SudoGlove Gets A Big Software Upgrade

[Jeremy Blum] recently finished writing a couple of software packages for his SudoGlove system that turns it into a music controller with a lot of features. We’ve seen the hardware in a previous post and as a goal for this iteration he decided not to alter the hardware or the firmware controlling it whatsoever–making this a PC-side software only hack. It’s nice to see improvement on the original ideas as we feel most of the glove-based projects we’ve covered end up getting thrown in the junk box after the developer’s interest wanes.

After the break you can see and hear a demonstration of the complete system. The front end of application shown was written using Processing and includes a slew of user configurations for each sensor on the glove itself. Under the hood [Jeremy] built on the PureData framework in order to really unlock the potential for translating physical movement into synthesized sound. There is also a visual feedback application which will help you practice your movements, important if you’re giving live performances where each finger is a different instrument. Everything for this project, both hardware and software, has been released under a CC license so check out [Jeremy’s] site if you’re interested in building on part or all of the good work he’s done.

Update: [Jeremy] wrote in with a bit of a correction for our synopsis. The application shown in the video is written entirely in PureData and the visual debugger was written with Processing. The two are standalone packages that don’t depend on each other. He also sent us a link to download the code packages.

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Papercraft Gyroscope

Although spring keeps trying to break through the winter doldrums you might be looking for just one more weekend activity before the outdoor season begins. Grab the kids and give this paper gyroscope a try.

It’s not an electronic sensor made of paper, but the modern equivalent of a spinning top. The frame remains stationary while the center assembly spins at high speed, keeping the whole thing balanced on one narrow point. [Dombeef] put together a printable template which you can use to make your own parts. He got a hold of the heavy paper that’s used to hold X-ray film, but you can just trace out multiple copies of the parts and make a beefy section by laminating them together with glue. Combine the inner and outer parts using a paper clip as the axis and you’re ready to go. Pull hard on a bit of floss wound around the axis to get the center frame spinning, then sit back and see how long it will remain standing.

Automatic Trigger For Lightning Photography


[Vicktor] has always been fascinated by photographs of lightning and decided to try his hand at capturing a few strikes on his camera. Every time he attempted it however, he didn’t have much success. Instead of trying to operate his camera manually to take the images, he decided to build a lightning trigger that would do it for him.

His circuit uses a large photodiode to sense when lightning strikes, triggering the camera via a hacked shutter release cable. A PIC micro controller is used to adjust the sensitivity of the device, as well as to send the actual trigger signal to the camera. His circuit is connected to the camera via a pair of opto couplers to ensure that his circuit cannot cause any harm to the camera.

When the box is powered on, it enters a calibration mode where the user can adjust the circuit to compensate for whatever amount of ambient light is present. Once armed, the box waits for a sudden change in ambient lighting, sending the exposure release signal to the camera.

A schematic is available on his site, and he will send you the code he use on request. There is currently no video of the trigger in action, but hopefully we’ll see one soon.

If you’re interested in seeing some other remote camera triggers, check out this one made from air freshener parts, and this one which uses lasers.

WiFi Radio Plays Your Tunes In Style


Instructables user [Jan] likes listening to music while hacking away in his workshop, but listening to the same CDs gets tired and boring after awhile. He contemplated listening to streaming audio over the Internet, but hated the idea of needing a computer around at all times. After a bit of reading, he found some information about building a WiFi radio, and got started on constructing his own.

Using a guide he found at the MightyOhm, he hacked an Asus router to use OpenWRT, adding a music player daemon to tune in various stations. He added a small LCD display and an ATmega32 to drive it, as well as a rotary encoder to allow him to switch between stations.

The case was built using several layers of  MDF which were cut using a CNC mill, and joined together with glue and wooden dowels. The front and back panels were milled out of  alucobond sheets, with the remainder of the case covered in white wood veneer. The detail that went into this build is great, we especially love the “WiFi Symbol” speaker grilles.

All of his code and schematics are available for download, should you desire to make a WiFi radio of your own. Stick around to see a video of his completed radio in action.

[via MightyOhm]

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Kinect Two-fer: MoCap Movie And Robot Control


It’s no mystery that we like the Kinect around here, which is why we’re bringing you a Kinect two-fer today.

We have seen video hacks using the Kinect before, and this one ranks up there on the coolness scale. In [Torben’s] short film about an animation student nearly missing his assignment deadline, the Kinect was used to script the animation of a stick figure model. The animation was captured and built in Maya, then overlaid on a separate video clip to complete the movie. The overall quality is great, though you can notice some of the typical “jitter” that the Kinect is known for, and there are a few places where the model sinks into the floor a bit.

If you want to try your hand at animation using the Kinect, all of the scripts used to make the movie are available on the creator’s site for free. [via Kinect-Hacks]

Our second Kinect item comes in the form of a gesture driven Lego MindStorms bot. Using OpenNI along with Primesense for body tracking, [rasomuro] was able to use simple motions to drive his NXT bot around the house. His movements are tracked by the Kinect sensor which are translated into commands relayed to the robot via his laptop’s Bluetooth connection. Since the robot has two motors, he mapped couple of simple arm motions to drive the bot around. We’ll be honest when we say that the motions remind us of Will Farrell’s “Frank the Tank” scene in Old School, but [rasomuro] says that he is trying to simulate the use of levers to drive the bot.  Either way, it’s pretty cool.

Videos of both hacks are embedded below for your perusal.

If you are interested in seeing some more cool Kinect hacks be sure to check out this Minecraft interface trio, this cool Kinect realtime video overlay, and this Kinect-Nerf gun video game interface.

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