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Planet

  • Mercredi, Mars 19, 2014 - 06:01
    Prophet 600: A Classic Synthesizer Gets Processor Upgrade

    proph-600

    We love classic synthesizers here at Hackaday. So does [gligli], but he didn’t like the processor limitations of the Prophet 600. That’s why he’s given it a new brain in the form of a Teensy++. The Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 was a big deal when it was released back in 1982/1983. The 600 was the first commercially available synthesizer to include a MIDI interface. The original design of the 600 could be called a hybrid. A Zilog Z80 microprocessor controlled modular analog voice chips. The Z80 was a bit stressed in this configuration though, and a few limitations were evident. An 8 bit processor just wasn’t quite enough for software driven envelopes and a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) control. This was further exacerbated by the fact that everything was driven through a 14 bit DAC.

    [gligli] discovered most of the limitations in the 600 were due to the processor. By beefing up the processing power he could really unlock the potential within 600. Since he didn’t actually have a Prophet 600, he started with the schematic. [gligli] created a PC based emulator for the digital circuits, learning the whole system as he worked. With that phase complete, [gligli] bought a used Prophet and started hacking. The Teensy++ required a few hardware mods to fill the Z80′s shoes, including cutting off a pin and adding a few jumper wires. We really like the fact that no changes to the Prophet 600 itself are required. Pull out the Teensy++, drop in the Z80, and you’re ready to party like it’s 1982 again.

    The new processor interfaces directly with the Z80′s 8 bit bus. Since the AVR on the Teensy has built-in RAM and ROM, it simply ignores the ROM and RAM address spaces of the original system. Interfacing a fast micro with older parts like an 8253 timer and a 68B50 UART does have its pitfalls though. The system bus had to run slow enough to not violate timing requirements of the various peripheral chips. To handle this, [gligli] added a number of wait statements in his firmware. Once the system was working, [gligli] was free to start adding new features. He began by smoothing out the stepped envelope and filter generators, as well as adding new exponential modes. From there he added new keyboard polyphony modes as well as pitch and mod wheel changes. The full lineup of new features are listed in the instruction manual (PDF link). Since this is an open source project, adding a feature is as simple as cracking open your favorite editor and writing it up.

    [Thanks Kiss]

    Filed under: musical hacks

  • Mercredi, Mars 19, 2014 - 06:00
    Feel Football Games with this Shirt #WearableWednesday

    You’ve got your nom noms spread out on the coffee table ready for the big game. Now you slip on your special shirt, ready to feel every tackle, while safely being a couch potato. Sounds fun, right? According to Digital Trends, the Alert Shirt is going to make your sport fantasy come true.

    The Alert Shirt connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth, and is filled with tiny motors which attempt to replicate how a football player feels at key moments during a game. Think haptic feedback on a larger scale, and against your body rather than the tip of your finger.

    It has been created as a promotional tool for Fox Footy subscribers in Australia, provided they sign-up for 12-months of access to Rupert Murdoch’s dedicated Australian Rules Football channel. Known for being a tough, hard-hitting sport, the thought of being on the receiving end of any punishment handed out in an Aussie Rules match doesn’t sound particularly pleasant.

    Alert Shirt

    There have been DIY’ers making Arduino scarves and t-shirts that can create a vibration sensation for the wearer, but this technology is more sophisticated because it is using a lot more data. Think of it as creating several event possibilities for the wearer, rather than just one.

    It’s not some half-hearted attempt to make the wearer feel closer to the action either. Apparently, data regarding what happens in a match is already being collected. It’s then matched to new impact and sensory data collected during training sessions, sent to Fox’s dedicated app, and finally to the sensors in the shirt during a live game.

    The effects aren’t only felt when a player gets tackled, as the shirt also “flutters” to simulate a player’s nerves before an important kick, and amps up to replicate the elation after scoring. It’s all in real-time too. According to a spokesperson, the Alert Shirt is the closest we can get to feeling what a player feels, just by watching the game.

    So far this fan sport garment is only going to do you some good in Australia. So, either book your trip or start tackling construction of your own gear. Make your own touchdown hoodie using our FLORA microcontroller and a Vibrating Mini Motor Disc. Then you just have to figure out how you are going to get the touchdown info to your shirt — maybe with a WIFI or BlueTooth shield. Build it and your friends will come.


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Mercredi, Mars 19, 2014 - 05:00
    Epilepsy aid uses wearable sensors to predict seizures and call for help #WearableWednesday

    NewImage

    dezeen has the story on this wearable sensor that could help save the lives of those living with epilepsy.

    The Dialog device, developed by American technology company Artefact, would use a wearable sensor and an iPhone app to help monitor patients’ vital signs and keep a log of conditions leading up to, during, and after a seizure.

    “There are currently three million epilepsy sufferers in America, and it is the third most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s and stroke,” said Matthew Jordan, the project leader…

    The Dialog would deal with the problem by creating a digital network that connects the person living with epilepsy to caregivers, doctors, and members of the public who have installed the Dialog app with data and instructions on how to give assistance.

    The user attaches a nodule to the skin, which can be done either using transparent adhesive paper or by wearing it in a bracket that looks like a watch.

    Using a series of sensors that monitors hydration, temperature, and heart rate, it gathers information on the wearer and stores the data on a smartphone.

    Additionally, the sensor would prompt the wearer to take medication and record mood through the sensor’s touchscreen, and logs information about local climate conditions that could increase the likelihood of a seizure.

    In the event of a fit, the wearer simply grasps the sensor, which alerts a caregiver and anyone within close proximity of the sufferer who has downloaded the app.

    “It helps possible first responders be notified that a patient who is nearby is having a sustained seizure, directs the bystander to the patient, gives instructions on how to help the patient through the emergency, and affords a direct line of communication to the family caregiver,” said Jordan.

    When the seizure ends, information about the length of the seizure, along with other contextual information, is displayed on the user’s smartphone to help reorient themselves.

    Read more.

    NewImage


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Mercredi, Mars 19, 2014 - 03:01
    Homemade Ball Mill Tumbles Along Like a Champ

    [Mike] enjoys doing all kinds of things with glass. He likes to melt it and fuse it into new things, so it’s perfectly understandable that he wanted to make his own glass. Doing so requires finely ground chemicals, so [Mike] put together this awesome homemade ball mill.

    The design is wonderfully simple. The mill is powered by a robust 12VDC motor from a printer that he’s running from a variable power supply in order to fine tune the speed. [Mike] built a scrap wood platform and attached four casters for the drum to spin against. The drum is rotated by a round belt he had lying around from various other projects. [Mike] already had a couple of those blue containers, which formerly held abrasive grit for use in vibratory tumblers.

    [Mike] had some trouble with the drum walking off the casters so he attached scrap piece of aluminum to form an end stop. All he had to buy for this project were the 5/8″ steel balls and the casters. The mill can also be used as a rock tumbler, though the bottle isn’t quite water tight as-is. He does not recommend this type of setup for milling gunpowder or other explosives, and neither do we.

    Make the jump to see the mill in action and get the grand tour. If you need more tumbling power, use a dryer motor!

    Filed under: tool hacks

  • Mercredi, Mars 19, 2014 - 00:16
    New Project: Solid Oak Celtic Braid Beer Coaster

    braided_coaster_inventables2Still in the St. Patrick's day spirit? Bart Dring, the inventor of MakerSlide, walks you through machining a solid Oak Celtic Braid Beer Coaster.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Mercredi, Mars 19, 2014 - 00:01
    We Asked For It — An Arduino Bowel Gauge

    toilet

    Well, we asked for it, and [TV Miller] delivered this hilarious and surprisingly accurate bowel gauge.

    Between our recent Wiping Your Bum with an Arduino feature and how to Measure Poop for a Better Sanitation Service, we guess we should have seen this coming. And you know what? It’s pretty awesome.

    He’s using an Arduino Uno with a home-made resistance sensor to “hack our bowels”. After all, how can you have a proper diet without knowing exactly what is coming out of you? Two copper or aluminum strips make up the resistance sensor with a few known resistors, a capacitor and a potentiometer for adjustment. He’s even included an LCD display as well so you can see the volume of your excrement in real-time! Classy.

    To see it in action (don’t worry, not that kind of action) stick around for the following video:

    We particularly enjoy the use of our logo:

    HackADay “Skull and Wrenches” logo used with(out) permission by HackADay.com

    We’ll let it slide… this time. He’s also included the code, you know, if you’re serious about this kind of thing.

    Filed under: home hacks

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 23:32
    NEW PRODUCT – 2.8 TFT LCD with Touchscreen Breakout Board w/MicroSD Socket

    1770 LRG

    NEW PRODUCT – 2.8 TFT LCD with Touchscreen Breakout Board w/MicroSD Socket : Add some jazz & pizazz to your project with a color touchscreen LCD. This TFT display is big (2.8″ diagonal) bright (4 white-LED backlight) and colorful! 240×320 pixels with individual RGB pixel control, this has way more resolution than a black and white 128×64 display. As a bonus, this display has a resistive touchscreen attached to it already, so you can detect finger presses anywhere on the screen.

    This display has a controller built into it with RAM buffering, so that almost no work is done by the microcontroller. The display can be used in two modes: 8-bit and SPI. For 8-bit mode, you’ll need 8 digital data lines and 4 or 5 digital control lines to read and write to the display (12 lines total). SPI mode requires only 5 pins total (SPI data in, data out, clock, select, and d/c) but is slower than 8-bit mode. In addition, 4 pins are required for the touch screen (2 digital, 2 analog) or you can purchase and use our resistive touchscreen controller (not included) to use I2C or SPI

    1770 rainbow LRG

    We wrapped up this display into an easy-to-use breakout board, with SPI connections on one end and 8-bit on the other. Both are 3-5V compliant with high-speed level shifters so you can use with any microcontroller. If you’re going with SPI mode, you can also take advantage of the onboard MicroSD card socket to display images. (microSD card not included, but any will work)

    Of course, we wouldn’t just leave you with a datasheet and a “good luck!”. For 8-bit interface fans we’ve written a full open source graphics library that can draw pixels, lines, rectangles, circles, text, and more. For SPI users, we have a library as well, its separate from the 8-bit library since both versions are heavily optimized. We also have a touch screen library that detects x, y and z (pressure) and example code to demonstrate all of it.

    Follow our step by step guide for wiring, code and drawing. You’ll be running in 15 minutes

    1770 Flower 01 LRG
    If you are using an Arduino-shaped microcontroller, check out our TFT shield version of this same display, with SPI control and a touch screen controller as well

    In stock and shipping now!

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 23:13
    Tinkering with Kids: Get in It for the Long Haul

    Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 1.13.30 PMWhy bother teaching making and tinkering to kids?

    Read more on MAKE


  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 23:00
    Hackaday in Shanghai: Electronica and a Gathering

    electronica-china-shanghai-gathering

    Whether you live in Shanghai, are at Electronics China representing your company, or by dumb luck just happen to be in town this week you can meet some of the Hackaday crew and score yourself some sweet swag.

    Anyone in town on Thursday night will want to get a ticket to Hackaday: The Gathering. Right now it’s all sold out, but we hope anyone with a ticket who is unable to use it will cancel so that another may take your place. Free food, drink, t-shirts, stickers, and other swag await… no wonder the tickets are already gone!

    The Electronica China conference started Tuesday at Shanghai New International Expo Centre, but it runs through Wednesday and Thursday as well. We’re attending, but we don’t actually have a dedicated booth. Hackaday is piggybacking with EEFocus, the Chinese contingent of our parent company. Both [Matt] and [Alek] will be hanging around the EEFocus booth (#W3.3686) shucking out hackaday T-shirts if you ask for one. Before he left, [Matt] mentioned that he’s excited to attend lectures on connected medical devices, the Automotive and EV boards, as well as the embedded systems forum.

     

    Filed under: news

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 22:00
    Make Your Eyes Glow with LEDs

    glowing eyes

    Want to achieve wicked-looking, glowing eyes with a simple trick? Kamui Cosplay suggests wrapping LEDs around your head. I’d recommend pulling them farther apart than what you seen in the photo so the LEDs are more on your peripheral than right in front of your eyes. You could even achieve the same creepy effect if you pull the LEDs only to your temples. Kamui did state she wore the bright lights for about 30 minutes for a show without any issues. Here’s how she did it:

    Many cool fictional characters have glowing eyes. Did you know, that it’s super easy to build this in reality? Just connect two LEDs, cover a part of the wire with silicone and glue these silicone stripes with skin glue to your temple!

    It looks like an easier solution than wearing painful contacts, even if they can only be worn for a short time. You could even paint the inside edges of the LED to further block the light. However, if you’re at all worried about them hurting your eyes, skip them altogether.

    Get more tips from Kamui Cosplay at Facebook.

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 21:00
    MRFF: 3D Bioprinting

    bioprint

    There were a few keynotes at this year’s Midwest RepRap festival, and somewhat surprisingly most of the talks weren’t given by the people responsible for designing your favorite printer. One of the most interesting talks was given by [Jordan Miller], [Andy Ta], and [Steve Kelly] about the use of RepRap and other 3D printing technologies in biotechnology and tissue engineering. Yep, in 50 years when you need a vital organ printed, this is where it’ll come from.

    [Jordan] got his start with tissue engineering and 3D printing with his work in printing three-dimensional sugar lattices that could be embedded in a culture medium and then dissolved. The holes left over from the sugar became the vasculature and capillaries that feed a cell culture. The astonishing success of his project and the maker culture prompted him and others to start the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute to bring young makers into the scientific community. It’s a program hosted by Rice University and has seen an amazing amount of success in both research and getting makers into scientific pursuits.

    One of these young makers is [Andy Ta]. An economics major, [Andy] first heard of the maker and RepRap community a few years ago and bought a MakerBot Cupcake. This was a terrible printer, but it did get him involved in the community, hosting build workshops, and looking into 3D printing build around DLP-cured UV resin. At AMRI, [Andy] started looking at the properties of UV-cured resin, figuring out the right type of light, resin, and exposure to create a cured resin with the right properties for printing cell colonies. You can check out [Andy]‘s latest work on his webzone.

    [Steve Kelly] has also done some work at AMRI, but instead of the usual RepRap or DLP projector-based printers, he did work with shooting cell cultures out of an ink jet print head. His initial experiments involved simply refilling an ink jet cartridge with a bacterial colony and discovering the cells actually survived the process of being heated and shot out of a nozzle at high speed. Most ink jets printers don’t actually lay out different colors on a precise grid, making it unusable for growing cell cultures. [Steve] solved this problem with an inkjet controller shield attached to a RepRap. All of [Steve]‘s work is documented on his Github.

    It’s all awesome work, and the beginnings of both bioengineering based on 3D printers, and an amazing example of what amateur scientists and professional makers can do when they put their heads together. Video link below.

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Medical hacks

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 21:00
    MRRF: 3D Bioprinting

    bioprint

    There were a few keynotes at this year’s Midwest RepRap festival, and somewhat surprisingly most of the talks weren’t given by the people responsible for designing your favorite printer. One of the most interesting talks was given by [Jordan Miller], [Andy Ta], and [Steve Kelly] about the use of RepRap and other 3D printing technologies in biotechnology and tissue engineering. Yep, in 50 years when you need a vital organ printed, this is where it’ll come from.

    [Jordan] got his start with tissue engineering and 3D printing with his work in printing three-dimensional sugar lattices that could be embedded in a culture medium and then dissolved. The holes left over from the sugar became the vasculature and capillaries that feed a cell culture. The astonishing success of his project and the maker culture prompted him and others to start the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute to bring young makers into the scientific community. It’s a program hosted by Rice University and has seen an amazing amount of success in both research and getting makers into scientific pursuits.

    One of these young makers is [Andy Ta]. An economics major, [Andy] first heard of the maker and RepRap community a few years ago and bought a MakerBot Cupcake. This was a terrible printer, but it did get him involved in the community, hosting build workshops, and looking into 3D printing build around DLP-cured UV resin. At AMRI, [Andy] started looking at the properties of UV-cured resin, figuring out the right type of light, resin, and exposure to create a cured resin with the right properties for printing cell colonies. You can check out [Andy]‘s latest work on his webzone.

    [Steve Kelly] has also done some work at AMRI, but instead of the usual RepRap or DLP projector-based printers, he did work with shooting cell cultures out of an ink jet print head. His initial experiments involved simply refilling an ink jet cartridge with a bacterial colony and discovering the cells actually survived the process of being heated and shot out of a nozzle at high speed. Most ink jets printers don’t actually lay out different colors on a precise grid, making it unusable for growing cell cultures. [Steve] solved this problem with an inkjet controller shield attached to a RepRap. All of [Steve]‘s work is documented on his Github.

    It’s all awesome work, and the beginnings of both bioengineering based on 3D printers, and an amazing example of what amateur scientists and professional makers can do when they put their heads together. Video link below.

    Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Medical hacks

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 20:59
    NEW PRODUCTS – The MagPi Issues 18 and 19

    Screenshot 3 18 14 3 48 PM

    NEW PRODUCTS – The MagPi Issues 18 and 19: About The MagPi – from The MagPi themselves!

    We produce a magazine with the intent to help and offer advice to users of the Raspberry Pi. This started out as a simple idea on the well known forums, with a few of us getting together and deciding on a loose outline of what we wanted to achieve.

    From issue 18:

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just released the Pi NoiR, an adapted version of their camera with the infra-red filter removed. This month, there’s a great article from Andrew Back of RS Components, where he takes you through the steps he used to create a night vision camera to catch critters in his back garden.

    Issue 18 introduces you to a great program called PiVision which brings an attractive GUI, allowing you to control the module through its native apps. This month features a very informative article on the Raspberry Pi at CERN and a look at using Scratch with BrickPi.

    There is also the first in a series of articles titled ‘Project Curacao’, an environmental monitoring system utilizing the Raspberry Pi which will be hung unattended on a radio tower on the island nation of Curacao. Exotic!

    From issue 19:

    Are you bored of having your presents delivered by the post office? If you fancy a change, why not have your own Pi-powered quadcopter air drop them in? Andy Baker begins his series on building this flying machine. In this issue, he covers the parts required, their function, and some of the coding used for lift off.

    There’s also a great article on OpenELEC, bringing you On Demand TV to your Raspberry Pi so you never have to miss an episode again! Claire Price continues with a fantastic article on Sonic Pi which will have your Raspberry Pi performing sing-alongs.

    If you want to be savvy with your heating and electricity bills, without turning the thermostat down, why not cast your eye over an article on environmental monitoring. Alternatively, to warm you up, the MagPi returns to Project Curacao to look at the environmental subsystem used in this remote sensing project.

    Finally, if that’s not enough to keep you busy, why not paint an electronic masterpiece with XLoBorg? Andy Wilson looks at scrolling an RSS feed on an LCD via GPIO plus we pay a visit to the Pi Store.

    In stock and shipping now!

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 20:38
    New Project: Hack Your Closet!

    HackYourCloset_2661 cropWhy live with closets the way someone else built them? Hack your closets for your own needs. Add a lower hanger bar for shorter clothing or to put kids' jackets within easy reach. Add shelves for convenient storage of commonly used items. This is an easy project that can be completed in a weekend.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 20:00
    Gabe Barcia-Colombo: My DNA vending machine (VIDEO)

    Gabe Barcia-Colombo: My DNA vending machine:

    Vending machines generally offer up sodas, candy bars and chips. Not so for the one created by TED Fellow Gabe Barcia-Colombo. This artist has dreamed up a DNA Vending Machine, which dispenses extracted human DNA, packaged in a vial along with a collectible photo of the person who gave it. It’s charming and quirky, but points out larger ethical issues that will arise as access to biotechnology increases.

    Read More.

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 19:06
    New Raspberry Pi camera mode released @Raspberry_Pi #raspberrypi

    NewImage

    Raspberrypi.org has sorted out a new set of mode for their camera board. They are also calling for pictures and video using the new mode and will feature the best entries on their site!

    When the Raspberry Pi camera was released, the eagle-eyed among you noticed that the camera hardware itself can support various high frame rate modes, but that the software could ‘only’ manage 30 frames per second in its high-definition video mode.

    There’s is no hardware limitation in the Raspberry Pi itself. It’s quite capable of handling these high frame rate modes, but it does require a certain amount of effort to work out these new ‘modes’ inside the camera software. At the original release of the camera, two modes were provided: a stills capture mode, which offers the full resolution of the sensor (2592×1944), and a 1080p video mode (1920x1080p). Those same eagle-eyed people will see that these modes have different aspect ratios – the ratio of width to height. Stills outputs 4:3 (like 35mm film), video 16:9 (wide screen).

    This creates a problem when previewing stills captures, since the preview uses the video mode so it can run at 30 frames per second (fps) – not only is the aspect of the preview different, but because the video mode ‘crops’ the sensor (i.e. takes a 1920×1080 windows from the centre), the field of view in preview mode is very different from the actual capture.

    We had some work to do to develop new modes for high frame rates, and also fix the stills preview mode so that is matches the capture mode.

    So now, finally, some very helpful chaps at Broadcom, with some help from Omnivision, the sensor manufacturer, have found some spare time to sort out these modes, and not just that but to add some extra goodness while they were at it. (Liz interjects: The Raspberry Pi Foundation is not part of Broadcom – we’re a customer of theirs – but we’ve got a good relationship and the Foundation’s really grateful for the volunteer help that some of the people at Broadcom offer us from time to time. You guys rock: thank you!)

    The result is that we now have a set of mode as follows :

    • 2592×1944 1-15fps, video or stills mode, Full sensor full FOV, default stills capture
    • 1920×1080 1-30fps, video mode, 1080p30 cropped
    • 1296×972 1-42fps, video mode, 4:3 aspect binned full FOV. Used for stills preview in raspistill.
    • 1296×730 1-49fps, video mode, 16:9 aspect , binned, full FOV (width), used for 720p
    • 640×480 42.1-60fps, video mode, up to VGAp60 binned
    • 640×480 60.1-90fps, video mode, up to VGAp90 binned

    I’ve introduced a new word in the that list. Binned. This is how we can get high frame rates. Binning means combining pixels from the sensor together in a ‘bin’ in the analogue domain. As well as reducing the amount of data, this can also improve low light performance as it averages out sensor ‘noise’ in the absence of quantisation noise introduced by the analogue to digital converters (ADCs), which are the bits of electronics in the sensor that convert the analogue information created by incoming photons to digital numbers.

    Read more.


    Featured Adafruit Product!

    NewImage

    Raspberry Pi Camera Board – The Raspberry Pi Camera Module is a custom designed add-on for Raspberry Pi. It attaches to Raspberry Pi by way of one of the two small sockets on the board upper surface. This interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, which was designed especially for interfacing to cameras. The CSI bus is capable of extremely high data rates, and it exclusively carries pixel data. Read more.


  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 19:00
    This Paper Microscope Costs Just 97 Cents #makereducation

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    Foldscope, a $.97 paper microscope, is a great tool for educators on a budget, from Smithsonianmag:

    Microscopes have come a long way since eyeglass makers started using their lenses to look closer and closer at the world around them. But they’ve also gotten a lot more expensive. A modern scanning electron microscope could cost a lab $250,000. A nice desktop scope will set you back anywhere from $500 to $1,000—not a practical purchase, and sometimes out of the budget for clinics and research projects that could really use one.

    What would an affordable microscope look like? Well, it’d be simple, and it’d be made out of cheap materials, but it would still be good enough to get the job done. It might look something like a microscope made out of paper, for less than a dollar.

    Stanford scientists have developed what they call the Foldscope, a paper microscope that fits in your pocket and can be assembled in the field, in a lab, or anywhere you are. You can watch creator Manu Prakash talking about and assembling the scope in the video above. And it works too. According to Foldscope:

    Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper. Although it costs less than a dollar in parts, it can provide over 2,000X magnification with sub-micron resolution (800nm), weighs less than two nickels (8.8 g), is small enough to fit in a pocket (70 × 20 × 2 mm3), requires no external power, and can survive being dropped from a 3-story building or stepped on by a person. Its minimalistic, scalable design is inherently application-specific instead of general-purpose, gearing towards applications in global health, field based citizen science and K12-science education.

    Foldscope is also currently looking for people to help them test out their origami contraption:

    We will be choosing 10,000 people who would like to test the microscopes in a variety of settings and help us generate an open source biology/microscopy field manual written by people from all walks of life.

    From clinics in Nigeria to field sites in that Amazon, the scope could give people a cheaper, easier way to access the tiny worlds around them.

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach 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, Mars 18, 2014 - 18:53
    From STEAM to STREAM

    Stream crop

    This redesign of the Evil Mad Scientist STEAM t-shirt includes Robotics!

    Over at RasterWeb, Pete writes:

    I love the Evil Mad Scientist STEAM T-shirt but I thought there was something missing, so I changed it to STREAM because… Robots.

    Remember to stream big, my friends!

    Read more.


    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach 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, Mars 18, 2014 - 18:22
    NEW PRODUCT – Wolfson Audio Card

    NewImage

    NEW PRODUCT – Wolfson Audio Card: The Wolfson Audio Card, produced by Element14 in collaboration with Wolfson, offers Raspberry Pi® users similar flexibility to a PC sound-card to capture audio alongside their camera, and experiment with stereo digital capture and playback.

    This audiophile-quality add-on is great for intense audio experimenters! If you just want to have higher-quality audio playback, check out our low cost USB audio card, it’s perfect for playing music, movie soundtracks, etc. and works well with the Pi.

    NewImage

    The Wolfson Pi Audio Card is based on Wolfson WM5102 audio hub codes. The WM5102 is a highly-integrated low-power audio system for smartphones, tablets and other portable audio devices. It combines wide-band telephony voice processing with a flexible, high-performance audio hub CODEC. The WM5102 digital core provides a powerful combination of fixed-function signal processing blocks with a programmable DSP. These are supported by a fully-flexible, all-digital audio mixing and routing engine with sample rate converters, for wide use-case flexibility. Two stereo headphone drivers each provide stereo ground-referenced or mono BTL outputs, with noise levels as low as 2.3µVRMS for hi-fi quality line or headphone output. The CODEC also features stereo 2W Class-D speaker outputs, a dedicated BTL earpiece output and PDM for external speaker amplifiers. A signal generator for controlling haptics devices is included; vibe actuators can connect directly to the Class-D speaker output, or via an external driver on the PDM output interface. All inputs, outputs and system interfaces can function concurrently.

    Ideal for applications including VoIP, gaming, high quality audio capture, digital audio processing, and audio rendering. XBMC and media streaming, internet radio, networked audio, and DLNA audio rendering.

    Caution! The Wolfson Audio Card comes with a very small translucent screw that helps connect it to the Raspberry Pi. Be careful when you open your package! Only for use with Rev 2(Model A or B) Raspberry Pi’s with the P5 Header.

    NewImage
    In stock and shipping now!

  • Mardi, Mars 18, 2014 - 18:02
    Walking in a Maker Wonderland: Makerland Day 1

    In the "Python and Ruby Sitting in a Tree" workshop, attendees programmed an Arduino to interact with sensors such as the DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor, the VCNL4000 light sensor, the HC-SR404 ultrasonic ranging module, and the HC-SR501 PIR sensor module.The first day of Makerland, a new European maker conference, began with informative and inspirational talks from makers and maker pros.

    Read more on MAKE


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