Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 13:00The Kickstarter Space Cannon
As far as space travel and Kickstarter is concerned, we’ve seen crowdfunding projects for satellites in low earth orbit, impacting the moon, and even a project for a suborbital rocket. This one, though, takes the cake. It’s a gun designed to send very small payloads into space on a suborbital trajectory.
The gun itself is an 8-inch bore, 45-foot long monster of an artillery piece. While the simplest way of shooting something down the length of a barrel would be exploding something in the breech, [Richard] is doing something a little more interesting. He’s broken down the propellent charges so instead of one giant propelling a bullet down a barrel, the projectile is constantly accelerated with a number of smaller charges.
The goal of the Kickstarter is to send a small payload into a suborbital trajectory. Later developments will include putting a small rocket motor in the dart-shaped bullet to insert the payload into an orbit.
This isn’t the first time anyone has attempted to build a gun capable of shooting something into space. The US and Canada DOD built a gun that shot a 180 kg projectile to 180 km altitude. The lead engineer of this project, [Gerald Bull] then went on to work with [Saddam Hussein] to design a supergun that could launch satellites into orbit or shells into downtown Tel Aviv or Tehran. [Bull] was then assassinated by either the US, Israeli, Iranian, British, or Iraqi governments before the gun could be completed.
Two videos from the Kickstarter are below, with a few more details on the project’s webpage
Filed under: Crowd Funding
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 12:37Make Interviews Lego Moviemaker David Pagano
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 12:35David Pagano’s Brickfilm Picks
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 10:018X8X8 Cube Invaders
Believe it or not, [Anred Zynch] had no soldering skills before starting this project! What we’re looking at here is an 8x8x8 LED cube set up as a Space Invaders style game with a Playstation 1 controller.
He was inspired by several other cubes like [Chr's], and the Borg cube by [Das-Labour]. The project makes use of an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 to drive the 512-LED array, and an Arduino Uno to take care of the sound effects during game play. It’s kind of like Space Invaders — but in 3D!
Complexity of building and wiring it aside, [Anred] has provided great instructions and the code for the entire project, so if you’re looking to recreate it or something like it, you can! It’s also entered in an Instructable’s contest right now, so if you like it, we’re sure he’d appreciate the votes.
And showing off the cube’s effects:
Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 10:00The FDA Just Approved a PillCam The Jetsons Predicted 50 Years Ago #SaturdayMorningCartoons
From a science fiction dream to an FDA approved reality, PillCams are now a real life technology! Via Paleofuture.
The Jetsons was one of the most important cartoons of all time, having helped shape the way that we talk about the future here in the 21st century. The show predicted many of the technologies we have today. And this week, Americans can check another crazy Jetsonian prediction off the list.
After nine long years, the FDA just recently approved the swallowable PillCam. Developed in Israel, the PillCam is used as a way to examine a patient’s colon without a colonoscopy. The patient swallows the small device and it slowly makes its way through the digestive tract in about 8 hours. The information is beamed to a receiver device carried on the patient’s waist, and a doctor can then review the results later.
The December 30, 1962 episode of The Jetsons featured a device that was strikingly similar—even if it was admittedly an over-the-top joke.
The “peek-a-boo capsule” is swallowed by George (or more accurately shot into his mouth) and starts its journey through his body. The doctor can then see what’s happening (through the cartoon logic of being able to see this capsule device by way of an invisible second camera) and communicate with the device to make a diagnosis. This being The Jetsons, everything goes wrong, and the doctor tells George he doesn’t have much time left to live.
You can watch the entire 1962 episode below, complete with cheesy Cold War jokes. Let’s hope that when the real PillCam goes into effect, it’s a little more reliable.
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 07:01Two-Wheel Balancing Robot Revived from the Dead
[Jouni] built a pretty nice little two-wheeled robot a while back — but he never got it working quite right. Taking inspiration and a bit of opensource code from another hacker featured here, he’s finished the bot, and it works great!
After seeing [Jose's] 3D printed Air Hockey bot, he poked around the creator’s blog and discovered the B-Robot, a 3D printed, two-wheeled, stepper driven, balancing robot. As it turned out, it was incredibly similar to a robot [Jouni] had made himself previously!
[Jouni's] robot features two NEMA-17 steppers, a 12v 2200mAh battery pack, an Arduino Pro Mini, a MPU6050 gyro and a FrSky receiver. Lucky for him, [Jose's] B-Robot made use of the same steppers and gyro! Using some of [Jose's] code from his GitHub, [Jouni] was able to bring new life into his little robot!
We’ve included videos of both the original project, and [Jouni's] version. Aren’t opensource projects awesome?
And the original:
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 04:01Router Robot a Promising Playground for Young Hacker
[Stephen Downward] has put together a very impressive Internet controlled robot. There are so many things about his video presentation (also embedded below) which we find delightful. Notably, it’s obvious that he knows what he’s talking about when discussing everything from the electronics chosen for the project, the mechanical assembly and the issues with its current state, as well as the software backend that gives him control of the rover.
The bulk of the rover is the Linksys WRT-54G router which he picked up at a thrift shop. This has been a popular model for building rovers for quite some time. [Stephen] is not driving directly from the router’s serial port, but that could be an adventure for him down the road. For now he’s using an Arduino Mega along with an Ethernet shield to connect the motors to his network. The IP camera on the front gives him the video feed to operate this completely over the Internet using his own program written in C#. He mentions that the CD wheels he has aren’t ideal because of their thin tread area (covered in masking tape) and the inaccurate mounting which leaves one of them at an angle. He’s hoping to design and print his own. He plans rent some time on a 3D printer at the local University when their 3D printing service comes back online.
We think the hardest part with robot building is getting your first platform up and running. Now that he’s got that it’s a matter of making improvements and add-ons. Since he’s got the I/O of the Mega at his disposal we’d like to see him implement a bunch of different sensor: line following, bump sensors, distance sensor, heck… maybe someday he’ll scavenge some Lidar for it!
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 03:32Lego Fever at MAKE
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 02:23Connected Home Contest: We Have a Winner!
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 01:00Meet ‘Raspberri’, Your Personal Voice Controlled Assistant
We’ve all seen the old movie scene where the executive calls his assistant on the intercom for some task or other. [Jan] may not be an executive, and he may not have an assistant. He does have Raspberri, his voice controlled personal digital assistant. Raspberri started life as a vintage Televox intercom box. [Jan] found it at a second-hand store, and snapped it up in hopes of using it in a future project. That project eventually happened when [Jan] got a Raspberry Pi and learned how to use it. He decided to build the Televox and Pi together, creating his own electronic assistant.
[Jan] started by adding a cheap USB sound card and WiFi module to his Pi. He also added a small 3 Watt audio amp board. The Televox used a single speaker as both audio input and output. [Jan] didn’t want to make any modifications to the case, so he kept this arrangement. Using a single speaker would mean dead shorting the audio amplifier and the sound card’s microphone input. To avoid this, [Jan] added a DPDT relay controlled by the original push-to-talk button on the Televox. The relay switches between the microphone input and the audio output on the USB sound card. Everything fit nicely inside the Televox case.
With the hardware complete [Jan] turned his attention to software. He went with PiAUISuite for voice input. Voice output is handled by a simple shell script which uses google voice to convert text to speech. For intermediate processing, such as scraping a weather website for data, [Jan] created custom python scripts. The end result is pretty darn good. There is a bit of lag between saying the command and receiving an answer. This may be due to transferring the audio files over WiFi. However, [Jan] can always get away with saying his assistant was out getting him more coffee!
Filed under: Raspberry Pi
Samedi, Février 8, 2014 - 00:13NEW PRODUCT – Stereo 2.8W Class D Audio Amplifier – I2C Control AGC
NEW PRODUCT – Stereo 2.8W Class D Audio Amplifier – I2C Control AGC – TPA2016 – A mini class D with AGC and I2C control? Yes please! This incredibly small stereo amplifier is surprisingly powerful. It is able to deliver 2 x 2.8W channels into 4 ohm impedance speakers (@ 10% THD) and it has a i2c control interface as well as an AGC (automatic gain control) system to keep your audio from clipping or distorting.
If you don’t want to use I2C to control it, it does start up on with 6dB gain by default and the AGC set up for most music playing. We do suggest using it with a microcontroller to configure it, however, since it’s quite powerful. Settings are not stored in the chip, so you’ll need to adjust any gain & AGC amplification settings every time the amp is powered up.
Inside the miniature chip is a class D controller, able to run from 2.7V-5.5VDC. Since the amp is a class D, it’s incredibly efficient (89% efficient when driving an 8Ω speaker at 1.5 Watt) – making it perfect for portable and battery-powered projects. It has built in thermal and over-current protection but we could barely tell if it got hot. This board is a welcome upgrade to basic “LM386″ amps!
The inputs of the amplifier go through 1.0uF capacitors, so they are fully ‘differential’ – if you don’t have differential outputs, simply tie the R- and L- to ground. The outputs are “Bridge Tied” – that means they connect directly to the outputs, no connection to ground. The output is a ~300KHz square wave PWM that is then ‘averaged out’ by the speaker coil – the high frequencies are not heard. All the above means that you can’t connect the output into another amplifier, it should drive the speakers directly.
Comes with a fully assembled and tested breakout board with 1.0uF input capacitors. We also include 3.5mm screw-terminal blocks so you can easily attach/detach your speakers, and some header in case you want to plug it into a breadboard. Speakers are not included, use any 4 ohm or 8 ohm impedance speakers.
Our awesome tutorial and Arduino library will let you set the AGC configuration (you can also just turn it off), max gain, and turn on/off the left & right channels all over I2C! You will be ready to rock in 20 minutes!
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 23:28Tower To Rise At MoMA PS1, With Self-Assembling Bricks
David Benjamin’s “Hy-Fi” selected as the winning project for MoMA PS1′s annual Young Architects Program. His temporary installation is set to open in late June, via fastcodesign:
Benjamin’s bio-design concept will consist of two kinds of brick: some made out of live organic material, and some reflective bricks. For the organic bricks, chopped up corn husks are recycled to combine with mycelium, a kind of mushroom root material. The mixture is then packed into a mold. The reflective bricks, placed at the top of the tubular structure, bounce light off a daylight mirror film coating onto the organic material below, helping them self-assemble into a brick shape and solidify. The shape of the structure pushes hot air out the top, drawing in cool air below.
The outdoor installation, required by the contest rules to provide outdoor seating, shade and water, will, at the end of the summer, be disassembled with no waste. The organic bricks will be composted, and the reflective bricks returned to 3M, the company that makes the mirror film, for further research.
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 23:04Decapitated Head Wedding Cake
Infamous cake artist Natalie Sideserf made her own wedding cake featuring her husband and herself lovingly rendered as a pair of incredibly realistic decapitated heads, along with the words "Till Death Do Us Part."
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 22:56The Internet of Things: Turning Blue(tooth) at the Edges?
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 22:30Make Your Own Hylian Shield
When you’re tackling a costume, do you ever worry about not having the required skills? Everyone is a beginner at some point, and all you can do is jump in and try. Cosplayer Vy didn’t know how to work with wood or metal or painting before she made props for her Link costume, but it didn’t stop her. Vy decided she needed a Hylian shield and figured it out. She started with thin plywood and went from there – she documented the process with words and comics at her blog. Here’s how she got started:
I drew half a shield on a giant piece of paper, folded in half. Cutting it out this way will ensure that your shield is properly symmetrical!
See how the Hylian Shield has that nice silver border? After cutting the shield shape out, I hand-copied the border shape onto my stencil and cut that out as well. Keep it folded when you do so that the border is also symmetrical!
Using this stencil, I drew two shapes on my plywood: One for the shield, and one for the border.
via Cosplay Tutorial
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 22:30Mapping where people run
Nathan Yau from FlowingData created beautiful maps by using publicly accessible exercise app data:
There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities. Record speed, time, elevation, and location from your phone, and millions of people do this, me included. However, when we look at activity logs, whether they be our own, from our friends, or from a public timeline, the activities only appear individually.
What about all together? Not only is it fun to see, but it can be useful to the data collectors to plan future workouts or even city planners who make sure citizens have proper bike lanes and running paths.
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 22:06MakerBot Careers | Get a Job at MakerBot
We Are Hiring
Now is your chance to be part of a team that’s leading the Next Industrial Revolution. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find at makerbot.com/careers:
Development Manager for MakerBot Academy
Mission-driven strategist to develop sponsorships and fundraising efforts.
Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Technical lead to focus on process improvement, product lines, facility and equipment.
Director of Sales, Enterprise & Key Accounts
Responsible for team’s productivity and setting sales strategies.
SOX Compliance Manager
Manage company’s first year SOX 404 program to ensure regulatory compliance.
Summer Internship Program
Experience challenging work, access to leadership, exposure to company culture.
These are just a few examples of the many opportunities available right now at MakerBot. Feel free to browse our careers page or pass it on to someone you’d think would be a great fit. We can’t wait to meet you!
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 22:00Reverse Engineering A Bank’s Security Token
[Thiago]‘s bank uses a few methods besides passwords and PINs to verify accounts online and at ATMs. One of these is a ‘security card’ with 70 single use codes, while another is an Android app that generates a security token. [Thiago] changes phones and ROMs often enough that activating this app became a chore. This left only one thing to do: reverse engineer his bank’s security token and build a hardware device to replicate the app’s functionality.
After downloading the bank’s app off his phone and turning the .APK into a .JAR, [Thiago] needed to generate an authentication code for himself. He found a method that generates a timestamp which is the number of 36-second intervals since April 1st, 2007. The 36-second interval is how long each token lasts, and the 2007 date means this part of the code was probably developed in late 2007 or 2008. Reverse engineering this code allowed [Thiago] to glean the token generation process: it required a key, and the current timestamp.
[Thiago] found another class that reads his phone’s android_id, and derives the key from that. With the key and timestamp in hand, he figured out the generateToken method and found it was remarkably similar to Google Authenticator’s implementation; the only difference was the timestamp epoch and the period each token lasts.
With the generation of the security token complete, [Thiago] set out to put this code into a hardware device. He used a Stellaris Launchpad with the Criptosuite and RTClib libraries. The hardware doesn’t include a real-time clock, meaning the date and time needs to be reset at each startup. Still, with a few additions, [Thiago] can have a portable device that generates security tokens for his bank account. Great work, and great example of how seriously his bank takes account security.
Filed under: security hacks
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 21:44NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit 9-DOF IMU Breakout – L3GD20 + LSM303
NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit 9-DOF IMU Breakout – L3GD20 + LSM303 – This inertial-measurement-unit combines 2 of the best quality sensors available on the market to give you 9 axes of data: 3 axes of accelerometer data, 3 axes gyroscopic, and 3 axes magnetic (compass). We tested many different ‘combination’ sensors and found these were the best value, with stable and reliable readings.
The L3DG20 gyroscope + LSM303DLHC accelerometer/compass sensors are all on one breakout here, to save you space and money. Since all of them use I2C, you can communicate with all of them using only two wires. Most customers will be pretty happy with just the plain I2C interfacing, but we also break out the ‘data ready’ and ‘interrupt’ pins, so advanced users can interface with if they choose. A 3V regulator with reverse-polarity protection means you don’t have to worry about frying the boards by accident. There’s level shifting circuitry so the IMU can be used with 3 or 5V logic boards. And check out those mounting holes! You can securely attach this board to your rocket, robot, art project.
Each order comes with one assembled and tested 9DOF breakout board and a small piece of header.
- L3GD20 3-axis gyroscope: ±250, ±500, or ±2000 degree-per-second scale
- LSM303 3-axis compass: ±1.3 to ±8.1 gauss magnetic field scale
- LSM303 3-axis accelerometer: ±2g/±4g/±8g/±16g selectable scale
Vendredi, Février 7, 2014 - 21:31Cats of Engineering
Title: Hot off the Adafruit thermal printer press
Photo Credit: Chris
Name of Cat: Lila
The latest batch of cats are up on Cats of Engineering. If you’d like to add your cat just scroll down to the bottom and send a photo (link) in!