Hackaday links: August 15, 2010

Creepy or not?

Do you find these faces creepy or cute? They can display a huge range of facial gestures and the German engineers who designed them were trying to avoid the uncanny valley. That’s the point at which human features on a robot seem quite real, but are off in just the right way as to cause revulsion. [Thanks Simon]

Water in your ink cartridge

Like all great hackers [Dean] digs through his neighbors’ trash. He found an inkjet printer but wanted to test it out before buying new cartridges. The old ones were dried up but he revitalized them with an injection of filtered water. It might get you through that quick printing project without a trip to Walgreen’s.

Laser-cut LP record

[Niklas Roy] demonstrates a laser-cut LP record. He’s using acrylic as a medium, kind of like a big CD with grooves in it. He’s got several tracks that are simple loops instead of the longer spirals you may be familiar with. They definitely sound different but it’s up to you to decide if that’s by design, or a fluke.

Star Wars cinema

Ever wonder what to do with those classic toys you’ve got sitting around? Here’s a little video that envisions your life with an AT-AT as the house pet. [Thanks Gabe via Wired]


  1. zool says:

    did he try just shaking the ink cartridge first, that works a lot

    laser record was ok but it’s just loops and not really something recorded
    it would be interesting if you could actually cut a song with it
    maybe someone should try that

  2. mewthisblows says:

    “This video is not available in your country.” from Germany…thank you one-sided globalization….

  3. pete says:

    The sony aibo should have looked like the AT-AT

  4. ejonesss says:

    you can maybe go to your local mom and pop business machines shop and borrow a working cartridge to test it too

  5. Icy says:

    Re the refilling ink – I think the afrotech guide is better (http://www.afrotechmods.com/reallycheap/Ink/Ink.htm) though liquid to use is of debate. I’ve had luck with 70% rubbing alcohol.

  6. t&p says:

    >>neighbors’ trash
    >>found an inkjet printer
    >>buying new cartridges

    why? it’s in the trash for a reason. inkjet sucks and is not worth the money unless you are making t-shirts or something of the like. even so, the printer is like worth $2 as the ink is $60.

    The only thing good from this is the microcontroller.

  7. ChalkBored says:

    If you’re designing a robot face to try and avoid the uncanny valley, the first thing you should in the demonstration video should NOT be ripping off it’s face.

  8. ChalkBored says:

    edit: the first thing you should ^do …

    My typing is getting horrible lately.

    Also, the laser cut record is a neat idea, but the noises they burned onto it are horrible.

  9. Osgeld says:

    I get inkjets handed to me left and right, lets face it, they are a bic pen, disposable, you can get “refurb” units with new “demo” ink for less cost than the full carts

    but I can also give them away, here have a printer school, church, individual you gotta buy more ink though, and to test them I do a similar trick but with rubbing alchol, as it thins out the ink and will disolve clots faster with less solution

    + a pint of the stuff is a buck at dollar tree

  10. Osgeld says:

    er um hit the button too quick, where I was going with giving away crap printers is a minor tax write off, which can add up over the year

  11. Punkguyta says:


    Well man of all the comments I just read, you’re one smart cookie.

  12. azend says:

    Please no links/top5s :(

  13. ohmsresistance says:

    LOL that laser cut record guy was effing hilarious.

    in part 8 you can see his reflection in the “record”
    and he is saluting…
    What he is saluting? i have NO idea.


  14. qwerty says:

    t&p: shhh! Don’t tell people inkjets are crap or we won’t find free stepper motors, gears and electronics in the trash anymore!:)

  15. Lemon says:

    For German users -> AT AT Pet alternative Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vRKcNxypoE

  16. James says:

    (or be able to print decent quality images)

  17. DrAltaica says:

    I forgot, is ‘ugly’ considered ‘cute’ or ‘creepy’?

  18. Dosbomber says:

    “Press one of these buttons to select a track”
    “…I’m waiting..”

    LOL! Never saw YouTube being used quite like that before.

    I’ve heard of record players using lasers to replace the needle (for rare, “unreplacable” records) so the playback needles don’t damage the records during normal use, but never to etch the sound into the record.

    Too bad, even if what he’s doing would catch on, the technology is still 30+ years obsolete. Maybe fun for enthusiasts, though.

    The wiki articles on the “Uncanny Valley” was very interesting. Humans are so weird, with their “emotions” and stuff.

  19. Trukkle says:

    I’m sure the hipsters that are entertained by the laser-cut record would get just as much enjoyment out of running the needle over their fingerprints. “Everyone’s song is different and they’re born with it on their hands” or some equal crap. Hardcore hipsters would use their toes and do it till they bled.

  20. mostlymac says:

    The AT-AT is definitely my pick next time I go to the dog track.

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