Portal turret plushie is cute and harmless

turret_plushie

As many of you are probably aware, Portal 2 was released last week, and gamers have been going crazy over it. Over the years, people have constructed replicas of their favorite in-game items and “characters”, including portal guns, companion cubes, and turrets.

After playing Portal 2 for a bit, [Jonathan] wanted a turret of his own quite badly. Rather than construct it from hard plastics and resins however, he decided he wanted to construct a cuddly turret that talked.

With the assistance of his friend [Leigh Nunan], he is now the proud owner of a plushie turret. It’s a bit smaller than you might expect, but it is packed full of turret personality. The plushie plays audio from the game, can sense motion near its face, detect if it has been tipped over, and also knows when it has been picked up. [Jonathan] added all of these features by stuffing an Arduino inside the turret, along with a wave shield for playing sounds. Proximity and motion sensing are provided via a trio of different sensors, enabling the turret to behave in the same way its in-game brethren do (minus the machine guns).

It really is a neat little toy, one we would no doubt be glad to have around. Keep reading to see a short video of his plushie turret in action.

Continue reading “Portal turret plushie is cute and harmless”

Solderless Drawdio Terminally Implemented

So you’re stuck in a boring class and you can’t fight off the urge to hack something, even your pencil, to pass the time. Maybe you are performing a live electronics show and you drop your synth down a flight of stairs and all that you are left with is a handful of components, a screw terminal block and a pencil. There are thousands, perhaps millions of these kinds of situations and for each one the answer is the solderless drawdio clone by [Martin].

You may have seen the original Drawdio here before, a fun piece of technology that is simple enough to recreate. This latest approach would make an excellent introductory project for a hacking workshop seeing as the guide is straightforward and the lack of soldering would make logistics so much easier. The results are very similar to the original–check the video after the break. Continue reading “Solderless Drawdio Terminally Implemented”

Stop light for HotWheels

stop

[Paul] wrote in to show us this little project he did for his kids. His children love playing with their toy cars. In an effort to give them even more fun while playing, [Paul] built a stop light for them. He’s using an ATtiny13 to run them and has the source code available on his site. Not only did the kids get a new toy, he got an excuse to go build something in his workshop.

Using MatchBox cars as a switch

cars

[atduskgreg] posted this interesting setup to flickr. He’s using two toy cars as a switch. He has wired into their metal undercarriages so when they collide, the circuit closes. We’ve seen some pretty nifty home made interface items, but usually they are posted with a clear purpose or a project. This one is a little puzzling. Does he intend to keep using the cars or was he just fooling around? Is he working on a toy that does something when they crash? Was he merely bored and wanted to see what he could attach to his Arduino. We may never know.

40 years of NERF

nerf3 (Custom)

In 1968 a guy by the name of [Rey Guyer] came up with an idea for a game. It involved foam balls as game pieces. After failing to sell the game to Milton Bradley, he approached Parker Brothers. They bought his idea but ended up tossing the game itself and just marketing the foam ball. Named after the padding used on rollbars in offroad vehicles, Nerf balls were an instant success, 40 years ago, in 1969. Many of us have fond memories of Nerf, even before everything they produced was a weapon. That’s not to say we don’t appreciate the Nerf weapons. We certainly have seen some hackers do some fun stuff with them.

[via neatorama]

Moon phase light modification

In this project, a moon phase light is modified to show the actual moon phase based off of your computer’s internal clock. From the factory, these moon lights are updated via an infra red remote control. He pulled the brains from the clock and replaced them with an Arduino. He then runs a program that updates the Arduino based off of the system clock. He has also added an internal clock to maintain the settings so constant updates are not required. It would have been nice to retain manual functions via the remote so you could press a button for a full moon without having to change your system time.

[via littlebirdceo]

Drawdio kit lets you make music while you draw

Drawdio, designed by [Jay Silver], is a fun, simple toy that uses the conductive nature of pencil graphite to generate different sounds. When you use the Drawdio pencil to draw or write, you also simultaneously create music. The entire kit is available for sale at Adafruit Industries, or for the more adventurous, separate components and parts are listed. The circuit is fairly simple and we wonder what other devices people can come up with based on this theme.