The EyeSeeCam is a rig that attaches to your noggin and points a camera wherever your gaze falls. There’s actually four cameras involved here, one to track each eye via a reflecting piece of acrylic, one as your third eye, and finally the tracking camera above that. There are some legitimate medical uses for this type of technology, but we enjoyed seeing some of the videos that [Johannes Vockeroth] put together showing everyday activities. We’ve embedded several clips after the break including an example of reading a book while wearing the apparatus. The third eye camera provides the wide shot with close-ups of the wearer’s visual focus.
Continue reading “Head mounted camera tracks with your eyes”
We have arrived once more at the time of year when penniless (or bored) hackers try to figure out how to keep the place cool without buying an air conditioner. [Paul Stacey] sent us his solution of pairing up a CPU cooler kit with a beer fridge. The CPU heat sink is cut out of a liquid cooling kit and discarded. In its place a loop of plastic tubing enters the freezer of the beer fridge where it exchanges salt water from a reservoir. The cold liquid circulates through the radiator of the fan kit and gives up it’s cool goodness through the fan unit seen above. This method puts a cold-air fan right in front of you with a digital temp and fan speed readout on the LCD.
Our biggest concern here is that this might heat up the beer in the fridge. Still, it’s more automatic than using a homebrew swamp cooler. Then again, we’ve always had a soft spot in our hearts for our favorite gravity fed cooling method. Anyway, check out [Paul's] build methods after the break where he makes it look quick and easy.
Continue reading “Cool yourself with a CPU cooler and beer fridge”
Just snap off the corners and this business card can be used as a mass storage device. Well sort of. The tab left over has four traces on the back to make it USB compatible. The PIC 24FJ64GB002 microcontroller on the card registers as a storage device and launches [Ramiro's] resume and a cover letter loaded as an HTML file. He’s made it as useful as possible by including access to the SPI and I2C bus connections but he’s also included some firmware to act as a data logger or an oscilloscope. At about 5 euros a piece you won’t be distributing these willy-nilly but it’s not too much more than handing out breakout boards with your name all over them.
[Karl-Engelbert Wenzel] developed a UAV capable of taking off and landing on a moving platform autonomously. The platform operates aircraft-carrier-style by driving around the room in circles. The quadcopter tracks a grid of IR LEDs at the front of the landing deck by using the IR camera from a Wii remote. The best part is that the flight controls and processing are all done by the copter’s onboard ATmega644 processor, not requiring a connection to a PC. The landings are quite accurate, achieving a maximum error of less than 40 centimeters. In the video after the break you can see the first landing is slightly off the mark but the next two are dead on target.
So build yourself a mobile platform and pair it up with your newly finished quadcopter to replicate this delightful hack.
Continue reading “Aircraft carrier is moving target for autonomous quadcopter”
At first, watching this video of MABEL, a bipedal robot for studying dynamic gaits, we didn’t know if we should be scared or feel sad. By the end, we know that sadness prevailed. Poor MABEL, forced into a grueling routine, is not even allowed to rest when her leg breaks.
To be serious though, MABEL is quite impressive. Instead of using a direct drive on the legs, motors are attached to springs that act like tendons. This helps compensate for variances in the walking surface, hopefully allowing for smoother transitions between gaits as well. As you can see, MABEL handles the height differences quite well, albeit a bit slowly. It is worth noting that there are no visual sensors on MABEL and everything is done through feedback from her gait.