Hackaday links: April 28, 2010

Cell phone chopper control

Control your tiny inexpensive helicopter with a Nokia N900. The chopper uses an infrared remote control, just like a television. Getting this to work was just a matter of figuring out the IR commands and writing an app for the phone to spit them out.

Fade to black; inconspicuously

Lost interest in your TV-B-Gone? Give it one last whirl by throwing it inside of an old iPod case. The dock connector hole is just about the right size for the LEDs and the kit fits nicely in the old 3G type iPods. With this kind of disguise it should be a lot harder to spot who’s messing with those TVs.

Surf your way to a cleaner house

This guy uses a roomba to clean his floors. The Wii balance board lets him lean forward and back to surf the little bot around the room. This seems a little more exciting than the exercise programs the board was originally designed for. [Thanks DXR]

G1 gamepad

[Tobias Weber] built a gamepad for the G1 Android phone. He used an old Atari control, cut out two buttons and the d-pad, and glued them in a housing to fit the G1 keyboard. Each presses a button on the phone’s keyboard which can be mapped through the emulator software.

Social power monitoring

Here you see a very small portion of the power meter installed in a Cafe at UC Berkeley. It shows the energy usage for the building, separated into categories such as lights, power outlets, and coffee machines. This lets students know how much juice they’re draining by plugging in their gadgets. The color bar uses 93 ShiftBrite modules controlled by an Arduino.


  1. zigzagjoe says:

    Gamepad link is for roomba.

  2. James says:

    How much power does the power meter use?

  3. Brad says:

    @James: From the link: “At maximum brightness on all LEDs, it shouldn’t draw more than 40 watts, so it won’t affect its own results too much.”

  4. walt says:

    clicking “gamepad for the G1″ takes me to some old roomba youtube video… awesome.

  5. Mike Szczys says:

    Gamepad link now works.

  6. M4CGYV3R says:

    Does the Roomba really play those sounds while it vacuums? That could get annoying very quickly.

    Otherwise a great bunch of mods. I have a Moto Droid and I still drool over the N900s

  7. chango says:

    In 2010 the guy waving around a 3rd gen iPod is going to be pretty conspicuous.

  8. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    I gotta go see this power meter. My wife works out there why didn’t she tell me? Gah… She knows I’m a geek

  9. wakeupkeo says:

    FYI: We were working on the gamepad concept a while ago in DIY form on xda-developers. Never fixed the sliding issue. Ended up just adding enamel to certain buttons to raise them, works better than any add-on now.

  10. blue carbuncle says:

    Love the button gamepad hack :) I did something similar this past weekend to my wifes ipaq as the buttons were recessed for travel. Yours looks much better and has inspired me to just go ahead and make something that covers the whole butt of the thing :)

  11. Hitek146 says:

    I know it wouldn’t be a hack, but if one wanted to exercise while the floor was being vacuumed, couldn’t they just vacuum the floor, themselves? :)

  12. Tobi says:

    first of all I’m really sorry for the crappy recording. Seems that theres a need to switch to a different driver (ps3 cam should do more frames).
    If I find some time in the next days I will prepare more detailled Information on how to build this.
    And a printable keyboard layout which is absolutely neccessary while arranging the buttons.

    But you cann also start building one yourself if you have old Gamepads lying around. I dont know if it was just a lucky accident that this worked so great with the atari gamepad. Need to order a bunch of gamepads on ebay.

    Now I have found your posting on xda-dev
    I didn’t when I build this although I searched the whole (;)) Web for similar projects. I came up with the idea of casting some silicone rubber parts to the gamepad so it can be easy attached or removed from the G1.

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