Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 06:30Beautiful Easter eggs made using #Eggbot
Check out these gorgeous eggs from David Bliss!
This year’s eggs were designed using Nodebox and Inkscape.
Charlie worked mostly in Nodebox. It’s patch-based programming was right at his level and copy, rotate and wiggle all got a lot of action.
Wyatt found inspiration in Minecraft and we worked together to write a letter writing script in Python to print out an wiki entry on egg. Then he created a vector version of the pixelated egg in Inkscape.
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 06:00Vintage Science Illustrations Come To Life In This Trippy Music Video #SaturdayMorningCartoons
Growing up in the ’80s, the surrealist illustrations of vintage science textbooks always fascinated to me, but this animated music video takes the cake. A collage of drawings from old schoolbooks of 50 years ago, it’s like the dreams you might have after sniffing glue in science class, then passing out facedown in your textbook.
The video is for “Cell Song,” a track off of London-based indie band Fanfarlo’s 2014 album, Let’s Go Extinct. The album itself is themed around the concept of evolution: The band’s lead songwriter Simon Balthazar describes it as an exploration of “the weirdness of being this thing we call a person and the double weirdness of other people.”
If Balthazar wanted a video to convey the inexplicable alienness of nature, he couldn’t have found a better director and animator than Ewan Jones Morris. Prowling the pages of “the dustiest of science journals, Ewan Jones Morris. Prowling the pages of “the dustiest of science journals, encyclopedias, and magazines,” Morris cut them cut out illustrations to create a trippy living diorama for amoebas, insects, planets, microscopic flagellum, and more.
Morris is no stranger to this technique. In an interview, he says Fanfarlo approached him to do the video after seeing a similar video he did for Pinkuoizu’s “I Chi”. Unlike for the earlier video, though, for this project Morris incorporated the band’s performances.
The end experience has a hallucinatory quality to it: part Fantastic Planet, part Oingo Boingo. Much of that quality is imparted by the printing techniques used by old textbook makers that made even the most mundane creature in the natural world look like some bizarre, otherworldly alien fauna.
Each Saturday Morning here at Adafruit is Saturday Morning Cartoons! Be sure to check our cartoon and animated posts both nostalgic and new that inspire makers of all ages! You’ll find how-tos for young makers, approaches to learning about science and engineering, and all sorts of comic strip and animated Saturday Morning fun! Be sure to check out our Adafruit products featuring comic book art while you’re at it!
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 04:00Leak-Proof Water Blob Provides Hours of Fun
With the warm weather slowly creeping back it’s time to think of warm summer days, and with that comes this rather interesting leak-proof water… blob?
[Leisha] over at Homemade Toast has come up with a super inexpensive way to make a water blob – or a giant outdoor waterbed? It certainly looks cool, and apparently keeps children entertained for hours playing on it. We wonder how bouncy you could make one for bigger kids (i.e. us).
It’s made out of a roll of painter’s plastic drop sheet, and instead of trying to tape, glue or otherwise seal the edges, [Leisha's] figured out an easy way to melt the seams together using a clothes iron. By sandwiching parchment paper over the two pieces of plastic, you can gently run the iron along the edge, creating a very strong bond, without melting a hole in the plastic.
Seriously — we want to see someone make a giant version of this for some extreme waterbed bouncing!
[via Viral Nova]
Filed under: toy hacks
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 03:04Fog Projection Combined with Gestural Interface to Create “Hologram Touchscreen”
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 02:20Young Raspberry Pirates
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 01:30Community Corner: This Week in Adafruit’s Community – April 18, 2014
Featured Adafruit Community Project
Glen Akins shared this impressive RGB LED matrix project:
I expanded the RGB LED matrix project from a single 32×32 panel to six panels to form a 24″ by 16″ matrix of 96 by 64 LEDs. That’s 6,144 RGB LEDs or 18,432 individual LED chips. The entire matrix has 12-bit color and a 200Hz refresh rate.
The video demonstrates seamlessly looping 3D Perlin noise, an audio spectrum analyzer, a generic falling blocks video game, still images, animated GIFs, and a short video clip all running on the BeagleBone Black and being displayed on the 96×64 RGB LED matrix.
After the demonstration, I turn the panel around and walk through some of the significant parts of the mechanical construction and electronics.
Complete details on the project including links to the source code and mechanical design can be found on this page of my blog…. (read more)
There are people making amazing things around the world, are you one of them? Join the 79,278 strong! And check out scores of projects they shared this week after the jump!
This Week’s Edition of Adafruit’s Electronics Show and Tell!
From the Google+ Community
(Note: Google+ login required.)
Matthew W shared his latest light show — give this guy a massive Disney fountain show or something, he’s really creating fun projects! “I just completed the first show on the 5th version of my Arduino Light Show project! Enjoy! To see previous shows, check out the project webpage.” (read more)
Chris Mellor shared: “Quick and dirty macro lens mount. The lens is held in the rubber bush. The tape holds the plate to the back of the tablet. Using your fingers you can star the lens a little. Try it and you will see what I mean. Also this way has introduced vignetting but I’m not to concerned about that. Free in Instagram effect. One thing to point out, there were some sharp sticky out bits on the plate. Get your Dremel out and use it.” (read more)
Alex McNair shared: “Had a pair of scissors fail – handle ripped through for some reason. I could just buy new scissors BUT NO! Break out the epoxy, build a mold, set the bare tip of the scissor handle, pour dyed epoxy, allow to dry, break away mold, sand and grind to near perfection. Now I’m out several hours and a fair bit of epoxy, but The Man at the scissors store ain’t getting over on me. The Epoxy Man is, but that’s different. ” (read more)
Community Projects from the Adafruit Blog
Adam Haile wrote in to share about his Dial-A-Song project: “Much of the inspiration came from They Might Be Giants, who used to leave recordings of their songs on their answering machine, which could be listened to by calling (718) 387-6962. So, I wanted to combine a little of that with a phone tree menu to give the feel of calling in to a phone service to listen to music of your choice. Yes, it’s a little ridiculous, but why else would I be building it. As a way of documenting the project and an extra push to keep working on it, I’m going to be writing up a build log in several parts as the build progresses….” (read more)
Giles Booth shared a Scratch-a-Sketch Scratch project he created for use with the MaKey-MaKey: “First, draw some arrows and buttons for ‘pen up/down’, ‘colour change’, ‘bigger’ and ‘smaller’ in a very soft pencil on some paper. Draw tracks and wire up the arrows to the cursor keys on the Makey Makey. Pen up/down goes to the spacebar, colour change is S, bigger is W and smaller goes to key A. If you don’t have a Makey Makey, you can still use keys on your computer’s keyboard. The code for Scratch-a-Sketch is here – you can play online in the Flash version if you like, you don’t even need Scratch installed. Unlike a traditional Etch-a-Sketch, you can lift the pen up to move around without drawing, change colour and pen size, and combine keys such as 2 arrow keys to draw decent diagonal lines.” (read more)
Last week, Kevin Osborn showed off the NovaBooth – Open Source Photobooth, and used it to snap a photobooth selfie and email it automatically (along with his contact details!) to Adafruit Support to request an “As seen on Show and Tell” sticker! “…we (the Wyolum Gang) created a photobooth for the Open Hardware Summit, for the purpose of customizing the e-paper badges we made for the conference attendees. This processed the pictures into a small black and white image for the e-paper badge, and saved it onto the badge’s micro-sd card. I was headed to help out at the Northern Virginia Maker Faire, and thought it would be fun to update the photobooth to take full color pictures, upload them to the Internet and offer to email them to friends and relatives. The email message and logo files are easy to add and customize. For basic construction, visit the original post, but download the new software here on github….” (read more)
richa1 in the Adafruit forums writes: “This is a variant of the Adafruit Chameleon Scarf that I recently made. I made the color fade and randomly twinkle rather than stay on all the time. I also added a button to restart the color sample sequence as well. To include some motion feedback, I used a Fast Vibration Sensor Switch to increase the number of pixels that go bright when it is triggered. This is using 20 NeoPixles and the wires between them are rather long so that they can be spread out over a larger aria. The color sensor and button are also at the end of a long wire so that they could be placed inside of a fabric sheathe for easy color sampling. This is the same with the last NeoPixle in the chain so you can see the other puffball blink before the color is sampled.” (read more)
Community Corner! Sharing and celebrating the creative community: Show and tell, Ask an Engineer, mailbag, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, “Makers, hackers, artists & engineers. Sharing, learning and celebrating making!
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 01:00PenguinBot Follows Light, Goes Screech in the Night
Ever have one of those weekend projects that takes on a life of its own? [Michael] did, and the result is this PenguinBot. While [Michael's] wife was away for the weekend he happened upon a broken toy penguin. The batteries had leaked inside, destroying the contacts. Rather than bin the toy, [Michael] made it awesome by turning it into an autonomous robot. [Michael's] goal was to create a robot that could roam around the house avoiding obstacles, or follow a light source like a flashlight.
He started by pulling out most of the original electronics. Two dollar store toy trains gave their lives and their motors to replace the penguin’s original drive system. An Arduino Pro Mini became PenguinBot’s brain. Sensors consisted of two light sensing CdS cells, an AdaFruit sound sensor, and a MaxBotix ultrasonic sensor. With the ultrasonic sensor mounted on a servo, it can detect obstacles in any direction. The CdS cells and some software will allow PenguinBot to follow lights, like any good photovore robot should.
Click past the break to see PenguinBot in action
[Michael] did preserve one part of the original toy. PenguinBot still has its sound module. This thing is so obnoxiously noisy it’s awesome. Between the screeching and the random songs, [Michael's] kids don’t have to worry about their new robot penguin sneaking up on them at night.
PenguinBot’s code is still under development, but the latest version can be downloaded at Github.
Filed under: robots hacks
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 00:41NEW PRODUCT – USB Micro-B Breakout Board
NEW PRODUCT – SB Micro-B Breakout Board: Simple but effective – this breakout board has a USB Micro-B connector, with all 5 pins broken out. Great for pairing with a microcontroller with USB support, or adding USB 5V power to a project.
We use a micro-AB connector with through-hole shielding pads for an excellent strong connection – it won’t rip off by accident!
Comes with one fully assembled and tested micro B breakout PCB and a small stick of 0.1″ header so you can solder it on and plug into a breadboard.
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 00:28Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robots for Advanced Manipulation Applications
SRI is developing new technology to reliably control thousands of micro-robots for smart manufacturing of macro-scale products in compact, integrated systems.
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 23:00Female Nightingale Armor from Skyrim
The Nightingales have some of the neatest looking armor in Skyrim, and RPF user Montayva13 has built some from scratch using craft foam. She used some guidance from the forums to print, scale, and assemble the foam templates, and she was surprised at how quickly the work went. She had the torso of the armor done in just about a week.
…assembling the template was no worries. Especially with some expert advice. I decided to use the thin (2.mm) sheets of craft foam. I started out with the chest, and I feel like this was a good place to start. Within two days of starting this project, it was already coming together quite quickly, and seeing progress like that has kept me quite motivated. I used the regular old hot glue to attach the foam pieces.”
Read more and see more pics at The RPF.
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 22:00Low-Power Orientation Tracker and an Optimized Math Library for the MSP430
Orientation trackers can be used for a ton of different applications: tracking mishandled packages, theft notification of valuables, and navigation are just a few examples! A recent blog post from Texas Instruments discusses how to build a low-cost and low-power orientation tracker with the MSP430.
Based on the MSP430 LaunchPad and CircuitCo’s Educational BoosterPack, the orientation tracker is very simple to put together. It can also be made wireless using any of the wireless BoosterPacks with a Fuel Tank BoosterPack, or by using the BLE Booster Pack with a built in Lithium Battery circuitry. TI provide all the necessary code and design files in their reference application for getting your orientation tracker up and running. Be sure to see the device in action after the break! This project not only involves building a low-power orientation tracker, but also showcases IQmathLib, a library of optimized fixed point math functions on the MSP430. One of the more challenging aspects of using small MCUs such as the MSP430 or Arduino is how inefficient built in math libraries are. Check out the IQmathLib, it greatly improves upon the built in math functions for the MSP430.
It would be interesting to see this project modified to be a DIY pedometer or be used on a self-balancing robot. It would also be interesting to see the IQmathLib ported to other micros, such as the Arduino. Take a look and see how you can use this reference design in your own projects!
Filed under: Microcontrollers
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 21:58New Project: Build an Omnidirectional Holonomic Robot from Lego
Holonomic robots are cool. They move in any direction, they rotate on the spot, they even move while rotating. These unique capabilities of holonomic robots make them very well suited for operating in tight spaces. But holonomic robots are also fun to play with and look at as they move gracefully over […]
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 21:12LeJOS, the Java Operating System for Legos, Releases EV3 Beta
Today, the team behind LeJOS — the Java operating system for Legos — released a beta edition of their software for Mindstorms EV3. LeJOS has been around since 2000, when Jose Solozano first built the open-source Java-based software for Mindstorms RCX; it’s one of several software replacement systems for Mindstorms, […]
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 21:00VNC instructions for your Pi remote desktop @Raspberry_pi #piday #raspberrypi
Check out these useful instructions for your Pi remote desktop from Dave at RaspberryPi.org:
Allen was just asking me about the VNC demo I gave at Picademy and I thought I would just do a follow up post here for everyone.
- Step 1: Setup and install
So the aim will be to install the VNC server software on Pi and the VNC viewer software on the host computer (which will show the Pi desktop).
Read and follow the guide here: https://github.com/raspberrypi/document … access/vnc
The guide includes instructions to make the VNC server start automatically when the Pi boots up (recommended).
- Step 2: If necessary, configure the Pi to give out an IP address
This is the method you’ll want to use if you have untrusting network administrators who refuse to allow a Raspberry Pi to be connected to the main school network.
I know this looks like loads to do but I’ve just put a lot of detail so you can’t go wrong
This way each Raspberry Pi will be directly connecting to a host computer using a single Ethernet cable, thus making a completely isolated point to point network between the two and therefore your network administrators shouldn’t have any cause to complain. Note: you don’t need a cross over cable for this, a standard cable will work because the Pi Ethernet port auto-switches the transmit and receive pins.
Firstly we’ll need to install some software on the Pi, so for this first part you’ll need to connect it to a LAN for Internet access. We’re going to make the Pi Ethernet port behave in a similar way to a home router. This means assigning a static IP address to it and installing a DHCP service (dnsmasq) that will respond to address requests from the host computer.
- Step 1: Setup and install
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 20:26F9R First Flight Test (video) from a drone
Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) taking its first test flight at our rocket development facility. F9R lifts off from a launch mount to a height of approximately 250m, hovers and then returns for landing just next to the launch stand. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position. However, we will soon be transitioning to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket and then extending them just before landing.
The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year (Grasshopper can be seen in the background of this video). Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a F9R as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 20:00Imperial Pig: A “Star Wars” quiz toy made with Raspberry Pi! #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi
Carriots riot blog had a development challenge recently and the winner was a team called Ad Ackbar for their adorable quiz toy project. Below are some excerpts from the interview they did. Click here to read the full thing.
Carriots: Please, introduce your team
Ad Ackbar: We are two chilean based developers. Jorge does the electronics and I, José Luis, deal with the programming part and Carriots integration.
Carriots: Tell us more about the project. From the idea to the implementation.
Ad Ackbar: At the office someone always starts some quiz competition around geek themes. Discussions often goes far enough to take wikipedia and/or youtube to decide who holds the truth or the final answer.
When Carriots published the Domokun stuffed toy tutorial we take the code, a Raspberry Pi and two speakers just to make our “Imperial pig” play the voice with the final word. The challenge was just the natural way to improve it. We have to put all the electronic stuff in it, solve communication and power issues and that’s all!
Jorge did the buttons, speaker and power implementations. And I did the integration with Carriots and the quiz logic. The Domokun stuffed toy tutorial was a very good start point since most of the logic was already coded and tested. We also used the button tricks from the forum discussion.
Components are: Raspberry Pi, SD card, portable speaker, battery pack, wi-fi dongle and some electronic stuff (resistors, buttons, wires, etc.)
Featured Adafruit Products!
USB Battery Pack for Raspberry Pi – 3300mAh – 5V @ 1A and 500mA: A massive rechargeable battery pack for your Raspberry Pi (or Arduino, or Propeller, or anything else that uses 5V!). This pack is intended for providing a lot of power to an iPhone, cell phone, tablet, etc but we found it does a really good job of powering other miniature computers and micro-controllers. Read more.
Adafruit Assembled Pi Cobbler Breakout + Cable for Raspberry Pi: Now that you’ve finally got your hands on a Raspberry Pi® , you’re probably itching to make some fun embedded computer projects with it. What you need is an add on prototyping Pi Cobbler from Adafruit, which can break out all those tasty power, GPIO, I2C and SPI pins from the 26 pin header onto a solderless breadboard. This set will make “cobbling together” prototypes with the Pi super easy. Designed for use with Raspberry Pi Model B AND Model A, both revisions. Read more.
Adafruit Pi Box – Enclosure for Raspberry Pi Model A or B: Keep your Raspberry Pi® computer safe and sound in this lovely clear acrylic enclosure. We designed this case to be beautiful, easy to assemble and perfect for any use (but especially for those who want to tinker!) Read more.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 19:52Maker Pro Newsletter – 04/17/14
“Venture math is a harsh mistress.” From the editors of MAKE magazine, the Maker Pro Newsletter is about the impact of makers on business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Please send items to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you […]
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 19:4510 Tools and Techniques for Light Painting
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 19:00DIY Gas Can Speakers Blast Your Tunes
Have you ever wanted to build your own speakers, but were a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there on cases and packaging? A recent Instructable by [Txje] goes over how to build a set of simple gas can speakers.
While using gas cans as speaker housings will not result in the best audiophile quality sound or be the cheapest option out there, it sure looks awesome, and is a great way to get started with building your own speakers. After testing out the speakers and electronics, holes in the gas cans are cut and the terminals and speakers are installed. “As an added bonus, the pour spout serves to release pressure in the speaker can. You can get everything you need for ~$69 from Amazon and/or Home Depot.” Not a bad price point for two very cool looking speakers. Once you have built the speakers, now you can experiment with different fill material to see what results in better sound quality.
This is a simple, yet fun looking build. Something like this can make a nice gift for someone who spends a lot of time in their garage. What other crazy objects have you used for speaker enclosures?
Filed under: digital audio hacks
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 19:00DIY How To Mount A USB Thumb Drive For @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi
Make your Raspberry Pi a media sharing friendly device with a mounted USB Thumb Drive. by scottkildall
This is another one of my “meat-and-potatoes” Raspberry Pi Instructables.
What this Instructable will show you how to do is to configure your Raspberry Pi to recognize and automatically mount a USB thumb drive. This is especially useful for exchanging files, running backups and using your Pi as a media device.
Before doing this Instructable, please make sure you have your Raspberry Pi up and running, which you can do with The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Configuration Guide Instructable.
I’m using the Mac OS for this guide, but you can extend the principles to other operating systems.