Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 21, 2013

Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment

at 7:54 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment


When you walk through a factory full of automated machines that are doing repetitive tasks you will usually see a large metal electrical cabinet beside each machine. Inside that box will most likely be a PLC that is controlling the machine by monitoring inputs and controlling motors and valves. This all sounds fine until you look at the price of this equipment, $10 or $20K will get you a decent PLC system but you will get a truck load of Arduino gear for that.

Alexander Kozusyev turned to Arduino to provide some simple automation to a production line. I can just imagine the amount of money that was saved. I understand that an Arduino isn’t a true comparison to the rugged nature of PLC equipment that will run in the nastiest production environment in sweltering heat 24 hours a day. But in some situations I think it might make an interesting alternative.

Via: Arduino Blog

“Production line has two independent CNC 3-axis manipulator. The first spraying of release agent. Second automatic pouring polyurethane into the mold. Before spraying or pouring read RFID unique code for the mold, and then loads the G-CODE from the database server based MySQL. After pouring, the mould is moved to the waiting area.”


December 1, 2013

Ambient Backscatter – Wireless Power and Communication with No Batteries

at 7:10 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment



Today we have lots of battery free electronic devices such as RFID which in most cases gets powered wirelessly from the reader. What would the world of electronics be like if our small electronics that only consumed a small amount of energy could be powered by the RF signals that are already around us. Ambient Backscatter does just this and has an endless number of interesting applications. Just think of the possibilities of device placement if servicing batteries was no longer a concern. In our modern cities we have no lack of RF noise so device placement should not be an issue.

I have no knowledge in this field so hopefully someone can chime in here. If this becomes popular and we have tens of thousands of these devices all over the place will the load on transmission towers increase due to this power leaching? Will TV and cell towers need to increase their power output to achieve the same coverage as they had before these devices were being used?

 “Ambient Backscatter transforms existing wireless signals into both a source of power and a communication medium. It enables two battery-free devices to communicate by backscattering existing wireless signals. Backscatter communication is orders of magnitude more power-efficient than traditional radio communication.”

November 18, 2013

Wire Bonding

at 11:31 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment


If you have never seen wire bonding in action you have to see this. Gold is the most common wire that is used for bonding but the wire is very thin so there isn’t much gold wire by weight that is actually used. Check out the 1:20 minute mark to see a how the wire is actually shaped and formed as it comes out to add the bends that might be needed to get exactly the right shape of wire.


Gold Wire Bonding_2


Gold Wire Bonding_3


Gold Wire Bonding_4

Gold Wire Bonding

November 17, 2013

Hard Disk Clock by Martin Stromer

at 3:49 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

Hard Disk Clock by Martin Stromer_3338278


Martin Stromer made a great looking Hard Disk Clock that is actually very easy to read and looks like a great art piece at the same time. It is based around the ATMega16 Microcontroller.

“The time is set by turning the disk and setting the read/write head to the desired time by hand. Then you push the reset button on the back (the upper one of the tree on the back) and the clock measures the position of the indicators and sets its internal electronic quartz clock accordingly. For measuring the hour I painted a binary pattern onto the backside of the disk which is illuminated by infrared LEDs and detected by matching infrared light sensors.

For detecting the set minute the read/write head is driven to the outside of the disk until it interrupts the a light barrier. The steps necessary for that are counted, the internal clock is set and the head is driven back to its previous position.

Because the current time is stored in an internally the time display can be restored if it was changed by accident. This does the middle button on the back. Pushing it will turn the disk and move the head to the correct position.”



 Hard Disk Clock by Martin Stromer_3338298

Hard Disk Clock by Martin Stromer_3338288

October 19, 2013

Quadrotor with Machine Gun

at 1:48 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


We saw a Hexacopter Delivery Platform yesterday. If your RC vehicle is flying in an environment that is a bit more hostile why not implement a few of these Machine Gun Quadrotors. With a few of these able to step in when enforcement was needed I don’t think anyone would be messing with the delivery of books.

October 6, 2013

Flying Hovercrafts

at 11:06 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment


Do you have a boat and are looking for the next toy? I think this Flying hovercraft might be high on the list, just imagine not needing to drive your trailer down the dock to unload your craft, just drive it down the ramp. If there is some pesky land and trees in the way from one water way to the next just launch and fly over. If these sport vehicles become common I wonder what type of license process would need to be put in place? I can just imagine these things bouncing off the roofs of houses when the driver looses control. Just like the flying car it might be one of those nice ideas that never makes it into production…

September 27, 2013

Nanoscope built with Lego, Makeblock and Arduino

at 3:58 am. Filed under Insane Equipment

Nanoscope built with Lego, Makeblock and Arduino


This Nanoscope was built during a 5 day LEGO workshop, LEGO and Makeblock allowed for some rapid building but some custom 3D printed parts were also needed. It can sense very small structures and scan them in.

Via: Make and Wired

“The microscope they constructed is built upon a metal base, with housings built from Lego and the various component holders 3D-printed to ensure a perfect fit between  the Lego to the component. The scanning stage is inspired by research from Bristol University and is also 3D-printed. Piezo actuators, components that move when an electric field is applied (or vice versa), were the most expensive part, taking up about half of the entire microscope’s cost. When 10V is applied, the Arduino-controlled actuators move the scanning stage by just a single micron, allowing for incredible scanning resolution.”

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