Final Take on the Machine: winners

It’s finally here, the last episode of Scion’s Take on the Machine with Mitch Altman. In this episode all the teams are given a recap over their success and failures, and the clear winner is placed on top. We’re not ones to spoil the surprise so you’ll just have to click the link and watch to find out.

But lets take a moment to remember each team, The Transistor and their live action zombie game. Crash Space and their musical building. Pumping Station: One and their ice cream maker. Artisans Asylum and their breakfast machine. And lastly, NYC Resistor and their drink mixing slot machine.

Who’s ready for next season? There isn’t a next season you say? Perhaps a new influx of sponsored hackerspace competitions will spring up, or the whole concept will die out as quickly as it came. Either way, it’s all about the money fun and educating experience, right? And that’s all that matters.

[Thanks Deven, sorry you guys didn’t win.]

The Transistor Takes on the Machine

It only took 4 hackerspaces, but we finally get to see a zombie movie inspired project; hackerspace The Transistor Takes on the Machine with a Dawn/Shawn of the Dead movie theme. Race cars disguised as zombies swarm toward the players, who then use laser tag like guns to “shoot” down the approaching undead. The whole thing is a mess of Arduinos communicating with xBees to a central iMac G3, but it all comes together rather well and is promised to be released open source.

Now all that’s left is deciding which hackerspace wins the competition. Who do you have your money on?

[Thanks Deven]

Large magnets spark on Halloween, who knew?

This overly large magnet certainly completes the mad scientist look (for an even crazier look, take a jar of water with red food coloring and place in one large cauliflower, instant brain in a jar).

The base of the magnet is painted foam cut with a makeshift hot-knife; to get the magnet sparking [Macegr] laser etched acrylic with a fractal pattern and embedded LEDs in the ends of the acrylic. An Arduino handles the flashing LEDs and also produces a 60Hz PWM pulse for the spark’s hum. The end result is satisfyingly mad, and while practicing your evil ominous laugh catch a video of the magnet after the jump.

Continue reading “Large magnets spark on Halloween, who knew?”

Mechanical mustache envy

While this mechanical mustache isn’t made for a Halloween costume, it certainly looks like part of one. Copper clad, brass, cable, and a few other bits come together in a similar style to tension based hands; the piece is then worn much like a Mardi Gras mask. To complete the rustic “old tyme” look [John] was after, the copper was tarnished using the vapor from a vinegar and salt solution. The finished assembly is steam punk delicious, but we’re saddened by the lack of steam punk eye brows to complete the look (or steam punk mutton chops, or steam punk goatee, or…)

[via Boing Boing]

TV out for TI calculators using the link port

Do people enjoy wasting 300$ on a bulky convoluted system, that only works for special “Teacher Edition” calculators, and is several years out of date; E.G. the TI-Presenter? [Benryves] certainly does not. So instead of purchasing a TI-Presenter, he made his own TV out system for the TI brand of calculators by using an ATmega168, a few passive components, and some clever code. The only draw backs being: you save 280$, it fits in your pocket, and it works for almost any TI calculator. Bias aside, the system does actually have a few caveats compared to the commercial edition, but the pros far outweigh the cons.

Artisans Asylum Takes on the Machine

You’ll probably lose your appetite after watching part one and part two of Artisans Asylum as they Take on the Machine. Based around the Wallace and Gromit “automated” set of contraptions, the team from Boston set out to make their own breakfast machine. Of course, with only three weeks to work it didn’t exactly turn out as planned. They certainly had some good ideas though, and we were amazingly impressed at their egg cracking machine. But in the end, we wouldn’t want to be first in line for a plate of breakfast. Next is the final team, The Transistor, who will be making a live action zombie video game.

[Thanks Deven]

Portal…shirt?

[Ben Heck] is in the Halloween spirit with his Portal inspired “see through” t-shirt. That is, a thin lcd is mounted on [Ben’s] chest, with a not as thin camera mounted on his back; when the system is running, everything behind him is captured by the camera and displayed on the LCD. The concept isn’t exactly new by any means, often by the name of “gaping holes” or “hole through body” or more, but the project goes to show that a creative costume isn’t always the most elaborate, expensive, or even a new idea. Catch a video of how to make your own Portal shirt, after the jump. Oh, and you can win the Portal shirt here.

[via The Daily What]

Continue reading “Portal…shirt?”