Projector tricks make use of Kinect 3D mapping

[Don't stop the clock] is doing some work with a projector, a camera, and the Kinect. What he’s accomplished is quite impressive, combining the three to manipulate light with your body. The image above is a safer rendition of the Hadouken from the Street Fighter video games, throwing light across the room instead of fire. This comes at the end of the video after the break, but first he’ll show off the core features of the system. You can hold up your hand and wave it to turn it into a light source. In other words, the projector will shine light on your hand, moving it, and manipulating the intensity based on hand location in 3D space. Since the Kinect is sending fairly precise data back to the computer the projected image is trimmed to match your hand and arm without overflowing onto the rest of the room until you touch your hand to a surface you want illuminated or throw the light source with a flick or the wrist. It may seem trivial at first glance, but we find the alignment of the projector and the speed at which the image updates to be quite impressive.

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Make Your Own Odometer from Scraps

For those out there who would enjoy a quick and interesting weekend project, this odometer made by [PeckLauros] is for you. Featured on Instructables it is made from the simplest of materials including some cardboard, a calculator, wires, glue, hot glue, magnetic drive key, an old CD and a reader, and a rubber band.  The magnets, when attached to the CD work in a calculation to add 0.11m to the calculator when a magnet closes the circuit. [PeckLauros] points out that since it is a homebrewed device, it does have flaws such as adding 0.11m twice when the CD is rotated too slowly.  It is easily fixed by simply running faster.  The video is below the break.

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Cracking a manipulation-proof, million combination safe

So you spent the big bucks and got that fancy safe but if these guys can build a robot to brute-force the combination you can bet there are thieves out there who can pull it off too. [Kyle Vogt] mentioned that we featured the first iteration of his build back in 2006 but we can’t find that article. So read through his build log linked above and then check out the video of the new version after the break. It’s cracking the combination on a Sargent and Greenleaf 8500 lock. There’s an interesting set of motions necessary to open the safe. Turn the dial four revolutions to the first number, three revolutions to the second, two revolutions to the final number, then one revolution to zero the dial. After that you need to press the dial inward to activate the lever assembly. Finally, rotate the dial to 85 to retract the bolt which unlocks the safe.

The propaganda on this lock says it stood up to 20-hours of manual manipulation. But [Kyle] thinks his hardware can get it open in a few hours. His hardware looks extremely well-engineered and we’d bet some creative math can narrow down the time it takes to brute force the combo by not going in sequence.

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Arduino The Documentary

We finally got around to watching “Arduino The Documentary” and it’s a two-thumbs-up kind of film. What did we like? It’s a documentary about open source hardware so what’s not to like? You’ll hear the story of how the Arduino team was formed and the path they took from design to production. There are also interviews with early adopters and we even find out that Sparkfun passed on their chance to sell the original through-hole kit version of the board. It’s well made, and thanks to the Creative Commons license you can download it for free, or watch the embedded version here after the break. It’s only 28 action-packed minutes so finish up that special clock and watch it during lunch today.

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Gas turbine jetpack – test pilots wanted

Feeling brave and ready to strap on this jet pack? Well, that’s not all of it. What you see above is just the manifold with two nozzles that can be aimed for control. The gas turbine engine that is being designed for the project will attach to the large circular coupling on top. The finished suit, called a Monocopter, should weigh in at about 265 pounds. That kind of weight makes us think they should include a robotic exoskeleton to help support it during takeoff, landing, and just when standing around. This thing already looks like it belongs to a villain from the Megaman series. Here’s hoping it’s used for good and not to help produce an army of mean robots.

[Thanks Rob]

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