Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 06:00Californication from the Red Hot Chili Peppers by robot band…
Californication from the Red Hot Chili Peppers by robot band…
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 04:01The Coconut Cruiser Takes Relaxing To The Next Level
While you might not be able to tell from the picture, that outdoor love seat has wheels underneath it. And that Coconut — yeah — It controls it.
We’re starting to like this [Rodger Cleye] fellow. First he brings us the awesome [Marty Mcfly] quadcopter-hoverboard — and now this. He had originally converted his old recliner into a RC comfortable transportation chair in attempt to sell it at a garage sale, and after that decided a one-seater was just too boring. It’s much more fun to lounge with a friend while cruising down the street in your love seat.
It runs off of a 24V DC system with two 15aH SLA batteries. This gets it going to about 5mph, and the battery lasts well over 2 hours. The coconut has a straw sticking out of it which is actually the joystick — a very discrete control unit!
Still not satisfied, he decided to throw on a 25W audio system as well, so they can play their Hawaiian music while weirding out the neighbors. Take a look after the break.
Filed under: transportation hacks
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 02:07Stop Patent Trolls – Tell Your Senator to Vote Yes on the Innovation Act! #makerbusiness
Call Your Senators to Stop Patent Trolls!
Please tell your Senators that you support meaningful patent reform.
Tweet your Senators to Stop Patent Trolls!
Use social media to encourage your Senators to pass meaningful patent reform.
Write your Senators to Stop Patent Trolls!
Send a letter to your Senators to show your support for meaningful patent reform.
You can also “Write Your Rep”
Patent trolls cost money. In 2011, US Business entities took direct losses of $29B due to patent trolls.^ It’s time to end the madness and fix the broken patent system. The Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) curtails the power afforded to patent trolls and ends many protections they currently enjoy.
Learn more and write in!
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 01:01Frozen Pi — An Affordable Bullet Time Recorder
What happens when you strap 48 Raspberry Pi cameras together with nearly half a kilometer of network cables? You get your own bullet time capture rig.
Originally inspired by the unique film effect of the Matrix and an old BBC documentary called Supernatural: The Unseen Powers of Animals, the owner of PiFace decided to try re-creating the bullet time effect himself.
To create the rig they’ve taken 48 Raspberry Pis, each with a PiFace controller board and the standard camera. The controller board allows the Raspberry Pi to be used without a keyboard or mouse, so all the network cables have to do is send a simple code to each pi in order to take the pictures. A simple laser cut wood profile is used to snap them all together into a giant ring.
While 48 Raspberry Pis is a lot, they think this is a reasonable project for a classroom environment — besides, how cool would it be to go to school and film your own bullet time stunts?
Of course we have seen lots of bullet time rigs before, but it looks like this one will give a bit better of an effect. If you don’t have the cash for that many cameras — how about a single GoPro and a ceiling fan? Hackaday Alum [Caleb] even managed to do one with a lazy susan!
Filed under: Raspberry Pi
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 01:00Makerland Conference: An Attendee’s Perspective
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 00:27Square Market Accepts Bitcoin #makerbusiness
Let’s dive into the technical details of checking out. When a buyer opts to “Pay with Bitcoin” we first generate a new Bitcoin address and attach it to the order. We will continually monitor this address throughout the checkout process so we know when it has received payment.
Next, the buyer submits their payment. Buyers with a mobile Bitcoin wallet, simply open their wallet and scan the QR code to load the transaction details. Those with a hosted Bitcoin wallet receive instructions for entering the required information.
Once the payment details are loaded into the buyer’s wallet, they submit their payment to the network. Next, we detect that our receiving address was successfully funded and automatically advance the buyer to the order confirmation page. It’s pretty magical to witness first-hand!
Keeping it simple for the seller, the seller receives the amount of the purchased goods or services in USD and in the amount of USD advertised to the sellers’ customer at the time of transaction, so the seller takes no risk on Bitcoin value fluctuations. The seller then fulfills their customer’s order. Seamless!
It’s exciting to take another step towards helping sellers reach more customers and making commerce easy for everyone.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 23:37Enter to Win a Thranduil Crown
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 23:05Use This Tutorial To Become a House-Elf
In Harry Potter, house-elves like Dobby get the short end of the stick. However, they’re still fun to cosplay and the ensemble can be simple. You really only need ears, a dingy outfit, and a sock to carry around. Instructables user Kiteman put together an easy to follow tutorial on making house-elf ears from felt, a headband, glue, and a template (which is available for download). You could definitely opt to use a material like latex to get closer to the look seen in the films, but you don’t have to be exact. Whatever method works best for you is completely fine.
Here’s how he reinforced the ears to make them less floppy:
Depending on the thickness of your felt and the clagginess of your glue, the ears may be floppier than you like.
I had bought pipe-cleaners, intending to glue them up inside the fokded toos of the ears, but the combination of felt and PVA proved stiff enough for my needs.
If your ears need reinforcing, trim or fold the the pipe cleaners to the right length to hide inside the top of the ears, and then glue them in place.
Fluffy pipe-cleaners can be fixed in with most fabric glues, but if you’re using smooth wire, you may need to use hot-glue, or some other slightly more heavy-duty glue.
Read more at Instructables.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 23:00Make Your Own Animatronic Cat Ears!
Animatronic Cat Ears by abetusk
I saw the demo video for the neurowear “necomimi” brain controlled cat ears and I thought they were pretty awesome. I’m just starting to learn electronics and I thought a fun project to start out would be making my own version. Sadly, I don’t think I’m adept enough yet to take on making my own EEG and I don’t think the EEG’s that are available are very reasonably priced, so I settled for having a button input to control the cat ears.
I wanted to build something that wasn’t too expensive and was easy enough to be done in a sitting or two. I picked out some cheap servo motors, some craft supplies, spent a weekend or two developing code to control the servo’s from a microcontroller and after much trial and error, I built some kitty ears that I think are pretty decent.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 22:10A binary clock made with an Arduino Micro, GPS and LED panel #arduinomicromonday
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 22:03Ladyada and her new 2.8″ TFT with Capacitive Touchscreen (video) #manufacturing @arduino #arduino
Ladyada and her new 2.8″ TFT with Capacitive Touchscreen (video). From the desk of Ladyada! Ladyada and her new 2.8″ TFT with Capacitive Touchscreen… coming soon! Ladyada just got the final samples of the custom 2.8″ TFT with capacitive touch screen driver from the factory! Time to test it out with her TFT shield for Arduino. The CTP driver uses I2C so it can be used with Arduino or Raspberry Pi!
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 22:01A Real Malware In A Mouse
After reading an April Fools joke we fell for, [Mortimer] decided to replicate this project that turns the common USB mouse into a powerful tool that can bring down corporations and governments. Actually, he just gave himself one-click access to Hackaday, but that’s just as good.
The guts of this modified mouse are pretty simple; the left click, right click, and wheel click of the mouse are wired up to three pins on an Arduino Pro Micro. The USB port of the ‘duino is configured as a USB HID device and has the ability to send keyboard commands in response to any input on the mouse.
Right now, [Mortimer] has this mouse configured that when the left click button is pressed, it highlights the address bar of his browser and types in http://www.hackaday.com. Not quite as subversive as reading extremely small codes printed on a mousepad with the optical sensor, but enough to build upon this project and do some serious damage to a computer.
Video of [Mort]‘s mouse below.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 22:00Modern art from Hubble’s Fine Guidance System?!?
Sometimes art can be accidental… via European Space Agency.
A piece of art? A time-lapse photo? A flickering light show?
At first glance, this image looks nothing like the images that we are used to seeing from Hubble.
The distinctive splashes of colour must surely be a piece of modern art, or an example of the photographic technique of “light painting”. Or, could they be the trademark tracks of electrically charged particles in a bubble chamber? On a space theme, how about a time-lapse of the paths of orbiting satellites?
The answer? None of the above. In fact, this is a genuine frame that Hubble relayed back from an observing session.
Hubble uses a Fine Guidance System (FGS) in order to maintain stability whilst performing observations. A set of gyroscopes measures the attitude of the telescope, which is then corrected by a set of reaction wheels. In order to compensate for gyroscopic drift, the FGS locks onto a fixed point in space, which is referred to as a guide star.
It is suspected that in this case, Hubble had locked onto a bad guide star, potentially a double star or binary. This caused an error in the tracking system, resulting in this remarkable picture of brightly coloured stellar streaks. The prominent red streaks are from stars in the globular cluster NGC 288. It seems that even when Hubble makes a mistake, it can still kick-start our imagination.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:34DEADLINE REMINDER: NEW INC: New Museum’s Art Incubator – Applications Now Open with April 1st Deadline
NEW INC: New Museum’s Art Incubator Applications Now Open: First Round Due April 1st, 2014. First Round Deadline tomorrow!
NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator, is a shared workspace and professional development program designed to support creative practitioners working in areas of art, technology, and design. Conceived by the New Museum in 2013, the incubator is a not-for-profit platform that furthers the Museum’s ongoing commitment to new art and new ideas. Launching in summer 2014, NEW INC will provide a collaborative space for a highly selective, interdisciplinary community of one hundred members to investigate new ideas and develop a sustainable practice.
Creatives today are working in unique ways that are cross-disciplinary, collaborative, leveraging technology, and increasingly straddling the line between culture and commerce. Because they are exploring new modes of cultural production, the professional landscape in which they work is still undefined, and few resources and systems exist to support these enterprises, or to address the unique challenges they are encountering. NEW INC provides a lab-like environment and framework for the development of new ideas, practices, and models in the pursuit of innovation.
Over the course of a twelve-month residency, members will have access to full-time and part-time coworking desk space, shared resources, events, and professional development programming, as well as a robust network of mentors and advisors that includes members of the New Museum’s staff and affiliates. NEW INC members will also benefit from developing their ideas under the umbrella of the Museum, working in close proximity to Museum artists-in-residence, programs, and affiliates like IDEAS CITY and Rhizome, as well as our anchor tenant, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) Studio-X….
We are currently accepting applications for full-time and part-time memberships for the inaugural year of NEW INC, scheduled to kick off in August 2014.
Deadline: April 1, 2014. Applicants will be reviewed and accepted on a ROLLING BASIS.
- Membership is only open to emerging professionals not currently enrolled in an academic program who are US citizens or already have a valid visa for conducting business in the US.
- Individuals and small teams of up to four people are eligible for membership.
- Full-time memberships require a twelve-month commitment and participation in the professional development program. Part-time memberships are available for shorter terms but are subject to limited access to the space, resources, and programs.
- Applicants must have a body of work, project, product, or creative enterprise positioned at the intersection of technology, art, and design.
- A limited number of subsidized desk fellowships will be available for applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent but lack financial means.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:33In Which We Are Not Having Fun
As you might know, we had a pretty good sale on a bunch Arduino products on Saturday.
Well, it turns out it may have been too good. We smashed our previous record for orders in a day, set on last year’s Cyber Monday. Back then the high water mark was around 4,000 orders, and on Saturday we saw almost 8,000 orders flood into the system.
It’s also worth noting that we’ve made some pretty big changes to our database in the past few months - most notably moving from MySQL to PostgreSQL.
The issue we’re seeing today has to do with how we know how much of a given product is available. Availability of a product is a loose term and has to take into account how many physical units of that product we have but also how much of those units are spoken for on active orders. Active is also a pretty loose term for an order that hasn’t shipped. All of these terms are necessarily loose to accommodate all of the edge cases common to volumes we regularly see.
We were pumped about the move to PostgreSQL for many features afforded, but primarily materialized views. Building such things to keep track of available stock values really sped things up!
Until this weekend. Apparently having an order of magnitude more active orders in the system makes refreshes on our materialized view for stock take a long time, and this has led to timeouts with heavily diversified orders. So far today it’s been a long haul of optimization attempts to make things hum along normally again. We’re still hammering away. It’s a technical problem in a big system, so there’s no such thing as a quick fix.
As we continue to work on this sparkfun.com will continue to have spotty down-time. We’re trying our best to minimize this while fixing the problem at hand, so thanks for being patient.
A missing index and some other optimizations have sped things up some. We’re back to everything functioning again, but we’re watching things very closely.
Also, to be more precise about the issue that plagued us: Like most of our back-end systems our warehouse system (called The Flow) was where the problem started. With so many new orders in the system the most important thing was to be able to ship them, and it’s a complex thing to have thousands of orders with intersecting items that can be meted out to pickers and packers roughly in the order they were placed but only if they are paid (unless they’re paying on credit terms) and only if their items are in stock enough that other orders aren’t claiming that same stock. It’s a fun problem that begets a lot of run-on sentences. There’s a massive query in that system to get orders based on even more special picking criteria and that query was locking up, causing refreshes on the materialized view to stall, causing further timeouts down the chain.
Were we just the users and not the builders of this system the problem might have never happened. Or it might have happened and been impossible to fix without a paid support contract. Impossible to say. Either way, spending the day fighting this has not earned ire from the rest of the SparkFun crew that was left waiting for the breakage to subside. Patience was what we received, along with coffee, liquor, and Easter Candy (in that order). For that we are grateful. =)
And now Tim brought us a keg of Easy Street for our efforts. Maybe we should unintentionally break things more often…
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:24NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit Assembled Pi T-Cobbler Breakout for Raspberry Pi
NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit Assembled Pi T-Cobbler Breakout for Raspberry Pi: Now that you’ve finally got your hands on a Raspberry Pi®, you’re probably itching to make some fun embedded computer projects with it. What you need is an assembled add on prototyping Pi T-Cobbler from Adafruit, which can break out all those tasty power, GPIO, I2C and SPI pins from the 26 pin header onto a solderless breadboard. This mini kit will make “cobbling together” prototypes with the Pi super easy. Designed for Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 1 or Revision 2.
This assembled Cobbler is in a fancy T-shape, which is not as compact, but is a little easier to read the labels. We also have the more compact original Cobbler.
The assembled Pi T-Cobbler mini kit comes with a 26 pin ribbon cable, and an already soldered T-Cobbler as shown. No soldering required! This mini kit comes fully assembled!
The PCB and header come soldered together so you can plug the cable between the Pi computer and the T-Cobbler breakout. The T-Cobbler can plug into any solderless breadboard (or even a prototyping board like the PermaProto). The T-Cobbler PCB has all the pins labeled nicely so you can go forth and build circuits without keeping a pin-out printout at your desk. We think this will make it more fun to expand the Pi and build custom circuitry with it.
The Adafruit Pi T-Cobbler is compatible with both versions 1 and 2 of the Raspberry Pi Computer – for version 2 computers, note that the GPIO #21 has been replaced with GPIO #27 and that the I2C pins are now I2C port #1 instead of #0. All other pins are the same.
Please note, this product only contains a 26 pin ribbon cable, a custom PCB with ribbon cable socket and header pins soldered to it. The Raspberry Pi, breadboard, breadboarding wires, cables, components, case, power supply, etc is not included! We do stock many of those items in the shop, so check those out as well!
What is the Raspberry Pi® ? A low-cost ARM GNU/Linux box.
The Raspberry Pi® is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 megabytes of RAM. The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card for booting and long-term storage. The Foundation plans to support Fedora Linux as the initial system software package/distribution, with support for Debian and Arch Linux as well – Wikipedia.
Raspberry Pi® is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:13Robotfest at the National Electronics Museum
Robotfest at the National Electronics Museum will take place on Saturday, April 12th!
Saturday, April 12, 2014
1745 West Nursery Road
Linthicum, Maryland, 21090
Robot Fest is an annual event for anyone interested in the creative use of technology. We welcome all roboticists, hackers, artists, hobbyists and makers of any age who have the unquenchable urge to develop and create new, previously unseen forms from lifeless electronics, fabrics and mechanical parts. Join the fun and excitement with hands-on exhibits, and workshops!
This year, we will also be part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival
Robot Fest & DIY Expo, Saturday, April 12th has a suggested admission donation of $8 for adults, $4 for middle and high-school students.
Elementary school children and younger are still FREE!
And for a little fun, have you noticed our Robot Fest Robot logo is wearing cool sunglasses? Bring your sunglasses and save $1 per person!
Accommodations for visitors with disabilities are available upon request with a minimum of two weeks notice. Please call 410-765-0230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 21:00An engineering company is creating a robot army inspired by nature #robotics
German engineering firm Festo is creating a robot army. Sounds scary, right? But there’s no need to fear a “Skynet”-type apocalypse quite yet, because these robots want to do good by making laborious tasks easier in the factories of the future. And they’re using nature as their inspiration.
Festo summarizes the motivation behind their research on their website: “Gripping, moving, controlling and measuring – nature performs all of these tasks instinctively, easily and efficiently. What could be more logical than to examine these natural phenomena and learn from them?”
It makes a lot of sense. Why reinvent the wheel when nature has already spent epochs perfecting the mechanics needed for survival on the Earth? This practice of bio-mimicry is widespread in other fields such as molecular biology, where many drugs are designed by optimizing already existing natural products from microorganisms.
What’s really brilliant about this body of research is that while many of the designs have obvious practical applications, many others have been made in the creative spirit of learning, with some wild results.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 20:30Lycopodium powder “dances” on subwoofer in this incredibly cool video #MusicMonday
Geek.com posted about this awesome video featuring lycopodium powder on top of a subwoofer.
Sometimes the simplest of elements can be combined to create the most interesting of results. And I’m not talking about the old baking soda-plus-vinegar volcano, this is the combination of nothing more than an active subwoofer cone and a dust-like powder. The two were all it took to create this incredibly cool video, though the addition of a Red Epic camera certainly helped.
The video, entitled The Essence of Sound, features lycopodium powder dancing around on top of a subwoofer. Lycopodium is better known as flash powder, as in the stuff that was used in the pyrotechnic explosions that lit old-timey photographs. It’s still used to in laboratory settings, for instance when it’s necessary to make sound waves visible (as we see here). Basically, lycopodium is the best way possible to make a fireball on a budget, but it’s also quite handy for other things as well.
Below the powder is a subwoofer doing exactly what subwoofers do. As the subwoofer bounces the powder hypnotically moves creating the incredible forms we see. The patterns aren’t quite as regular as one would expect, so it’s likely that there is more too the situation than just a speaker with some dust on it, but that’s essentially what we’re looking at.
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 20:04Elphel, inc. on trip to Geneva, Switzerland.
Monday, April 14, 2014 – 18:15 at Uni-Mail, room MR070, University of Geneva.
Elphel, Inc. is giving a conference entitled “High Performance Open Hardware for Scientific Applications”. Following the conference, you will be invited to attend a round-table discussion to debate the subject with people from Elphel and Javier Serrano from CERN.
Javier studied Physics and Electronics Engineering. He is the head of the Hardware and Timing section in CERN’s Beams Control group, and the founder of the Open Hardware Repository. Javier has co-authored the CERN Open Hardware Licence. He and his colleagues have also recently started contributing improvements to KiCad, a free software tool for the design of Printed Circuit Boards
Elphel Inc. is invited by their partner specialized in stereophotogrammetry applications – the Swiss company Foxel SA, from April 14-21 in Geneva, Switzerland.
You can enjoy a virtual tour of the Geneva University by clicking on the links herein below:
(make sure to use the latest version of Firefox or Chromium to view the demos)
Foxel’s team would be delighted to have all of Elphel’s clients and followers to participate in the conference.
A chat can also be organized in the next few days. Please contact us at Foxel SA.
If you do not have the opportunity to visit us in Geneva, the conference will be streamed live and the recording will be available.