Hackaday’s Omnibus Vol. 2, Now In Stock

Last month, we announced a preorder for volume two of the Hackaday Omnibus, a collection of content written over the course of this year that is the best we have to offer. Now, there is a warehouse full of deceptively heavy boxes, and the Hackaday Omnibus Vol. 2 is now in stock.

bus9Inside the second edition of the Hackaday Omnibus is 128 pages of actual, real content. There are zero ads, no sponsored content, and absolutely nothing that tells you to go out and buy something. Opening it is an experience unlike anything. Where can you read something for minutes at a time with no interruptions, no email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no text messages, and no ads? You won’t find something like this anywhere else.

The electronics, trade, and tech magazines have a long and storied history. In the 1930s, there were magazines that would teach you how to build a radio. In the 1950s, there were print articles saying fusion power was just fifty years away. The Hackaday Omnibus continues this tradition with relevant content for today: everything from car hacking and open source insulin, to retrospectives on oft-forgotten parts of our digital heritage are included. This is the best we have to offer, and we’re doing it without selling out.

Volume Two of the Hackaday Omnibus isn’t the end for our print endeavours – we’re just getting started. We’re committed to producing the best content in an interruption-free format. Print is dead, after all, and that’s why we put a skull on it.

You can purchase the Hackaday Omnibus Volume Two on the Hackaday Store.

3D-Printing the Most Ornate Room

It’s no secret that we like 3D printing, but Artist and architect [Michael Hansmeyer] really likes 3D printing. So much so that he’s based his entire career around exploring the artistic possibilities of what he calls “computational architecture”.

live9We first fell in love with [Michael]’s work “Columns” because it was both daring and relatively low-budget at the same time. He made a series of architectural-sized columns out of cross-sections of laser-cut cardboard. Why cardboard? Because his goal was to make the columns as complex as possible and the current range of 3D printers couldn’t give him the resolution he wanted.

 

installation3Fast-forward to “Digital Grotesque”. Now [Michael] has access to a large-scale sand printer, and the license to go entirely nuts. He makes a space reminiscent of a Rococo grotto, but full of so much detail that you can’t really take it all in: it’s nearly fractal. Some stats: 11 tons of printed sandstone, 260 million surfaces, 30 billion voxels. We’re stoked that we don’t have to dust it!

 

arabesque_wall11His latest piece, “Arabesque Wall” is partly organic and elegant, and part Aliens. If we can play art critic, we think it’s beautiful. Go click through the portfolio. (And although they never got printed, we really like some of the “Voxels” series of cellular-automata pieces.)

From new paint materials opening up new color possibilities to new instruments enabling entirely different types of music, art, and technology mutually inform each other much more than we often appreciate. In ten years time, we’ll be looking back on this work and saying “this piece looks good” and “that piece looks bad” instead of “wow, amazing tech!”. But for now, we’re also content to wallow in the “wow”.

Beautiful Sidewalk Graffiti Machine

Our hero [Alex] just built a sidewalk graffiti machine, and it’s a beauty to behold, so make sure you check out the video below the break. But don’t neglect [Alex]’s blog, and the build videos throughout. (Nice t-shirt in the wheel-making video, BTW.)

The machine itself is basically a two-meter wide printer where the roller is replaced with drive wheels. The frame, made of plywood, looks great and helps keep the machine light weight. Everything is done with DC motors and timing belts, which means motor encoders and closed-loop control in the firmware. It connects via a WiFi serial bridge, made with an ESP8266, to [Alex]’s cell phone.

Everything, from plans to software, is available on [Alex]’s GitHub for the project.

Continue reading “Beautiful Sidewalk Graffiti Machine”

Texel: Art Tracks You, Tracks Time

French robot-artist [Lyes Hammadouche]  tipped us off to one of his latest works: a collaboration with [Ianis Lallemand] called Texel. A “texel” is apparently a time-pixel, and the piece consists of eight servo-controlled hourglasses that can tip themselves over in response to viewers walking in front of them. Besides making graceful wavelike patterns when people walk by, they also roughly record the amount of time that people have spent looking at the piece — the hourglasses sit straight up when nobody’s around, resulting in a discrete spatial representation of people’s attentions to the piece: texels.

We get jealous when we see artists playing around with toys like these. Texel uses LIDAR scanners, Kalman-filtered naturally, to track the viewers. openFrameworks, OpenCV, and ROS. In short, everything you’d need to build a complex, human-interactive piece like this using completely open-source tools from beginning to end. Respect!

Continue reading “Texel: Art Tracks You, Tracks Time”

Because Art: Can Machines be Creative?

You’re walking through a gallery and stop to take in two seemingly unrelated pieces hanging side-by-side. One of them is a drawing of a bird, rendered with such precision its feathers could easily pop off the paper. The other is a sketch of what seems to be the same bird, however it’s nearly unrecognizable due to inconsistent line quality and parts that are entirely missing.

This article was written for the Omnibus vol #02 Order yours now
This article was written for the Omnibus vol #02
Order yours now

In staring at the photo-real drawing of the perfect bird, you marvel over the technical ability required to produce it. You also study the sloppy sketch just as long, picking out each one of its flaws, yet decide you like the image of the strange bird because the errors are interesting to you.

When you lean forward to read the title card posted on the wall between them, you’re shocked to learn that the two drastically different images were made by the same artist; not the person them self, but a machine they built to create both drawings in two different styles.

As an illustrator, I’m fascinated by drawing machines because their purpose is to emulate an act which has always been a highly personal form of self expression for me. Drawing machines and their creators are in a sense my peers.

Continue reading “Because Art: Can Machines be Creative?”

Pre-order this Graphically Stunning Print Edition of Hackaday

Now is your chance to hold a piece of Hackaday in your hands. Last year we announced our first ever print edition. We continue that tradition with a much bigger offering. Hackaday Omnibus vol #02 gathers the best content from Hackaday over the last year. This includes in-depth original content, incredible art, the events that mattered over the last 12 months, and a few cryptic easter eggs.

omnibus-vol2-on-your-coffee-table[Joe Kim], Hackaday’s Art Direct, really outdid himself with the cover this year. Inspired by an epic movie, the illustration includes a shoutout to almost every article found within. Of course there is a lot more of his work inside, along with the efforts of dozens of writers, artists, editors, and more.

All 128 pages of Omnibus vol #02 were painstakingly laid out by [Aleksandar Bradic] who enlisted the help of a dedicated core of Hackaday.io members to help pore over the final drafts, ensuring the presentation is immaculate. Along the way some of them teamed up to roll in those easter eggs that I previously mentioned. We don’t even know what all of it means, you should be the first to solve the mystery.

Most of the 31 articles that grace these pages have run past the front page of Hackaday. But there are a few that were written specifically for the print edition. These will be published on our front page starting in 90 minutes and continuing for a few weeks. It is important to us to share these great works without the need to purchase anything. But the Omnibus is truly one of the coolest pieces of tech literature that you can own. It deserves a place on your coffee table, reception area at work, and as a gift for all who love to know how things work, how things were built, and the legacy of knowledge that has come from generations of hacking.

We’re only running a single printing of this gorgeous volume. Make sure you get one of your own by placing a pre-order now. Be one of the first 500 using coupon code OMNIBUS2015 and get it for just $10! Show that you support great content and help make future projects like this possible.

SprayPrinter Paints Your Wall, One Pixel At A Time

SprayPrinter is a neat idea. You download a cellphone app, point the camera at a wall, and sweep the wall with a spray can fitted with a (Bluetooth? WiFi?) remote-controlled valve. The phone knows where the nozzle is, and sprays a dot whenever it needs to “paint” the picture of your choosing on the wall.

sprayprinter-estonia-designboom-002-818x500While we’re not sure that we have the patience to paint our walls this way, it’s a cool effect. But even more, we love the idea of using the cellphone camera for location sensing. Many robotics applications do just this with an overhead camera.

Of course, we’d love more detail about how it’s done, but it’s not hard to guess that it’s either a bit of machine vision in the phone, or simpler still, that the spray-can housing has IR LEDs inside that the phone can lock onto. Indeed, the prototype version of the product shown here does look like it has an LED on the opposite side from the orange nozzle.

It wouldn’t be hard to take this to the next level, by adding enough IR LEDs that the camera in your phone can sense orientation as well as location. Heck, by measuring the distances between LEDs, you could probably even get a rough measure of depth. This could open up the use of different nozzles.

Thanks [Itay] for the tip! Some images courtesy SprayPrinter, via designboom.