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  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 13:00
    Natalia’s Chameleon Scarf #WearableWednesday
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 12:00
    Shapeoko 2 Mods: Dust Mitigation and Limit Switches

    so2-main

     

    Not long ago the Shapeoko 2 came out. In case you missed it, the Shapeoko 2 is the 2nd generation bench-top CNC Router of the namesake. All axes roll on Makerslide and v-wheels. The X and Y axes are belt driven, power is transmitted to the Z axis by lead screw.

    As with most products, there will be people who must hack, mod or upgrade their as-received item.  If you are a regular Hackaday reader, you are probably one of those people. And as one of those people, you would expect there have been a few individuals that have not left this machine alone.

    CNC Machines are dumb, they do what you tell them. Sometimes us humans ask them to do things that result in the machine trying to travel past its physical limits. To protect his machine from human error, [Zorlack] decided to make limit switch brackets for his Shapeoko. They are 3D printed, accept standard limit switches and bolt directly onto the Makerslide rails of the machine. These types of switches are used as travel limits, where if triggered, the machine stops moving in that direction. If you’d like a set, they are available for download at the above link.

    so2-homeswitch

     

    We’ve discussed recently how much dust a CNC Router creates and how to manage that dust on the cheap. [Jason] blew away the ‘on the cheap’ record with this Dust Shoe for his Shapeoko. It is made only from an old tennis ball can. The lid is removed and a hole is cut in it just a bit smaller than the outer diameter of the router. The lid is then press-fit onto the router. Next, the plastic portion of the can is trimmed to length and slits are cut into the plastic to create flaps similar to brush bristles. These flaps were straight when cut but [Jason] used some heat to create a permanent outward curve. The newly created skirt snaps into the lid previously installed on the router and can be removed easily for tool bit changes. We’d like to see the next version have an outlet for a vacuum to collect the contained dust.

    so2-dustshield

     

     

    Filed under: cnc hacks, how-to

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 12:00
    Open Source Soft Robots!

    softrobotsA new, open-source soft robot called the Glaucus Atlanticus.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 12:00
    Words of caution to wearable device startups from @BoltBoston

    jawboneonwrist

    Words of caution to wearable device startups from @BoltBoston:

    We’re in the middle of a major surge of wearable consumer electronic products. Originally, these devices were purely for fitness: Nike, Fitbit, Jawbone, etc use basic sensors (like accelerometers) to track activity throughout the day and motivate healthy behaviour. As the wearables market matures, there are an increasing number of startups building wearable devices with more specific (and frankly, more useful) sensors and use cases. Bionym (Nymi), Quanttus, Ringly, Novasentis, Narrative (Memoto), Telepathy, etc are all seeking to differentiate themselves by addressing more specific problems.

    Wearables are a highly interesting new product category that will attract lots of new entrants. But young startups should proceed with caution. These products are exceptionally hard to build. I mean really, really hard.

    6. Business Dynamics
    In addition to all the technical challenges of wearable products, the business dynamics add a new element of complexity for young startups. Large, well-funded companies have entered the market with strong brands and experienced teams. Many of the existing products’ core technology is quite simple and has little to no protectable competitive advantage. For example, Apple’s new M7 motion co-processor could easily dislodge all existing fitness tracker products if the developer community embraces it. Companies like Nike have massive marketing caché, cash flow, and distribution networks. As a small, venture backed startup it’s exceedingly difficult to compete in this kind of business landscape.

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 11:00
    FLORA in @FastCompany Magazine #WearableWednesday

    flora-plush-controller-fastco

    fastcoapril2014

    The FLORA plush game controller‘s getting some ink in this April’s issue of Fast Company magazine! Goes along nicely with the video story they did on the FLORA controller back in October.


    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, March 26, 2014 - 10:00
    Great Goggles by Larry #WearableWednesday

    Larry Stouder is a big Adafruit fan and recently completed these goggles straight from our tutorial. In his own words, things went well.

    It wasn’t too difficult, except that you need to be comfortable soldering small connections and you are a bit on your own in figuring out how to route the wires in the goggles. The red coil across the front is purely decorative.

    He made them for his grandson, who will probably find some new inspiration for Halloween. What do you think he will be? We are thinking a Minion from Despicable Me. Larry’s next project? He’s shooting for our more recent tiara tutorial. This one is a beauty, but the real question is who will Larry be giving it to? Make sure you post a video with the wearer, Larry!!


    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, March 26, 2014 - 09:01
    Copper Oxide Thermoelectric Generator Can Light An LED

    On Hackaday, we usually end up featuring projects using building blocks (components, platforms…) that can be bought on the market. We however don’t show many hacks that rely on basic physics principles like the one shown in the picture above.

    In the video embedded below, [nylesteiner] explains that copper oxide can be formed when heating a copper wire using a propane flame. When two oxidized wires are placed in contact with each other, an electrical current is produced when one wire is heated much hotter than the other. The trade-off is that the created thermocouple generates a small voltage but a ‘high’ current. However, when you cascade 16 junctions in series you can generate enough voltage to light up an LED. Even though the complete system isn’t particularly efficient at converting heat into electricity, the overall result is still quite impressive in our opinion. We advise our readers to give a look at [nylesteiner]‘s article and blog to discover his interesting adventures.

     

    Filed under: chemistry hacks

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 09:00
    Vote for which intense next-generation spacesuit you want NASA to make #WearableWednesday

    NewImage

    NASA wants you to vote for which style of spacesuit they should build next. You can see a bunch of 2D Art of the suits as well as 3D models on their site here. Voting lasts until April 15th.

    The above picture is the “Biomimicry” option which “mirrors the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures found at incredible depths, and the scaly skin of fish and reptiles found across the globe.” Here’s some more information on the vote:

    NASA’s Z-2 Suit is the newest prototype in its next-generation spacesuit platform, the Z-series. As a follow-up to the previous Z-1 suit, which was named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012, the Z-2 takes the next step in fidelity approaching a final flight-capable design. Most exciting, the Z-2 marks several milestones for NASA:

    • First surface-specific planetary mobility suit to be tested in full vacuum
    • First use of 3D human laser scans and 3D-printed hardware for suit development and sizing
    • Most advanced use of impact resistant composite structures on a suit upper and lower torso system
    • First integration of the suit-port concept with a hard upper torso suit structure
    • Most conformal and re-sizeable hard upper torso suit built to date

    After the positive response to the Z-1 suit’s visual design we received, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide this new suit with an equally memorable appearance. The cover layer of a prototype suit is important as it serves to protect the suit against abrasion and snags during the rigors of testing. With the Z-2, we’re looking forward to employing cover layer design elements never used in a spacesuit before. The designs shown were produced in collaboration with ILC, the primary suit vendor and Philadelphia University. The designs were created with the intent to protect the suit and to highlight certain mobility features to aid suit testing. To take it a step further, we are leaving it up you, the public, to choose which of three candidates will be built.

    Here’s Option B called “Technology”

    NewImage

    “Technology” pays homage to spacesuit achievements of the past while incorporating subtle elements of the future. By using Luminex wire and light-emitting patches, this design puts a new spin on spacewalking standards such as ways to identify crew members.

    The last option is called “Trends in Society”.

    NewImage

    “Trends in Society” is based off of just that: being reflective of what every day clothes may look like in the not too distant future. This suit uses electroluminescent wire and a bright color scheme to mimic the appearance of sportswear and the emerging world of wearable technologies.

    Vote for your favorite option 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, March 26, 2014 - 08:00
    Blue Tooth Bangle Makes Sounds #WearableWednesday

    It might be targeted at kids, but don’t let this toy fool you; the adults are going to be fighting over it. Moff, seen on TechCrunch,  allows the wearer to transform make believe objects into sounds.

    The Moff wearable is a slap band — i.e. no need to fiddle with fastenings; you just slap it against your wrist and it wraps around. The band then links up to an iOS device via Bluetooth 4.0 to allow for different sound effects to be chosen via the corresponding Moff app. (An Android app is apparently also in the works).

    Some of the sounds include a guitar, toy gun and magic wand. Children can basically grab anything in the house and make it into a noise-making toy, thanks to accelerometers and gyros. The app allows for even more growth.

    They are also planning an SDK and an app store where developers will be able to sell apps for Moff users, or use its sensing platform by connecting it to an existing app to extend its functionality by adding a gesture interface.

    MoffAlthough this product is listed on Kickstarter, it has already doubled its goal, and future plans include cartoon content. Just think of all the cosplay fun to be had when your fave costumes have matching sound effects. This is going to make the old Lightsaber app obsolete.


    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, March 26, 2014 - 07:00
    Narrative Clip: Photographic memory for everybody #WearableWednesday

    Wearable-technologies.com wrote up this piece on Narrative Clip- a new product that will let you visually remember almost everything that happens to you. You can pick one up here for $279.

    Narrative Clip is a lifelogging camera worn on your T-shirt, blouse or jacket that takes a picture of your surroundings every 30 seconds. Equipped with a 5 megapixel camera, a GPS and a compass, the Narrative collects contextual information for each shot such as location and cardinal directions, in order to make it easier to sort and view the pictures. This generates a personal lifelog of the places you visit, the people you meet and the situations you experience. In practice this works quite simply – the clip, which is about the size of an iPod nano, can be comfortably and inconspicuously attached to your clothing. To pause the lifelog, you can simply put the clip in your pocket or face it with the lens down.

    The pictures are transferred by connecting the Narrative Clip to a Mac or PC via a micro USB cable. The pictures are then transferred from the lifelogging camera to the computer and from there are uploaded to Narrative´s server. There, the pictures are sorted by quality and by setting. They can then be viewed on a smartphone app, which composes the pictures into so-called “moments” and where blurry, dark or otherwise qualitatively inferior pictures can be automatically rejected if desired. The pictures’ detour through the computer and Narrative´s server also has its technical reasons. Due to the sheer amount of data, a direct transfer to smartphones would be impracticable and even most computers cannot cope with the flood of pictures. With up to two gigabytes data each day and several terabytes a year, most users would soon be overwhelmed by saving and backing up their photos. Furthermore, Narrative is planning an online profile and an API in addition to the app that would allow integrating the recorded moments into other web-based applications.

    Read more.

    NewImage


    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, March 26, 2014 - 06:00
    This Band Prevents Skin Cancer #WearableWednesday

    CancerBand

    This new band was unveiled at London’s Wearable Technology Conference and will prevent skin cancer, according to Engineering and Technology Magazine. This UVA/UVB alert system was created by Karin Edgett and her husband, Shahid Aslam, NASA scientist. Karin feels there are challenges computing SPF.

    “We feel like there isn’t a good tool for people to measure themselves in terms of how much sun is safe; it’s all a guessing game. If you use sunscreen there’s no correlation, according to the FDA, between SPF and how much time you should spend in the sun. So you’re guessing even if you use sunscreen”

    Considering most people visit a beach or hang out at a local pool and end up getting burned, it’s probably a wise investment.

    The device, expected to be released into the market in April, is equipped with a light sensor registering the amount of direct sunlight the skin receives. It combines the information with the knowledge of the user’s sensitivity level and triggers an alarm when the time spent on direct sunlight exceeds safe limits.

    This month we have already seen wristbands that detect pollutants. The trend seems to be growing, but how many bands are we willing to wear? Wouldn’t it be nice if one band could do it all?


    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, March 26, 2014 - 06:00
    Facebook to Buy Oculus VR

    facebook-ocu

     

    Facebook has agreed to purchase Oculus VR. The press values the deal at about $2 Billion USD in cash and stock. This is great news for Oculus’ investors. The rest of the world has a decidedly different opinion. [Notch], the outspoken creator of Minecraft, was quick to tweet that a possible rift port has now been canceled, as Facebook creeps him out. He followed this up with a blog post.

    I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition.

    Here at Hackaday, we’ve been waiting a long time for affordable virtual reality. We’ve followed Oculus since the early days, all the way up through the recent open source hardware release of their latency tester. Our early opinion on the buyout is not very positive. Facebook isn’t exactly known for contributions to open source software or hardware, nor are they held in high regard for standardization in their games API. Only time will tell what this deal really means for the Rift.

    The news isn’t all dark though. While Oculus VR has been a major catalyst for virtual reality displays, there are other players. We’ve got our eggs in the castAR basket. [Jeri, Rick] and the rest of the Technical Illusions crew have been producing some great demos while preparing CastAR for manufacture. Sony is also preparing Project Morpheus. The VR ball is rolling. We just hope it keeps on rolling – right into our living rooms.

    Filed under: news, Virtual Reality

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 05:00
    Barbara Layne’s interactive textiles address the social dynamics of fabric and human interaction #WearableWednesday

    NewImage

    Canadian artist Barbara Layne works with textiles and LEDs to create pieces that speak to the dynamics of human interaction. Will, one of our staff members in the production department, recently got a chance to check out her work at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca and was really impressed by it. The above piece is called Jacket Antics:

    These light-emitting jackets were originally designed for the exhibition Integration, in Sydney, Australia in Spring 2007. Intimate and interactive, they rely on the act of holding hands to present a range of dynamically encoded surfaces through their scrolling LED arrays. A variety of texts and designs related to time, place, communication and technological innovation were programmed into the LED displays of the garments.

    In the first instance, the texts refer to technical innovations between Canada and Australia. When the wearers hold hands) the text message continuously scrolls from the back of one to the other…

    When separated, the garents display a variety of texts and patterns independent of the other. The coatdress lists inventions by Canadians, alternating with stylized abstractions Of Canadiana. Similarly, the man’s jacket recounts Australian innovations and images from New South Wales. The content can be reconfigured, based on location or related to individual wearers.

    The fabric is made of black linen yarns, woven in a traditional 2/2 twill pattern to give the fabrics a soft drape. Woven on a hand loom, the weave structure supports embedded Light Emitting Diodes and other electronic components. Conductive silver threads are woven alongside the linen yarns to create a flexible circuit. The fabrics are then cut and sewn to create the garments.

    See the jackets in action here.

    NewImage


    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, March 26, 2014 - 01:45
    Engineering for Real-World Problems

    Benedetta_MaraTen tips on using your maker skills for humanitarian, environmental, and social causes.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 00:36
    Bluefruit LE Connect updated to v1.3.1

    Bluefruit_LE_Connect-2up

    Bluefruit LE Connect v1.3.1 is now available on the iOS App Store. Please update!

    This update fixes a bug which caused help view to sometimes display incorrectly on iPhone. That’s all for now – more to come.

    Happy Bluefruiting!

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 00:01
    Now You’re Washing with Gas

    [Michiel] likes to wash his clothes in warm water. Like a lot of machines, his draws from the cold water line and  heats it electrically. Gas is much cheaper than electricity in the Netherlands, so he wanted to be able to heat the water with gas instead. Hot-fill machines already exist, but few models are available and they’re all too expensive.  [Michiel] rolled up his sleeves and hacked his brand new washer into a hot-fill machine.

    He started out thinking that he’d just connect the hot water line instead, but that proved to be too hot. He found out it needs to be about 35°C (95°F), so he decided to mix input from the hot and cold lines. Since it’s a shiny new machine, [Michiel] wanted an externally mounted system to keep from voiding  the warranty. He got two solenoid valves from the electronic bay and used a PIC16F to make them dance. He wired up a light switch on a two-panel face and used the blank plate for power and status LEDs.

    [Michiel]‘s design works like a charm. The machine used to draw 2000W to heat the water, and peak usage now is as low as 200W. He noticed that the washer drew a lot of power in standby mode so he added a solid state relay and a bit more code. Now the electricity to the machine is cut after two hours and [Michiel] saves about €97 per year.

    Filed under: green hacks

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 23:00
    New Project: Building a Simple Arduino Robot

    Simple Arduino RobotLearn how to quickly and easily build your first Arduino-based robot!

    Read more on MAKE


  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 22:30
    An updated version of “Voyage to the Heart of Matter: The ATLAS Experiment at CERN” is now available in English and German! #makereducation

    New covers

    A new pop-up version of Voyage to the Heart of Matter is now available in English and German.

    A new “Higgs” edition of the ATLAS pop-up book – Voyage to the Heart of Matter is published in English and German.
    This updated edition of the book contains the pop-up particle tracks resulting from the decay of a Higgs boson in the heart of ATLAS, one of the four main experiments on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Both ATLAS and the Large Hadron Collider are recreated in full 3D pop-up by paper engineer Anton Radevsky. The book contains 16 separate pop-ups that reveal the inner workings of the Large Hadron Collider and the ATLAS experiment and now also include the discovery of the Higgs boson.

    The first edition of the pop-up book was published in the UK by Papadakis in November 2009. This redesigned and updated edition (ISBN 9871906506414 in English, ISBN 9789290833888 in German) is the fourth edition of the book which also exists in French. Pop-ups and illustrations by Anton Radevsky, text by Emma Sanders.

    English and German copies of the book arrive at CERN early December. In the meantime, English language copies are available at on-line retailers and all good bookstores from November 13th.

    Pre-orders are available now from Amazon.
    Authors : Anton Radevsky & Emma Sanders

    Slide3

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 22:10
    Microcontrollers Explained

    make_v36_highLearn the difference between I/O pins, ports, and processors.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 22:00
    This Wolf Tail Is Powered by Arduino

    wolf tail

    If you’re going to dress like an animal, make it more convincing by making your tail wag! Though Instructables user Umberfur wrote her tutorial specifically for wolf tail, you can apply it to any tail. She used an Arduino Uno Microcontroller to create the animatronic tail and paired it with bicycle brake cables, Klixx, pantyhouse, paper clips, and more. Here’s part of her process for making the skeleton of the tail:

    Take your Klixx toys and pull apart all the little pieces. I like to keep my colors separated, so once you have done that, take a closer look at the inside of one of the pieces. You see the two little knubs sticking out a bit from the inside walls? Those have got to go so grab that Exacto Knife and carefully cut off those little knubs (Please if you are a wolf cub allow your parents to do this for you). After you cut off all those knubs place two pieces together and move them back and forth. Hear anything? No? Great! Now then, turn them over so that the single flat end faces you. Clamp them down tightly and drill a hole all the way through. Take the drilled out piece and place it on top of the dual end of another component. Mark where the hole is and drill through both ends. Repeat this for all the pieces you plan on using for your tail.

    Read more at Instructables.

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