Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 26, 2013

The Japanese Bullet Train Shinkansen

at 11:10 am. Filed under Insane Equipment

The Japanese Bullet Train Shinkansen


This documentary video gives us a behind the scenes look at the Japanese Bullet Train Shinkansen.

“The Tōkaidō Shinkansen is the world’s busiest high-speed rail line. Carrying 151 million passengers per year (March 2008), it has transported more passengers (over 5 billion, entire network over 10 billion) than any other high speed line in the world. Between Tokyo and Osaka, the two largest metropolises in Japan, up to thirteen trains per hour with sixteen cars each (1,323 seats capacity) run in each direction with a minimum headway of three minutes between trains.”


April 21, 2013

3D Laser Cutting System

at 6:32 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


Nothing DIY here other than if you win the lottery you could turn your garage into the ultimate fabrication shop using this one Mitsubishi machine. It is amazing how flexible this machine is. Programming this thing must be a blast!


“The VZ20 series “Offset Head Type” 5-axis lasers provide more cutting power (2000 or 4000 watt choices), quicker response time, enhanced welding capabilities, lower cost of operation and a new control system with to many new features to mention. One of the new M700 series Mitsubishi control features the ability to add a rotary axis to provide full 6-axis machining capabilities.”

March 29, 2013

Mantis Hexapod Walking Machine by Matt Denton

at 3:07 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Mantis Hexapod Walking Machine by Matt Denton _7


We have featured Matt Denton’s hexapod designs in the past. He has been spending some time working on a project that is a bit bigger than the previous ones! His new design which has been 4 years in the making called Mantis is a Hexapod Walking Machine. He has taken lots of pictures in the Facebook page (a few can be seen below). This video done by Daily Planet talks about Matt and his machines.

“After four years intensive R&D, inspiration, design and build, Micromagic Systems is proud to unveil Mantis — the biggest, all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world.

This 2.2-litre Turbo Diesel-powered, British-designed and -built walking machine can be piloted or remote WiFi-controlled, stands 2.8 metres high with a five meter working envelope and weighing in at just under two tonnes.”




March 14, 2013

Armed Mobile Response RC Car can Aim and Fire a Real Gun

at 3:24 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, Toy Hacks, What Were They Thinking

Armed Mobile Response RC Car can Aim and Fire a Real Gun_0265


Thanks to Jerod Michel for sending in the details of this Armed Mobile Response RC Car that he and his students have built. It can be driven around remotely, it has an audio and video range of 100 meters. If you spot something you aren’t pleased with you can paint your target with the laser and fire the vehicle mounted gun. I have to admit, it is quite strange to see a materials requirement list for a project to include a gun. :) Hopefully we can get some video of this machine in action soon!

You can read the details that Jerod provided below. Some of the Build Details include some ASCII art which might not translate well on the web, here is a link to the raw text file.




These RC car hacks take advantage of an RC car’s latent channels. Most store-bought RC cars come ready with forward-backward and left-right abilities via RF, but there is usually at least one channel not already being used. By exploiting these, there is no need to add additional transmitters and their batteries when making an RC car weapon.

When equipped with a covert audio-video device, an RC car can do surveillance and/or safely gather information in dangerous places.

Yunis, an entrepreneur from Western China, says, “I like these because I can see the inside of my office from anywhere within 100 meters. If I need to step out, I can still see what is going on.”

The receiving device can also be backed up with a micro SD card for recording.

In China, obtaining materials to build these is nothing. Since almost all of the parts needed are made in China anyway they are cheap, and not to mention China has convenient and comprehensive electronics markets everywhere.

An extra channel can also be used to host a detinator for an explosive, or a dc motor strong enough to pull the trigger of a mounted gun.

Yunis added, “Then we can at least immobilize an intruder, and so they would still be there when we get back.”

It didn’t take long to learn that a 12 volt 5 amp dc motor was the way to go. Then we could use the same battery that powers the transmitter and camera to power a dc motor that can fire a gun. What we end up with is the ultimate poor-man’s robot weapon.



 Build Details


 <<<Ultimate Poor Man’s Armed Robot>>>
     By: Jerod Michel

You never know when you might need a robot to do some dirty work such as information gathering and/or attacking enemies. Here are instructions on how to make a robot which can trasmit long-range audio/video to a non-stationary, remote control with screen, take aim, and fire! This is the ultimate poor man’s robot weapon!


1) 1 small tv with RCA (red, yellow, white cables)
2) 1 small camera and/or microphone with RCA
3) 1 audio/video transmitter/receiver with RCA
4) 2 12 volt 5 amp batteries (the smaller the better)
5) 1 RC car that is not a piece of shit but also not too expensive. e.g. bought at toys r us.
6) 1 DC motor that is 12 volt 5 amp (and strong enough to pull gun’s trigger)
7) TIP 120 Transistor
8) 1N4004 diode
9) 1k ohm resistor
10) 1 button or switch
11) 1 light-weight pistol with sensitive trigger (small caliber plastic glock)
12) 1 laser-pointer
13) 3 or 4 feet of sturdy string (kite string or shoelace is fine)
14) strong glue such as super or some kind of industrial


We are going to set up a covert audio/video device which runs on batteries. Then we will mount the gun and laser to the rc car, and obtain use of the rc car’s extra channel (almost all rc cars have this) by a simple hack to remotely fire the gun. Then the finished project will be an armed robot with mic and camera whose remote control is the rc car’s control attached to the small tv and the switch to fire the gun.



Make covert audio/video device using materials 1 – 4 as follows. Connect necessary power plugs to batteries, i.e. to be able to connect one battery to the tv and receiver and to connect the other battery to the camera/mic and transmitter. Now, as long as the receiver, transmitter, tv, and camera are all powered properly by the batteries, all that remains is to connect all of the RCA cables in the right places — red to red — white to white — etc.


We will hack the rc car for its extra channel using materials 5 – 10 as follows. Using the same battery from the covert audio/video device, connect positive wire to from battery to positive pin on dc motor. Connect negative pin on dc motor to C pin on the TIP 120. Connect 1N4004 diode to also to the C pin – dc motor connection. Hack the rc car for its RX2 chip (or its equivalent) which should have 16 pins. Locate pin #12 and and connect it to one end of the 1k ohm. Connect the free end of the 1k ohm to B pin on TIP 120. (see diagram below) Almost finished with this step. We still need to get remote access to that channel. Now open up the rc car’s remote control and locate its TX2 chip. This should look similar to the RX2 and also have 16 pins. Locate pin #6 and connect it to the button (or switch). Test the switch and make sure it turns the dc motor.

            _______               |___________
          -|       |-             |-          |
          -|       |-             |   Battery |
          -|       |-             |           |
          -|  RX2  |-    diode    |+__________|
    ——-|       |-    1N4004   |
    |     -|       |-      |      |__________
    |     -|       |-      |      |+         |_
  1kohm   -|_______|-     \/      | DC motor | |_
    |                      |      |          |_|
    |_______      _________|______|-_________|
            |    |      _______
           _|____|_____|       |
          | B    C     E|      |
          |             |      |
          |             |     \\\
          |    TR120    |
          |             |
          |             |
          |             |

We will arm the rc car with the pistol using materials 6, and 11 – 14 as follows. First make a reasonable mount for the pistol on the chassis of the rc car. This can be done by using small vices, wood, tape and/or glue. Your design will depend on the shape of the chassis. Use your imagination! With the pistol mounted (at a reasonable angle), also mount the dc motor so that its gear is approximately 1 inch from the gun’s trigger. Cut a piece of string that is about 12 inches long. Tie one end of the string to the gear of the dc motor tightly.  Put the other end of the string through the gun’s trigger guard, around its handle, then return it to the dc motor’s gear and tie it also to the gear. Apply super glue to the knot and the motors gear to ensure it will not easily slip. Now when the motor is activated via the rc car’s extra channel, it should twist the string applying pressure to gun’s trigger until the gun fires. If this is done carefully with very slick string, and both forward and reverse directions are employed
via the rc car’s extra channel, you can empty the gun’s entire clip.


Lastly we will put everything together and ‘tie up some loose ends’. First get some kind of material on which too consolidate all of the following: the small tv screen, the rc remote, the button for the extra channel, the receiver, and the battery for the receiver and tv. This will be the hand-held remote control for the robot. Then mount the transmitter, camera/mic and battery to the rc car, and attach the lazer pointer to the barrel of the pistol (you might want to make sure the lazer is lined up well with the gun’s shots first by testing a few rounds). Tie up any loose wires with electrical tape and zip ties, and make a body for the robot to hide its capabilities, and enjoy.

      | ______________________________________  |
      ||                                      | |——-|
      ||                                      | |   r   |                                 camera/mic
      ||                                      | |   e   |                                    |
      ||                                      | |   c   |                                    |
      ||                                      | |   e   |             __________             |
      ||               small tv               | |   i   |            0   lazer  |           _|___
      ||                                      | |   v   |          __|__________|___________|   |__________
      ||                                      | |   e   |         ()       pistol           |___| | | | | |
      ||                                      | |   r   |          |                       ()___          |
      ||                                      | |——-|          |___________________________ _ __      \
      ||                                      | |                       ___|   transmitter     | \ | \     \          _____
      ||______________________________________| |                     //   |___________________|__\___\     \_______ /     \\
      |_________________________________________|                 ___||  o |           battery        |      \ _____|   o   ||                       ________________________________________________                //    \\ __|__________________________|______//     \\_____//
      | ______________________________________  |              ||   o  ||———————————–||   o   ||——
      ||                                      | |               \\_____/                                     \\_____//
      ||            hacked rc remote          | |                ——                                        ——
      ||    __________         __________     | |_____
      ||   |    __    |       |          |    | |__o__|
      ||   |   |  |   |       |  ______  |    | |  |
      ||   |   |  |   |       | |______| |    | |  |
      ||   |   |  |   |       |          |    | | gun
      ||   |   |__|   |       |          |    | |switch
      ||   |__________|       |__________|    | |
      ||                                      | |
      ||                                      | |
      ||______________________________________| |
             |                      |
             |       battery        |




March 5, 2013

TheGeekGroup Quarter Shrinking Machine

at 9:36 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


You may have seen shrunk coins before but you may not have seen the technology that goes behind making them. Thanks to Aud1073cH for sending in the video above that The Geek Group made showing how they make the coins that they sell as a fund raiser item. If you are interested in purchasing other coins such as the Canadian Toonie (pictured below) have a look at this site here.

“After many months of designing, engineering, prototype-building and planning, we are finally shrinking quarters with Project Stomper! The quarters are shrunk with impressive power behind them: 6,000 volts and 100,000 amperes. After the process- which happens in less than 1/100th of a second – the quarters are now about the width of a dime, although significantly thicker.”




February 19, 2013

Magnetic Perpetual Motion Machine

at 9:52 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


Another Perpetual Motion Machine here, this one is magnetic. Not sure how this one was done. Any ideas? It is very convincing, my first guess would be a small motor within the center drum. The real system is demonstrated at the 2:00 mark.


After you are done guessing how this is done click here or have a look in the comments (number 13). Mfsamuel has located an image that shows us how this was done.

December 24, 2012

$3657 High Speed Automatic Pick and Place Machine

at 8:11 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment


If you haven’t listened to the latest Amp Hour (episode #126) you may not have heard about this $269 High Speed Automatic Pick and Place Machine. I have very little information on it since I can’t read Chinese, the videos demo the system quite well though. For such a small machine it sure looks impressive, the tiny screen looks to have a ton of very usable information although most of it looks to be Chinese. I did see a language switch so there might be an English version available. The price on this system sounds to good to be true though, I would love to hear from someone that can read Chinese if there are any hidden charges that bring this price up significantly.

UPDATE: The title has been updated to reflect the actual USD price. For those who saw the original price listed, sorry about that. I did a quick Google conversion which converted it from the Japanese Yen. I didn’t realize until now that the Chinese and Japanese use the same currency symbol. Thanks to the commenters below for catching this pricing error. So the price isn’t as jaw dropping as I thought but it is still quite tempting, I can see this as a way for a basement hobbyist to start cranking out some production type quantities in no time. A solder paste station, a skillet or converted toaster oven along with this pick and place could get some boards cranking with just one person! 

 The pictures look impressive but make sure you have a look at some of the videos.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4




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