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  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 21:00
    Soft Robotics, Silicone Rubber, And Amazing Castings

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    Most of the robotics projects we see around here are heavy, metallic machines that move with exacting precision with steppers, servos, motors, and electronics. [Matthew] is another breed of roboticist, and created a quadruped robot with no hard moving parts.

    [Matthew] calls his creation the Glaucus, after the blue sea slug Glaucus atlanticus. Inside this silicone rubber blob are a series of voids, allowing compressed air to expand the legs, gently inching Glaucus across a table under manual or automatic control.

    Even though no one seems to do it, making a few molds for casting on a 3D printer is actually pretty easy. [Matthew] is taking this technique to an extreme, though: First, a mold for the interior pressure bladders are printed, then a positive of this print made in silicone rubber. These silicone molds – four of them, for the left, right, top and bottom – are then filled with wax, and the wax parts reassembled inside the final ‘body’ mold. It’s an amazing amount of work to make just one of these soft robots, but once the molds and masters are made, [Matthew] can pop out a soft robot every few hours or so.

    There’s a lot more info on Glaucus over on the official site for the build, and a somewhat simpler ‘compressed air and silicone rubber’ tentacle [Matthew] built showing off the mechanics. Video below.

     

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, robots hacks

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 20:00
    Arduino Helper Functions

    Sometimes finding the right snippet of code to use in your Arduino sketch is as simple as reading the Monday Jolt on the MAKE site.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 19:00
    Addicting online game lets you generate the Higgs Boson by colliding particles

    LHC

    We’re obsessed with this game that lets you collide elementary particles to try to generate the Higgs Boson. We got as far as z boson but unfortunately LHC broke down before we could beat the game and generate the Higgs Boson. Try it out yourself here and see how far you can get!

    Collide these elementary particles and generate the Higgs Boson!

    Note : Quarks will not appear for they are having a holiday with Muster Mark. Thanks to that! Otherwise it would be as difficult as dealing with the number 131072 in the original version! Σ( ̄ロ ̄lll)

    HOW TO PLAY: Use your arrow keys to accelerate the particles. When two particles with the same type collide, they annihilate and a new particle would be generated!

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 18:34
    New Tindie site – The easiest way to buy and sell indie hardware #makerbusiness

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    New Tindie site – The easiest way to buy and sell indie hardware..

    Wildly better interface
    Our goal is to foster a community around makers going pro, and bringing their creations to market. With the changes we released, we continue to make it easier and easier to go pro on Tindie. The changes will only be made more pronounced as we release MOAR features in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

    No more resale products
    We also retired resale, supply parts. We believe this will help makers get their creations in front of more people, and ultimately make them more successful. Moving forward there won’t be an option to list a resale product.

    Visit.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 18:01
    The Gathering: Shanghai’s Hackaday Community

    Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 12.33.00 AMIt happened! The Gathering crossed the Pacific and landed in Shanghai on Thursday, March 20th. It took place at the venue ironically called ‘Abbey Road’ (it’s the only one we could find on such a short notice) and more than 150 people showed up. The whole scene had a huge Chatsubo feel too it – an eclectic mix of local and expat hackers and engineers, professors, students and all sorts of industry mercenaries from around the world. And everyone with skull-and-wrenches t-shirt or a sticker on.

    I can only imagine what Chinese police would think if they happened to drop by. Not to mention if they asked how in the world did all these ‘anarchist’ t-shirts enter the country.

    But that’s another story…

    We met a lot of exciting people and heard all sorts of weird tales, such as the (off-the-record) one about the real reasons behind certain well-known laptop manufacturer’s batteries bursting into flames. We also got a lot of great advice on smuggling electronic components out of China and other everyday tips & tricks.

    d8d27574b02a11e38f1d121190b145cb_8My favorite conversation was with [Alexander Klink] on his research in Denial of Service attacks using algorithmic complexity of collision resolution in (a priori known) hash functions. Though the original paper is more than two years old, its takeaways can still have a huge impact on all sorts of software and hardware devices out there.

    The general theme of the night was how exciting it is to live in a place like Shanghai, where rapid urban growth and access to manufacturing resources meets a blossoming technology and art scene. It is even more so thanks to places like Xin Che Jian, which make being a “hacker” a socially acceptable thing on the other side of the Great Firewall.

    That said, reading all of Hackaday content still requires a proxy.

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    Filed under: Featured

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 18:00
    Skill Builder: Arduino 101

    ArduinoLeonardoFront_2_450pxEver heard of Arduino? This Primer will help you get started with Arduino and a little bit of coding.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 18:00
    Don’t Just Go Sticking That Anywhere: Protect the Precious With a USB Wrapper

    This USB Wrapper protects your data from being hacked at public charging stations without slowing down the charging process, from hackaday.

    Oooh, look, a public charging station. Should you trust it? You might get juice jacked. Oh wait, you’ve got a USB Wrapper designed by [Scasagrande] to deny access to your datas.

    This project was inspired by the USB Condom, but the problem with those is that they completely cut out the data lines and limit the charge rate to USB 2.0 (500mA). The data lines are used to communicate information about the charger’s power sourcing capabilities to the device. Many manufacturers short D+ and D- together, but Apple applies specific voltages to those lines.

    [Scasagrande]‘s USB Wrapper gives you options. You can set it to Dedicated Charging Port, Sony, Open Circuit, or Apple. The super-cool part of this hack is for you Apple fanboys. The bottom slider lets you emulate any Apple charger and use any USB cube (including one you may have made) as long as you have that funny cable in your messenger bag. The hardware is open source and available at [Scasagrande]‘s repo.

    Make the jump to see [Scasagrande]‘s nicely detailed video about the project.

    Wrapper

    Read more.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 17:27
    Arduino-Inspired Crowdfunding Campaigns

    b46026a49af61c2f9c2cdda48d6035b3_largeThe crowdfunding landscape is crowded with Arduino-based projects. Here's a round-up of some of the more interesting ones.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 17:00
    From the Forums: Adafruit-Blinging a Flashy Pinewood Derby Car

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    eagleeye2e shared a how-to for bringing some Adafruit interactive bling to his son’s Pinewood Derby car on the Adafruit Forums:

    We decided to add a little high-tech flash to my son’s Pinewood Derby car this year. This project involved several Adafruit products including a 3.3v Trinket, a NeoPixel stick, a FLORA Accelerometer/Compass Sensor, and a Lithium Ion Polymer Battery. All of these components were chosen for their size and their light weight. The idea was to have a subtle yellow glowing effect under the car while it was at rest and while the car was in motion going down the track the pixels scroll from front to back with a brighter, different, color. The faster the car goes, the faster the pixels scroll. In addition, every time the car goes from scroll to rest, the color of the scrolling pixels changes to a new color for the next race. The car received many complements and oooh’s and ahhh’s. Thank you Adafruit for all of the great products that allowed us to add something fun and unique to our Pinewood Derby experience!

    Read More.

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    Featured Adafruit Product!

    Trinket 3point3v

    Adafruit Trinket – Mini Microcontroller – 3.3V Logic: Trinket may be small, but do not be fooled by its size! It’s a tiny microcontroller board, built around the Atmel ATtiny85, a little chip with a lot of power. We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation. Perfect for when you don’t want to give up your expensive dev-board and you aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design. It’s our lowest-cost arduino-IDE programmable board! (read more)

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 16:00
    4 reasons why littleBits founder Ayah Bedir is awesome

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    Popsugar recently sat down for an interview with littleBits founder Ayah Bedir. We’re all big fans of Ayah here at Adafruit and we love littleBits! Check out our selection of littleBits kits here and be sure to head over to Popsugar to read the full interview.

    Somewhere in the bustling Lebanese coastal city of Beirut lived a girl with artistic aspirations. But she was naturally adept at math and science, so her parents said she owed it to herself to be an engineer.

    That young lady grew up to be Ayah Bdeir, LittleBits founder, TED fellow, and MIT Media Lab alum with too many accolades to list. She went on to empower people with both technical and nontechnical backgrounds to create electronic art with a company she built herself from the ground up.

    Ayah’s company, LittleBits, makes the hottest new tech toy on the market. It’s a next-generation Lego-style set that comes with preengineered “bits” or modules equipped with light, sound, motors, or sensors. Like any building block toy, humans of any age can pick a module up and begin creating without any programming or engineering background. The “bits” are color coded — green for output, blue for power, pink for input, and orange for wire — and use magnets, so you’ll never connect them the wrong way.

    Here’s the 4 reasons that Ayah Bedir is a “rock star”:

    1. She grew up with electricity kits AND dolls: It’s a fact: not enough girls go into engineering. But this doesn’t mean we have to deprive our little ladies of girlie toys and replace them with only scientifically inclined playthings.
    2. MIT turned her down — so she applied again: Ayah applied to MIT fresh out of high school but was unfazed by her initial rejection. She tried again at 21 and was successful. “I knew I wanted to go to grad school and was like, I want Media Lab or nothing.”
    3. She funded LittleBits with her own money: For the next three-and-a-half years, Ayah took the extra money she earned from teaching and consulting and put it into the product. Eventually, she was able to go to China and find a factory. It wasn’t until early 2011 that Ayah had a functional LittleBits prototype and thought, “It’s time to start a company.”
    4. She has great advice for female entrepreneurs: “Try not to think about the fact that you’re a woman. A lot of people are like, ‘Because I’m a woman, they’re not giving me an opportunity’ or ‘Because I’m a woman, they’re not taking me seriously.’ I don’t think about it. . . . I just do the best work I possibly can, and I feel like I don’t want to take up any brain space thinking about it.”

    Check out the full interview here.

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  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 15:58
    How to make an open source Soft Quadruped Robot

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    Soft Quadruped Robot @ The Adafruit Learning System (video).

    The Glaucus, named after the Blue Sea Slug (Glaucus Atlanticus), is an open source soft robotic quadruped from Super-Releaser. It is a proof of concept for a method developed at Super-Releaser that can reproduce nearly any geometry modeled on the computer as a seamless silicone skin. The company hopes to apply these same techniques to practical problems in medicine and engineering as the technology develops.

    The quadruped has hollow interior chambers that interdigitate with one another. When either of these chambers is pressurized it deforms and bends the structure of the robot. This bending produces the walking motion. It is similar to how a salamander walks, by balancing itself on one pair of legs diagonal from one another while moving the opposite pair forward.

    Super-Releaser is an open source company. You can find links to all of its research, including downloads for 3d printing your own Glaucus. You can find supplemental information on how this technology was developed here. If you have any questions about the Glaucus, soft robotics, or the tutorials Super-Releaser has authored, please visit the Soft Robotics Forums.

    For more details:

    Learn more and more here!

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 15:56
    GoPro is a content company, sometimes sells cameras too #makerbusiness

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    GoPro Nears IPO as Hybrid Media Company/Videocam Maker @ Businessweek.

    Since March 2009, more than 620 GoPro-posted videos have attracted 440 million-plus views, according to YouTube spokesman Matt McLernon. GoPro’s own channel ranks in the top 350 on YouTube, and the company’s customers are even more prolific. The number of videos with “GoPro” in the title has grown so much—60 percent from 2012 to 2013—that watching 2013’s crop alone would take you 2.8 years. “It’s not about hardware anymore; it’s about software and experiences,” says Christopher Chute, the research director at market-research company IDC. “And I think that’s been GoPro’s vision from the get-go.”

    That vision became more concrete in late January, when the company announced the Xbox OneGuide channel featuring GoPro videos. The channel, a pilot version of which is already available on Virgin America flights, will feature curated content, and users will be able to purchase GoPro products directly online. “GoPro is a content-driven company,” Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Woodman declared at the time. And while that may have sounded odd for an outfit that depends on selling widgets for its bottom line, it’s the content that has observers buzzing about an initial public offering, announced on Feb. 9.

    Read more.


    Around here we like to think about how RedBull is an event company that happens to sell energy drinks, GoPro is a video sharing company that happens to make cameras and Adafruit is a tutorial company that happens to make electronics :)

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 15:37
    the npr social media desk – success of #NPRWIT @TellMeMoreNPR

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    the npr social media desk [socialsandbox 3/24/14] success of #NPRWIT : NPR. Ladyada was part of this event, thank you NPR for inviting us to be part of this!

    Women digital thinkers from around the world have shared over 7,900 tweets since March 3rd, as part of “A Day in the Life” on Twitter using the hashtag #NPRWIT. The conversations have generated millions of impressions globally from Ghana to India and from Indonesia to the United Kingdom but 84% of the conversations have taken place in the US with 39% in CA, 11% in NY and 5% in MI.

    The social tracking website Keyhole.co shows 778 posts with a reach of over 860,000. Reach, is the number of unique followers that a user has. That same week, #NPRWIT saw over 4 million impressions on Twitter, that is the number of times the hashtag appeared in posts.

    You can check out all the tweets here and read the full report.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 15:01
    3 Cheap Hood/Hatchback/Topper Mods to Save Your Noggin

    Gas Lift Fixes by Briansmobile1

    This is a mod more than a hack but any time you can alter original equipment to maintain its usability is a win-win scenario for you and the environment. Everyone has or knows somebody that has a vehicle and most vehicles nowadays have some type of hatchback or hood where the support solution is gas filled struts. Inevitably these gas filled struts fail with age and the failure is accelerated in hotter or colder climates. If you ever had to replace these items you know they can cost a minimum of $20 to as much as $60 a piece. Most vehicles require two, four or even eight of these costly little devices.

    [Brian] from Briansmobile1 YouTube channel documented three simple and low cost solutions. We all probably know of the vice clamp solution but that is cumbersome and still an expensive solution which is not always very handy or fast. Another solution is to cut a piece of rubber hose in a kind of special way so it is easy to put on and take off the shaft and dangles from a string so it’s always available. The best solution was to use a hitch pin also connected to a string or wire. To make the hitch pin work you have to grind a couple of notches on either side of the lift shaft at just the right spot so the pin can be snapped on and prevent the shaft from retracting at your selected height.

    We are sure these solutions will come in handy at some time in most everyone’s driving career. Just after the break we will link to all three of [Brian’s] handy videos on gas strut fix solutions. And if you do your own automotive repair we can definitely recommend [Brian’s] channel of over 600 vehicle repair and maintenance videos which normally come with a dose of philosophy and humor.

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    Vise Grip

    Filed under: how-to, repair hacks

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 15:00
    Gravitational waves have been discovered that give the strongest evidence yet for the Big Bang

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    Scientific American and Nasa have written about this new discovery that provides the strongest evidence yet that the Big Bang actually happened.

    NASA writes:

    This image shows one of the NASA detectors from the BICEP2 project, developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. The sensors were used to make the first detection of gravitational waves in the ancient background light from the early universe. The discovery provides the strongest evidence yet for an explosive period of expansion in our universe known as inflation.

    The detectors were developed and built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    The image was taken by a “scanning electron beam” microscope, giving a close-up, 3-D view. The detector works by converting the light from the cosmic microwave background — relic radiation from the Big Bang — into heat. This heat is dissipated on a meandering gold film located on an island of material suspended in free space by tiny legs that were made by a process called micro-machining. (The island is the rectangle suspended in the black free space.) A superconducting titanium film on the detector (left side of island) serves as a sensitive thermometer to measure this heat.

    The sensors are cooled to just 0.25 degrees above absolute zero to minimize thermal noise. The island is designed to further increase the sensitivity to heat by isolating the thermometer from the rest of the structure.

    Scientific American also reports:

    Physicists have found a long-predicted twist in light from the big bang that represents the first image of ripples in the universe called gravitational waves, researchers announced today. The finding is direct proof of the theory of inflation, the idea that the universe expanded extremely quickly in the first fraction of a nanosecond after it was born. What’s more, the signal is coming through much more strongly than expected, ruling out a large class of inflation models and potentially pointing the way toward new theories of physics, experts say.

    “This is huge,” says Marc Kamionkowski, professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the discovery but who predicted back in 1997 how these gravitational wave imprints could be found. “It’s not every day that you wake up and find out something completely new about the early universe. To me this is as Nobel Prize–worthy as it gets.”

    Read more from NASA here and Scientific American here.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 14:00
    Designers use Robot to Sculpt Wooden Stools #manufacturingmonday

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    This robot has made the career jump from auto-worker to artisan. Sasha Ritter and Armand Graham repurposed the robot, formerly used by the auto-industry, to make these beautiful wooden stools named totoro. The wood is locally sourced form upstate NY, via design boom.

    showcasing the natural beauty found in silver maple wood, the ‘totoro collection’ is a series of stools designed in collaboration by new york-based armand graham of timbr and sasha ritter. the versatile pieces are created from logs found in ithaca and crafted using a robot, which was previously employed by the automotive industry. the two ton arm of the machine was able to translate the computer generated form into a precise sculptural reality that could not have been achieved by hand. the object’s cracking, which occurs during the drying phase represents a tension between the manufacturing process and the natural material. this creates a different final outcome each time, no matter how much control the technology offers, the natural material has a life of its own.

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    Read more.

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 14:00
    Light-Up Diablo III Costume Looks Fantastic And Scary

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    I barely have the words to articulate how impressive this Diablo III costume is. Cosplayer Krizdel Igreso fashioned every piece of this wicked Prime Evil ensemble from the lights to the armor to the paint. She documented the build from sketch to finished costume and watching the evolution from plain black foam to menacing red is nothing short of astounding. It’s one of these builds where you learning the process by seeing pictures instead of reading, and you can view the entire gallery at Igreso’s Facebook page.

    diablo 3 in progress

    via Fashionably Geek

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 13:00
    From the Forums: Soil Moisture Testing with the Garduino

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    uflnuceng shared a nice writeup on results of soil moisture testing on the Forums:

    Ok, using the code above, I setup a DHT22 and an SHT10 as you can see in the image below. The DHT22 was used to give me ambient air temp and relative humidity, while the SHT10 was placed in different media to determine 1) its speed of change, 2) reliability of data reported, 3) consistency of results.

    …Temperature was very consistent, and humidity differed within the margin of error of the sensor (+/- 1.5%).

    I then placed the SHT10 sensor in some dry soil that hasn’t had a plant in it for a very long time.

    As it should be expected, the soil was very dry, but being hydroscopic it contained a little bit more humidity than the air around it (23.4% relative humidity versus ambient air’s 15.6%).

    I then picked a plant that the office didn’t mind me killing. I let it go without water for a few days, although by the finger touch the soil was still damp.

    I then set the sensor to record every 5 minutes for several weeks and this is the resulting graph of that data….

    Read More.

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  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 12:01
    Embeded Sieve of Eratosthenes: Hunting Primes on ARM

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    I ended up with just enough time over the weekend to pull together a quick project. I implemented the Sieve-of-Eratosthenes on an ARM chip.

    If you haven’t heard of the Sieve of Eratosthenes then you really need to work your way through Project Euler. That’s where I first learned about this method of finding prime numbers. You begin with a list of all numbers, find a prime, then remove all multiples of that prime from the list. The real trick with doing it on a microcontroller is to figure out how to store a large list of numbers in a limited space. The gist of my method was to use a boolean array (I call it a bit-packed array but that may be the wrong way of saying it). The details are found in my project linked at the top.

    ‘Why?’ is almost always the wrong question to ask around here. But in this case, I did this because I wanted to try out the Bit Banding functionality of the ARM core. These chips have alias addresses that map to a single bit in the SRAM and also some of the peripheral registers. This allows read or write access for a single bit using a single instruction. Turns out that one side effect of 32-bit architecture is having addresses to burn.

    Filed under: ARM

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - 12:00
    Reading my body: A sound controller that uses a tattoo as a music score #MusicMonday #arduino

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    Artist and maker Dmitry Morozov sent us a blog tip about his latest project: a sound controller that uses a tattoo as a music score. It’s one of the coolest DIY Instruments we’ve seen. Be sure to check it out in action in the video below.

    this is a special instrument that combines human body and robotic system into a single entity that is designed to automate creative process in an attempt to represent the artist and his instrument as a creative hybrid. The device consists of a railing with comfortable hand holders and two parallel, but offset from each other black lines’ sensors that move along the arm using a stepper motor. It is equipped with a 3-dimensional Wii remote controller that uses the OSC protocol in order to give a possibility of additional expression achieved by moving hand in space.

    the tattoo is specifically designed to contain the maximum number of variable time slots between triggers. It is possible to manually control the velocity of sensors’ movement, direction and step length, that altogether gives an infinite number of variations of reading patterns from hand. In addition, all control parameters and sensors’ movements can be programmed to operate autonomously.

    typical setup: hand controller + Nord Modular G2 and Symbolic Sound Kyma X + OSCulator

    - black line sensors

    - stepper motor

    - arduino nano

    - wii remote

    Read more.

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