Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 19, 2011

Toner Transfer Galvanic Etched Custom Audio Panel

at 11:26 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


Getting a finished look on custom gear is always hard. If it was made in your basement it usually shows. Rabbisu demonstrates how it is possible to make a great looking custom audio panel using the toner transfer and galvanic etching method on some metal panels. The results look great, the only thing I would change is that the dials would all go to 11. Check out the gallery for some more great pictures of the Toner Transfer Galvanic Etched Custom Audio Panel.

Thanks for the tip George.

February 18, 2011

Nao Robot Demonstration

at 11:19 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Educational, Electronic Hacks


Our friend Carlos from Carlitos’ Contraptions has joined the Aldebaran Developer Program, they make the Nao humanoid platform. Thanks to Carlos we will get a first hand view into how this robot works and what it can do. At $16,000 it isn’t a toy but as a humanoid development platform that is a decent price. It reminds me a bit of the RoboSapien but is much bigger and has a ton more functions.  Have a look at what Carlos has the Nao Robot doing so far. I think my next office assistant will have to be one of these robots!

The NAO Humanoid Robot from Aldebaran Robotics is a companion, assistant and research platform. If the full-size personal butler is still a vision of the future, ALDEBARAN’s robots will already provide a perfect platform to deliver a range of daily services. With 25 degrees of freedom, NAO is capable of executing a wide range of movements (walking, sitting, standing up, dancing, avoiding obstacles, kicking, seizing objects, etc.)

Equipped standard with an embedded computer and wifi connection, NAO is fully autonomous and can establish a secure connection to the Internet to download and broadcast content. Fitted with two speakers and several microphones, NAO has a quality sound system to play music. It is equipped with a voice recognition system that locates where the sound is coming from, so that he can turn his head towards the speaker or origin of the sound. He has a text to speech function so he can interact with its environment verbally by pronouncing any text sent to him, messages, e-mail, books, newspapers, etc.

February 16, 2011

Fart Meter Project Build

at 3:32 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks


Jérôme Demers from the Université de Sherbrooke built this fun Fart Meter, I can just imagine how much fun this would be in an office environment. 🙂 The meter uses an Arduino to monitor a Methane sensor, the dial then indicates how much gas it detected. Not sure I would want to be a judge in this competition… You probably remember Jerome from his Robot Build that he shared with us before. If you haven’t read his blog before it is worth a look, especially his escapades as intern toy designer in Hong Kong.

“The MQ-4 can detect natural gas concentrations anywhere from 200 to 10000 ppm (Parts Per Million).
It is very sensitive and has a quick response time. This sensor is analog and gives out voltage depending of the gas concentration. When there is no gas, the voltage read is around 1.3V.Otherwise, when you fart, it goes up to 5V! “

February 14, 2011

Valentines Day LED Heart Project

at 12:01 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks

If you are a procrastinator and have some electronics in your junk box why not make one of these LED hearts for that special someone. ThermalRunaway did a great job on the circuit board but I think I would have made mine from a heart shaped box of chocolates. The circuit is very simple and I like the way the components are symmetrical and look quite nice when laid out as they are.


February 12, 2011

DIY Video Chat Robot

at 11:31 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


Johnny Lee from Procrastineering (who we interviewed about 3 years ago) made a great DIY Video Chat Robot project. He is using a Roomba as the movable robotic platform and a netbook as the video conferencing system. Skype is used to do the actual telepresence. We did an article about the Anybot Telepresence Robot recently which is the same idea in a more polished package but essentially provides the same end result.  If you are interested in making the Johnny Lee version of the robot you are in luck sine Johnny has provided all the documentation and code you need to get going.

Via: Ubergizmo

“There are two major components to the project: the iRobot Create which costs around $250 (incl. battery, charger, and USB serial cable) and the netbook which I got for around $250 as well. At $500, this is a pretty good deal considering many commerical ones go for several thousand dollars. The software was written in C# with Visual Studio Express 2010.”

Talking Plant Project

at 12:55 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


We recently featured the DIY Electronic Watering System which used technology take care of your plant for you but what if you still want to be involved but just need some reminders to keep your plants alive? Have a look at the Talking Plant Project that jeff-o made called The Plant Whisperer. We have all heard that talking to your plants is good for them but I wonder if having your plants talk to you is good for you? Might as well build the project and find out because that is what your plants will be doing when your Plant Whisperer is done!

“This little device measures the soil moisture every two hours, and reports its status to anyone who might be within earshot – that’s right, it talks!  The message content depends on the soil condition.  For example, if the soil is too dry, the plant might say, “I’M THIRSTY!  WATER ME!”  If the moisture is okay, it might say “I’M A HAPPY PLANT!” – or maybe something funny like “I SUGGEST YOU BECOME A CARNIVORE.”  It is also capable of detecting the ambient light level and commenting on that, as well.”

February 10, 2011

LEGO NXT XBee Wireless Communication

at 3:40 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


LEGO NTX projects can be lots of fun but what if you need to have one part of your project talk to another and wires are not practical? There are lots of wireless technologies around but they would be hard to interface to your LEGO NXT system. That is until now, dexter industries has developed a NXTBee sensor which allows you to extend your LEGO projects from around the corner to around the block!

Thanks John.

“The Dexter Industries NXTBee sensor brings the Digi XBee radios to the Lego Mindstorms NXT system! Wireless communication between NXT’s. These high-speed long-distance radios allow your NXT to communicate with any other device with an XBee radio. The XBee 802.15 communication protocol is the standard for robots everywhere. “

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