Archive for the ‘Hacks’ Category

VR/Urban's SMSlingshot paints on walls with digital pixels

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Amazing VR/Urban Project from Berlin:

The SMSlingshot is an autonom working device, equipped with an ultra-high frequency radio, hacked arduino board, laser and batteries. Text messages can be typed on a phone-sized wooden keypad which is integrated in the also wooden slingshot. After the message is finished, the user can aim on a media facade and send/shoot the message straight to the targeted point. It will then appear as a colored splash with the message written within. The text message will also be real-time twittered – just in case.

have a look at the video on the official page of the project. Very interesting use of the sling in a digital way.

via [VR/Urban]

Oh_Oh robot, low cost, easy to replicate robot for kids

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
Oh_Oh robot, low cost, easy to replicate robot for Mexico DF. Commisioned by, and with the invaluable help from Gianluca Martino from

I am amazed by the work David Cuartielles in collaboration with Xun Yang, Tlacotalpan, Alejandro Jimenez, Hugo and our common friend Gianluca Martino, the Hardware responsible for Arduino. The point is making a robot easy to build / repair / reproduce, low cost. Easy to be programmed by kids. As you can read, David is often involved in kid-related workshop in Mexico, and here and there in Europe. It seems that he’s achieved a good point in developing a strong yet cheap platform who is changing very quickly. Stay tuned & follow the visual diary of the prototypes at this gallery and some videos at this channel

Oh_Oh is the result of an exploration in the possibilities of cheap educational electronics. It is very important to keep the importance of low cost as a fundamental part of the project, since that will influence its design, as well as its accessibility.

We created Oh_Oh after a couple of basic workshops in electronics with Kids at FARO de Oriente in Mexico DF. Very early in the process we realized there was an interest in learning about robotics. The Computer Clubhouse counts with a couple of Lego kits, but not enough for a group of 20 kids.

We realized that Mexico has a couple of companies dedicated to designing, manufacturing and selling small robots. However they were not really complying with the idea of reprogramability and reusability of general electronics, due to a closed firmware and the lack of an IDE to easily reconfigure the robot’s behavior.

The important aspect for us was that we could get access to all the parts needed to build a cheap robot on-site. And that we could then easily hook up this robot to Arduino and build from there. So we decided to go on with the idea of making our own robot with as little parts as possible.

more info after the break


last week to apply for HomeSense Project: Submit your home!

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Friends at TinkerLondon, EDF R&D and Highwire teamed up for a challenging project: asking people to develop their own Smart Home, by teachng them how to do it.

Anyone can apply. No technological background needed. Just curiosity (as always). Deadline is approaching (1st July)-

Smart Homes have generally been more successful in concept than practice. The problem is not one of technology but of design – smart homes aren’t made by the people who will actually live in them, but by designers in R&D departments who have specific ideas about how they should be lived in, with rigid technology infrastructure and use scenarios. But home environments have multiple users living in them who bring different experiences and concepts of knowledge of the social, cultural and emotion context of the place that they live in.

People have the chance to change their way of thinking the home concept:

In September 2010 six households across Europe will have the opportunity to build their own smart home based on their decisions, their choices and their lifestyles. If you’re interested in finding out new things about the way that you live in your home and having a bunch of shiny new technologies to help you do this, we’d love to hear from you.

All sizes and types of households are welcome, from village cottages to suburban semis to houseboats to mansions; spouses and partners and children and flatmates and pets are all welcome.

It doesn’t matter how much experience you’ve had with technology before – all that counts is that you’re enthusiastic about taking part! Tinker will provide initial training, and you’ll work with a local expert where you live to provide support throughout the experience.

What are you waiting for?

Details of signing up as a household are here.
Details of joining us as an expert are here.

via [Homesense]

Arduino-controlled diesel powered firewood processor

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Over the last few years, my machining mentor Rick has been constructing a diesel powered firewood processor from scratch.The machine is capable of cutting and splitting a cord of wood per hour through precision orchestration of hydraulics and internal combustion. After a few design iterations, all of the mechanical components are bullitproof.

a step by step explanation of a simple yet time-saving process fullfilled by an Arduino and a lot of work.

Shared by Michael and “machining mentor” Rick for the rest of the world

more info after the break.


Arduino Intro for kids at FARO

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Wow. It’s seems David Cuartielles is very busy with kids, lately.

During the last two days I have been conducting a workshop for kids on the topic of electronics. The idea of this workshop is to warm up for a course to come later in July when we will be playing around with robots. I have the task of designing 2 or 3 different models of robots together with the documentation needed to run the course.

looking forward to see some robots & kits to play with my son as well!

via [MEDEA]

Behinduino great for breadboard Arduino prototyping

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Over at MAKE: Japan, Takumi Funada found this nifty project that squeezes an Atmega168 onto the back side of a half breadboard, leaving the entire front available for connections. Looks like it could be handy, as long as you don’t forget that there is a circuit connected back there! I’d like to see one of these made with a transparent breadboard!

via Matt Mets on [MAKE]

DIY Arduino Helicopter with Obstacle Avoidance

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Here’s another neat Arduino helicopter project featuring four infrared sensors and one ultrasonic sensor for obstacle avoidance.  We’ve seen an Arduino powered helicopter with four rotors and even one with six rotors too.  This quadcopter, however, features superb stability and obstacle avoidance.  It’s precise distance sensing makes this four rotor drone ideal for indoor flights.

video after the break


Go live with GameBoy: Max/MSP>arduino>Gameboy

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

As a vintage interfaces lover myself, I couldn’t ignore a project that makes you going back to my chilhood.

Still I don’t know japanese, but I could guess the setup of this performer by the images ;)

Have a look yourself.

via []

Minor Project – Keyboard input, Matrix Display Output

Monday, May 17th, 2010

[Adam] shared with us a nice keyboard-to-matrix project.

Check out for the (long) code after the break.


Arduino TvOUT Library (with PAL support)

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Arduino Forum user [mdmetzle] shared a nice tv-out library for Arduino:

I wrote a small video output library called TVout. It is completely interrupt driven to make writing things that need tvout easier. It runs on a resolution of 128×96 with some basic text printing and line and dot drawing for now.

video and spec after the break.