Play A Claw Machine From Your Armchair

Have you ever been seduced by a claw machine in an arcade, only to have your hopes of a cuddly toy dashed as it fails to hang onto your choice? Then you’re in luck, because now you can play to your heart’s content online. [Ryan Walmsley] wants you to control his Raspberry Pi-driven claw machine.

Hardware-wise he’s replaced the original 8052 microcontroller and relay control with the Pi and a custom H-bridge PCB. We particularly light the warning: “Highish voltage”, and we feel it should appear more often. There is some code in his GitHub repository, but we suspect it doesn’t have everything.

We had a lot of fun digging into the documentation on this one. From his initial thoughts through some prototyping and a board failure, to the launch of the online version and finally a run-down of how it all works, he’s got it covered.

Sadly the machine itself isn’t online all the time, it seems to be only online when [Ryan] is at home, so if you live on the other side of the world from his British base you may be out of luck. Fortunately though his previous live streams are online, so you can see it in action on a past outing below the break.

Of course what kind of swag do you load up in a claw machine like this one? On his Twitter feed we’ve seen tests of the aliens from Toy Story (who start their existence in a claw machine so quite fitting). The majority of items show in is recorded games — now numbering over 2000 — have been our beloved companion cube.

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Brain Controlled Tracked Robot

[Imetomi] found himself salvaging a camera from a broken drone when he decided to use it in a new project, a tracked robot with a live video feed from the mounted camera.

… I had a cheap Chinese drone that was broken, but its camera seemed to be operating and when I took apart my drone I found a small WiFi chip with a video transmitter. I (decided) that I will use this little circuit for a project and I started to buy and salvage the parts.

Being a tracked robot, it can negotiate most types of terrain and climb hills up to 40 degrees. It is powered by two 18650 lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 2600 mAh and the remote control is based on the HC-12 serial communication module. You can control it with a joystick and watch the camera’s live-stream in a virtual reality glass. That’s pretty neat but it’s not all.

[Imetomi] also used a hacked Nacomimi Brainwave Toy to make a brain controlled version of his robot. The brainwaves are detected using sensors placed on the scalp. To actually control it the operator has to focus on the right hand to move right, focus on the left hand to move left, blink to move forward and blink again to stop. There is also an ultrasonic sensor to help navigation so the robot doesn’t bump into things. It’s not very precise but you can always build the joystick version or, even better, make a version with both controls.

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[CNLohr] Reverses Vive, Valve Engineers Play Along

[CNLohr] needs no introduction around these parts. He’s pulled off a few really epic hacks. Recently, he’s set his sights on writing a simple, easy to extend library to work with the HTC Vive VR controller equipment, and in particular the Watchman controller.

There’s been a lot of previous work on the device, so [Charles] wasn’t starting from scratch, and he live-streamed his work, allowing others to play along. In the process, two engineers who actually worked on the hardware in question, [Alan Yates] and [Ben Jackson], stopped by and gave some oblique hints and “warmer-cooler” guidance. A much-condensed version is up on YouTube (and embedded below). In the links, you’ll find code and the live streams in their original glory, if you want to see what went down blow by blow. Code and more docs are in this Gist.

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Hackaday Belgrade Talks will Live Stream Saturday

We have an amazing line-up of talks for Hackaday | Belgrade, Saturday April 9, in Belgrade, Serbia. The talks have been sold out for weeks. You can still get a ticket to the night’s concerts if you’re in the area. Either way, the big news this morning is that we will stream all of the talks live!

Live-stream links will be posted on the conference page as soon as we get them. You should also join the chat over on the Hackaday | Belgrade project page. Just click the “request to join this project” button in the upper right. Do that right now.

There are a ton of great speakers, check the poster below. I’m excited to hear Mike Harrison (mikeselectricstuff) speak about his journey down the rabbit hole of video projection tech, Phoenix Perry’s talk on Forward Futures, Voja Anotic’s talk about the hardware badge, Peter Philip’s talk about reinventing VHDL, and pretty much all of the rest too! From the Hackaday crew you can watch Sophi Kravitz give a talk on her shutter glass project, Chris Gammell will be talking Top Down Electronics, and I will end the 8-versus-32 argument once and for all (yeah right!).

While you’re listening to the talks, why not try your hand at badge hacking. You don’t need any hardware, you can use the emulator to try out your hacked code right now your own computer. We’ll be sending out prizes for the best entries and there are only a handful so far.

You do not want to miss these talks! If you don’t believe me, check out the talks from SuperCon last November and you’ll be convinced — Hackaday conferences provide the best collection of hardware talks anywhere.

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Transcend DrivePro 200 Hack to Stream and Script; Begs for More

Transcend markets their DrivePro 200 camera for use as a car dashcam. We’re a bit surprised at the quality and apparent feature set for something relegated to a rather mundane task as this. But [Gadget Addict] poked around and found a nice little nugget: you can live stream the video via WiFi; the framerate, quality, and low-lag are pretty impressive. In addition to that, the next hack is just waiting for you to unlock it.

As it stands right now you turn on the camera’s built-in WiFi AP, telnet into two different ports on the device (sending it into smartphone connected mode) and you’ll be able to live stream the view to your computer using RTSP. Great, that in itself is a good hack and we’re sure that before long someone will figure out an automatic way to trigger this. [GA] also found out how to get the thing into script mode at power-on. He hasn’t actually executed any code… that’s where you come in. If you have one of these pull it out and get hacking! It’s a matter put putting files on the SD storage and rebooting. Crafting this file to enable shell access would open up an entire world of hacks, from things like time-lapse and motion sensing to special processing and filtering in real time. We think there’s huge potential so keep us up-to-date as you find new ways to pwn this hardware.

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Hackaday RBC team finished!

Our Project: “Minotaur’s Revenge”

We built two giant marble mazes. The maze itself is all mechanical, with a 2 person team controlling x and y axis. The fun happens though when you hit buttons to activate magnets and traps on the other team’s table.

Check out the Live Stream. Nothing is happening at the moment, but a couple of dedicated Hackaday fans are checking out an empty couch. We have a very strange readership.

[sonofabit] recorded the last 8 hours of the build at 1fps and made a time lapse video. It’s an hour long, and we thank [sonofabit]’s CPU for all its hard work. You can also check out the video after the break.

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