This scooter starts right up with a shake of your Android device. This shake must be done from front-to-back, because a side-to-side shake is reserved for unlocking the saddle ([Brad] stores his helmet within).
Connectivity is facilitated over Bluetooth, with a rocker switch near the left handle bar to disable the receiver so that you don’t run down the battery. You can see the locking panel hanging open on the front portion of the scooter. Inside he installed the driver board which patches into the ignition system and drives a solenoid for the seat latch. It sounds like the latching mechanism used a bowden cable whose handle was inside that locking panel. By adding a solenoid and generously lubricating the cable he managed to get it functioning from the driver board.
Check out the video after the break for a proper demonstration. The phone is running a Python script via SL4A, which takes care of the user interface.
Continue reading “Shake phone to start scooter”
Don’t want dogs pooping on the front lawn? You could put up a sign, your could chase them away like a crotchety old miser, or you could build a motion detecting sprinkler system. It’s pretty hard to line up for a doody when you’re getting sprayed in the face (or worse) with cold water.
The setup is pretty simple. The bump-in image above shows the view from a webcam. The server monitoring the video is running software that detects motion between one frame and the next. When it sees something in the right position it signals an Arduino to trigger the solenoid which has been holding back the water. Check out the movie after the break which shows [Phil Tucker] tramping across the grass to trigger the trap.
Sprinkler hacks are always a lot of fun. This variable-range sprinkler is still one of our favorites.
Continue reading “Motion sprinkler chases away defecating dogs”
It becomes obvious when you listen to this player guitar that it’s not a human being playing. But the only reason for that is the unrelenting precision with which the songs are played. In addition to that accuracy, it’s interesting to note that this tune is normally played by a group of guitarists but here the machine manages to do it on one instrument. And we think it sounds fantastic!
This comes from [Vladimir Demin], a maker who previously built an automatic Bayan (like an accordion but with buttons where the keyboard is normally found). This time around it’s the six strings and many frets of a guitar that have been outfitted with one solenoid each. In the image above you can see the strumming mechanism mounted near the tone hole. Six picks are held in place, and it appears that each has two solenoids. From what we can observe in the video, one of the solenoids is used to strum the sting, the other tilts the pick mount so that there won’t be a second strumming when the pick is returned to its starting position.
Continue reading “Player guitar sounds wonderful; makes us drool because of the complexity”
[Justin Lange’s] dad loves playing guitar, but an accident left him with nerve damage that makes it pretty much impossible these days. He just doesn’t have the dexterity needed to form the cords using his left hand. But his son’s hacking skills are helping him get back into it. [Justin] built a button-based add-on that forms the cords for him.
The build has two parts. A frame mounts over the finger board with slots for eighteen solenoids which push the strings down between the frets. These are controlled by the replacement finger board which is mounted below the neck. It has a double-row of buttons that let the player select the desired chord. One button chooses the key, with a second button acting as a modifier to switch to a seventh cord, or minor cord.
The project, which [Justin] has named folkBox, relies on a microcontroller. We spy an Arduino Mega in one of the build photographs but it will be interesting to see if the final project moves to a standalone chip. He’s set a goal for a more robust version of the build some time this summer.
This auto-flute does it with steam. Well, electricity gets its piece of the action too as the tone holes are opened and closed using a set of solenoids.
We’re at a loss on how the sound is actually produced. We would think that a penny whistle has been used here, except if that were the case the solenoid nearest the kettle would have no use. Then again, after watching the demo after the break we’re not sure that it does have much of an effect. It may be meant to stop the sound but it doesn’t really work all that well.
At any rate we’d love to see some spin-off hacks. Assuming the plastic can stand up to the steam heat this would be a perfect robot controller for recorder controlled snake. You can get a recorder for a buck at the right dollar store, and solenoids can be made out of simple materials. If you know of a way to produce the sound yourself, all it takes are a few careful calculations to place the tone holes.
Continue reading “Steam fife”
After he saw a ‘falling water display,’ [Matt] figured he could turn that idea on its head. He built a display that uses bubbles for pixels. Even though the build isn’t complete, we love the results so far.
[Matt] began his build constructing a tall, thin water tank out of acrylic. Eight solenoids were mounted in the base of the tank, attached to an aquarium air supply, plastic tubing, and one way valves. The first run of the bubble display didn’t go too well, but after adding dividers between each column the display started working.
With the dividers, [Matt] no longer had to worry about bubbles colliding or moving any direction but up. The bubbles weren’t moving consistently, so he replaced the water with mineral oil. Oil made a huge improvement, but the bubbles still float up at different speeds. [Matt] ascribes this to the unregulated air supply, but we’re thinking this problem could be mitigated with glycerine like the previous bubble display we saw.
It may still have some problems, but we love the result. Check out the video of bubbles in mineral oil after the break.
Continue reading “Displaying bubbles in mineral oil”
What uses a fire extinguisher, a bike pump, and provides hours of probation, community service, and possibly jail time? If you said an automatic graffiti writer you’re correct! [Olivier van Herpt] calls this little job the Time Writer. We call it defacing property… but tomato, tomahto.
Details are a bit scarce, but you get a fine overview of the system from the video after the break. [Olivier] tagged the post as Arduino; it’s obviously running the dot matrix printer made up of seven solenoid valves on a metal rod. These are fed ink via a tube connected to a fire extinguisher which serves as the reservoir. The bike pump is used to pressurize the enclosure so that a pump isn’t necessary when out and about.
Obviously you shouldn’t try this at home, but let’s talk about possible improvements as an academic exercise. First off the mix of the ink/paint needs to be reigned in to get rid of the dripping. We’d also like to see the inclusion of some proper spray can nozzles to tidy up the results. That, paired with an IMU board should be able to smooth out the printed designs.
This might make an interesting add-on to that rainbow graffiti writer.
Continue reading “Weapon of mass graffiti”