, we’re just pointing out that a killer robot is only cute when it’s small.

[via BotJunkie]

DS goes full size – pockets everywhere rally in protest

It’s hard to believe we missed this one from a couple of years back but we’re thankful that reader [Christian] tipped us off about it. This a Nintendo DS with two tablet pc screens being used as an external display. He’s using an FPGA but not to emulate the processor. It is translating the video data from the DS board into usable signal for the larger LCD screens. In the video after the break you can see that pen input has been implemented, with the FPGA sending location data back to the DS.

[Neal], the creator, priced the project out at around $580. It’s worth a lot more considering the know-how needed to get the video scaling and pen input right using the FPGA. It won’t fit in your pocket, but it doesn’t have a case either so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

[Read more...]

Tiny keyboard/touchpad has “hack” written all over it

Yes, we know, this is not a hack, yet it just has the vibe of something we’ll likely be seeing in many small form-factor systems and wearable hacks in the future.

The USB Wireless Handheld Keyboard is a diminutive keyboard and mouse replacement with a passing resemblance to a BlackBerry PDA — where the screen has been replaced with a laptop-style trackpad sensor. This seems a shoo-in for home theater PC use; it’s unobtrusive and won’t look out of place on the coffee table alongside the universal remote. But any tiny system requiring only occasional input could likely benefit.

The keyboard layout is funky as heck, though likely adequate for its intended use of couch web-surfing and interactive messaging (or whatever wild applications our readers will surely come up with). A USB wireless receiver and a charging cable are included in the $62 package. Video after the break…

[USB Geek via Engadget]

[Read more...]

Make any gloves work with a touch screen

The chill of autumn is upon us, and with it comes the awkward sport of trying to work touch-sensitive phones and gadgets with gloved fingers. One can try toughing it out with fingerless gloves, or we’ve seen some costly solutions in the forms of specialized gloves and capacitive-compatible styluses, but sometimes simple is best: all it takes is a few stitches of conductive thread in the fingertips.

Conductive thread is available from various sources; SparkFun Electronics comes naturally to mind, but most vendors carrying the LilyPad Arduino will stock a suitable thread as well. Don’t fret if you’ve never sewn before — just a few simple loops are required, and it doesn’t need to be especially tidy. In principle this should work for trackpads and capacitive mice as well, if you use those in the field. For multitouch devices, add a separate conductive bit to each fingertip.

[via Lifehacker]

Recover borked HDD after Xbox 360 ban

[Incudie] tipped us off about a method to fix a borked HDD in your Xbox 360. Many of the one million consoles banned earlier in the month also had the hard disks scrambled making off-line gaming impossible as well. It turns out that this is caused by having a ban flag in the NAND chip on the motherboard. It has been discovered that because of wear levelling, the NAND will have two copies of the “secdata.bin” file which stores the ban flag. Please note, this will NOT allow the console to use Xbox Live, it just re-enables the HDD.

The quick and dirty of the fix is as follows: First the NAND is dumped from your Xbox 360 to a computer. After verifying the file, it can be opened in a HEX editor and the two copies of “secdata.bin” located. Once identified by date, the older version is injected on top of the newer to overwrite the ban flag.

Looks like this is not for the faint of heart, but if you got banned for modding in the first place this should be easy to pull off.

Update: Looks like xbox-scene now has a collection of apps to help you with this process. [Thanks CollinstheClown]

Turkey fryer; awful, bad, and worse

Tomorrow’s turkey day here in the United States. Do you fully expect your trashy neighbor to burn down his house while trying to cook a holiday feast? To see what’s in store for your neighborhood we’ve rounded up a great collection of idiots deep frying turkeys. [Read more...]

Voice controlled lock? Almost…

If you watched the video before reading the article (like we did) and started shaking in your boots at a voice controlled lock system, prepare to be disappointed. His spoken commands are actually to his son to press the appropriate keys on a keypad off screen, the lock is not actually voice controlled.

But still, [Michael Krumpus'] door lock is pretty astounding. By using a torn apart CD drive he easily attains a nice fast and smooth linear motion to bolt and unbolt his door. It wont open his door like some locks we’ve seen, but it will probably be added sometime in the future…right alongside voice commands.

[via DVICE]

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