Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 19, 2012

Parallax Propeller Microcontroller Based Quadrotor

at 11:43 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


 Using a Parallax Propeller built this Quadrotor. Watch the video below to see it in action. It looks to be very stable and with the Propeller processor on board there is sure to be no lack of processing power to keep things nice and stable.

“The control board is a Parallax Propeller protoboard (a quick prototyping board you can buy for about $20). The only sensor currently in use is a single 3-axis gyroscope (an ITG-3200). I have an ADXL-345 accelerometer mounted as well, but it’s not currently used.

Without batteries, it weighs 1kg (or 2lb, 4oz).”




June 18, 2012

DIY Wirelessly Charging LED Light made from PVC Plumbing Parts

at 7:54 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



John Duffy built this Wirelessly Charging LED Light in a strong PVC Plumbing housing. It uses an inductive loop for charging which means the case can be made completely waterproof by permanently sealing the unit. Given that it is tiny and made from PVC it would be very robust. I am thinking that you could run over it with a car and it would suffer no damage.  He was inspired by a Make magazine article to build his version, if you are inspired by his creation please see the design details here (PDF).



June 16, 2012

Gir Robot Build

at 3:29 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Toy Hacks



 Check out this Gir Robot Build. This build is a combination of all sorts of odds and ends. I had never seen Gir before, if you are in the same boat you can see more about the Invader Zim characters here. For an eyeballed hand built version it looks great! The eyes and audio really makes this tiny robot come to life.

Thanks for sending it in Rangerx52!

“When power is applied to the mainboard, gir goes into reset mode. The leg servos are told to sync up and fall (if up), the door is told to close, the eyes turned off, and the head to tilt down. This is done so that if a failure occurred last time, or he was shut off mid-program, he would revert to stage 1 in his animation automatically. He then waits in standby mode for input. the Servos are allowed to ragdoll.

-The remote controlled relay is placed inbetween an I/O pin on the pic, and power, meaning that every time the remote is pushed, the Microcontroller sees the state of the pin shift from low, to high. This signal tells it to advance through the program. Since Gir is in standby mode, he waits for the button push.

-Once the remote is pushed, he goes through his next animation, turning on his lights, and associated functions, until his next standby, until he finally goes into shutdown mode. This is a very simplified method of control, but it allows for some method of outside intervention. the speech is controlled by sending a string of data to the somo audio module, telling it what sound clip to play. The sound clips are actually just copied to an sd card, and played in order, but the controller has the option to play anything it wishes, according to the program.”



June 15, 2012

Redbull Creation Contest 2012

at 12:51 am. Filed under Contests, DIY Hacks


Thanks to Pat Reilly for letting us know about the Redbull Creation Contest 2012. It is a 72 hour innovation competition. To get started you need to get your hands on the Redbull version of the Arduino called the Bullduino and impress Redbull with a cool video of your creation. This is great to see a big company like Redbull embracing us makers in a cool contest like this!



In it’s Second Year, Build Competition Red Bull Creation, Brings the Innovation Home


NEW YORK – June 15, 2012 – Calling all hackers, builders and inventors in between! Red Bull Creation, the 72-hour themed innovation competition, is returning for its second year with a new digital format, upgraded technology and higher stakes. Last year’s marathon brought the best groups of four to Brooklyn to create side-by-side. This year, the competition goes TO the top makers, individually or in teams across the country…taking place in their own domain, using their own tools. The possibilities are endless.


Red Bull Creation will predominately live online starting with any interested possible competitors registering after June 15 and receiving a “Bullduino”, our version of an Arduino—an  open-sourced single board wiring platform. Show us your skills by making something using the Bullduino and upload a video by July 3. No specific topic this round, just a maker and his or her thoughts. Twelve teams or individuals will be selected by a panel of experts by July 5 to participate in the 72-hour live build.



The real action takes place while the dozen “chosen ones” work simultaneously around the country in their own workshops, hackerspaces or homes to innovate around a common theme. That theme will be announced at the beginning of the 72-hour build set to begin on July 19 – 22.


What fun is making something if you can’t share it with all your friends…and their friends…and a few other  hundred thousand interested strangers? Follow and interact with Red Bull Creation from the qualifying stage to live-streaming of the build competition online by checking in on our hacker, mobile and tablet ready website: www.redbullusa.com/creation. Explore the facts, see past teams and innovations, learn what’s being built and talk to current competitors live— who knows? Maybe you’ll even contribute a great idea.


The Red Bull Creation builders will build, the makers will make and the public will vote online. High scoring teams will take their creations to the ultimate stage— the Maker Faire in NYC 2012. Home to over 40,000 visitors across two days, the Maker Faire is a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Beyond the opportunity to show, share and learn with like-minded tech enthusiasts, engineers, artists, etc…Winners will take home $10,000 for equipment to further encourage their creativity.”

June 14, 2012

12 mm Diamagnetic Levitation

at 11:05 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment


Mr Floater, a maker from Germany sent in this diamagnetic levitation project. He was able to achieved a levitation gap of 12 mm. Have a look at the video above! Mr. Floater is selling the creation (not sure how much) but you can contact him through his Youtube account if you are interested in purchasing or building one of these.

“This is a levitation setup completely based on diamagnetic levitation. This kind of levitation setup needs no electronic circuit with feedback loop and sensors, and no superconductors. It is inherently stable as long as the NdFeB magnets are holding their magnetization – which they would do for a very, very long time or nearly forever. So, the astonishing is that for this free levitation no energy input is needed. I know, especially with this levitation height of 12mm, the whole thing may be counter-intuitive and people will say it is fake. But it is possible with the right combination of permanent magnets and pyrolytic graphite.”

June 12, 2012

Rinser Brush

at 11:53 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Check out the newest invention from our inventor friend, Scott Amron. I can see this idea becoming a common feature on our everyday tooth brushes. You can pre-order one of these cool tooth brushes now but I think that licensing is the right road for this invention. I hope Scott has a solid patent on the concept so he can prevent the big tooth brush makers from ripping off his idea. Good luck with the idea Scott!


June 11, 2012

MaKey MaKey – Make almost anything into a Button

at 11:30 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you want to play a banana, or make a keypad from some drawn pencil marks the MaKey MaKey is the kit for you. This is a Kickstarter but it will be a product since it has raised amazingly raised over a half million dollars over an above the goal of $25,000. Looks like there is a huge demand for this cool item. It is also an open hardware project which means you can see how it was made and make your own or even improve on how it was built. 

“MaKey MaKey is a printed circuit board with an ATMega32u4 microcontroller running Arduino Leonardo bootloader. It uses the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol to communicate with your computer, and it can send keypresses, mouse clicks, and mouse movements. For sensing closed switches on the digital input pins, we use high resistance switching to make it so you can close a switch even through materials like your skin, leaves, and play-doh. We use a pull-up resistor of 10-50 mega ohms. This technique attracts noise on the input, so we use a moving window averager to lowpass the noise in software, saving money on hardware filtering. There are six inputs on the front of the board, which can be attached to via alligator clipping, soldering to the pads, or any other method you can think of. There are another 12 inputs on the back, 6 for keyboard keys, and 6 for mouse motion, which you can access with jumpers via the female headers. If you wish to use a different set of keys, or otherwise change the behavior of your MaKey MaKey, you can simply reprogram it using the Arduino environment. By cutting a trace on the back of the board, you can disconnect the large pull-up resistors if you want to, which would be necessary in a small minority of Arduino-style projects.”



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