Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 20, 2012

Automated Drink Fridge

at 11:25 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This Automated Drink Fridge would be great in a business or roommate setting where you want to charge people based on consumption without needing a box to deposit money. All it takes is a swipe of a card to get your drink, an email at the end of the day will let you pay for your drinks using an online payment method. The fridge has ramps on the inside to allow for all of the drinks to slide down towards the exit chute. A few coordinated servo motors are used to dispense one drink at a time as needed. As far as drink selection goes it would be the luck of the draw since there is only one path for the cans. As far as brains go there is a Raspberry Pi talking to an Arduino board to get things done. Not sure why the Raspberry Pi couldn’t run the entire system? It might have been easier this way to allow multiple people to design subsections of the build or there might be some limitation that I can’t see. 



October 18, 2012

Name the Thing Contest – 208

at 11:36 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a credit card knife, it has a ton of features to get you out of a jam in a network closet or your next camping trip. This contest will run for one week (October 19 – 26, 2012). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for.

Please do not give the answer in the comments.

Send an email to contest @ hackedgadgets.com with “Name the Thing Contest” as the subject, and the message body consisting of:

  • The name of the item in the above picture
  • An example of what the item pictured above can be used for

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries.


Added October 27, 2012

The item to guess was a TFOCA-II Fiber Optic Connector

The winner is Nathan S. (there were 147 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


Automated Tea Maker

at 3:44 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



If you enjoy drinking tea but forget to remove the tea bag when it has finished steeping this Automated Tea Maker project is for you. There is a tea timer that has been connected to an old CD drive mechanism, when the timer is done the tea bag is removed from the cup using the motor in the CD drive mechanism. I think this is just the beginning of what is possible. I recently got one of those automatic single cup coffee/tea makers and really enjoy the convenience of letting technology brew a perfect cup of coffee with a single push of a button. I can envision a microcontroller based project  that can dunk the tea bag at a certain frequency and duration to brew the perfect cup of tea.


October 16, 2012

Dissolvable Electronics using Silk

at 10:33 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks


Want to build some electronic devices that will literately self destruct? Many people say that is what electronics do already compared to electronics built 15 years ago. It wasn’t that long ago that devices were built like tanks and designed to last as long as possible. These days I think most devices are designed to just outlast the warranty period. 

Scientists are working on a method of building electronics that can be implanted in the human body and simply dissolve when no longer needed. This technology will be used to replace the short term medical devices that need to be surgically removed when no longer needed. The electronics will be made from silicon, magnesium, and silk. They will be able to set the amount of time the device will remain functioning before they start to dissolve.  Will green electronics manufacturers adopt this type of construction to build landfill friendly devices?

You can see some of the silk research that Fiorenzo Omenetto has been working on in the video below.

Via: Inventor Spot



October 15, 2012

Crayola ColorStudio HD Pen Hacking

at 11:32 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks



Rob Hemsleysent in this great hack that he did using the Crayola ColorStudio HD Pen. By swapping our the stock Microchip PIC 16F505 controller with a Attiny 44 (same pinouts) he is now able to make the $30 device operate as he would like. If you are interested in doing some hacking of your own have a look at the code which is available here.

“The Crayola ColorStudio HD pen is $30 stylus device designed for use with the ipad and a custom Crayola colouring application. The intention is that you download the free drawing application which you then unlock and activate by placing your ColorStudio pen on the display. Having already made some custom PCB that use capacitive communication I immediately recognised the familiar sound of a reed relay being turned on and off when using the pen. Knowing that the device contains a relay it becomes clear how the app works, by pulsing this electromechanical component at a constant frequency this is detected by the tablet as a series of touches and distinguished from a standard finger touch.”




Crayola Pen – Hack from Rob Hemsley on Vimeo.

October 14, 2012

Invisible Bike Helmet

at 3:43 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks


 If you are a bike rider and hate wearing a helmet this Invisible Bike Helmet might be for you. I am not sure how sensitive it is, I am hoping a strong pat on the back doesn’t activate the sensor. 🙂

“Hövding is a bicycle helmet unlike any other currently on the market. It’s ergonomic, it’s practical, it complies with all the safety requirements, and it’s also subtle and blends in with what else you are wearing.

Hövding is a collar for bicyclists, worn around the neck. The collar contains a folded up airbag that you’ll only see if you happen to have an accident. The airbag is shaped like a hood, surrounding and protecting the bicyclist’s head. The trigger mechanism is controlled by sensors which pick up the abnormal movements of a bicyclist in an accident.”



October 13, 2012

LEDMorpher – Rotating LED Light Show

at 12:15 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Thanks to Matt White for sending in a project that they are working on and could be ready to sell very soon called the LEDMorpher. You might remember the Spinning RGB Ball project that we featured a few years ago which is similar to this project. They are fundraising to raise the $79,000 they need to put it into production. Looks like a fun unit to sit on your desk and stare at for hours, I am thinking it would be similar to staring at a camp fire where you just get sucked in watching the changing patterns. The LEDMorpher will come with a remote control and will also be controllable with your smartphone so you can control the effects, or you can simply set it to dance to the music playing in the background.



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