Robot band gives us so much to make fun of

[Pat Metheny] has a robot armada backing him up when he performs on stage. They’re going on tour and he’s done an interview explaining his mechanical band. Like the auto-drummer, this setup uses multitudes of solenoids to play the percussion instruments, each getting commands from a computer. It’s pretty wicked to see him use his guitar as a marimba controller; it’s so responsive that he can tremolo and the solenoid follows in kind.

But there’s a lot more going on here. We love to see crazy facial hair from time-to-time, but this guy’s just got crazy hair! This easy listening isn’t exactly hair-band material but more like live-action Animusic. It’s also reminiscent of the automated orchestras at House on the Rock, an attraction you may remember reading about in American Gods. It’s fun to kid, but whether you like the music or not, he’s certainly talented when it comes to this genre.

[Thanks Grey]

Ask a winner updates day 2: Answers

Not too long ago we asked our readers what they would like to hear about from the PUSH N900 winners and their hacks. We got some silly questions, and some serious, we asked both and now the PUSH teams have answered.

The Haptic Guide team took a moment of their time for us today. Their N900 hack is a belt that helps point you in the right direction with motors. But after our interview we found out they had much much bigger plans. Remember to check their blog for updates – including new video of their progress (sweet flexible circuit boards guys!) [Read more...]

Our thoughts on the iPad

The iPad, announced earlier this week,  has been a massive media extravaganza. Some people were elated, and some let down. We’ve been asked over and over what our thoughts on the device are. Join us after the break to find out.

[Read more...]

Another take on roasting those beans

[Andrew] takes his coffee very seriously and like any hardcore aficionado he wanted to do the roasting himself. The coffee roaster design uses a heat gun for the roasting and sources an old bread maker as a vessel. As part of the automatic bread making process there’s a little agitator arm inside which keeps the beans moving while the heat is applied. A computer controls the heat gun, adjust with feedback from a temperature sensor. We had a bit of a laugh reading about melted temperature sensors, but design flaws aside this computer interface allows rather strict control of the roasting profile.

Reader [Youseff] tipped us off about this after seeing the Popcorn Coffee Bean roaster from last week.

Salty LEDs

[Davross] pulled off an LED lighting build for his coral aquarium. The module consists of a wooden body holding a 3×16 grid of LEDs. They are mounted to heat sinks which themselves have cooling fans to help keep those puppies from melting. The system is controlled by an Arduino which allows for almost limitless lighting options. The photo above shows the LEDs running at 50%. He’s also taken some photos of the tank in “moonlight” mode. It’s a long and detailed forum thread but you can skip to some nice photos of the coral under the lights or details about the build.

[Thanks Passmadd]

And we’re back

Several of you were rather angry with us yesterday for our competition. Those not in the loop, our email competition@hackaday.com was not correctly configured and no body could send in their entries!

But have no fear, we have fixed the problem and now you can send in your guesses. To remedy the situation we have decided to extend the competition until 10AM PST Monday the 1st of February, 2010. We will announce the winner (so long as nothing else fails) Monday afternoon. So what are you doing here still reading? Time is wasting – go win some tickets!

Ask a winner updates: Answers

Not too long ago we asked our readers what they would like to hear about from the PUSH N900 winners and their hacks. We got some silly questions, and some serious, we asked both and now the PUSH teams have answered.

Todays team interview is KAPing with the N900. They’re N900 hack is the high flying Kite Aerial Photography. Check out what they have to say after the break. And be sure to keep up on their blog – they’ve released their first test video just a few days ago. [Read more...]

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