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Published on: October 29, 2013 / Comments: 1

There’s still time for these Halloween hacks!

Halloween isn’t over yet, there is still time to make something cool for Halloween.  Here’s a few to inspire you.

First up is Halloween Prank.  While not a completed project, this is a good base for Arduino powered scare tactics!  The build uses an Arduino, an Ultrasonic distance sensor, and a servo.  By detecting ‘someone coming to your door’ possibly, the servo is triggered.  In Jacob’s build the plan is to drop a bunch of spiders on people walking up.  That sounds like fun.  You could also make it actuate something to jump out at your unsuspecting victims.

Source code for Halloween Prank is available here on GitHub.  There are more pictures and a test video on Jacob’s site.


Published on: October 24, 2013 / Comments: None

Oozby lets you design with OpenSCAD using Ruby

OpenSCAD is pretty popular amongst the 3D Printering community.  You can design your 3D modles using a meta language that describes what you are trying to build.  Frustrated with some of the methodoligies that OpenSCAD implements, Bluebie created Oozby.

While I can’t say that I’m much of a Ruby person, I’d much rather prefer using Python variants like SolidPython or pySCAD I can appreciate the goal to make technology more accessible to other people with different backgrounds.

Check out more on the Oozby site, and the source code on Github.

Published on: October 23, 2013 / Comments: None

Keerbot uses steppers and g-code to draw on walls

Although it’s not a new concept, you can’t deny that it is awesome.  The Keerbot is a wall drawing robot.  By hanging on 2 known-length strings, the Keerbot uses stepper motors to shift from left and right, and move up and down by  contracting and letting out string on either side.  While moving a pen/marker/drawing aid makes lines of art.

In some of the demos I see the guys working on getting a spray paint fixture to work.  That could be more interesting than just dragging a marker.  Currently the guys are using vector art, and known CNC utils to generate g-code.  Very similar to how one would do laser cutting/CNC/and 3D printing.

Check out a few more pics and video after the break.  Also make sure to check out the full lineup of videos and details on


Published on: October 22, 2013 / Comments: 2

The Happy Birthday Box

Everyone usually agrees that home made gifts are usually more heart felt.  So instead of buying a gift,  Christian decided to make one for a friend.  Not too far from a musical birthday card, the Birthday Box, will present a message to the receiver on an LCD screen, and sing the song happy birthday.

The Happy Birthday Box uses a piezo buzzer for a speaker generated by an Arduino.  The text message is displayed on a standard 16×2 LCD screen, and powered by a battery pack.  There is a small roller switch as well, I assume everything turns on / off when you open and close the box but it wasn’t specifically stated as the functionality.

Keep this project bookmarked, and add a few LEDs for that valentine of yours.

Check out a quick video after the break;  Source code and more pictures on Christian’s blog.


Published on: October 21, 2013 / Comments: None

Great idea — turn uav/drones into flying ghosts!

Looking for something fun to do this Halloween?  How about scaring the crap out of people everywhere.  Alton Porter has a pretty good setup for this.  It looks like adding a lightweight skull (either wire-frame or Styrofoam), some LED eyes, and some tattered cloth.  Just make sure you don’t interfere with the blades, nobody wants you to crash your quad!

This would be amazingly cool with a swarm of small drones.  Great idea.

Published on: October 17, 2013 / Comments: None

Animatronic Rats do the spooky dance – Ratsberri Pi

Found this one while looking around for more Halloween inspired hacks.  Hari picked up a bunch of rubber rats at the dollar store and decided to make a Halloween project out of it.

A Raspberry Pi connected to a Pi Cobbler breakout board, and a 16 channel i2c PWM servo controller puppet an array of rubber rats.  Everything is powered by a pair of hobby LiPo batteries and 5v regulators.   The rats eyes were swapped out for some bright red LED’s giving a pretty authentic haunted house look.

There’s still time to put something like this together before Halloween!

Published on: October 15, 2013 / Comments: None

The DECbox is a beautiful DEC VT100 terminal running from a beagle bone

When you think of emulators, you probably think of old video game emulators.  Well think further back to a text based gaming society like Zork.  Before GUI’s were established most computing was done via serial terminals.  And this project pays homage to that time.  The DECbox emulates a variety of vintage terminals, wrapped in a sexy vintage enclosure.

The brains of the DECbox runs off of a beagle bone with a special cape to break out all of the UARTs the processor has into serial ports.  On the software side its running multiple versions of SimH from the The Computer History Simulation Project.

If you are into retro computing, this is a really awesome project.  Collecting numerous vintage terminals can take up a lot of space, and a lot of that old hardware is broken now.  It’s great to see the project rebirth the feel of the vintage terminal for history preservation.

DECbox project link here, more info about the software install here.