Saturday afternoon robot cooking

What happens when you combine an IR tracking PS3 Eyetoy, and a high-resolution projector? If you answered multi-touch display, you’re on the right track. Add a Wii Nunchuck controlled robot, a pinch of Community Core Vision tracking software combined with Processing, and the piece de resistance, a modified Memo TUIO particle system and you get the mesmerizing video above.

Check out this combination of crazy robotics and more with SparkFun’s free robot hobby builders meet-up on Saturday.

[Thanks Anon]

Extended IR input


We’re not sure why [Roteno] prefers to have his TV and cable boxes not face him when he’s sitting on the couch, but to each their own. You may already see many problems with this setup: discoloration from LCD viewing angle, difficulty playing Wii, oh and most importantly – not being able to change the channel with his IR remote. [Roteno] was lucky enough, however, to have an IR remote input on the back of his cable box. All it took was a 3.5mm jack and a spare IR receiver and he was back in business. Sure it’s not as technical as some of our cable or IR hacks and we would like to see someone try this who doesn’t have as easily accessible IR input on the back of their cable box. But either way, here’s one more step to never having to leave that couch.

Home made rollerbar mouse

4003919989_f0f0c6cd65 (Custom)

[Judyofthewoods] has hacked together this rollerbar mouse. We’ve heard people talk about these in a positive way, going on about how comfortable they are. We haven’t really experimented with one much to verify. This one looks surprisingly nice considering it is made from scrap. The image above is showing it without the cover that hides the hot glue and optical sensor. There isn’t much of a writeup, but as you can see from the picture, there isn’t much necessity for one either. ¬†She seems to have done a great job stating that it is fairly smooth with only minor jittering.

Impress: tactile interface


Touch screen interfaces are generally hard and flat. Impress tries to break from that tradition by making the display flexible. Allowing you to feel more like you are interacting with the display. In the image above, the circles seem to physically fall into the dent made by your fingers. Another application shows some rudimentary 3d modeling being done by physically pushing on the vertexes. This prototype is very interesting, we’d love to see much higher resolution on the input side of things. It states that it does pressure sensitivity, but we weren’t able to distinguish it in the video. Maybe you can, catch the video after the break. Maybe laying one of these on some foam would be another alternative.

Continue reading “Impress: tactile interface”

Parts: 8bit IO Expander (PCF8574)


Sometimes a project has more sensors, buttons, or LEDs than your microcontroller has pins. The PCF8574 is an easy way to add 8 low-speed input or output pins to a microcontroller. A configurable address lets multiple PCF8574s exist on the same bus, so two microcontroller pins can control dozens of IO pins. We’ll show you how to use this chip below.

Continue reading “Parts: 8bit IO Expander (PCF8574)”