Emojis are all well and good if you want to add a fun tiny picture to your textual communication to try and add some finer context or zing, but what if the appropriate tiny picture doesn’t accurately represent you or how you feel? Never fear, cowboys, the emoji set you’ve been dreaming of has now been created.
The set was initially created by the appropriately-named [pensivecowboy], by using scripts to place cowboy hats atop existing emojis from the twemoji set automatically. Over time, it was decided to instead just apply these hats to the 300 most-used emojis instead, with some manual fettling in cases where the script-generated result needed a little work.
Is this important, groundbreaking work? Your opinion on that likely depends on how much of a cow or a boy you are. But down at the ranch, it’ll likely bring many a smile to a pensive cowboy’s face. A quick search did note the absence of a :snake_in_my_boot: emoji, however, which could be a safety issue down the line.
The Internet is raising an entire generation that can speak entirely in emoticons. This reverses the six thousand year old evolution of written language and makes us (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻. It is, however, fun. There is a problem with these newfangled emoticons: no one actually types them; they’re all copied and pasted. This is inefficient, and once again technology is here to save us once again.
For his Hackaday Prize entry, [Duncan] is working on an EmojiPad. It’s a (mechanical!) keyboard for typing emoticons, but it can also be used for gaming, CAD design, or as a USB MIDI device.
The keyboard uses 16 Cherry MX switches in a standard diode matrix configuration. This is a USB keyboard, and for the controller, [Duncan] is using an ATMega328 with the V-USB library This is all well-worn territory for the mechanical keyboard crowd, so to spice things up, [Duncan] is going to add individually addressable LEDs underneath each keycap. The ATMega328 doesn’t have enough pins to do this the normal way, so all the LEDs will be Charlieplexed.
A keyboard for emoticons demands custom keycaps, but [Duncan] is having a hard time finding a good solution. Right now he’s planning on using blank keycaps with vinyl decals, a somewhat expensive option at $1 USD a keycap. A better, even more expensive option exists, but for something as ephemeral as an emoticon keyboard a sticker will do just fine.
Instructables user [zvizvi] was working on putting together a portfolio for his application into Industrial Design school, and thought it would be neat to repurpose an old rotary phone that used to belong to his grandmother.
He originally had pretty lofty goals for the phone, but eventually pared back his vision to include one-way communications to Twitter. After gutting the phone of its unnecessary parts, he got busy installing LEDs behind the dialer’s finger holes. The LEDs were connected to an MCP23017 I/O expander, which takes its direction from an Arduino he crammed into the phone’s shell.
When the receiver is lifted from the cradle, the Arduino initiates a connection to the Internet via the WiFly shield he installed. Once he dials a number, the Arduino translates the digit into a predefined emoticon, posting it to his Twitter page. While the emoticons are not quite as descriptive as the messages from the Tweeting Roomba we featured earlier this week, they relay his mood just fine.
It’s a fun project, and it happened to get [zvizvi] into the design school he was applying at, so we can’t ask for much more than that.