Hackaday links: February 14, 2010

$30,000?

Is it art or is it a puzzle? Well, it functions as a game but it’s certainly a work of art and priced accordingly. The Superplexus was featured in Make Mazine and Hammacher Schlemmer sells it for thirty grand (you can’t just click to add it to your cart though). Think of the work that went into developing this! [via The Awesomer]

Rollable Display Update

[SeBsZ] continues work on his rollable display matrix. He’s got twenty five controller boards now and has them working as a matrix. We originally covered this in January but now it’s much easier to see how this can be made portable by mounting it on fabric or canvas. Check out the demo video if your interested.

Security testing suite

BackTrack 4 final has been released. If you didn’t like it when it was rough around the edges, you should give it another try. This lean and mean Linux ditro is made for security testing and is approachable for noob and pro alike. [Thanks Steve]

Power on the go

[Csae] uses this portable power center to fire up some studio strobes outside. It consists of a case, an uninterruptible power supply, and a couple of extension cords all hacked together into one. At first you might think this is a bit ghetto but it’s portable and it does what is intended.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Giving this LED-heart adorned shirt as a gift is sure to make your Valentine head for the hills. This project’s a few year’s old, but gawdy T-shirts never go out of style, right?

Buzzle: a morse code puzzle box

[lucasfragomeni] built the Buzzle after being inspired by the reverse geocache puzzle. The Buzzle was built as a gift to a friend. It’s a tricky gift too. His friend can’t open it until he decodes the words being displayed in morse code via an LED. A word is chosen at random, so you would have to decode it each time you want to open the box. That’s a pretty neat security feature. Sure it’s not the most secure, but it would keep casual peepers out. Unfortunately, the box was empty when his friend received it.

Laser-cut puzzle box

One of our fondest memories from the 1980′s is watching Magnum P.I. on television. Higgins, Magnum’s employer, had a puzzle box that Magnum could never figure out how to open. Now you can laser cut a puzzle box for yourself and recreate some scenes from television’s glory days.

The design for the box pictured above is not new. The plans for the Cubey 2 project have been around for a while but relied on your mad-woodworking-skills to turn out the pieces. Since we’re not great with a chisel we were happy to see vector graphic and encapsulated postscript files to robotically aid in production. Once the puzzle parts have been assembled a facade is adhered onto each side to hide the pieces. This means you can go for Higgins’ traditional puzzle-box look or sport the hellraiser.

Reverse geocache puzzle

fig1-6471

[Mikal] wanted to create an awesome electronic wedding gift for his friend who was moving to France. After experimenting with a few things, he settled on creating a puzzle box that would only open in a certain location. Since his friend introduced him to the Arduino, he fittingly used one in the design, along with a serial GPS module and a mini character LCD. The box itself is locked using a servo-controlled chopstick, which could theoretically be snapped if [Mikal] really screwed something up. To save battery life, he used a small Pololu module to provide power that uses only 0.01 microamps in standby, and can be shut off by the Arduino.

The box was designed to be mysterious yet self-explanatory. When the button on the front is pushed, the box comes to life for 3 minutes, displaying the distance away from secret location. Additionally, it warns how many tries are left: the button can only be pushed 50 times before it is sealed “forever”. In order to open the box, you have to be within 2km of the destination. Theoretically, you can narrow down the location to one of 2 points after 2 readings, but a less scientific approach would probably be a lot more fun.

This seems like an amazing gift, and the same concept could be repurposed into hundreds of other devices. For extra fun, he could have placed it at a geocache location.