Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 25, 2008

Interactive Projector Screen

at 6:57 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Game Hacks


We have seen lots of Projector Screen hacks over the last few years, this one demos the power of the system quite well. It doesn’t take much hardware to provide some fantastic results! The video game gun use is a natural extension of the technology.

"The basic idea is really simple: a program running on the PC will process the images viewed from the webcam, find the position of the penlight/light spot, and use this position to deternine where to place the mouse cursor on the screen. Now, if we can assume that the light spot/point is always the brightest object in the area, than the detection algorithm will be very simple: find the location of the pixel with the highest intensity level. We make use of two additional useful facts: 1. a normal pocket touchlights (or any incandescent lamp for that matter) actually emits several times more infrared light than visible light, and so works better as IR point source than a visible light source. 2. most webcam are able not only to detect visible lights (red, green and blue, etc) but they can also detect infrared (IR) lights – for example as emitted by the IR LEDs commonly found on TV/Hifi remote controls – which are invisible to the human eyes. So if we can somehow use the webcam to capture only the infrared lights from our light source and reject the surrounding visible lights, we will be ensured of a very reliable system. An additional feature of this system will be it will work if we replace the torchlight with any IR LEDs."

July 24, 2008

DIY Laser Etching Projects

at 5:04 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


Baccus61 has documented some of his cool DIY Laser Etching Projects. He makes etching an image on a round bottle simple!

After the jump are a few of my favorite videos he has created.

"My new rotary attachment is finally ready after a couple of weeks in the making (I didn’t spend too much time building it though) It’s a Vexta 5 phase stepper motor coupled to a 50:1 harmonic gear drive or wave drive as they are sometimes called. I will be mounting a woodwork scroll chuck onto it later on and glue some rubber to the jaws to stop breaking glass things and to add a bit of grip. I also need to add some rollers underneath the back end to support heavy things like full wine bottles etc. I took me a bit of working out how to fit the 5 phase drive to the 2-4 phase setup I have to run the table but in the end all I had to do was to use a 4 pin plug and isolate the power and step and direction wires to fit the 4 pin plug. I saved a copy of the setup for the rotary drive in a new save file for Linkmotion and all I have to do is connect the plug for the attachment then load the proper table file into Linkmotion. It takes about 2 minutes from start to finish to swap the setup over."


July 23, 2008

Garage Parking Assistant – Basic Stamp Microcontroller Based

at 5:07 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This Basic Stamp Microcontroller Based Garage Parking Assistant may be overkill for the application but that is what makes it fun. 🙂 What fun would it be to hang a tennis ball from the ceiling when you can use technology to give you a traffic light that represents your optimal parking distance.

"The Garage Parking Assistant makes it easy to pull in the garage by signaling you with a traffic-light style display of when to pull in (GREEN), slow down (YELLOW) and stop (RED). If you pull too far in the Red LED blinks to let you know. Although this type of project has been done before I wanted to take my own approach and simplify the code and hardware while making it easy to adjust/personalize for your own use. By default all measurements are in inches, although you could easily use centimeters since that value is available as well. The range of the PING))) sensor is split up into four zones labeled Zone1 through Zone4. Please see the first attachment for a map of the zones. The values for each zone are inches from the sensor/wall."


July 22, 2008

Underwater ROV Project

at 5:54 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This Underwater ROV Project has lots of documentation of a cool work in progress. There are lots of challenges that were faced along the way that may save one of us some time on one of our future projects.

Here are a few videos of the unit in action.

"The ROV submerging technique was originally using part of a bicycle inner tube and a car windscreen washer pump. However this method was very slow to respond and difficult to control and ended up either dropping the ROV like a stone to the bottom or rising to the top. Probably a little worrying having water pumped into the same chamber as the electronics but I tried to make it as reliable as possible and with this in mind I incorporated a leak detection unit which alarms on the GUI and automatically surfaces the ROV. I gave up on this submerging method when pumping water inside caused excessive internal pressure and blew off the end cap on the ROV despite being held in place with two clamps."


TrackIR – Head Tracking for Game Play

at 5:26 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Game Hacks


This technology looks like it works very well. I have seen lots of 2 LED motion sense units but the third LED seems to add lots to the capability. Now if only someone came up with an open source version of it since the prices seem a bit high.

"As you move in your chair and rotate your head small amounts : your game-view will precisely correspond. You never have to look away from the monitor because all aspects of your motion are amplified and adjustable. There are only 6 ways you can move around in 3D space. There are 3 ways to lean, and 3 ways to rotate. The technical term for all of these movements is "6 Degrees of Freedom" (or "6DOF"). True 6DOF support is one of the main things that puts TrackIR well ahead of any other input device."


July 21, 2008

DIY XY Plotter

at 5:44 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Re-purposing old computer parts is great since it prevents working equipment from finding their way into the landfill. This XY Plotter is a great example of re-use of old equipment.

"This XY plotter was made by the group at Next Window and is the work of Paul Marson and Keith Colson, for the purposes of calibrating touch screens. It uses components that were salvaged from two old Kodak flatbed scanners. Belts, motors, driver boards and the stepper motors themselves are what is used for this machine and gives a resolution of 16 micrometers per step, far better accuracy that what is actually needed."


July 20, 2008

Lego NXT Rubik Cube Solver

at 5:14 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks


The most impressive part of this Lego NXT Rubik Cube Solver is that the NXT module does the computing that solves the cube! I wouldn’t have thought that would have been possible without having a PC do the calculations.

Video after the jump.

"Tilted Twister solves Rubik’s cube fully automatically. Just place the scrambled cube on Tilted Twister’s turntable. An ultrasonic sensor detects its presence and starts to read the colors of the cube faces using a light sensor. The robot turns and tilts the cube in order to read all the faces of the cube. It then calculates a solution and executes the moves by turning, tilting and twisting the cube."


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