Spherical and stereoscopic photography

[Ryubin's] experiments with spherical video continue. This time around he’s using two cameras, both with fisheye lenses, to capture 360 degree by 360 degree video. The two cameras mount back to back and each record a 360 degree vertical view in a 180 degree horizontal range. By stitching the two recordings together and synchronizing them by comparing moving objects a seamless spherical video is produced.

He’s got one more trick up his sleeve with this setup. The tripod mount has a pivot point that allows the two cameras to shoot side-by-side instead of back-to-back. This produces a hemispherical video that is stereoscopic. That’s a pretty cheap way to make this type of 3D imaging compared to some of the CES offerings.

There are a few example videos up on his webpage. If you missed it earlier this month, he’s the guy that build a spherical video setup using a light bulb.

Start the car with a wave of your hand

[Jair2K4] likes his RFID almost as much as he likes his chaw. Ever since his car was stolen he’s had to start it using a screwdriver. Obviously this is not a good way to leave things so he decided to convert his starter to read an RFID tag. He installed an RFID transponder he picked up on eBay, wiring it to the ignition switch. He’s removed the clutch-check sensor and wired a rocker switch to enable the RFID reader. We presume the rocker switch will eventually be used to shut the car off as well.

While most would have purchased a key-chain RFID tag, [Jair2k4] went far beyond that and had the tag implanted in his hand. This is an honor usually reserved for pets and until he adds RFID functionality to the door locks maybe a key fob would have been a better answer. But, to each his own. See his short demonstration video after the break.

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Engineering with magnetic spheres

We would imagine these experiments were spawned by a devastatingly boring day at the office. [Sparr] found himself the proud owner of one thousand rare-earth magnets and decided to see what geometric shapes he could build with the spheres. These are gold-plated N35 Neodymium magnets that measure just 6mm across. He discovered that every structure is built from rings of magnets with shapes dependent upon what sequence of increasing or decreasing members are used. What he’s done is visually pleasing but we’d like to try it ourselves to see how resilient each structure ends up being.

[Sparr's] post is from the Freeside Atlanta blog, a hacker space collective. [Curbob], a regular with the group, tipped us off that a few hacker conventions are coming up in their area and they’re looking for speakers for one-hour talks about projects. If you’re near Raleigh or Atlanta this is your chance to show off that ridiculously complicated project you’ve been risking your marriage to complete.

Hackaday links: January 14th, 2010

We saw this home made beekeepers hood posted and actually mistook it for an art piece. We thought it was a Super Mario squid. You can see an example on this image, which is located on a site dedicated to cross stitching video game characters.

In an odd coincidence, not related to the 8 bit textiles above, we also found this Mario themed sweater. We wouldn’t wear it, but we’d love to see Wil Wheaton in it.

No. No no no. Bad Scientists. No treat for you.

There are 4 more links after the break, you’ll want to see them to get that baby out of your head.

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AVR Tetris

Tetris, the timeless classic, is one of those concepts that someone will try to run on every conceivable hardware platform. I took on the challenge of programming a Tetris clone from the ground up using hardware I had on hand. At the heart of the build is an ATmega168 microcontroller. The game displays on a KS0108 128×64 LCD module with five momentary push switches to provide directional, rotational, and input controls. You can see the resulting monochrome action embedded after the break.

I had several goals in mind while writing the code for the game.  I wanted the code to be portable so that the size of the board and type of screen used could be easily changed. With that in mind I developed the trunk for a Nokia 3595 cellphone screen and a parallel branch for the graphic LCD. Originally I was working with an ATmega8 but upgraded so that I could operate at the 3.3v the cell phone screen required.

The firmware for the graphic LCD branch compiles to just over 6 kB which means it can still be run on a mega8. Also, the ATmega168 is the same processor used in the Arduino Duemilanove so another Tetris port is not out of the question. I just got a hold of my first Arduino so we’ll see if I find time to start a new branch in the code.

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Google bike hack, quick and dirty

Many of the projects we post are so well thought out and engineered, they could hardly be called “hacks”.  This one, however, falls neatly into the hack category. [Dave] wanted his very own exercise bike hooked to Google maps. Instead of setting up a control system and writing software to control Google maps, he simply hacked a USB game controller. He wired a magnetic switch directly into the board, where the “up” button is. Then he mounted the switch so that it would be triggered each time he rotated the pedal.  Though he only has the forward movement done right now, it would be pretty easy to set up a couple more switches at the base of the handle bar for left and right.

While the experience may not be quite as nice as the more complicated one, aside from head tracking, it isn’t that far off.

ProtoDeck – MIDIBOX based controller

[Julien] let us know about his ProtoDeck. A MIDIBOX based controller for Ableton Live using a Big Max for live patch interface.

One thing that we have seen is less and less hacks for are MIDIbox projects. It is no wonder, considering now a days we have touch screen and multiple other interfaces and sound creation tools – MIDI almost seems like a dying art.

The ProtoDeck uses 87 pots, 90 buttons, and 81 RGB LEDs all controlled by 2 PIC 18F4620s. [Julien] says his main goals where to have lots of color and buttons. We think he succeeded.