Cameras perch on power lines, steal electricity

[Tim] let us know about a video outlining some covert camera devices the Air Force is developing. The video takes a lot of time to explain induction to those who’ve never heard of it but we liked to see the bird-like concept animations. They’ve already developed cameras that will clamp on to power lines in order to use induction as a power source. Shown in the video is an eight-rotor quadcopter they’re hoping to use to deliver the camera covertly. But the animations show a winged robot similar to a hawk that has a camera for a head. Having seen some of the other flying devices in development this may not actually be that far off.

Touchscreen scooter computer

[Kurt's] scooter computer started off as a way to use a couple of LEDs to show the battery charge on his hog. It was based on a Arduino and used a voltage divider to judge how much juice was left. But then he ran across a touch-screen OLED shield for the Arduino and the project started to take off. Now he’s got battery, temperature, real-time clock, and GPS running through the slick-looking display. It may not be a full-blown motorcycle but it gives the computer interfaces we’ve seen for other bikes a run for their money.

[Thanks Mowcius]

Houses to go from leftover scraps

[Derek Diedricksen] builds nomadic houses from left over building materials. Some are large enough to haul behind a vehicle or, in the case of the one above, small enough to tote around like a wheelbarrow. We love them because not only do they reuse material that might commonly hit the landfill, but they look good. Check out the first couple of episodes from the Yellow House series after the break. Then take some inspiration from [Derek's] success and see if you don’t already have enough in your junk pile to get started.

[Read more...]

Tank drone with automatic targeting and tracking

Humankind is making some great advances toward our own destruction with this tank drone. It’s got a powerful set of treads with an Airsoft rifle perched atop. Thanks to the cameras and the laser this thing can accurately target based on color. The hardware is controlled by a collection of Arduino boards connected via XBee so that Processing can be used on a computer. Just combine this with the facial recognition from yesterday and you’ve got the first generation of Terminators. Watch the clip after the break and you’ll realize that we’re doomed. [Read more...]

Sonoluminescence

Sonoluminescence is one of those strange phenomenon that many would never encounter outside an academic environment. For those who have never heard of it, Sonoluminescence is when tiny bubbles suspended in a liquid emit light while being vibrated at certain frequencies. We were pleased to see that some plans are out there on how to build your own device to produce it.

[via io9]

Interview with Steven Levy about Hackers

[Dale Dougherty] interviews [Steven Levy] about the history of hacking. [Levy]‘s book Hackers has been released in a 25th anniversary edition. The interview alone is fascinating and the book is a must read for any hacker.  If they offered a course in hacker culture somewhere, we’re positive that this book would be the textbook. The 25th anniversary edition has been updated to include major figures from the last 25 years including [Bill Gates], [Steve Wozniak] and others that have impacted our lives drastically.

[via MakeZine]

Links expanded: Snake on LED matrix

[Yosh] came through with a link to the Snake playing LED matrix that he read about in our links post from yesterday. It seems that [Arty Fart] actually built three of these in green, yellow, and red. You can see him throw one together (an 8-10 hour job) in the video after the break. In addition to playing Snake the PIC 16F877A can also scroll messages, play a mean game of Tetris, and show a Pong screen saver on the 144 LED display. We love the clean build and the urge to make another LED matrix is becoming irresistible.

Now off to eBay for a good deal on a bulk LED order. [Read more...]