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