Mouse runs through VR maze


In an effort to determine the brain of animals during movement, scientists have built this contraption. It is a VR pod for a mouse. While we’re pretty sure/hopeful that none of you need a mouse VR system, we think the rig is interesting enough to stand on its own. It appears to be a convex mirror setup, projected in a dome. The controller is interesting in that it looks like a giant trackball hack. They’re using an optical mouse rigged to a ball floating on a cushion of air. This makes it much easier for the mouse to move. There’s a video of the whole thing in action after the break.

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Autogiro POV nostalgia

blade_screen (Custom)

This bit of nostalgia really caught our attention. A german hacker or “inventor” as we were called back then, came up with this interesting concept. He would project an image on to the moving blades of an Autogiro, relying on the POV effect to make it appear complete. While this is not the same system of utilizing POV that we currently use, it relies on the same principles. It looks like he’s hanging the projector or “magic lantern” from below the Autogiro, using the length of the rope to hang it as a focusing system. Were this to have actually gone into production, it probably would have really freaked people out. If only he had had access to something along the lines of the ceiling fan POV system.

[thanks itay]

[update: Why didn’t we look around for this earlier. It was brought up in the comments, there is in fact a POV system for R/C helis. (translated)]

Mud Tub: a tactile computer interface


[Tom Gerhardt] has made this very interesting mud interface for a computer.  Follow the link to see a video of it in action. It appears as though he’s using a laser grid of some kind to establish elevation. We might be way off on that though, there aren’t any details on the construction. He does mention that it is an open source hardware and software project, so maybe the details are available on request. In the video you can see it running as a projection surface where people are interacting with items directly on the mud. You can also see it being used as an external input device. People play Tetris using it in that example.

UPDATE: [Moon] reports from the ITP show that the tub has a 16×12 grid of generic pressurs sensors on the bottom. These feed into a MacBook Pro which is projecting on the surface. Despite the sparse grid, [Tom] says he gets good resolution by interpolating between sensors; it can detect a resting hand pivoting on the surface.

Build a Wiremap


For those of you who don’t recall, the Wiremap is a 3d volumetric display built from hundreds of tiny strands. An image is projected onto the strands to achieve 3d effects. [phedhex] has posted an in depth instructable on how to build a wiremap. He covers the construction with lots of good tips as well as giving links to the software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Check out the video after te break to see some fairly impressive 3d patterns.

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ArtFall: Pachinko for techies

ArtFall allows you to draw on a whiteboard, then have small geometric shapes interact with your drawing like a barrier. Imagine a pachinko machine where you have to draw the pegs in. Not only can you draw barriers, but you can change the direction of gravity with either an iPhone or a Wiimote. The footage also shows some sound interaction as the pieces seem to bounce with the bass from some music. The effect is quite nice and somewhat reminiscent of the whiteboard pong we saw recently.

[thanks eric]

Hack your rear projection TV to be bigger

Want to get a bigger tv but can’t afford it? If you Have a rear projection TV, why not just get a bigger screen? That’s exactly what was done here. They dismantled the old TV, mounted it and enclosed it theater style, with curtains. They then mounted a new screen in front of it and voala, bigger TV. He doesn’t talk about how much brightness was lost, but there had to be some. The final picture looks great.

[thanks BonMul]