Four Cable Drawing Machine Pulls Our Strings

sandplotter

[David] has created a four cable drawing machine for the Telus Spark Science Centre in Canada. Hackaday has featured [David's] unconventional drawing contraptions before, specifically his center pivot pen plotter. The drawing machine is a new take on a drawbot, and could be considered to be close cousins with [Dan's] SkyCam. The premise is simple: A stepper motor with a reel of string is placed at each corner of a square. The strings for all four motors come together at a center weight. When all four strings are taut, the weight is lifted off the drawing surface. When a bit of slack is added into the strings, gravity pulls the weight down to touch the sand.

It’s at this point that a simple premise becomes a complex implementation. Moving the weight in one direction is a matter of reeling out string on one motor, and reeling in string on the other. But what about the two “un driven” strings? They have to be slack enough to allow movement in the driven direction, but not so slack that the weight can dig in and tumble on the sand, causing a tangle. To handle some of these questions, [David] called on [Kevin] to write some software. [Kevin] created a custom kinematics module for LinuxCNC to control the drawing machine. The drawing machine runs on Gerber Code, similar to a CNC. Simply feed the machine Cartesian coordinates, and [Kevin's] module converts to steps.

[Read more...]

Hackerspace intro: Skullspace and AssentWorks in Winnipeg

The signs on the front door might be a little small, but the space which AssentWorks and Skullspace inhabit is anything but. [Matt] takes us on a tour of the Winnipeg, Canada makerspace and hackerspace.

The two spaces occupy one floor of the building but are partitioned for different purposes. AssentWorks, which is called a makerspace, is a business incubator. The tour shows it as a large and tidy area where small businesses can pool resources to maintain and stock the various shop and work areas. We can’t help but think of it as an OSB jungle as it seems all the interior walls have been built from Oriented Strand Board.

The second part of the video shows off the hackerspace: Skullspace. This is much less polished, but shows a lot of promise. There are several work spaces for electronics, machining, and woodworking. There is also an arcade room, a classroom, and a few other offerings. All in all there’s 8350 square feet of space between the two.

You can see the ten-minute tour embedded after the break. [Read more...]

E-bike across Canada for $10

Justin Lemire-Elmore E-bike

[Justin Lemire-Elmore] spent one month riding his electric bike across Canada last summer. He made the journey from Vancouver to Halifax in 30 days using a mere $10 worth of electricity to recharge his bike. He put together a rather bizarre looking semi-recumbent bicycle to hold all of his gear. The motor controller, charge controller, battery packs, and lighting system were all his own design. He has a captivating 2 hour presentation embedded below in which he describes all the problems he had with his equipment during the trip as well as all the great experiences the journey offered. [Read more...]

CrossCanada: a biking documentary

bike_arm

[Mike] was going to be biking across Canada. He really wanted to document the trip, so he began planning ways to get still images taken at intervals along the way. After a bit of brainstorming, he ended up setting his goals a bit higher. He was going to film the entire trip. He really didn’t want a simple helmet cam, he wanted himself and the entire bike in the frame. To do this he had to build a long arm on which he mounted a bullet cam. On his handlebars, he has a simple control where he can turn the system on and off as well as initiate recording.

No single piece of this project was too complicated, but taken all together, the final result is quite nice. You can watch the video for yourself after the break.

[Read more...]

Israeli hacker “the Analyzer” arrested

The Israeli hacker [Ehud Tenenbaum], known as “the Analyzer”, was arrested along with 3 Canadians for allegedly hacking into a Calgary-based financial services company and withdrawing almost CDN $2 million. The arrests were the results of a months-long investigation by both the Canadian police and the U.S. Secret Service.  In 1998, [Tenenbaum] was accused of hacking into unclassified computer systems owned by NASA, and the Pentagon, among others. He is in custody without bail, although the three other suspects have been released on bond.

[thanks vor]