Gravity-Powered Generator: Real or Fake?

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You thought we forgot about your favorite Hackaday comment game, didn’t you? Well, not only is ‘Real or Fake?’ back with a new installment, but this time it concerns everybody’s favorite impossibility: perpetual motion machines! It’s likely that you’ve already seen the photos of Brazilian energy group RAR Energia’s generator “powered exclusively by gravity” (translated). If you’re rolling your eyes and exclaiming “this is so last year..” you might want to scroll down to the bottom of the page; they’re still building this monstrosity and they’ve included some diagram imagesPerhaps someone who reads Portuguese can better translate the claim that the devices are “demonstration models with capacity to generate 30kW.” Oh, didn’t you know? There are two of them now: one in Brazil that is presumably functioning, and a second under construction in Gilman, Illinois.

Now, before you all scream “Photoshopped,” take a gander at a FotoForensics analysis of one of the images, where ELA (error level analysis) seems to indicate consistent levels of compression. EXIF data shows the pictures were shot with a Sony DSC-WX5 and saved in PhotoScape. It may be simpler than that: you can easily recognize the same employees in different shots from different angles, and there are quite a lot of photos. RAR Energia’s most recent endeavor—a second machine in Gilman Illinois—seems to have been erected in the past two months. The Gilman warehouse is located on property belonging to bio-diesel manufacturing firm Incobrasa Industries (named a “Company of the [RAR Energia] group” on the RAR Energia site). Here’s a little internet sleuthing for your consideration: a photo of the completed warehouse and a Google maps link to the location in question (40.763176, -88.012706). Note the distinctly shaped building in the background (another view here, during construction), which can be found due south of the location indicated in the Google maps link. We’re not suggesting that you completely rule out image manipulation, but if it’s Photoshopped, it’s a damned elaborate job.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any videos demonstrating motion or any explanation for how the system works other than vagaries about perpetual energy. So, does this thing exist—and did this company really build two of them? Does it work…or, well, somehow do something?

12 gauge shotgun bow: Real or Fake?

It’s time once again for everyone’s favorite comments section game: Real or Fake? This week we’re looking into this 12 gauge shotgun bow. Why use arrows when you can fire shells? This gentleman has apparently removed the stock of a 12 gauge shotgun and positioned the barrel as if it were an arrow. When he releases the bowstring the gun fires.

Take a look a the quick clip after the break and let us know what you think. We’ve fired a 12 gauge and the kick is surprising. Although the sound matches in this video, we think he’s got arms of steel if he can control the weapon that well with one outstretched arm. But then again, perhaps our arms are just too wimpy from all that intricate surface mount soldering we do.

If you’ve missed out on this game in the past be sure to look back on the last couple features.

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Robotic bird flaps away last bits of privacy

This really gives a lifelike look to the eye in the sky. In case you were worried that every part of your life wasn’t being recorded by a surveillance camera, the Festo Bionic Learning Network has come up with a drone that will be hard to discern from the wildlife.

Watch the video after the break. We’re not 100% certain that it’s not fake, but it looks real enough (the mark of a truly amazing design). You’ll see the robo-bird flapping away both from a fixed point on the ground, and from a camera view behind the head of the device. It propels itself both by flapping and rotating the wings and is capable of taking off, flying, and landing autonomously.

It’s bigger than the hummingbird drone that was developed for DARPA, but we think that it sticks out less when caught at a glance. No word on the intended use for the device, but we’re sure that some of you are enjoying the nostalgia of the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans, and that’s why we want one.

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Terapixel images and see-through cameras: Real or Fake?

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Once again it’s time for you, the sharp-eyed readers of Hack a Day, to decide whether the following video demonstrates technology at its finest, or if it is complete hogwash. This edition of Real or Fake? is brought to us by Hack a Day reader [Wizzard] who sent us a link to “The Invisible Camera

Watch the video embedded below to see the unveiling of this camera as well as a discussion of its new, revolutionary technology by its creator – photographer Chris Marquardt. The camera is composed of a simple, non-moving lens mounted in a completely transparent box made of specially polarized glass. This glass is supposed to align the ambient lighting, which amplifies the energy coming through the lens, in order to expose the special film they created for the camera.

The film was developed using standard film “combined with innovations in chemistry” to produce ultra-low sensitivity image media, which the creators are calling “Directionally Desensitized” film. This film can be handled in full light, as it is only sensitive to the high-energy light directed on its surface by the aforementioned lens. It is claimed that due to this special film, the camera goes beyond the Megapixel, past the Gigapixel, and captures images in Terapixels.

Now, call us skeptical, but isn’t it a bit early for April Fools jokes? We just can’t imagine any scenario where holding a piece of film in the sun as shown in the video would not cause it to be exposed in at least some areas due to the massive amounts of reflected light in the environment.

What’s your take?

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Commandeering public video screens: real or fake?

It’s time for everyone’s favorite comment thread game: Real or Fake? This week’s edition comes in from a tip that [Phil] sent about a way to take over video screens in Times Square. Watch the video after the break to see the hackers using a two-part solution to rebroadcast video from an iPhone onto a screen in the busy urban setting. The first part is a transmitter that plugs into the iPhone, the second is a signal repeater that, when held close to a video screen, overrides the clip currently being displayed with the video from the handheld. The image above shows the repeater being floated up to the big screen using a giant red balloon which you can make out in the black bar to the left of the replayed video.

Our first thought is that someone just watched Tron: Legacy and wanted to have a little Sci-Fi fun with the Internets. We can’t imagine a hardware solution that would actually make this work, but please do share your thoughts about that in the comments. We’d suspect this is more of a video hack that uses After Effects, similar to how the stopped motion candle video of the eyelid shutter glasses videos were faked. But apparently there is a follow-up video on the way that will show how the prototype was made so we could be wrong.

update: [Phil Burgess] points out that the “repeater” looks awfully familiar.

Fake for a variety of already-stated reasons (e.g. video out the headphone jack?). But the smoking gun, watching the 720P video on YouTube, is that I plainly recognize the hardware they’re using as the “repeater”: it’s simply the internals from a Digipower JS1-V3 cell phone USB boost charger (having torn apart a few myself):

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Eyelid shutter glasses: fake but still a hack

If you’ve been keeping up with our featured stories this year you’ll remember the post about using your own eyelids as 3D shutter glasses. Throngs of commenters called this one as fake and they were right. But we still enjoyed the experience… it’s more fun to be trolled when the trolls are skilled and idea is original. The perpetrators have released a follow-up video that shows how it was done. It’s not just an electronic trinket and some acting. There’s well executed post-production which maps out the area around this gentleman’s eyes and edits in the rhythmic blinking that made the farce somewhat believable. Check it out after the break.

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Electrodes turn your eyelids into 3D shutter glasses

[Jonathan Post] has a way to watch 3D video without wearing shutter glasses but it might be kind of a hard product to break into the market. As you can see above, a pair of electrodes are stuck on a viewer’s eyelids, using electricity to alternately close each eye. The video after the break shows a demonstration of this technology. Obviously a camera can’t capture the image that the viewer sees, but this man describes a perfect 3D image. This reminds us of those ab exercisers that use electrodes to stimulate the muscles. Do you think a 3 hour epic would leave your eyelids tired and sore, eventually resulting and a steroid-esque muscle-ridden face?

Edit from [Caleb]: Judging from the comments, some people believe this to be an absolute impossibility. While we concur that this example is pretty silly (what’s powering those electrodes?), we invite you to watch [Daito Manabe]‘s facial electrodes fun.

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