a DIY smoke grenade pours out smoke from a vape pen assembly

R/C Smoke Grenade Rolls With The Changes

[Davis DeWitt] gets to do something that many of us only dream of — build cool working props for movies. This time, the director asked for a realistic smoke grenade that can roll up to a mark and stop on it every take, pouring out smoke the entire time.

The innards of a DIY remote control smoke grenade.

[Davis] decided on a hamster ball-esque design that uses a pair of motors that he can control remotely, plus the innards from a vape pen and a tiny fan to distribute the smoke. The motors spin 3D printed wheels using printed gears attached to the shafts, which drive the whole assembly forward or backward.

In order to get everything to fit inside the printed canister, [Davis] had to use the smallest components he could find, like the Seeed Xiao SAMD21 and the DRV8833 motor driver. The whole thing is powered by a pair of 18650s, which, as you might imagine, really factored into the weight distribution scheme. In this case, the batteries act as a pendulum and keep the inner assembly level and not spinning wildly inside the canister.

Finally, it was time for the smoke grenade aesthetics. After what seemed like endless sanding, priming, and masking, [Davis] had a really good-looking smoke grenade that just needed some vinyl lettering and fake wear-and-tear to be complete. Be sure to check it out in action after the break.

We don’t see a lot of grenades around here, but when we do, they’re often keyboards.

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Goldilocks Beverage Coaster Tells You When It’s Just Right

If you ask us, morning is the only excuse we need for a hot caffeinated beverage — weather be damned. Wherever [gokux] is, they may be experiencing actual winter this year, given that they are out there getting cozy with a hot cup of what-have-you. But how do they know it’s at the right temperature for drinking? Enter the temperature-monitoring smart coaster.

At the heart of this build is a GY-906 infrared temperature sensor, which senses the warmth (or lack thereof) and displays the degrees on a small OLED screen thanks to a Seeed Xiao SAMD21. To make things simple, there is also an ideogram that corresponds to the current temperature — snowflake for too cold, danger sign for too hot, and thumbs up for that just-right range. Although this coaster is mostly 3D-printed, the mug sits on a slotted piece of aluminium that is removable for easy cleaning. This would be a good-looking and useful addition to any desk.

This is isn’t the first temperature-indicating beverage coaster we’ve seen. The most recent one ultimately used a probe, which is likely about as accurate (and messy) as you can get with these things.