Gently stroke this drum

The silent drum is played with your hands. It acts as a midi device by analyzing the movement of the rubbery black drum head. As you can see in the photo, one side of the body is clear and the other is white. A light shines up into it to boost the contrast and a camera picks up the black head as it moves past the white side of the shell. [Jaime Oliver] has provided an interesting look at the analysis method used with this instrument and there’s also a system of notating a composition for future performance. See and hear it played in the demo after the break.

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Build your own RFID reader

We asked for it and our readers delivered. [Klulukasz] left a comment pointing to this diy RFID reader that was a final project in 2006 for a class at Cornell University. It is well documented and includes not only a schematic and code, but an explanation of the design considerations used during the build. The project uses an ATmega32 and the parts list priced out at about $50 at the time. There were plenty of responses to the RFID spoofer post pointing out that there are readers available for $40, but we want the fun of building our own.

A bit more vague with the details but no less interesting is this other simple RFID reader design. Thanks to [Chuck] for his comment which pointed to that link.

Toaster web interface

Within a ten-hour window [Wes Brown] threw together this toaster with a web interface for one of his classes. He sourced the WIZnet embedded webserver for the project but this could be pulled off with a homebrew webserver as well. When you point your browser to the correct address you’re greeted with images of bread that have been charred to various degrees. This greatly complicates the act of making breakfast while at the same time presenting a possible fire hazard. Check out the video after the break.

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Augmented reality glasses

Augmented reality is a pretty neat thing but we don’t want to live our lives staring at a smartphone as we walk around. [F00] didn’t either so he built these augmented reality glasses. You can see a hole in the middle of the glasses where he added a webcam. The camera captures the image in front of you, processes it through augmented reality software, then sends the image to the wearable display that makes up the body of this hack. Integrate this into the head-mounted Linux hack and you’ll be able to ride your bike around the real world with your blast shield down instead of being tethered to your trainer in a virtual universe.

Makerbot clone

This table-top extruder was modeled after the Makerbot. Instead of laser-cut wood this is built from acrylic, uses salvaged rods from laser printers, some inexpensive stepper motors, and a homemade extruder. All said and done, [Peter Jansen] figures this build came in somewhere around $200-300. It may not look as nice, but at half the price of the Makerbot base kit you also get the fun of building from scratch. Hopefully your fabrication skills are up to the challenge. If so, you’ll be printing useful items soon enough.