Introductions: 3 new writers

We would like to introduce our new writers [Rachel Fee], [Greg Jacobs], and [Jacob Nahin]. They will be focusing on software reviews and tutorials in response to the daily requests for posts that don’t require that you be an electrical engineer to understand.

The Hack a Day community is growing very fast and we are happy to be a valued source of information to our readers.

Wiimote controlled Hexapods

The Phoenix is a very impressive hexapod robot platform. It has 18 servos which gives each leg 3 degrees of freedom and a BasicAtom Pro 28 for the brains. Interestingly, the design started as a personal project of a forum member on the Lynxmotion forums. It turned out so well, it has become an actual product. We’ve seen videos of these before and they always have some pretty fluid and organic seeming motion. They seem almost alive in this configuration. The only thing that might make them scarier would be to add Lou Vega’s decapitated head, well maybe that plus some really nice face tracking. In the video above, you can see where someone paired one up with a Wiimote for a pretty intuitive control scheme. Yeah, we realize the video is nearly a year old, how did we miss this one? You can see a video of it walking around after the break, and another controlled by a ps2 controller.

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Nickel-O-Matic

coins

[Mike] sent in this project. It’s a robot, designed to print on wooden coins while people watch. It was built to be in the iHobby Expo 08 in Chicago. The main movement is controlled by a BASIC Stamp2, while the ink jet system is run off of a Propeller. The entire system has 4 servos, 3 stepper motors, a DC motor, a hacked breast pump, an ink jet head, and 5 IR sensors. in case you missed that, it has a breast pump. We’re assuming that’s the part that picks up the wooden nickels with suction. He states that the project was meant to be entertaining, so there are lots of superfluous and inefficient actions as you can see in the video after the break. Great job [Mike].

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Parallax Christmas light show

[iboucher] wanted to do some crazy Christmas light choreography.  Finding the cost of the off the shelf system to be way too much, he set out to build his own. After a visit to eBay to pick up some cheap 1 amp relays, he was ready to get started.  Using a Basic Stamp2 that he had laying around, he was able to put together a fairly complete 16 port system.  Great job [iboucher]

[via Hacked Gadgets]

A Basic stamp supercomputer

basic_super

Hobby super computer building isn’t something you hear about every day. This project is even more peculiar due to the fact that it is a supercomputer built with BASIC Stamps. [humanoido] posted some great pictures and detailed info about his project. We’re not completely sure what definition of supercomputer he’s using, but he states that it beats out the others in 10 categories. Those categories are: smaller, lighter, portable, field operable, runs on batteries, has greatest number of input/output, has greatest number of sensors/variety, lowest power consumption, lowest unit cost, and easiest to program. Those sound a little more like features than supercomputing categories to us, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is one cool jumble of wires.

You may be wondering what it does. Well, so are we. From what he says, it talks in Chinese and English and has a plethora of other input and output devices. It also displays status of its internal communications. Catch a video after the break.

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