BrainTap, gaming with arthritis in mind

As a final project in their 3rd year of the University of Technology Sydney, [James] and a few classmates put together this interesting game. Called BrainTap, it is described as a game targeted at the baby boomers focusing on fine motor skills and memory.

The game plays similar to the common game “simon”. The box lights up a series of LEDs in a pattern, then you have to repeat the pattern back with the corresponding buttons in the glove. There is vibration feedback in the glove as well as the lights and sounds you see in the video. Though they do mention arthritis in their title, we don’t think our grandmas with arthritis would enjoy those hand motions much. We, however, might spend hours doing this instead of more important things.

We particularly like the visual construction of the game box. The case was designed in CAD, 3d printed, then sanded smooth and painted with automotive paint to get that perfect finish. Great job guys.

[Read more...]

3D mapping of huge areas with a Kinect

The picture you see above isn’t a doll house, nocliped video game, or any other artificially created virtual environment. That bathroom exists in real life, but was digitized into a 3D object with a Kinect and Kintinuous, an awesome piece of software that allows for the creation of huge 3D environments in real time.

Kintinuous is an extension of the Kinect Fusion and ReconstructMe projects. Where Fusion and ReconstructMe were limited to mapping small areas in 3D – a tabletop, for example, Kintinuous allows a Kinect to me moved from room to room, mapping an entire environment in 3D.

The paper for Kintinuous is available going over how the authors are able to capture point cloud data and overlay the color video to create textured 3D meshes. After the break are two videos showing off what Kintinuous can do. It’s jaw dropping, and the implications are amazing. We can’t find the binaries or source for Kintinuous, but if anyone finds a link, drop us a line and we’ll update this post.

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How to Make a Whamola

whamola stringing and playing

If you’ve ever wanted to combine the extreme note-bending capability of a trombone with the obvious awesomeness of a bass guitar, maybe a whamola like this one could be for you!  I’d never heard of one until recently, and haven’t picked up my bass in years, but my much more musically inclined cousin and I decided to build one.

It should be noted that this instrument is quite prone to string breakage if the handle is used too forcefully, so caution should be used both when building and playing.  As with many hacks an old piece of equipment, a bass guitar in this case, was partially sacrificed to make it.

The build itself, outlined here for the main assembly, or this post for mounting the electronics, was quite simple.  It took an afternoon of milling machine and miter saw work to get the 1 3/8 inch square piece of wood cut to size.  Cavities for the electronics and a slot for the handle axis (components for a screen repair tool and a bolt) were cut with the milling machine – a router could also be used.  It turned out to be a ton of fun to play, especially with an amp and distortion pedal.  Check out the video after the break to see us playing it, as well as one of the whamola going together! [Read more...]

Yet another PCB quadcopter

Like most people out there, we’re fascinated by these little buzzing and hovering quadrotors. We’ve really enjoyed the recent trend of miniaturizing them and using PCBs as the frame itself. As [scolton] points out in his instructible, his isn’t the first, the smallest, or the lightest, but he does have some great information and a few tricks up his sleeve that make this a fun project to check out. The 4pcb measures 6.5 inches from motor shaft to motor shaft diagonally. It weighs 138 grams and, with its current batteries,can fly for roughly 8 minutes.

A nice thing about the 4pcb is that it includes brushless motor drivers into the design. Apparently that isn’t very common. What we really like though is the massive amount of reference material [scolton] provides. Not only could you download everything necessary to recreate his work, he links to so many other projects and resources you could probably expand in any direction your heart desires. If you’re considering a quadcopter build in the near future, you might want to bookmark this one.

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The Dronitar; a scrap made motorized sitar

This peculiar instrument, called the Dronitar,  is completely made from scrap. Interestingly, it sounds pretty good. You can hear the dronitar in action in the video after the break.The call this a  “2 stringed” instrument,and most who are instrumentally savvy will find a bit of confusion here. They are referring to the string that you play as well as a small string that is struck against the other by a motor to create the droning effect. The result sounds very much like a sitar mixed with a bit of surfer rock styling.  You’ll note that they’re even using a second motor as the pickup!

[Read more...]

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