What better way to ring in the new year than with [iSax Laboratories]’ charming little project that replaces a doorbell with a Maneki-Neko cat figurine to ring a physical bell?
Details are unfortunately a bit light, but it looks like the Maneki-Neko cat was disassembled to allow for a small SG92R servo motor to attach to the arm pendulum mechanism. [iSax Laboratories] added wooden platform where the Maneki-Neko cat figurine is mounted along with some indicator lights, switches and the physical bell, with a cavity routed out in the base to allow for the Arduino Nano microcontroller.
[iSax Laboratories] has what looks to be an Assa Abloy Svara 23 wired answering machine, which has one of its output lines connected to the Nano to sense when a doorbell signal has come in.
The Maneki-Neko cats are cute, easily hackable figurines and we’ve featured them in the past, using them as everything from hit counters to POV displays.
Be sure to check out the demo video after the break!
Continue reading “Ring In The New Year With This Cute Cat Doorbell” →
Every once in a while we get sent a link that’s so cute that we just have to post it. For instance: this video from [Ludic Science]. It’s a wind-up chicken toy that kicks a pendulum back and forth. No more, no less.
But before you start screaming “NOT A HACK!” in the comments below, think for a second about what’s going on here. The bird has a spring inside, and a toothed wheel that is jammed and released by the movement of the bird’s foot (an escapement mechanism). This makes the whole apparatus very similar to a real pendulum clock.
Heck, the chick toy itself is pretty cool. It’s nose-heavy, so that under normal conditions it would tip forward. But when it’s wound up, tipping forward triggers the escapement and makes it hop, tipping it backward in the process and resetting the trigger. The top-heavy chicken is an inverted pendulum!
And have a look, if you will indulge, at the very nice low-tech way he creates the pivot: a bent piece of wire, run through a short aluminum tube, held in place by a couple of beads. Surely other pivots are lower-friction, but the advantage of using a rod and sleeve like this is that the pendulum motion is constrained to a plane so that it never misses the chicken’s feet.
Our only regret is that he misses (by that much) the obvious reference to a “naked chick” at the end of the video.
Continue reading “Chicken-powered Pendulum” →
Time Magazine recently posted a photo essay of some of their favorite robots. The article was composed in response to the recent release of the Pixar film Wall-E, and features some of the cutest, most cuddly automatons in the world. We were more interested in the most functional ones, huggability notwithstanding. See some of these Hack a Day veterans after the break.
Continue reading “Time Magazine’s Favorite Robots” →