Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 21, 2014

Makers can Design for NASA and Win Millions

at 10:45 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks


Caleb Kraft interviewed Sam Ortega from NASA, Sam explains how the prize competitions at NASA work. Anyone can submit designs for their competitions but only US citizens can win the prize money.

“NASA Centennial Challenges were initiated in 2005 to directly engage the public in the process of advanced technology development. The program offers incentive prizes to generate revolutionary solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation. The program seeks innovations from diverse and non-traditional sources. Competitors are not supported by government funding and awards are only made to successful teams when the challenges are met.”

September 20, 2014

Guess what this isn’t Contest – 9

at 4:21 pm. Filed under Contests



This week we are doing another fun guess what this isn’t contest, we are up to 258 of the name the thing contests and it’s time to switch things up a bit. to  The prize for the lucky winner is a is a cool RFID RC522 Reader with an SPI interface to easily add to your next project,a skeleton watch, an Iain Sinclair credit card knife, an SD card reader interface and an Arduino Pro Mini. Simply reply in the comments what the device pictured above isn’t. Come up with something that is remotely plausible but not what it really is and sell us on it. Make your entry funny, crazy, weird… Just use your imagination. You can enter more than once if you come up with more than one thought. With a short vote the best comment will win the prize.

Have a look at my first comment for an example entry.

This contest will run for one week (September 20, 2014 – September 26, 2014) . Ending time is based on central standard time.


Added November 12, 2014.

And the winner is m1ndtr1p! Thanks for all of the great entries, sorry it took this long to have the winner selected.

Winning entry:

“Come on guys, this is obviously the Zenith CD-D an antique CD writer/duplicator/player… You place the CD you want duplicated on the spinning table, set your read speed with the little tab furthest to the right, then the arm comes up and reads the CD and stores the data within. Then when it’s done reading, you replace the CD with a blank CD and set the write speed with the tab on the left… It works better reading and writing at 1x, and as a bonus, when reading, you can also listen to the CD, which is what the volume knob on the bottom is for, so it also contains a speaker and amp so you can listen to the CD.”


Below is a pictures of the prizes (there will be one winner).


RFID RC522 Reader


skeleton watch








Build a Custom Computer that is Theft Proof

at 1:10 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Build a Custom Computer that is Theft Proof


If you have ever been the victim of a break in you know the sick feeling that someone was going through your belongings and helping themselves to what appealed to them. If you want to ensure that your computer isn’t something that is part of the burglars loot bag have a look at the custom computer case that built, he gutted an old VCR and crammed in a PC based around a mini ITX board.

“Needed materials:

  • an old VCR case;
  • a Mini-ITX form factor motherboard;
  • a Flex-ATX power supply (it’s smaller than standard ATX power supplies);
  • a 2,5″ hard drive;
  • LEDs and USB/Audio connectors from other old PC case;
  • rotary tool (such as Dremel, or a cheap tool);
  • hot glue gun;
  • glue, zip ties, some pieces of scrap plastic or wood;”


Build a Custom Computer that is Theft Proof_2


September 19, 2014

DIY RFID Card Lock System

at 11:06 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

DIY RFID Card Lock System


Shawn McCombs built a DIY RFID Card Lock System for his office. The wiring is a bit quick and dirty but sometimes you just need to get things done. It is based around an ATMega 328 microcontroller and is coded using an Arduino sketch but the controller id hand wired on a breadboard to allow for some customization. Shawn is using the Parallax RFID controller that was designed by Joe Grand (kingpin). Looks like there is a good separation between RFID reader and door control, this is important since with many inexpensive all in one systems the activation relay is built into the reader module. In this case all you would need to do is crack open the reader on the wall and short out the N/O contact to buzz the door strike. If the lock is a fail safe style like a mag lock it is even worse, just knock it off the wall and chop all the wires going to the all in one reader. This will open the N/C contact that is keeping the mag lock energized and unlock the door.


September 18, 2014

Inside the Commodore PET

at 1:28 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks


David Watts got his hands on a Commodore Pet computer. I have never seen under the hood before, and it is quite funny that the case actually opens like a hood on a car including the prop stick to keep it open. David will be attempting to restore the PET so that it works properly again, it looks like the keyboard didn’t stand the test of time very well, there are now more keys not working than working. I am curious what will be needed to bring it back to a fully functional state. I am thinking the caps are long dried out and not doing much smoothing anymore.


MIT Cheetah Robot

at 6:20 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment

MIT Cheetah Robot_4


The MIT Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory has been working hard on the MIT Cheetah Robot. Deborah Ajilo, Negin Abdolrahim Poorheravi,John Patrick Mayo,Justin Cheung, Sangbae Kim, Shinsuk Park, Kathryn L. Evans, Matt Angle, Will Bosworth, Joao Luiz Almeida Souza Ramos, Sehyuk Yim, Albert Wang, Meng Yee Chuah, and Hae Won Park are members of the huge development team. Why so many team members? This is not a simply problem to tackle, as you read through their post you will see that there were a number of challenges that they needed to overcome in the development of the system.

Via: Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum

“Now MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they’ve successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah — a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries, and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run on MIT’s Killian Court, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip.

In experiments on an indoor track, the robot sprinted up to 10 mph, even continuing to run after clearing a hurdle. The MIT researchers estimate that the current version of the robot may eventually reach speeds of up to 30 mph.

The key to the bounding algorithm is in programming each of the robot’s legs to exert a certain amount of force in the split second during which it hits the ground, in order to maintain a given speed: In general, the faster the desired speed, the more force must be applied to propel the robot forward. Sangbae Kim, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, hypothesizes that this force-control approach to robotic running is similar, in principle, to the way world-class sprinters race.”


MIT Cheetah Robot_1


MIT Cheetah Robot_2


MIT Cheetah Robot_3



September 17, 2014

RC Plane delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers a stick of gum!

at 10:07 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets

 RC Plane delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers a stick of gum!_4


The guys over at Flight Test were thinking about the drone delivery systems that we might see in the near future. They wanted to see how far they could push it. They strapped the stack of quad copters onto their Kraken plane, which had an Electrohub quad on it, which had a QAV250 Lumenier on it, which had a Proto X on it which was set to deliver a piece of gum! Of course everything is outfitted with cameras so we can get a really close look at everything unfold.



RC Plane delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers a stick of gum!_2


RC Plane delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers a stick of gum!


RC Plane delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers Quadcopter Drone which delivers a stick of gum!_3

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