Hackaday Links: Christmas Eve Eve, 2018

The entirety of Silicon Valley is predicated on the ability to ‘move fast and break laws’. Have an idea for a scooter startup? No problem, just throw a bunch of scooters on the curb, littering and e-waste laws be damned. Earlier this year, Swarm Technologies launched four rogue satellites on an Indian rocket. All commercial satellite launches by US companies are regulated by the FCC, and Swarm just decided not to tell the FCC. This was the first unauthorized satellite launch ever. Now, Swarm has been fined $900k. Now that we know the cost of launching unauthorized satellites, so if you’ve got a plan for a satellite startup, the cost for an unauthorized launch is a bit more than $200k per satellite. Be sure to put that in your budget.

Santa Claws! Liberty Games would like to donate to a charity this holiday season, but you can’t just write a check. That’s not fun. Instead, they connected a claw machine to the Internet, and anyone can play it. Setting up a webcam was easy enough, but they also had to move the claw and press the button over the Internet. A Raspberry Pi came to the rescue.

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, mankind’s first trip beyond Earth orbit. Now, using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data, NASA has reconstructed the famous ‘Earthrise’ photo taken by the crew. It’s in 4K, and we’re getting a great diagram of what pictures were taken when, through which window.

It’s that time of year again, and the 176th Air Defense Squadron is on high alert. This squadron, based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska has the AWACS in the air, on patrol, just waiting for the inevitable. You can take a look at their progress here, and please be sure to keep our service members in your thoughts this holiday season.

Show off your sculpture skills with small bits of wire! Get the blowtorch out because copper work hardens! [Roger] can’t enter the Circuit Sculpture contest, but he did manage to give a body to one of the Tindie heads.

Santa-pede contest winners

We received several fantastic entries. We laughed, we cried, we stared at our monitors in confusion, it was fantastic. Now we’re here to announce the winners of the Santa-Pede contest.

If you recall, the rules were pretty simple. Aquire a dancing santa (or other holiday dancing annoying toy thingy in the same fashion), tear it apart, build something that walks out of the pieces. We were aware that most of these have a very similar setup with one or two servos and a bit of plastic. That way everyone has a similar starting point.  We were amazed at what was done with so little.

Keep reading to find out who one each of the three categories: Most over-done,  best walker with no extra parts, and best presentation.

Continue reading “Santa-pede contest winners”

Reminder: Santa-Pede challenge ending soon

This is just a friendly reminder that our Santa-Pede challenge will be ending soon. Please send your submissions to us by emailing them to bbb@hackaday.com or by posting them in the projects section of our forum (did we mention we have a forum now?) by the end of January to be considered. We don’t care how silly, stupid, simple,or slick it is, just send it to us! We have some fun prizes from Adafruit and Make and even have [Phillip Torrone] as a judge. Get those submissions in ASAP.

Santa-Pede Challenge: Take Two

We are going to give the Santa-Pede Challenge another try. This time, you have till the end of January to do something (make it walk/crawl/scoot) with a dancing santa (or dancing musical holiday toy).  As you can see in my example, it doesn’t have to be complicated or efficient in any way.

Here are some issues and questions we would like to address:

1. Many of you suggested a banner of some type to remind you.
Great idea, we were waiting for some other features to be added, but we’ve just gone ahead and popped them in. You can see the featured items at the top of the right hand column.

2. Some pointed out that the “Buy Break Build” title isn’t very hack-ish since we often preach up-cycling.
yeah, we really think you should find these santas anywhere. The alliteration is fun though isn’t it?

You can get all the rules by going to the original post. Just note that the last date for entries will be January 31.

Santa-pede Challenge: the conclusion

At the end of October we announced the Buy, Break, Build series kick off with “The Santa-pede Challenge“.  The goal was to get your hands on one of those annoying dancing santas, tear it apart, then use its parts to build something that walks. We got our hands on some cool prizes and even got [Phillip Torrone] to be a guest judge. Join us after the break to see just what we came up with and maybe have a few laughs.

Continue reading “Santa-pede Challenge: the conclusion”

Single-motor walker for Santa-Pede Challenge inspiration

This LEGO hexapod uses just one motor for motion. In the video after the break you can see that what [Valetnin Bauer] accomplished is almost magical, using just 210 parts. A central drive shaft uses worm gears to transfer motion to each of the legs. The limb mounting technique results in a sort of rowing motion that closely mimics what you’d expect to see from a biological hexapod.

We thought this might provide some inspiration for the Buy Break Build: Santa-pede challenge. Sure, using LEGO is a lot easier than reusing Santa parts. But a lot can be accomplished with a little creativity. Another point of inspiration might be this one-motor walker that should be a snap to adapt to the challenge. Better get going, just twenty days let until the project deadline!

Continue reading “Single-motor walker for Santa-Pede Challenge inspiration”