Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 27, 2014

Murata Cheerleaders

at 1:56 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment



Murata is always pushing the envelope when it comes to demonstrating their technology in action. You probably remember the close up look we got of the technology behind Murata Girl and Murata Boy. This time they have made an entire group of robotic cheerleaders who dance in formation. They sit on top of a ball and balance as they are moving around. We have seen balancing ball robots before but the complexity of moving all of these balancing robots in unison must be quite challenging.

You need to see them in action. Click here to see the video, scroll down to see how the technology comes together.

Thanks to Amy from Murata for the info.



September 18, 2014

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

August 26, 2014

Automated Surf Notifier

at 7:30 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets

 Automated Surf Notifier


Our friend Colin Karpfinger from Punchthrough.com has just completed his latest project. You might remember his last project, it was the LightBlue Bean. The Automated Surf Notifier uses a LightBlue Bean at the heart and interfaces with some colorful LEDs to indicate where the ideal surf waves are located. Using some daisy chainable LEDs mounted behind a poster of the coast make for a great indication method.

“I enjoy seeing technology added to things in a subtle way. With this surf map, when the LEDs are off, you’d never know they are there. This surf map displays the report for the upcoming week, along with tide times, by use of LEDs behind the canvas. The report is pulled from the web by a Python script on my computer, then sent to the artwork over BLE using the Bean’s virtual serial port. Finally the Bean parses the report and displays the LEDs accordingly.”


August 14, 2014

BadUSB – Hacked USB Drive to Black Hat 2014

at 9:53 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks



You probably have a handful of USB drives around your computer, they are useful and ubiquitous. After reading this article and watching the video below you might think twice before plugging in a found USB drive or one from a casual acquaintance. USB was dreamt up way back in 1994 and has gone through many versions since then. USB has a simple 4 pin contact, two for power and 2 for bi-directional data transmission. Even though it has a very simple electrical interface there are many types of devices that can be plugged in and run over USB, you can see the 2 hex digits in the table below which represent all of the USB class devices (via). The device passes this class number to the computer when powered to allow the computer to understand what has been plugged in.  

Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell from SR Labs did some reverse engineering to a simple USB thumb drive. They have created a thumb drive that can power up as a class 08h mass storage and display the files. It can then change to a class 03h device which is a HID such as a keyboard. Now the thumb drive can easily perform some keystrokes which can do things such as open a shell window and perform any commands you like.

If you think plugging in a phone into your computer to charge it is harmless guess again. At 24:46 in the video a properly setup phone is plugged into the USB port and with no obvious changes all of your Paypal passwords are now being sent to the hackers. This demonstration software has been released for security professionals to ensure they are protected against this attack.

 Of course it was just a matter of time for this exploit to be performed, much of the controller chips are fully documented and easily available.  There are also lots of fake drive manufactures who have hacked their own firmware to allow them to have incorrect size information to be displayed to allow drives with small amounts of NAND memory to show up and act as a huge drive.

I can see all of the large manufactures with solid supply chains start to sell devices that have their driver firmware stored in ROM or in EEPROM memory that has a write fuse blown to prevent future writing of the firmware. We see this in microcontrollers and don`t think twice about it.

It is now up to us, the consumer, to demand with our purchasing dollars that devices that are sold to be free of this type of attack.




USB Device classes include:

Class Usage Description Examples, or exception
00h Device Unspecified Device class is unspecified, interface descriptors are used to determine needed drivers
01h Interface Audio Speaker, microphone, sound card, MIDI
02h Both Communications and CDC Control Modem, Ethernet adapter, Wi-Fi adapter
03h Interface Human interface device (HID) Keyboard, mouse, joystick
05h Interface Physical Interface Device (PID) Force feedback joystick
06h Interface Image Webcam, scanner
07h Interface Printer Laser printer, inkjet printer, CNC machine
08h Interface Mass storage (MSC or UMS) USB flash drive, memory card reader, digital audio player, digital camera, external drive
09h Device USB hub Full bandwidth hub
0Ah Interface CDC-Data Used together with class 02h: communications and CDC control
0Bh Interface Smart Card USB smart card reader
0Dh Interface Content security Fingerprint reader
0Eh Interface Video Webcam
0Fh Interface Personal Healthcare Pulse monitor (watch)
10h Interface Audio/Video (AV) Webcam, TV
DCh Both Diagnostic Device USB compliance testing device
E0h Interface Wireless Controller Bluetooth adapter, Microsoft RNDIS
EFh Both Miscellaneous ActiveSync device
FEh Interface Application-specific IrDA Bridge, Test & Measurement Class (USBTMC), USB DFU (Direct Firmware Update)
FFh Both Vendor-specific Indicates that a device needs vendor-specific drivers



August 13, 2014

Reverse Engineering a NAND Flash Device Management Algorithm

at 7:50 am. Filed under Complex Hacks

Reverse Engineering a NAND Flash Device Management Algorithm


When your hard drive electronics dies you can ship your hard drive to a recovery company and for some serious dollars they will connect your spinning disks to known good electronics and retrieve your data. That’s fine when your drive electronics are mounted on a removable PCB in a large chassis. Now think of the same issue when talking about the embedded system inside an SD card which handles the reading and writing operations between the NAND flash and the outside world. The size of the device makes this a challenging problem. Joshua Wise was forced to look into this issue when his SD card was accidentally smashed. Interfacing with the flash was just one of the hurdles, the first issue was physically connecting to the pins on the damaged device. One of those great Schmart boards came to the rescue for that. Joshua wrote a number of programs to assist him to interface with the flash.

Via: Electronics Lab


August 3, 2014

HexPi – Hexapod Raspberry Pi Robot

at 11:20 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks

 HexPi – Hexapod Raspberry Pi Robot_2


If you are thinking about building a Hexapod you should have a look at the HexPi project. This Hexapod is based around an off the shelf chassis but there are some big plans for the brains, it will be powered by a Raspberry Pi so there will be no limit to the computation power on this tiny walking robot! It is looking good so far, the end result should be great.

HexPi currently consists of:

  • aluminum hexapod chassis
  • 18 TowerPro MG995 servos

Planned for HexPi

  • RoboPi – for servo control
  • Raspberry Pi Model B – for inverse kinematics, visual recognition
  • Raspberry Pi Camera module – video streaming, visual recognition
  • WiFi – remote control & telemetry
  • many sensors of many kinds :)



HexPi – Hexapod Raspberry Pi Robot


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