ASTROGUN is like Asteroids on Steroids


As the Jerusalem mini Makerfaire approached, [Avishay] had to come up with something to build. His final project is something he calls ASTROGUN. The ASTROGUN is a sort of augmented reality game that has the player attempting to blast quickly approaching asteroids before being hit.

It’s definitely reminiscent of the arcade classic, Asteroids. The primary difference is that the player has no space ship and does not move through space. Instead, the player has a first person view and can rotate 360 degrees and look up and down. The radar screen in the corner will give you a rough idea of where the asteroids are coming from. Then it’s up to you to actually locate them and blast them into oblivion before they destroy you.

The game is built around a Raspberry Pi computer. This acts as the brains of the operation. The Pi interfaces with an MPU-9150 inertial measurement unit (IMU). You commonly see IMU’s used in drones to help them keep their orientation. In this case, [Avishay] is using it to track the motion and orientation of the blaster. He claims nine degrees of freedom with this setup.

The Pi generates the graphics and sends the output to a small, high-brightness LCD screen. The screen is mounted perpendicular to the player’s view so the screen is facing “up”. There is a small piece of beam splitting glass mounted above the display at approximately a 45 degree angle. This is a special kind of glass that is partially reflective and partially translucent. The result is that the player sees the real-world background coming through the glass, with the digital graphics overlaid on top of that. It’s similar to some heads-up display technologies.

All of the electronics fit either inside or mounted around a toy gun. The display system was attached with a custom-made fiberglass mount. The code appears to be available via Github. Be sure to watch the video of the system in action below. [Read more...]

New and improved DIWire Bender

The DIWire bender we saw last summer made its way to Maker Faire this year with a new and improved version that is now able to bend steel even more accurately than the previous aluminum-bending version.

I chatted up [Marco Perry] (above, obviously), and he explained a new feature of the DIWire bender that makes soldering or welding creations made out of CNC bent wire even easier. The new machine features a sharpie that precisely marks where the wire should be welded.

The folks behind the DIWire – Pensa – have a ton of really cool wire sculptures at their booth at Maker Faire, quite incidentally within spitting distance of Hackaday’s Red Bull booth. Be sure to check them out if you’ve got a chance.

Hackaday at the world MakerFaire in NY

For the next two days, [Caleb Kraft] and [Brian Benchoff] will be wandering around the World MakerFaire  in NY. Primarily stationed at the booth meant to show off our winning entry into the Redbull Creation contest, we hope to find some interesting things for you to read about.

We’ve already scoped out the MakerFaire and met a few people so we’re eager for the gates to open today and let in the flood of enthusiastic people. Speaking of floods, its been raining quite a bit so we’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll get some clear patches so we can enjoy the things that require a little more space, like the “Centrifury” from North Street Labs.

While everything is going on here, it can be hard to sit down and write a worthwhile article, so those probably won’t appear until monday. In the meantime though, we will be uploading random amusing things as we find them to our youtube account.

[Read more...]

Kansas City MakerFaire: Greentechweekly’s coverage

We hadn’t been at the MakerFaire long when we ran into a couple hackaday fans lugging around camera equipment and microphones. I agreed to a quick interview for their show which was fairly painless, then we all went our separate ways. [EcoGeeco] later sent me the footage and I couldn’t help but think… these guys did a better job than I did!  They asked some great questions, got some great footage, somehow managed to get decent audio too!

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MakerFaire K.C.: Power Wheels Racing

This section of the MakerFaire almost deserves an entire event of its own. I know I would happily attend a monthly match of the power racing series in my home town. To compete, you must have a modded Power Wheel. Yes, those electric kids vehicles that go really slowly across your lawn, those power wheels. You tear it apart, soup it up, and race it.

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MakerFaire K.C. Kansas City Hackerspace delivers

The Kansas City Hammerspace crowd really brought an amazing amount of stuff this year. Some stuff you’ve already seen, some stuff that is totally new. I’ll be sharing details on some of them individually as they really deserve the attention.  Their booth, or booths were huge, taking up roughly 1/3 of the main hall. It was packed with a plethora of individual projects that really were all over the place. There were enthusiastic people at every turn happy to show off what they had built.Their presence really boosted the awesome level of the MakerFaire through the stratosphere.

Not only did they bring tons of awesome to the MakerFaire, they were gracious enough to invite people back to the hackerspace after the show for an after party. They stuffed food in my entire family and made us feel at home. It was really cool seeing everyone gathered discussing various projects. The ArcAttack crew was even troubleshooting a small tesla coil cit that wasn’t working right.

Watch the Hackerspace tour and check out some pictures after the break. Posts highlighting some of the individual projects will be coming soon.

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MakerFaire K.C. sneak peak at ArcAttack’s new toy

I’ve been seeing videos of ArcAttack all over the web for several years now and hoped one day I’d be able to cross paths with them. When I heard they were going to be at MakerFaire K. C., I was determined to grab them and ask a few questions. As it turns out, they’re fans of Hackaday and were happy to talk. Not only that, but when I was asking what fun things they were building, their eyes lit up. “You’re going to love this” one of them said as he ran off behind the stage.  He returned with a device which was strapped to his body and spitting 5 foot long lightning bolts. He was right, I did love it!  They demonstrated this proton pack looking portable tesla coil for a while, shocking each other and random bits of metal, all the wile grinning like the fools we all are.

I know we’ve covered a portable tesla coil or two before, but seeing this thing in person,heading right for you,strapped to someone who might actually even be able to run faster than you, is pretty cool.

There is video (sorry, shaky) and a ton of pictures after the break. Enjoy.

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