Hackaday Links: Sunday, April 14th, 2013


We figure we have to start off this week’s links post talking about PETMAN. Boston Dynamics shows off the humanoid robot donning a full chemical suit. It’s a lot scarier than when we first saw it as a couple of legs a few years ago [Thanks Joshua].

Seeing something like that might drive you back to smoking cigarettes. But since that’s pretty bad for your health perhaps you just need a mechanical chain-smoking machine to take the edge off. That thing can really suck ‘em down! [Thanks Mike]

Last week’s links included a bit about the Raspberry Pi 2.0 board version’s reset header. [Brian] wrote in to share a link for adding reset to a 1.0 revision board.

Speaking of RPi, [Elvis Impersonator] is using it to automate his garage door with the help of Siri.

In shop news, [Brad] needed to sharpen a few hundred pencils quickly and ended up melting the gears on his electric sharpener. Transplanting the parts to his drill press gave him more power to get the job done in about six minutes.

And finally, you can forget how to decipher those SMD resistor codes. Looks like surface mount resistors might be unmarked like their capacitor brethren. We were tipped off by [Lindsey] who got the news by way of [Dangerous Prototypes and Electronics Lab]


  1. BillP says:

    Any reason why there’s no more pics in weekend link posts? They are a lot less appealing without the pics.

    • colga1 says:


    • Mike Szczys says:

      I’m trying to roll out more projects in the links posts. By not adding images I include more links to great projects. Also, for those readers who don’t care for links posts this monopolizes less page space making it easier to mouse-wheel to the next feature.

      Knowing the reasoning behind the new format, what do you think of not having preview pics?

      • Greenaum says:

        Don’t mind it, just on weekends. It’s a bit disappointing that some are only to Youtube, but I suppose until Sparkfun do military killdroids Youtube is the best we’re gonna get for some things.

      • signal7 says:

        I think you need project pictures regardless. I personally don’t care how long the post is, so add the pics and don’t worry about length. As the old English professor used to say, make the paper (webpage) as long as it needs to be.

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      We decided to start putting more stuff in our links posts. Putting all those images in there just seemed like a lot of work for a post of neat stuff every week. You’ll notice that instead of 5 links at most we’re now just giving you everything through the week we thought was cool, but maybe not “full post” quality.

  2. Whatnot says:

    Personally I think that not marking the SMD parts an unwelcome development, and the argument that it’s more environmentally friendly sounds like BS, I mean it are SMD parts and there is more paint on say a single can of coke than half a million SMD resistors I bet.

    • Brooks Moses says:

      If you read between the lines, the argument is that it’s another step with a different set of chemicals, and thus incurs costs in environmental-regulation compliance.

      Likely they ran into a compliance issue with the process, and this was the cheaper option to fixing it.

    • Kuy says:

      I agree, its annoying. The Panasonic 1% 0603 resistors I use on my products don’t have labels like their 5% brethren from the same manufacturer. Why is that? In that case it’s clearly not about cost so I assumed it was because the ink messes with the accuracy or temperature coefficient.

  3. Necromant says:

    > surface mount resistors might be unmarked

    Good news, everyone (c) As if hacking the end-user hardware was not hard enough.

    • Whatnot says:

      Boosts sales of resistor measuring probes, except that if all components end up unmarked you’d first need to figure out what the parts are :/

      In fact I guess the good-guy manufacturers have to not only ID the parts on the PCB now but add the values too, in tiny lettering.

  4. vonskippy says:

    “Yageo decided for this step because of environmental protection.”

    In other words, they can save a few pennies.

  5. Alan says:

    The word “donning” is a verb. It means putting on some clothing. The robot was wearing a suit, not putting it on. I would have been impressed with the latter.

    • Brooks Moses says:

      “Wearing” is, of course, also a verb.

    • ChalkBored says:

      Why does a robot need a chemical suit anyway?

      If you want to freak people out, have it carry a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.

      • Fred says:

        PETMAN is explicitly designed to test chemsuits. The idea is to design a robot that moves like a human, is warm and sweaty like a human, but doesn’t complain about testing a new suit in a gassed room.

        • David says:

          The moment is not realty human. humans dot stop movement on a dime or fraction of a rotation exactly causing huge amounts of vibration to shake us apart our movements are more analog and smooth. As for why a robot would need a chem suite electronics don’t react well to hight humidity environments like earth ;)

          • Fred says:

            The movement issues are being worked on, and the high humidity can be shielded against. And PETMAN will be equipped with sensors and used to test suits for human use, not for itself.

        • Blue Footed Booby says:

          That’s a really neat idea. Lets you test for extended periods with the real hazardous materials so you know damn well it works.

          Doesn’t make it any less creepy. Hoooly shit.

      • Ren says:

        Maybe it wears a suit because of modesty.
        Or because it reduces the amount of chemicals the robot repair technicians need to encounter.

    • Ren says:

      and “doffing” is removing some clothing. don = on, doff = off.

    • Ren says:

      At 0:40 of the video, it looks like they’ve taught PETMAN to surrender, which is logical as I don’t see it carrying any weapons.

  6. Sven says:

    I am actually surprised the components have kept the markings this far, they are vanishingly cheap and it is not an impossible process to measure the value.

    something like 99.99% of the components never have their markings read anyway since they are used by pick and place machines. Catering to the home repair crowd isn’t really in the interest of most companies anyway, and the smaller components (0402 and down) that are getting more or less standard today don’t have markings anyway.

    This is just another natural step in the process of making single use unrepairable products that most companies strive towards.

    Laser marking may not be cost effective for components as cheap as resistors, and i imagine we will see more and more of the smallest and/or cheapest semiconductors turn up without marking s too.

    • dave says:

      Measuring is difficult when they are 1) in circuit or 2) damaged. This makes repair without a schematic that much more difficult.

      • Sven says:

        yes, but as i said, manufacturers rarely have any interest in making their products repairable without documentation. I’m not saying it’s the way i would like it to be but it is a logical development.

    • mjrippe says:

      “This is just another natural step in the process of making single use unrepairable products that most companies strive towards.”

      ^This +1000^

      • David says:

        If making reparable products made money they would be doing that, obviously the public don’t care or want the latest making repair irrelevant. We can change this by supporting open hardware product.

        • Greenaum says:

          Repairing home electronics has been economically impossible for a couple of decades. It costs much more to employ the time of a well-qualified clever human than it does to just buy a new TV off the idiot in the supermarket.

          Used to be components were expensive, labour was cheap. Aren’t you glad it’s the other way round?

    • signal7 says:

      So we’re justifying spending one more penny per product by removing the markings. Call me crazy, but I’m more than willing to spend the fracking penny!

  7. Hans Peter says:

    The Smoking machine has been featured before: http://hackaday.com/2010/09/19/hackaday-links-september-19-2010/

  8. Lloyd Atkinson says:

    It’s just to make it harder for hobbyists, that’s all.

  9. the latest firmware for the raspberry pi doesnt really ‘need’ reset on rev1 anymore
    after you halt it, you can just gnd one one of the gpio, and it will reboot again

    not the same as reset (does nothing when os is running), but good enough for the halt state
    and you can always write a daemon to monitor the pin when the os is up

  10. Robot says:


  11. wretch says:

    Flipping heck! It can do tai chi, too!

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