Hackaday Podcast 033: Decompressing From Camp, Nuclear Stirling Engines, Carphone Or Phonecar, And ArduMower

Hackaday Editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams are back from Chaos Communication Camp, and obviously had way too much fun. We cover all there was to see and do, and dig into the best hacks from the past week. NASA has a cute little nuclear reactor they want to send to the moon, you’ve never seen a car phone quite like this little robot, and Ardupilot (Ardurover?) is going to be the lawn mowing solution of the future. Plus you need to get serious about debugging embedded projects, and brush up on your knowledge of the data being used to train facial recognition neural networks.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

Direct download (64 MB)

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4 thoughts on “Hackaday Podcast 033: Decompressing From Camp, Nuclear Stirling Engines, Carphone Or Phonecar, And ArduMower

  1. “Absolutely surprised that nobody’s already doing it to me… Trolling people’s logfiles” happens ALL THE TIME – unfortunately the spammers realised they could spoof “referer” headers, implying that their website links to yours, so when you collect a list of “who links to me?”, especially if you thought it was clever to automatically link back, you instead find yourself linking to their crappy advertising pages. :-(

  2. Please inform yourself on nuclear power a bit more. Control rods are a moderator, which means they slow ‘fast’ neutrons to ‘thermal’ neutrons, increasing reactivity. So inserting a control rod means turning this thing on, not the opposite as you stated. Also the whole ‘nuclear is bad and scary’ tone in this piece was really off putting as it perpetuates pop-culture misinformation around nuclear power.
    First, isotopes with long half lives are more stable and less dangerous. U-235 decays with an alpha particle (He nucleus), which can’t even penetrate skin.
    Second, While a accident on launch would be bad, it doesn’t mean the power core would explode(it can’t it wouldn’t be compressed like in a nuclear weapon), and if it did fracture or open, breaking it up into smaller pieces would be better (less nearby material to sustain any reactions with), and it would likely get dumped into the ocean anyway (for a Florida launch), which makes a good spot to block any radiation, since alpha particles are readily stopped by water.
    Lastly, using a power system like this ‘wins’ over PU-238 based thermoelectric power supplies in another way, in that U-235 is easy to get for NASA, compared to Pu-239, which only exists after burning U-235 in a reactor and then chemically extracting the Pu-238, a very expensive process.

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