If you’ve had a child in the last few decades, you’ve had a choice to make: if you want to know the sex of the baby ahead of time. With ultrasound you can find out or–popular these days–you can have the result sealed and have a baker create a reveal cake. Apparently, researchers at the Dresden University of Technology and the University of Leipzig wanted to do the same trick with unborn chickens.
You might wonder why anyone cares (we did). Apparently, chickens that are bred for egg laying don’t produce roosters suitable for food use. This leads to about half of the chicks being “culled” (a less ugly euphemism than gassed or shredded) and used in–among other things–animal feed. Worldwide, billions of chicks are culled each year and that’s not counting other similar situations like male turkeys and female ducks.
Continue reading “What Came First? The Chicken or the LASER?”
Easter is over and with some plastic eggs still on hand, [Franspaco] was looking for something to do with them. He decided to use an egg as an enclosure for a digital clock.
You can see that the finished project uses just one 7 segment LED display to show the time. A scrolling number method is used to delineate each digit of the 24-hour time readout. The display will go blank, followed by two numbers for the hours, a dash as a separator, and finally two more digits for the minutes. A PICAXE microcontroller drives the clock, but for accuracy a DS1307 does the timekeeping.
[Franspaco] etched his own circuit board that is sized to fit perfectly, housing the two chips, an LED, and a programming header. The on-board LED blinks at 1 Hz, giving some inner glow to the plastic shell. He accomplished most of his goals, but was unable to fit the batteries inside of one egg, prompting the need for a tethered power-egg. If he moves to surface mount components for the next generation of this device we think he’ll have no problem fitting a small battery (like an A23) inside.
Spring is upon us and Instructables user [Mischka] decided it was a good idea to combine two flavors we never considered putting together: The Easter Bunny and the A-Team.
He decided to build the egg as an Easter gift for his brother, who is a huge fan of the A-Team. He found a slightly larger than normal plastic egg, and proceeded to paint the shell white, adding a printed picture of Mr. T once the paint had dried.
The guts of the egg are made up of a Picaxe 08M micro controller mounted on a Picaxe protoboard. Rather fond of buzzing, beeping audio, he decided to forgo a normal speaker and opted to use a piezo instead. To activate the music when the egg is shaken, a tilt switch was added to the board as well. He uploaded his software to the Picaxe, sealed up the egg, and called it a day.
We can imagine his brother will be pretty pleased with the creation – who wouldn’t be? We only wish that there was video of the egg in action.
Here at Hackaday, we love it when people make home brew versions of elaborate, expensive, and technical equipment. By gathering up some coffee grounds, a balloon, some plastic tubing, and his lungs, [Carlos] has provided a good how-to on making your own coffee grounds robotic hand. Inspired by the U. Chicago, Cornell, and iRobot Collaboration we previously covered, he is one robot and a vacuum pump away from having their setup. Check out his blog for a list of components as well as a couple hints to help the build go smoothly. Be sure to check out the video after the break.
Continue reading “DIY Coffee Gripper”
Lacking the patience to do it by hand, GeekPhysical built a CNC machine to decorate Easter eggs. We do mean eggs from chickens used to celebrate the Christian holiday of Easter, not hidden nuggets in technology used to amuse geeks. The results seen in their video (after the break) are quite impressive considering that the printing medium is not perfectly round nor perfectly smooth. The hardware design is ingenious; one servo rotates the egg, another is mounted on one side of the egg and moves a track in an arc so that a felt-tipped pen will follow the curve of the shell. The pen moves in an out along that track through the use of a third servo physically removed by a Bowden cable. We were able to get a closer look at the hardware via their Flickr set and the device is indeed Arduino powered. This fun build is a great way to celebrate the season!
Continue reading “CNC egg decorating”
Often, hardware designers include nonfunctional additions into designs to make them feel more personal. Commonly known as easter eggs, these additions can often go unnoticed by the public for years. While taking apart an Atari San Francisco Rush: The Rock sound board, reader [Jason] noticed a hidden message on the PCB (see above). Other more recent hardware easter eggs include the inside of the Zune HD, which has the inscription “For our Princess” to commemorate a development team member who passed away, or the Amiga 1000 which features the signatures of the design team on the inside if the case (Pictures after the break).
What we want from you: We want to see the best HARDWARE easter eggs you have found or seen. Leave us a comment with a video, picture, or article that explains what you found, and possibly the background story behind it. Anyone can google easter eggs, and we all know about the easter eggs all over DVDs, video games, etc, but we prefer the kind you find when you are busy voiding your hardwares warranty.
Edit: good catch, that was the Amiga 1000 not an Atari 1000. Thanks to all the commentors.
Continue reading “Easter Egg Challenge”
[Eschlaep] put together this beautiful kitchen timer using a dekatron. We see all kinds of tube projects, but dekatron projects are fairly rare. The over all aesthetic is quite nice, though we’d be tempted to find a way to protect that high voltage circuit.
[via the Hack a Day flickr pool]