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  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 10:00
    Sparkly tank top made with Adafruit Neopixels! #WearableWednesday

    @alissadesigns tweeted this vine of her sparkly tank top made with neopixels! Love it!

    Featured Adafruit Products!


    Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2 – Pack of 4: What’s a wearable project without LEDs? Our favorite part of the Flora platform is these tiny smart pixels. Designed specifically for wearables, these updated Flora NeoPixels have ultra-cool technology: these ultra-bright LEDs have a constant-current driver cooked right into the LED package! The pixels are chainable – so you only need 1 pin/wire to control as many LEDs as you like. They’re easy to sew, and the chainable design means no crossed threads. Read more.

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 10:00
    Inkjet Transfers to Wood

    Color Image on wood board

    You can’t feed a piece of wood through a stock inkjet printer, and if you could it’s likely the nature of the material would result in less than optimal prints. But [Steve Ramsey] has a tutorial on inkjet transfers to wood over on his YouTube Channel which is a simple two-step method that produces great results. We really love quick tips like this. Steve explains the entire technique while creating an example project – all in under 2 minutes of video. We don’t want to get your hopes up though – this method will only work on porous absorbent surfaces like bare wood, not on PC boards. We’ve featured some great Inject PCB resist methods here in the past though.

    The transfer technique is dead simple. [Steve] uses the backing from a used sheet of inkjet labels (the shiny part that normally gets thrown away). He runs the backing sheet through his inkjet printer. Since plastic coated backing sheet isn’t porous, the ink doesn’t soak in and dry. He then presses the still wet page onto a piece of wood. The wet ink is instantly absorbed into the wood. A lacquer clear coat seals the image in and really make the colors pop. We’d like to see how this method would work with other porous materials, like fabrics (though the ink probably wouldn’t survive the washing machine).

    Click past the break for another example of [Steve's] work, and two videos featuring the technique.


    Filed under: misc hacks

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 09:00
    Interview: Philippe “Philo” Hurbain

    sort3r-2Matthew Beckler interviews legendary Lego hacker Philippe "Philo" Hurbain.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 09:00
    Hacking for NASA Noses #WearableWednesday

    Senti8 This weekend I participated in the NASA Spaces Apps Challenge at the main stage in New York with a team of fellow hackers to tackle the challenge of Space Wearables. The idea was to create an outfit or accessory that might be helpful for spaceflight. My team was loaded with people that had either worked with wearables or Arduino, so we were psyched. Astronaut, Doug Wheelock was there, and we made it a point to ambush him before his big Q&A. Besides getting some great pics, we asked, “What is the thing you miss most when you’re in space.  He replied, “Believe it or not, the smell of earth — soil”. He then explained how senses dull in high altitudes, and how you really miss the sensation of smell. That was all we needed to hear; we ran off to our table and started sketching a wearable that would be capable of connecting astronauts with the smells they miss. SentiWork We liked the idea of a wrist band, so we started imagining how it might work. We wanted the choice of different scents at the touch of a button, and we thought Emoji icons would be easy to read for anyone on the International Space Station. We were still working out the issue of how to inject scents into the nose in a zero gravity atmosphere. However, we did finalize one thing — the name of the product was going to be called Senti8, a take on sentient beings and scent. SentiDrawing The first prototype entailed prying some large snaps off of a teen’s white wrist band. We didn’t want anything conductive near the FLORA microcontroller we would use. Then, we added a piece of waterproof NeoPixel strip to use for lights. One of our team members is a wiz with pixel programming, and as I drew the patterns for the movement, she quickly translated them into Arduino speak. Luckily it worked like a charm. In hackathons you usually have about 24 hrs. to complete things, and that includes the pretty marketing stuff like websites, videos etc. Downtime is not an option. SentiProto2 With the LED strip programming complete, another team member worked on creating the Emojis. It took a bit of testing to figure out whether they should be vertical or horizontal and whether they should have a color block behind them to match the LEDs. Finally we settled on the easiest-to-read vertical position, and we left them on a clear background as the LEDs already were busy looking. That left the final frontier — getting scent into the nose. I remembered that Adafruit had some spikes that were 3D printed for one of their projects, but I couldn’t figure out how we could possibly get them late at night. Would you believe one of our team members had a tiny Makerbot at his house? Needless to say, we sent him away with homework. Ecig In the meantime, one of our team members who was handy with biology had decided to take on the vaporizing that would be needed to inject the scent into the nose. She got to work on hacking an e-cigarette, which we all found quite amusing. She added a bit of soil perfume, which she found at Sephora, and actually had it working. Unfortunately, it formed a crack pretty quickly and started leaking. One of the thin wires that held the battery also broke. We attempted to re-solder it, but removing shielding off of wire that is the size of human hair just isn’t a successful endeavor. So, we decided to regroup on that the next morning. The final day was a mad rush as we only had until 2:00 PM. We got everything in place for two bracelets, but the new e-cigarette still broke at the battery connection. We finally just put it in place to show how it would work, as it was just a prototype. The best surprise is that the team member with the 3D printer had managed to create an app so we could make the two bands appear to have connectivity — so one person could send a scent to another person.  With a website, social media and a video in place, we were ready to present. SentiPresent We were one of the last presentations, but we were certainly memorable. We created a great story to explain our product and the crowd loved it. We even handed out small samples of dirt scent to the judges.  One judge said, “I want one!”. After the jitters of presenting were over, we waited for the final results. We all thought we had lost, but what we didn’t realize is that they save the best two teams for last. We ended up being one of those teams, meaning we get to go on to NASA’s Global Challenge. So, make sure you vote for Senti8 in May!

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 08:00
    ‘Wearable Eyes’ make you appear friendly and social even when you’re not @WearableWednesday


    Angelica Lim over at IEEE Spectrum has posted about these funny looking glasses that could help with “emotional labor”. From the story:

    Have you ever had trouble concentrating in the office as people walk by and glance at you? Do you come off as unfriendly or aloof, when you’re really just focusing on your work?

    Dr. Hirotaka Osawa from Tsukuba University, in Japan, has developed a new wearable device to help us with something called “emotional labor.” His idea is that people could adopt cyborg technology to increase the emotional comfort of those around us. In this case, the device is a crazy pair of glasses that display eyeballs on their lenses.

    The device’s virtual eyes naturally follow people and movement, making it appear as though you’re friendly and approachable, even if you’re too busy doing something else or too tired to actually look friendly and approachable.

    “This emotional support reduces a user’s cognitive load for social manners,” Osawa says.

    Check out his whimsical video below, which won the Best Video award at the 2014 ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference last month:

    The device, which Osawa calls AgencyGlass, has several different functions: when you tilt your head back, the animated eyes look upwards to make it look like you’re thinking. If you nod or shake your head, the glasses blink. All of this is performed with a gyroscope and accelerometer to detect head movement, and an external camera to detect faces and motion.

    Read more.


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 07:00
    The HellZXchreiber


    Hellschreiber – German for ‘light pen’ – was developed in the 20s as a way to transmit text in a way that was much more robust than the teletypes of the time. These devices were used to great effect by the Germans in WWII, and later became popular with wire services and was used until the 80s. The fax machine then happened, and no one really cared about Hellschreiber, save for a few plucky amateur radio enthusiasts.

    In the early 90s, a few of these amateur radio enthusiasts realized they could use their personal computers to communicate with this extremely simple protocol that’s also very resilient against interference and weak radio links. [Danjovic] is following in their footsteps by decoding Hellschreiber on an old ZX Spectrum clone.

    [Danjovic] tested his code with the sound sample found in the Hallschreiber wiki article and some text generated by Fldigi. Everything works beautifully, an [Dan] can even change the intensity of the text with the volume control – a very useful feature should the HellZXchreiber ever make it out into the field.

    Source and image files available for all you strange Speccy fans. Everyone else can check out the videos below.



    Filed under: classic hacks

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 07:00
    Loving the Digital Dresses #WearableWednesday


    If your style is digital, you should visit apexart in NY for some artistic thrills. The current exhibit, Coding the Body, “interrogates the relationship between humans and code”. Filled with large images of robots and thought provoking wearables, it encourages you to experience texture and to examine process. One small display even captures the feet of passersby, reminding us that movement is not only precious, but something that can be captured and digitized. The exhibit was organized by Leah Buechley, of MIT’s High-Low Tech, who has been researching, playing, inventing and encouraging others in the field of crafting  electricity.

    The garment above by Nervous System explores biological connection. From a distance it looks like lace or a beautiful seaweed, but on close examination, it is small interlocking 3D printed bits. Something that suffers in most 3D printed wearables is movement, however, the clever interlocks allow for creases and folds, much like you would find in fabric. Apparently this design is easily changeable in the program to create many looks, whether it be an angled hemline, strapless bodice or larger pattern detail.

    Pattern Dress

    This dress resembles a Pac-Man maze, and was created by Cait and Casey Reas. The print actually shows yes no expressions from a computer. Although this is a dress format, earlier prints were mounted on small squares and helped to illustrate the difference in these expressions depending on the computer. Definitely the perfect little black dress for the computer geek.


    This felt dress uses interlocking shapes similar  to some foam toys that used to be popular in educational toy stores. This inventive design from Eunsuk Hur includes a wall hanging, which was perplexing at first. However, a visit to Eunsuk’s site shows the idea of “nomadic lifestyle”, with pieces that can be used interchangeably for clothing and environment. It actually seems quite practical, almost like the coats you find nowadays for campers that transform into sleeping bags. This is a wonderful example of laser cut style that is popping up in modern rugs, pillows and even holiday decorations.

    There are other code curiosities in the exhibit, so it’s well worth visiting. You will find yourself looking at all wearables as expressions of the digital world. Then, you are going to want to make your own. Why not start out with some snazzy 3D printed glowing buttons. Check out our tutorial and bring some math into your fashion.

    3d Buttons

    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 06:00
    Tailor Truck: Get 3D scanned for a perfectly fitting suit in your neighborhood #WearableWednesday


    It’s easy to see from the images above that a well fitting suit can do wonders for your look. That’s the goal of Arden Reed’s tailor truck- they use 3D scanning to customize a suit to fit your body. After a successful kickstarter campaign, the truck is now fully functional and taking appointments in cities around America. The suits don’t come that cheap but if you’re willing to spend the money they will guarantee that your suit will fit perfectly!

    Why Custom?

    Have you ever browsed a GQ magazine and wondered how these guys can look so effortlessly good?

    On the other hand, have you ever seen a Macy’s catalogue and FELT the department store look?

    These men are wearing the SAME fabric, the SAME patterns and are under the SAME lighting.

    There is no difference in the product.


    Take a closer look.

    Do you notice how the jacket’s shoulders align perfectly with the model? Do you see a slight angle in the waist so that the suit hugs their stomach?

    The Concept:

    We want to bring affordable custom suiting to men everywhere. However, men don’t trust getting their measurements from just anybody.

    To solve this problem we thought about turning our ecommerce store into brick and mortar, but that would mean increasing our costs to the traditional range of a custom suit maker ($1,000+).

    Keeping it out of reach from the customers we want.

    So instead we got creative. We decided to do something that’s never been done. We’re travelling to you.

    We’re building the first mobile tailor truck equipped with a 3D Scanner that will allow us to make you the best dressed man in the room…

    The 3D Scanner is not a gimmick prior to 2012 accuracy was to within 1-2 inches, but now our technology has a +/- range of 5mm. This works.

    The body scan will be overlayed with a CAD design of your suit ensuring a fit like no other.

    Book an appointment here.


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 06:00
    Byte Magazine Volume 06 Number 04 (1981) “Wearables” ….
  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 04:00
    Frozen Instruments Played at Swedish Music Festival


    [Tim Linhart] wanted to do something different for this Swedish music festival — so he decided to carve all the instruments by hand, out of ice.

    The festival consists of seven bands playing very different musical styles, with over 40 concerts occurring during the festival. [Tim Linhart] has painstakingly carved each instrument from violins to cellos out of individual sheets of ice. He adds strings and fret-boards to complete each piece, and if the temperature goes above zero it’s game over. The concerts are held in a building made of ice to make sure this doesn’t happen.

    And since they are built out of layers — he’s also thrown in some RGB LEDs to give the instruments a bit more pizzazz. They actually sound pretty good too!

    [Tim] is kinder to his instruments than [Matz Robert Eriksson] was to his ice drums. For some other unconventional instruments, do you remember our controversial piece on Disarm? Turning guns into a mechanized orchestra! Typewriters make interesting instruments as well.

    [Thanks Joshua!]

    Filed under: musical hacks

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 03:55
    How to Get Girls into EV3 Robotics

    girtractorIs the Lego Mindstorms EV3 set boy-centric? And if so, what can we do about it?

    Read more on MAKE

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 03:01
    The Hacklet #1

    Hacklet Newsletter Issue 1

    With the launch of hackaday.io, our project hosting site, we’ve seen quite a bit of interesting hacks flowing in. While we feature some of our favorite projects on the blog, we’ve decided it’s time to start a regular recap of what’s going on in the Hackaday Projects community. We call it The Hacklet, and the first issue is now available.

    This installment starts off with information on our Sci-fi Contest and improvements to the Hackaday Projects site. We talk a bit about the various projects relating to the Mooltipass password manager being developed on Hackaday. The Mooltipass has its own project page, but there’s also separate projects for the low level firmware being developed. Next we look at a pair of NFC rings for unlocking Android devices, and finish off with advice on soldering tiny packages.

    Check it out and let us know what you think. Our goal is to summarize some of the neat things going on in the community, and we’re always happy to get constructive feedback from the community itself. Or you can flame us… whichever you prefer.

    Filed under: Hackaday Columns

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 01:00
    A 3D Printed Cryptex


    Once you’ve dialed in your 3D printer calibration settings, you enter the phase of printer ownership where you’re eager to show off what you can make, and you’re sure to impress with [pjensen's] 3d printed cryptex spinning around in your hands.

    If you’re a regular reader of our 3D Printering column, then the behind-the-scenes screengrabs should look familiar: [pjensen] used Autodesk Inventor to sculpt the shapes, staring with the cryptex’s individual rings. After embossing the alphabet across each ring, [pjensen] adds slots into the inner loops for pins to slide through. An outer chamber holds the rings in place and prohibits access to the interior chamber, which is held in place on both sides by an end cap.

    Lining up the rings to spell the correct word allows the inner chamber to slide free of the whole assembly, revealing whatever goodies may lie inside. You can follow [pjensen's] step-by-step guide to build your own cryptex, or just download his model and start printing.

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 00:45
    Open-Source CT Scanner

    DSC_0772Volumetric 3D scanners scan not only the surface of an object, but also see inside that object.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 23:30
    Developed on Hackaday: Olivier’s Design Rundown

    The Hackaday writers and readers are currently working hand-in-hand on an offline password keeper, the Mooltipass. A few days ago we presented Olivier’s design front PCB without even showing the rest of his creation (which was quite rude of us…). We also asked our readers for input on how we should design the front panel. In this new article we will therefore show you how the different pieces fit together in this very first (non-final) prototype… follow us after the break!

    This is the bottom PCB, containing the main micro-controller, the Arduino headers and the FPC connector for the OLED screen. Finding low profile standard .1″ female connectors was one of our longest Google searches. The ones you can see above are pass-through connectors, which means that the pins can go through the PCB.

    This is the CNC-milled prototype case. On the bottom you may notice two slots having a smaller depth to the other end, positioned right on top of the Arduino connectors. As previously mentioned in our Developed on Hackaday articles, we want to give the final users the ability to convert their secure password keeper into an Arduino platform. As you may have guessed, converting the Mooltipass will be as simple as cutting this thin plastic layer (see top of the picture) to access the Arduino headers and unlock the platform.

    This is how the bottom PCB fits into the case. 4 screws can be used to keep everything in place. The large elevated plastic area serves as a flat surface for the smartcard:

    The OLED screen then rests on the case’s sides:

    Enough space is left behind the screen for the flex PCB to comfortably bend. Finally, the top board fits in the remaining space and the acrylic panel is put on top of the assembly:

    As our last article stated, we obviously still have some things to perfect. In the meantime, we are going to hand solder a few prototypes and ship them out to our current developers.

    Want to stay informed? You can join the official Mooltipass Google Group or follow us on Hackaday Projects.

    Filed under: Featured, hardware

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 23:13
    DIY Pick and Place Machine

    Pete’s Blog: DIY Pick and Place Machine – Part 2. Peter writes-

    Above is the back side of the machine.  Along the top is a piece of DIN Rail that extends from the left and right of the ShapeOko frame.  This is where the majority of parts are installed.  Below this, you see a grey vertical surface with parts mounted.  This is a long steel L-Bracket, surplus from some IKEA furniture, that I screwed to the ShapeOko MDF work surface.

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 23:00
    Complete Your Bane Costume With a Mask

    bane mask

    The Dark Knight Rises made the character Bane pretty popular. He originally appeared in the comics, but the most recognizable Bane is the one seen in the film. If you put together the basics of his costume, you need to add the mask to go the extra mile, and Instructables user justinlamoureux spent about 30 hours and less than $30 making one. He used a tent mattress for the base of the mask which just proves you can use just about any material in cosplay. Whatever works!

    He carefully made a pattern by measuring his face and used reference photos to add the piping in the front. Here’s how he began:

    With the basic shape cut from the mattress material, I now had to add pieces of foam onto the mask to create the pipe couplers. Carving with the knives was not enough and I had to use a pair of scissors.

    The pipes were actually quite easy to form. I was worried that I would abandon the project once I got to this step but with extra attention to the angles, I cut the basic shapes of the pipe and used scissors to cut out the 90′ angles of the profiles. In other words, once the rectangular shapes of “pipe” were cut (and I was happy with the angles,) I created a rounder look to them by removing the 90′s resulting in 2 x 45′ angles. This step of the project took a lot of time and I wasted a few pieces of “pipe.”

    Read more at Instructables.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 22:53
    The most advanced Lamp/Speaker is open source and also Arduino at heart

    cromatica digital habits

    Interacting with objects in a new way has always been the main focus of Digital Habits, a design studio based in Milan.  Today we are proud to announce they’ve become a partner  of the Arduino At Heart program with their new project called Cromatica (it was exhibited at the coveted Fuorisalone Milan Design Week in the Superstudio Temporary Museum for New Design and started the crowdfunding campaign just some days ago!).

    Cromatica is half speaker and half desk lamp: it can be controlled through a natural gestural interface, touch sensors or remotely via the Cromatica Android and iOS app. Designed to deliver both light and sound functions, Cromatica features wireless 4.0 Bluetooth connection for streaming music and a RGB lamp for multiple ambient effects.

    Cromatica is embedded with an Arduino allowing for a highly digital, multi-sensory music and desktop working experience.  It blends  light and sound functionalities in unexpected ways, taking IoT products to a new level of quality.  For example you can download the app for natural awakening: light will rise and music streaming will start allowing you to wake up to your favourite playlist, perfect for early mornings.

    Take a look at the video for the Natural Interaction:

    In the video below you can see how you can create your favorite ambient  to match with your mood:

    Innocenzo Rifino, Director of Digital Habits, told us:

    “The Cromatica is a multi-purpose light-speaker but it is also our vision of the evolution of electronics, a vision that is moving in a more human and open direction. Crowdrooster have helped tremendously by opening our product up to a wider community whilst giving us the chance to generate enough funding to share our concepts more widely.”

    The Cromatica is also true to its maker roots being Open Source and hackable, opening the doors for endless innovation from the maker community as it can be adapted to integrate with other tech and the Internet of Things. To enable this there will be a special ‘Maker Edition’ campaign reward complete with digital file to 3D print the shell.

    Take a look at their campaign Crowdrooster and make your pledge!
    Crowdrooster, the new ‘all tech’ crowdfunding site, introduced Cromatica as the first maker project available for funding on the site.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 22:27
    Using the Adafruit 2.8″ TFT Touch Shield with an Intel Galileo


    Daniel wrote in to share that he got Intel Galileo board working with the Adafruit 2.8″ TFT Touch Shield for Arduino.

    I just wanted to bring to your attention the ability to use your TFT touchscreen for Arduino (#1651) with the Intel Galileo as a Linux framebuffer. I did a bunch of work to make this possible at: https://communities.intel.com/message/224873#224873. The big difficulty with this is the Galileo’s limited CPU IO. I had to do a bunch of wire soldering and driver changes to re-route the DC and CS pins. Adding the kinds of pads you have for the other Arduinos, except to re-route the pins for Galileo would really help.

    You can pick up an Intel Galileo board here, and the Adafruit 2.8″ TFT Touch Shield for Arduino v2 here!


  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 22:09
    Make the Shot: Show Us Your Creative Photos, Win Nikon Gear

    1000px-Reflex_camera_(description).svgTell us how you shot your most ingenious camera-made creation.

    Read more on MAKE