Dave went from a passive decoy to a high-speed boating machine.

Dave The Drive-able Duck Does Donuts

[Hey Jude] is tired of the machismo dripping from most modern electronic toys, especially stuff like monster trucks and police/military sets. He grew up on weird stuff, not aggression, and wanted to share the experience of kit-bashing a new toy together alongside his son.

This is essentially an R/C boat stuffed into a decoy duck, but there’s more to it than that. After removing the ballast that made him stay upright, [Hey Jude] performed plastic surgery on both sides of Dave the duck, creating a boat-shaped hole in the bottom, and a hinged bonnet out of the top which serves as an access panel for the boat’s innards. Everything is sealed up with Sugru, though you could probably use caulk or even hot glue (if you wanted something more temporary and less expensive).

The smartest bit has to be the loop on Dave’s back — this makes it easy to lower him into a pond from a footbridge, or rescue him if he stalls in the middle of the water. Check out the footage of Dave’s maiden voyage after the break.

Remote control of things will never get old. Do you have an old Nintendo Zapper lying around? Why not make it do your home automation bidding?

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Robot arm is Soft

Soft And Squishy Silicone Robotics

This robot arm and gripper is made almost entirely out of silicone. Casting the parts by hand, [Mike] assembled this working, remote controlled robot arm gripper.

We’ll let that sink in for a minute. He turned an oversized tooth-paste tube of silicone caulking… into a pneumatic robotic arm.¬†Holy cow. We’ve seen lots of soft robotics before, but this is some really cool stuff!

You see, [Mike] is actually planning on building an inexpensive prosthetic robot hand using this technology. This was merely a test to see how well he could make silicone based air muscles — we’d say it was pretty successful! Each silicone disk in this robotic appendage has four sealed pockets inside of it. When air flows in through them, they inflate, causing the entire appendage to stretch on one side. With four of these, and varying amounts of pressure, it’s possible to move the appendage in any direction!

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