Perfect spiral, every time

[Carmine] let us know about his team’s Automated Football Launcher. Their goal was to combine a football launcher with motion tracking, to allow a player to practice running and catching with the perfect throw. Unfortunately, and we’re not quite sure when, they ended up changing out the Jugs machine for an air cannon, which resulted in the use of foam footballs and the loss of throwing factors such as spiral. Somewhat defeating the purpose but we’ll let it slide; only because we know its going to be shooting potatoes eventually.

The project comes together by using two cameras giving distance and color tracking, combined with a rotating platform (and the best use of garden hose ever), an accurate set-top for their launcher. As seen in the video after the jump, it works out quite nicely. Continue reading “Perfect spiral, every time”

The Wii golf glove

[Shu Uesugi] is filling a controller void that Nintendo has yet to address. He picked up a golf glove from Target and incorporated it into an air guitar interface. Give the video after the break a chance, you’ll start to see the full potential of this build about three and a half minutes into it. Using an Arduino, a Wii nun-chuck, and his flex-senor adorned glove [Shu] can play individual notes, strum cords, and play around with sound effects such as distortion.

So come on Nintendo, the Power Glove was one of your greatest ideas, where’s our 21st century version? I guess we’ll just have to make our own like [Shu] did. Perhaps we’ll even build our flex sensors from scratch.

Continue reading “The Wii golf glove”

Greenhouse guard


[Seth King] sent in his latest hack where he used an Arduino to regulate various aspects of a greenhouse. He has sensors for soil and air temperature as well as light and moisture. He built a custom circuit that uses relays to power fans, lights, and heaters. Using timers and the sensor data, the devices can be triggered to create the perfect environment for sprouts. He hopes to make the whole thing wireless by integrating XBees, but for now he ran a USB cord to his computer.

Related: Automatic grow light

Dell Adamo teardown


TechRepublic and iFixit partnered to teardown Dell’s flagship notebook, the Adamo. The Adamo is positioned to compete directly with Apple’s MacBook Air. The Dell crams a lot of technology into a very thin frame and they use a clever locking system for the backplate to hide any screws. The built in battery has a longer life than the Air and an SSD comes stock. The team points out that the Windows logo is etched on the backside instead of the standard ugly stickers; apparently this took quite a bit of teeth-pulling to get approved. Check out the full photo gallery which includes the fetish packaging and comparison shots to the Air and Dell Mini 9.

Hackit: Are you running OSX on your netbook?


AppleDifferent decided to run some benchmarks on their MSI Wind hackintosh to see how it stacked up to real Apple hardware. It comes in under the MacBook Air in most cases and they conclude that it performs about as well as a four year old G4. Being so small and inexpensive, you can’t really expect much better. As a counterpoint, Obsessable posted a video demoing just how slow a first generation Eee PC can be (embedded below). Boing Boing Gadgets is maintaining an OSX netbook compatibility chart. It shows that the MSI Wind is probably the best case for OSX usability. If we were buying today, we’d probably pick up a Dell Mini 9 even though it requires an SSD upgrade before it will sleep properly.

Are any of you running OSX as the primary OS on your netbooks? What has your experience been?

Continue reading “Hackit: Are you running OSX on your netbook?”

Refillable canned air

While not very technical, [3eff_Jeff] posted an interesting modification to an empty air canister that makes it refillable. He was tired of drilling holes in the ozone, so he carefully drilled a hole into the top of the can instead. In the name of caution, he made sure the can was completely empty first by tying the trigger down with a rubber band. After waiting a while he carefully drilled the hole using an oil lubricant, and then epoxied in a Schrader valve from a leftover bike tire tube.

Due to compression of the air as it is pumped into the can, it becomes quite warm. He found that if the can is allowed to cool to room temperature, the air would become very cold once leaving the canister, which would cause condensation problems. So he uses it right after filling, and then empties it out when not in use.

We do not recommend anyone trying this, but it is a unique way to make a commonly used disposable resource in the computer field reusable. If we can use something more than once, we’re definitely for it. That’s why we support recycling components that would otherwise make their way to the landfill.

Adobe Air’s most install-worthy apps

Lifehacker has listed the top 10 apps that make installing AIR worth your time and effort. Among them are social networking widgets, RSS readers, and other utilities. As you may know, AIR is a set of cross-platform runtimes that allow developers to create rich internet apps that work on various different operating systems. The runtime environment is just as straightforward to install as any other ( JRE, for example).

Snackr and Twhirl, are both staples here at Hack a Day HQ for tracking news. We’ve also heard good things about Google Analytics Report Suite, which can be really useful for tracking site traffic. Still, we’re inclined to think that our audience could write software that’s at least as creative or useful. If you think you’re up to it, download the Adobe AIR SDK and get crackin’.