BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!

Ask any engineer what originally sparked their interest in technology, and almost universally the response will be a Hollywood film or TV robot — Star Wars’ R2-D2, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, or Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, to name a few. Engineers need a creative outlet too, and some pay homage to their inspirations by building elaborate reproductions. At this year’s Maker Faire, droid-builders had their own corner in the center hall, their work ranging from humble craft materials to ’bots surpassing their film counterparts in detail and workmanship.

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Bay Area Maker Faire 2010 video

Since the previously-posted stills can’t quite convey the chaos of last weekend’s Maker Faire, here’s some video from the event to help get you through hump day. It’s like three liters of Jolt Cola in a two liter bottle.

One thing even video can’t adequately capture is our gratitude toward our readers at the show who took time to express their appreciation for the blog. You guys and gals rock our world. Thank you!

Bay Area Maker Faire 2010 in pictures

Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any bigger and crazier, they manage to outdo themselves again. The Bay Area Maker Faire wrapped up Sunday evening, but we have so many story leads that we’ll probably be busy until next year’s event. In the meantime, here’s just a tiny, random sampling of the countless delights that greeted visitors this past weekend.

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Laser cut and printable cases

If you’re like us you’ve got quite a few prototyping tools that are bare PCB boards. If you’re using them a lot you might want to protect them with some type of case but the lack of mounting holes can make this difficult. One popular solution to this problem is to design a case for a perfect fit, then cut it with a laser or print it out of plastic. We’ve got examples of both.

[Stewart Allen] set to work designing laser cut cases for the AVR Dragon and the Bus Pirate V2go after seeing our post about on-the-go prototyping. We think this is especially important if you have an AVR Dragon as it’s been known to bite the dust if the bottom is shorted out. If you have access to a laser cutter you can download is DXF files and the models and cut your own.

If you don’t have a laser cutter but can get some time with a 3D printer check out the Bus Pirate V2go printed case and the Arduino printed case.

Our favorite XBOX to HTPC hacks

Let’s face it, the original Xbox is ugly. It might have looked cool when it first came out but now most would be embarrassed to display that old beast with the rest of their entertainment hardware. This is unfortunate because the old girl still has some life in her. If you have tools, time, and talent you can give the box a facelift and bring it back to see the light of day. We’ve got six of our favorite Xbox to Home Theater PC hacks after the break to inspire you.

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9 most popular of 2009

Happy New Year and happy hacking to all. We had a great time last year exploring the creativity in the hacks that make the Internet a better place. Below you’ll find the nine most popular posts of the year here at Hackaday. Now’s the time to get working on that great project you’ve had in mind. Let us know once you’ve pulled it off and maybe you’ll be on this list next year!

  1. Simple Xbox 360 rapid fire mod
  2. BackTrack 4 Beta released
  3. PSP 3000 firmware 5.03 hacked
  4. Black Hat 2009: Parking meter hacking
  5. How-to: USB remote control receiver
  6. PSP 3000 hacked
  7. Pandora’s battery (unbrick your PSP)
  8. Nintendo DS homebrew guide
  9. SheevaPlug, tiny linux server

CNC project roundup

We asked for CNC projects, and wow did you guys deliver!

First up is [J-J Shortcut’s] MDF based CNC. He’s made three thus far, with the most recent costing about 180 euro and taking 2 months to build.

[Qwindelzorf] has also constructed a multitude of CNC machines including this industrial size router and this smaller miller.

Finally, [Mick’s] large steel CNC which just made its first cut only a week ago!

Keep up the great work guys, CNC machines are not easy to build and your accomplishments are ones for the record books.