Mercredi, Février 19, 2014 - 06:00How to Dye Conductive Ribbon Cable 4-Conductor #WearableWednesday
Easy Steps for DYEING 1 Yard of Conductive Ribbon 4-Conductor:
1. Gather the Supplies
2. Fill a stainless steel pot with just enough water for 1 yd of ribbon to move freely (about 2 cups). Turn heat on high.
3. Add an 1/8 teaspoon of iDye Poly soluble dye packet and an 1/8 teaspoon of iDye Color Intensifier to water. Stir until dissolved.
4. Add pre-wetted ribbon and bring to a rolling boil. Maintain temperature and stir frequently for 10 minutes. For uniform color, use constant agitation with a wooden stirrer.
5. Rinse the ribbon in the sink until it washes clear.
6. Machine wash the ribbon in it’s own cycle with a mild detergent and dry.
Note: Utensils and Pot for Dyeing should NOT be used for Food
Conductive thread ribbon cable – White – 1 yard – This lightweight, flexible fabric ribbon cable contains four channels of conductive thread, perfect for wiring up wearables where flexibility is key. Use it to connect your conductive fabric gamepad to your microcontroller or computer!
Mercredi, Février 19, 2014 - 05:58DohVinci: First Step Toward a Play-Doh 3D Printer?
Mercredi, Février 19, 2014 - 04:01A Simple Posture Sensor
If you are on the computer for a large part of the day, posture becomes a serious issue that can negatively impact your health. [Wingman] saw this problem, and created a hack to help solve it. His simple posture sensor will monitor the position of your head relative to the chair, and reminds you to sit up straight.
The posture sensor is built around the HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor, an Attiny85, and a piezo speaker. We’ve seen this distance sensor used in the past for a few projects. Rather than going down the wearable route, which has its own drawbacks, [Wingman] decided to attach his sensor on the back of his chair. The best part is that the sensor is not mounted directly on the chair, but rather on a piece of fabric allowing it to be easily moved when needed.
Given how low-cost and small the sensor is, the project can be easily expanded by adding multiple sensors in different locations. This would allow the angle of the back and possibly the neck to be determined, giving a more accurate indicator of poor posture. There are very few hacks out there that address bad posture. Do you have a project that helps address bad posture? Have you used video processing or a wearable device to monitor your posture? Let us know in the comments an don’t forget to send post links about them to our tips line.
Filed under: Medical hacks
Mercredi, Février 19, 2014 - 01:00Arduino Gets Fowl with Flappy Bit
We have to swallow our pride and hand it to [Dan200]. He may have finally found an application that everyone can agree is a perfect fit for Arduino. Flappy Bit is [Dan's] Arduino Uno based Flappy Bird clone. [Dan] is a software guy at heart, but he’s taken a peck at electronics of late. Flappy Bit was just a fun side project for him to learn how to program the Arduino. The hardware consists of an 8×8 LED matrix, current limiting resistors, and a single button.
[Dan's] implementation isn’t 100% faithful to the iOS/Android original. Rather than simply parrot Flappy Bird, he changed it up a bit. The user presses and holds the button to climb, and releases it to descend. This seems to make the game a bit more forgiving. We also won’t be missing all the lovely sound effects from Flappy Bird. While there is less flapping in Flappy Bit, it does make us more nostalgic for those tabletop LCD/LED games we played in the 80′s and can’t stop crowing about today.
[Thanks Parker, our Eagle-eyed tipster!]
Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Mercredi, Février 19, 2014 - 00:43NEW PRODUCTS – Bi-Color (Red/Green) 12-LED 2 Pack & 24-Bar Bargraph w/I2C Backpack Kit
NEW PRODUCT – Bi-Color (Red/Green) 12-LED Bargraph – Pack of 2 – Make a small linear display with multiple colors using this elegant bi-color LED bargraph. Only 1.2″ long, it is quite visible but not so large it wont plug into a breadboard! 24 LEDs are contained in the plastic body, 12 red 14mcd and 12 13mcd green. Every bar has two LEDs inside so you can have it display red, green, yellow or with fast multiplexing any color in between. This display is bright, beautiful and funky with nice diffused rectangular lenses for a striking look. There are 14 pins, 7 on each side, with 0.1″ spacing so you can easily plug it into a breadboard with plenty of space for wiring left over.
Since the display is multiplexed we suggest using 3 NPN transistors to drive the cathodes with microcontroller pins and then a 74HC595 to drive the 8 anodes.
There is a playground article about bargraph displays but that one is for non-multiplexed displays. You should also check out the tutorials introducing matrices for ideas on how to drive a multiplexed bargraph.
NEW PRODUCT – Bi-Color (Red/Green) 24-Bar Bargraph w/I2C Backpack Kit – What’s better than a single LED? Lots of LEDs! A fun way to make a small linear display is to use two 12-bar Bi-color bar-graphs. However, this LED bargraph is ‘multiplexed’ – so to control all the 48 LEDs you need a lot of pins. There are driver chips like the MAX7219 that can help control a bar-graph/matrix for you but there’s a lot of wiring to set up and they take up a ton of space. Here at Adafruit we feel your pain! After all, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could control a colorful bargraph without tons of wiring? That’s where this adorable LED bar-graph backpack comes in. Much like our 8×8 and 7-segment backpacks, this backpack pairs perfectly with our bar-graphs and manages all the LED control and multiplexing.
The backpack uses a driver chip that does all the heavy lifting for you: It has a built in clock so it can multiplex the display. It uses constant-current drivers for ultra-bright, consistent color, 1/16 step display dimming, all via a simple I2C interface. The backpack comes with address-selection jumpers so you can connect up to eight of these bar-graphs on a single I2C bus. You can also mix-and-match the bar-graph breakout with our other types of I2C LED backpacks.
The product kit comes with:
- A fully tested and assembled LED backpack stick
- Two 12-bar bi-color bar-graphs
- 4-pin header
A bit of soldering is required to attach the matrix onto the backpack but its very easy to do and only takes about 5 minutes.
Of course, in classic Adafruit fashion, we also have a detailed tutorial showing you how to solder, wire and control the display. We even wrote a very nice library for the backpacks so you can get running in under half an hour, displaying images on the matrix or numbers on the 7-segment. If you’ve been eyeing matrix displays but hesitated because of the complexity, his is the solution you’ve been looking for!
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 23:21Sneak Peek: Nerf Combat Creatures!
What does it take to get your idea for an awesome toy into the hands of an actual toy company that can produce and distribute it? For Jaimie Mantzel, it took a lot of work, a lot of travel, and not a little bit of luck. The Nerf Combat Creatures Attacknid RC robot will be available this fall.
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 22:30Tutorial for Painting Loki’s Armor
Loki has become a popular costume choice for women; I think I’ve seen more gender-bent interpretations of the costume than guys dressed as the character. Cosplayer Klayr de Gall is working on a version of the trickster’s outfit, and in addition to the wonderful in-progress photos she’s been posting, she also wrote a tutorial on painting the armor to make it look metallic. It appears she started with Worbla and only used gold and dark brown acrylic paint, brushes, and a tissue. The method is straightforward if a little time-consuming. Here’s a sampling of the tutorial:
See the full tutorial at DeviantArt.
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 22:00The Royal Institute Celebrates Women in Science
The Royal Institution has an all female line up of Friday Evening Discourses this year.
Since 1825 we have welcomed some of the world’s greatest scientific minds, including 50 Nobel Prize winners, to our lecture theatre to share their latest research with the public.
In 2014 we are pleased to celebrate the achievements of women in science today with our first ever all women line-up for a year of Friday Evening Discourses.
Over the course of the year, leading scientists from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland will give a Friday Evening Discourse – a traditional monthly lecture open to both Ri members and non-members – on cutting-edge science in areas as diverse as crystallography, molecular evolution, the neuroscience of memory, genetics and obesity, geometry and electrochemistry.
Our 2014 speakers include Lesley Yellowlees, the first woman president of the Royal Society of Chemistry; Pratibha Gai who was named the 2013 European Laureate in the 15th annual L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards; and Sophie Scott, well-known neuroscientist, columnist and stand up comedian.
Gail Cardew, Director of Science and Education, said: “I am delighted that in 2014 we will showcase some of the world-class scientific research being carried out by women.
“My favourite aspect of the Discourses is that our members and the general public are able to hear from the scientists in person and learn about such a diverse range of intellectually fascinating areas of science in the intimate setting of our historic lecture theatre.
She added: “Our mission is to encourage everyone to think further about the wonders of science and so I am very pleased that a selection of these 2014 Discourses will be made available online on our video platform, the Ri Channel, so that anyone anywhere in the world will be able to benefit too.”
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 22:00Retrotechtacular: Restoring A 19th Century Automaton
Made sometime in the 1790s or 1800s London, the Maillardet Automaton has a long and storied history. It was exhibited around England for several decades, brought over the Atlantic by [P.T. Barnum], nearly destroyed in a fire, and donated to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in the 1920s. From there, this amazingly complex amalgam of cogs, cams, and linkages eventually became the inspiration for the book – and movie - Hugo. Time hasn’t exactly been kind to this marvel of the clockmaker’s art; it has been repaired four times before receiving a complete overhaul in 2007 by [Andrew Baron].
[Fran], one of Hackaday’s sources for awesome projects, recently visited the Franklin Institute and posted a series of videos on the reverse engineering of the Maillardet Automaton. Being nearly destroyed and repaired so many times didn’t make this an easy job; it’s extremely possible no one alive has ever seen the eyes of the Automaton move as originally designed.
Even though the Maillardet Automaton has one of the largest series of cams of any mechanical draftsman, that doesn’t mean it’s simply an enlargement of an earlier machine. The automaton’s pen is like no other writing device on Earth, with a stylus acting as a valve to dispense ink whenever the tip touches paper. The eyes have linkages to follow the pen as it traces a drawing. In 1800, this automaton would have been a singularity in the uncanny valley, and watching it put pen to paper is still a little creepy today.
Below you’ll find a video from [Fran] demonstrating all seven drawings the Maillardet Automaton can reproduce. You can also find a whole bunch of pics of the mechanisms along with the 2007 repair report on [Andrew Baron]‘s site.
Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.
Thanks [Fran] for sending this one in.
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 21:13Drive Around Your Tablet with Ozobot
Lots of screen-based toys for kids aim at breaking that glassy-eyed stare (parents, you know the one I mean) and, if possible, encouraging them to interact with others. Ozobot achieves these aims with the help of a line-following robot that can read lines and colors as it literally drive around on your tablet or smart phone.
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 21:00The New Rules of Robot/Human Society #robotics
PBS Off Book has released this short video on the relationship between humans and robots.
As technology speeds forward, humans are beginning to imagine the day when robots will fill the roles promised to us in science fiction. But what should we be thinking about TODAY, as robots like military and delivery drones become a real part of our society? How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? And who is responsible for a robot’s actions? As we look at the unexpected impact of new technologies, we are obligated as a society to consider the moral and ethical implications of robotics.
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 20:00The Makery to partner with 92Y during 7 Days of Genius #makereducation
The Makery will be running four pop-ups during the 92Y’s 7 Days of Genius. The workshops are geared towards young engineers (ranging from 8+ to 10+ depending on the workshop) but older participants are welcome, too! Check out the events listed here.
The Makery at the 92Y
March 1-2, 2014
1395 Lexington Ave
New York NY 10128
The Makery is a pop-up Makerspace – part shop & part workshop. A temporary venue where youth and adults are encouraged to be curious, to tinker, to experiment, and to make with technology. The Makery is a portable playground, a place where communities can gather to play with the creative power of digital design and fabrication, physical computing, and computer programming.
The easiest way to stay updated is to join our Facebook page or sign up for our mailing list on our website www.nycmakery.com.
Come Out and Make
Design a Game & Controller for a Makery Arcade
Design and 3D Print a Toy or Jewelry with MakerBots
Make a Rubber Band Powered Vehicle
Make a Rube Goldberg Machine
Each 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, Février 18, 2014 - 19:12A Seat For Plants
This seat for plants measures the moisture level of the plant’s soil. When the level drops too low, a teensy turns on a peristaltic pump, which in turn supplies more water for the plant, via wikiseat.
The legs of the seat are from an apple tree that grows in the yard of the house where I live. This serves as the structure for the seat, and the magic happens in the electronics. There is an a Teensy board (derived from the Ardunio) that seres as the brain for this seat. A moisture sensor lets the brain know the current moisture content in the soil. Water conducts electricity, and this can be measured by the moisture sensor.
Over time, as the moisture evaporates from the soil, or is taken on by the plant, the soil becomes less conductive, and this can be measured. When the soil reaches a certain conductivity level (or level of dryness) the Teensy board turns on a peristaltic pump (from Adafruit Industries), which squeezes water through a tube. This pump can suck water from a lower level, forcing it upwards against gravity, and into the plant’s pot.
As with any electronics project, there is some really complicated stuff going on here. But at the same time, we live in an age where we truly are standing on the shoulders of giants, and much of the wisdom in the world is freely accessible online or at your local hackerspace. Most everything that Adafruit has comes with detailed instructions. Think of it as a larger, more advanced LEGO kit.
Featured Adafruit Products!
Peristaltic Liquid Pump with Silicone Tubing: Move fluid safely from here to there with this very nice little pump. Unlike most liquid pumps, this is a peristaltic type – the pump squishes the silicone tubing that contains the liquid instead of impelling it directly. The upshot? The pump never touches the fluid which makes this an excellent choice for any food/drink/sterile based pumping such as for making drink-bots or gardening robots! Read More!
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 19:0030th Anniversary Macintosh Running on BBB – #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg
…It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that an engineer in possession of an antique computer must be in want of hacking it. Last year I reverse engineered the Easter Egg photographs from a Mac SE that I found on the side of the road and that machine has been sitting idle since then, so I took inspiration from NYCR founder Dave Clausen’s six year old 24th anniversary Mac project and turned my old SE into a “30th anniversary Macintosh” with a new ARM motherboard running Linux. Unlike Dave, I was able to interface with the original 9″ CRT thanks to the programmable hardware in the Beaglebone Black.
…You can enjoy the dithered 1-bit cat videos […] and relive the era with monochrome visuals for xeyes and other classic applications. If you want to build your own and see the specifics of the design, there are more details on my website, trmm.net/Mac-SE_video.
Each Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here at Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 18:51FTDI FT232RL: real vs fake
For quite some time when you buy FTDI FT232RL chips from shady suppliers you have a good chance of getting mysteriously buggy chip which only works with drivers 2.08.14 or earlier. We’ve got a pair of such FTDI FT232RL chips – one genuine and one fake and decided to check if there is an internal difference between them. On the following photo – left one is genuine, right one is fake. One can notice difference in marking – on genuine chip it’s laser engraved while on buggy it is printed (although this is not a universal distinguishing factor for other chips).
We source only genuine FTDI chips so not a problem for any Adafruit made products!
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 18:33From the desk of Ladyada
Lots of prototypes came in today!
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 18:21Introducing: Hackaday Projects
Today Hackaday is launching a new site that furthers our goal of being a Virtual Hackerspace. Now you can host your own hacks and builds in a place truly worthy of what we’re all about. We present to you: Hackaday Projects.
What’s so great about it? It has a dark theme, just like the blog! Actually, the awesome of the new site is a combination of what’s already available and what we have planned. First and foremost, the site has been built from the ground up with open data in mind. This means you own what you create on Hackaday Projects. You can export your work, delete it, and use a public API to extend the usefulness of the data. Secondly, we have a range of different tools which are extremely easy and quick to use, but allow rich styling and presentation when you need it.
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 18:16Check out the LIDAR-Lite Distance Sensor
When you’re building a robot, quadcopter or other project and object avoidance or distance sensing is imperative to your success, finding the right sensor can be a bit tricky. Today, we want to share a brilliant new sensor from the folks over at Pulsed Light - the LIDAR-Lite.
The LIDAR-Lite is a high-performance distance sensor that costs a fraction of what a sensor with comparable performance would usually cost.
This sensor has a range of 40 meters and uses some very clever innovations to attempt to imitate the performance of much more expensive"Time of Flight" distance sensors. The LIDAR-Lite uses an I2C communications interface, which allows multiple modules to be connected as slaves to a common communications bus. Plus, it draws only 100 milliamps peak power when taking a measurement and under 10 milliamps when idle, making the LIDAR-Lite a great option when power consumption is a concern.
Check out their crowdfunding campaign for more information on the tech behind the LIDAR-Lite and to purchase your own!
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 18:00Wooden cube converts touch into music #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg
Gizmag has the details on this musical cube from the Hackable Instruments project.
The aim of the Hackable Instruments project is to create instruments that can be easily tweaked by the player to find interesting new directions for producing flavorsome tones, without any specialist knowledge of electronics or engineering, while also aiding in the development of distinctive playing styles. Project members Andrew McPherson and Victor Zappi have designed and built a deliberately simple instrument that produces sounds when a player’s fingers touch, slide or tap a capacitive sensing strip on one of the wooden cube’s faces.
The battery-powered 8-inch wooden cube comprises a two-dimensional capacitive touch sensor strip (actually the front part of a TouchKeys sensor) with a force-sensing resistor (pressure sensor) underneath on one of the cube’s faces and an output speaker on another. Inside, there’s a BeagleBone Black development board with an audio interface that runs Linux and some custom software authored by Zappi.
The team created two versions of the cube. The software of one generated sound based on pressure only, and the other produced small variations in frequency depending on the location of the touch on the sensor strip. Both instruments gave players a blank sonic canvas on which to explore new, and perhaps even very personal, playing styles.
“We tried not to suggest any particular ‘right’ ways of playing, either in the design of the box or in any of our instructions,” said McPherson. “What we found was a startling range of playing styles, including many techniques we hadn’t anticipated, such as playing on the wooden box, filtering the speaker with the hand, even licking the sensor to produce a sustained tone from the residual moisture. This was very interesting because it confirmed one of the principles we set out to test, that performers will discover personal ways of using an instrument that differ from the designer’s intentions.”
Mardi, Février 18, 2014 - 17:05MakerBot Stories | Rick Baker 3D Prints, Paints Popeye
Rick Baker is the Hollywood makeup artist behind dozens of films, from “American Werewolf in London” to “Norbit.” He has seven Oscars for Best Makeup (a record), two adult daughters (who turn into monsters when they come visit him), and, after attending a charity auction last fall, a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.
“I bought the MakerBot Replicator 2 for more than what it cost retail,” said Baker, who expected this purchase to do more for Big Brothers Big Sisters than for himself. He saw it as “something to play with,” and thought, “I can probably print up custom palettes to put makeup in.” Baker is adept at 3D modeling software (his handle on the ZBrush forums is monstermaker). Still, it took him a couple of weeks to get a feel for 3D printing. “Most of the problems were my mistakes,” he said.
Baker persevered. “I do makeup effects, but I like learning new things,” he says. Before long, he started making figures that met his high standards. The piece he’s spent the most time on is a 3D print of his wizened Popeye; his digital rendering of the sailor man has become popular icon since he designed it seven years ago in ZBrush. “People have gotten tattoos of it,” he said.
The 3D printed Popeye has a head about four inches high, and Baker used multiple layers of paint. “That final Popeye print has 20 different glazes on it.” Popeye’s hat is a separate print; Baker melted real thread into the MakerBot Warm Gray PLA Filament to create the stitching. (See the whole Popeye statue, spinach can and all.)
Though the term did not exist when he was born in 1950, Baker is a maker. His interest in makeup began by watching the Shock Theater package of horror films on TV. “Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine had articles on people who made this stuff. They became my idols.”
Baker made his first nose by dyeing his mother’s pie crust. Now he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So perhaps some 10-year old who is painting 3D printed models from the MakerBot Digital Store will find similar inspiration in Rick Baker’s Popeye statuette.