We all know the scene, Obi-Wan Kenobi gives Luke a helmet with the blast shield down. He tells Luke “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them. Stretch out with your feelings!” Easy for Obi-Wan to say – he doesn’t have a remote training droid flying around and shooting at him. [Roeland] and his team are working to create a real-life version of the training droid for Hackday’s Sci-Fi contest.
The training droid in Star Wars may not have had the Force on its side, but it was pretty darn agile in the air. To replicate this, the team started with a standard Walkera Ladybird micro quadcopter. It would have been simple to have a human controlling the drone-turned-droid, but [Roeland and co] wanted a fully computer controlled system. The Ladybird can carry a small payload, but it just doesn’t have the power to lift a computer and sensor suite. The team took a note from the GRASP Lab and used an external computer with a camera to control their droid.
Rather than the expensive motion capture system used by the big labs, the team used a pair of Wii Remote controllers for stereo vision. A small IR LED mounted atop the droid made it visible to the Wii Remotes’ cameras. A laptop was employed to calculate the current position of the droid. With the current and desired positions known, the laptop calculated and sent commands to an Arduino, which then translated them for the droid’s controller.
Nice work guys! Now you just have to add the blaster emitters to it!
Continue reading “Star Wars Training Droid Uses The Force”
It’s been awhile since we hosted a contest, now is the time to up our game. You have a few weeks to come up with the best Sci-Fi themed hack. We’ve amassed a number of prizes well worth fighting for, and the challenge will be won by a combination of clever, collaborative, and open. The booty includes rad (yeah, we said it) tools like Oscilloscopes, Logic Sniffers, Solder Stations, and Dev Boards, as well as themed offerings like classic Sci-Fi films and tchotchkes from our favorite fictional universes.
Yesterday we announced that Hackaday Projects is open for public registration and now we’re taking the new site for a spin. Previous contests like the Trinket and Fubarino versions became unwieldy for the Hackaday crew just because of the sheer volume of entries. The new interface will make it much easier. We also want to test out the collaborative features so one of the requirements for entry is to participate as a team. The winners will be picked based on how well the project is documented, how open (as in software and hardware) it is, how it fits the theme, and on how well the team worked together.
The contest starts right now and ends at 12:00:00am Pacific time (we know a lot of you like to push deadlines) on April 29th, 2014. Head over to the contest page to see all of the details. Let the games begin!
[Official Contest Page]
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[Gerben] started on his adventure into the world of electronics about a year ago. His first big project is this magnificent word clock. It’s Dutch, if you’re wondering.
As a web developer, the first thing [Gerben] did was build a web-based mockup of this clock. After that, he went crazy with power tools crafting the wooden frame. Perhaps too crazy, as he forgot the space for the electronics. This oversight was solved by making his own PCBs, first using peroxide and vinegar, then giving up and moving to peroxide and HCl.
The easter egg for this word clock is a scrolling URL when the time is 13:37. A clever egg that is really completely original.
From the looks of the video, the fit and finish of this word clock is beyond anything we’ve seen before. The entire front of the clock is glass, with capacitive touch buttons down by the four-LED ‘minute’ display.
Video below, Pics over here, and all the code and board files are here.
This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!
Continue reading “Fubarino Contest: A Dutch Word Clock”
Last summer, we here at Hackaday participated in the Red Bull Creation Contest. Basically, twelve teams were given webcams and instructions to build something cool. The teams live streamed their build process, and the best of the bunch won a trip to the New York Maker Faire. [Jason Naumoff], the guy behind this build-off is doing it again right now. It’s called The Deconstruction and it pits 50 teams on 6 continents to build something cool while streaming their project to the Internet.
The Deconstruction is a little bit different from Red Bull’s contest – first, the teams don’t have access to ludicrous amounts of energy drinks. Secondly, there’s no set theme for the group entries. It’s a free-for-all build off where teams can make anything they’d like.
We’ve really got to hand it to [Jason] for pulling this off. He MC’d the Red Bull Creation Contest live stream – nearly all 72 hours of it – and was entertaining right up to the very end. You can check out the official stream on the main Deconstruction site, or you can check out the individual team streams here.
What can you do with ten buttons and ten lights? A lot.
[Andrew] and [Nathan] found a collection of Hale Research keypads being thrown out, and decided to host the Keypad Contest. The goal of the contest was to create something nifty using the ten buttons and ten lights on the keypad, and an ATtiny2313 that replaced the original 8051-compatible microcontroller in the device.
[Andrew] wanted to try making PCBs with his home-built CNC machine, so he milled out USBtinyISP programmers for the ATtiny2313. Then he gave out eleven development kits to a group, and explained how to develop on the hardware.
After a month of hacking, seven people completed projects. The winner was an internet radio controller, which had the keypad sending serial data to a TP-Link WR703N router. The router used a USB sound card and OpenWRT firmware to stream music. The runner up was a timing game called “Capture”.
The contest write up has details on all seven projects. [Andrew] and [Nathan] were successful in getting software engineers to try hardware with this contest, resulting in some neat hacks. After the break, check out a video demo of the internet radio controller.
Continue reading “The Keypad Contest”
This soldering nightmare is a configurable RFID tag which has been built from 7400-series logic chips. The beast of a project results in an iPhone-sized module which can be used as your new access card for security systems that uses the 125 kHz tags. The best part is that a series of switches makes the tag hand programmable, albeit in binary.
Of course this is an entry in this year’s 7400 Logic Competition. It’s from last year’s winner, and he’s spent a lot of time documenting the project; which we love. We were surprised that this many chips can be powered simply by what is induced in the coil from the reader. This is just one of the reasons the 7400-series have been so popular over the years. After working out the numbers, a 64-bit shift register was built to feed the tag ID to the encoding portion of the design. There were many kinks to work out along the way, but once it was functional a surface-mount design was put together resulting in the final product shown off in the video after the break.
Continue reading “Configurable RFID tag from 7400 logic chips”
The people have spoken. Hackaday has won the Redbull creation challenge by popular vote. Despite a few bumpy spots in the voting process, our project, the Minotaur’s Revenge (gameplay footage around the 2min mark in the video), got the most votes from the public winning us $5000 for our hackerspace and a trip to the World MakerFaire in New York.
Thanks to everyone who was able to actually vote, and we totally understand about those who didn’t.