There’s so much more to be discovered when your projects just don’t want to work. Grinding out the bugs, getting past roadblocks, and discovering gotchas is where real hacking know-how comes from. But most people aren’t motivated to document their failures. We want to change that.
We want to roll out a new weekly feature that showcases failure… well documented failure. But we need YOU to give up the goods. Write about your failed experience on your blog, post it to our project forums with [FAIL] in the title, or you can just write everything in an email and send it to us. Which ever way you choose, you’ll need to tip us off that you’d like to make it to the front page (come on, it’s not bragging since it didn’t even work!). If you already know of well documented project fails send in those links too even if they’re not your projects.
Make sure you include at least one descriptive image — snapshots, diagrams, schematics, screencaps, anything that tells the story is fair game. To show you what we’re after here’s a few of our favorite failed projects:
We’d like to point out that all of these projects are interesting ideas that show off missteps along the way. We will not be trashing on your skills as a hacker, but instead celebrating the lessons learned and hearlding the sharing of ideas from otherwise doomed projects.
How many times can you put two LEGO pieces together and take them apart again before they wear out? The answer is 37,112. At least that’s the number established by one test case. [Phillipe Cantin] was interested in this peculiar question so he built the test rig above to measure a LEGO’s lifespan.
The hacked together apparatus is pretty ingenious. It uses two servo motors for testing, each driven by the Arduino which is logging the count on an SD card. One of the two white LEGO parts has been screwed onto an arm of the upper servo. That servo presses down onto the mating piece which is sitting inside that yellow band. Look close and you’ll realize the yellow is the handle end of an IC puller. When the post on the lower servo is moved toward one arm of the puller it grips the lower LEGO piece tightly so that the upper servo can pull the two apart. In addition to the assembly and disassembly step there’s a verification step which raises the mated parts so that a reflectance sensor can verify that they’re holding together. [Phillipe] let the rig run for ten days straight before the pieces failed.
Don’t miss his video description of the project after the break.
Continue reading “Measuring the lifespan of LEGO”
We were fortunate enough to StumbleUpon the most useless machine ever. Delightful! Eclipsed perhaps by the world’s most useless machine copy. We say that because the doll arm looks more realistic which creeps us out in a very entertaining way. So these machines aren’t useless, they provide entertainment.
We, on the other hand, have had some projects that really fell on their faces. With that in mind, show use your most useless machine. Please leave a comment after the beep.
Last month we speculated on the recent rise in Xbox 360 E74 errors. We assumed that this was because of an increase in the number of HDMI consoles and that the associated scalar chip was failing. Unfortunately since these weren’t red ring failures, they didn’t fall into the extended three year warranty period for Xbox 360s. That is until this week when Microsoft admitted that some E74 errors are the same types of failures that cause the RRoD and would repair E74 under the same three year warranty. Kotaku attempted to get a better explanation out of Microsoft, but only got a little more info. Microsoft did confirm that E74 is not a reclassing of RRoD, but that there is some overlap between the two.