Motor controller also does nyan cat

As a freshman at UC Berkeley, [Keegan] has been helping out with his school’s Pioneers in Engineering program that gives high school students some hands on experience with engineering principles, usually by building robots. This year, [Keegan]‘s project is a motor controller that just so happens to play the nyan cat song over the motor PWM output.

The motor controller is meant to replace the Pololu simple motor controller the PiE team is currently using. Onboard is an H-bridge chip and an ATmega328 that takes commands from an I2C bus. The ‘328 is loaded up with the Arduino bootloader making the firmware very accessible – a good thing for the high school students that will be building and programming these robots.

[Keegan] put up the Eagle files for the board up on the PiE Wiki. For now, just enjoy the dulcet tones of the pop tart cat theme song after the break.

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A Full Auto PVC Battery Gun

full-auto-battery-gun

So what’s better than a battery gun? A full auto pneumatic battery gun of course!  [ukilliheal], decided to build one of these, and show us the results in his video after the break.  After turning the gun on, this contraption shoots at a pretty impressive rate of fire (although, apparently not as fast as some of his other experiments).  Apparently batteries can do a pretty fair amount of damage to a cardboard target as shown around 1:20. [ukilliheal] apparently thinks this is pretty hilarious, but we wouldn’t want to be on the other end of this device!

Although details on this build are fairly slim in this video, [ukilliheal's] other videos should provide some clues, especially those where he explains how to make a full auto paintball gun.  If the same technique is used, a piston reloads the chamber using a homemade valve that releases pressure when it gets too high.  Electronics could also be used, but keeping everything mechanical will allow for the batteries to be used solely as ammuntion.

If full-auto guns aren’t your thing, why not check out this bolt-action miniature pneumatic spud gun!

StorageBot finds all your components, makes your storage drawers feel inadequate

Your experience with making things, building projects, and hacking hardware is directly proportional to the amount of components you have on hand; as our experience grows, so do our space and storage requirements, it seems. [Danh Trinh] must have decades of experience, because his StorageBot robotic parts drawer is as awesomely absurd as it is clever and useful.

At first glance, StorageBot just looks like a bunch of small parts drawers mounted to the wall with LED strips along the top and side. The magic happens when [Danh] walks up to the wall-mounted laptop and commands StorageBot to find a component with his voice. A video is worth a thousand words, so you might as well head to the video for the best description available

To get the StorageBot to listen to his voice, [Danh] downloaded Microsoft’s speech recognition SDK and built a VB app to turn his voice into a location of what drawer contains the part he requested. Once StorageBot finds the row and column of the requested part, a pair of stepper motors behind the wall of parts drawers swing into action. Soon enough, the drawer containing the requested part pops out, and [Danh] can go about his business building more awesome stuff.

Because a few paragraphs can’t convey exactly how cool [Danh]‘s StorageBot is, take a look at the videos after the break.

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