Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 28, 2006

Robot Insect Toy

at 5:26 am. Filed under Toy Hacks


Here comes a cool new robot called the NSECT, it looks normal until the wings open to reveal a rotary cannon launcher!

“Last year around this time Tyco released the Shell Shocker, a whirling dervish of a bio beast that could transforn from a ball to a wicked fanblade of death. This year Tyco has released the NSECT, which comes armed with six tactical surface-to-air foam missles that can be fired one at a time or in a single barrage. Working claws and light-up eyes round out the ho-hum features, apparently the selling point of the N.S.E.C.T. is his incredible speed. I’ll either break down and get one to review, or see if I can find a video of this new bio-bug in action. Unless he runs as fast at the Shell Shocker my opinion is that there’s nothing new to see here, been there done that, move along please.”

Via: GadgetMadness

October 27, 2006

Popup Tombstone

at 5:10 am. Filed under Crazy Hacks


This tombstone breaks in half and is sure to scare the neighborhood ghosts and goblins.

“This project involves a hollow tombstone that has a seamless crack that when the pneumatic cylinder is activated the tombstone will break open reveling a creature inside. What’s good about this project is that all the mechanics are concealed inside and from the outside it looks like just a regular tombstone. This is a good thing because you can place the tombstone near guest without them realizing that the tombstone breaks open making a bigger scare.”


How Electronic Signs are made

at 4:40 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


Interesting video about how electronic signs are made.

“Digital signage offers superior return on investment compared to traditional printed signs[1]. Digital signs may be scrolling message boards, LCD or plasma display panels, electronic billboards, projection screens, or other emerging display types like Organic LED screens (OLEDs) that can be controlled electronically using a computer or other device, allowing individuals or groups to remotely change and control their content (usually via the Internet)”

Via: TechEBlog

October 26, 2006

Paintball Tank

at 5:10 am. Filed under Insane Equipment

Looks like a tank, drives like a tank, but you can safely shoot at your friends with it! This tank has been modified to shoot paintballs. If you are lucky enough to live in Lutterworth, Leicestershire you could rent it for a few hours and give it a spin.

“Tank driving would be most people’s idea of fun, but imagine the thrill of actually taking part in a tank battle – not with live ammunition, but with paint!! Take it in turns as part of a three-man crew to negotiate a tricky tank course set in a world war II bombing range. Your tank of choice will be a unique 17 tonne FV432 armoured personnel carrier, with specially modified cannons capable of firing 40mm paint rounds. Under the guidance of your on-board instructor you will get the opportunity to drive the tank, aim the cannon, load the breach and fire the air powered cannon. To get you into your role as an artillery man (or woman!) you will be issued with radio headsets, kevlar helmets, tank suits and gloves. Once you are able to successfully operate the tank, the hatches are closed and you are free to engage in full on armoured warfare against an opposing team using only your periscopes to guide you! Aim and fire!”

October 25, 2006

Floppy Drive Pan Cam

at 5:20 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Milan Gajic has made a cool Web controlled floppy drive powered pan cam. Some simple right and left commands on this page allow anyone on the net to have the floppy drive move the camera around to get look out of Milan’s window.

Note: It seems that the cam only works with Internet Explorer at this time.

“The goal of the game was to make a webcam panning unit out of things I had lying around on my table. Then this would be made accesible via a web interface, so that a person watching the webcam images could move the camera. A floppy drive, as I discovered earlier, has a easily usable steppermotor and a builtin controller. The idea is to use the linear movement of the Read/Write head of the floppy drive to rotate a camera mount. To do this I connected the RW-head to a point on the camera mount that was slightly off axis. The distance bitween the axis of the camera mount to the point where force is applied should be about half of full linear movement of the RW-head.”

e-puck Open Source Robot

at 5:01 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets


These are open source robots called e-puck, look like lots of fun. A little out of the hobbyist budget at $700, but for a research platform that is cheap!

“The main goal of this project is to develop a miniature mobile robot for educational purposes at university level. To achieve this goal the robot needs, in our opinion, the following features:
* Good structure. The robot should have a clean mechanical structure, simple to understand. The electronics, processor structure and software has to be a good example of a clean modern system.
* Flexibility. The robot should cover a large spectrum of educational activities and should therefore have a large potential in its sensors, processing power and extensions. Potential educational fields are, for instance, mobile robotics, real-time programming, embedded systems, signal processing, image or sound feature extraction, human-machine interaction or collective systems.
* User friendly. The robot should be small and easy to exploit on a table next to a computer. It should need minimal wiring, battery operation and optimal working confort.
* Good robustness and simple maintenance. The robot should resist to student use and be simple and cheap to repair.
* Cheap. The robot, for large use, should be cheap (450-550 euros)”

Via: Robot Gossip


October 24, 2006

Autorange Capacitance Meter

at 5:19 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Why buy test equipment when you can make your own? Edwin made a capacitance meter using a PIC16F873A as the brains. If you want to make your own there is code and a schematic provided on his site.

“This is an autoranged version, which means one does not need to adjust the range settings. Furthermore, the measuring range is quite large, from 5pF all the way to 2600uF. It is all taken care of by the PIC16F873A inside the circuit. The capacitance meter begins by discharging the capacitor fully. Then it charges it and waits until the voltage across the capacitor reaches 0.632Vcc. The time is then captured and the capacitance is computed using Tau = RC. A 16 bit division routine written by Andy Warren is used for this project. The result is then displayed on the LCD. The process will then repeat itself every subsequent 0.255s.”

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