3D Whiteboard Without The Whiteboard

This one is so simple, and works so well, we’d call it a hoax if April 1st hadn’t already passed us by. But we’re confident that what [William Myers] and [Guo Jie Chin] came up with exists, and we want one of our own. The project is a method of drawing in 3 dimensions using ultrasonic sensors.

They call it 3D Paint, and that’s fitting since the software interface is much like the original MS Paint. It can show you the movements of the stylus in three axes, but it can also assemble an anaglyph — the kind of 3D that uses those red and blue filter glasses — so that the artists can see the 3D rendering as it is being drawn.

The hardware depends on a trio of sensors and a stylus that are all controlled by an ATmega644. That’s it for hardware (to be fair, there are a few trivial amplifier circuits too), making this an incredibly affordable setup. The real work, and the reason the input is so smooth and accurate, comes in the MATLAB code which does the trilateration. If you like to get elbow deep in the math the article linked above has plenty to interest you. If you’re more of a visual learner just skip down after the break for the demo video.

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Modeling An Object With Internal IMUs

[Joseph Malloch] sent in a really cool video of him modeling a piece of foam twisting and turning in 3D space.

To translate the twists, bends, and turns of his piece of foam, [Joseph] used several inertial measurement units (IMUs) to track the shape of a deformable object. These IMUs consist of a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and a 3-axis magnetometer to track their movement in 3D space. When these IMUs are placed along a deformable object, the data can be downloaded from a computer and the object can be reconstructed in virtual space.

This project comes from the fruitful minds at the Input Devices and Music Interaction Lab at McGill University in Montreal. While we’re not quite sure how modeled deformable objects could be used in a user interface, what use is a newborn baby? If you’ve got an idea of what this could be used for, drop a note in the comments. Maybe the Power Glove needs an update – an IMU-enabled jumpsuit that would put the Kinect to shame.

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Micro Star Wars Arcade Game Is A Work Of Art

No, it’s not just another MAME cabinet build. [Le Chuck] over on the arcadecontrols.com forum built a fully functioning 1/6 scale replica of the classic 1983 Atari arcade game Star Wars.

The hardware is a CAANOO Linux-based portable media player running an emulation of the classing 1983 Star Wars video game. When [Le Chuck] turns his cabinet on, MAME4All boots up and goes directly into the game.

Because there are no 1/6 scale arcade parts, [Le Chuck] needed to fabricate most of his build from scratch. The case is basswood, along with the very-accurate light up coin slot doors. The joystick for the game was a bit tricky; the Star Wars game used an X Z joystick modeled after the yoke in the cockpit of an X-wing. To build this joysitck, [Le Chuck] took apart a few pots and crafted the joystick out of thin sheet metal. The controls operate exactly like the original, only in 1/6 scale.

After the break you can see the video of this incredible build in action.

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µPhone Is Small And Home Made

[Victor] popped up in the comments of yesterday’s DIy Cellphone to show off his own home made phone, the µPhone (google translated). [Victor] has put some effort into making this thing very compact. As you can see in the video after the break, he even left off the number pad to save space. Instead, you do everything by using a small joystick and two buttons. He claims that he really only calls a small number of people, so this layout works fine once he has programmed their contact information in.

For some reason none of the pictures are showing up in the extensive forum thread on the project. It is fun though, to follow along as he tries to get this thing working.

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Hackerspace Intro: Hackerspace.gr In Athens Greece

This is a fitting video to be the first of our Hackerspace introductions.  After our call for hackerspace tours yesterday, [Nikos] emailed us to let us know that their hackerspace already had a video ready. While this is more of a general video, explaining the idea behind hackerspaces, we do get to see a little bit of what is going on there. You can catch the video after the break (english subtitled), or head on over to their site to see what is going on at Hackerspace.gr in Athens Greece.

Though this video is very well made, yours doesn’t have to be. We don’t care if you are filming in your basement with 2 other members, showing off a couple projects, we want to see it! If you’re making a video for us, remember that we already know what a hackerspace is, so show us what you are doing!

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Micro Arduino Bot Skitters Its Way Into Our Hearts.

Here’s a quick and easy little robot with a not-so-pint-sized brain. [Dikos] over at grobot, slapped together some gutted micro servos, an Arduino pro mini, H bridge chip, and a solar key-chain charger  to make this little three wheeled cutie. The robot boasts some very simple object avoidance thanks to the Sharp GP2Y0A21YK analog IR distance sensor, and that’s about it. This leaves tons of Arduino Pro left for a whole slew of sensors and robot stuff. We can’t spot it but somewhere under the pro mini is the solar key-chain’s 3.7V Lipo battery. The PCB for the emergency charger also makes a convenient little back panel housing a few LEDs, charging electronics, and a handy spot to hang a bead roller.

The micro bot has a pretty mean starboard list due to the lack of wheel position feedback, after all the micro servos were gutted to just function as simple gear boxes. We might have kept the servo mostly untouched, ditched the H bridge and performed a continuous rotation mod. We even have a guide for it! This is a really cool little bot though, and not terribly expensive if you need a little maze roller… or if you have a ton of money and like swarms of things.

Check out a (silent) video of the robot after the jump, the bot doesn’t hit the table until 1:16.

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