Hackett’s tripod and some advice on abstraction

hackettTripod

[Hackett] calls it a “transmission problem.” You’ve scavenged the pieces for your build, but nothing fits. Metric and standard hardware clash, a successful weld is as reliable as duct-taping. You’ll hear about plenty of these obstacles as [Hackett] tries to tackle a tripod build in this video.

He was contacted by a group looking to make a bicycle-mounted portable projector. Their request: build them an easy-to-use tripod on a shoestring budget that is strong enough to hold a 30-pound projector. Garbage and scrap turn into a functional device as [Hackett] grinds and welds the tripod together.

The video’s greatest contribution, however, is the advice near the end.

You need to retrain your eye, so you’re not looking at a thing as to what it is, what it’s branded, what it’s originally intended for. What you’re looking at is what it is at the core, and once you start looking at things for what they really, really are, you have the power to completely remake the world.

A desire to re-contextualize everyday stuff is probably the reason you’re a Hackaday reader. Hopefully [Hackett's] succinct advice strikes some chords and encourages you to keep abstracting and re-purposing the world around you. If you’re new to hacking and need somewhere to start, why not build a robot?

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Bits and Pieces Robotic Arm

[V0R73X], who is 17  has been working on a project, to build A robotic arm. This project started out as a challenge put forward from one of his school teachers to build a robotic arm for $200.  [VoR73X] accepted, and the challenge began.

He came up with a robotic arm that can be controlled from his mobile phone and other bluetooth enabled devices. He also designed it so that he can control it from the infrared remote control of an old tv set. [VoR73X] decided to kept the design simple, to make it easy for others to build.  [VoR73X] has shared the code and a step by step process of how to build in the hopes that others would also like to take up the challenge.  Watch the video after the break for further details on his project.

via[Instructables]

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The Dronitar; a scrap made motorized sitar

This peculiar instrument, called the Dronitar,  is completely made from scrap. Interestingly, it sounds pretty good. You can hear the dronitar in action in the video after the break.The call this a  “2 stringed” instrument,and most who are instrumentally savvy will find a bit of confusion here. They are referring to the string that you play as well as a small string that is struck against the other by a motor to create the droning effect. The result sounds very much like a sitar mixed with a bit of surfer rock styling.  You’ll note that they’re even using a second motor as the pickup!

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Toilet paper printer made from scrap parts

toilet_paper_printer

Some of our favorite hacks are those made with scrap materials, so we were delighted to see a contest being held by the German technology magazine c’t which focuses on using salvaged components. “Mach flott den Schrott” is the name of the competition, which loosely translates to “Make fast the scrap”.

German builder [Mario Lukas’] entry into the contest (Google Translation) is definitely unique, and certainly fits within the theme. He built a toilet paper printer that uses a bunch of recycled components to write anything he desires on a roll of the soft white stuff. His blog walks through the build details, including a bill of materials for all of the scrap bits he used to put it together. Several CD-ROM drives, printers, and even inline skates donated some components to the printer, while an Arduino controls the entire printing process.

Though [Mario] is using RSS and Twitter feeds as a data source for his toilet-side scribe, we imagine it will only be a matter of time before advertising companies seize upon this sort of technology to create personalized advertisements geared towards a decidedly captive audience.

Continue reading to see a quick video of his toilet paper printer in action.

[via Make]

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Polarized art fixture made from a busted laptop screen

laptop_screen_polarized_art_fixture

[Pedro] had a busted laptop LCD screen on his hands, but rather than throw it out, he brainstormed what he could possibly do with what would typically be considered a worthless item. He decided to make a simple art installation using the scrapped part, so he gathered a few other supplies and got to work.

The first thing he did was pull the LCD screen from the laptop, separating the front panel from the backlight panel. He drained the liquid crystal fluid from the display, and set it inside a picture frame in place of the glass. He added spacers around the edge of the frame so that the backlight could be mounted several inches behind the LCD panel.

[Pedro] then found a few polystyrene and polycarbonate plastic items from around the house, and placed them inside the frame. As you can see in the picture above, the polarizing filter built into the LCD screen makes for some pretty cool effects.

While you could debate for hours over exactly what is art, there’s no denying that his PolFrame looks cool and is a great way to save electronics from the scrap heap. We just want to know what he did with the LC fluid he drained from the screen!

Libyan rebels turn toys into weapons of war

scrapyard_weaponry

They say all’s fair in love and war – trust us, you don’t have to tell these guys twice.

With the war in Libya raging on, the rebels have turned to anything and everything to help give them the upper hand. Engineers and engineering students have put aside their work and studies to become the architects of the Libyan revolution. In a school playground-cum-weapons facility people from all walks of life work together creating powerful weapons from scrap parts.

[Rajab], the group’s chief weapons engineer, used to drive trucks for a living. Now he is directing his fellow fighters on how best to re purpose scrap materials and recovered military weaponry into effective killing machines. As you can see in the video below, everything is fair game. Their creations range from pickup trucks fitted with recovered fighter jet machine guns, to a Power Wheels chassis that has been converted into a remote controlled machine gun turret.

It’s amazing the things that can be produced with some scrap materials and a bit of ingenuity.

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Marvelous Magnetic Machines

[HP Friedrichs] wrote in to tell us about an upcoming book titled Marvelous Magnetic Machines. Ordinarily, we skip over promotional hype. After watching his promo video though, we couldn’t help but share. We want a copy of this book. In this book you’ll find details on how to build a number of different motors from scrap. You can see several variations in the promo video. He also notes that the music was created by himself and some friends a few years ago. If [H.P. Friedrichs] sounds familiar, it is because he’s been sending us fantastic projects since at least 2006.

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