RGV laser

[Carl] sure has come a long way with laser modifications, now introducing his portable RGV Full Colour Laser. Although it feels just like yesterday when he showed us his green spiro and his Lego diffraction grating projector.

But enough of the past, the RGV laser is built using a White Fusion Mixing Kit and his own Full Colour Driver Extension. We couldn’t find any circuit diagrams or code to build your own at the moment, but it appears fairly straight forward and you can always take a look at [c4r0's] Colour Laser.

PicAxe LEGO tank

[TomTheGeek] built a LEGO tank with a PicAxe controller. Locomotion is supplied by a Lego Power Function motor controller. He cut an LPF extension wire in half so that he could patch into the PWM signals without altering the motors themselves. You can make out the control circuitry and a small breadboard in the tank’s turret. [Tom] added a laser pointer to the tip of the barrel but we’d like to see an IR LED. The tank is controlled by a infrared remote control and adding TV-b-gone functionality to the toy would create something of a Rube Goldberg feature for turning off the tube. But alas, there’s no programming space left for that as the PicAxe 08M is limited to 256 bytes.

There’s a video after the break of this little demon tracking its way around the room. This is a nice addition to the other LEGO tank we saw a while back.

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USB host mode for Droid

There’s a simple hack to use your Motorola Droid phone as a USB host. It is a hardware-only hack that doesn’t require you to crack open your phone, root it, or even to change firmware (although device drivers in the stock Android image may be quite limited). The dongle above is used as a key to enable the mode while the phone is booting. This was repurposed from a car charging cable by removing the wires and resistor and shorting the resistor pads. Once the phone is in host mode the dongle is swapped for a simple USB-mini to USB-A socket adapter, built from two cables you probably have lying around. Now you can plug in any device you want.

[Thanks Freezer90]

Dexterous hexapod rocks an Atom processor

[Matt Bunting's] hexapod caught Intel’s eye (and their wallet). This coordinated little bot runs Ubuntu on an Atom Z530 processor, popular in netbooks like the Dell Mini 10, and uses a webcam to coordinate and monitor its motion. Intel picked up two of them from [Matt] to exhibit at trade shows. As you can see, the 18 servos provide some gorgeous motion to the beast. It’s no DJ Roomba but it approaches the zen-like perfection that is the A-Pod.

[Thanks Miked]

The day after Arduino

There will come a day in every budding hacker’s life that they realize that plopping an entire arduino in their project and leaving it there is a bit of a waste. [Domiflichi] realized this, and has shared his next steps with us. He takes us through the process of removing the ATMega chip and breadboarding it for final use.

For many of you, this is an obvious chain of events. However, there are also many who just haven’t ventured forward and taken this one step that will forever change how their projects are seen by the hacking¬†world. ¬†For the anti-arduino crowd, realize that this is an opportunity not to bash a useful tool but to help nurture and lead people to the next step.

CueCat, meet Arduino

Have you ever felt like you needed a portable barcode scanner around the house? No? Well, [Mkanoap] did, so he made one. He has hooked his CueCat up to his Arduino to capture barcode data and store it on an SD card. He is using it as an inventory tool for his personal library. Where before he had to carry a laptop around to do his scanning, or lug the books to his desk, he now just scans wherever he pleases.

You may notice some silly sounds dubbed over the video. Take note, these are the actual sounds it plays. The camera didn’t pick them up well enough, so he dubbed them in. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the entire experience would you?