Hackaday Podcast 086: News Overflow, Formula 1/3 Racer, Standing Up For Rubber Duckies, And Useless Machine Takes A Turn

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys peruse the world of hacks. There was so much news this week that we lead off the show with a rundown to catch you up. Yet there is still no shortage of hardware hacks, with prosthetic legs for your rubber ducky, a RC cart that channels the spirit of Formula 1, and a project that brings 80’s video conferencing hardware to Zoom. There’s phosphine gas on Venus and unlimited hacking projects inside your guitar. The week wouldn’t be complete without the joy of riffing on the most useless machine concept.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always, tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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Plastic Prosthetics For Rubber Duckies

Will someone please think of the rubber duckies?!

For decades they’ve been reduced to a laughing stock: a caricature of waterfowl. Left without a leg to stand on, their only option is to float around in the tub. And they don’t even do that well, lacking the feet that Mother Nature gave them, they capsize when confronted with the slightest ripple. But no more!

Arise!

Due to the wonders of 3D printing, and painstaking design work by [Jan] from the Rubber Ducky Research Center, now you can print your own rubber ducky feet. We have the technology! Your ducks are no longer constrained to a life in the tub, but can roam free as nature intended. The video (embedded below) will certainly tug at your heartstrings.

OK, it’s a quick print and it made my son laugh.

The base and legs probably don’t fit your duck as-is, but it’s a simple matter to scale them up or down while slicing. (Picture me with calipers on the underside of a rubber ducky.) The legs were a tight press-fit into the body, so you might consider slimming them down a tiny bit when doing the scaling, but this probably depends on your printer tolerances.

It looks snazzy in gold-fleck PETG, and would probably work equally well for some more elaborate rubber duckies as well.

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More Laser Shooting Range Goodness; Now With Duckies

Here’s another project that reminds us of the shooting games at a carnival. This was actually inspired by the video game Duck Hunt, and was undertaken as a class project between four students at San Jose State University. It uses moving glass targets that look like rubber duckies. The player shoot sensors at their base with a laser-tipped gun. A direct hit is indicated by the duck glowing blue.

[Lananh Nguyen] is a Business Marketing major, but he’s also minoring in Studio Art and has been blowing glass for years. We think he’ll always have a side job making and selling glass because those ducks look fantastic. [Michael] and [Chris] worked together, building out the oscillating platform which moves the targets back and forth, as well as wiring up light sensors to the Arduino. A green laser diode was added to an acrylic gun to complete the project. Check out the game play video after the break to see how it all comes together.

If you missed the other laser shooting range when we featured it last week, you’ll want to revisit that project¬†which uses tin cans as targets.

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