ReactionWare 3D Printed Medicine

The University of Glasgow has released a Chemistry research paper covering the applicational process of printing pharmaceutical compounds.

Yes thats correct actually printing medication. Using various feedstock of chemicals they see a future where manufacturing your medication from home will be possible. Using standard 3D printing technology it is possible to assemble pre-filled “vessels” in such a way that the required chemical reactions take place to produce the required medication. This will be like having a minature medication manufacturing facility in your home. The possible implications of this could be far reaching.

There would need to be a locked down software etc or certain chemcials restrictions to prevent the misuse of this technology. Prof [Lee Cronin], who came up with the paper’s principal has called this process “reactionware”

Professor [Cronin] found, using this fabrication process, that even the most complicated of vessels could be built relatively quickly in just a few hours.

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Making Music With Tennis Balls And Lego

We’ve seen a lot of interesting MIDI controllers, but this one uses some unconventional materials. The World’s Coolest Keystroke, built by [Audiobody], is made from a combination of tennis balls, Lego bricks, servos, and switches.

When a tennis ball is lifted up, a Lego arm is actuated. It looks like a servo is used to move the Lego arm so it hits a switch. An Arduino is used to detect this and send a message to their computer.

They use the device to control Ableton Live and play different clips depending on which tennis ball was removed. It’s an interesting way to control sound with a tactile interface, and it looks pretty nifty.

After the break is a short video of the device in action, but [Audiobody] says that they will be releasing more information soon. We’re looking forward to seeing other interesting controllers that they have in the works.

[Via Make]

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Not Quite Building A Raspi Arduino Bridge


A few months ago, [Omer] sent in a Raspberry Pi to Arduino bridge he’s been working on called Ponte. Now that he’s gotten a few assembled, he can actually test out his ideas for combining the powerful Raspi with the ubiquitous Arduino.

Ponte revision 0 used a pair of 12-bit analog to digital converters, but during the soldering and debugging phase of development [Omer] discovered a few things were wrong with his original design. The FETs on the fabricated boards had the drain and source pins mixed up, but that problem was easily solved with a bit of board surgery.

The worst problem was the mechanical design of Ponte rev. 0 – the power jack on the Ponte is directly above the Raspi’s USB port, meaning it’s impossible to plug the Ponte into the Pi.

[Omer] is working on these problems and should have  the revised boards completed shortly. A few people have asked where they can get a Ponte, but right now there are no plans to assemble and ship boards. That may change, but for now if might be worth bugging [Omer] to put his new and improved Ponte (with an 8-port I2C port expander!) up on SeeedStudio


Wireless Sensors Without A Microcontroller

While cruising the Internet one day, [Raj] found a really cool pair of RF transmitters and receivers manufactured by Dorji Applied Technology. These modules – the DRF5150S and DRF4432S – work just like any other ISM band transmitter receiver pair with the addition of inputs for analog and digital input pins. [Raj] put together a tutorial for using these radio modules, perfect if you need a very simple wireless connection for your next project.

[Raj]’s tutorial for using the Dorji sensor modules shows the transmitter has two operating modes. The first mode is a simple data transmitter, connected to a microcontroller through a UART connection. The ‘sensor’ mode doesn’t require a separate chip; the on-board STM8L151 microcontroller reads analog values on two pins and sends them over the air to the DRF4432S receiver module.

After programming the transmitter to function as a wireless sensor with an app released by Dorji, [Raj] plugged the transmitter into a breadboard with a battery and digital thermometer. The receiver module is plugged into a USB -> UART module, and data is pulled down from the sensor in a terminal.

[Raj] wrote a small app in Processing to display the data coming from the sensor. He has a wonderful animated thermometer showing the temperature reading of the sensor, the battery voltage and the strength of the wireless signal. Pretty easy, and a very helpful tutorial if you need an easy way to build a wireless sensor.

N64 Controller Mod Means Playing Games Akimbo

Star Wars Episode 1 Racer for the Nintendo 64 has a rather interesting feature: by entering the code RRDUAL on the cheats menu, it’s possible to plug two controllers into the console and control each engine independently. This gives the game an awesome arcade feel, but dual-wielding N64 controllers is a bit of a burden. [Clarky] thought it would be a good idea to combine two controllers into one, and the Star Wars Racer controller is the result.

Like most console mods, the build began by tearing apart two N64 controllers and gluing them together. With a ton of bondo, sanding, and fiberglass, [Clarky] had a mutated N64 controller perfect for the Episode 1 game.

[Clarky] will be updating the build with a built-in rumble pak, but for now he’s doing his best to learn how to fly a pod racer with both hands. You can check out the demo of his build after the break where he plays the Star Wars game as well as a round of Goldeneye using his akimbo controller.

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Turning An Old Keyboard Into A Work Of Art


The 1970s were the glory days for analog synthesizers, and for [Stefan] listening to huge modular Moogs and ARPs resulted in a wondrous seething jealousy. In 2009, wanting to relive just a little bit of his childhood, [Stefan] picked up a PAiA Stringz’n’Things from eBay. It’s a great little keyboard, but [Stefan] his new purchase to look little classier than a tolex-covered flight case. After getting rid of the old tolex case, [Stefan] made a new enclosure and added some extra circuitry to expand the capabilities of this classic synth.

After replacing the electrolytic capacitors and fixing a voltage regulator issue, [Stefan] made a new enclosure for his keyboard out of beautifully lacquered mahogany. A new key bed stolen from an old Yamaha organ was brought in, and new control panels above the keys provide a more sensible organization than the keyboard’s previous incarnation.

The original Stringz’n’Things was laid out more like an organ than a synthesizer, a reflection of its polyphonic nature. This meant there wasn’t a very diverse tonal palette, but [Stefan] remedied that with a wave folder to generate extra harmonics, a tremolo, and an envelope generator to provide attack and decay for each note.

Now [Stefan] has a lovely polyphonic synth that has found its place on top of an old Hammond organ. As a bonus, the synth sounds really good. Not bad for an instrument generally regarded as being very limited.




Mars Science Laboratory Lands Today


Since launching on November 26, 2011, the newest Mars rover Curiosity has been speeding towards the red planet. Its days in the harsh vacuum of space are numbered as Curiosity prepares to land in just a few hours.

The landing of Curiosity at Gale crater is scheduled to be received on Earth at Aug 5, 10:31 pm PDT / Aug 6, 1:31 am EDT / Aug 6, 5:31 am UTC. The latest updates on the success or failure of ramming into the Martian atmosphere should be available on NASA TV and this feed from JPL. There’s a huge bunch of feeds on, and of course the Twitter for the wonderfully anthropomorphized Curiosity.

If landing a Volkswagen-sized, nuclear powered robot on the surface of Mars isn’t cool enough, we’ll also see a picture of the descent from Martian orbit via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Atlantic has a bunch of awesome pictures showing off Curiosity’s preparation for launch. Of course there are videos after the break including one by [Stan Love] explaining why it’s soooooo hard to get to Mars.

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