Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 22:30Fierce World of Warcraft Alexstrasza Costume
Alexstrasza is the Queen of Dragons, and she has some eye-catching armor. It’s skimpy like many ensembles in World of Warcraft, but it still took craftsmanship to create. Oshley Cosplay spent about four months recreating Alexstrasza’s costume; she loves the character and her armor. She used several different materials in construction, including Friendly Plastic for the trinkets dangling from the horns:
The first attempt I tried forming the clay in the shape I wanted and then forming the Friendly Plastic over the lumps of clay but it did not create the distinct lines and shape that I wanted so I was hesitant to continue working with those pieces. I also did not have a very good in-game reference image to work from so the design wasn’t spot on either. Merp.
My second try went a. lot. better. Instead of shaping the clay to my desired shape I only used the clay as an oval base. All the designs and lumps were formed by hand, rolling the hot plastic on the non-stick surface I was working on. I used a closer in-game image of the bobble, as well as Kamui Cosplay’s design as a reference. The Friendly Plastic by itself is not nice to paint so I primed it first with a few layers of gesso before laying down a few gold layers.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 22:08Arduino Micro USB IR Remote Adapter Board #ArduinoMicroMonday
Steve Yoshida is a systems engineer and worked on a project involving Arduino Micro and Infrared remote adapter:
My new Arduino sat on the shelf for a few weeks before I came up with a quick project that I wanted to use it for. I use XBMC a lot on both PC and Raspberry Pi and wanted a quick way to get IR keyboard inputs from a remote. I had used the IR library for Arduino in the past so I was already pretty familiar with the hardware and code involved. What made the Arduino Micro ideal for this project was the keyboard emulation supported by the board and also its compact size…
Take a look at the complete post on his blog with more pics and the sketch.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 22:00Make Your Own Smart Watch
Wearables are all the rage lately. Have you been eyeing the Pebble or one of the new smart watches lately but are not sure if it’s for you? With [GodsTale's] “Retro Watch” you can now build your own, allowing you to try out a smart watch without making a huge investment.
This smart watch uses very common and easy to obtain parts: Arduino Pro Mini, HC-06 Bluetooth module, Adafruit’s 0.96’’ OLED display, and a lithium battery. It is amazing how few parts can be used to make such a functional project. While the example packaging shown is a bit rugged around the edges, it gets the job done. Having such simple hardware allows [GodsTale] to focus on the software. One of the coolest aspects of this project is the Android app [GodsTale] provides. The app provides basic functionality, such as viewing RSS feeds and Android notifications. Check out the GitHub and a more detailed write-up for more information.
It would be great to see this project evolve in the future, it has so much potential. We would love to see a custom circuit board, or a model for a 3D printed case for this awesome smart watch. See a video of the Retro Watch in action after the break. If you thought this was cool, check out a few of these recent hacks.
Filed under: wearable hacks
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 22:00UK backs huge US neutrino plan #physics
BBC News has the story about one of the biggest physics experiments ever built.
Scientists at Fermilab, just outside Chicago, want to fire a beam of particles called neutrinos through 1,300km (800 miles) of rock some 30km below the surface.
The experiment’s aim is to learn more about how the Universe was created.
BBC News has learned that the UK has now agreed to be part of the $1.5bn (£1bn) project.
Those involved describe it as the most important experiment since the search for the Higgs boson.
“It is the next big thing in particle physics,” said Prof Stefan Soldner-Rembold of the University of Manchester, who is working at Fermilab.
“It is as big as the search for the Higgs and will revolutionise our understanding of physics.”
Neutrinos are ghostly particles that permeate the Universe. They hardly interact with our world, tending to pass right through the Earth.
But 16 years ago, Japanese researchers discovered that these ephemeral flecks did indeed have mass, and not only that – they changed from one form, or flavour, to another as they travelled.
This solved a puzzling observation made by US researchers in a South Dakota mine decades earlier. They found that they were not detecting as many neutrinos coming from the Sun as they were expecting.
The Japanese result suggested that some of them had changed into another type of neutrino on their way to Earth.
This discovery cannot be explained by the current theory of sub-atomic physics. So some physicists believe that by finding out how these neutrinos change flavour and determining their exact mass will give a deeper understanding of how the Universe works and specifically how it came into being.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 21:20Realtime Typing to POV Rig!
POV as you type (a typewriter way to write on a POV unit in real time). A real time way to send characters and write on a Persistence of Vision unit.
Type in a computer keyboard, and send the characters via RF 433 Mhz to the POV unit, in real time.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 21:00Arduino Micro USB IR Remote Adapter Board #ArduinoMicroMonday @arduino #arduino
I was shopping on the Adafruit site for a ATmega32u4 based Arduino board and found the page for the Arduino Micro. From what I read, the Micro is the result of a joint development between Adafruit and the people at Arduino.cc. A couple of quick mouse clicks (and three business days later) I had my new Arduino Micro USB board.
My new Arduino sat on the shelf for a few weeks before I came up with a quick project that I wanted to use it for. I use XBMC a lot on both PC and Raspberry Pi and wanted a quick way to get IR keyboard inputs from a remote. I had used the IR library for Arduino in the past so I was already pretty familiar with the hardware and code involved. What made the Arduino Micro ideal for this project was the keyboard emulation supported by the board and also its compact size.
Here is the official press release for the Arduino Micro in collaboration with Adafruit.
Arduino Micro in collaboration with Adafruit
Arduino Micro board – Based on the technology behind the Leonardo board, its main feature is the very small size.
The Arduino Micro packs all of the power of the Arduino Leonardo in a 48mm x 18mm module (1.9″ x 0.7″).
It makes it easier for makers to embed the Arduino technology inside their projects by providing a small and convenient module that can be either used on a breadboard or soldered to a custom designed PCB.
The Micro has been developed in collaboration with Adafruit Industries, one of the leaders of the Maker movement. Adafruit is already developing a series of accessories for the new board that will complement its power and simplicity.
Throughout the month of November the product is available exclusively from Adafruit online and Radio Shack in retail stores.
Main features of Arduino Micro:
- The Arduino Micro is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32u4.
- Like its brother the Leonardo board, the Arduino Micro has one microcontroller with built-in USB. Using the ATmega32U4 as its sole microcontroller allows it to be cheaper and simpler. Also, because the 32U4 is handling the USB directly, code libraries are available which allow the board to emulate a computer keyboard, mouse, and more using the USB-HID protocol.
- It has 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a micro USB cable to get started.
- This allows the Micro to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.
- Microcontroller: ATmega32u4
- Operating Voltage: 5V
- Input Voltage (recommended): 7-12V
- Input Voltage (limits): 6-20V
- Digital I/O Pins: 20
- PWM Channels: 7
- Analog Input Channels: 12
- DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
- DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 50 mA
- Flash Memory: 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
- SRAM: 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
- EEPROM: 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
- Clock Speed: 16 MHz
Arduino, the first widespread Open Source Hardware platform, was launched in 2005 to simplify the process of electronic prototyping. It enables everyday people with little or no technical background to build interactive products.
The Arduino ecosystem is a combination of three different elements:
- A small electronic board manufactured in Italy that makes it easy and affordable to learn to program a microcontroller, a type of tiny computer found inside millions of everyday objects.
- A free software application used to program the board.
- A vibrant community, true expression of the enthusiasm powering the project. Every day on the www.arduino.cc website thousands of people connect with other users, ask for help, engage and contribute to the project.
About Adafruit Industries
Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Since then Adafruit has grown to over 25 employees in the heart of NYC. Adafruit has expanded their offerings to include tools and equipment that Limor personally selects, tests and approves. Adafruit has one of the largest collections of free electronics tutorials, open-source hardware and software to help educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 20:0521st Century Old-Fashioned Toy Tech
Two inventors from Lisbon are applying their maker smarts to the toy world through their company, Make2Play. Their charmingly low-tech kits include a gramophone, confetti blower, and a pinhole camera.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 20:00Robots Mimic Termites Behavior: Science Looks to Nature for Inspiration #robotics
The artificial meets the natural with these termite inspired robots from Harvard University. Via International Business Times.
The future of science may only need to look at nature, as Harvard engineers develop small robots that mimic termites. The project was unveiled at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The robots were 8 inches long and performed simple construction duties like putting down a brick, turning around or climbing. The robots were able to access their tasks, by working together and seeing what else needs to be done, like the insects.
But why would these mini robots act like termites?
Termites as insects are extremely intelligent; they take cues from one another, work as a team, and can build complicated mounds of soil, complete with tunnels and chambers. Some scientists even believe that termites have been able to create their own air conditioning in these formations that are more complicated than we think.
This technology could be used to build and re-build constructions in dangerous areas. These robots could be sent to earthquake prone regions, to build homes, and repair damage. Humans may no longer need to risk their lives building in dangerous situations.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 19:58Moss FM is World’s First Plant Powered Radio
Moss FM is the world’s first totally plant powered radio. Developed by Swiss engineer Fabienne Felder in collaboration with Cambridge University scientists Dr. Paolo Bombelli and Ross Dennis, Moss FM works using an aesthetically pleasing lineup of moss plants as a “Photo Microbial Fuel Cell.” The fuel cell acts as a sort of biological solar panel and harvests electrons produced from the photosynthesis of the moss and converts them into electricity, even when no light is available.
In order to grow, plants photosynthesise – they use solar energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars. The photosynthetic process, in simple terms, consists of two stages. In the first, light-dependent stage, plants split water – oxygen is released and electrons and protons are produced. In the second, light-independent stage, plants then ingest carbon dioxide to convert those electrons and protons into sugars.
Now, here’s why mosses operate as potentially better photo-active components in Photo-MFCs than other plants: Mosses are as efficient in the first stage of photosynthesis as other plants. But they grow slowly, which means they are less efficient at converting the produced electrons and protons into sugars in the second stage – leaving us with bigger potential to collect and transform electrons into electrical current.
The researchers acknowledge that this type of technology is still in its infancy and the total amount of harvested energy is limited, but hope to develop it further to increase its efficiency for larger scale use. As Felder notes, the impact of this sustainable energy source has some significant potential.
If 25% of Londoners (ca. 2.7 million people) charged their mobile phone on average for 2 hours every other day with moss, we would save enough electricity to power a small town: 42.5 million kWh, amounting to a saving of £6.81 Million and 39632 Tons of CO2* a year. These are interesting values, given the huge amounts of electricity that are wasted during generation and transmission, for example. And even more interesting, if we consider that at the moment we capture only about 0.1% of the electrons the mosses potentially produce.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 19:18Ask your Wearables Questions! LIVE Wearable Electronics with Becky Stern 2/19 2pm ET
What questions do you have about wearable electronics? Ask them now in the comments, and you could win our live giveaway!
All inquisitive askers whose questions are featured on this week’s LIVE Wearable Electronics with Becky Stern will be eligible for a special giveaway. Post your Qs in the comments here, on Google+, Twitter, or YouTube, and then tune in at 2pm ET on Wednesday for the answers and to see if you’ve won!
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 19:0140-Node Raspi Cluster
Multi-node RasPi clusters seem to be a rite of passage these days for hackers working with distributed computing. [Dave's] 40-node cluster is the latest of the super-Pi creations, and while it’s not the biggest we’ve featured here, it may be the sleekest.
The goal of this project—aside from the obvious desire to test distributed software—was to keep the entire package below the size of a full tower desktop. [Dave's] design packs the Pi’s in groups of 4 across ten individual cards that easily slide out for access. Each is wired (through beautiful cable management, we must say) to one of the 2 24-port switches at the bottom of the case. The build uses an ATX power supply up top that feeds into individual power for the Pi’s and everything else, including his HD array—5 1TB HD’s, expandable to 12—a wireless router, and a hefty fan assembly.
Perhaps the greatest achievement is the custom acrylic case, which [Dave] lasered out at the Dallas Makerspace (we featured it here last month). Each panel slides off with the press of a button, and the front/back panels provide convenient access to the internal network via some jacks. If you’ve ever been remotely curious about a build like this one, you should cruise over to [Dave's] page immediately: it’s one of the most meticulously well-documented projects we’ve seen in a long time. Videos after the break.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 19:00Under Water Record Player #musicmonday
Check out this under water turn table by artist Evan Holm, via hackaday.
Once in a while we get a really awesome tip about a technical art installation — there sometimes isn’t much info behind it, but the idea and concept behind it alone sparks our curiosity. That is most definitely the case for this submerged record player.
Artist [Evan Holm] has created this awesome installation which features a black pool of water — with a built-in record player. He’s somehow waterproofed the player itself, and integrated the controls and needle into a tree, which is part of the installation.
He has a very long and artsy description about the meaning of it, how it represents loss and mystery, and the collective subconscious of the human race… We just see it as a really cool hack. There’s also a full documentary about how he sets up the installation at various shows.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 18:36Making Adabot: Part 2
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 18:20February Caption Contest winner!
The votes are in and our resident Olympic Caption Contest judges can take a day off. Congratulations, asciirory! You’re the gold medalist of captioners.
The ReelMaster 9000 Telepathic Popcorn Generator gets its first alpha test with disappointing results…
$100 in SparkFun credit is headed your way; feel free to send us a video of you standing on a cardboard box and singing the national anthem. Thanks to everyone who submitted captions, and we’ll see you next month for more!
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 17:49Coming Soon: In-Store 3D Printers for Customized Toys
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 17:00The Monome: A Music Hacker’s Dream Instrument, and a Collector’s Fantasy #MusicMonday
…At first, the monome was meant be a multipurpose artistic tool: a simple, 100 percent open source design with buttons and lights that could be programmed to to create any kind of art, from music to games. In fact, in every functional way, it still is—it’s just that the people it attracted tend to be mostly musicians.
A monome is a simple box, the size of a textbook (or bigger, depending how you build it), with anywhere from 64 to 256 light-up buttons on its face—it looks like a game of Simon on steroids, or a really universal remote control. It doesn’t do anything by itself, and the buttons don’t necessarily light up when you push them—like a game of Simon on narcotics, or a remote control you spilled a drink on.
But once it’s hooked up to another device (usually a computer) via USB cable, you can use software (like MLR, the program Weitekamp uses) to tell it what you want it to do: When you press a button, the monome sends a signal to the software, which will both respond and/or a signal back to light up any number of buttons (the buttons themselves are on a completely different circuit from their light bulbs). Used as a musical instrument, the monome can split a single sample into equal fractions across a row of buttons; conceivably, you could add a sample for every row of buttons and loop them top of each other, like weaving a giant musical tapestry. It’s mainly used as a performance tool, to add manual functionality to music that’s often and easily automated.
It can do more than just sequence samples, though; the monome has been used by video artists for live performances, by children’s museums for interactive exhibits, and by video game designers to create simple maze games. It’s such a modular device that someone has even programmed software to turn it into a keyboard and connect it to your Twitter feed: Tweets scroll by in real time over the button’s lights in a ticker-tape, at the same time you’re using the same buttons to type out and send your own.
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 16:00A Pick-And-Mix FPGA Retrocomputer
Cheap FPGA boards are readily available, as are VHDL implementations of classic CPUs like the 6502, 6809, and Z80. Up until now, we haven’t seen anyone take these two parts and combine them into a complete system that turns an FPGA board into a complete 8-bit retrocomputer. Thanks to [Grant]‘s work, it’s now possible to do just that (server on fire, here’s a google cache) with a $30 FPGA board and a handful of parts.
In its full configuration, the Multicomp, as [Grant] calls his project, includes either a 6502, 6809, Z80, or (in the future) a 6800 CPU. Video options include either monochrome RCA, RGB VGA, or RGB via SCART. This, along an SD card interface, a PS2 keyboard, and the ability to connect an external 128kB RAM chip (64k available) means it’s a piece of cake to build a proper and complete portable retrocomputer.
What’s extremely interesting about [Grant]‘s project is the fact the data and address lines are fully exposed on the FPGA board. This means it’s possible to add whatever circuit you’d like to whatever retrocomputer you can imagine; if you want a few NES gamepads, an IDE interface, or you’d like to design your own primitive video card, it’s just a matter of designing a circuit and writing some assembly.
If you’d like to build your own, search “EP2C5T144C8N” on the usual sites, grab a few resistors and connectors, and take a look at [Grant]‘s documentation and upcoming examples.
Via 6502.org forums
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 16:00MakerBot Digitizer | A Scantastic Deal
Make 3D Models Fast—for Less!
Now, for only $799, you can create, scan, and share your very own 3D models. With no design or 3D modeling experience required to get started, the MakerBot Digitizer lets you:
– Digitally capture and preserve your 3D mementos, creations, and precious objects.
– Explore the frontiers of 3D scanning. Share adventures with enthusiasts of all ages.
– Participate in educational and entertaining 3D scanning projects and challenges.
– With our easy-to-use software, you can create clean 3D models in just two clicks.
Check out our blog post that shows examples of beautiful scans as well as helpful tips on using your MakerBot Digitizer. We can’t wait to see what you make!
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 16:00BeagleBone Black case contest – Second round of winners, week 2 #beagleboneblackcase @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg
Say hello to the second round of BeagleBone Black case winners! We picked 10 of the entries we saw or were emailed, if you entered and did not win – check back each week, we still have 20 more to give away over the next 2 weeks! Congratulations to all the winners, we’ll be contacting you to send your BeagleBone Black case you can also email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to claim your prize!
Jarek Szczepanski writes-
#beagleboneblackcase my 3D printer #MendelMax with BeagleBone Black as a printserver (thx to #OctoPrint) #3dprinting
Using BBB and BMP085 to monitor temperature in hospitalized relatives house. Alerts via email. #BeagleBoneBlackCase
Georges-Etienne Legendre writes-
#beagleboneblackcase My BBB alarm system! Simple 433mhz sensors, with PRU code to decode the signal @beagleboardorg
Ronald Strobel writes-
Beaglebone Black Tor Relay – a small, low cost, low power solution to run Tor Network Relays.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.
It depends on the voluntary donation of bandwidth by running a relay software. The more relays running, the faster the Tor network becomes.
So, instead of using your laptop or deskotp to run the relay and have to keep it on all the time, you can use a Beaglebone Black (BBB), a single-board linux computer (SBC) with lower power consumption, to run it.
My BBB Relay is already running for more than one week now, over a hardened version of Debian Wheezy. I’m using Arm, which can be seen in the photo, to monitor the bandwidth consumption and other usage stats and Tor Weather to send me notifications about service availability.
Jan Szymanski entered this IoT gateway.
3D printed case from Jean-Louis Bourdon.
Raghu Vamshi submitted these two awesome robots.
Tony DiCola submitted this Adafruit Trellis Library.
Hey Adafruit folks, I ported the Trellis software library to Python so it can run on the Beaglebone Black or even Raspberry Pi. Take a look at the library here: https://github.com/tdicola/Adafruit_Trellis_Python The API is a direct port of the Arduino library API, but with the enhancement that it can support any number of Trellises (still limited by 8 Trellises on a single I2C bus though). This means on devices that have multiple I2C buses, like the Beaglebone Black, it’s possible to control more than 8 Trellises. The BBB should support at least 16 Trellises from its 2 exposed I2C channels, and maybe more from other unexposed channels or even bit banging I2C on its programmable units.
Here’s a pic of it in action too: http://imgur.com/qHF6tXM
Jarrett Vance writes-
BBB hooked to my garage door with two reed switches, relays, and a sonic sensor. #BeagleBoneBlackCase
Kritsada Arjchariyaphat writes-
Beaglebone Black + 7inch LCD touch screen + Qt
From February 1, 2014 to March 1, 2014, in partnership with TI/BeagleBone Adafruit will be giving away 10 BeagleBoneBlack cases per week, all you need to do is share your project and we’ll pick 10 a week for 4 weeks! Share a photo or video of your BeagleBone Black project on Flickr (1/2), Twitter (1/2), Vine, Youtube (1/2), Instagram (1/2), Google+ (1/2) or Facebook (1/2) and tag it: #beagleboneblackcase. Be sure to check the links to see if it’s searchable on the social/photo networks you’ve shared it with. You can also email it (email@example.com). We’ll post the winners each week on the Adafruit blog! Be sure to check back each week to see if you’ve won! You can only win once, however you can share as many projects as you’d like!
Lundi, Février 17, 2014 - 15:00Tinker Hatfield Confirms Power Laces Will Return In 2015
Power Lace’s like Marty McFly’s from Back to the Future II will soon be a reality, from sole collector.
There are sneaker releases, and then there was the Nike MAG launch in 2011. Without as much as a hint, Nike produced Marty McFly’s fictional high-top from Back to the Future II and auctioned off 1,500 pairs on eBay, with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. In the end, sneakerheads, film aficionados and celebrities spent nearly $6 million to claim a piece of history.
However, as transcendent as the launch was, something was missing. When McFly wore his pair in the movie, they were equipped with power laces. While Nike went above and beyond to put the release together, they weren’t quite ready for the futuristic lacing system. But why should they have been? MAGs technically weren’t a reality until 2015, which is now less than a year away.
During an appearance at the Jordan Brand’s Flight Lab space in New Orleans earlier today, designer Tinker Hatfield was asked about the possibility of seeing power lacing next year, and his answer may surprise you.
“Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!” said Hatfield.
So there you have it. The man himself confirming that we will be seeing power laces again in 2015.
But will they be the actual Nike MAG, or instead a new model that self-laces? We’ll have to wait and see….