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Planet

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 14:00
    SpaceGAMBIT: Open Call for Proposals

    Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 10.26.57 PMHelp NASA find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 14:00
    BBB Controls The P.Brain For Hexapod Robot #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg


    Hexapodrobot com View topic Beaglebone Black controlling p Brain

    BBB Controls The P.Brain For Hexapod Robot via hexapodrobot

    This setup adds a wifi connected Beaglebone Black to the MSR-H01. The BBB communicates with the p.Brain through the 3.3V TTL located on the Bluetooth mount (CN22) on the p.Brain SMB. On the BBB runs a Java program, which sends PIP-commands to the p.Brain and receives sensor information obtained through I2C from the SRF10 back. A SRF10 sonar is constantly measuring the distance to the nearest object in front of the hex. When within 15 cm of an object, forward movement is prohibited.

    Through the wifi connection (simple socket) of the BBB, it receives information from a Sony Sixaxis controller, which is interpreted by the BBB and converted to PIP directional commands.

    Power for the BBB is provided by the LiPo battery pack on the Hex, routed through a DE-SW050 http://www.dimensionengineering.com/products/de-sw050 voltage regulator.

    Read more

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 13:00
    The Art of QR Codes #ArtTuesday


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    Elena Belmann’s QR Code Sculpture

    German artist Elena Belmann mixes sculptured art with information technology in this intricate QR code sculpture.

    Read more


    Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 13:00
    Dirt Cheap Dirty Boards Offers Dirt Cheap PCB Fab

    Dirt Cheap PCB

     

    When your project is ready to build, it’s time to find a PCB manufacturer. There are tons of them out there, but for prototype purposes cheaper is usually better. [Ian] at Dangerous Prototypes has just announced Dirt Cheap Dirty Boards, a PCB fabrication service for times where quality doesn’t matter too much. [Ian] also discussed the service on the Dangerous Prototypes forum.

    The boards are definitely cheap. $12 USD gets you ten 5 cm by 5 cm boards with 100% e-test and free worldwide shipping. You can even choose from a number of solder mask colors for no additional cost. [Ian] does warn the boards aren’t of the best quality, as you can tell in the Bus Pirate picture above. The silkscreen alignment has some issues, but for $1.2 a board, it’s hard to complain. After all, the site’s motto is “No bull, just crappy PCBs.”

    The main downside of this service will be shipping time. While the Chinese fab house cranks out boards in two to four days, Hong Kong Post can take up to 30 days to deliver your boards. This isn’t ideal, but the price is right.

    Filed under: hardware

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 11:00
    USC Is Offering a Google Glass Course for Journalism Students #makereducation


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    USC will be offering a new journalism class centered around Google Glass. Professor Robert Hernandez, who will be teaching the course, hopes to encourage future journalists to take an interactive approach in shaping technology’s impact on the media landscape, via mashable.

    It’s a first-of-its-kind class for USC, and web-journalism professor Robert Hernandez believes the class offers a rare opportunity for journalism to get ahead of a budding technology trend. Hernandez said journalists have been followers — not trailblazers — when using other technology like mobile and social media, but that the industry has a chance for a head start with Glass.

    “As someone who hijacks technology for journalism, I want to be proactive about shaping what journalism will look like on this,” said Hernandez, who worked most recently as director of development for The Seattle Times before joining USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2009. “This platform is so new, no one has defined what journalism looks like on there. It’s such an opportunity for the journalism industry to jump on there.”

    Hernandez is opening the class to all students at the university, although he will approve each signup. He expects roughly 12 students will join the class, including students from a variety of different backgrounds and majors, such as design, computer engineering, public relations, and of course, journalism. The class is intended for the advancement of journalism, but is not limited to its disciples.

    According to the syllabus, students will create apps for Google Glass that help enhance both storytelling and story consumption on the platform. Hernandez hopes to answer questions such as, what does long-form content look like on Glass? Or, how can readers create and watch stories using Glass?

    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!

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 10:00
    VCF East: Old Computers, New Games

    flappy

    While the vintage computer festival in Wall, NJ had just about every vintage app you could imagine – multiple varities of *NIXes, pre-Zork Dungeon, BASIC interpreters of all capabilities, and just about every game ever released for 8-bit Commodore systems – there was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a distinct lack of modern programs written for these retro systems. Yes, despite there being people still curled up to keyboards and writing games for vintage systems, modern software was a strange oddity last weekend.

    There were two wonderful exceptions, however. The first was Fahrfall, a game for the TRS-80 Color Computer. We’ve seen Fahrfall before when [John Linville] wrote it for the 2012 RetroChallenge Winter Warmup. The game itself is a re-imagining of Downfall for the Atari Jaguar, with the graphics scaled down immensely. The basic idea of the game is to jump down, ledge to ledge, on a vertically scrolling screen. Hit the walls or the bottom, and you’re dead. It’s a great game that probably would have sold well had it been a contemporary release.

    Next up is a rather impressive port of Flappy Bird for the TI-99. The video does not do this game justice, although part of that might just be the awesome Amiga monitor used for the display. This game was brought in by [Jeff Salzman] of Vintage Volts who isn’t the author of the game. Honestly, the video doesn’t do the graphics any justice. It really is a great looking port that’s just as addictive as the Android/iDevice original.

    Filed under: classic hacks

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 10:00
    SDR and SBC: Watching Airplanes with Adafruit SDR on BeagleBone Black – #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg



    Watching Airplanes with Adafruit SDR on BeagleBone Black:

    I recently gave a presentation on Software Defined Radio (SDR) at my hackerspace in Chicago, Pumping Station: One.  I’ve attached the slides to this blog post for reference.  After the talk, someone told me they had seen a program that maps out airplanes flying in one’s area based on data received via Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) on 1090 MHz.   After a search, I found dump1090 which works with cheap DVB-T USB sticks with certain Realtek chipsets thanks to the rtl-sdr library….

    Read More.

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 09:00
    Numen-Light Membrane #ArtTuesday



    N-Light Membrane – Rizzordi Art Foundation, Expression Beyond / 2011, St. Petersburg, Russia:

    Rizzordi Art Foundation, Expression Beyond / 2011, St. Petersburg, Russia

    Three out of six surfaces of the cube are made of flexible membrane (foil mirror) with air tank and a compressor connected to it and the other three mirrors are semi transparent spy-glass. By inflating or deflating the air tank, the membrane turns convex or concave, deforming the reflections.

    Read more.

    Membrane

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 08:00
    This Is Not Your Father’s STEM Job #makereducation


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    Jessica Lahey of The Atlantic highlights the alternative, creative routes many women are taking after pursuing STEM degrees.

    But what if girls bring a different perspective with them, and choose to navigate their STEM careers differently than boys? What if the traditional paths created and well-worn by generations of men are not the same paths girls follow as they apply their newfound skills to STEM fields? There are plenty of women out there engaged in traditional jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math, but many are forging novel, interdisciplinary, STEM-based careers that blur categories and transcend agenda.

    Emily Graslie, scientist, educator, artist, and host of the popular YouTube show The Brain Scoop, recently produced an episode about women in STEM fields, “Where My Ladies At?” Graslie’s own career provides a clue to the location of some of those ladies. They are out there, innovating, designing, researching, and teaching, but because some women in STEM have opted for careers that defy categorization within the acronym, they can be harder to identify…

    If our efforts to encourage women’s curiosity and passion for STEM succeed, we need to be prepared for the way female perspectives and approaches could expand the definition and scope of what it means to be STEM professionals. Because women have traditionally been excluded from these disciplines, and because their fresh eyes allow them to make connections between fields, many women are launching careers, and even entire industries, based on a flexible and creative definition of what it means to be a scientist, artist, or engineer. K-12 schools have done a particularly poor job of integrating study across STEM fields and encouraging creativity and interdisciplinary connections. We continue to teach science, technology, and math in isolation, as if they have little to do with one another. This sort of compartmentalized approach runs counter to what we know about effective learning: Students need to be able to connect content knowledge and concepts to real-world applications in order to develop mastery and passion for a subject.

    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!

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 07:01
    PiFace Control & Display Tear Down

    PIFace4

    [John's] currently working on a rather fun PiNoir & Santa Catcher Challenge, and one of the main components is a PiFace Control and Display, which allows you to use a Raspberry Pi without a keyboard or mouse. Curious to see how this module worked, [John] decided to do a tear down and find out!

    Using a de-soldering tool he removed the 16×2 LCD which obstructs most of the components on the panel, which revealed a 16 bit SPI port expander from Microchip MCP23S17. He continued to examine components and checked values using a multimeter to come up with the following circuit diagram:

    PiFace+Control+and+Display

    Click to Zoom

    It’s a nice exercise in reverse engineering, and it looks like [John] did a pretty good job. We’ve seen the PiFace used to automatically decant wine bottles, control Minecraft using a physical Redstone, and even take 3D imaging with an array of 48 PiFaces, Pi’s and Cameras!

    Filed under: Raspberry Pi

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 07:00
    BoothStache: Facial hair fun with BeagleBone Black #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg



    Drew Fustini posted this fun project over in the element14 community.

    BoothStache is a version of BeagleStache by Jason Kridner optimized for an expo hall booth at a conference (like DESIGN West). Instead of a LCD cape, BoothStache uses the BeagleBone Black’s HDMI port to display the webcam feed on an HDTV. An added twist is a big red USB button that the user presses to send a tweet of their stache photo (thanks to Python helper that bonnie555 wrote called BeagleButan). Here’s the setup:

    NewImage

    See the full tutorial here and check out the BoothStache twitter feed here.

    NewImage

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 06:30
    A NASA engineer turned artist whose canvas is a huge fish tank #ArtTuesday


    NewImage

    Wired has a post about NASA engineer turned artist Kim Keever whose works are strangely beautiful.

    Artist Kim Keever is like a hydroponic Jackson Pollock. Instead of a canvas, though, he drizzles paint into a 200-gallon fishtank.

    Keever is reticent to share the secrets of his process, but says that after the Sears Easy Living paints are added to the tank, he has anywhere from five to 20 minutes before the liquids diffuse, leaving 200-gallons of murky brown water in their wake. In the moments where the colors whirl and eddy, Keever shoots thousands of photos, choosing one or two before embarking on the five hour processes of emptying, cleaning, and refilling the tank so he can start anew. “They only need to hold up for that ephemeral moment, and then it doesn’t matter,” he says. “Whatever impermanence exists in the materials is irrelevant once the photo is captured.”

    Keever’s dabblings in acquatic abstract expressionism are a far cry from his rigid college days, where he studied engineering. During summers, he’d intern at NASA, where he worked on missile skin technology and jet nozzles. He had the grades and work ethic to thrive at the space agency and envisioned a career dedicated to improving booster engines, followed by a creative retirement filled with art making. Ultimately, he traded in his slide rule for a low-rent loft in the East Village of New York City.

    Read more.

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    NewImage

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 06:00
    This giant globe is made out of thousands of hand-painted matchsticks #ArtTuesday


    NS4pmuW jpg 2 073×3 110 pixels

    Laughing Squid has posted about this piece from NYC-based artist Andy Yoder. Incredible!

    “Early One Morning” is a giant globe made out of thousands of hand painted matchsticks. Artist Andy Yoder spent two years on the sculpture, hand painting each match stick and gluing them to a frame of foam, cardboard, and plywood. As a precaution, he treated the entire sculpture with flame retardant. “Early One Morning” will be on display at the Winkleman Gallery in New York City as part of the PULSE New York Contemporary Art Fair, May 8 to 11, 2014.

    Read more.

    7GQti84 jpg 2 073×3 110 pixels and Trash


    5Kfw2BJ jpg 2 073×3 110 pixels


    Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 04:00
    Vacuum Formed Portable N64 is the Real Deal

    1_zpsc457798c

    This portable N64 looks good enough to be sold in stores — that’s because [Bungle] vacuum formed the case!

    He started by creating a wooden template of his controller, using bondo to add grips and features. Once satisfied with the overall look and feel of the controller, he threw it into his own vacuum former and created two shiny plastic halves.

    He’s chosen a nice little 3.5″ LCD screen for the display, with a 7.4V 4400mAh battery pack that will last just over 4 hours of constant play — he’s included a battery indicator as well! An old N64 controller takes care of electronics, but [Bungle's] gone and made custom buttons and is using a Gamecube style joystick as well. He’s included both the rumble pack and an internal memory card which can be changed with the flick of a switch. A tiny HMDX Go portable audio amp and speakers are also integrated directly into the controller.

    This isn’t [Bungle's] first rodeo either — in fact its his 4th portable N64 design, and his past ones were pretty slick as well. We’ve seen tons of portable N64 consoles over the years, and it’s awesome because everyone takes a slightly different spin at it.

    Filed under: nintendo hacks

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 01:01
    Recreating the THX Deep Note

    THX logo

    Few sounds are as recognizable as the THX Deep Note. [Batuhan] did some research, and set about recreating the sound. The original Deep Note (mp3 link) was created in 1982 by [Dr. James A. Moorer]. [Dr. Moorer] used the Audio Signal Processor (ASP) (AKA SoundDroid) to create the sound. The ASP was a complex machine to program. The Deep Note took about 20,000 lines of C code to program. The C code was compiled to about 250,000 discrete statements to command the ASP.

    Only one ASP was ever built, and LucasFilm owned it. Instead of recreating the hardware, [Batuhan] used SuperCollider to recreate the sound. Just like the ASP, SuperCollider is a tool for real-time audio synthesis. The difference is that SuperCollider is open source and runs on modern computers. [Batuhan] used his research and ears to perform an analysis of the Deep Note. He created two re-creations. The first is carefully constructed to replicate the sound. The second is a Twitter worthy 140 character version. Both versions are reasonable facsimiles of the original Deep Note, though they’re not quite perfect to our ears.

    [Batuhan] isn’t the only person working on recreations. Deep Note in 1KB of JavaScript can be heard at  http://thx.onekb.net/. We’d love to hear other versions created by Hackaday readers!

    [Via Reddit]

    Filed under: musical hacks

  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 00:35
    Kickstart a Kids’ Makerspace

    3D_Printer1-(1)Here’s how to choose (and finance) awesome high-tech tools for young makers.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Mardi, Avril 8, 2014 - 00:00
    How to turn a pencil into a diamond


    NewImage

    The Atlantic has a neat post about an accidental discovery made at Stanford’s SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis.

    A team of researchers at Stanford’s SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis say they’ve found another way to control the structural transition between carbon atoms—at the nanoscale. The team started with a platinum support, and loaded it with several sheets of graphene. Then, they added hydrogen atoms to the topmost layer. Their finding? The hydrogen binding that ensued started, essentially, a domino effect among the atoms: Structural changes started at the top of the sample, but spread to the carbon layers underneath. And those changes transformed the carbon sheets into a new arrangement of carbon atoms—an arrangement that resembles, yep, a diamond.

    This was, it’s worth noting, something of an accidental discovery: The researchers were initially testing whether the addition of hydrogen would change the chemical properties of graphene in a way that would make it useable in transistors. Instead, they learned something else that could prove useful for the material sciences. The “diamonds” that result from the hydrogenation process aren’t the kind you’ll find at Zales (sorry, guys); they could be the kind, though, that could prove useful in industrial applications like cutting blades and electrochemical sensors. And they’re the kind that offer hope to the would-be Rumpelstiltskins of the world: You may not be able to turn straw into gold, but you can, it seems, turn a pencil into a diamond.

    Read more.

  • Lundi, Avril 7, 2014 - 23:22
    Super slow motion video of slapshots examines the science of ice hockey’s most powerful shot



    Laughing Squid has posted this super cool video explaining the physics behind a slapshot.

    Smarter Every Day shot some super slow motion video on a Phantom high speed camera to get to the bottom of what makes the ice hockey slapshot so powerful. Filmed at 3,271 frames-per-second, the video highlights how the University of Alabama in Hunstville hockey player’s stick strikes the ice before coming into contact with the puck. This allows the flexible hockey stick to build up energy, which is finally released when it comes up from the ice and strikes the puck, launching the projectile at a speed faster than the player is capable of swinging the stick.

    Read more.

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  • Lundi, Avril 7, 2014 - 23:07
    littleBits Projects: Wireless Light Switch



    This is part of an on-going series of posts about littleBits projects. littleBits is available in the Adafruit store – Starter Kit, Extended Kit, Base Kit, Deluxe Kit, and Synth Kit.

    With new wireless capabilities, littleBits projects can now be untethered! Check out this wireless light switch that you can use to control your overhead lights from across the room.

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    For this project, we made a mechanism that flips a light switch on and off using a servo module.

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    This servo mechanism is connected to a wireless receiver module and is activated by a pressure sensor on a wireless transmitter circuit.

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    Automate your lights and make a handheld remote control with littleBits, or for all you pranksters out there, place the transmitter circuit in an unsuspecting place and trick your friends, like we did. We placed the pressure sensor on the transmitting circuit under the leg of a chair. When someone sits on the chair, the overhead lights will go off. When s/he gets up to turn the lights back on, the lights turn on again on their own… and so on. Sit back and watch hilarity ensue. To see our prank, check out this video!!!

    large_Wireless_ChairPrank_splitScreen

    Place pressure sensor on the transmitting circuit under a chair leg to trick your friends by wirelessly triggering the light switch mechanism.

  • Lundi, Avril 7, 2014 - 23:02
    Swimming Mermaid LED Tail #arduinomicromonday

    glimmer mermeid

    Glimmer the Mermaid is an incredible project by Erin St. Blaine:  it uses about 180 Adafruit Neopixels, an Arduino Micro to control them and silicone. To change  animations and brightness she added a bluetooth module to connect it to an Android tablet:

    If you want to discover the details of the project or watch it in a live show, check her website!

     

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