For those who love travelling around the world, life hasn’t been great for the past two years. World-wide lockdowns and travel restrictions have kept many people stuck inside their own homes when they would rather be jetting off to distant cities. If you’re one of those bothered by Wanderlust, [Alex Shakespeare] might have a solution for you: a window that shows a live image from another location around the world.
To make the experience as lifelike as possible, [Alex] used an actual window in his London home and mounted a large TV behind it. A wall-mounted map enables him to choose any of five locations by moving a little magnetic plane across the map. LEDs show the available spots, while magnetometers detect the motion of the aircraft. An ESP8266 then instructs a media server to connect to the appropriate livestream, which is subsequently displayed on the TV screen.
All of this is clever enough already, but [Alex] decided to go one step further and added a thermal sensor that detects the location of any persons standing near the display and shifts the image a little when they move. This simulates the perspective of looking out a real window, and should give the image a more life-like quality than if it were simply static.
The whole design is available on [Alex]’s GitHub page, ready to be replicated by anyone who wants to look out over some exotic location. If, instead, you want a way to reminisce about the places you’ve visited in the past, check out this cool souvenir globe. We’ve also seen a neat Google Maps based one a few years back.
Well this is unusual. Behold the Magic Flute of Rat Mind Control, and as a project it is all about altering the response to the instrument, rather than being about hacking the musical instrument itself. It’s [Kurt White]’s entry to the Musical Instrument Challenge portion of The Hackaday Prize, and it’s as intriguing as it is different.
[Kurt] has created a portable, internet-connected, automated food dispenser with a live streaming video feed and the ability to play recorded sounds. That device (named Nicodemus) is used as a Skinner Box to train rats — anywhere rats may be found — using operant conditioning to make them expect food when they hear a few bars of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man played on a small recorder (which is a type of flute.)
In short, the flute would allow one to summon hordes of rats as if by magic, because they have been trained by Nicodemus to associate Iron Man with food.
Many of the system’s elements are informed by the results of research into sound preference in rats, as well as their ability to discriminate between different melodies, so long as the right frequencies are present. The summoning part is all about science, but what about how to protect oneself from the hordes of hungry rodents who arrive with sharp teeth and high expectations of being fed? According to [Kurt], that’s where the magic comes in. He seems very certain that a ritual to convert a wooden recorder into a magic flute is all the protection one would need.
Embedded below is something I’m comfortable calling the strangest use case video we’ve ever seen. Well, we think it’s a dramatized use case. Perhaps it’s more correctly a mood piece or motivational assist. Outsider Art? You decide.
Telepresence robots are now a reality, you can wheel around the office and talk to people, join a meeting, see stuff and bump into your colleagues. But imagine if telepresence were applied to deep sea exploration. Today we can become oceanographers through the telepresence system created by Bob Ballard (known for locating the Titanic, discovered deep sea geothermal vents, and more) and his team at the Inner Space Center. Put on your Submariner wristwatch because its time for all of us to explore the ocean depths via the comfort of our home or office.
The time has arrived, the greatest hardware conference on earth has landed in Belgrade, Serbia. All of the talks are live streaming now! The lineup of speakers is incredible and you can bask in every minute of it.
Don’t settle for a one-way media experience. Take part in the conversation with the live chat. Click the “request to join this project” button in the upper right of the Hackaday Belgrade Project page.
There’s always one more thing, right? Hack the badge! Try your hand at writing code for the badge using the software emulator, then submit it to the competition. We’ll be starting the Badge demo party at 23:45 (UTC+1). Want someone to try your code out on a badge ahead of time? Just jump on the chat (mentioned above) and ask!
Want to feel the pulse of the hardware community in Europe… this is it.