It looks like we missed the boat on this one but just in case you missed it everywhere else on the Internet, last Saturday [Matt Stack] introduced the world to a completely open source calculator. This marries two heartily tested open source projects; the R Project for Statistical Computing and the Beagleboard. The hardware side of things is very similar to that Linux tablet from back in June. It uses a stock Beagleboard with the BeagleTouch module.
Why do we care? First off, don’t forget what’s under the hood. That ARM processor kicks the 6 MHz Z80 processor found in TI’s calculators to the curb. The R language is a boon as well, offering plots of almost limitless quality and allowing extensibility that can’t be equaled with the current non-open offerings. But mostly because it’s a hack. We like seeing software run on hardware it wasn’t intended for.
[Jason Statham] [Martin Magnusson] wrote in to tell us about his adventure in building a wearable computer. The device in its current state is a Beagleboard running Angstrom Linux tethered to an iPhone for internet. A bluetooth keyboard allows for input, while output is displayed on monocle-ized Myvu. And last but not least, the entire setup is powered by 4 AA batteries for 3 hours of life.
Its not as small as some of the wearable computers we’ve seen before, but if you wanted to whip out your own it sure takes a lot less soldering.
Imagine a tiny little device that you velcro to the back of your TV that delivers all of the media found on your home network. We’ve been dreaming about that since we saw early working examples of XBMC running on a Beagleboard. We’ve heard little about it since then but now there’s cause for hope. XBMC optimization for the Beagleboard has been approved as a Google Summer of Code project. The fruits of these projects tend to take a year or so to ripen, but we don’t mind the wait.
[Topfs2] is the student coder on the project and will be posting weekly updates as well as idling in IRC so if you’re interested in lending a hand with testing or words of support you should drop him a line.
[Beagleboard photo: Koenkooi]
Ah, the heady aroma of damp engineers! It’s raining in Silicon Valley, where the 2010 Embedded Systems Conference is getting off the ground at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center.
ESC is primarily an industry event. In the past there’s been some lighter fare such as Parallax, Inc. representing the hobbyist market and giant robot giraffes walking the expo. With the economy now turned sour, the show floor lately is just a bit smaller and the focus more businesslike. Still, nestled between components intended to sell by the millions and oscilloscopes costing more than some cars, one can still find a few nifty technology products well within the budget of most Hack a Day readers, along with a few good classic hacks and tech demos…
Continue reading “Report from ESC Silicon Valley 2010″
This spider-bot was built by [Zhanx] during his deployment in Iraq. He didn’t have prior hardware building experience and started out on this project when he received an Arduino to play with in September. Must be a fast learner! The parts are laser-cut from ABS plastic and connected to 24 servos. He sourced an SSC-32 serial servo control board to take care of the motor connections.
[Zhanx] has since migrated from the Arduino to a BeagleBoard which you can see perched atop the body in the video after the break. This should give him plenty of speed and power to improve the movement routines. There’s some nice work here but adding rubber feet, like on yesterday’s hexapod, wouldn’t hurt.
Continue reading “Veteran robot features eight legs and BeagleBoard”
Apple Magic Mouse on Windows
Looks like some folks snooped around the latest Bluetooth update from Apple and managed to extract the Magic Mouse drivers. Now you can use them to take this complex peripheral for a spin on Windows. [Thanks Juan]
Component jewelry: From geeky to gross
[Nikolaus] made a pair of 300k Ohm earrings for his wife. That’s three Brown-Black-Yellow resistors per ear. It’s geeky but in a subtle way. Much more refined than the gross outcome of this other guy’s crass nipple experiments. Need to get the image of nipple-jewelry out of your head? [Nikolaus] has you covered with some 3d printed earrings.
Need your GPS data to be accurate within a centimeter? We don’t either but if you ever do, Real Time Kinematic GPS is what you need. Now you can build one yourself using the RTLIB package. This is based around the powerful and powerfully-inexpensive Beagleboard. [Thanks Jan]
It warmed up here a bit this week and things got slushy. Our Galoshes are nice and water-tight but [David’s] have a big hole in the side and are filled with a mini-keyboard. He’s chosen a rubber boot as the housing for a circuit-bending project. It’s a nice touch that the hidden keys are still playable through the flexible rubber.