Popstick Fan Car Is A Fun Bluetooth Build

Archer fans already know, but for the rest of the world it bears saying – boats are fine, but fan boats are better. It’s much the same with land vehicles, too. [tinkeringtech] felt the same way, and built a Bluetooth-controlled fan car to scoot around the floor. (YouTube, embedded below.)

Construction starts with a series of popsticks glued together to create a chassis. Twist ties are then used to act as axles for bottle cap wheels, while steering is handled by a cardboard rudder controlled by a servo. Propulsion is via a pair of pager-sized motors fitted with fans. An Adafruit Bluefruit Feather M0 runs the show, receiving commands over Bluetooth and driving the motors through an H-bridge chip in the center of the vehicle.

It’s a fun craft-style build that would be a great project for kids interested in electronics and making. It teaches basic electronics, as well as serving as a good introduction into the world of microcontrollers. It’s one of the smaller radio-controlled builds we’ve seen, but you can always go full-scale if that takes your fancy.

Continue reading “Popstick Fan Car Is A Fun Bluetooth Build”

Airless Tire For Your Car: Michelin Says 2024, Here’s What They’re Up Against

The average motorist has a lot to keep track of these days. Whether its how much fuel is left in the tank, how much charge is left in the battery, or whether or not the cop behind noticed them checking Twitter, there’s a lot on a driver’s mind. One thing they’re not thinking about is tires, theirs or anyone else’s for that matter. It a testament to the state of tire technology, they just work and for quite a long time before replacements are needed.

There hasn’t been a major shift in the underlying technology for about fifty years. But the times, they are a changing — and new tire technology is claimed to be just around the corner. Several companies are questioning whether the pneumatic tire is the be-all and end all, and futuristic looking prototypes have been spotted at trade shows the world over. Continue reading “Airless Tire For Your Car: Michelin Says 2024, Here’s What They’re Up Against”

3D Printer Meets CNC Router To Make Wood Prints

We’ve seen plenty of plywood 3D printers before; after all, many early hobbyist machines were made from laser-cut plywood. But this plywood 3D-printer isn’t made from plywood – it prints plywood. Well, sort of.

Yes, we know – that’s not plywood the printer is using, but rather particleboard, the same material that fills the flatpack warehouse of every IKEA store. And calling it a printer is a bit of a stretch, too. This creation, by [Shane Whigton] and his Formlabs Hackathon team, is more of a hybrid additive-subtractive CNC machine. A gantry-mounted router carves each layer of the print from a fresh square of material – which could just as easily be plywood as particleboard. Once a layer is cut, the gantry applies glue to it, puts a fresh sheet of material on top, and clamps it down tight. The router then carves the next layer, and so on up the stack. The layer height is limited to the thickness of the material – a nominal 3/4″ (19 mm) in this case – and there’s a remarkable amount of waste, but that’s not really the point. Check out the printer in action and the resulting giant Benchy in the video below.

Seeing all that particleboard dust and glue got us thinking: what about a 3D-printer that extrudes a paste of sawdust mixed with glue? We imagine that would be a bit like those giant printers that extrude concrete to build houses.
Continue reading “3D Printer Meets CNC Router To Make Wood Prints”

MQTT Deep Dive

If you read Hackaday, it is a good bet you’ve heard of MQTT — Message Queueing Telemetry Transport. If you’ve not used MQTT before, you should check out Ably’s [Kayla Matthews’] post entitled¬† MQTT: A Conceptual Deep Dive paper. She does mention their MQTT protocol connector at the end, and has a few notes about Ably’s products, but most of the post is a normal white paper and has a lot of good info.

MQTT’s claim to fame, of course, is that it is very tiny and is made to minimize power consumption compared to heavier-weight protocols. When you are trying to provide or consume data from a device that has to last a year on a coin cell, MQTT is your friend.

Continue reading “MQTT Deep Dive”