Video Spiel Kultur

Somehow, and don’t ask us how, the venue we chose for the Hackaday Prize party was perfect for Hackaday-related shenanigans. There was a Hackerspace right around the corner, a computer history museum in a warehouse nearby, and an amazing video game archive barely 100 meters away from our venue.

The VideoGamingArchive is an amazing collection of video games from the era where video games came in boxes with real manuals, and you needed to be sure you bought the game compatible with your system. Inside, one wall is dedicated to the old cardboard computer boxes, indexed partly by system and partly by how cool they look, while the other wall was dedicated to games from the previous five generations of consoles.

[Nils] was kind enough to give me a tour. You can check that video out below, with some more pics below that. If you’re wondering, yes, that is a sealed copy of Chrono Trigger, and no, I have no idea what it’s worth.

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The Hackaday Prize Judge’s Recap

With the Intertubes atwitter about the finalist – and winner – of the Hackaday Prize, it’s only fitting the rest of you get to hear what the judges thought about the finalists.

We had some amazing judges combing over these projects, ranging from people who have told Congress they could shut down the Internet at will to a Dutch guy that just figured out how to order a plain hamburger in the Munich train station. Really, really smart people. Here’s what they had to say about each project:

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Hacking Werkstatts and Other Workshops

We had a few very cool workshops at our party in Munich today, with Moog synths, robotic arms, Linksys routers splayed open on a table, and Club Mate flowing like water. We’re wrapping the workshops up right now and the kegs are being tapped. Before that, though, it might be a good idea to show off all the other Hackaday Prize projects that showed up today.

The M.A.R.S. Rover, a 3D-printed rocker-bogie robot showed up around noon. I didn’t see it driving around, but there will probably be video up later.

Also shown was the AutoCut robotic lawn mower. No blood was shed today.

[Mario] was cool enough to fly in and show off the OpenExposer, a laser resin printer that is heavily inspired by the RepRap project.

Pictures below.

T Minus Several Hours Until The Hackaday Prize

We’re only a few hours away until we announce the winner of The Hackaday Prize. Until then, we have a huge workshop and party to put together. It’s only noon here in Munich, and we’ve been up since the crack of dawn putting stuff together.

The doors open in a little bit, but so far we have people putting together the workshops. [Ben Gray] from Phenoptix is busy putting together a few MeArm robots for a workshop. They take one person 45 minutes to put together. There’s kinda something resembling an assembly line going on:

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[Ben Gray] @phenoptix working on a MeArm

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[Sprite_TM] shows off soldering skills
Hackaday Prize judge [Sprite_TM] made it out to the workshop/party. He’s working on soldering up some Teensy 3.1s for the Moog workshop. There are a ton of parts for this, everything from extremely expensive slide pots to opamps, audio caps, pressure and pulse sensors, and a vintage wah pedal that also has +5v CV expression output. Really cool.

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Parts!
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Setting up the venue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we’re announcing the winner of The Hackaday Prize, there was the question of what the trophy should be. Trophies are not utilitarian in any way, so we thought we would put our own spin on this. It’s a PanaVise, emblazoned with a 3D printed plaque.

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Doors open in a few minutes. More updates to follow

Seeing The World Through Depth Sensing Cameras

The Oculus Rift and all the other 3D video goggle solutions out there are great if you want to explore virtual worlds with stereoscopic vision, but until now we haven’t seen anyone exploring real life with digital stereoscopic viewers. [pabr] combined the Kinect-like sensor in an ASUS Xtion with a smartphone in a Google Cardboard-like setup for 3D views the human eye can’t naturally experience like a third-person view, a radar-like display, and seeing what the world would look like with your eyes 20 inches apart.

[pabr] is using an ASUS Xtion depth sensor connected to a Galaxy SIII via the USB OTG port. With a little bit of code, the output from the depth sensor can be pushed to the phone’s display. The hardware setup consists of a VR-Spective, a rather expensive bit of plastic, but with the right mechanical considerations, a piece of cardboard or some foam board and hot glue would do quite nicely.

[pabr] put together a video demo of his build, along with a few examples of what this project can do. It’s rather odd, and surprisingly not a superfluous way to see in 3D. You can check out that video below.

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Teensys and Old Synth Chips, Together At Last

The ancient computers of yesteryear had hardware that’s hard to conceive of today; who would want a synthesizer on a chip when every computer made in the last 15 years has enough horsepower to synthesize sounds in software and output everything with CD quality audio? [Brian Peters] loves these old synth chips and decided to make them all work with a modern microcontroller.

Every major sound chip from the 80s is included in this roundup. The Commodore SID is there with a chip that includes working filters. The SN76489, the sound chip from the TI99 and BBC Micro are there, as is the TIA from the Atari consoles. Also featured is the Atari POKEY, found in the 8-bit Atari computers. The POKEY isn’t as popular as the SID, but it should be.

[Brian] connected all these chips up with Teensy 2.0 microcontrollers, and with the right software, was able to control these via MIDI. It’s a great way to listen to chiptunes the way they’re meant to be heard. You can check out some sound samples in the videos below.

Thanks [Wybren] for the tip.

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Hackaday Prize Finalist: An Un-noodly Spectrometer

And so we come to the final finalist bio for The Hackaday Prize. In only three days, we’ll know whether [fl@C@]‘s RamanPi Spectrometer or one of the four other projects to make it into the finals round will be making it to space, or only Japan.

There are a surprising number of spectrometer projects out there on the Intertubes, but most of these setups only measure the absorption spectrum – literally what wavelengths of light are absorbed by the material being measured. A Raman spectrometer is completely different, using a laser to illuminate the sample, and measuring the scattering of light from the material. It’s work that has won a Nobel prize, and [fl@C@] built one with a 3D printer.

Bio below, along with the final video that was sent around to the judges. If you’re wondering who the winner of The Hackaday Prize is, even I don’t know. [Mike] and a few Hackaday overlords do, but the rest of us will remain in ignorance until we announce the winner at the party we’re having in Munich next Thursday.

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