After writing this post on somone hacking QR codes, Hack A Day commenters came out in full force posting some really cool links about modifying QR codes to include a logo. I’ll fully admit I geeked out a little, but in the process I figured out some of the theory behind embedding logos in QR codes.
After getting my hands on the ISO 18004 specification for QR codes, I decided to try embedding the Hack A Day skull & wrenches inside a QR code. The tools I used were Photoshop, this QR code generator, and Microsoft Paint (I’ve never seen a program to edit individual pixels that has a better UI, so don’t laugh).
Continue reading “How to put your logo in a QR code”
[Janis] has an outdoor cat that likes to roam all over the neighborhood. He was curious to see what he was up to all day, so he decided to build a small cat cam to document the feline’s comings and goings. After the cat returned one evening with a snail riding along on his back, [Janis] thought it would be pretty interesting to see where the cat was going as well.
He calls his creation “CatEye”, and it consists of a small JPEG color camera and GPS sensor, both of which are managed by what looks to be an ATMega328. The camera snaps pictures as the cat roams around, while the GPS sensor records its location throughout its travels. All of the data is stored on an SD card, making it easy to transfer the pics and .KML files back to his computer. A few clicks later, he can see everywhere his cat has been, using Google Earth.
It seems like a pretty interesting project, and we would love to see some schematics and code so that we can strap one of these on
[Caleb] our cat to see where he’s been all day.
If you enjoy gardening, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s growing season. [Jared Bouck] over at InventGeek loves his tomatoes, but the slow grow rates of his dirt-bound plants were less than impressive. To get things moving faster, he created a low-cost aeroponics system that uses ultrasonic mist to produce some pretty impressive results.
The construction process of this ultrasonic aeroponics rig looks dead simple, and [Jared] said that he had everything assembled in about half an hour. A cheap ultrasonic mister was mounted in the bottom of a plastic tub, and holes were cut in the tub’s lid to make room for his growing baskets. Tomato seedlings were wrapped in rock wool and placed in a clay growing medium, suspended over the water bath. The mister was turned on, and after just a few days, the results were obvious.
In the last step of his tutorial, he compares his aeroponically grown plant to one grown in soil – the difference is unbelievable. Considering how reasonably priced his setup is, it seems like a no-brainer to start growing your entire vegetable garden this way.
The folks over at Hackspace London have been working hard to create a “very low cost, open source, Internet connected platform on which others can develop their ideas”, which they have dubbed “Nanode”.
Essentially an Arduino with Ethernet networking on-board, the Nanode is armed with an ATMega 328 microcontroller along with all the other standard goodies you would expect from an Arduino-compatible device. The Nanode can be controlled with a web browser right out of the box, thanks to some custom Ethernet libraries. Additionally network of Nanodes can be easily configured to communicate with a “master” unit via a multidrop serial bus, allowing the device to be used for a wide array of distributed control tasks.
Obviously most of these features can be had in the form of an Arduino Ethernet board, or achieved by using an Ethernet shield. The Nanode is a touch cheaper than either option at $40 for a kit, and the native networking capabilities sound like they would be quite handy. That said, we are a bit bummed that it only has 10BaseT networking capabilities, though it is always nice to have options when it comes to choosing a microcontroller board.
This incredibly detailed puppet of the Wheatley from Portal was sent into us, and we a so very happy that we’re not writing about a GLaDOS build right now.
Hewn from florist foam and covered Wonderflex and Apoxie Sculpt, Wheatley pretty much tows the line as far as cosplay and prop builds go. What makes Wheatley interesting is his movement mechanism – he’s actually a hand-controlled puppet. Portal quotes come a small sound module that plays 10 Wheatley quotes. The control system has ten buttons and allows for the display of a lot more emotion than we would expect from a talking sphere. We really like the completely manual solution to an articulated robot eyeball – a really great, simple solution to a complex problem.
Like the portal turret and the adorable and friendly companion cube, we’re really impressed with the build quality of Wheatley. Yet again we’re left wondering why Valve doesn’t license some awesome toys like their office sentry.
Check out the intelligence dampening sphere in action after the break.
Continue reading “Portal puppet probably won’t kill us”
[Sprite_tm] is back again, and his work never fails to impress. His latest project is a Game Boy Advance MIDI synth that takes MIDI data from a keyboard or sequencer and maps that to Game Boy sound channels.
Because he seems to never do anything the normal way, [Sprite_tm] decided to run the Game Boy without a cartridge. We’ve seen this before; the GBA boots into the synth software over the link cable with multibooting.
Continue reading “Adding a MIDI input to a Game Boy”
If you find a crusty old IT guy and give him half a chance, he’ll probably regale you with stories of how things were done “in the old days” where no one had their own computer and everyone worked on mainframe-connected dumb terminals. [JSTN] yearned for a true to life terminal display that he could attach to his 2010 Mac Pro, and since there’s no chance anybody is bringing one to market any time soon, he pieced one together on his own.
He dug up a digital VT220 terminal, and got to work trying to interface this office relic with his shiny new Mac. He found a few helpful tips from someone