Emotigun Sends A Stinging Message

Emojis, the graphical descendants of textual emoticons, are everywhere these days. They’re commonly used on social media platforms as a way of indicating a basic emotional response to a post. That wasn’t enough for [Tadas Maksimovas], who built the Emotigun to really get the point across.

Fundamentally, the Emotigun is akin to a Gatling cannon for small foam emojis. Firing over ten rounds per second, it’s built primarily out of wood, using Precise anti-cold rubber bands to fling its ammunition at targets. This was a practical choice, as the original Thera-Band green rubber tubes became inelastic in the cold temperatures of the testing environment. The finer details of the build are laid out in a document for those eager to know more.

The build was a team effort, with many pitching in, and even [Jorg Sprave] lending his expertise to the build. Given [Jorg]’s expertise, we’re not surprised the final result is so impressive. Reports are that filming the machine in action was quite an ordeal, with [Tadas] taking over 200 rounds to the face during the course of the shoot. Video after the break.

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Send Smooches Over Skype With The Kiss Interface

This project of [Nathan]’s certainly has a playful straightforwardness about it. His Skype ‘Kiss’ Interface has a simple job: to try to create a more intuitive way to express affection within the limits of using Skype. It all came about from a long distance relationship for which the chat program was the main means of communicating. Seeking a more intuitive and personal means of expressing some basic affection, [Nathan] created a capacitive touch sensor that, when touched with the lips, sends the key combination for either a kissy face emoji or the red lips emoji, depending on the duration.

Capacitive touch sensing allows for triggering the sensor without actually physically touching one’s lips to the electrodes, which [Nathan] did by putting a clear plastic layer over the PCB traces. His board uses an STM32 microcontroller with software handling the USB HID and STM’s TSC (Touch Sensing Controller) functionality. As a result, the board has few components and a simple interface, which was in keeping with the goal of rejecting feature creep and focusing on a simple task.

Clearly the unit works; but how well does it actually fulfill its intended purpose? We don’t know that yet, but we do know that [Nathan] seems to have everything he needs in order to find out. Either way, it’s a fun project that definitely fits the spirit of the Human-Computer Interface Challenge of The Hackaday Prize.