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Published on: October 7, 2013 / Comments: None

Wirelessly controlled flaming Halloween pumpkin uses an Arduino

Halloween is a great time for makers, we get to make all kinds of cool costumes and spooky things.  Sometimes we get to play with fire.  Well at least Chris Lee does.  This flaming pumpkin is enough to keep them pesky kids from toilet-papering your house, or catching it on fire after they do.

The pumpkin is triggered by an Android phone, talking to a RFU-328 radio and Arduino.  The Arduino triggers 2 relays, 1 to activate a furnace igniter, the other activates a solenoid that releases the flow of gas.   The spray mechanism comes from an AirWick room spray and is filled with butane.

Chris made a comment about maybe converting this to shoot silly string out during actual Halloween, either way it’s a cool project.

Published on: September 23, 2013 / Comments: 2

Hacking iPhone 5S TouchID

Think your iPhone 5S TouchID is secure? Think again. The biometrics hacking team of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has successfully bypassed the biometric security of Apple’s TouchID using the How to fake a fingerprints? process they wrote about back in 2004.

“First, the fingerprint of the enroled user is photographed with 2400 dpi resolution. The resulting image is then cleaned up, inverted and laser printed with 1200 dpi onto transparent sheet with a thick toner setting. Finally, pink latex milk or white woodglue is smeared into the pattern created by the toner onto the transparent sheet. After it cures, the thin latex sheet is lifted from the sheet, breathed on to make it a tiny bit moist and then placed onto the sensor to unlock the phone. This process has been used with minor refinements and variations against the vast majority of fingerprint sensors on the market.”

Nothing good could ever come from storing your fingerprints on your smartphone.  Just don’t do it people! You can read more about the iPhone 5s TouchID Hack here.

Published on: September 19, 2013 / Comments: None

a 3D scanner for mobile devices like iPad

3dscannerusbWhile 3D tv’s didn’t seem to take off, 3D printing sure has.   And once thing leads to another.  Now 3D Scanning is getting kind of hot.  There’s a project on Kickstarter that is promoting a 3D Scanner for use on mobile devices.   It can also do regular USB so it can be used on other devices or home-brew applications as well.

The device seems to be battery-powered, and uses infra-red LEDs and a camera to measure distance and scan.  The range is 40 cm to 3.5 meters and promotes an accuracy of 1%.  The current things demonstrated are a room scanner app that lets you take dimensions of a room by panning the camera around.  An object scanner that can let you make a 3D model (for use in CAD or 3D Printing).  And a virtual reality game.

Cool technology, it just means that this type of stuff is getting closer to being a cheap commodity for regular users.

Check out the video after the break.

Published on: September 11, 2013 / Comments: 2

Mico – a different way of talking to Arduino from your phone

micotechMico is an Arduino shield that talks to your cell phone.  Literally.  It connects via the audio jack on your cell phone, and has the ability to read DTMF tones for control.  It also can answer the phone by using the same technique your old wired headset does.

Some of the applications the mico guys have put together are it answering the phone and reading out sensor data.  It has a audio playback library so with some crafty recordings you can do cool things.  They even have a demo application of the shield talking to Siri on IOS in order to do more functions like send text messages.

Interesting concept, I think it’s still missing something like a little more control but I give them props for being different.

The project currently has a kickstarter going to launch a large production run, there’s also source over at github.

Published on: September 3, 2013 / Comments: None

Another Android remote controlling your Raspberry Pi

Previously I mentioned a similar project that used a python daemon to talk to an Android app to remotely control the Pi.  Well there’s always more than one way of doing things.  As with the other project, the implementation on this one is a little different.

First off you have your Android app (which is available on the Google Play store here).  Next you have the server piece (available here, with instructions and demonstrations) that runs on your Pi.  The Android app connects to the Pi via SSH (over WIFI usually) and executes the pre-configured actions that you have assigned to with your Android application.

It currently has the ability to control and monitor GPIO, talk via I2C, manage processes, and stream video via MJPEG.   According to the site they are busy adding more features such as XBMC support, and voice control.

 

Published on: August 28, 2013 / Comments: 1

DIY home automation with Souliss

[su_quote]… it runs over AVRs microcontrollers and include all the libraries and drivers required for a complete a distributed intelligent network, it also includes an Android user interface.[/su_quote]Ever wanted to make your home smarter ?  Or just remotely control basically everything in your home ?  Souliss is here to help.  It’s a framework for DIY home automation.

What I like about Souliss versus having used traditional home automation hardware (like Z-Wave) is you aren’t restricted to what modules are available.  You can craft your own using a lot of familiar hardware like Arduino’s (and I’m sure Raspberry Pi’s in the future).  It’s not restricted to specific methods of communication either, you can do wired or wireless or wi-fi or serial or whatever you can use to get your devices to communicate.  Great project!

 

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Published on: August 26, 2013 / Comments: None

Data into smart phones and tablets via audio

You have probably seen those little dongles that let people swipe their credit card on their smart phone or tablet.  These little dongles transmit data to the device via the microphone jack.  The audio recorded is then examined and the data is either a one or a zero.

In the example described by the article, they are using a PIC and the data is encoded via manchester encoding.  A resistor and a pot are used to tweak the output level.  This is a great way to send data to a smart phone or tablet without making any crazy custom dongles but you are limited in capabilities.

Schematic and example source code is included in the post.