[Build Some Stuff] created an unusual spiral clock that’s almost entirely made from laser-cut wood, even the curved and bendy parts.
The clock works by using a stepper motor and gear to rotate the clock’s face, which consists of a large dial with a spiral structure. Upon this spiral ramp rolls a ball, whose position relative to the printed numbers indicates the time. Each number is an hour, so if the ball is halfway between six and seven, it’s 6:30. At the center of the spiral is a hole, which drops the ball back down to the twelve at the beginning of the spiral so the cycle can repeat.
The video (embedded below) demonstrates the design elements and construction of the clock in greater detail, and of particular interest is how the curved wall of the spiral structure consists of a big living hinge, a way to allow mostly rigid materials to flex far beyond what they are used to. Laser cutting is well-suited to creating living hinges, but it’s a technique applicable to 3D printing, as well.
What’s the worst part about packaging up a whole lot of the same basic thing? It might just be applying the various warning stickers to the outside of the shipping box. Luckily, [Mr Innovative] has built an open-source automatic sticker dispenser that does the peeling for you, while advancing the roll one at a time quite satisfyingly.
This tidy build is made primarily of 20×20 extruded aluminium and stainless steel smooth rod. All the yellow bits are 3D printed. The brains of this operation is an Arduino Nano, with an A4988 stepper motor driver controlling a NEMA17.
Our favorite part of this build is the IR sensor pair arranged below the ready sticker. It detects when a sticker is removed, then the stepper advances the roll by one sticker height. The waste is collected on a spool underneath.
Between the video and the instructions, [Mr Innovative] has made it quite simple to build one for yourself. Definitely check this one out after the break.
DIY e-bikes are often easy to spot. If they’re not built out of something insane like an old washing machine motor, the more subtle kits that are generally used still stand out when compared to a non-assisted bike. The motors tend to be hub- or mid-drive systems with visible wires leading to a bulky battery, all of which stand out when you know what to look for. To get a stealthy ebike that looks basically the same as a standard bicycle is only possible with proprietary name-brand solutions that don’t lend themselves to owner repair or modification, but this one has at least been adapted for use with an open source motor controller.
The bike in use here is a model called the Curt from Estonian ebike builder Ampler, which is notable in that it looks indistinguishable from a regular bicycle with the exception of the small 36-volt, 350-watt hub motor somewhat hidden in the rear wheel. [BB8] decided based on no reason in particular to replace the proprietary motor controller with one based on VESC, an open-source electric motor controller for all kinds of motors even beyond ebikes. Installed on a tiny Arduino, it fits inside the bike’s downtube to keep the stealthy look and can get the bike comfortably up to around 35 kph. It’s also been programmed to turn on the bike’s lights if the pedals are spun backwards, and this method is also used to change the pedal assist level, meaning less buttons and other user-interface devices on the handlebars. Continue reading “An Open-Source Ebike Motor Controller”→
While electromyography (EMG) is great for identifying neuro-muscular abnormalities and allows for amazing prosthetic limbs to work, it can also be used for fun. As you’ll see in the video after the break, accurate block-stacking (and possible candy-grabbing) depends on teamwork and tensed muscles.
Though the user provides the muscle, the brains behind this operation is an Arduino Uno with a Muscle BioAmp shield stacked on top, which [Upside Down Labs] also created. This shield makes it ridiculously easy to connect EMG sensors and other I²C devices like screens and, well, servo claws. From there, it’s really just a matter of printing the claw, connecting it to a 9g servo, and using an accompanying kit to prepare the skin and connect the muscles to the Arduino. Be sure to check it out in tense block-stacking action after the break.
If you have an iota of musicality, you’ve no doubt noticed that you can play music using glass bottles, especially if you have several of different sizes and fill them with varying levels of water. But what if you wanted to accompany yourself on the bottles? Well, then you’d need to build a bottle-playing robot.
First, [Jens Maker Adventures] wrote a song and condensed it down to eight notes. With a whole lot of tinkling with a butter knife against their collection of wine and other bottles, [Jens] was able to figure out the lowest note for a given bottle by filing it with water, and the highest note by emptying it out.
With the bottle notes selected, the original plan was to strike the bottles with sticks. As it turned out, 9g servos weren’t up to the task, so he went with solenoids instead. Using Boxes.py, he was able to parameterize a just-right bottle holder to allow for arranging the bottles in a circle and striking them from the inside, all while hiding the Arduino and the solenoid driver board. Be sure to check it out after the break.
It’s really quite unfortunate that Hackaday/Supplyframe employees and their families are not allowed to place in the 2023 Halloween Hackfest, because our own [Tom Nardi] has thrown down a costume gauntlet with his kids’ proton pack conversion.
Starting with an inert off-the-shelf toy from 2021, [Tom] set out to make the thing more awesome in every way possible. For one thing, it’s blue, and outside of the short-lived animated series The Real Ghostbusters, who ever heard of a blue proton pack? So one major change was to paint it matte black and age it with the old silver rub ‘n buff technique. And of course, add all the necessary stickers.
[Tom] added plenty of blinkenlights, all running off of an Arduino Nano clone and a pair of 18650s. He got lucky with the whole power cell thing, because an 8 x 5050 RGB LED stick fits there perfectly and looks great behind a PETG diffusing lens. He also drilled out and lit up the cyclotron, because what’s a proton pack without that? There’s even a 7-segment LED voltmeter so Dad can check the power level throughout the night.
Finally, he had to do a bit of engineering to make the thing actually wearable by his daughter. A frame made of square aluminium tubing adds strength, and a new pair of padded straps make it comfortable. Be sure to check it out in action after the break.
Have you ever wanted to be the best Super Mario Brothers speedrunner, but you just couldn’t do the frame-perfect inputs? Fear not, because [Gregory Strike] is here to save the day with his automatic NES controller!
In his previous video, [Greg] already made an automatic controller that plays a sequence of inputs at the perfect time, but it still failed some of the frame-perfect tricks. So what gives? Deviation in the timing of the NES itself gives, as he shows how the NES doesn’t sample inputs at exactly the same time every frame. To account for this, he used the latch signal, which starts the controller reading process as a time reference, and replaced his digital “mixtape” with a more time-flexible Arduino. After the modification, he shows it pulling off frame-perfect inputs every time he plays Super Mario Brothers.
But if you have a controller that can do frame-perfect inputs and it can be connected to a computer, you can connect the controller to the internet! That’s right, [Greg] created a Twitch bot that tells the Arduino exactly what inputs to send, which then relays it to the NES. It accepts simple sequences of inputs via chat, and you can try it out right now on [Greg]’s Twitch stream.
This project shows promising results, and we think it’s possible to do much more with its internet connection. We’re certainly looking forward to what [Greg] decides to make next.