Improved Arm Mounted Flame Thrower

prometheus-flame-thrower[Everett] is at it again with Prometheus, an arm mounted flame thrower.This is the third generation of the project and makes some huge advances over the second generation we saw last year. We’d say he’s reached cinema/stage-performance quality with his design.

The self-contained system is completely arm mounted with a fuel reservoir mounting behind the elbow. The new version adds an adjustable flow valve actuated by a servo motor to regulate the flame size. An arc generator has been incorporated to replace the lighter from the last version. A microcontroller measures wrist angle and takes care of creating the arc and regulating the fuel supply.

Prometheus is small, controllable, and frightening. See a full demonstration as well as some video of the prototyping process after the break. Does this make you wonder how much burn cream [Evertt’s] needed over the years?

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Server Not As Think As You Drunk It Is

server-in-whiskey-bottle

[Janos] pulled off a unique case mod by fitting a computer system inside of a whiskey bottle. Inside you’ll find a 733MHz processor, 256MB of ram, a 40GB hard drive, and a 60 watt power supply. The specs seem a little light but since this mod is from 2006 we certainly understand. Using the right server software this will still keep up with today’s demands.

It sounds like the hardest part was putting holes in the bottle. After a few failed attempts, [Janos] found a professional glass grinder to cut the openings for him.

The whole thing was running a little hot and instead of filling the bottle with oil (oh, how we wish he had) he added a second fan in the bottle’s neck and drilled some air intake holes. This brought the temperature under control while preserving the boozy look of this creative enclosure.

[via Lifehacker]

Augmented Xylophone

[Ania’s] been working on extending a xylophone in a project called Multixylophoniomnibus. She’s fitted a piezo sensor on the bottom of each xylophone key, interfacing it with an Arduino. When a mallet hits a key the corresponding box augments the sound in one of several ways. It looks like she’s prototyped a box that twangs a rubber band, one that uses a solenoid to clap mini cymbals together, one that rattles a glass full of beads, another that vibrates a glass full of water, and yet another that rattles a chain.

It’s nice to see how versatile the xylophone is for instrument hacking. Her Flickr set is linked above but we’ve also embedded some prototyping videos after the break.

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ArduiNIX: Nixie Shield For Arduino

ArduiNIX-nixie-shield

Flock of Butterflies has just published their third post in a series about the ArduiNIX, an Arduino shield that drives Nixie tubes.We’ve featured Nixie tube projects such as a single tube clock, free-formed Nixie circuits, and tubes in a bottle. Now the hurdle of handling high voltage tubes while protecting low voltage logic circuitry has been taken care of for you. The shield can be purchased as a kit but the Eagle CAD files are also available, allowing you to etch your own circuit board.

Although this is meant for the Arduino there is nothing to keep you from using it as a driver with any microcontroller. The board listens for 5V logic levels to switch the multiplexed display of up to eight tubes. Get your hands on some Nixies and give this a try yourself.

Related: ArduiNIX Part 1, ArduiNIX Part 2

Computer Learns From Tic-tac-toe

menace-tic-tac-toe-computer

MENACE, the Matchbox Educable Noughts And Crosses Engine, is a fancy name for a machine that plays Tic-Tac-Toe. The concept is a product of Professor [Donald Mitchie]’s work in the 1960’s and was featured as an example in the “A New THEORY of AWESOMENESS and MIRACLES” talk given at this year’s UK games conference.

[James Bridle] built this fascinating example of how a computational system can learn from its successes and failures. Each box corresponds to one of 304 different board layouts. The operator uses an index sheet to locate the box that corresponds to the current state, shakes the box, then looks to see which bean has randomly fallen into a partition in the box. The color/type of bean corresponds to a space that the machine has “chosen” for that move. If MENACE won the game a bead matching the move that was played would be added to each box used. If MENACE lost, a bead would be removed from each box used. This way the machine cannot make the exact same mistakes twice, and is more likely to repeat successful solutions.

[James] notes that he couldn’t find any evidence of this machine actually being built before. It is possible that this was always a theoretical device but now we’ve seen an actual build. We consider this to be a computer because it is calculating moves based on probability of success but what do you think? If you’re thirsting for more pictures there’s plenty to see in the Flickr set he’s posted.

[via BoingBoing]

Ping-pong Launcher Your Wife Can’t Know About

ping-pong-ball-launcher

Sometime the projects you see at the local hacker space are better left a secret when you return home for the evening. Case in point, this ping-pong ball launcher that can put holes in a sheet of OSB. The projectile is made more lethal because the ball has been injected with water to dramatically increase the density. Compressed air is used to propel it from the 14 round magazine with devastating effect.

We’ve embedded a video of the gun being fired after the break. The creator, [Ron Kessinger], demonstrated this at a Denver hacker space called Club Workshop. We’re hoping there’s no plans for turret automation because this thing’s dangerous! Either way, the significant other who usually watches out for our safety would never approve. Continue reading “Ping-pong Launcher Your Wife Can’t Know About”

Easy Dial Telephone

easy-dial-phone

[Taufeeq’s] Grandmother needed to be able to call her family members but due to ailing eyesight and memory this was a difficult task. He decided to help her with this by building a telephone that will auto-dial a number at the push of a button. [Taufeeq] built a case to hang on the wall which houses a hook for the receiver and two auto-dial buttons. The buttons are lighted and loosely based on the LED push buttons we covered in January. Housed in a separate box are a microcontroller and a dual tone multiple frequency IC used to dial the numbers. These are patched into a PCB from a standard telephone.

The result looks great and makes using the phone much easier with the simplified controls. We’ve included the demonstration video after the break.

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