There’s an old saying that goes something like, “When the going gets tough, the tough builds their own 5-story wheelchair lift.”
Actually we’re pretty sure that’s not even close to how the saying goes, but when his local council turned their backs on [Dmitry Bibikow’s] request for wheelchair access to his apartment, that’s exactly what he did.
[Dmitry], an avid mountaineer, was injured in a climbing accident that left him without the use of his legs. Unfortunately for him, he and his family reside on the 5th floor of an apartment building that was not handicap accessible. Rather than move out, he asked the local council to install an elevator, which they agreed to.
Time passed, and as the project sank deeper and deeper into a mire of bureaucracy, [Dmitry] began to lose hope of ever seeing an elevator installed. After six years of relying on friends to help him get in and out of his apartment, he took matters into his own hands and installed a chair lift just off the side of his balcony.
According to [Dmitry] it works great, and he can get from the front door to his apartment well before his more able neighbors make it up the stairs. So far, the city council has not said anything about the lift, and he hopes it stays that way.
[Petter] built himself a DIY Segway out of a couple of cheap electric scooters. We’ve seen a couple of very nice Segway builds in the past like the all analog Segway, or the creepy walking version, [Petter]’s Segway build seems like it would be a useful human transport device.
The motors, chains, gears, and wheels are scavenged from a pair of electric scooters. Steering left and right is accomplished by tilting the handlebars left and right. The handlebars themselves are attached to the joint at a base that allows them to be taken on and off. We’re thinking this would be great for throwing a [Petter]’s Segway in the trunk of a car – a design feature the original Segway doesn’t have.
Continue reading “DIY Segway recycles broken electric scooters”
[Andrew] recently ordered some lockets to bejewel them with some LEDs but got a bonus small locket for free with the order. Not really having a plan for the small locket it kind of sat around until finally some inspiration hit. Meet the ee-locket which contains a tiny circular pcb with a 64k eeprom, a few passive support components and a male pin header on the back so you can quickly plug it into the micro of your choice.
While the uses of such a thing may not be obvious at first, just sitting down writing this I thought of a few applications, such as some form of key and lock system, mission impossible dreams, or just going full out geek at your next job interview. Its a pretty spiffy idea no matter what its used for, and we just love it when people shove electronics where no one expect them.
Kids love games of exclusion. This usually manifests itself in games of ‘keep away,’ having someone ‘catch cooties,’ or the ever-popular ‘No Brian club.’ [Rob] wrote in to tell us about the digital cootie detector he built. The cootie detector operates on galvanic skin response. It’s actually very similar to an E-Meter, although instead of Thetans this device measures something that actually exists.
Galvanic skin response is a measure of the skin’s conductivity. Skin conductivity changes because sweat glands will be activated when someone is nervous. This is a measure of psychological arousal, making it a great detector for games of exclusion – a kid who doesn’t want cooties will ‘psych themself out’ and give themselves cooties.
Continue reading “Digital cootie detector”
[Scott] was recently given a frequency counter, and once he brought it home, he started contemplating how he could possibly make it better. While the counter worked well as-is, he wanted to find a way to record data readings over a reasonably long period of time. He figured that interfacing it with his computer would be the best way to do this, but he had to find a way to connect the devices first.
He started poking around inside the frequency counter and stumbled upon a possible data source when taking a closer look at the display board. He found that he could read the frequency data as it was being written to the display, and send that data to his computer. He used an ATMega48 to intercept the data and code from the V-USB project to bit-bang the data to his PC over USB.
Now, anything he sees on the frequency counter can be easily collected and graphed on his computer with little fuss.
Stick around to see a quick video demonstration of his hack in action.
Continue reading “Adding USB connectivity to old benchtop tools”
The 4DOF CXN-I anthropomorphic robot arm in the Mechatronics Lab at FICES-UNSL (Engineering faculty, San Luis National University, Argentina) was built from scratch, and it is still a work in progress to teach and learn about mechatronics , in order to build another, more robust and precise arm in the future. When one of the students working with the device thought “hey, these motors are quite noisy, aren’t they? let’s put them to work towards something more useful”.
Armed with some guitar tabs, a robot and some noisy servos, [Guille] got the robotic arm to sing a little song raised a couple of octaves, and included it in the introduction video. Because hey, whipping a metal arm around like that is pretty mechanically strenuous, and its not all that great for the servos either.
Join us after the break for a quick video, the singing starts about 58 seconds into the show.
Continue reading “Singing Robot”
Toyota recently ran an ad campaign touting “Ideas for Good” in which the actors speculated uses for Toyota Synergy Drive hybrid systems in non-automotive related applications. One idea that was floated involved using the car’s regenerative braking system at an amusement park, in an effort to reclaim and use some of a roller coaster’s kinetic energy.
Toyota sent a Prius to the team over at Deeplocal, who deconstructed it and found that the car could generate 60 amps of current when braking. That’s not an insignificant number, so they decided to create a cool demonstration showing how powerful the technology is. They built a coaster car from the Prius’ guts, and positioned it at the top of an elevated platform, which was connected to a 70 foot track. In the video embedded below they push the car from the platform and down the track, using the regenerative braking system to illuminate a large display of amusement park lights.
While the video is little more than a well-produced advertisement for Toyota, we can’t help but think that it’s pretty cool. It’s doubtful that we will suddenly see an inrush of hybrid-based roller coasters any time soon, but the concept is interesting nonetheless.
Continue reading “Hybrid roller coaster concept”