Hackaday’s portal gun actually levitates a companion cube

I was out to lunch with a couple friends, brainstorming ideas for fun projects when one of them says “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could build a working gravity gun?”. We all immediately concurred that while it would in fact be cool, it is also a silly proposition. However, only a few seconds later, I realized we could do a display piece that emulated this concept very easily. Floating magnetic globes have been around for quite some time.

I determined I would tear the guts out of a stock floating globe and mount it on a portal gun, since they’re easier to find than a gravity gun. I would also build a custom companion cube to be the correct size and weight necessary.

Continue reading “Hackaday’s portal gun actually levitates a companion cube”

Nuka-Cola prop looks deliciously radioactive

Yet another Fallout post here on Hackaday. This time, instead of the PIP-Boy, someone has built a fantastic prop for the iconic Nuka-Cola. The circuit is super simple, really just an LED array to light up the beverage just right. The construction of the base is quite nice though. If you’re a fan of functional props, or at least semi-functional (we doubt it tastes very refreshing), you’ll enjoy the build.

In case you’re wondering just what is in that bottle, it is basically just tonic water. For those who are unaware, tonic glows under UV light. [Kfklown] did add a few drops of paint to get the perfect color though. You’ll note that there are red and blue LEDs in the base as well as UV for color as well.

Halloween Hacks: Death throws a party

If you him the Grim Reaper, Azrail, Magere Hein, or simply, ‘Death,’ he sure throws a good party. [Victor] has an anatomical model of a skeleton at his job named [Hein], and for his birthday party, his coworkers decided to throw [Hein] a party.

[Victor]’s first skeleton-based build was last summer. The twinkle of the summer sun in [Hein]’s eye socket made for a great occasion to dress the skeleton up in some summer garb. [Hein] was dressed in a fashionable Hawaiian shirt and put in a window along a corridor. Of course, a skeleton is no good if there’s no element of surprise, so [Hein] held disposable camera that flashed every time someone walked by.

[Hein]’s birthday spectacular required something a bit more shocking. A blowout whistle was added to [Hein]’s mandible. With a PIR sensor and a TI Launchpad, [Hein] was commanded to blow the whistle every time someone walked by.

[Victor]’s builds may not have the shock value – or even be as scary as Halloween necessitates – but he’s got a few good ideas for what could become a great yard display. Check out the video after the break to see [Hein] greeting [Victor]’s coworkers.

Continue reading “Halloween Hacks: Death throws a party”

Motion tracking prop from Alien movie

[Erv Plecter] likes to recreate movie props that actually work. This time around he’s making the motion detector device from the original Alien movie. You’ll immediately remember this prop after seeing and hearing it in the video after the break. For our money, the most brilliant part of that movie was the use of rhythmic sounds to boost the intensity of the tension in the viewer. [Erv’s] build captures that feeling, with the steady beat of sonar and the rising pitch of a ping as an object moves towards you. The device can easily track your own movement, as it contains both a GPS module and an electronic compass. He mentions that there is a motion sensor as well, but is a bit vague about how that part of the build works. Still, it’s a nice little piece which looks great despite not being quite finished yet.

Continue reading “Motion tracking prop from Alien movie”

Fankart and the HolyF***k!ted fan

Inspired by a ducted fan project to simulate lunar landers he had seen recently, [Charles Guan] decided to do the next logical thing and make a ducted fan driven shopping cart.  The first iteration had a bare prop mounted to the front of the cart. Steering was done by mounting a servo to the front wheels.  This ridiculously dangerous shopping cart can be seen in the videos buzzing around the halls and parking lots of MIT. The second iteration that has the ducted fan drive seems not only slightly safer, but somewhat quicker as well. He does mention that the prop shape isn’t really optimal for a ducted design, so expect future revisions to be everything you would expect from a fan powered shopping cart.

He has built a more practical mobile shopping cart, if there is such a thing, called Lolriokart. This thing probably deserves its own post as well as it is a fully drive-able shopping cart. You can see a video of it in action after the break.

Continue reading “Fankart and the HolyF***k!ted fan”

BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!

Ask any engineer what originally sparked their interest in technology, and almost universally the response will be a Hollywood film or TV robot — Star Wars’ R2-D2, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, or Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, to name a few. Engineers need a creative outlet too, and some pay homage to their inspirations by building elaborate reproductions. At this year’s Maker Faire, droid-builders had their own corner in the center hall, their work ranging from humble craft materials to ’bots surpassing their film counterparts in detail and workmanship.

Continue reading “BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!”

Performance oddities

[Mario the Magician] wrote in to let us know that he makes Hackaday a priority every morning with his coffee. Well, so do we. He also included a link to his homepage when submitting this revelation. The juicy details that are as much of a fix as the caffeine in the coffee are missing from his posts. But the hacks are solid.

Magicians are hackers. If you could go out and buy the props, the concept are unlikely to impress anyone. [Mario] demonstrates his Nickel Box and a Jedi Mind Trick he built. The Nickel Box is a mechanical contraption that somehow transports a coin from one part of a cigar box to a tiny little enclosure on top of it. The Jedi Mind Trick uses a microcontroller and an old Star Wars soundtrack cassette tape box to put on a light and sound show while it recovers your chosen card from a shuffled deck. Great demonstrations, but no word on what’s going on inside.

[Mario’s] also has a collection of… performance oddities. His talking television takes an audio input and displays a 1950’s-esque oscilloscope effect on an old TV. He’s attempting to stop his heart, or burn the house down, or both with a flyback transformer lightning box. And his drawing automaton, well, you’ll just have to see it.

We believe in electrons, not magic (even though some say there are no electrons). So we want to know how those magic props are built. Like any good magician, [Mario] probably won’t reveal his secrets. If you’ve got the goods this your chance. Write a post detailing your magical prop builds and send them our way. If it’s well done we’ll feature it here on Hackaday.