That light switch is disgusting!

[Katrin Baumgarten] has fourteen switches that are made to gross you out. From a button that retreats into its hole as your finger approaches, to a mysterious goo-oozing faceplate, to a hairy housing that gets aroused as your try to flip it on, the intrigue is enough to get you to try out the next creepy node in the network. There’s a clip of several different switches after the break and if that’s not enough she’s got more on her Vimeo channel.

[Read more...]

Robots from dolls

Here at Hackaday, we may be somewhat divided in our opinions of Anime and Manga. We were all pretty impressed by this robot build(translated) though. We’re not totally clear on who actually did this build, but we can see a few pictures and a video on the site. The original doll looks to be roughly 3 or 4 inches tall, judging by the Eeepc keyboard that it is standing on. We counted 7 servos stuffed into this thing with a controller board hiding in the back of its hair. You’ll have to watch the video to see most of the details. It looks like there is one in the head, one in each shoulder, both hip joints,  and both feet. Though the motion at the end of the video is limited, we still think it is impressive. Creepy, but impressive.

note: the video is not embedded in the translated version. Just go to the non translated to watch it.

[thanks Francesco]

Will this mouse get me kicked out of the coffee shop?

This [Dwight Shrute]-esque project will let you try out your taxidermy skills. Apparently you can acquire a ‘wetware’ mouse fresh or frozen from pet stores. We just need to wait until fall when our pantry is visited by the less-domesticated variety.

A travel-sized optical mouse acts as the replacement guts. Some creative dremeling brings the plastic housing down to a more acceptable shape. The furry bits need to be processed using the mouse taxidermy guide before they are fit over the electronics. What you end up with is a creepy peripheral that nobody wants to use.

Stroke to unlock

If you’re into embedded clothing this stroke sensor is for you. As demonstrated in the video after the break, stroking the threads in a particular direction will create a circuit that senses and, in this case, turns on an LED. The concept uses two conductive buses on the back of a piece of neoprene. Conductive and non-conductive threads are then  added for a furry or bristly finish. When stroked perpendicular to the power buses the conductive threads come together and form a circuit.

For some reason this just seems a bit creepy to us but perhaps that’s only because we haven’t come up with the right application for the technology. We’re pretty sure that a sweatshirt with an LED marquee and a “hairy” back that you stroke to illuminate is the wrong application.

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Creepy robot eye follows you and winks in response


Opto-Isolator is an interesting art installation that was on display at the Bitforms Gallery in NYC. This single movement-tracking eye creates a statement about how we view art and is a response to the question “what if art could view us?”. The somewhat creepy display not only follows the person viewing it, but mimics blinks a second later and averts its gaze if eye contact is kept up for too long. Its creators [Golan Levin] and [Greg Baltus] have done a great job mimicking human behavior with such a simple element and the social implications of it are truly fascinating.

If they wanted to, [Levin] and [Baltus] could possibly crank up the spook factor by adding facial recognition and programming it to remember how certain people interact with it, then tailor its behavior to wink at different rates or become more shy or bold, depending on the personality of the person watching it. Of course, that would require that someone goes back to it more than once…

[via Glass Tumbler]

Hacking animatronic Elvis


[Scott] shot us a tip about some progress on hacking those creepy [Elvis] heads produced by Wowee. The head uses a flash cartridge to store all the data used for the motion/audio control. The cartridge uses NAND flash, so a quick solder job to an XD flash card reader yielded a useful dump of the memory cartridge – which happened to be fat32 formatted. There’s still plenty of work to do, but it seems that it’ll be trivial to replace the data with custom audio and motion commands.

7 really creepy robots


Creepiness is a hard feeling to objectively evaluate, but we dare you to not get creeped out by these realistic robots listed by Cracked.com. It’s the uncanny valley of robots that are almost, but not completely lifelike, and which repulse most humans. It begs the question: how could you resolve the uncanny valley problem? Would you build a robot to look exactly like you, as [Hiroshi Ishiguro] did, or would you build one to look like a famous figure, like the Albert Hubo?

[via BotJunkie]

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