WiFi controlled Arduino-bot

This little robot was built very quickly thanks to the rapid prototyping capabilities of the Arduino. It uses a WiShield 1.0 from AsyncLabs to connect to a wireless network for control via a TCP connection. The body and wheels are wood, with a servo for each motor and a third used to scan a range finder from side to side. We’ve embedded a triad of demo videos after the break that take you through the various feature development of this platform. You’ll see control via a hacked Zipit, as well as joystick control. There’s also a couple of stages of autonomous movement where the distance information comes into play.

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Profit-less space program launches in one week

The Copenhagen Suborbitals are now within one week of their first launch. We looked in on the non-profit and non-secretive space program back in March but we had no idea the group had a frickin’ submarine at their disposal. What you see above is the rocket on its floating launch platform. The submarine will haul it out into the Baltic Sea for launch. There’s not much room in the craft for an astronaut but it will be a horrifying an exhilarating flight. According to the spacecraft page the human payload will be in a half-sitting, half-standing position looking up through an acrylic nose dome. This first launch will not be manned, but once they get through the tests this will be one crazy ride.

Indestructible TI-89

Sometimes, expensive calculators hit the floor. It’s happened to almost anyone with a graphing calculator from TI or HP. Sadly, they don’t always bounce. After this happened to [Howard C.], an Industrial Engineering student from U. of Iowa, he decided to spend $50 on milling his own replacement case out of aluminum rather than trashing the device over a broken battery compartment. [Howard] chose to send us the story rather than write his own blog, so we’ve included all the great pictures he sent us after the break.

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A different take on electric motor cars

[Craig Carmichael] has been hard at work on his electric hub motor for cars. Unlike typical electrical vehicles the plan is to bypass the transmission, differential, and everything else all together by connecting directly to the hub of the wheel. The goal of giving greater thrust and still allowing the use of a gas engine if need be.

There’s really too much detail for us to even begin to try to explain the entire project in a short recap, but [Craig] builds the entire motor (from magnets to coil windings) and wires his own controller (from schematic to finished PCB), all while documenting the process thoroughly for those wishing to make their own.

Hexapod controlled by Android and iPhone

This video is a blatant example of having too many high-end toys but we love it anyway. [Robert Stephenson] is controlling a rather awesome-looking hexapod via a Bluetooth connection to his HTC Hero. The app allows on-screen selections to decide which portion of the robot will move as a result of accelerometer data from the handheld. The only thing we saw that was missing is a camera feed to the phone.

But this hack doesn’t stop there. The Hero can be used to host a WiFi network while still connected to the hexapod. The second half of the video shows an iPod Touch connecting via WiFi and controlling the bot. Now head on over to the laser cutter to start that hexapod build, and finish up by getting elbow-deep into some Android development.