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  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 10:00
    Raspberry Pi’s Eben Upton: How we’re turning everyone into DIY hackers #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi


    NewImage

    The folks over at readwrite had the chance to talk to Raspberry Pi’s cofounder Eben Upton about the Raspberry Pi foundation, DIY hacking, programming, and more. Check out the full interview here.

    ReadWrite: What got you really interested in technology in the first place? How did that lead you eventually to the Raspberry Pi project?

    Eben Upton: So I actually got started when I was a kid. I have a father who has a certain amount of interest in engineering. He’s not an engineer, he’s an English academic. There were always piles of electrical stuff around the house that I used to play with before I understood what it did. Little things like making a light to have by your bed so you could read after “lights out” and stuff.

    And then I got a computer. In the UK we have these machines called BBC Microcomputers, which were 8-bit micros that were build for education. We had them at school, I got into programming at school, and I enjoyed it.

    These things weren’t necessarily in school for programming, or at least they didn’t tend to get used for programming. They would get used to run educational software. But I used to program on them. And then I bought one to program at home. I mean, the day I got my BBC micro, I went in my room, turned it on, and never came out again. [Laughs]

    Programming is amazing for a kid. When you’re a kid you don’t have a lot of power. You don’t have a lot of agency, a lot of control over the world around you. The great thing about programming is it’s a little world where you do whatever you want. And I certainly found that very compelling.

    I’d always been interested in science, math, kind of hard science subjects. Did a lot of computing, did a lot of programming on my BBC. I had a Commodore Amiga after that.

    At university I did a mixture of physics, engineering, and computer science. And then that really kind of led me to the Pi. Because after I’d been at university for a decade [while getting a doctorate], I realized that the kids who were arriving hadn’t had the chance to have that set of experiences as a child. You could still get Legos but … that ladder.

    We’d kind of pulled the ladder up after us. We built these very sophisticated and user-friendly computers for children to use now. Or not even computers—game consoles and phones and tablets, kind of appliances. But people were being denied that opportunity to tinker. So really Raspberry Pi is an attempt to get back—without kind of being too retro—some of what we kind of feel was lost from the evolution of computers over the last 25 years.

    NewImage

    RW: Tell me about inventing the Raspberry Pi.

    EU: We tried building some units based on what you’d call microcontroller technology. I don’t know if you’ve come across an [open source electronics prototyping] platform called Arduino? Sort of a similar level of performance to the Arduino. The nice thing about those chips is they’re very available, they’re commodity parts, they’re very cheap and easy to get ahold of.

    So we tried that. And we ended up with something which was technically a computer—you plug it into your television and stuff. But it was kind of primitive and it was clear that kids weren’t going to engage with it. So that was prototype one, and that prototype is coming to a museum in Ireland in an exhibition called “Fail.” [Laughs] I’m going to go see it next month. It’s in a glass cabinet as an example of a glorious failure.

    The nice thing about that was that was hand built. You can’t really build a modern Raspberry Pi by hand. But this one was primitive enough that you could actually solder it together and I soldered it together in a week. And it was a nice little toy.

    After I’d been at university for a decade of so, I went to work for a company called Broadcom, which is based in southern California but has a big office in Cambridge. They make cellphone chips. And we realized that cell phone chips are quite a good fit. They’re quite a good platform for building a Pi-like device, since they have a lot of graphics performance.

    I built a prototype based on that, based on a Broadcom dev kit. And that was much more powerful, much more capable, again at the same price point. But the challenge we had with that was that it was really a custom environment. It wasn’t a standards based platform.

    We were writing our own SD card drivers, our own file system, our own text editor. You find yourself doing a lot of basic work and although you end up with a platform which is powerful and programmable, it’s completely nonstandard [and] completely unlike any other machine. You don’t get to leverage any of the work that’s already been done by people on desktop platforms. That was prototype two.

    The real breakthrough for us was with prototype three. We got hold of another chip from Broadcom which had an ARM processor which was able to run standard Linux. That was really the point where we realized we had something that met all our goals. And that was the product we went to market with.

    NewImage

    RW: What does that say to you about the potential demand for DIY projects like the Pi? Are we all going to be DIY hackers one day?

    EU: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing. There is an enormous demand for it. And I think that there is a tie to the maker community. The maker community is much more developed in American than it is in the UK. We do have maker fairs and hackerspaces now, but it’s probably five years behind where it is in the U.S.

    So one thing we found when we started talking about Raspberry Pi, when it started getting international attention, we found we were launching into this very well established community of people who like doing all sorts of DIY activity: knitting, or, you know, woodworking.

    So that’s one of the things that led to that surprise increase in volume for the Pi. Makers who see it as a component they can use to build their projects. Which is great!

    Read more.


    998Each 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 11, 2014 - 10:00
    A Brilliant and Elegant CNC Pendant

    pendant

    [Mike Douglas] has a small hobby CNC router, which works great — but you’re limited to controlling it from your PC. And unfortunately, there just aren’t pendants made for this consumer level stuff. Annoyed at having to reach over to use his keyboard all the time, he stumbled upon a simple, but brilliant solution: A dedicated USB 10-key pendant keypad.

    These USB keypads are designed for laptops that don’t have full size keyboards. They can be had for a few dollars from China, and let you expand your keyboard possibilities… All [Mike] had to do was print off some stickers to put on the keys!

    It’s easy to program new hot keys in Mach3  – and there you go! Why haven’t we thought of this before? While you’re at it, why not build a cyclonic dust separator for your CNC too — and if you’re having trouble clamping down work pieces, [Mike] has a pretty cool solution for that as well.

     

     

    Filed under: cnc hacks

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 09:00
    How to set up your Raspberry Pi camera module #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_pi



    The blog average man vs raspberry pi has a great post about setting up your Raspberry Pi’s camera module.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently purchased a Raspberry Pi camera module to open up a whole new bag of Raspberry learning opportunities and potentially take some great videos as well.

    Before I jump into the code and start to take time-lapse videos of various pointless things, I thought it would be worthwhile to share some steps on of how to connect your camera module to your Pi, including a few things to look out for. This will be ‘Part 1′ of a series of camera module posts. Let’s begin…

    Read the full tutorial here.

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 08:00
    Meet Jasper: Open-Source Voice Computing for your Raspberry Pi @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi



    Jasper, a customizable, open-source platform for developing voice-controlled applications for the Raspberry Pi, is basically Siri’s super cool cousin, via Raspberrypi.org. Jasper’s developers are Charlie Marsh & Shubhro Saha, two BSE students at Princeton University.

    Jasper already comes with modules to deal with things like time, weather, Gmail, playing your Spotify music, news (and what’s on Hacker News)…and knock knock jokes. You can build your own modules to add more functionality. We’re really impressed by how well-documented Jasper is; new developers should be able to get to grips with building on the platform very easily, and we’re looking forward to watching what you guys get up to with it.

    Read more.


    998Each 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 11, 2014 - 07:01
    The INFRA-NINJA — A PC Remote Receiver

    F3GULGEHTOUJI73.MEDIUM

    Laziness sometimes spawns the greatest inventions. Making things to reduce effort on your part is quite possibly one of the greatest motivators out there. So when [Kyle] had to get out of bed in order to turn off Netflix on his computer… He decided to do something about it.

    He already had an Apple remote, which we have to admit, is a nice, simple and elegant control stick — so he decided  to interface with it in order to control his non-Apple computer. He quickly made up a simple PCB up using the good ‘ol toner transfer method, and then populated it with a Bareduino, a CP2102 USB 2.0 to TTL UART 6PIN Serial Converter, an IR receiver, a USB jack, header pins, and a few LED and tactile switches.

    It’s a bit tricky to upload the code (you have to remove the jumper block) but then it’s just a matter of connecting to it and transferring it over with the Arduino IDE. The Instructable is a bit short, but [Kyle] promises if you’re really interested he’ll help out with any questions you might have!

    Filed under: computer hacks, macs hacks

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 07:00
    Animated Setting up your Raspberry Pi (VIDEO) #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi



    Animated Setting up your Raspberry Pi (VIDEO)

    How to set up your Raspberry Pi – animation by Saladhouse, voiced by Johnny Ball – for the Raspberry Pi Foundation

    And here’s a quick shout from Liz @ Raspberry Pi Foundation about the voice talent, who has been making learning about science, technology, and mathematics cool in the UK since the 1970s!

    That’s the LEGENDARY Johnny Ball. Johnny donated his time and his voice talent to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and we couldn’t be more grateful: Johnny, please watch out for the postman next week, ‘cos we’re sending you a present to say thanks.

    Read More.


    998Each 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 11, 2014 - 06:00
    How to change the command line font size on your pi! #piday #raspberrypi @raspberry_pi



    Raspberry Pi Spy has a useful tutorial for changing the command line font size on your Raspberry Pi.

    If you are using your Raspberry Pi with a smaller screen you may want to change the font used on the command line to make it easier to read. I usually do this when I am using various portable LCD screens (eg the HDMIPi).

    It only changes the font within the console if you are using a screen connected directly to the Pi. It won’t affect Putty/SSH sessions.

    Changing the font size on the console is easy to do and there are two methods you can choose.

    Read more.


    998Each 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 11, 2014 - 04:01
    Never Lose Your Pencil With OSkAR on Patrol

    OSkAR

    [Courtney] has been hard at work on OSkAR, an OpenCV based speaking robot. OSkAR is [Courney's] capstone project (pdf link) at Shepherd University in West Virginia, USA. The goal is for OSkAR to be an assistive robot. OSkAR will navigate a typical home environment, reporting objects it finds through speech synthesis software.

    To accomplish this, [Courtney]  started with a Beagle Bone Black and a Logitech C920 webcam. The robot’s body was built using LEGO Mindstorms NXT parts. This means that when not operating autonomously, OSkAR can be controlled via Bluetooth from an Android phone. On the software side, [Courtney] began with the stock Angstrom Linux distribution for the BBB. After running into video problems, she switched her desktop environment to Xfce.  OpenCV provides the machine vision system. [Courtney] created models for several objects for OSkAR to recognize.

    Right now, OSkAR’s life consists of wandering around the room looking for pencils and door frames. When a pencil or door is found, OSkAR announces the object, and whether it is to his left or his right. It may sound like a rather boring life for a robot, but the semester isn’t over yet. [Courtney] is still hard at work creating more object models, which will expand OSkAR’s interests into new areas.

    [Thanks Emad!]

    Filed under: robots hacks

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 03:55
    New Project: Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Stairwell Spray Booth

    sprayboothWhat's under your stairway?

    Read more on MAKE


  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 01:28
    Pro Snowboarder Mike Basich’s Off-Grid DIY Home in the Sierras

    area 241 summer shotBasich's property is 40 acres of rough mountain terrain with a 228-square-feet off-grid cabin hand-built out of granite and pine harvested from the property.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 01:01
    3D Printed Cyclone Dust Separator

    DSCN7011

    [Nicholas] has been reading Hackaday for a few months now, and after seeing several people’s dust extractor setups, he decided to make his own 3D printed version. And he’s sharing the files with everyone!

    He has a small Lobo mill which produces a lot of dust and to clean up he’s been using a small “Shark” brand vacuum cleaner. It’s a powerful little thing, but has little to no capacity which makes it rather frustrating to use. This makes it a perfect candidate for a cyclone upgrade! If you’re not familiar with cyclonic separator it’s a way of removing dust from air using vortex separation — between rotational forces and gravity, this keeps the dust out of your vacuum cleaner and means you never need to change another filter!

    Using Autodesk inventor he designed this 4-stage cyclone separator. It’s made for a 1.75″ OD vacuum hose (the Shark standard) but could be easily modified for different vacuums. We’ve seen lots of cyclone separators before, but this 3D printed one certainly makes it easier to fabricate to exacting standards!

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, tool hacks

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 - 00:02
    Collin’s Lab: Soldering



    It’s sad to think of all the awesome things that won’t be built because some folks are turned off by the idea of soldering. Such missed opportunity! Soldering is the fun!

    In an effort to demystify, clarify & familiarize, we bring you the above internet video. Please share it with someone who thinks soldering is “not for them” and to gether we can make the world a better place – filled with blinking circuitry!

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 23:49
    Developed on Hackaday: 2 Days Left to Submit your Design!

    We’re sure that many of Hackaday readers already know that one of the two main components of the Mooltipass project is a smart card, containing (among others) the AES-256 encryption key. Two weeks ago we asked if you’d be interested coming up with a design that will be printed on the final card. As usual, many people were eager to contribute and recently sent us a few suggestions. If you missed the call and would like to join in, it’s not too late! You may still send your CMYK vector image at mathieu[at]hackaday[dot]com by sunday. More detailed specifications may be found here.

    In a few days we’ll also publish on Hackaday a project update, as we recently received the top and bottom PCBs for Olivier’s design. The low level libraries will soon be finished and hopefully a few days later we’ll be able to ship a few devices to developers and beta testers. We’re also still looking for contributors that may be interested in helping us to develop browser plugins.

    The Mooltipass team would also like to thank our dear readers that gave us a skull on Hackaday projects!

    Filed under: Hackaday Columns, hardware

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 23:30
    Open Printable Prosthetics R&D Resources #maketheworld #3DThursday #3DPrinting


    Open prosthetics

    It is deeply heartwarming to check in on the progress at e-NABLE and other open printable prosthetics project teams since the MakeTheWorld: Prosthetics Hangout Series wrapped up at the end of October. Many of those featured during that series are still actively pushing this research forward, and at quite a clip!

    MakerBlock is one of the desktop 3D printing superstars who has taken up this cause. He has documented and shared a number of significant resources to catch you up to date on the collective volunteer R&D efforts so far. Here’s a resource he shared from those involved in university research into this topic:

    Marc Petrykowski of Creighton University was kind enough to provide some additional practical experience and information about the university’s research study into printable prosthetics.  For anyone looking to dive into this project, I’m cross-posting the information from the e-NABLE Google Plus group here.1 I’ve adjusted the formatting slightly, but otherwise everything below are Marc’s words.

    What exact measurements do you need (e.g., hand-length from where to where?)

    Below are photos of all of the measurements I use for designing a hand.2 Yes it does seem like a lot, but all of them are needed to ensure the best custom fit for the hand we make for the user. When making a custom hand, it is important to make the 3D printed hand as similar to the non effect hand (fingers, width, length, etc). Each hand also has to be custom because of the size (length, width, height) or the stump. Some are very tiny and some are much bigger, so that also plays a big role when you have to design a hand. There are two photos that are measuring angle of flexion and extension. Those are important to see how tight or how loose the hand has to be for the power and strength of the individual and to make the hand as functional as possible.

    How do you get them from scans etc.

    Scans from our 3D scanner are in the format .STL which can be imported into programs such as blender (Shown below). Then I can lay it into the preexisting hand design and see an image of how it will fit, including the gauntlet size. If there are further changes to be made, I can do it all in blender before the print.

    How do you apply those measurements to your model

    1. As stated above, the measurements matter for the size of the hand. You can’t have a hand that is much smaller then the opposite hand, but you also can’t have a hand that is too small or large for the stump. Everything has to be customize depending on each case. This is where the designing takes the longest. My goal as the designer and printer is to make the hand as near perfect as the other hand so it feels the same to the body and brain, thus they will respond with the effected hand like it was their real non effected hand. Also as stated above, the degrees of flexion and extension and the size/length of the fingers are all incorporated into the final design before the printing the hand.
    2. And if, as +Jorge Zuniga suggests, ALL parts can be pre-printed, I’m hoping you guys will take the lead in helping us make it easy.  (As easy as buying shoes at a shoe store)
    3. This is possible because all of the redesigning and redoing of the measurements are all done in blender. Remember, if you resize a finger to a certain percentage, then you have to do the same for the rest of the fingers, thumb, phalanges, palm, and the gauntlet. That is how you can print everything off as one complete print.

    Visit Makerblock’s complete post for the rest of the FAQ as well as other great resources!

    OpenPrintedProsthetics


    649-1

    Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

    Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

    The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 23:26
    Migrate Arduino Code to C Code on New Microcontroller / Adafruit Jobs Board


    Arduino

    Migrate Arduino Code to C Code on New Microcontroller / Adafruit Jobs Board

    JoyLabz is looking for a computer engineer to transition Arduino code written for the ATmega32u4 to an cheaper, shorter lead time microcontroller. This is essentially a re-engineering of the Makey Makey (makeymakey.com) circuit board to a new MCU.

    Hardware:

    Select a new chip meeting the technical and business requirements for the project (5V, 20 to 22 digital i/o, USB HID, comparable power) such as Silicon Labs C8051F38x or Cypress CY8C32.

    The chip should be widely available and cost less than ATMega32u4 in bulk. The chip should have built in USB HID support and the vendor should allow registration of a PID under their VID.

    Software:

    Reimplement the existing Arduino C code (approx 750 lines) on the new MCU. This will include implementation of some Arduino libraries (see code link) if necessary.

    Add one new feature for key remapping (it’s a hack!) (estimated 200 lines code)

    Candidate:

    The eligible candidate should be an expert with writing software on 8-bit MCUs in Arduino and C.

    Show previous experience with writing on the selected platform or similar capability.

    Timeline goal is 1 month. Please submit a resume or website detailing your experience with similar projects and your rate for consideration.

    Learn More

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 23:00
    Steampunk Gunslinger Spawn Costume


    steampunk gunslinger spawn

    One of the wonderful things about comic books is that there about a million characters to pull costume inspiration from. Maybe a bajillion. RPF user madprops focused his efforts on building a steampunk version of Gunslinger Spawn. He used a lot of leather, cast skulls and spikes, and incorporated LEDs to for extra flair. Here’s what he did for the coat:

    Moving on to the coat. The base of the coat was a black Wilson’s leather trench coat I found at Goodwill for $25. Great find! The rest of the coat was hand stitched and tooled. I had to use a vinyl spry paint from DuPont and Nulife to get the red colors. I used a 1/8″ thick x 1/4″ wide aluminum bar in the collar sandwiched between 2 pieces of leather to get the shape in the collar. Hand stitching the coat was a heck of a task. Took me close to 3 weeks just to put all that together.

    steampunk gunslinger spawn 2

    Read more at The RPF.

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 22:26
    Mars Rover Art Car: Bringing Space to the Playa

    roverHow a Burning Man crew brought space to the Playa.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 22:06
    tiny bubbles #macro #led by @CollinMel





    Coming soon :)

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 22:00
    Recovering Nichrome Wire from Unexpected Sources

    115b-guitar-hero

    Don’t you hate it when you’re in a pinch and all your favorite surplus or electronic stores are closed? You’ve gotta finish this project, but how? He’s a nice real hack for you guys.  How to recover nichrome wire from a ceramic heater!

    Necessity spawned this idea, as [Armilar] needed to make 45 cuts in two pieces of foam in order to ship some long circuit boards. Not wanting to make the 90 cuts individually, he improvised this nichrome slicing jig. Not having a spool of nichrome handy, he decided to use a less conventional method. He pulled out a sledgehammer and smashed open a ceramic wirewound resistor.

    According to him, nice big ceramic resistors like this 10W one have about a meter of nichrome wire inside!  After breaking the ceramic, it’s quite easy to remove. He made up a jig using nylon spacers and rivets, and then wrapped his wire back and forth across the whole length. It worked perfectly — though he was using 240VDC @ about 1.2A…

    If you don’t need such a complex setup, there’s always the bare bones wire foam cutters we’ve featured many times before.

    Filed under: classic hacks, tool hacks

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 21:08
    DiResta: Reupholstered Love Seat

    PastedGraphic-2Jimmy DiResta reupholsters a trashed love seat.

    Read more on MAKE


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