Watch out Segway, here comes Tilto

tilto_demo

While the Segway enjoyed a few years of fame before falling off the radar, [Marcelo Fornaso] is hoping his creation has quite a bit more staying power. Inspired by the Segway’s ability to balance itself, he started thinking about how the concept could be improved. He felt that one of the Segway’s shortcomings arose out of the fact that the base platform was rigid and required the user to lean back and forth outside the device’s frame in order to turn it. He thought that this made the riding experience uncomfortable as well as risked causing the rider to fall over.

His creation, the Tilto, aims to both improve on the turning ability of the Segway while eliminating the need for handlebars. Based on a tilting mountain board design he had been tossing around for a while, the Tilto uses accelerometers and gyros to keep its balance, much like the Segway. His goal was to keep the vehicle balanced while traveling forwards and backwards, but also allowing the device to tilt from side to side without tipping over. This design keeps the rider mostly upright, allowing the user to direct the vehicle by leaning much like you would on a bicycle.

As you can see in the video below, the Tilto works pretty well, even in its prototype form.

Finally, a people mover that lets us get our gangsta lean on!

[Read more...]

PVC boombox is not a potato cannon

After [Luke] built a suitcase mini-ITX rig for LAN parties he was left with one problem: he didn’t have any speakers and he didn’t want to use headphones. Not wanting to do something boring like a USB-powered speaker setup, he built a PVC Boombox.

Built around 3 inch PVC pipe, the boombox houses an off the shelf 15 W amplifier, bluetooth receiver, and charge controller. [Luke] found a deal on a dozen 1400mAh lithium ion batteries and despite the standard, “if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t use lithium” trope commonly given as advice, he forged ahead anyway. [Luke] picked up a power converter that charges the batteries and provides some protection. The batteries are charged though wall power with a transformer and a huge cap scrounged from an ATX power supply.

[Luke] is pretty pleased with his boombox. Not only does it put out some decent quality sound, the battery life should be tremendous. It’s not a ground-up build, but we think it’s a pretty nice project. [Luke] will be taking the ‘boomtube’ to the Detroit Maker Faire next month, so if you see him make sure to say hi.

We’ve got a real bone to pick with this mouse

Finally, there’s a way you can feel like a real bad-ass while you’re formatting those TPS reports. It’s all thanks to this computer mouse built inside the skull of a dog. [Shannon Larratt] dug through his collection of skulls and came up with this one because it fits nicely in the palm of your hand.

Before you get too grossed out, this is not actually part of an animal’s body like another notable mouse hack that comes to mind. [Shannon] started with the skull of a small dog, making a mold for the pieces used in the finished version above. He was quite creative when fitting the electronic parts inside of his reproduction. He pulled the PCB from a $10 Logitech mouse and had no trouble getting it to fit into the base of the skull. But when it came to the buttons he ended up engineering a couple of rockers and used a belt to reposition the scroll-wheel. Not wanting to lose the middle-click feature there’s an additional lever for that functionality. We’d also like to compliment him on the quality of his write-up. Fantastic!

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