What’s the worst way to transmit video?

Perhaps the worst possible way to transmit video would be to send all pixel data in parallel.  That’s exactly how [Gebhard Sengmüller’s] parallel image device works. To be fair, this is an art piece called “A Parallel Image” that addresses the concept of where we would be if serial data transmission had never come to fruition. The brochure (PDF) accompanying the exhibit gives the juicy details we’re always looking for.

The device consists of a photo sensor unit and a display unit. Both are one-square-meter stripboard panels made of epoxy. The sensor unit consists of a 50×50 grid of photo-conductors that have their counterparts in the 50×50 grid of light bulbs on the display unit. Things start to get pretty crazy when you throw in the 7500 meters of magnet wire that connect the 2500 pixel sensor unit to the display unit.

You should be able to put together how this works. The sensors pick up light and then effect the brightness of the corresponding light bulbs. The result is an interesting image, and a nightmare of wire porn that would drive any TV repairman to drink.

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Sugru – moldable silicone adhesive

Reader [James] told us about a new product developed with hackers in mind. Sugru is a silicone-based adhesive that cures at room temperature. It is moldable and once hardened it remains slightly flexible. You can see in the picture above that it has been used to create a hook but the inventor shows off a slew of other uses such as replacing missing feet on a chair, molding hand grips, and waterproofing. One of the most enticing aspects is that Sugru will create a chemical bond with smooth metal.

The product reminds us of the two-part earplug material used to ruggedize electronics from a while back. The difference is that Sugru is one part and is an adhesive. It comes as a satchel full of individually-sized packets. To use it, choose how much you need, cut open the package to reveal the product, then knead and mold the chewing-gum-looking substance to fit your needs. Check out the demonstration video after the break.

Want to try some out? Yeah, so do we but it seems they’ve already sold out of their initial supply (good for them, bad for us) and we haven’t seen word on pricing. We’d love to use this to mold enclosures, and for about a billion other things.

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Eureqa discovers equations

While “Software to discover equations and mathematical relationships in data” isn’t at the top of our christmas wish list, we have to admit that Eureqa is pretty cool. Developed at Cornell University, Eureqa uses machine learning algorithms to determine the underlying math behind data sets. It derived Newton’s second law of motion in a few hours on a standard desktop computer, which isn’t bad at all for a cold unfeeling robot mind. There probably aren’t many applications for this in most hacks, but what hacker wouldn’t want Sir Issac Newton’s brain in their toolbox? The software can be downloaded for free from their website.

[Via Wired]

Melloman tape-looping keyboard

[Michael] tipped us off about an incredible build from back in 2005. The Melloman is a keyboard that uses a different tape loop for each key. The instrument is generally known as a Mellotron, and consists of a different looping tape for each key. When a key is depressed, the head comes into contact with the key and plays the sound sample.

This particular implementation uses 14 Walkmans to supply the tape loops. The Walkman units are constantly playing but the audio output is not enabled until a key is depressed. The main description of the instrument is on the final project page linked above but there are many construction photos available in the build log.

Update: After the break we’ve embedded a video that will take you on a tour of the components of the Melloman. To clear up the looping issue: a Mellotron uses tape loops, but the Melloman uses tapes that are 30 minutes on each side instead of loops.

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Movie mover: a mobile theater

[Electricunicycle] put together this radio controlled mobile theater system to amuse his neighborhood pals. It is a projector and what looks like an electric wheelchair base. He has managed to fit a decent sound system in there as well, which required a second battery. This is pretty cool, though we could see ruggedizing it a little more to be able to drive around in fields. He states “this is one of the faster movie theaters around”. This makes us wonder what the competition is like.