Music generation guided by machine learning can make great projects, but there’s not usually much apparent control over the results. The system makes what it makes, and it’s an achievement if the results are not obvious cacophony. But that’s all different with GETMusic which allows for a much more involved approach because it understands and is able to create music by tracks. Among other things, this means one can generate a basic rhythm and melody first, then add additional elements to those existing ones, leaving the previous elements unchanged.
GETMusic can make music from scratch, or guided from examples, and under the hood uses a diffusion-based approach similar to the method behind AI image generators like Stable Diffusion. We’ve previously covered how Stable Diffusion works, but instead of images the same basic principles are used to guide the model from random noise to useful tracks of music.
The build is a wheelless bike that relies on long thin tracks mounted to a mountain bike frame. The tracks carriers are fabricated using steel box section fitted with cogged rollers. The tracks themselves are made using a pair of bicycle chains joined with welded steel bars. They’re fitted with slices of rubber cut out of traditional bike tires for grip. The rear track is driven from the bike’s pedals, while the front is merely left to run freely.
By virtue of its wide, flat tracks, the bike actually stands up on its own. It’s capable of riding in a straight line at slow speed, albeit relatively noisily. Steering is limited by virtue of the flat tracks, which don’t operate well at an angle to the ground. Since the tracks only contact the ground at a point, too, the bike has very high ground pressure, which would make it likely to sink into anything less solid than asphalt.
[3D Honza] has been sharing progress pictures and videos on his Twitter account, and just recently released the first version of his design. Version 1.0 is just the mechanics, but he’s already at work on version 2.0 which includes the ability to attach servos to drive the treads. At this writing, the design is currently downloadable directly from his site and includes CAD files, which is great to see.
One part of the design we’d like to draw your attention to is the chunky hinge that doubles as a kind of axial structure making up the body. This allows the tank to print in an unfolded state with the treads and wheels flat on the print bed. After printing, the tank gets folded up a bit like a taco to attain its final form. It’s a clever layout that allows the unit to be printed according to a filament-based 3D printer’s strengths, printing as a single piece that transforms into a small tank chassis, complete with working treads, in a few seconds.
When we think of tracked vehicles, we normally think of tanks, or perhaps heavy construction machinery. Meanwhile the average member of the public is left out of the fun. [Bob] of [Making Stuff] won’t be one of them, however, having put together a ride-on tracked vehicle for his own enjoyment.
The machine is welded together from plenty of steel, making it more than tough enough to soak up the punishment of off-road duty. The design features four suspended buggy wheels on either side running inside rubber tracks, with a cogged drive wheel at the front. Propulsion is thanks to a 440 cc DuroMax engine good for a full 18 horsepower and 26 ft-lbs of torque, driving the tracks through a differential mounted up front.
The design has one major issue at the moment. The heavy engine is mounted ahead of the front wheel inside the tracks, which means the vehicle wants to nosedive at the slightest provocation. Such an event would be highly uncomfortable for the rider, so mods are needed, either by scooching the engine back a little or pushing the wheels forward.
We look forward to seeing [Bob] fix the issues and get the machine driving soon. We’ve seen other tracked builds before, too – often on the smaller scale. Video after the break.
At first glance, it seems pretty straightforward. Four wheels, each with a flange, mounted to a box with a motor. In practice, it was a little more complex than that. Just finding a spot of track to even ride on is tricky. Most “abandoned” tracks that you might see around your city often aren’t all that abandoned. Luckily for [Joel], he remembered an amusement park in the area that he went to as a kid, which he remembered having a decent amount of track. Additionally, the rails were smaller and closer to the scale of a real Minecraft track where one block is 1 meter. After calling up the owner and receiving permission, Joel began to build his cart.
First attempts to procure actual train wheels were foiled by cost and lead times, and simply CNCing a set of wheels was too expensive from a time and materials point of view. [Joel]’s first thought was about making an assembly out of two wheels to grip the rail, much like a roller coaster. However, there were dozens of switch points on the track at the park and several road crossings, both things that wouldn’t work with that sort of setup. Stumbling upon a bit of hacker inspiration, [Joel] turned to brake drums, which happen to be reasonably close to the correct size. They also have the superb quality of being relatively cheap and available. Almost all the parts were CNCed out of aluminum, plywood, or foam.
Given that the theme of the build was doing things to scale, [Joel] was mindful of the top speed of a minecart in the game, which is 8 meters per second or roughly 25 miles per hour, so he set that as his goal to hit. A beefy motor from an online warehouse and a lithium-ion pack allowed him to hit that easily; it was just a matter of doing so safely.
Don’t let the knee-high size of [Hrastovc]’s creation fool you. TrackRobot weighs in at a monstrous 60 kg (130 lbs) of steel, motors, and battery. It sports two 48V motors in a body and frame made from pieces of finger-jointed sheet steel, and can reach speeds of up to four meters per second with a runtime of up to an hour. The project’s link has more pictures as well as DXF files of the pieces used for the body.
Currently TrackRobot is remote-controlled, but one goal is to turn it into a semi-autonomous snow plow. You can see TrackRobot going through its first steps as well as testing out a plow prototype in the videos embedded below.
Say you have a team of French engineers, a lake in the summer, a wizened old machinist, and some gigantic bungee cords. What would you build? The answer is clear, a human-launching crossbow. (Video, and making-of embedded below.)
You can start out watching the promo video because it looks like a lot of fun, but don’t leave without watching the engineering video. What looks like a redneck contraption turns out to be painstakingly built, and probably not entirely a death trap. The [Rad Cow] team even went so far as to purchase metal cart wheels.
Everyone else on the Intertubes would tell you not to do this at home. We say go for it. That is, draw up reasonable plans, work with an obviously competent machinist, and make something silly. It’s not going to be more dangerous than the stuff that [Furze] pulls off.