Hackaday at CES

Hackaday is going to the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This year’s show runs January 7-10 and we’re going to use every minute to scout out hacking’s past and future. We’re looking for hacks from the past that have made it into new, commercially available electronics. We also want to get a look at the products that we’ll all be cracking open at some point in the future.

Do you know of something being exhibited that we shouldn’t miss? Tell us what to look out for in the comments.

Shadow buttons

This art installation uses buttons made of light. A projector fills up the walls and ceiling of a room while a webcam monitors the pattern for changes. When the luminosity of a given area changes due to a shadow, a midi event is triggered. The software that controls the system is written in C# and uses the Emgu CV library to handle the image processing. In the video after the break you can see that creating shadows with your hands prompts changes in the image as well as the sound.

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Moolodeon electric accordion

[Lee] wanted an electric Melodeon to use with his band. A Melodeon is a chromatic accordion and there are people who already make electric versions but they are a little too expensive for him. Instead, he bought a toy accordion and added electronics to it.

After being thwarted by forgotten PIC skills of yore, he went with an Arduino as the controller. Two pressure sensors are used to detect the squeezing and pulling of the instrument’s bellows. His did some solid work. The video above uses 8-bit sounds like we’re used to from video games and the one after the break sources more traditional accordion sounds.

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New Year’s party favor?

[Infernoz] built a POV display to help ring in the new year. There is a low component count; an ATtiny26, DIP switch, power switch, CR2032 battery and holder, pin header, 8 LEDs, and a pull-up resistor. The board is single sided without any jumpers that we can see. He’s moving the display by swinging it on a rope but the PCB is the perfect shape to attach to a fan. We love these blinky displays and if you’ve got some parts this makes a great party favor for New Year’s Eve. Check out the video after the break.

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Lightdrawing Robot

Long exposure “light drawing” photography has become pretty popular lately. We see images pop up all the time that look pretty cool. [Nils] wasn’t feeling particularly artistic himself, so he made a robot to do the hard work for him. he can program patterns in, and it will replay them by changing the color of the light on top while it drives around. Though it may lack a little of the fluidity of the hand made images, it can probably make up for it with complexity. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this style of photography mixed with robotics, though this one seems fairly more flexible. Tune in after the break to see a video of it in action.

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Industrial CNC controller retrofit

[Jerry] had a beefy CNC lathe whose controller wouldn’t respond. He cracked open the case and found a large scorch mark surrounding one of the servo controllers. Rather than just replace the IC and still be stuck with a 23-year-old controller he decided to retrofit the machine with modern controls.

The journey from a brick of steel to an incredible machine is fascinating. Using a combination of commercially available boards like the ModIO controller and custom-built circuits, he cleaned up control signals and give life to the lights on the original faceplate. The machine is now working beautifully with a new monitor, automatic oiling, and wireless connectivity.

Star Trek submarine

You can try to be unimpressed. You can attempt to feign disinterest. But even the most casual Star Trek fan will get giddy watching this model submarine in action.  Apparently there is a group that builds under water R/C vehicles from static models. It’s not Star Trek exclusively either, we saw some anime vehicles as well as a modern-day shuttle replica.

[via Makezine]