Quadbike: bigger is better

[Tom Wilson] has finished his latest human powered quadcycle. The BigDog, as its called, seats 4 persons in lawn chairs who pedal to their destination. We say latest, for [Tom] also made a slightly smaller version called The DogSled. Some improvements include being taller (8 feet total), larger (11 feet by 6 feet), and surprisingly lighter (over half the weight, bringing it in to 450 pounds). The build process is just as impressive as the bike itself; using pneumatic disk brakes to golf cart axles to even drainage pipe, its a perfect fit for burning man. Catch a video after the divide.

[Thanks Mowcius]

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Ritewing Zephyr build and flight footage

That’s a camera perched atop this aircraft’s wing. [Trappy] built the video system into his Ritewing Zephyr and his test flights in the Austrian Alps make for some breathtaking video. The foam wing is pretty easy to work with and the tool of choice here is a hot knife to cut out cavities for the electronics. The total build time came in between ten and twelve hours, but this isn’t the first time [Trappy] has worked with this model. We’re not sure what setup he’s using for control, we’d guess something head-mounted, but do take a look from the cockpit after the break. You’ll like what you see.

[Trappy] informed Hackaday that he’s planning some altitude and distance testing next weekend. The goal is to reach 15,000 feet and a range of 12 miles.

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Blade Runner umbrella saber

Here’s a Blade Runner umbrella build that is done just a little bit too right. It delivers a double-dose of geekery with its lightsaber-gone-rain-protector look but where we think it crosses the line is at the built-in audio system. When you turn it on it plays recordings of popular lines from Blade Runner, something that might not fly in public. But the quality is in a different galaxy compared to the dollar store illuminated umbrella that we looked at last year.

[Erv' Plecter] replaced the central support rod for the umbrella with a clear polycarbonate tube. An optic cable snakes through the hollow tube, illuminated by a Luxeon LED in the handle. The custom PCB and 900 mAh battery are both housed there as well. Take a look at (and listen to) the demo after the break. We’ll need to add this to our future projects list right after that Lightsaber movie replica build.

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Automated entry for a garden gate

[Dan McGrath] tipped us off about a solution for a problem that most people don’t have. He built a web-based entry system for his garden gate. This isn’t quite as original as that chain and sprocket dorm room system, but it does use a keypad for entry. [Dan's] already got a web server and home automation box that is always running. He coded a webpage that presents a virtual keypad for code entry. If the right code is input the system unlocks the electronic strike on the other side of this gate. Since the interface is a web page you can load if from any web browser (an iPhone is used for demonstration purposes after the break). But if you don’t have internet access you’re in trouble; there’s no physical keypad. But we guess you could always just jump the fence.  [Read more...]

Robotic eye surgery controlled with magnets

If you’re in need of eye surgery you might just find yourself strapped into this contraption. It’s a magnetic field generator used to manipulate a tiny, untethered probe. It’s called OctoMag and the idea is that a robot less than half a millimeter in size is injected into your vascular system and, through the use of those coils, it busts up blood clots in the small passages inside of the eye.

Once you’ve seen the clip after the break we’re sure you’ll agree that this is amazing technology. Nonetheless it makes us cringe to think of the procedure done on a living organism but we’re sure that fear will subside given time. For now this seems more like a treatment from A Clockwork Orange.

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5 Tones, 1 Arduino

Because the Arduino is in such high demand for producing multiple musical tones at the same time; [Jeremy Blum] has successfully figured out the math and other necessaries that will take your once previously single tone producing MCU and turn it into a 5 tone producing machine. unsurprisingly its really just some creative use of PWM control but it all works out in the end anyway and helps prevent you from purchasing additional sound generating chips. This truly does open up some new doors, as [Jeremy] shows with his still in production thingamakit like project: ReacXion.

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