Spherebot: Decorating Xmas Baubles

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The Spherebot is an open source machine capable of printing designs onto spherical objects, such as Xmas baubles!

The design is based on the ever-popular Egg-Bot, which we have seen derived into many other useful printers such as the Mug Plotter, and the Ping Pong Printer.

The Spherebot features two stepper motors, one servo motor for marker actuation, some cheap mounting hardware, and a whole bunch of 3D printed parts—all of which are available on Thingiverse. In this design they used a 3D printer controller board called the 3Drag by Open-Electronics, which is based on the ATmega2560 (the same microcontroller as the Arduino MEGA). The Spherebot doesn’t require all three axes or an extruder, so they only installed 2 out of the 4 stepper drivers on the board to save cost.

Once you have it all built, it’s a simple matter of uploading your design into the free Spherebot-Host-GUI provided on GitHub. Stick around after the break to see just what it is capable of!

[Read more...]

Bristle bot controversy

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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?

Create your own playlist hosting service with Opentape


While Muxtape takes a breather to resolve an issue with the RIAA, Lifehacker has a step by step guide on installing and running Opentape, an open source PHP web application that’s similar to Muxtape. Take matters into your own hands and create your own version of playlist hosting heaven. Since Opentape is open source, you can adapt it and make it an even better application. Maybe your creation will be even more popular than Muxtape… and will lead to the same problems with the RIAA.

Adeona: An open source laptop tracking system


Adeona is an open source internet-based laptop tracking system that is free to use. It’s available for Linux, OSX, and Windows XP/Vista. After installation, Adeona will submit at random intervals, anonymously encrypted updates on the computer’s location to servers on the Internet, specifically to OpenDHT, a free storage service. The information is kept on the servers for one week. If your laptop becomes lost or stolen, you can use the retrieval tool to access information about where your laptop was last used: the external IP address, internal IP address, and nearby routers. If your laptop is a Mac, you can also download isightcapture to grab a picture of the thief. Adeona is designed to protect against common criminals who may not have much technological knowledge, and does not have any protections against events such as disk wipes. The open source nature of Adeona’s system means that there’s ample opportunity to improve upon the release or add extensions. Here’s one user who really likes what he sees.

[via Schneier]

Install Debian on the Nokia N810


The Nokia N810 tablet is a great buy, especially for hackers. It already ships with a Linux-based operating system, called OS2008, which is based upon Maemo 4.0. However, for those who aren’t fans of OS2008, you can install Debian easily with some patience and an extra memory card. The Debian install includes OpenOffice, Firefox 3, AbiWord, and IceWM. You should be aware that there are pitfalls. Some of the applications run slowly, and you may be in danger of losing data if you run into problems.

[via Unwired View]

Netflix Player source code released


The Netflix Player continues to gain in popularity. Roku has finally released the GPL code for their Netflix Player. Just today Forbes published that Roku would roll out a software update allowing it to stream from other online services. The diminutive device has no internal storage and just enough RAM to buffer the stream. Many have wondered how a Linux box is handling the DRM; this is purely a feature of the NXP PNX8935 processor being used. While waiting for the code, hackers have already popped the box open to see what’s inside. We found [hokiokie7]‘s photos of the internals on Roku’s forum. The only really interesting thing we’ve seen so far is that the WiFi is on a daughter card that plugs into the USB. That should make it much easier to support other devices, if users ever manage to get into the system.

UPDATE: [mbailey] points out in the comments that he was able to telnet to the device.

Open source Symbian


Nokia recently announced its plans to purchase Symbian and formed the Symbian Foundation with the intention opening the software platform over the next two years. Symbian is already present on 60% of all cellphones in the world. With such a massive install base, open source Symbian has a much better chance of taking off than platforms like Android, which are starting on the ground floor.

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