Here’s a small but functional hexapod that is controlled via Bluetooth. [Sigfpe] started with the hexapod kit sold by Polulu and added a BlueSMiRF modem to get the little guy’s communications up and running. But since the bot is merely three servos, a microcontroller board, sensors, and miscellaneous parts it’s an easy build for most electronic hobbyists.
Check out the video after the break to see the delightful dance it can perform at your bidding. When we first looked at the project we thought that the keyboard was directly paired with the bot for control, but a look at the code makes us think the computer is controlling it after processing keystrokes. Either way the BlueSMiRF should have no problem pairing with other Bluetooth devices so it’s just a matter of coding to get it taking commands from your device of choice. We’d love to see Android control but for the really hard-core code monkeys we think this should be voice controlled with a Bluetooth headset.
Continue reading “Jittering hexapod dances to the strokes of your Bluetooth keyboard”
[Lucas Fragomeni] is controlling this robot using the accelerometer on his Android phone (translated). He could have gone through our Android tutorials and developed a custom application but he took the shorter route and used Amarino, an ‘Android meets Arduino’ toolkit, to do it for him. [Lucas] combined an Arduino, a BlueSMiRF Bluetooth modem, and two servo motors to build his robot. Amarino lets him connect to that Bluetooth modem and send sensor data over the connection. In this case it’s only the accelerometer that he chose to use, but he could have gone with the touchscreen, or any other sensor the handheld has to offer. Using this code package got him up and running quickly, only requiring that he writes his own code to turn the received signals into servo motor control routines. See it in action after the break.
Continue reading “Amarino makes Android controlled robots a snap”
[Sk3tch] rigged up a way to use an original NES controller with Android. He bought the controller and a breakout board for it at DEFCON. By combining the controller, an Arduino, and a blueSMIRF BlueTooth module the controller can be used as a keyboard on his Android device. In the video after the break he demonstrates pairing the devices and playing Super Mario Bros. 3 in an emulator.
He calls this Alpha quality but it certainly looks like it works well. In the beta version we’d love to see all of the extra electronics inside the controller case like those USB mods.
Continue reading “Using an NES controller on an Android phone”
While we have our fun ethically hacking, its very easy to forget that sometimes our ideas could be used with malicious goals. Take for instance SparkFun’s BlueSMiRF – the device’s original intention is simply to act as a wireless serial cable replacement. After hackers discovered several PIN pads use a serial interface, they put one and one together to steal several hundreds of people’s personal bank accounts.
It seems SparkFun is getting a lot of heat lately, but we’re glad they stand up and address these issues. You can check out the original news clipping here.
[emuboy] sent in this neat hack where he converted a GPS dock to bluetooth (google translated). He has an ipaq rz1710 and a Kirrio GPS cradle. Apparently there were annoying problems when inserting the ipaq into the cradle. He decided that he would much rather just connect via Bluetooth. After tearing apart the cradle, he found the documentation for the GPS chip online. He ordered a bluesmirf bluetooth modem and got to work. The end result is something that could be concealed in his car and just connected to when he gets close enough.
If you haven’t checked out SparkFun Electronics’ prototype collection yet, you’re missing out. They unearthed many of their old prototypes and published them to show what kind of mistakes could be made. You’ll see plenty of errors and get hints on what to look for while developing your own hardware. This pairs well with their Design for Manufacture post. Along with the pile of broken board iterations, they also walk through how the company developed. Finally, they specifically cover the individual iterations of the BlueSMiRF.
One of the interesting modules in the gallery that never saw full release was the SparkFun Toys line pictured above. The individual units used the standoffs as the power and data bus. The four posts were arranged so they could only be connected in one orientation: power, ground, TX, and RX. It’s an interesting idea that seems like it might be worth exploring further. SparkFun says that it worked fine, but didn’t feel they had the resources to market it to the intended audience.
[Corey Menscher] built the Kickbee while attending ITP this Fall. It monitors his pregnant wife’s belly and updates Twitter, a microblogging service, every time the baby kicks. The device makes everyone aware of the baby’s movement, not just the expectant mother. It can also log the baby’s activity to monitor development. The sensors are piezos held in place with an elastic band. They’re connected to an Arduino Mini which connects to a host computer using a BlueSMIRF bluetooth module. The host Mac does the logging and twittering.
This is one of the many projects on display at the ITP Winter Show.
[Thanks, @readiness via Boing Boing]