You’ve Never Seen A Flipping Eyeball Like This One!

Inspired by some impressive work on textile flip-bit displays, and with creative steampunk outfits to create for Christmas, [Richard Sewell] had the idea for a flippable magnetic eye in the manner of a flip-dot display. These devices are bistable mechanical displays in which a magnet is suspended above a coil of wire, and “flipped” in orientation under the influence of a magnetic field from the coil.

In [Richard]’s case the eyeball was provided by a magnetic bead with a suitable paint job, and the coil was a hand-wound affair with some extremely neat lacing to keep it all in place. The coil requires about 200 mA to ensure the eye flips, and the job of driving it is performed by a Digispark ATTiny85 board with an LM293 dual H-bridge driver upon which the two bridges are wired in parallel. The whole is mounted in the centre of a charity shop brooch that has been heat-treated to give a suitable aesthetic.

You can see the eyeball in all its glory in the two videos below the break, and should you be curious you can also read our write-up of the original pieces from [Irene Posch] that inspired it.

And here they eye is in close-up.

20 thoughts on “You’ve Never Seen A Flipping Eyeball Like This One!

  1. Why are so many of Jenny List’s titles written like”sponsored” click bait headlines on sleazy sites? Just the month:







    Is this really the new image of hackaday?

    1. I really don’t see how you get “sponsored” out of any of this. I’ll give you that she’s playing around a little bit with the clickbait title genre, but I promise you it’s meant ironically. We apologize if it offends.

      But on the topic of clickbait, were you disappointed about having read any of those articles? I mean, the article about John Deere was about answering the posed question, as was the Starman/SpaceX car post. The simplified RISC-V post, well, that title reads about right to me, too. Putting “you” into the LoRa title maybe makes it clickbait-esque, but then the article was about people using the LoRa encoding scheme to send a message on a record-breaking 71,572 km round trip. Etc.

      It’s not like she wrote a list of ten boring things and claimed that “Number Seven Will Shock You!” or that she was like “The Wood-Strengthening Method the Steel Lobby Doesn’t Want You to Read!” or something.

      Was there something in particular about the content that disappointed you? Or do you just find the style of writing tacky? (Open question, all commenteers feel free to pile on.)

        1. What would you have titled those articles so that they were both enticing to read, and not clickbait? I don’t know about you, but I read Hackaday for entertainment and links to explore cool projects. If I wanted to read technical, dry titles I’d browse academic research papers.

      1. Thank you for being willing to engage in this dialog. I do very much respect that you care to listen to this type of criticism, Hackaday has always been a very high-quality website, and I do appreciate your efforts to keep it that way.

        By “sponsored”, I didn’t mean to imply Hackaday is being paid to post the articles, just that it has the same style as the worst internet scams and actual paid ads. I mean in the style of scams like “Is Winning the Lottery Just Simple Mathematics”, “Bill Gates Just Changed the World Forever”. Those sound like they could easily be her headlines.

        I wasn’t disappointed by the actual articles. As far as the content itself it’s usually very good. Even the John Deere article; I personally have little interest in agriculture but I’ve still been following the story with interest for years. So I knew what the article would be about, it is something I was interested in reading, and the click-bait element was not needed.

        The content itself is very relevant, it is entirely the style of writing. So many of her articles start with an obnoxious intro along the lines of “You may think you know a little about subject xxx, but you don’t know this.”. Again, it feels like trashy clickbait and the lowest of the disreputable fake news sites.

        At best, it is an insulting and condescending tone. Hackaday is a site aimed at a well-read and informed reader base, at least in the range of subjects you cover, repeatedly posting that you think your readers are ignorant of the subject-matter is very off-putting. Usually I do have a lot to learn from the articles (if I didn’t, why would I bother reading them); so why start out by so aggressively saying I don’t know this stuff. If I don’t, that’s the whole point.

        1. Thanks for that!

          Making headlines interesting and descriptive and at the same time hitting the tone just right is tricky business. Add in Jenny’s pinch of cheeky British irony and it’s a high-wire act. :)

          But really, we _love_ thoughtful feedback. Thanks again.

    2. Sponsored? No. Really, never. We don’t do that, it’s crucial to our integrity. We have a constant stream of people approaching us on that front, and we turn them all away.

      Written like clickbait? Believe me, I could do a hell of a lot better in that line.

      Written like a headline? Yes. It’s part of the journalist’s art. All Hackaday writers have their own individual backgrounds, and most of my colleagues have done amazing things. I’m an electronic engineer, but my background is in publishing, and in particular most recently dictionaries. Words are my playground, and Hackaday headlines provide a limited canvas for a bit of expression alongside the sober writing. If you know The Register,, you’ll see one of my influences.

      But what is clickbait? Sensational and misleading headlines leading to pretty meagre content, which I hope you’ll agree is not the case here. All the above-quoted headlines say exactly what you’ll find in the story. It’s what Hackaday does, bringing you the good stuff.

      1. Jenny you are outrageous! You write headlines which promise articles “devoid of content”, and when the poor unsuspecting punter clicks through, they find there’s something substantive there. How dare you – misleading people like that.

      2. I didn’t mean to imply you actually were being paid for sponsored articles, and I apologize for that poor wording on my part. It is clear that all of these are legitimate articles about interesting and relevant subjects, not in any way paid advertising, and the articles do have depth and substance.

        What I was trying to say was the headlines and introductions stylistically feel like paid links to scams on other websites. In many ways that makes the openings feel even worse because once you make it past, the articles do have a great deal to offer and aren’t just fluff. If I have one regret about this posting it’s failing to mention that in my original post as well. It’s only fair to give credit where credit is due.

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