Roman Headgear Looks Less Silly With Lots of Blinky

centurion-project

Look, it’s not Steam-Punk because the period is way out of whack. And we’ve never seen ourselves as “that guy” at the party. But it would be pretty hard to develop The Centurion Project and not take the thing to every festive gathering you could possibly attend. This sound-reactive helm compels party-going in a toga-nouveau sort of way.

[Roman] tells us that it started as a movie prop. The first build step was to remove the plume from the top of it. The replacement — seven meters worth of addressable RGB LEDS — looks just enough like an epic mohawk to elicit visions of the punk rock show, with the reactive patterns to make it Daft. The unexpected comes with the FFT generated audio visualizations. They’re grounded on the top side of each of the LED strips. Most would call that upside-down but it ends up being the defining factor in this build. Seriously, watch the demo after the break and just try to make your case that this would have been better the other way around.

As a final note, this project was written using Cinder. It’s an Open Source C++ library that we don’t remember hearing about before.

[Read more...]

Jackal takes it to the streets

jackal

 

[Nick Thatcher] is becoming the world’s authority on self-balancing unicycles.  He’s unveiled The Jackal, his new single wheel vehicle. The Jackal is an upgrade to The Raptor, [Nick's] 2012 machine. The wheelbarrow wheel has been replaced with a much more fitting model sourced from a motorcycle. The 19″ motorcycle wheel improved balancing quite a bit. Wheelbarrow wheels were not exactly quality components, so they definitely made balancing the unicycle more difficult.

[Nick] upgraded his power system as well. The Jackal is powered by a 450 Watt 1020z geared motor. The 1020z is often found on scooters imported from the Far East. The motor controller  is the same SyRen 50 Amp continuous / 100 Amp peak  model used in the Raptor.

The Jackal’s frame has also seen some changes. It’s now sporting quite a bit of machined aluminum as well as [Nick's] standby PVC.  The upgrades have paid off in performance. The Jackal can reach about 20 MPH, however the top safe speed is closer to 15 MPH.

Click past the break to see [Nick] demonstrating The Jackal at Makerfaire UK.

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Pneumatic Rocket Man

rocketman

Here’s a fun May the 4th be with you project… A pneumatically powered Boba Fett jetpack-launching-mannequin!

[Rodger Cleye], best known for his crazy quadrotor projects, wanted to try experimenting with pneumatic power for a change. He managed to obtain a fire extinguisher which he’s routed through a home-made PVC air delivery system on the back of his faithful test dummy — this time decked out in a complete [Boba Fett] costume.

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Ask Hackaday: Can The Lix 3D Printing Pen Actually Work?

Lix

Introducing Lix, the world’s smallest 3D printing pen that allows you to draw plastic structures in 3D. It’s only been on Kickstarter for a few days now, and already it has garnered close to a million dollars in pledges. An astonishing achievement, especially considering we can prove – with math and physics – that it doesn’t work as advertised. However, we’re wondering if it could work at all, so we’re asking the Hackaday community.

The device is powered through a USB 3 port. In the video, the Lix team is using a MacBook Pro. This has a USB port capable of delivering 900 mA at 5 Volts, or 4.5 Watts. Another 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler, uses a 2A, 12V power adapter, equal to 24 Watts. Considering the 3Doodler works, and they both do the same basic thing, there’s something extremely odd going on here.

Just as a comparison, here’s a wirewound resistor commonly found in the heating element or ‘hot end’ of a 3D printer. It’s a 6.8  Ohm resistor powered at 12 Volts. That’s 21 Watts. Here’s a heater cartridge, also found in quite a few hot ends. It sucks down 40 Watts. Once again, the Lix Kickstarter clearly shows the pen extruding filament using only 4.5 Watts of power. Something is really, really fishy here.

Intuition doesn’t hold a candle to math, so let’s figure out exactly why it won’t work.

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Hackaday Space: The Winners!

arg-winners

We promise this is the last post about the ARG we ran throughout April to promote The Hackaday Prize. But we’re excited to announce the winners and all the goodies they are going to get!

The Prizes!

Now that the scoreboards are finalized we can announce the overall winners of the Alternate Reality Game and the prizes they will receive!

crazyflie_pageFirst, we’re giving away a Crazyflie Nano quadcopter to each of the people who were the first to post all the details for the first three Transmissions on the Major Tom profile pages.

Transmission 1 Winner

[kline] wins Transmission 1 as he was the first to post all the details from the transmission and did some great work to convert the QR code into an image using Python.

Transmission 2 Winner

[Tyler Anderson] wins this round as he was the first to decode the status message from Major Tom.

Transmission 3 Winner

This was a tough one since we know some people got very close to the answer on IRC but were led down rabbit holes instead, however [Ted] wins as he was the first to finally locate the launch site longitude and latitude hidden in the audio files.

Final Transmission Winner

Printrbot Simple Maker KitNext up we have the winner of the Final Transmission. Someone suggested that when the pixel art contest was over we should 3d print all the entries, so this inspired us to give away a low cost 3d printer that the winner could use to do just that. Therefore we are presenting a Printrbot Simple Makers Kit.

This prize goes to the person at the top of the scoreboard and winner of the pixel art contest [XDjackieXD]. Congratulations and we expect to see your Portal Cube rendered in plastic sometime soon!

Best Overall Contributor

hexyFinally, since this ARG was a team effort and some people put in outrageous amounts of work we decided we should award a prize for Best Overall Contributor.

This was a hard decision as so many people contributed throughout the month. But we feel that the efforts of [Emerica] really stand out, not only was he responsible for figuring out the use of OpenPuff in Transmission 2, he also contributed massively to the Pixel Art Contest and even built a stunning rendition of the Space Needle over the location of Seattle. [Emerica] wins a Hexy the Hexapod robot kit for his contribution, we hope to see many creative uses for this little fellow in the coming months.

Mission Complete.

It may be all over, but we just want to say how much fun putting together this ARG has been and how much it has shown the creativity, ingenuity and pure genius that exists in this community.

It was wonderful to watch everyone come together to work things out and the life that has sprung up in the IRC channel is really great to see. We hope we can all continue to play and build together as we truly believe there is nothing this community cannot accomplish when we come out of our respective sheds and workshops and work together on something.

Thank you all for participating and good luck in with your entries in The Hackaday Prize!

3D Printed Stick Shift Handle

3D printed gear shifter

Here’s a silly hack for you guys. Turn your head (or anything else really) into a stick shift handle!

All jokes about vanity aside, [Haqnmaq] has outlined an excellent Instructable on how to take 3D scans, manipulate them, and make them 3D printer ready. He’s chosen to use a Microsoft Kinect (one of the cheapest 3D scanners around) combined with some low-cost 3D software. He’s used both Skanect and Reconstructme with great success, which both have free (albeit slightly limited) versions. The model he used for his stick shift was actually taken at the 3D Printing Experience in Chicago.

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Game Boy vs. Electronic Shelf Labels

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhile they’re probably rare as hen’s teeth in the US, there have been a few major stores around the world that have started rolling out electronic shelf labels for every item in the store. These labels ensure every item on a shelf has the same price as what’s in the store’s computer, and they’re all controlled by an infrared transceiver hanging on the store’s ceiling. After studying one of these base stations, [furrtek] realized they’re wide open if you have the right equipment. The right equipment, it turns out, is a Game Boy Color.

The shelf labels in question are controlled by a base station with a decidedly non-standard carrier frequency and a proprietary protocol. IR driver chips found in phones are too slow to communicate with these labels, and old PDAs like Palm Pilots, Zauruses, and Pocket PCs only have an IrDA chip. There is one device that has an active development scene and an IR LED connected directly to a CPU pin, though, so [furrtek] started tinkering around with the hardware.

The Game Boy needed to be overclocked to get the right carrier frequency of 1.25 MHz. With a proof of concept already developed on a FPGA board, [furrtek] started coding for the Game Boy, developing an interface that allows him to change the ‘pages’ of these electronic labels, or display customized data on a particular label.

There’s also a much, much more facepalming implication of this build: these electronic labels’ firmware is able to be updated through IR. All [furrtek] needs is the development tools for the uC inside one of these labels.

There’s a great video [furrtek] put together going over this one. Check that out below.

[Read more...]

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