Line following tank without a microcontroller

This line following tank uses analog circuitry to sense where a dark line is and adjust its course. Despite the opening paragraph on the schematic page (which looks to be leftover from a past project writeup) this circuit relies on a set of transistors for motor control. [Chris] does a great job of explaining the setup in detail; it boils down to a phototransistor detecting reflected light and flipping which motor is running based on what is detected. A couple of potentiometers are included to tune up the accuracy of the circuit. There’s a short clip of the treaded-terror making a loop around the track after the break.

This is another great way to try your hand at analog circuitry. Once you’ve built the body (tank or otherwise) and line tracking circuit it can be repurposed by swapping out the brains for your next project.

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3D digital light art using iPad and camera trickery

This light art is created by a moving display playing an animated image through several camera exposures. In this case the display they’re using is an iPad, but that really doesn’t matter as it’s just a high-quality screen and it’s portable. 3D animations are generated in software and then sliced into cross sections. As the camera rolls, the cross sections are displayed in order and the location of the screen is moved. Very much like light painting with an LED or a Roomba, the bright image remains and can be strung together for the 3D effect seen in the video after the break.

Using the cross sections of the video reminds us of what a three-dimensional object looks like to a two-dimensional being. If you have no idea what that means you should take a look at this video on imagining the tenth dimension.

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Building Linux images for ARM architectures

Want to try your hand at building a Linux package for an embedded device? [SnowBot] decided to give it a try and set out to build Ubuntu for a GumStix. The single-board computer will cost you about $150 to get started, plus a way to connect to the device’s serial port. But once you’ve got your hands on it there is a lot of power in a tiny package.

He’s using the RootStock package to assist in the build. This is a suite of tools that generates the root file system that can be loaded onto an SD card for use with the Gumstix. It’s not quite building from the ground up, but there’s already enough hoops to jump through that this package is a welcomed shortcut.

Already rolling your own Linux packages for embedded hardware? We want to hear about it.

Ben Heckendorn gets his own TV show

That’s right, Benjamin J. Heckendorn (aka Ben Heck) has started churning out episodes of his own Internet TV show. We finally got around to watching the first episode and enjoyed it greatly. You’ll see him alter an Xbox 360 controller for a disabled gamer, making custom foot interfaces to take over the traditional role of your right hand. Also in the episode is part of a big build; making an Xbox 360 laptop out of the new slim model. We’re very interested in that overall build, but in this episode you only see him removing the components from the factory case. But we guess the promise of seeing the rest of the project is the hook to get you to watch the next episode.

Think that you haven’t heard of Ben Heck before? If you’ve been following Hackaday for a while you have. We’ve looked in on quite a few of his builds over the years, including his pinball machine, Xbox 360 portable, and his access controller.