Cloud-Based Atari Gaming

While the Google Stadia may be the latest and greatest in the realm of cloud gaming, there are plenty of other ways to experience this new style of gameplay, especially if you’re willing to go a little retro. This project, for example, takes the Atari 2600 into the cloud for a nearly-complete gaming experience that is fully hosted in a server, including the video rendering.

[Michael Kohn] created this project mostly as a way to get more familiar with Kubernetes, a piece of open-source software which helps automate and deploy container-based applications. The setup runs on two Raspberry Pi 4s which can be accessed by pointing a browser at the correct IP address on his network, or by connecting to them via VNC. From there, the emulator runs a specific game called Space Revenge, chosen for its memory requirements and its lack of encumbrance of copyrights. There are some limitations in that the emulator he’s using doesn’t implement all of the Atari controls, and that the sound isn’t available through the remote desktop setup, but it’s impressive nonetheless

[Michael] also glosses over this part, but the Atari emulator was written by him “as quickly as possible” so he could focus on the Kubernetes setup. This is impressive in its own right, and of course he goes beyond this to show exactly how to set up the cloud-based system on his GitHub page as well. He also thinks there’s potential for a system like this to run an NES setup as well. If you’re looking for something a little more modern, though, it is possible to set up a cloud-based gaming system with a Nintendo Switch as well.

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3D Printed Material Might Replace Kevlar

Prior to 1970, bulletproof vests were pretty iffy, with a history extending as far as the 1500s when there were attempts to make metal armor that was bulletproof. By the 20th century there was ballistic nylon, but it took kevlar to produce garments with real protection against projectile impact. Now a 3D printed nanomaterial might replace kevlar.

A group of scientists have published a paper that interconnected tetrakaidecahedrons made up of carbon struts that are arranged via two-photon lithography.

We know that tetrakaidecahedrons sound like a modern invention, but, in fact, they were proposed by Lord Kelvin in the 19th century as a shape that would allow things to be packed together with minimum surface area. Sometimes known as a Kelvin cell, the shape is used to model foam, among other things.

The 3D printing, in this case, is a form of lithography using precise lasers, so you probably won’t be making any of this on your Ender 3. However, the shape might have some other uses when applied to conventional 3D printing methods.

We’ve actually had an interest in the history of kevlar. Then again, kevlar isn’t the only game in town.

Create Large Scale Domino Art With A Robot

Creating large domino art displays is a long and nerve-racking process, where bumping a single domino can mean starting from scratch. To automate the process of creating these displays, a team consisting of [Mark Rober], [John Luke], [Josh], and [Alex Baucom] built the Dominator, a robot capable of laying 100 000 dominos just over 24 hours. Video after the break.

[Mark Rober] had been toying with the idea for a few years, and the project finally for off the ground after [Mark] mentioned it in a talk he gave at the 2019 Bay Area Maker Faire. To pull it off, the team created an entire domino laying system, including an automated loading station, a precision indoor positioning system, and the robot itself. The robot is built around a frame of aluminum extrusions, riding on three omnidirectional wheels driven by precision servo motors. A large tray mounted to the front of the robot can hold and release 300 dominos at a time. The primary controller is a Raspberry Pi 4, which receives positioning information from a Marvelmind indoor positioning system and a downward-facing IR camera that looks for reflective markers on the floor. The loading system uses a conveyor system to feed the different colored dominos to an industrial Kuka robot that drops them down a grid of tubes that can hold multiple layers at once.

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Pinewood Derby Scale Measures CG

If you suffer from nostalgia, you might remember carving a block of wood into a car, adding some wheels, and racing it against other contestants in a pinewood derby. Today’s derby is decidedly high tech though, and we were impressed with this car scale that also figures out the car’s center of gravity.

Based on an Arduino, of course, along with a pair of HX711 load cells. Why a pair? That’s how the device measures the center of gravity is by weighing the front and rear of the car separately.

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Bright Bike Light Might Make Them Back Off

[Tegwyn☠Twmffat] recently got a job as a part-time bike courier and has come to realize just how dangerous it can be to mix leg-powered transportation with various sizes of engine-driven machinery. Some people would be content with a light, but why use a measly little bulb or two when you can have a giant, illuminated sign with a clear call to action? Because is there really any ceiling when it comes to safety precautions?

We think that 180 LEDs in a familiar formation oughta do it. An ultrasonic sensor detects cars behind the bike with the help of an Adafruit Feather. All those LEDs are controlled by a pair of L293 motor driver chips and a slide potentiometer for some dimming action. After all, they need to get enough juice to be visible in broad daylight, but also be dimmable so as not to blind people at night.

[Tegwyn☠Twmffat] calls this a simple project that is suitable for beginners. We think that is great, because bespoke safety measures should be accessible for everyone. So go get those Gerbers and make one for yourself! You can check it out in action on the back of a tricycle after the break.

Want a more relaxing ride? Recumbent is the reclined way to go.

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Fail Of The Week: The Metal Hot End Upgrade

My son, Patrick, has observed on more than one occasion that I do not like 3D printing. That may sound odd, because I built a printer back in 2012 and since then I’ve built a lot of printers and I currently have at least three in my lab. But Patrick correctly realized that I don’t actually enjoy printing things that I need. What I do enjoy is building, fixing and even more importantly improving the printers themselves. If you are reading Hackaday, you probably know how that is. This is the story of an upgrade gone bad, although the ending is happy enough. If you’ve ever thought about moving from a traditional hot end to an all-metal hot end, you might want to hear me out and maybe I can save you some trouble.

A few years ago, I picked up an Anet A8 for a really low price. As printers go, it is adequate. Not bad, but not amazing. But it is a fun printer because you really need to do some work on it to brace the acrylic frame and fix other shortcomings. I merrily improved the printer quite a bit over a relatively short period of time and I also bought a bunch of aluminum extrusion to rebuild the frame to the AM8 plans you can find on Thingiverse.

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New Video Series: Raspberry Pi Pico And RP2040 Deep Dive With Uri Shaked

In case you’ve been living under a rock that doesn’t have internet access, the Raspberry Pi Foundation got into the silicon sales and microcontroller game all at once this year with the Raspberry Pi Pico. It’s small, it’s capable, and it costs a measly $4. Surely you have one or two of them by now, right? But how much do you know about what it can do?

Or maybe you don’t have one yet, but it’s on your list. In either case, you can get started learning about them right away because [Uri Shaked]’s Raspberry Pi Pico and RP2040 Deep Dive course has recently been freed from the hallowed halls of HackadayU. He even built an emulator to go with it. [Uri] is a great instructor, and we’re sure that goes double if you ever need a salsa dance teacher, which he has also mastered.

This class was held for five weeks beginning in May 2021, with each session being roughly an hour long. The only prerequisite is a basic understanding of bitwise math, but there are resources for that on the class IO page linked above.

Each class is incredibly well-organized and informative. In the first class, [Uri] begins building a living document that includes the class agenda, links to all resources used and mentioned, code examples, and assembly instructions where applicable. It’s basically a syllabus plus a whole lot more. [Uri] also spends a lot of time in the incredibly thorough 649-page data sheet for the RP2040, and a little bit of time in the much shorter Getting Started guide. If you think the data sheet is inaccessible, you’ll likely change your tune by the end of the first class after you’ve seen [Uri] use and peruse it.

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