Archive for the ‘Toy Hacking’ Category

Arduino controlled catapult

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Want a timed egg thrower? Or a thrower triggered by motion?

A step-by-step instruction on how to make your own Arduino controlled catapult is here.

Looks like it can be built over a weekend!

Via:[Instructables]

A device to read your mind – or not?

Monday, November 14th, 2011

The latest member of the AI family, who is reaching out to users is the much talked about Siri. What if she started executing commands using just thoughts rather than words?

A project by Ollie and Josh, which everyone is talking about, called the Project Black Mirror is gaining a lot of interest among the believers and skeptics alike.

One of the comments reads as:

“Quick question? How are you amplifying the EEG signals before feeding them into the arduino? I ask because all of the neuroscience researchers I’ve talked to say you need an amplifier roughly the size of a VCR to bring the signals up to levels at which they can be analyzed. If you’ve found a way to just plug wires from the electrode pads into the analog inputs on an arduino that would be quite the breakthrough. Also is there any chance you’d be willing to demo your code for separating the brain activity on the EEG from noise created by environmental effects and muscle movements since I’m sure you know that something as small as an eye blink creates an electrical impulse at the scalp which dwarfs the majority of the brain’s electrical signals when measured through the skull. “

Unlike the other post that we made about brain-controlled devices using  an Emotiv headset, this one claims to recognize different words.

Another report of such a nature, comes from abcnews.go.com :

They outfitted volunteers with caps with EEG sensors, and asked them to steer a helicopter on a computer screen through a series of randomly generated rings that appeared on the screen ahead of it. There were no hand controls, no joysticks. They could only try to will the helicopter forward with their minds.

Citing an example of an experiment by Dr. Bin He of the University of Minnesota and his team.

Although it would be nice to observe such a project see the daylight, but for now, the possibility seems a little far away.

Prologue : Quoted from their blog:

Also today we have got the go ahead form kickstarter,  to get  project black mirror up there,  now all we need to do is set up an US business.. eeek ! ( anyone know how to set up a business in the US ?)

(PS: Verdict postponed till the Kickstarter program ends ;) )

 

Sources: [ProjectBlackMirror, Emotiv, 26mag.com, intomobile.com, interaxon.ca, abcnews.go.com ]

 

Arduino Circuit Bending Workshop in Torino

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Il prossimo week-end a Torino si terrà un workshop gratuito di Arduino (un kit opzionale potrà essere comprato per partecipare qualora non disponeste dei materiali elencati) sul circuit bending e la generazione di suoni con la scheda.

Un workshop di tre giorni per smontare riciclare e far suonare vecchi strumenti elettronici, creare una digital toys orchesta e sfilare in parata a Paratissima.

Il circuit Bending è una pratica molto diffusa tra gli sperimentatori musicali. Soprattutto sulla scena della musica elettronica sono sempre più frequenti gli artisti che si creano controller o addirittura strumenti musicali personalizzati.

Nel workshop saranno coinvolte diverse discipline: toy hacking, riciclo elettronico, elettronica di base, sintesi sonora, programmazione ad oggetti e faremo largo uso di Arduino per comandare i nuovi strumenti.

Il workshop è gratuito, a carico dei partecipanti il costo dei materiali e l’acquisto del kit-workshop.
maggiori informazioni quì!

Per partecipare registrati qui.

via [FablabItalia]

Control a Slot Car Race With Your Mind

Friday, October 7th, 2011

[Riccardo Giraldi] posted a nice project controlling a slot car race from a Mindwave headset (=> your brain waves).

From B-Reel’s secret laboratory comes a brain-bending experimental project utilising a number of cutting edge tech tools. B-Reel’s UK creative director Riccardo Giraldi led the development of the project, and you can view the explanatory video here, as well as some of the creative musings in a write up below. [...] There are few commercial devices that claim to safely read your brain signals. We ended up choosing the Mindwave headset from Neurosky for this experiment because of its unobtrusive design and its affordable price.

via [TheNextWeb] source [B-Reel]

Retro Pinball Clock Hack

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

[Alan Amon] posted a cool vintage hack on Instructables, adding GPS-based clock funcionalities to a Bally Wizard pinball.

Pinball machine will automatically power up at the preset time each day and then resets to display the current time, the year, the time the alarm is set for and the date month/day. Then as long as the GPS has a signal the time will update once a minute for the rest of the day.  At the time you would like to go to bed the Arduino will cut power to the game and it will remain off until the alarm time. Should you have a power failure in the night the machine will not lose it’s settings. If power is restored prior to the alarm time the machine will wake up as normal, otherwise the machine will wake up once power is restored.

If the game is powered on because it is not yet bed time and it is after the alarm time then at 12am, 1am or 1pm the game will do a full reset. This makes sure the clock hasn’t gotten off due to a stuck score reel, keeps the time in a 12 hour format and keeps the date display up to date.

Have a look at the “cool features” and “coolest features” in the instructables article

via [PCWorld] source [Instructables]

A CNC Anti Gravity transparent Orb Machine

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Or the Bubble-machine :P

Is an amazing and a cute entertainer for people and pets of all ages. This easy instructable is named ‘Bubblesteen’ can make an apt decoration for any party or just an evening with family.

[Via:Instructables]

 

Arduino ADK spices up phones

Friday, September 9th, 2011

 

What better option than Android arduino, could be used when we think of hacking phones and and interfacing them with the sensors?

As a member of illutron, Mads Høbye – MEDEA PhD student in interaction design – was asked by SonyEricsson to challenge the more conventional usage of mobile technology, by exploring alternative usage scenarios. He called in a combination of artists, geeks and tinkerers for a four day workshop.

 

The Android platform proved to be a great stepping stone in that direction. During the workshop we managed to use the phones in multiple ways, by taking advantage of the embedded technologies like GPS, Compass, Wifi, GSM/3, Accelerometers, touch screen and connecting them to the Arduino platform.The compressed format of the workshop proved to a fruitful for revealing new openings and possibilities – pushing the boundaries of the normal perception of what constitutes a phone and how it should be used. From a research-through-design perspective, the resulting prototypes work as conversation pieces around what constitutes material media and how we can design position aware devices that are constantly connected to each other.

 

Via:[Medea]

Arduino Candy Grabber, Web Controlled.

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

A step-by-step guide on controlling physical things (like grabbing candies with a mechanical arm) via Internet (please, try!).

In this instructable you will learn how to connect to your arduino and control it over the net, set up a video stream, and how to control stuff with your arduino all in realtime. I’ll try to show you on a concrete example how this could be done, but the code I used and wrote is going to be generic so you can use it for your projects. Note that I haven’t discovered anything new but rather used code that I found lying around the net, built from it and changed it fit my needs.

(…) So how should it work? The idea is that there is a Flash AIR app on my home computer that when a remote client connects to it starts the video broadcast. The communication between the client and the AIR app would be through a PHP socket because it can instantly push messages from one to the other. The socket will handle all the clients and the queuing. The Red5 server is used to handle the video broadcast, stream the video and send the arduino commands from the client that is first in the queue to the AIR app (although it could do so much more… we’ll talk about that in a later step). Finally TinkerProxy is used to send commands from the AIR app to the arduino that is connected to the same computer.

Thanks to Mario for the link!

via [Instructables], grab the thing [here]

Gameboy ROM backups using an Arduino

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

[Alex] collects retro gaming consoles. One day while playing a SNES title, his save games got wiped when he powered off the system. It turned out that the battery inside the game cartridge got disconnected somehow, and it got him thinking. He decided he wanted to find a way to back up his save games from the cartridges for safe keeping.

While cart readers exist, he says that they are hard to find nowadays, so he decided to construct his own using an Arduino. SNES cartridges are relatively complex, so he opted to focus on Gameboy cartridges for the time being. Before attempting to back up save games, he first chose to learn how to communicate with the cartridges in general, by reading the ROM.

via [HackADay]

Kinect Controlled Delta-Robot

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Everybody’s amazed about the incredible things done with Kinect and Processing + Arduino. Tutorial need!

This is a project in development for the module “Digital Ecologies”, at the Bartlett’s Adaptive Architecture and Computation MSc. – University College London

A Delta-Robot is controlled by a Kinect through Processing and Arduino. The movements of the performer control directly the position of the robot’s effector, and the rotation and opening of the gripper.
Once the plattform is properly calibrated (still a little rough round the edges!), several autonomous behaviours will be implemented.

have a look at [resources]via [KinectHacks]