Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 25, 2007

Dutchtronix AVR Oscilloscope Clock

at 10:09 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Dutchtronix is selling AVR Oscilloscope Clock kits. No need to sit down for the kit price, at $35.00 this will make a great addition to any workbench!

Video after the jump.

“This AVR Oscilloscope clock is available as a kit, using all through hole components. The kit included ALL components necessary to assemble the board shown below, including a preprogrammed ATmega168 microcontroller. It does not include an oscilloscope. It also includes connectors for the Power and RS-232 headers on the board. The user can use these connectors to build the power and serial communication cables.”


May 24, 2007

Microcontroller Project Information

at 12:39 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Ross Smith from the University of South Australia gave an interesting microcontroller design presentation that contains some useful information for anyone that is considering using one in their next project.

“This presentation looks at how to develop your own custom microcontroller hardware from scratch. Often laptops and general purpose computers are too powerful and too large to use for simple hardware projects. Often you can perform tasks like controlling DC motors, stepper motors, switches, LCDs, LEDs, buzzers/speakers etc. efficiently and effectively using inexpensive/free microcontrollers. Other benefits such as extremely small size and ultra low power consumption are also inherent benefits of most popular microcontrollers.”


Piezoelectric Lighter Accelerometer

at 5:21 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

This Lighter Accelerometer hack by Bardlund demonstrates piezoelectric properties.

“Piezoelectricity is the ability of crystals and certain ceramic materials to generate a voltage in response to applied mechanical stress. Piezoelectricity was discovered by Pierre Curie and the word is derived from the Greek piezein, which means to squeeze or press. The piezoelectric effect is reversible in that piezoelectric crystals, when subjected to an externally applied voltage, can change shape by a small amount (for example, deformation of about 0.1% of the original dimension in lead zirconate titanate). The effect finds useful applications such as the production and detection of sound, generation of high voltages, electronic frequency generation, microbalances, and ultra fine focusing of optical assemblies.”

May 23, 2007

MIT Leonardo Robot

at 5:57 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

What looks to be a cute bear is more that meets the eye. This MIT Leonardo Robot packs some serious computing power.
Watch some videos of it in action, Video 1, Video 2, Video 3.

“Rather than requiring people to learn a new form of communication to interact with robots or to teach them, our research concerns developing robots that are natural for people to teach and collaborate with. In contrast to many statistical learning approaches that require hundreds or thousands of trials or labeled examples to train the system, our goal is for robots to quickly learn new skills and tasks from natural human instruction and few demonstrations. Once a task is learned, the robot should then be competent in its ability to provide assistance; understanding how to perform the task as well as how to perform it in partnership with a human. Leonardo has 61 degrees of freedom — 32 of those are in the face alone. As a result, Leonardo is capable of near-human facial expression.”

May 22, 2007

Pinewood Derby Finish Line Detector

at 12:58 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

If you need to judge some Pinwood Derby races this Pinewood Derby Finish Line Detector project will give you some unbiased results. Schematics and details are provided on the site.

“A few years ago the finish line detector at my church’s AWANA Grand Prix track bit the dust. AWANA Grand Prix is the same thing as the Pinewood Derby to scouting folks. We did without for a couple years until I finally got all the pieces together for a new one. First I’ll explain the end product; then comment on my wish list for a future version. Special thanks to my coworkers Gerry Powell and David Fowler for their electrical engineering design help on this project.”

Thanks David.


at 5:10 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks

At first MERLIN may look like a normal remote control car, looking closer you will notice a host of sensors bolted to the frame. These sensors allow the car to learn about its surroundings and perform things such as obstacle avoidance.

“MERLIN is controlled by 80C167 CR 16 bit-processor. The microprocessor is employed for interfacing sensor data acquisition, sensor data pre-processing, calculation of the control algorithms, and telecommunication with a remote control and monitoring station. The microcontroller, electronic circuits, motors, and sensors are supplied by a 7.2 V and 12 V NiMH batteries. Two motors on MERLIN, steering and driving dc motors, control the direction and the speed of the car. There are 3 modes of operations, path control, joystick control, and obstacle avoidance (collision avoidance)”

May 21, 2007

ALAVs – Autonomous Light Air Vessels

at 3:01 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Jed Berk created this Autonomous Light Air Vessel, it is just one of the contraptions that were on display this weekend at the Make Faire.

“ALAVs 2.0 (Autonomous Light Air Vessels) are networked objects that communicate the concept of connectivity among people, objects, and the environment. Through the use of mobile technologies people can influence the behavior of the ALAVs by starting conversations and building closer relationships with them. ALAVs 2.0 reflects upon the current state of connectivity in our everyday lives. The potential of ALAVs 2.0 lies in its ability to captivate a wide audience and communicate the idea of people cohabiting a shared space with networked objects.

Our circuits included the following: auxiliary 3V lithium battery, 5 integrated circuits and motors, and 2N7000 transistors with 1M ohm resistors. Due to maneuverability efficiency (for example hovering) we used five independent motors to cover all directions. Eventually the SunSpot was incorporated with the motors and circuits to serve as a hub to control external components. The construction and circuits were refined to streamline weight, power, and efficiency.”

Via: Zedomax


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