Bristle bot controversy

bristle

When the Bristlebots were released back in 2007 by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, we all thought they were pretty cool. Apparently someone at Klutz did too. They have released a book, with the title “Invasion of the BristleBots”. The bots seem to be identical and the name is identical. There is no mention of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories anywhere in it. [Phillip Torrone] has attempted to contact Klutz and the book publisher Scholastic directly to find out more information.

[Windell] and [Lenore] from EMSL had this to say:

“This is the first that I’ve heard of it. Frankly, I am a bit offended. Klutz makes some nice things, and I’m surprised that they wouldn’t have contacted us, asked permission, or at least given us credit. (Locomotion by ratcheting bristles isn’t remotely new — it occurs in nature — but the name ‘Bristlebot’ is surely ours, and I don’t know of any prior implementation with a toothbrush.)”

You probably know EMSL from their other projects such as the Peggy and Meggy jr. How would you feel if a project you did was published without credit? Would you care or not?

TGIMBOEJ robot edition

robotjunk

Since we last reported about The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk, several of these boxes have begun circulating in different areas of the world. Team Hack-a-Day launched three themselves. Robots.net decided that there was a need for a specialized box just for those who hack robots, and have launched their own.

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LED menorahs

4320_d

We’re barely past Halloween and people are already working on their next LED based holiday decorations. For Hanukkah, Gizmodo pointed out the PCB menorah pictured above. It uses a set of DIP switches to control which LEDs are lit. A couple years ago, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories put together a tutorial for building a more minimal LED menorah. Each of the nine LEDs are soldered directly to the legs of an ATtiny2313 microcontroller. Every time you power up the device an additional LED is lit. [Ori] liked the project and decided to take a slightly different approach. He used an LM3914 DIP18 LED bar driver. A potentiometer controls how many of the LEDs are illuminated.

Tennis for Two resurrected


The first video game every created is attributed to physicist William Higinbotham. Tennis for Two is played on an oscilloscope using two controllers. Each one has a knob that controls the trajectory and a button to hit the ball. The fine folks at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have recreated the game so you can play it on any oscilloscope. An ATmega168 is used to control everything. It takes user input from the paddles and outputs an the X and Y analog signals for the scope. An R-2R style DAC is used for the output stage which gives a 256×256 resolution. Everything is built on top of one of their business card sized project boards-which really shows how useful such a simple board can be. The source code is free and the write up includes plenty of detail. We’d love to see what modifications people come up with since the base game doesn’t even have scoring. There’s a video of EMSL’s system embedded below.

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Live full motion video on a Peggy

[Windell] was stoked enough to send us [Jay]‘s sweet hack on [Windell]‘s Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Peggy 2.0 kit. [Jay] added serial input and hacked quartz composer on his mac to light up all 625 LEDs with live motion video. If you were jealous of the Metalab’s giant LED display, now you can have your own – smaller and cheaper.

EMSL has recently supplemented this awesome device with their Arduino Library for Peggy 2.0. It is a program library that contains various animations and demonstrations of how to draw on a Peggy. Download and enjoy them as they are or tweak them to test out some of Peggy 2.0’s capabilities.

The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk


UPDATE: EMSL has four more boxes ready to go. If you are in the silicon valley area, pick one up.

The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronics Junk is essentially a virtual swap meet. A mysterious USPS flatrate box arrives on your door step filled to the brim with random electronics. You remove some pieces that you find interesting or useful. Write about them. Add some items from your own collection, and then ship it off to a recipient you deem worthy. [John Park] was kind enough to send us the box code named Rangoon and here’s what we found inside:

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Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories turns 2


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is celebrating their second anniversary. They say they’re now 20 millicenturies old. To celebrate, they put together their greatest hits from the last year. We enjoyed their bristlebots, candyfabbing, and AVR business cards and hope to see their work for many more years to come.

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