Happiness Is Just A Flaming Oxy-Fuel Torch Away

The Egg-Bot is pretty awesome, we must say. But if you have one, you end up with lot of delicate, round things rolling around your abode and getting underfoot. Warmer weather is just around the corner, so segue from spring gaiety to hot fun in the summertime with the MarshMallowMatic kit from [Evil Mad Scientist].

The MarshMallowMatic is a CNC oxy-fuel precision marshmallow toaster based on the Ostrich Egg-Bot design. Constructed from flame-retardant plywood, it is sure to add an element of delicious danger to children’s birthday parties and weekend wingdings alike. You don’t have to get too specific with those BYOM invitations because this bad boy will torch standard and jumbo marshmallows like a boss.

The kit includes a 5000°F oxy-fuel torch and a 20 ft³ oxygen tank, but the tank comes empty and you’ll have to supply your own propane, acetylene,  or hydrogen. It comes with adapters to fit disposable propane and MAPP cylinders, which are also not included. However, you will receive a fine selection of sample marshmallows to get you started. Watch the MarshMallowMatic fire up some happiness after the break. You could toast a special message and load it into this face-tracking confectionery cannon to show how much you care.

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Fetching Etchings for Stainless Steel

What do you do when you have a 10-gallon brew kettle (or any other stainless steel or aluminium thing) with no volume markings (or Hack a Day logos)? If you’re [Itsgus], you use science to etch some markings with a few household items and a 9V and you call it a day.

[Itsgus] used 1/4c vinegar and 1/4tsp of salt to form an electro-etchant and applied it with a Q-tip connected to the negative terminal of a 9V. He used tape to connect a wire between the positive terminal and the kettle. The vinegar dissolves the salt, creating negatively charged ions. Connected correctly to a 9V, the process removes metal where the current flows. If you were to connect it in reverse,  you would add a small amount of metal.

The process only takes a few seconds. When the etchant starts to sizzle and bubble, Bob’s your uncle. Even though the stainless steel’s natural coat re-oxidizes over the etches, you should probably wash that thing before you brew. If you prefer adding metal to removing it, try electroplating copper on the cheap.

This Little Piggy Stayed Home and Became a Stove

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This little piggy probably should have gone to the market. Instead, its become an extremely decorative, and cute, wood burning stove!

After being inspired by a similar Instructable that guides you through the creation of a wood stove using an expired gas cylinder, [Ruudvande] had to try it himself. The problem was — he didn’t have a gas tank. Luckily for him, he found someone who did, but as it turned out, they wanted to turn it into a barbecue! So, slightly sidetracked, he built them a barbecue using the center of the cylinder, and got to keep the ends and enough steel to make Mr. Piggy himself.

Almost the entire wood burning stove is made of scrap bits and pieces of steel, and various pieces of mounting hardware. Armed with just a MIG welder, [Ruudvande] welded it together all by hand, and we think it turned out great! He’s not quite happy with it yet though and plans to upgrade the chimney, put a larger grill inside, paint it, and even add a glass window to the door.

Solar Hot Dog Cooker Does it With Parabolic Mirrors

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For a university project [Adam Libert] decided to make his very own parabolic hot dog cooker. Now, we must say, this is a project that could probably be cobbled together in a weekend from scraps, but since it was for a lab, [Adam] decided to go all out — complete with a perfect laser cut frame.

The objective of the lab was to design a project that can use solar radiation to accomplish a task, and being partial to hot dogs, the hot dog cooker was a natural choice. He designed the parabolic mirror to focus 1/5th of a square meter of sunlight directly at a hot dog. To do this, he laser cut the frame out of MDF, and using tinfoil, toothpicks, and poster paper, assembled the mirror. The whole thing cost less than $5 (ignoring laser time) and can be setup in a matter of minutes.

He determined the heat output of the cooker to be around 10W at the hot dog, which means he was able to bring the hot dog to 150°F in about 10 minutes — which was surprisingly close to his original calculations, because let’s face it, tin foil is hardly an ideal mirror.

Interested in other solar cookers? Why not cover a satellite dish in foil tape? Or if you want a quicker-cooked-hot-dog, why not plug it directly into the wall?

[Ben Krasnow] Did It All For The (Perfect) Cookie

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[Ben Krasnow] is on a mission. He’s looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. To aid him in this noble endeavor, he’s created the cookie perfection machine. From cleaning with plasma, to a DIY CT scanner, to ruby lasers, to LED contact lenses, [Ben] has to be one of the most prolific and versatile hackers out there today. What better way to relax after a hard day of hacking than to enjoy a glass of milk and a perfect chocolate chip cookie?

This is actually an update to the machine we first saw back in 2012. [Ben] has loaded his machine up with ingredients, and has everything under computer control. The machine will now dispense the exact amount of ingredients specified by the computer, measured by a scale. Everything happens one cookie at a time. The only downside is that the machine doesn’t have a mixer yet. [Ben] has to mix a single cookie’s worth of dough for every data point. His experiments have returned some surprising results. Too little flour actually results in a crisper cookie, as the wetter dough spreads out to a thinner layer. [Ben] also found that adding extra brown sugar also doesn’t result in a more chewy cookie. Even though he’s still in the early experimentation phases, [Ben] mentions that since it’s hard to make a bad chocolate cookie, even his failures taste pretty good.

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OliveR the Programmable Cooking Robot

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[Oak Robotics] is putting the finishing touches on their programmable cooking robot named OliveR.

It’s not about to make you a souffle (but where did it get the milk?), but it does aim to take the boring parts out of cooking — namely the tedious stirring, adjusting temperatures and the timing of ingredients. While that does make it significantly less impressive than the original title suggests, the team has a blog running of successful recipes — They’ve made some excellent chicken curry, Korean beef, and even Jambalaya!

The team is currently looking for beta testers, and while we’re not too sure what this even entails, you can certainly send them an email and find out! To see a demonstration of OliveR’s cooking skills, hang around after the break.

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Barbot Mixes Drinks Perfectly with Web Interface

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Are you good at mixing drinks? We think this Barbot might give you a run for your money!

Not only does this Barbot have room for 5 different liquors, but you can combine them any way you want with an extremely slick web interface that you can check out for yourself.

During initial setup, you add your chosen liquors to the machine and then using the configure mode in the web interface, you tell Barbot what it has to work with. Once these fields are populated, Barbot will list various drinks that it is capable of mixing with the provided ingredients. It also has a cleaning mode, which allows you to prime the pumps and set administrative access for your parties.

The hardware behind this build is a BeagleBone Black running Ubuntu 13.04 with Apache2, MySQL, and PHP to host the web interface — bind and DHCP are used to create the web portal using a USB WiFi dongle. The online interface directly controls the pumps using PHP via the GPIOs.

To see a full demonstration stick around after the break for the included video.

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