Robot laser tag

[Shay] and his friend built some battling robots for a school project. Instead of destroying each other’s robots with saws or torches, they are playing laser tag. Each robot sports an eeePC, a laser pointer on a movable arm, and some photoresistors. The goal is to get your laser to hit the other robot’s photoresistor to lower its health towards a kill. A server keeps track of the bout, monitoring shot fired because you won’t find unlimited ammo in this game. As for piloting the rig, the netbook webcam is streamed to a control station with an Xbox 360 controller for motion, aiming, and firing. Check it out after the break.

[Read more...]

Laser marquee projector

This laser message scroller is built with inexpensive parts. The heart of [Raul's] system is a spinning pill-box with eight mirrors on it. Each redirects the laser to a different vertical portion of the projection surface. There are eight small arms on the apparatus that each break the beam of an optical sensors as it spins, facilitating the precise synchronization needed to generate the projected image correctly. In the video after the break we can make out what looks like an Arduino controlling the system. This makes sense as it’s easy to connect the laser pointer and sensor, and the USB connection allows for the streaming of messages to the system.

Want to see a more complicated setup? Check out the POV laser projector from a few years back. [Read more...]

Atari 2600 recreated in an FPGA

Behold [Retromaster's] field programmable gate array implementation of an Atari 2600. The processor and video chip have both been built in the 100,000 gate Spartan-3E FPGA, with connectors for audio, video, and a Sega controller. The output signals are generated using two DACs made from R-2R resistor ladders, much like the project we saw in August. [Retromaster] included functionality for the system switches (difficulty and select) in the controller itself. There is VHDL code and board details available if you want to make one of your own. To help in making that decision we’ve embedded video of it after the break. [Read more...]

PSGroove on a PIC microcontroller

There’s now a method of using PIC microcontrollers to exploit the PlayStation 3. This is centered around a PIC 18F2550 which has been popular in past hacks because of its built-in USB serial port. This again makes use of the PSGroove open source exploit code and, like the TI calculator version, seeks to expand the selection of hardware the code runs on.

In addition to the chip and a PIC programmer you’ll need the CCS compiler as others cannot successfully compile this code. A licensed copy is necessary because the demo version of the CCS compiler doesn’t support this particular chip. Add to that the fact that because of the timing it may take several tries to achieve the exploit and you may find yourself disappointed by this development. But there’s always room for improvement and this is a proven first step on the new architecture.

[Thanks das_coach via PS3Hax via Elotrolado]

$169 Linux tablet… sortof

The Insignia Infocast is a $169 simple media device being sold at Best Buy. Marketed as a way to share photos and run Chumby apps, hackers are starting to release packages to extend its features. [Bunnie] shows us one package in particular that allows it to be used as a web browser with an external keyboard. With an 800Mhz processor, an 800×600 touch screen, and 2 GB of memory, we can see that this is just scratching the surface of what is possible. [Bunnie] points out that some people are working on porting Android to the device, and if you really feel adventurous, you can dig into the hardware.

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