Obama-1 Desk Spy Satellite Aims for High Approval Ratings

This miniature “spy satellite” may not gain the ire of the Chinese People’s Army, but it will certainly look rad on your desk.  Besides looking cool, this “satellite” is able to transmit video up to 300 feet away and has sun tracking solar panels for battery recharging. Additionally, it has a LED “thruster” and speakers.

One cool thing about this build is that the body was made out of a lamp from Goodwill. Recycled/thrift store enclosures always make a good addition to your project as they won’t break the bank. Additionally, they may yield some other bonus parts when taken apart. In this case, the lamp fit into the project scope perfectly, but anyone trying to duplicate it might not be so lucky.

Creative use of other household materials rounds out this build, with solar panels taken off home garden lights, and part of a nose hair trimmer used as the “thruster” body. This well-build project is a great example of how to convert household items into something totally different and unique.

22 thoughts on “Obama-1 Desk Spy Satellite Aims for High Approval Ratings

  1. Pardon me..

    God damn that is so cool. I love projects that can take care of its own needs and still be useful. It even looks great.

    Hack A Day is really improving fast as of late. Great work guys.

  2. When I see stuff like this, I can’t help but think, “Why isn’t this person working in the movie/tv industry?”. Awesome quality build!

      1. I was thinking because of the big ears, yeah.

        Or maybe that it was getting all its information from external sources and didnt contain anything of its own (lol). You could go as far as you want with political puns on this one.

        Nice clean design!

  3. Ultrasonic mister… that’s what you need for the rocket exhaust. Illuminating the mist with your LEDs could make thing awesome in subdued light.

    I like the Obama joke, too.

  4. Very cool, very cool, just one suggestion, put antennae on it, just like Sputnik (check out picture below)…

    Not would antennae make it look more spacey but would increase its broadcast range. Now you just have to figure out how to get it into orbit! :)

  5. This does look pretty cool, and the build quality of the finished product looks fantastic.

    At first I thought the solar panels were a little self-serving, as it appears that the only point to the panels is to recharge the batteries…that move the panels; since the camera is powered by it’s own dedicated 9V battery. But he mentions in that in future revisions he hopes to use the MCU to turn the camera on and off, so in the end it will be a bit more cohesive.

  6. props to the builder. However I don’t understand why the tracking function doesn’t work in linear mode. I mean, instead of searching for (what it seems) the maximum light value at predefined locations, why isn’t he sampling the values at 180 degrees and then calculate the maximum using a simple search function or gradient descend algorithm?

    Anyway, the build is already very nice, thanks for sharing..

      1. LOL. Just a nick name, and purely aesthetically based as noted in the instructable. I designed it with a Satellite in mind. Never thought of it as an orb etc. In the eye of the beholder I guess. Thanks for the compliment though.

    1. second that. Personally I don’t care about the Obama, but about the “satellite”. Just because the chair I sit on has 4 wheels, I don’t call it a car.
      As this thingy doesn’t orbit around some celestial body (actually it orbits around nothing at all), I would hesitate calling it a satellite. IMHO “orb” is a word at least as cool as “satellite” and would fit better here.
      Besides that, great project!

  7. Nice project…but it’s a shame it couldn’t have been named after a pioneering contributor to communications, spaceflight, electronics, etc., rather than a politician.

      1. As stated before the name was purely aesthetically based, not political, and a “nick name” at that. Theres no reason the solar panels couldn’t charge a 9V rechargeable, good idea!

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