Server enclosure from 22 rolls of tape

Who needs metal, wood, or acrylic if you are talented with duct tape? This server is housed in a 20-sided enclosure made entirely of duct tape, 22 rolls of it. A team of seven completed the project after eight build session over the course of about ten days. It’s currently in use at this year’s MillionManLan 9 as confirmed by this incredibly boring live feed.

However whimsical, we do appreciate the build process. Tubes are rolled until they reach the specified thickness, then cut to length on a chop saw. More sticky stuff is applied to the joints and piece by piece the frame comes together. From the diagram laying off to the side in one of the pictures it looks like they did the smart thing by designing this in CAD before getting their hands dirty sticky.

Waking up with the (fake) sun

[Bogdan] has some trouble getting up in the morning. A blaring alarm will do the trick but that’s no way to start the day. To get him through the dark winter months he wanted to try a sunrise simulator. He patched into the alarm signal of his bedside clock, intercepting the command from the clock’s microprocessor and using it as an input for his own ATtiny13. From there, the tiny13 gradually brightens a 150W halogen lamp using a triac until his room is as bright as a July morning. A signal is then sent to the alarm clock’s audio amplifier to turn on the audible alarm. He’s got the system set for a 20-minute sunrise so it’s just a matter of programming his alarm 20-minutes early than the ‘I absolutely have to get out of bed now’ time.

Autonomous battery exchange


That may look like a Ferris wheel but it acts a battery replacement station for small robots. The marXbot heads to the battery station when it gets low on juice. Once in the cradle, arms on each side hold the bot in place while the low battery is sucked out and a fresh one from the 15-slot carousel is inserted. The robot doesn’t power down but relies on stored electricity from some large capacitors during the changeover. See it happen after the break.

A while ago we saw a robot that could plug itself into a wall outlet. That’s great because the robot doesn’t have to return to a charging station, but it still has to wait for its battery to top off. With a few strategically placed battery stations it’s easy to keep a robot up and running with almost no down time for a battery swap.

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Nixie Sudoku

[John Sarik] asked himself why a project should only have a handful of Nixie tubes? Without a good answer to his query he went ahead and built this Sudoku game using 81 Nixie tubes. There’s not much of a description for his work but here’s how we think things go: The two knobs manipulate a cursor, one for rows and the other for columns, while the keypad is used to input your chosen number. The system is Arduino based and [John's] linked to his code, schematic, and board layout files on Dropbox. He’s even written a recursive solver which can be seen in the video after the break. Would it be inappropriate to bring this to work and whip it out during some down time?

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Get started with speech recognition

Headset and microphone

Speech recognition makes it easier for us to be lazy with our devices – or perhaps set up the coolest voice-controlled project around. After the voice controlled home automation post, we received a lot of emails asking “how can I make it recognize my voice?”. Whether your project involves a PC or an Android phone, a high-budget, or no budget at all, there is a solution out there.  Join us after the break for a complete set of instructions on setting up speech recognition, and some of the best software options out there to meet your needs.

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Meter clock

This analog meter clock was built by [Len Bayles]. Its 3 meters are controlled by an AT89c2051. The circuit itself is very simple, and available on the site. The meters are powered from a DAC, with a quad amp in between to keep the meter from drawing too much current.

[via HackedGadgets]

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