Hackaday Links: March 3, 2014

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If you’re playing along with Twitch Plays Pokemon, you might as well do it the right way: with the smallest Game Boy ever, the Game Boy Micro. [Anton] needed a battery replacement for this awesome, discontinued, and still inexplicably expensive console and found one in a rechargeable 9V Lithium battery. You get two replacement cells out of each 9V battery, and a bit more capacity as well.

Every garden needs garden lights, right? What does every garden light need? A robot, of course. These quadruped “Toro-bots” react to passersby by brightening the light or moving out of the way. It’s supposed to be for a garden that takes care of itself, but we’re struggling to figure out how lights will do that.

Flexiable 3D prints are all the rage and now resin 3D printers are joining the fray. The folks at Maker Juice have introduced SubFlex, a flexible UV-curing resin. The usual resins, while very strong, are rock solid. The new SubFlex flexible resins are very bendable in thin sections and in thicker pieces something like hard rubber. We’re thinking custom tank treads.

Remember this post where car thieves were using a mysterious black box to unlock cars? Looks like those black boxes have moved from LA to Chicago, and there’s still no idea how they work.

Have a Google Glass? Can you get us on the list? [Noé] and [Pedro] made a 3D printed Google Glass adapter for those of us with four eyes.

Cassapa: Augmented Pool

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No good at pool? Never fear, Cassapa is here! [Alex Porto] has created an augmented reality system for playing pool, and it means almost anyone can make those cool trick shots!

Ca-what? Cassapa (“caçapa”) is a Portuguese word for pool table pocket. The software works by placing a webcam directly above the pool table for image recognition. Dedicated software interprets the image and identifies the position of the holes, borders, balls and the cue which can then be used to calculate game physics. A projector then projects the forecast physics and allows you to make tiny adjustments — updated in real-time — to make the perfect shot.

Unfortunately, having a big projector shining down on your pool table won’t exactly make anyone believe you’re actually good at pool. Although if you could combine this with Google Glass or any other vision augmenting goggles… that would be pretty cool. Well, you’d still be terribly dishonest and a cheater — but anyway, take a look at the video after the break.

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Google Glass? How about this Home-brew Solution?

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[Codeninja] has been sending us some great hacks over the years, and we’ve just learned that his attention has been on building wearable computers lately! He’s currently on his third iteration of a Google Glass-like prototype, which features a motorized element which allows for the retraction of the screen.

There’s not too much info on his blog about them, but we do know he’s using a Raspberry Pi, a few small servos, and a pico LCD screen. Most of the frame is 3D printed, and it also features a hidden camera, accelerometers, and a few environmental sensors.

He’s uploaded an animated gif of the mechanism that moves the display away from his eye, and it looks straight out of some science fiction movie — check it out after break!

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Eidos: Audio/Visual Sensory Augmentation

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One of our tipsters led us onto a very cool project by a British university team — It’s called Eidos, and it’s a real-time audio and visual augmentation system.

The creators embarked on this design journey after wondering if there was a way they could control and tune their senses. Imagine Superman and his ability to pick out one voice out of thousand — with this technology, it could be possible.

The clunky white goggles shown in the image above is the concept behind the visual augmentation. It’s akin to long-exposure photography, except that it is in real-time and is fluid video. We’re not sure how this could help anyone, but we have to admit it would be pretty cool to play around with. Maybe if Google Glass ever came out someone could write an app for it to mimic this!

The second device can target your hearing to a specific person in a noisy environment, zoning out all the unnecessary distractions. This could be very helpful for people suffering from attention deficit disorders, although we must imagine it would be very strange to get used to. Can you imagine blocking out everything and only looking at a person’s face and listening to their voice?

Unfortunately there is not much information about the actual tech or software behind these devices or if they even in fact work, but the concept was so interesting we just had to share it. Stick around after the break to see a video explanation and demonstration of the proposed technology.

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Google Glass controlled quadcopter

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For some reason this project makes us think of the Dog Pog Grid from Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age. It’s not that there’s a ton of drones floating around this guy, it’s that he’s got one which looks like it’s his bodyguard and is controlled by the Google Glass he wears on his head. The future is now!

We find the metamorphosis of this project interesting as well. It started as a Leap motion controlled rover project. We saw a similar hack just the other day that paired a Leap Motion with a Hexapod. But [Blaine] wasn’t satisfied with that. Having had a taste for alternate control inputs he dug in and got to work making Google Glass the control interface. But the problem with moving your head to control a rover is that you can’t actually see it because looking down would cause unwanted motion. His solution was to transition to a quadcopter, which will hover at eye level when he’s looking right at it. Glass is sending raw sensor data to a server, which does the translation to control commands for the quadcopter.

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Google Glass hack for Apple fanboys can be had right now

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If you’re a follower of Apple hardware the upcoming Google Glass release probably doesn’t interest you much. But the concept is universally cool. If you want to have your own one-eyed voice-activated computer running iOS, then this is the hack for you. [John] calls it the Beady-i, and posted a step-by-step article on how he put it together.

The headpiece is shown on the left. It’s a combination of a pair of glasses with projection screens built-in, and a gaming headset. [John] cut off one of the lenses, and removed the remaining arm of the glasses. That arm was replaced with the frame of a gaming headset, which now wraps around the back of his neck to make sure the lopsided display isn’t going to fall off.

By combining the electronics from both the glasses and the headset, and terminating the connections with a docking plug he’s got what he was after. The lens displays what is shown on the screen, and the gaming headset lets him hear the device’s sound in one ear and register input using the microphone.