Tiny transforming beer can robot

beer_can_robot

The next time you reach for a cold one, you might want to take a look at the can to ensure that your beer won’t suddenly sprout legs and start skittering across the table.

You might remember [Ron Tajima] from some of his previous creations, including this Roomba-based baby cradle and the PacMan Roomba mod. This time around, he has created a cool little transforming robot that fits inside a beer can.

The robot’s brains are stored just underneath the top of the beer can on a custom-built board. On one side of this board, you will find an mbed controller which is used to manage all of the robot’s functions, and on the other side, four batteries provide all of the device’s power. The robot’s three legs are controlled by six servos, allowing for movement in several different planes. The beer-bot’s movements are controlled with a Wiimote, so we’re assuming he has crammed a Bluetooth module somewhere in there as well.

[Ron] mentions that it moves a bit slowly when standing on end, but we think the robot is pretty awesome as is, and we can’t wait to see what improvements the next version might bring.

Stick around to see a video demonstration of the robot in action.

[Thanks Sascha]

[Read more...]

YouTube testing even higher quality videos

YouTube, purveyor of some of worst looking flash video is finally getting their act together. We posted the other day about embedding videos using &fmt=18 to get higher quality YouTube videos. It seems the awesome knob has now been turned up to &fmt=22. All of the previous tricks should work, just use 22 instead of 18. This all depends on the highdef version being available. Now they just need to get rid of the grainy preview images.

Working with high quality YouTube videos

[Kottke] posted advice for watching and sharing high quality YouTube videos. While it’s not HD quality, it’s much, much better than the normal, fuzzy quality you get on most videos. This hack has been available for some time, but it hasn’t been documented very well until now. When you’re logged in, you can just set the default to “Always play higher-quality video when it’s available”. When you’re linking to a video, add &fmt=18 to the YouTube URL. This also works when you’re embedding the link in WordPress. If you’re not in WordPress, then tack &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 onto each URL in the embeddable code. It’s pretty simple, and makes wasting your day at work much more enjoyable.

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