Re-purpose industrial robotic arms

We must find out where you can acquire these industrial robots pictured above. Sure, you expect car companies like BMW to have a few lying around, which they used to make into a Twitter message writing robot. But Bungie, a video game company, to have one as part of an advertisement for Reach?

The former is just a scratch on the surface, with some pictures, but a much more decent writeup will be provided after September 12th. The latter has a few videos, and you can watch it recreate a monument with light ‘live’. And while both are impressive uses of old tech, neither answered our first question, we gotta get us one of these.

[Thanks Matt and FurryFriend]

A different take on electric motor cars

[Craig Carmichael] has been hard at work on his electric hub motor for cars. Unlike typical electrical vehicles the plan is to bypass the transmission, differential, and everything else all together by connecting directly to the hub of the wheel. The goal of giving greater thrust and still allowing the use of a gas engine if need be.

There’s really too much detail for us to even begin to try to explain the entire project in a short recap, but [Craig] builds the entire motor (from magnets to coil windings) and wires his own controller (from schematic to finished PCB), all while documenting the process thoroughly for those wishing to make their own.

More car audio input hacking

[Dave] pulled the head unit out of his dashboard to add an iPod input. He took a much more invasive route than the other hack we saw a few days ago. He actually patched into the audio lines going from the Dolby reader head chip to the amplifier.

The first step was to trick the deck into thinking it had a cassette inserted. He scoped an enable pin on one of the chips to discover the timing and emulated that signal using a PIC microprocessor. From there he popped off the chip that reads the tape data, patching directly into the audio out traces. This presented some noise issues when charging the iPod but [Dave] fixed that with some decoupling capacitors.

Ground your car to make it go

This security system called G-spot requires that you touch a special place on the car prior to attempting to start it. This is pretty slick as it could be completely un-obvious and doesn’t require any special fobs or minor surgery. With the right placement, no one would ever notice that you had touched it.

[via HackedGadgets]

World’s slowest Porsche, still faster than my car

Well, maybe the title is not so true. This “Porsche” GT3‘s construction is a bit unorthodox, the chassis looks to be aluminum tubing, with bicycle tires and other man-powered parts for propulsion. The body is entirely plastic and tape, yeah…gold…foil…tape. Hey, when you really really want to turn someones head.

Regardless, the car even comes complete with working lights, horn, doors, trunk, and lexan windows. Sure it will never go 0 to 60 (yet), but the mileage is amazing! Follow an amusing video of it after the rift.

[via OMGsoysauce]

[Read more...]

RC car taunts man’s best friend

[Arkos] gutted an RC car from his childhood and made it into a dog-taunting remote platform. An Arduino replaces the original circuitry with a Bluetooth module for connectivity. He uses an Xbox 360 controller and has added a small speaker to act as a siren. But for our money it’s the camera that makes this hack. It streams video back to a laptop and because it’s mounted on a couple of servos the left stick controls where the lens is looking. The next evolution should replace the Arduino for a standalone microcontroller but what he’s come up with as a first prototype is delightful. See Fido run in terror after the break.

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BAMF2010: Spy TRAKR – no lasers, $14,861 cheaper

Maybe $15K for an elaborate balancing telepresence robot is a bit out of one’s league. In that case, another Bay Area Maker Faire exhibitor — Wild Planet — has you covered. Faire attendees got a hands-on sneak preview of the upcoming Spy Video TRAKR, a video-transmitting radio-controlled toy that’s programmable and extensively hackable.

The TRAKR has an impressive pedigree. It’s a collaborative effort between three successful and creative technology companies: Wild Planet, makers of the Spy Gear toy line; MOTO Development Group, designers of the Flip Video camera; and Making Things, software designers for the Make Controller.

So just how hackable are we talking? The Spy Video TRAKR is intended right out of the box to use downloadable apps, and allows development of new programs in C. The controller and vehicle each contain their own ARM9 processor, and the ’bot features 8 megs of RAM, an SD card slot and USB client and host (yes, host) ports. And that’s all with the cover still on. Pop the lid, and you’ll find links to online schematics and neatly-labeled breakout headers for deeper exploration.

The Spy Video TRAKR is expected to ship in October with a target price of $139 or less. Additional photos after the break.

[Read more...]

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