POV clock inside acrylic block

This gorgeous persistence of vision clock was built a couple years back by [mb1988]. The housing is made of acrylic with a hard drive motor mounted in the center of the back panel to spin a PCB. The two-sided circuit board is home-made and includes a battery for power, ATmega32 for the brain, 32 LEDs, four display drivers, and a real time clock module. The spinning hard drive motor is nearly silent and already has threaded mounting holes on it. [mb1988] uses an optoelectric sensor to sync the display with the rate of rotation. The forum post includes download for the code and hardware details. Don’t miss the demonstration after the break.

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By popular demand: the OK Go Rube Goldberg machine

We’ve received many tips regarding the OK Go video that features a Rube Goldberg machine. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out their video after the break. This is the rare instance when a YouTube video features an audio track with the full endorsement of the artists that recorded it.

Our first thought when watching this? Who are the lucky dogs who got paid to design and build that contraption? You don’t have to scratch your head over that one, the Band has posted a four-part video series talking about the machine and documenting the design meetings and build process (those videos also after the break). The engineer artists at Syyn Labs were tapped to pull off the meticulous mayhem and we think they did a stellar job. There’s been a lot of press about the work, but our favorite was over at Wired because it details the process, not the end product.

The best part about Rube Goldberg Machines is that asking “why?” is the wrong questions. The sheer joy of the build makes taking over a house or over-complicating the fulfillment of hunger worth it.

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RoBo Blower sure to become Stephen King novel

Snow removal ranks right up there with laundry as one of the least-enjoyed chores. [Herb Spencer] sought to automate the process while terrifying his neighbors as the same time by building a robotic snow blower, the RoBo Blower. The heavy lifting is still handled by a gas motor which propels the snow auger. Two batteries power the electrical system that takes commands from a remote control, moving the show chute and managing the navigation.  He’s done what he can in the way of safety, adding a grate at the front, flashing light atop, an operator-controlled horn, and kill circuitry (to shut it down, not to kill the unsuspecting). All of this is wrapped up in a nice package, especially when compared to the snow blower push platform from last month.

Maybe next year he’ll work on making it autonomous? Take a look at the RoBo Blower clearing a driveway after the break.

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DIY Super Soaker

With summer just around the corner you should try out a build like this constant pressure water gun that [JLspacemarine] put together. Similar to the commercially available Super Soaker toys, this isn’t just a squirt gun but includes a water reservoir as well as a pressurized air chamber. Pumping up the air chamber allows for a constant stream when the trigger is depressed. [JLspacemarine] used a combination of hardware store items such as PVC, ABS, springs, hose clamps, and valves to bring this all together.

[Thanks Danukeru]

Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s dream ride

While surfing one of our favorite websites, we came upon this little jewel. We can’t really tell if this is hack-worthy, or just a deathtrap, so to help decide…

Mechanics crawler + 80cc motor – safety concerns = deathtrap

It’s really that final “Brakes? Why would I need to stop?” that puts this project over the edge. Regardless, check out a video after the break. And please, do not try this at home.

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