Vacuum cleaners are great for tidying up the home, but they typically can’t deal with the bulky, gross messes of a proper workshop. [CraftAndu] is currently building a sailing vessel, and has found that there’s simply too much sawdust for a regular vacuum to take on. Thus, he built a mighty vacuum of his own that’s able to deal with such conditions.
The core of the build is a giant 3.8 kW dust collector that’s used as part of a workshop dust extraction system. It’s of the type you’d normally use to suck up dust from machine tools. It’s then fitted with a long flexible hose that goes to the vacuum handle itself. The handle is made up of lengths of sewage pipe and several adaptors to fit it all together and hook up to the flexible tube. It’s also fitted with a set of wheels to allow it to be easily skated about the floor of the shop.
It’s a neat way to suck up all the lightweight sawdust that collects around the workshop. However, [CraftAndu] notes that even with the 3.8 kW extraction system powering it, it’s still quicker to use a broom for bigger detritus like wood chips and the like.
A lot of people think that vacuum projects suck, but we’ve always had a soft spot for them. Pun intended, and you’ll find the video after the break!
Continue reading “A High-Powered Vacuum Cleaner For Tough Jobs”
Direct from the “Just Because I Can” department, this blog post by [Eddie Zhang] shows us how easy it is to get the Xiaomi robotic vacuum cleaner working as what might be the world’s most unnecessary Spotify Connect speaker. Will your home be the next to play host to an impromptu performance by DJ Xiaomi? Judging by the audio quality demonstrated in the video after the break, we doubt it. But this trick does give us a fascinating look at the current state of vacuum hacking.
For the first phase of this hack, [Eddie] makes use of Dustcloud, an ongoing project to document and reverse engineer various Xiaomi smart home gadgets. Using the information provided there you can get root-level SSH access to your vacuum cleaner and install your own software. There’s a sentence you never thought you’d read, right?
With the vacuum rooted, [Eddie] then installs a Spotify Connect client intended for the Raspberry Pi. As they’re both ARM devices, the software will run on the Xiaomi bot well enough, but the Linux environment needs a little tweaking. Namely, you need to manually create an Upstart .conf file for the service, as the vacuum doesn’t have systemd installed. There goes another one of those unexpected sentences.
We’re certainly no stranger to robotic vacuum hacking, though historically the iRobot Roomba has been the target platform for such mischief. Other players entering the field can only mean good things for those of us who get a kick out of seeing home appliances pushed outside of their comfort zones.
Continue reading “DJ Xiaomi Spins Beats And Brushes At The Same Time”
In this day and age of unprecedented military expenditure, we’re used to seeing weapons upgrades across all manner of war fighting hardware – tanks, helicopters, attack aircraft, you name it. We’re somewhat less accustomed to seeing the same on a domestic appliance. Regardless, we now have Henry the Hoover packing some serious heat.
Originally a mere vacuum cleaner, Henry was given movement through two motors and gearboxes sourced from a children’s ride on vehicle. A tank was created out of copper pipe to store the flammable gas (which appears to be butane, as used in cigarette lighters), and discharge is controlled with a solenoid valve. Ignition is then handled by a pair of electric ignitors fired by relay. It’s all controlled over a standard hobby radio controller, so you can stand at a safe distance while flambeeing your rug.
It’s a dangerous project, but one that is particularly fun when Henry’s dazed and amused countenance is taken into account. But then again, you might like your flamethrowers wrist mounted, instead. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Henry The Hoover Gets A Weapons Upgrade”