Total: 0,00 €



  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 19:45
    16 x 16 Zelda

    Adafruit 2827
    16 x 16 Zelda via Waxy.

    Hastily cobbled together by Ben Purdy for the Mini-Ludem Dare 50, a 48-hour game jam. The theme was “de-makes” so I have de-made Zelda. Minor updates after the jam ended (couldn’t resist..).

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 19:06
    Tutorial – Wireless Security Camera with the Arduino Yun @arduino #arduino #IoT

    Customer Projects 8007 03 07

    Tutorial – Wireless Security Camera with the Arduino Yun @ The Adafruit Learning System.

    Ever saw these wireless security cameras that you can buy off the shelf? These are devices that you can setup somewhere in your home or outside, connect to your WiFi network, and then access the video stream from anywhere. However, they are usually using the interface given by the manufacturer, which means you are quite limited with what you can do with your camera.

    In this project, we are going to build our own DIY version of such devices. The project is based on the Arduino Yun, to which we are going to connect a standard USB webcam and a PIR motion detector to create some cool applications.

    The first application will be a modern version of standard tasks that you want for a security camera: taking pictures when some motion is detected. The project will store pictures taken by the USB camera on an SD card inserted into the Yun, but that’s not all. Because we are in the age of the Internet of Things, we also want these pictures to be automatically uploaded on a secure location. And that’s exactly what we are going to do by uploading the pictures to Dropbox at the same time.

    Then, we are going to stream video coming from the camera directly on Youtube. At the end, you will have your own video stream accessible from anywhere in the world so you can check what is going on in your home. This way, you can also just share the link with your family or friends, so they can monitor your home when you are not there. Excited? Let’s dive in!

    Learn more!

    1498 Lrg-3

    Arduino YUN (YÚN). Arduino Yún is the first member of a new groundbreaking line of wifi products combining the power Linux with ease of use of Arduino. 
Yún means “cloud” in Chinese language as the purpose of this board is to make it simple to connect to complex web services directly from Arduino. 
The first Arduino Yún is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT).
    Designed in collaboration with Dog Hunter, a company with extensive experience with Linux, the board adopts the linino distribution which provides signed packages to ensure the authenticity of the software installed on the device.

    We embedded the Linux machine directly on the PCB of the Arduino Leonardo and we connected the two so that from Arduino it’s very easy to run commands on the Linux side and use it as an Ethernet and Wifi interface.

    Historically, interfacing Arduino with complex web services has been quite a challenge due to the limited memory available. Web services tend to use verbose text based formats like XML that require quite a lot or ram to parse. On the Arduino Yún we have created the Bridge library which delegates all network connections and processing of HTTP transactions to the Linux machine. 
To make it even simpler to create complex applications, the Arduino Yún comes loaded with the power of Temboo, an innovative startup which provides normalized access to 100+ APIs, databases, and code utilities from a single point of contact allowing developers to mix and match data coming from multiple platforms (for example, Facebook, Foursquare, Dropbox and even FedEx and PayPal).

    The board can be programmed with an USB cable in the classic Arduino way or through the Wifi connection without the need to physically access the board. The new Arduino 1.5.4 IDE has the ability to detect any Arduino Yún connected to the local network. Clicking on the name of board and inputting a password is all it’s needed to program a board.

    This is the first official Arduino made in Asia, in Taiwan, because dealing with a tiny embedded Linux machine and Wifi all on a small board like this requires special equipment and expertise that are easier to find there.

    In the Adafruit store.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 19:01
    Droning On: Resources and First Steps


    It’s been quiet these last few weeks in drone news. Some members of the commercial community are performing missions, while others are waiting on the results of the FAA’s appeal to the NTSB. There is no denying that drones are getting larger as an industry though. Even Facebook has jumped into the fray, not for drones to deliver real world pokes, but to provide internet access in remote areas.


    One of the high points in the news was an octocopter operator’s discovery of 2500 year old rock drawings, or petroglyphs in the Utah desert. While exploring a known archeological site, Bill Clary of GotAerial LLC flew his octocopter up to a cliff face. The rock formation would have made rappelling down the face difficult at best. He found an amazing collection of petroglyphs which he documented in this video. While the authenticity of the petroglyphs hasn’t been proven yet, they appear to date back to the Basketmaker people who lived in the area from approximately 500 BC through 860AD.

    Maybe you’re asking yourself how you can get in on some of these sweet drone adventures? Whether you’re considering your very first flight, or already own multiple aircraft, you’ll want to read our discussion of getting started (specifically: acquiring your first drone) and discovering drone-related communities. Hit that “read more” link to stay with us.

    Drone, Drone of my own: Getting started

    Getting started with drones SHOULD be easier than it is. As with any complex endeavor, there are some common pitfalls which often snag enthusiasts.  The biggest one I see is a new pilot buying and building an expensive model – be it for sport, aerial photography, FPV, or fully autonomous – without learning how to fly first. This is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Just about every autonomous model falls back to radio control when problems arise. FPV models can and do have video failures, so knowing how to fly line of sight is essential. Think of it as learning how to drive. You wouldn’t want to learn on Corvette or a Rolls-Royce. The same applies to drones. Don’t learn with an octocopter, or with $2000 USD of camera equipment hanging off your aerial photography rig.

    Just choosing a first quad to learn with can be a daunting task. Back in the early 1990’s, I worked in a hobby shop. There were only a handful of large R/C manufacturers back then. Most of them were based in the US, Europe, and Japan. With the rise of China and the global economy, there are now hundreds of manufacturers and distributors of drones and RC models. This leads to the often seen “clone of a clone of a clone” situation we’ve come to recognize with the Arduino and any popular electronic device.  But which models are of decent quality, and which are junk? The easiest way to get a good answer is to seek the advice of others.

    syma-x1From my own experience, I’ve found a specific quad to be pretty good for learning to fly. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also one of the cheapest out there. The Syma X1 is a pretty darn good quad to learn with. The Syma appears to be a copy of the Blade MQX quadcopter – however Syma fixed a few flight issues the MQX suffered from. You can find the Syma at Amazon and other online retailers for around $30 USD.  The X1 is a brushed quad, which means the motors use carbon brushes to transfer power to the coils. Most larger quads are brushless. Don’t let the older technology fool you. Brushed motors are just fine in this application. However, the one part of the X1 I don’t really like is the transmitter. While it does sport an LCD display, the sticks and overall action feel cheap. They had to save money somewhere. Even with that shortcoming, the Syma transmitter is fine to learn with. A real nicety is that the X1 can be paired with the very hackable  Turnigy 9x series transmitters.

    4ChannelAirplaneDon’t forget to check the mode of the transmitter when ordering. Mode 1/Mode 2 refers to the layout of the controls on the sticks. Asia and Europe tend to use Mode 1, with the throttle and aileron on the right stick. North America uses Mode 2, where throttle and rudder are on the left stick. Since throttle control doesn’t use a centering spring, this is a mechanical change, not just a software remap of functions. One mode isn’t any easier than the other to fly, but flying with friends is more fun when your radio has the same functions as theirs.

    While I don’t plan to make Droning On a tutorial on learning to fly – there are plenty of great quality tutorials out there - I do want to help out with a few tips.

    •  If you you’re about to crash, chop the throttle. The X1 is so light that impacts usually result in no damage. Ensuring the motors are off when that impact happens will save your propellers, gears and motors.
    • Try to fly over grass or dirt, not concrete. Some tutorials will tell you to skid the quad around on the ground while learning. The skidding is a throwback to R/C helicopter training. With small quads like the X1, it’s better to get a couple of feet off the ground and out of ground effect turbulence.
    • If you feel like you’re losing control, let the sticks go – the gyroscopes and accelerometers on the X1 will often bring it back to a level hover.
    • Keep the back of the drone facing you. In that orientation the drone will follow the movements of the stick. When you’re comfortable with that try out other orientations.
    • “Nose in” is the hardest orientation to master, as your left is the quadcopter’s right. The quadcopter will mirror your stick movements.
    • Have fun! Seriously – it’s easy to get frustrated and stressed out when learning . If that happens take a breather, and try to remember that even if it were to fly away, the X1 is only $30 to replace.

    Drone Resources

    One of my favorite aspects of the internet has always been the collaboration. Like ham radio operators, R/C and drone enthusiasts were early adopters of the internet. Where news and information would only come once a month through magazines, it’s now available instantly online. Usenet provided early access through the rec.models.rc newsgroup tree. As the web came of age, much of the conversation moved to forum based websites. Some of the oldest and richest resources are the R/C forums. The best example of this would be RC Groups. Created as part of the Ezone, an electric RC magazine dating back to 1995, RC Groups has sections for just about every aspect of the hobby. The Multirotor, FPV, Aerial Photography, UAV, and DIY Electronics sections will be of interest to Hackaday readers.

    Here are a few other RC and drone oriented forums:

    • RC Universe, general RC forum similar to RC Groups.
    • FPV Labs covers first person video enthusiasts.
    • multirotorforums covers all things multirotor – from tricopters to octos and beyond.
    • AP Landing covers the aerial photography folks.

    Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list. I tried to cover a few of the big sites. If you know of any that I’ve missed, please throw them into the comments.

    The problem with most forums is finding information. Sure they have searches, but they usually leave quite a bit to be desired. As an example the main Syma X1 thread on RC groups is currently over 5200 posts spanning 348 pages. Topics meander, flame wars are waged, and post sizes get out of hand. If statistics are to be believed, RC Groups averages around 20,000 active users at any given time. It’s understandable how even an army of mods would have a hard time keeping up.

    There are plenty of non-forum based drone information sites. 3D Robotics maintains a community site at DiyDrones which is chock full of forum and blog information. Instructables has a number of drone entries. The Drone section at Hackaday.io is still looking pretty lean – though we’re hoping you’ll help change that in the near future.

    That about wraps it up for this edition of Droning On!

    Filed under: Hackaday Columns

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 19:00
    These Sand Castle Etchings are Each done on a Single Grain of Sand

    Vik muniz + marcelo coelho etch sandcastles on grains of sand designboom 02

    Using a scanning electron microscope and a focused ion beam, Brazilian artists Marcelo Coelho and Vik Muniz turn the concept of a conventional sand castle on its head, from design boom.

    brazilians artists vik muniz and marcelo coelho have visualized a monumental project on a microscopic scale: the two have etched grandiose castles onto the surface of individual, miniscule grains of sand. reversing the traditional notions of these fortresses being built in three dimensions from the sand itself, muniz and coelho instead reinterpret the term ‘sandcastle’ by intricately carving the form directly onto a single grain. with a canvas of just a half a millimeter in length, the precise portrayals are naked to the human eye, created with the use of a focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope, and are later blown up as four-feet-wide macro photos, which describe the elaborate detail in high quality.

    muniz tells the creator’s project ‘when someone tells you it’s a grain of sand, there’s a moment where your reality falls apart and you have to reconstruct it. you have to step back and ask what the image is and what it means’. the works are currently exhibiting at the tel aviv museum of art until august 2nd, 2014 as part of a comprehensive retrospective on the work of vik muniz.

    Vik muniz + marcelo coelho etch sandcastles on grains of sand designboom 03

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 18:56
    NEW PRODUCT – The Raspberry Leaf (Three Pack)


    NEW PRODUCT – The Raspberry Leaf (Three Pack): Have you ever tried making a connection from your Raspberry Pi to a breadboard and had trouble finding the pin you need because nothing is labelled? Have you made mistakes matching a diagram of the pinout to the actual pins? Are you not making enough connections to use our amazing Pi Cobbler? Try the Raspberry Leaf!


    The Raspberry Leaf is a piece of high quality glossy paper that’s cut and drilled to to pop over the GPIO pins of your Raspberry Pi and label them for easy connection. It greatly simplifies using the Raspberry Pi with a breadboard. All you do is push the leaf all the way down over the GPIO pins and then you’re ready to go!

    All the numbers refer to the BCM GPIO Number so if you’re using the RPi.GPIO library then be sure to set the BCM mode using the function setmode.

    The Raspberry Leaf is sold in packs of three


    In stock and shipping now!

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 18:25
    Adafruit goes to the APEX EXPO (photo gallery) #makerbusiness

    Here are all our APEX photos in one place over on Google+ enjoy! You can also see each blog post from the event here.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 18:20
    The Lady’s a Beast

    femme beast cosplay

    The X-Men doesn’t have a shortage of blue characters, and cosplayer Reign transformed herself in the Beast. Hank McCoy is smart, witty, and also furry. Reign did a fantastic job bringing the mutant to life with her spot on costume and blue paint. I like her femme approach and that she translated it without making it overly skimpy. It’s more like straightforward crossplay. She shared some in progress pics on her Facebook page, and you can pick up some tips by going through them. For example, she created the buttons on her yellow belt simply by applying stickers. No special riveting tool necessary! See the pics below for some insight:

    beast costume in progress 2

    beast costume in progress

    via Unreality Mag, top photo by JJ Wenzel Images.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 18:09
    Ask your Wearables Questions! LIVE Wearable Electronics with Becky Stern 4/2 2pm ET

    Screen Shot 2013 08 12 at 12 22 52 PM

    What questions do you have about wearable electronics? Ask them now in the comments, and you could win our live giveaway!

    Screen Shot 2013 08 12 at 12 22 17 PM

    All inquisitive askers whose questions are featured on this week’s LIVE Wearable Electronics with Becky Stern will be eligible for a special giveaway. Post your Qs in the comments here, on Google+, Twitter, or YouTube, and then tune in at 2pm ET on Wednesday for the answers and to see if you’ve won!

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 18:00
    From the Forums: Sharp Infrared Range Sensor

    From the Forums: Sharp Infrared Range Sensor:

    We built an autonomous RC vehicle using 4 of the Sharp IR sensors and they work great! Thanks Adafruit for such great customer support and quick delivery. Here is the result.

    The objective was to create a robot that can recognize, track, and follow a specified color object as well as have the ability to avoid obstacles in its way.

    The Nexus S device connects to the IOIO board via Bluetooth, and uses the smartphone’s camera in conjunction with OpenCV and the external IR sensors to control the vehicle.

    The robot consists of the following components:

    • An android Nexus S smartphone
    • An IOIO-OTG board
    • An Arduino proto shield
    • An 1/18 RC Mastadon truck with brushless motor
    • An USB Micro Bluetooth Adapter
    • A 25C 2S 1500mAh 7.4V LiPO
    • Four(4) IR sensors
    • A Lynx B – Pan and Tilt Kit (with 2 Hitec 422 servos)
    • A Xbee shield for Arduino with an RN42-XV Bluetooth Module to communicate with laptop (optional). Mostly used to tune up the ESC PWMs and the pan/tilt PID.

    Total purchase cost was just under $400 and that includes the phone; which was purchased used on eBay.

    More information and details here.

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 18:00
    Ladyada visits Pololu @Pololu – APEX EXPO #adafruitAPEX @IPCShow #IPCshow #apexexpo

    Adafruit At Pololu

    While at the APEX Expo looking for manufacturing equipment for Adafruit we met up with Jan and the team from Pololu. Pololu is one of our favorite maker/robotics companies, they have some of the best engineered & designed electronics (we sell their Zumo!) – About Pololu.

    Pololu is an electronics manufacturer and online retailer serving education, maker, and professional engineering industries with products ranging from sensors and motion control electronics to motors and wheels to complete robots. We strive to offer well-engineered, quality products that enable our customers to take their own projects from idea to reality.

    Thank you for the tour!


    NEW PRODUCT – Zumo Robot for Arduino – The Pololu Zumo robot is an Arduino-controllable tracked robot platform that is less than 10 cm × 10 cm—small enough to qualify for Mini Sumo. It includes two micro metal gearmotors coupled to a pair of silicone tracks, a stainless steel bulldozer-style blade, an array of six infrared reflectance sensors for line following or edge detection, a 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer, and a buzzer for simple sounds and music. Just add 4 AA batteries and an Arduino (or compatible controller) and you are ready to push! No soldering or assembly is required.


    The Zumo robot is a low-profile tracked robot platform intended for use with an Arduino (or compatible device) as its main controller. It measures less than 10 cm on each side and weighs approximately 300 g with an Arduino Uno and batteries (165 g without, as shipped), so it is both small enough and light enough to qualify for Mini-Sumo competitions. It uses two 75:1 HP micro metal gearmotors to drive the treads, providing plenty of torque and a top speed of approximately 2 feet per second (60 cm/s), which makes it much more agile than competing robots like the Solarbotics Sumovore and Parallax SumoBot while still offering plenty of control. The Zumo robot includes a 0.036″-thick laser-cut stainless steel sumo blade mounted to the front of the chassis for pushing around objects like other robots, and a reflectance sensor array mounted along the front edge of the Zumo (behind the sumo blade) allows the Zumo to detect features on the ground in front of it, such as lines for following or edges for avoiding.


    The Zumo control board is essentially a shield for the Arduino Uno or Leonardo, both of which can be plugged directly into the shield’s male header pins, face down. (It is not compatible with the Arduino Mega or Due, but it can be used with older Arduinos that have the same form factor as the Uno, such as the Duemilanove.) The shield includes dual motor drivers, a buzzer for playing simple sounds and music, a user pushbutton, and a 3-axis accelerometer and compass. It also boosts the battery voltage to power the Arduino and breaks out the Arduino I/O lines, reset button, and user LED for convenient access and to accommodate additional sensors.

    Our Zumo Arduino libraries make it easy to interface with all of the integrated hardware, and we provide a number of sample programs that show how to use the Zumo’s reflectance array, pushbutton, buzzer, and motors. We have also written a basic LSM303 Arduino library that makes it easier to interface the LSM303DLHC 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer with an Arduino.


    The robot ships as shown in the main product picture; no assembly or soldering is required. An appropriate Arduino (or compatible controller) and four AA batteries are required but not included.

    In stock and shipping now!

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 17:00
    New A-Trak and Tommy Trash video features INSANE Rube Goldberg machine #MusicMonday

    We were blown away when we saw this new video for A-Trak & Tommy Trash’s ‘Tuna Melt’ on Colossal. This is one of the coolest Rube Goldberg machines we’ve ever seen!

    Here’s a fun new music video for A-Trak & Tommy Trash’s ‘Tuna Melt‘. The Rube Goldberg device moves through almost every room of the The Ohage House in St. Paul, MN as dominoes crash, paper airplanes fly, and submarines chug along underwater. I couldn’t say for sure if it was all shot in one take, but there are some fantastic sequences regardless. The video was directed by Ryan Staake and most of the dominoes and other kinetic devices were created by Tim Fort.

    Here’s a behind the scenes video which sort of indicates that it wasn’t done in one shot. Still, incredible build- can you imagine how long it must’ve taken?

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 16:19
    ASK AN ENGINEER + POPULAR MECHANICS @PopMech on Wednesday night 8pm ET 4/2/2014 – Special guest Jerry Beilinson!

    Cover Iphone

    ASK AN ENGINEER + POPULAR MECHANICS on Wednesday night 8pm ET 4/2/2014 – Special guest Jerry Beilinson! We will be talking about the April issue on stands now – Innovation Economy – 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream. Get the issue here!

    Jerry Beilinson, the deputy editor of Popular Mechanics, helps lead the coverage of diverse topics including the maker movement, advancements in biology, climate issues, and energy policy. He launched the magazine’s annual Breakthrough Awards program and led the development of its award-winning tablet magazine, along with other mobile apps.

    Now, as never before, DIYers are empowered to design, manufacture, and market their creations. Call it the maker movement, a fresh industrial revolution, or the new innovation economy. By any name, it’s a great time to be an innovator. And these visionaries are leading the way.

    What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community — “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer — stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week.

    G+Inside Promo

    Ipad Spread

    READ MORE – Our Ladyada is featured along with a whole bunch of awesome makers!

    While working on her master’s degree at MIT, Limor Fried used to relax at night by building synthesizers and other DIY electronics projects, then posting the instructions online. After fans started asking for help locating parts, she launched Adafruit. The company now sells electronics kits with open-source licenses, encouraging would-be inventors to experiment and have fun. The popular MintyBoost, for example, is a mobile-device charger housed in an Altoids-size tin. Fried’s site includes vibrant forums and video tutorials, and she awards badges for coding and welding. Her work is clearly making an impact: After watching the pink-haired engineer’s webcasts, one girl asked her father, “Are there any boy engineers?”

    Mission statement: Fried calls Adafruit “an educational company that just happens to have a gift shop at the end.”

    See you there!

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 16:01
    Dr. Frankenstein’s Wireless Xbox One Steering Wheel

    Buy an Xbox One controller and hack it immediately? That’s exactly what [tEEonE] did so he could merge it with a Simraceway SRW-S1 steering wheel. He loves racing games and was psyched to play Forza 5. He already had the steering wheel, but it’s strictly a PC peripheral. [tEEonE] wanted the wheel to control the steering, gas, and brakes and found both the XB1 controller and the SRW-S1 well-suited to the hack.

    For steering, [tEEonE] substituted the SRW-S1′s accelerometer for the XB1′s left joystick pot. He connected the X and Y to analog pins on an Arduino Pro. Then he mapped the rotation angles to voltage levels using a DAC and wired that to the XB1 joystick output. The XB1 controller uses Hall effect sensors and magnets on the triggers to control the gas and brake. He removed these and wired the SRW-S1 paddles to their outputs and the XB1 controller is none the wiser.

    He also rigged up a 3-point control system to control the sensitivity and calibrate the angles: a button to toggle through menu items and two touch modules to increment and decrement the value. These he wired up to a feedback interface made by reusing a 15-LED strip from the SRW-S1. Finally, he had space left inside the housing for the XB1′s big rumble motors and was able to attach the small motors to the gas and brake paddles with the help of some 3-D printed attachments. Check out this awesome hack in action after the break.


    Filed under: Arduino Hacks, xbox hacks

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 16:00
    Rainbow-catching waveguide could revolutionize energy technologies #Manufacturing Monday


    Phys.org has posted a story on some new photonics research that could allow manufacturers to recycle waste heat and more.

    By slowing and absorbing certain wavelengths of light, engineers open new possibilities in solar power, thermal energy recycling and stealth technology.

    More efficient photovoltaic cells. Improved radar and stealth technology. A new way to recycle waste heat generated by machines into energy.

    All may be possible due to breakthrough photonics research at the University at Buffalo.

    The work, published March 28 in the journal Scientific Reports, explores the use of a nanoscale microchip component called a “multilayered waveguide taper array” that improves the chip’s ability to trap and absorb light.

    Unlike current chips, the waveguide tapers (the thimble-shaped structures above) slow and ultimately absorb each frequency of light at different places vertically to catch a “rainbow” of wavelengths, or broadband light…

    “We previously predicted the multilayered waveguide tapers would more efficiently absorb light, and now we’ve proved it with these experiments,” said lead researcher Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, UB assistant professor of electrical engineering. “This advancement could prove invaluable for thin-film solar technology, as well as recycling waste thermal energy that is a byproduct of industry and everyday electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops.”
    Each multilayered waveguide taper is made of ultrathin layers of metal, semiconductors and/or insulators. The tapers absorb light in metal dielectric layer pairs, the so-called hyperbolic metamaterial. By adjusting the thickness of the layers and other geometric parameters, the tapers can be tuned to different frequencies including visible, near-infrared, mid-infrared, terahertz and microwaves.

    The structure could lead to advancements in an array of fields…

    The multilayered waveguide taper array could help recycle waste heat generated by power plants and other industrial processes, as well as electronic devices such as televisions, smartphones and laptop computers.
    “It could be useful as an ultra compact thermal-absorption, collection and liberation device in the mid-infrared spectrum,” said Dengxin Ji, a PhD student in Gan’s lab and first author of the paper.
    It could even be used as a stealth, or cloaking, material for airplanes, ships and other vehicles to avoid radar, sonar, infrared and other forms of detection. “The multilayered waveguide tapers can be scaled up to tune the absorption band to a lower frequency domain and absorb microwaves efficiently,” said Haomin Song, another PhD student in Gan’s lab and the paper’s second author.

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 15:59
    Abstract Ideas Don’t Deserve Patents #makerbusiness

    Adafruit 2825
    Abstract Ideas Don’t Deserve Patents @ NYTimes.com.

    The Constitution gives Congress the power to grant inventors a temporary monopoly over their creations to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” But in recent years, the government has too often given patent protection to inventions that do not represent real scientific advances.

    On Monday, the Supreme Court will consider when the government should grant patents to processes that are based on abstract ideas. In a world where technology is rapidly changing, the Patent and Trademark Office has been flooded with applications that claim to have invented ways to solve problems. But it can be hard to discern if these creations should be patentable.

    The number of patent applications has more than tripled in the last two decades, and the number of patents granted has multiplied two and a half times. But many of those patents appear to be overly broad and vague, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. That increase has contributed to a surge in costly, and often frivolous, patent-infringement lawsuits.

    …The Supreme Court should make clear that nobody should be allowed to claim a monopoly over an abstract idea simply by tying it to a computer.

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 15:57
    Ultimaker Announces New CEO #makerbusiness

    Adafruit 2824
    News – Ultimaker Announces New CEO – Ultimaker.

    Co-founders Martijn Elserman and Erik de Bruijn will take on supporting roles responsible for the Ultimaker Experience and Evangelizing 3D printing respectively. The change comes as a result of a newly defined growth strategy in which the founders will take on a more prominent role in defining the path forward. The three co-founders are extremely grateful for the role of interim CEO Henk van Gils who has guided the company the past two years.

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 15:53
    Life (video)

    A commission by The Metropolitan Hotel London as part of their charity work for Noah’s Ark Children Hospice, this egg is a contemporary interpretation of the Faberge egg. Designed using parametric principles the structure itself provides power to 400 LEDs. In this object circuit boards are part of the structure and the structure is part of the circuit to create a seamless aesthetics of structure and light.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 15:51
    What the IRS Bitcoin Tax Guidelines Mean For You #makerbusiness

    What the IRS Bitcoin Tax Guidelines Mean For You.

    The US Internal Revenue Service finally announced its guidance for virtual currencies yesterday, explicitly referring to bitcoin (see the announcement here PDF here). and notice . The increased clarity – provided three weeks before the end of the US tax year – will come as a relief to many who were scared to get involved in bitcoin, commercially. But what does it mean for different members of the bitcoin community?

    Learn more.

    2120X1192 Adafruit Bitcoin Banner-1

    Adafruit is pleased to offer BitCoin as a payment method for Adafruit purchases. We’re using BitPay as our payment processor. BitPay is an electronic payment processing system for the bitcoin currency. BitPay enables online merchants to accept bitcoins, as a form of payment like payments from Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Google Wallet and Paypal.

    Here’s a video from BitPay that explains their service. And below is the Bitcoin.org overview of Bitcoin and video.

    Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 15:00
    Dead Computer Tower? Why Not Make a Tool Box?

    F8voed9hsvghdgk large

    Turns out a dead computer tower is the perfect structure for an oversized tool box, from hackaday.

    [Michael Gohjs] acquired a bunch of old business computers — the Dell Optiplex GX400, to be precise — and after salvaging any of the useful components out of them he was left with the cases. Not wanting to toss them for recycling, he decided to try upcycling one into a portable tool box.

    The cool thing with using a computer tower for a tool box is most of it is already setup for modular storage spaces. [Michael] removed the bracket that holds the power supply in place, and using some cardboard from a calendar stand formed a box attached to it — instant storage space. Even better? The 5.25″ drive bays have sliding rails for easy removal! Again, all [Michael] had to do was build a box in between the slot rails and he had a cleverly utilized drawer.

    The rest of the case was built in a similar manner, making use of pre-existing features, and making new cubbies. If you wanted to get fancy, you could use sheet metal to do this to make an even more rugged toolbox.

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 31, 2014 - 14:00
    ArduinoPixel – Android App to Control a NeoPixel LED Strip via Arduino Web Server #NeoPixel #Arduino

    Nick Lamprianidis shared with us his Android app that communicates with an Arduino Web Server to control a NeoPixel LED strip – ArduinoPixel on GitHub:

    This project consists of two pieces. The first piece is an Arduino sketch that implements a Web Server and offers an API for controlling a NeoPixel LED Strip. The second piece is an Android app, ArduinoPixel, that connects to the Arduino Web Server and sends commands to control the color and the on/off state of the LED strip.

    The Arduino sketch is also available at codebender. You can clone the project, update the controller and network parameters, and upload it straight to your Arduino Ethernet, or any other Arduino compatible board w/ an Ethernet Shield.

    The Android application is available on Google Play. Install the app to your phone or tablet, configure the network parameters you set earlier in the Arduino sketch, and you are ready to go. You can watch a demo on YouTube.

    Read more.


    Featured Adafruit Product!


    Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip 60 LED -1m – WHITE: You thought it couldn’t get better than our world-famous 32-LED-per-meter Digital LED strip but we will prove you wrong! You wanted twice the LEDs? We got it (well, its 1.875 times as many but that’s within a margin of error). You wanted thinner strips? Now only 12.5 mm wide, 10 mm if you remove the strip from the casing. You wanted less noticable strip color – this strip has white-colored flex PCB, which will be less visible against white-painted walls. This is the strip with white flex PCB, its identical to the black 60 LED/meter except it has a different color mask on the flex strip (read more)