Mindstorm plays Tetris for you

Obviously you’ve got too much hacking to do right now, but that game of Tetris isn’t going to play itself. [Branislav Kisacanin] has you covered with his Tetris-playing robot which is build with LEGO Mindstorm pieces. The setup is actually pretty complicated. A Texas Instruments DM6437 video development board watches the computer screen via a webcam and calculates the next move. It then outputs that to a grid of LEDs which the Mindstorm watches using a light sensor. See it in action after the break and then take some time to check out our other various Tetris based hacks.

[Read more...]

Solenoid orchestra led a by laser conductor

This video brought a smile to our faces. [Griffin Milsap] is creating live music using an orchestra of solenoid instruments. Each solenoid is set up to strike an object such as a bowl or mug. The trigger mechanism is a light sensor inside of a ping-pong ball. The collection of instruments is conducted by a motor-mounted green laser. When the beam of light passes by one of the ping-pong balls the photo transistor inside actuates the solenoid and a note is played. The pitches are quite a bit more random than the Robo-vibe, but it’s delightful to hear the results that [Griffin] has achieved.

Clock hides time until you’re in close proximity

[Alan] is branching out beyond the Arduino with this clock. He’s still using the same code but built this board around an ATmega328 and the components he needed, saving his Arduino board for further development. The concept uses a character display housed in an old iPod Touch case. The build relies on an infrared sensor to actuate the LCD backlight. The closer your hand is the brighter the light.

The Maxim DS3232 RTC chip keeps time in this application. We’ve seen this little marvel used before, popular because it uses temperature compensation to maintain accuracy. If you’re interested in this part, check out the library file that [Alan] wrote for it.

Stanford’s stickybot3

Stickybot has gone through a pretty radical upgrade.  You may recall the gecko looking glass walking bot from all over the net. While it was pretty cool, the technology has gone much further. Not only is it designed to look like a gecko, the feet are actually made to adhere to surfaces in the same manner. They are using an adhesive system based off Van Der Waals forces.  Though the stickybot 3 doesn’t walk yet,  the feet are already impressive. Look how little of the foot is actually making contact with the glass. See how easily he can remove and re-adhere it? Simply amazing.

Make cotton candy at home

If you are anything like us, you are suddenly filled with childlike glee when you think of big fluffy poofs of cotton candy. The thought of making it at home has a certain appeal, but that machine is a mystery reserved only for those elite enough to get through cotton candy maker school. Or so we thought. As it turns out, it is actually quite simple. You can make one and be serving cotton candy in an afternoon with parts you probably have sitting around. The video above is pretty easy to follow, but if you want more information, there’s an instructable as well.

[via MakeZine]

Ask HackADay: Organization?!

Several people have been asking a similar question to,

“How do you at Hackaday keep track of and organize all your equipment?”
-[Jeff Allen] and others.

We have a variety of resources to help you keep track of your tools, equipment, parts, and supplies! Follow us after the jump for some tips for keeping your workspace clean and tidy. [Read more...]

Punching accelerometers

Shortly after finishing his Makiwara punching bag, [Abieneman] wired and programmed an Arduino to an accelerometer to find out just how much acceleration (and with some math, force) is behind his punches. The project is simple and would be quick to reproduce for your own measuring and experiments: all that he used included an Arduino, accelerometer (with A/D converter), LED displays (and shift register). We were a little disappointed to learn of how much static the accelerometer produced, so measuring things such as impulse, energy, and pretty much anything not kinematic is nullified. But it makes us wonder, how much static would be in say, a Wii Remote punching bag?

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