Bottle rocket POV video

pov_fireworks_video

It’s a holiday weekend, and much like you, we’re taking a bit of time to relax and kick back a few drinks while we mingle with friends and family. Obviously, one of the bigger events this weekend plays host to is the fireworks show put on by your city or your drunken neighbors.

Roman candle wars aside, have you ever wondered what the 4th of July looked like from the fireworks’ point of view? We did, and so did [Jeremiah Warren], who put together an awesome video showing what really happens after you light the fuse and run away like a little girl.

The dizzying video was shot using a pair of key chain cameras that he strapped directly to the rockets before launching. It’s pretty entertaining, so be sure to check it out if you have a few minutes to spare.

This probably doesn’t quite fit the criteria to be considered a hack, but with explosions and the crazy point of view video, we had to pass it along.

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Sandbox game in a sandbox

The team at Monobanda have been working on a sandbox game called Mimicry that uses a Kinect to read the terrain of a sandbox.

From the teaser video and press release, the eventual goal appears to be controlling both a character in the game and the environment simultaneously. By reading the terrain of the sandbox with a Kinect, the team was able to import that into the game world. The team says the game world is inhabited by tiny virtual characters that, “roll around, jump and glide through the Mimicry world.” Anyone playing Mimicry can create obstacles for these little creatures or build them a race track. The Monobandia team says the point of this game is, “to create your own games.” With a fully editable world and its ‘rolling ball’ inhabitants, we can’t wait to make our own custom Beyblade arena.

Since the release of the Kinect SDK a few weeks ago, we’ve been seeing some really amazing projects that should have been day-1 demos from Microsoft. We’ve been impressed with the projects we’ve seen so far, and can’t wait to see what others come up with next. If you have a neat build, be sure to send it into the tip line.

Check out a video testing the game mechanics after the break.

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A Simple Dolly for Time-Lapse Photography

[Henrique] wrote in to tell us about his time-lapse photography hack. Triggering of the camera is done via CHDK, or Canon Hack Development kit. This experimental kit allows Canon Powershot cameras to run scripts as well as other neat features without permanently changing anything. User scripts for this hack and others can be found here.

Once the Camera was set up to take pictures in a predetermined amount of time, a LDR (light dependent resistor) is used to detect when a picture is actually taken. A LED on the camera flashes every time an image is stored in the camera, so this provided an easy way to sense when this happens.

Once this signal is received, a PIC 16f84 processor and the associated circuitry then causes the stepper to step once per shot. The results of this experiment are very impressive, so be sure to check out the results after the break.

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Robotic Schadenfreude – quadrotor blooper reel

quadrotor_fail

While quadrotors might just become the killing machines of choice some time in the future, we’re pretty sure it will be awhile before they run amok and wipe humans off the face of the planet, if the following video is any indication.

The team over at UPenn’s GRASP Lab film everything they do when it comes to quadrotors for posterity’s sake. When your awesome job consists of directing quadrotors through all sorts of acrobatic hijinks however, mistakes are going to happen. Thankfully, the team doesn’t keep these a secret, and while we’re typically wowed by what these flying machines can do, it’s also pretty fun to see them fail in such spectacular fashion.

If you have a spare minute, kick back, fire up the video, and enjoy the mechanical mayhem that ensues. We certainly sleep better at night knowing that while these things are awesome, a well-placed hula hoop is all it takes to ensure continued human supremacy.

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