Hackaday links: September 19, 2010

6502 Gate Simulator

Ever wondered what’s going on inside that chip as the program executes? Now you can take a look at the die itself with this visual gate simulator for the 6502 processor. [Thanks Puli and Svofski]

Copper corrosion

[Moogle] cracked open his DockStar to find corroded copper. It seems that Seagate left a portion of the ground plane unprotected and it reacted badly with the shielding metal. If you have one of these devices you might want to crack it open and tin the exposed copper so that it will hold up over time.

Segway kickstand

Don’t want your Segway to flop over when you park it? Follow [Paul's] lead in building a kickstand for the self-balancer. You can just make it out in the image above. It’s a dumbell that folds down from the handlebar tube when you’re not on board.

Tesla makes everything better

Do you like the song Iron Man? We think it’s better when our friend Nikola takes part.

No Smoking

Smoking is really quite bad for you. Plus you can’t chain smoke nearly as efficiently as this mechanical smoking machine can so don’t even try. [Thanks Ferdinand]

Autonomous rover roams the halls

[ESylin] built an autonomous rover that roams the vacant halls of his school. On the hood of the vehicle he’s mounted two Maxbotix sonar sensors that do a great job of keeping the vehicle centered in the hallway. It will follow a wall around a corner (favoring its left side because of the left-facing sensor) and it will stop to correct itself if it gets off course. That’s because when you’re not driving a dsPIC33 is, with a Traxxas XL-5 speed controller and a hobby servo for steering. But this little guy hasn’t lost all his pep. Manual control and be switched on from from an R/C controller so you can burn up the floor tiles. Take a look at the demo after the break, with the manual control demo shown at about 4:10. [Read more...]

WiiMote accessibility modifications

[Catea] has put some considerable effort into making a wiimote more accessible to people with physical disabilities. He started by extending the buttons out to much larger versions mounted on a lap tray. This makes playing games much easier for those that are lacking the fine motor skills to hit the buttons on the wiimote. This alone is a pretty substantial improvement, but [Catea] wanted to do more.

Taking the whole idea further, [Catea] published a second instructible where he outlines the process of adding two Arduinos and  Xbee modulse to make the external buttons wireless.

Hackerspaces sprouting up around the Midwest

[Chris Cooper] wrote in letting us know that this weekend is the grand opening of QC Co-Lab, a hackerspace in Davenport, Iowa. They kicked the weekend off in grand fashion on Friday by sand casting bronze medallions with a blast furnace. The 4000 square foot facility has plenty of room for new members so if you’re in the area check it out. It’s not too late to join in on the tail end of the festivities.

Sector67 is also making plans for its grand opening. The Madison, Wisconsin based hackerspace will officially open on October 15th. There was a strong turnout for the first viewing of the facilities on September 7th (see for yourself), with plenty of building, arranging, and accumulating to be done before the official start. [Chris Meyer] has been working hard to get the organization off the ground, acquiring several grants, and working with the School Factory (something of a quick-start incubator for hackerspace-type non-profits). Want to see more? Thanks to [Andrew Seidl] you can peruse a set of quality photos from the event.

As promised: more industrial robot goodness

Remember [Mattythorne]? He took a BMW industrial arm and re-purposed it to write twitter messages on a white board. You can read a small excerpt here.

Well [Matt] is back, and as promised includes an entire write up for how he got @scribblebot scribbling twitter messages.  It’s a little light on details and we wish there was some more in-depth how-to magic, but then we remembered with most of the population not having an industrial arm in the first place the extra time spent incorporating the extra info would be far from worth it. Regardless, it doesn’t surprise that the previous commentators were not far off the mark in how difficult programing one of these machines would be. While such arms do have a few built in libraries it looks like a very exhausting process to override the default axis of motion, incorporate a UI, build a pen holder, and more. And in the end, is it worth it? [Matt] tells us the arm is going to be going back to monotonous car building work soon, giving weeks of prep only a day in the limelight.

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