Shôtarô Kaneda’s Motorcycle, For Real

For fans of the iconic anime Akira, there’s only one way to traverse the mean streets of post-apocalyptic neo-Tokyo, and that’s the futuristic mount of motorcycle gang leader Shôtarô Kaneda. It’s a low-down feet-forward machine with, we’re told, “Ceramic double-rotor two-wheel drive,” which we’re guessing is some kind of hybrid electric drive with what sounds like a gas-turbine motor. Over the years, there have been a few different attempts to create a real version of Kaneda’s bike, and we’re pleased to see the latest from ヲタ工房「ポンちゃンネル」(Ota Kobo “Ponchanner”). It uses a twin-cylinder Kawasaki motor in an entirely custom-made frame, with dual single-sided swingarms front and rear and hub-centre steering.

The full build in the video below the break is pretty long but well worth a watch, and it includes a lot of very highly skilled metalwork. It’s an interesting choice not to attempt to make a direct replica of Kaneda’s bike. Still, we think some of the differences are dictated by this being very much a roadworthy and everyday-rideable machine.

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Naruto PCB Art

Ninja Art: PCB Nightlight Jutsu!

This latest PCB artwork comes to you courtesy of [Arnov]. His Naruto nightlight is definitely going to get your anime-loving friends’ attention.

The LED illumination styles are controlled by an ATtiny13A microcontroller. He probably could have opted for a 555 timer with this one, but maybe he wanted easily programmable blinking patterns. He also programmed the ATtiny to read a small button which he used to cycle through different illumination styles. Finally, a small LiPo battery makes this project pretty portable, so you can reposition it freely around your work area as you might like.

With all that being said, the meat of this project is in the physical dimensional design of the PCB. [Arnov] was able to design the circuit board in the shape of Naruto’s head, with pretty good detail for his hair, eyes, and headband. If you’ve ever tried your own PCB art, you know that it can be a fairly onerous task. He creatively used the copper traces as features within the PCB, in this case, Naruto’s ninja headband. We thought the subtle decision of putting the LEDs on the backside of the PCB was smart as well. By doing so, he used the solder mask as a natural light defuser which really gave the PCB a cool, yellow glow. Carefully removing the copper layer and not using a copper pour really aided in the aesthetic. He was also smart to opt for yellow solder mask since Naruto’s hair is yellow.

All in all, two thumbs up [Arnov]. While you’re here, check out some other great PCB art around Hackaday.

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A face made up of 3 OLEDs

It’s Nice Having Someone To Talk To

We all get a bit lonely from time to time and talking to other humans can be a challenge. With social robots still finding their way these days, [Markus] decided to find a DIY solution he could make cheaply, resulting in the “Conversation Face.”

The build is actually pretty simple, really. You have three different OLED displays, two for the eyes and one for the mouth, that have different graphic images programmed onto them depending on the expression being displayed. There’s also a small electret microphone that senses when you are speaking to the face.  Finally, a simple face cutout covers the electronics and solidifies the aesthetic.

The eyes are programmed identically since they would move together for most expressions. [Markus] was able to get a blinking animation by quickly moving a white circle vertically through the eye screens and the results are pretty convincing. He also moves the eyes around the OLED to make the expressions seem more dynamic.

There’s not much to the mouth. [Markus] only has a mouth open and a mouth closed animation. The mouth opens when it’s the face’s turn to talk or closes when the face should be listening. This information is easily determined by measuring the output of the microphone. Interestingly enough, you can program the face to be quiet and attentive when it’s being spoken to or quite chatty to show that it’s actively engaging in the conversation.

I don’t know about you, but we can’t decide if the Conversation Face is more or less creepy than those social robots. Either way, we thought you would get a kick out of it regardless. It also looks like a funny anime character if you ask us.

Robots From Dolls

Here at Hackaday, we may be somewhat divided in our opinions of Anime and Manga. We were all pretty impressed by this robot build(translated) though. We’re not totally clear on who actually did this build, but we can see a few pictures and a video on the site. The original doll looks to be roughly 3 or 4 inches tall, judging by the Eeepc keyboard that it is standing on. We counted 7 servos stuffed into this thing with a controller board hiding in the back of its hair. You’ll have to watch the video to see most of the details. It looks like there is one in the head, one in each shoulder, both hip joints,  and both feet. Though the motion at the end of the video is limited, we still think it is impressive. Creepy, but impressive.

note: the video is not embedded in the translated version. Just go to the non translated to watch it.

[thanks Francesco]

Black Ox Robot For Sale

Remember Gigantor, the anime about the original “Iron Man”? Fans of the show will want to take note: Vstone, maker of robots and other products, is now accepting orders for the Black Ox, Gigantor’s nemesis. It’s a real robot with 22 joints, and can be controlled via a wireless remote. The product can only be ordered online, and it’ll cost you a pretty penny. We hope you have $7,450 laying around. it’s $930 for the down payment. It’s as if the company were pretty much daring hobbyists to make their own cheaper versions. Street knowledge media has even more pictures.

[via CrunchGear]