Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 07:00A NeoPixel Ring Glimmer In Your Eyes #neopixels
Dr_Speed created this great portrait of a NeoPixel fanatic!
Adafruit neopixel ring w/Canon G12. Cropped. NO PHOTOSHOP or post processing of any kind.
Featured Adafruit Product!
NeoPixel Ring – 16 x WS2812 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Round and round and round they go! 16 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels are arranged in a circle with 1.75″ (44.5mm) outer diameter. The rings are ‘chainable’ – connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC (4-7V works) and you’re ready to rock. (read more)
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 06:16Louis Vuitton’s “Resistor grid” sweater
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 06:00Bionic hand lets wearer feel what they’re holding
The Verge has the latest on prosthetics that can actually enable the wearer to feel the object they are holding.
The latest bionic hand can do a lot more than just let its wearer hold things: it can actually let them feel. By hooking into nerves in an amputee’s arm, the new prosthetic can let a person tell how hard or soft an object is and even distinguish its basic shape. “The sensory feedback was incredible,” Dennis Sørensen, who wore the hand during its first trial, says in a statement…
“What was amazing in the subject was the possibility to get — very quickly, almost immediately — the ability to use this restored sense of modality in an effective way,” Micera tells The Verge. Though health regulations limited Sørensen’s trial to only a month, by the final week he was able to differentiate between three shapes with 88 percent accuracy and between the hardness of three objects with 78.7 percent accuracy. “It is very intuitive,” Micera says.
Using the bionic hand required Sørensen to have electrodes implanted in his arm, just above where it had been amputated nine years prior. Even though the nerves hadn’t been in use, the prosthetic was able to translate the bionic hand’s input into electrical signals that the nerves could understand.
During the test, Sørensen was asked to differentiate and handle six different objects. For testing hardness, he was given a piece of wood, a stack of plastic glasses, and a pack of cotton. To test how well the prosthetic could relay the feeling of different shapes and sizes, Sørensen was given a bottle, a baseball, and a mandarin orange. Being able to differentiate between objects and hardness also let Sørensen more effectively control how much force the bionic hand exerted while holding different materials.
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 05:06Laser cut Voronoi boxes
Given a set of points, the Voronoi tessellation creates a set of convex polygons that each contain one point. They can also be used to randomly generate unique art pieces that cast shifting, lace-like shadows. This one was really quite beautiful until the candle burned through…
Read on for some scripts to make your own and tips for laser cutting them.
Making the box outline
The outline of the boxes can be generated with an online tool like MakerCase or my boxer script. For instance, to generate the above 40x40x40mm box (thing:39415) with 3mm thick plywood, using a laser kerf of 1/8mm:
./boxer \ --thickness 3 --width 40 \ --height 40 \ --length 40 \ --kerf 0.125 \ > box-40mm.svg
Larger parameters for --kerf make for a tighter fit. I recommend cutting a small box to verify the kerf settings for your laser cutter and material.
Creating the lace patterns
The technique scales from small boxes up to fairly large ones, although the parameters to lace-maker will need to be tweaked to ensure good density of points. Also be sure to keep in mind that the tabs from the other faces will intrude into each face, so the lace pattern can’t go all the way from edge to edge. In general I’ve found that leaving the thickness of the material plus 2 to 5mm of space on each side gives good results — this allows clearance for the tab material and some material for the structural edge. The sample box was 40mm on a side, so the lace pattern here is 40-6*2=28mm square.
./lace-maker \ -x 28 \ -y 28 \ -w 1 \ -n 20 \ > lace1.svg
The -w parameter is the trace thicnkess in mm — for wood I’ve typically used a minimum width of 1 to 2mm for the traces. Acrylic seems to be ok with thiner traces if you desire it, although it does become quite weak and flexible.
Sometimes you will get an error message “Bad polygons?“. If so, try reducing the number of polygons (the -n parameter) or re-running. Since the points are randomly chosen each run there is a chance that the current set might not be possible to fit with the current trace width.
If you prefer other space filling tesslations, I’ve also written circle-maker. It is a very different feel from the convex polygons.
Arrange and laser cut
Finally, load the box outline into Inkscape or Illustrator and then import each of the six lace files. Place them in the center of the faces and if you can designate a cut-order for the vectors, set it to cut the interior polygons first and then cut the box outline.
Be sure to use enough power to cut through — the lace panels aren’t very strong and you might snap them if you need to use force to finish the job. After a successful cut there will be a huge number of small voronoi polygons on the laser bed. Don’t forget to to vacuum up the detritus before you post photos of your awesome art projects!
If you need to learn how to use the laser, NYC Resistor offers classes on operating the laser cutter. Once you’ve taken the class you can come by on our open nights to work on your own projects.
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 04:00Single Digit Numitron Clock
The above may look like a Nixie tube, but it’s a Numitron: the Nixie’s lower-voltage friend, and part of [pinomelean's] single-digit Numitron clock. If you’re unfamiliar with Numitrons, we suggest you take a look at our post from a few years ago, which includes a helpful tutorial to catch you up to speed.
[pinomelean] built this little device to capture a steampunk-ish look on the cheap for a clock small enough to fit on a wrist. The build uses a PIC16F84A uC and a 4MHz crystal on a custom PCB. A small button on the side lets the wearer set the time. Similar to the Vibrating Timepiece from last month, the Numitron clock isn’t perfect, though it is more accurate: gaining only one minute every 3 days.
Check out the video after the break to see it being set and keeping track of the time. It may take a moment to understand how to read the clock, though. Each of the four LEDs indicates where the number in the Numitron tube belongs. The LEDs light in sequence from left to right, displaying the clock one digit at a time.
Lundi, Février 10, 2014 - 01:01Hackaday Links: February 9, 2014
Here’s a quick tip to extend the usefulness of your multimeter. It’s a set of mini test hooks soldered to alligator clips with a short hunk of stranded wire in between. You can buy mini test hooks that go right on the metal probes of your meter, but the weight and bulk of the meter probes and cords sometimes get in the way. This rig allows more flexibility because of that wire.
Staying on the theme of test equipment tips, here’s a simple way to make a Y-connector for logic analyzers. [Thomas] uses a dual-row pin header, shorting each pair of pins so that both rows are connected. When this is plugged into a pin socket it leave two pins for connecting your test equipment and the rest of the project hardware.
If you’re going to be in Anaheim this week you can stop by the ATX-West expo and see a 3D printer with a 1m x 1m x 0.5m printing area. [Thanks Martin]
Speaking of 3D printers, here’s a big delta robot (seven feet tall) outfitted for alternative material printing. It’s printing a CT scan of ribs and a heart in hot glue. This seems to be a popular material for more artistic uses. We just saw a hexapod which deposits hot glue as it roams.
The weaponized quadcopter post from Tuesday was a controversial one. The really bad part of it was the laser, which strapped to anything is extremely dangerous. But the other hack may have just been poorly executed. Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] wrote in to mention that fireworks and quadcopters can be used more responsibly. He strapped a sparkler to his quadro and used it to make light graffiti. You may remember that [Jeremy] wrote an introduction to light graffiti for us back in November.
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 23:37HARDWARE HANGOUT with James “Laen” Neal from OSH Park! @laen @oshpark #makerbusiness
Come meet and ask questions with James “Laen” Neal from OSH Park! OSH Park is a community printed circuit board (PCB) service. OSH park take designs from lots of people, put them all together on a panel and then order the panel from a fab.
Since they’re all splitting the panel setup cost, this lets them make circuit boards inexpensively.
You’ve seen these purple boards everywhere
This service grew out of the DorkbotPDX PCB Order run by @laen and now comprises of a two-layer panel every other day, a four-layer panel every three weeks and a periodic two-layer medium run service for people needing more than 150 square inches of board.
Their boards are lead free, made in the USA, and amazing quality.
Click here for the Google+ Hangout page (you can start asking your questions now too).
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 22:09Landscape Photographs of Processed Foods
The big rock candy mountain comes to life in these images by photographers Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, who've captured fantastic landscapes made from processed foods in a series called Processed Views.
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 22:01Hack All the Things in the Time You Save with This LED Pomodoro Timer
Do you want to use your time more productively but are tomato-averse? [Robin]‘s LED Pomodoro timer could be the perfect hack for you.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management solution developed in the late 1980s. The basic idea is to spend a very focused 25 minutes performing some activity such as working or studying and then take a 5-minute break. Many of its proponents use a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to alert them to switch between the two states, but [Robin] wanted to make his own and learn along the way.
First, he wanted to use an ATtiny85 and learn about its features. Specifically, he used its timers, PWM, and low-power sleep mode. [Robin] used Charlieplexing to drive a total of six LEDs. When the timer starts, five yellow LEDs are driven high to indicate each 5-minute slice of work time. A red LED is lit during the 5-minute break.
[Robin] also explored compact PCB design and fabrication. All components are SMD and his board is 4cm square. [Robin] is using this SMD buzzer for discrete feedback. He included a footprint for a six-pin ISP header and programmed it with pogo pins. The timer is completely interrupt-driven: one click of the tactile button starts the work counter, and the buzzer sounds when time is up. A second click starts the break counter.
[Robin] has made everything available in his GitHub repo and encourages you to use it. Time’s a-wastin’!
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 20:53“We built a Bitcoin Keurig coffee maker this weekend”
A Bitcoin accepting Keurig built at HackBeanpot in the last two days. We tore apart a Keurig, put an Arduino Uno in it with a wifi sheild, an IR sensor and some LEDs. We put it back together nicely and added a Bitpay integration. It now makes you a cup of coffee when you pay it in Bitcoin and place your mug in it. Users can also brew with a donated cup of coffee from below.
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 20:12The Lego Standard: Combining Building Sets to Make Better Projects
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 19:08Three Lego Books to Inspire and Explain
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 19:00Mario Doorbell Guaranteed To Drive A-You A-Crazy
Is your doorbell not exciting enough for your guests? [Joe] wanted to provide a little entertainment for his visitors, so he redesigned his doorbell with a Mario theme.
Whenever someone presses the button—which carries the Mario coin image—the segment display increments and the Mario coin sound plays. To add variety, the life-up sound plays at every 10 coins and the mushroom upgrade sound plays upon reaching 100. [Joe] tried putting the life-up sound at its appropriate 100′s place and the mushroom sound at every 10, but he decided the brevity of life-up was more tolerable in the 10′s slot.
The project was divided into two components. The door button has a PIC16F628A microcontroller with a dual 7-segment LED display, a button, and a homemade circuit board. All this lives in a simple box covered by a Yoshi’s Island-themed decal. The button’s board connects to a separate ringer board—based around a PIC16F87—with a MCP4822 DAC and a 25LC1024 EEPROM. Button presses on the first board prompt a request for a sound clip read on the EEPROM. Keep clicking for a demo video below.
Filed under: Microcontrollers
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 16:00Driving RGB Pixel LEDs With CAT5 Cable
[Teknynja] was working on a project where he needed to drive a few strips of Adafruit Neopixels – WS2812 LED strips – that were located several feet apart. These LED strips draw a lot of current, and are very timing sensitive; anything more than a few feet of wire between the microcontroller and the LED strip will probably result in missed data, voltage drops, dimming LEDs, and possibly a non-functional strip.
The solution, as in all matters concerning long distance transmission of data, was CAT5 cable. [Teknynja] used RS-422 drivers and receivers to pull this task off, with 75174 line drivers receiving signals from a Teensy 3.0, and 75176 bus transceivers reading everything at the other end of a 20 foot cable.
For the power drop issue, [Teknynja] is feeding 12V into a few of the wire pairs in the cable and using a cheap LM2596 buck converter to step everything down to 5V at the strip.
With a fairly simple circuit, [Teknynja] was able to drive a few strips of WS2812 LEDs through 20-foot lengths of CAT5 cable with ease; it worked just the same as if the pixels were connected directly to the Teensy on a workbench.
Filed under: led hacks
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 15:42Pickle Power – Bompas & Parr Present the World’s First Gherkin Chandelier
“We always knew there was scientific magic contained within the humble pickle,” says Sam Bompas, one half of the experimental culinary duo, Bompas & Parr. “Everyone is pickling right now, and we were interested in pushing it to the extreme. We knew the time had come to create the world’s first gherkin chandelier.” Directed by David Lane of the London-based food journal The Gourmand and co-directed by Jeremy Valender of Pundersons Gardens, the luminous show-and-tell film unpacks the science behind the steampunk-esque contraption, boasting over 60 pickles in explosive, electrical sequence. “The sodium chloride or salt contained within gherkins reacts to an electric current, lighting up, fizzing and crackling while forming a burnt vinegary smell,” says Bompas, whose previous projects with partner Harry Parr include inventing such creations as glow-in-the-dark jelly, scratch-and-sniff cinema and a boating lake filled with gin. “It’s mind-bogglingly dangerous. If you’re near it when it is turned on you will certainly be electrocuted.”
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 15:40Dyson invests £5m in robotic vision lab
Dyson, the engineering company best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, is to invest £5m in a robotics lab at Imperial College, London.
The research will focus on vision systems that can help robots understand and adapt to the world around them, the company said.
Dyson has been working on robotics with Imperial’s Prof Andrew Davison since 2005, and he will run the new lab.
The research will cover domestic robots as well as robotic vacuum cleaners.
Sir James Dyson said: “My generation believed the world would be overrun by robots by the year 2014. We now have the mechanical and electronic capabilities, but robots still lack understanding – seeing and thinking in the way we do.
“Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies.”
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 13:16On a Roll: Lego as Muse
The space Lego and the NASA space shuttle became a fused memory for me. This led to a lot of photos and doodles of minifigs and later to the drawing I've been using for the posters and on the hardwood longboard skateboards I build.
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 13:00Using A Computer To Read Braille
[Matthiew] needed to create a system that would allow a computer to read braille. An electromechanical system would be annoying to develop and would require many hardware iterations as the system [Matthew] is developing evolves. Instead, he came up with a much better solution using a webcam and OpenCV that still gets 100% accuracy.
Instead of using a camera to look for raised or lowered pins in this mechanical braille display, [Matthiew] is using OpenCV to detect the shadows. This requires calibrating the camera to the correct angle, or in OpenCV terms, pose.
After looking at the OpenCV tutorials, [Matthiew] found a demo that undistorts an image of a chess board. Using this same technique, he used fiducials from the ARTag project to correctly calibrate an image of his mechanical braille pins.
As for why [Matthiew] went through all the trouble to get a computer to read braille – something that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you think about it – he’s building a braille eBook reader, something that just screams awesome mechanical design. We’d be interested in seeing some more info on that project as well.
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 10:00Upgrading Home Automation to Home Anticipation
[Bithead's] already built some home automation to control the lighting and temperature in his house while he’s away, but he wanted to take things a step further and have the house automatically anticipate his arrival and adjust the environment accordingly. The project takes advantage of geofencing to create a perimeter around the home that listens for a transceiver in [Bithead's] car. We featured a similar project with a Raspi a few months ago, which locked the doors upon driving away.
[Bithead's] implementation uses a pair of Digi Xbee Pro XSC radios with U.FL antennas to provide an impressive 2+ mile range of communication. The home-based Xbee hooks up to a Parallax Xbee USB adapter and subsequently into his computer—its antenna sits in a nearby window on the top floor of his house to maximize range. For his car, [Bithead] originally opted for an Xbee shield and an Arduino Uno, but he’s recently overhauled the build in favor of an Arduino Fio, which reduced the footprint and increased the range. Check out his page for the build log specifics and more pictures.
Dimanche, Février 9, 2014 - 07:00Adding an RPM Readout for a Home Made CNC Mill
[Rui] recently put the finishing touches on his homemade CNC mill, which utilizes a dremel-like rotary tool. The problem with using rotary tools for this kind of application is you don’t really have an accurate speed readout… so he designed his own RPM gauge.
The sensor is in itself very simple. He’s using a TLE4935L hall effect sensor, a spare 16FE88 microcontroller, a Nokia LCD, and one tiny neodymium magnet. The magnet has been carefully epoxied onto the motor fan, with the hall effect sensor close by. He’s also built a guard around it, just in case the magnet decides to fly off at high speeds.
During testing he hooked up the hall effect sensor to both his home-made circuit, and an oscilloscope to confirm his findings. Once he was assured everything was working properly he sealed it off and mounted the LCD above the spindle as a nice digital readout.
Filed under: cnc hacks