Nerf Sentry Turret

With exams behind him [Adam Greig] had time to make a Nerf sentry gun. It’s actually quite easy to pull everything together. He’s got a netbook running Motion, an open source motion sensing program for use with a webcam. When movement is detected an Arduino, connected via a USB cable, actuates a servo to pull the trigger of the gun. The turret itself has seen a battery upgrade that increases the firing speed. It’s fun to see hardware prototyping done with a few pencils and a fist full of cable ties. Check it out after the break.

This particular toy, the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan, has become quite a popular starting point for turrent projects. We’ve seen one that uses a motorized base, and another that was part of a final project at Cornell.

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Candle Stop Motion: How’s It Done?

[Ollie] tipped us off about a stop motion video that uses a grid of tea candles to animate some classically pixellated game graphics. The image above is obviously a game of pong in progress. It’s interesting to watch but for us the fun is trying to decide how it’s done. Click through the break to see the video and discuss the methodology.

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Velosynth Annoys Those Around You As You Ride

We’ve always put stock in ‘the quieter the better’ when it comes to road bikes. You’ll find this truth if you spend 100k on the back wheel of someone with a sqeaky rear derailleur. But apparently the folks at Effalo never learned this lesson as they’ve produced a bike computer that generates noise as you ride.

Perhaps it just takes some ingenuity to turn this into a beautiful music maker along the lines of the Force Trainer hack. No problem because the velosynth is a hackable design. The case was made with a vacuum form and inside you’ll find a bunch of small breadboards. The JeeNode, which is an Arduino/Xbee combination, serves as the heart of the device by taking speed and acceleration data from the bicycle wheel. From there it is passed on to various modules, Bob’s your uncle, and sound comes out. Check out their sales pitch after the break and if you’re starting to get some ideas about using this check out the open source info they’ve provided.

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Talking Poker Timer


This interesting box of buttons is a talking poker tournament timer. Full of useful tools like a binary time display, words of wisdom, countdowns to the end of the game, and even good old “bicycle built for two” mode (around 1:20).  While we find it fairly difficult to understand, we applaud the feature list, especially the song.  He used an Arduino with a voice shield, so there’s not much to the electronics side, but you can download his source code from his site.

[via Makezine]