Automatic wakeboarding in a pond

[Rick] sent in an awesome project he and his uncle [Charlie] have been working on for this summer. It’s a completely automatic wakeboarding system that tows [Charlie] and company from one end of his backyard pond and back again.

The entire system is supported by two towers at either end of the pond. Strung between these towers is a 420 foot cable that pulls the rider from one end to the other before stopping, and automatically continuing in the opposite direction. Apart from stopping and starting the motor attached to the cable, no user input is required. This means anyone lucky enough to make it to [Charlie]‘s farm can wakeboard all afternoon without a break.

[Rick] posted a few short videos covering the internals of the system. From what we can see, the guys are using a LabJack U3-LV data acquisition unit to grab the speed, direction, and position of the rider. This data is sent to a laptop that controls the motor suspended on one of the towers.

There are a few more videos of this incredibly fun toy available after the break.

[Read more...]

Automatic Micro-Copter Cameraman

For those of you that are extreme sports participants, this “MikroKopter” may be the solution you’ve been waiting for.  When combined with a helmet mounted camera, this additional view should do a great job of capturing your every trick.

This setup attaches a camera to a six-rotor mini helicopter to follow and video the action. In true drone form, the camera is controlled automatically via a “point of interest” tracking transmitter.  The helicopter, however, appears to be controlled by a human operator.

There is really a lot going on with this setup from the micro helicopter itself to the tracking system (really neat how it calculates the camera angle), so be sure to check out their website. Also, be sure to check out the video of everything in action after the break. [Read more...]

Build a beach winch for wakeboarding

beachwinching itself is a hack of common wakeboarding. No waves? hrm... lets hack something together.

Here’s a build log for  a nice beach winch for your next trip out to go beachwinching. Beachwinching is when you use a fast winch on shore to pull you in, allowing you to wakeboard, wakeskate, or water skii without the need of waves or a boat or jet ski to pull you along. While there’s nothing amazingly groundbreaking here, we do love a nicely documented build log. We think a remote way to initialize the pull would be nice too.

You can catch an example video of beachwinching after the break

[Read more...]

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