This Radio Control Sailboat Uses 2X4s

When [PeterSripol] was a kid, he made a simple sailboat from a scrap piece of 2×4 and some napkin sails. He’s not 8 years old anymore, but he decided he wanted to make another 2X4 sailboat using the skills he’s learned since he was a kid.

You’ll have to get past storytime and mice, but the build skill is evident. There’s a RC rudder, a keel with lead shot and overall it is a good looking boat for such a simple build.

Continue reading “This Radio Control Sailboat Uses 2X4s”

We Are Bowled Over By The BouLED

We’ve seen a lot of cubic LED creations recently, but this one takes it a bit further. The BouLED is a work-in-progress icosahedric LED display, a globe-like sphere made of 20 flat triangular LED-lit faces. When combined with sensors inside the display, it will be able to stabilize the image. In other words: you can pick it up and rotate it, but the image will stay steady. It is created as part of their degree work by [Matthias Rabault], [Lucas Lebailly] and [Hichem Ghandri] who are students at the Télécom Paris school.

Continue reading “We Are Bowled Over By The BouLED”

Making A Robotic Dog Better By Adding Springiness Without Springs

Getting a legged robot to stay upright, especially a quadruped or biped, can be a challenging undertaking. To experiment with different approaches, [James Bruton] built robot dog test platform and is playing with “dynamic compliant simulated springs“, or in other words, using the motors to act as though they were springs and dampers..

When robotic legs are kept stiff, they tend to reduce the stability of the platform due to the sudden erratic movements of the robot, especially on uneven surfaces. With a back drivable joint arrangement, [James] is using limited holding current on the motor, and the position of the motor shaft is monitored using an encoder. When a leg experiences a resisting force, with will have some “give” and then the motor will return it to it’s intended position more slowly. Using a IMU on top of the robot, it can detect when it start leaning to a side, and then temporarily soften the other side to balance the robot.

This is quite a common technique in legged robots, but [James] does an excellent job of explaining just how it works. He hopes to use the lessons learned from the test platform to improve or redesign his already impressive OpenDog.

We’ve seen a number of quadruped robots on Hackaday recently. Including Boston Dynamics’ very expensive Spot as well as a low cost robot dog that giving its big brothers a run for their money, and doing some back flips in the process. Check out James’ video after the break. Continue reading “Making A Robotic Dog Better By Adding Springiness Without Springs”

Why Buy Toys When You Can Build Them Instead?

Like many creative individuals who suddenly find themselves parents, [Marta] wanted to make something special for his children to play with. Anybody can just purchase an off-the-shelf electronic toy, but if you’ve got the ability to design one on your own terms, why not do it? But even compared to the fairly high standards set by hacker parents, we have to admit that the amount of time, thought, and effort that was put into the “Marta Musik Maschine” is absolutely phenomenal.

[Marta] was inspired by the various commercial offerings which use RFID and other technologies to identify which characters the child is playing with and respond accordingly. But since he didn’t want to get locked into one particular company’s ecosystem and tinkering with the toys seemed frowned upon by their creators, he decided to just come up with his own version.

Over the course of many posts on the Musik Maschine’s dedicated website, [Marta] explains his thought process for every design consideration of the toy in absolutely exquisite detail. Each of the writeups, which have helpfully been broken down for each sub-system of the final toy, are arguably detailed and complete enough to stand as their own individual projects. Even if you’re not looking to get into the world of DIY electronic toys, there’s almost certainly an individual post here which you’ll find fascinating. From the finer points of interfacing your Python code with arcade buttons to tips for designing 3D printed enclosures, there’s really something for everyone here.

The children of hackers are often the envy of the neighborhood thanks to the one-of-a-kind playthings provided by their parents, and considering the level of commitment [Marta] has put into a toddler toy, we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Continue reading “Why Buy Toys When You Can Build Them Instead?”

UECG – A Very Small Wearable ECG

[Ultimate Robotics] has been working on designing and producing an extremely small ECG that can stream data real time.

Typical electrocardiogram equipment is bulky: miniaturization doesn’t do much for a hospital where optimizations tend to lean towards, durability, longevity, and ease of use. Usually a bunch of leads are strung between a conductive pad and an analog front end and display which interprets the data; very clearly identifying the patient as a subject for measurement.

uECG puts all this in a finger sized package. It’s no surprise that this got our attention at Maker Faire Rome and that they’re one of the Hackaday Prize Finalists. The battery, micro controller, and sampling circuitry are all nearly packed onto the board. The user has the option of streaming through BLE at 125 Hz or using a radio transceiver for 1 kHz of data. Even transmitting at these sample rates and filtering the signal of unwanted noise the device draws less than 10 mA.

The files to make the device are all on their page. Though they are planning to produce the boards in a small run which should be the best way to acquire one and start experimenting with this interesting data.

The Dyson Awards Definitely Do Not Suck

Named after British inventor James Dyson of cyclonic vacuum cleaner fame, the Dyson Awards are presented annually to current and recent students of engineering, industrial design, and product design, regardless of age. Students from 27 countries work alone or in groups to describe their inventions, which are then judged for their inventiveness, the production feasibility of their design, and the overall strength of the entry itself.

Much like our own Hackaday Prize, the Dyson Awards encourage and highlight innovation in all areas of science and technology. Some ideas help the suffering individual, and others seek to cure the big problems that affect everyone, like the microplastics choking the oceans. The Hackaday spirit is alive and well in these entries and we spotted at least one Hackaday prize alum — [Amitabh]’s Programmable Air. I had fun browsing through everything on offer, and you will too. This is a pretty good source of design inspiration.

Continue reading “The Dyson Awards Definitely Do Not Suck”

Hackaday Podcast 043: Ploopy, Castlevania Cube-Scroller, Projection Map Your Face, And Smoosh Those 3D Prints

Before you even ask, it’s an open source trackball and you’re gonna like it. Hackaday Editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams get down to brass tacks on this week’s hacks. From laying down fatter 3D printer extrusion and tricking your stick welder, to recursive Nintendos and cubic Castlevania, this week’s episode is packed with hacks you ought not miss.

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 (61 MB)

Places to follow Hackaday podcasts:

Continue reading “Hackaday Podcast 043: Ploopy, Castlevania Cube-Scroller, Projection Map Your Face, And Smoosh Those 3D Prints”