Most useless machine
We love ’em, and we hope you do too. Here’s [Phase2plus’] take on the most useless machine.
Scratching like it’s 1989
[Nick] spent three bucks at the thrift store and ended up buying days worth of fun with this cassette player. He hacked it to scratch like vinyl.
3D printed jawbone
This lady now has her own 3D-printed jawbone. We’re not talking about the Bluetooth headset… it’s an actual bone replacement! And yes, the skeleton for the Terminator was 3D printed… we’re that much closer now. [Thanks Steve]
Why not let robots decide our sports gambling choices? [Eric] let this slew of HexBugs battle it out as an early indicator for who would win the Super Bowl. Seems he has no shortage of the little toys, all of which received an MSP430 upgrade. The firmware actually implements obstacle avoidance, but he makes a poke at the Chicago Bears who seem to have the same mission.
Foil fix for worn out remotes
[Viktor] found an interesting repair tip. If you’ve got remote controlers whose buttons are not working so well anymore you may be able to fix them with tin foil. He uses a single-hole punch to clip out circles which are attached to the underside of the misbehaving button. Worth a try!
There are many microcontrollers available to make robots with, but few that are built with the exact features that you would need to construct one. Meet the [EMGRobotics MSP430G2553] robot controller board.
At $15 without the CPU or $17 with a [MSP430G2553] already plugged into the socket, this control board may make some Arduino enthusiasts take note for their next project. Besides a very attractive price (you’ll have to go to the home page to make a purchase), this board ships with a built in IR range sensor and accommodations to drive up to four hobby servo motors. If this isn’t enough for you, two 3 volt DC motors can be soldered directly to connections on the board and controlled independently and in either direction. In other words you don’t have to muck about with trying to build your own H-bridge circuit, it’s all taken care of for you!
The article shows it controlling a Hexbug spider. [EMGRobotics] has actually done something similar (and well-documented) before with this platform, so be sure to check out the post about hacking the Hexbug iteslf!
Given a box full of cockroaches, the first thing most of us would do is try to locate the nearest source of fire. Lucky for the roaches, the team over at Backyard Brains look at things a bit differently than we do.
Their latest effort combines cockroaches and electronics to create a bio-electrical hybrid known as the RoboRoach. Using control circuitry donated from a HexBug inchworm and some 555 timers to create properly timed pulses, they have been able to control the gross movement of cockroaches. Stimulation is directly delivered to the antennae nerves of the cockroaches, enabling them to tell the roach which direction to turn and when.
Currently there are some ahem, bugs in the system, which they are working diligently to resolve. Only about 25% of the roaches they wire up can be controlled at present. Once that ratio improves however, they will be looking to offer RoboRoach as a beta product. If you are aiming to add a beetle air force to supplement your remote-controlled cockroach army, be sure to check this out.
Continue reading to see a video of the RoboRoach in action.
Continue reading “Coming Soon To A Store Near You: Remote-control Cockroaches” →
This hexapod was sent to us on the tipline from [Jamie]. If you want to take the six-legged robot a bit farther than our earlier posts, here and here, this is the hexapod for you. The structural pieces were modeled, and cut out of 3mm thick plywood using CNC. He used TO-220 transistor nylon isolation mounts for the bearings, and bolts and locknuts at each joints. The main body houses eight servos, six for the legs and two for a camera head pan and tilt. There are another six servos, one for each leg, to lift the feet. The whole thing is controlled by an Atmel AT90S8515 clocked at 8 Mhz. The code was compiled using WinAVR free GCC GNU-C. He uses a PlayStation controller to help debug the walk cycles, and change parameters as needed. Watch a video after the jump.
Continue reading “Six Legged Crawler” →