Published on: October 14, 2013 /
When you hear the term Tricorder, you might think of Star Trek but I assure you, this is no toy prop. Keeping with the same concept of the Tricorder used on the TV show the Tricorder is about reading data, _lots_ of data. And that is what the Tricorder project aims to do, develop handheld devices that are fitted with lots of diverse sensors in order to observe them.
So far the project has produced a few different versions. The Mark 1, the Mark 2, etc. They are currently working on the Mark 5. Each version is pretty different from the other, and they all contain a wide variety of sensors such as atmospheric temperature, humidity, pressure and electromagnetic field, color, infra-red. And the obvious like GPS. They’re even working on developing their own sensors like this 3d printable mini spectrometer.
The project is open, and there are tons of pictures, and schematics on the tricorderproject’s web site.
Published on: October 11, 2013 /
If you’ve ever been to the Haunted Mansion at one of the Disney Parks, you remember lots of small spooky stuff going on. One of the things they like to do in the Haunted Mansion is have these portraits that slowly change from regular people into ghouls and ghasts. Brandon decided to craft one up himself.
Powering the portrait is a Raspberry Pi, with a 19″ LCD. The whole thing is wrapped in a decorative IKEA frame, painted with a little patina to look antique. On the face Brandon is using Gila Platinum Window film which makes the glass into a 2 way mirror. Software wise it’s using a Raspberry Pi Video Looper. And here is a link to the video loop of Master Gracy on YouTube, but you could probably make your own if you wanted to.
Check out Brandon’s web site for more details, and here is a PDF containing a BOM and a few more details.
Check out the video after the break; Kind of creepy.
Published on: October 10, 2013 /
SPiBot is a remote control platform with tank-like tracks. It’s a work in progress, but will be fitted with a rotatable camera, microphone, and distance sensors. It is to be controlled via the web on either a phone, tablet, or laptop.
The base for the platform is a Raspberry Pi. WiFi is used for communication. The HTML interface is served up using nginx and PHP. Motor control happens via PWM from the Pi to motor drivers. Video and pictures will be done with some combination of raspivid, vlc, ffmpeg, and raspivid.
It looks like the project is pretty far a long, but not quite finished. Hopefully the author has some pets he can terrorize when it’s finished.
Source code on GitHub, and the original project link here. It’s not in English so here’s the google translate link. Video of the control test after the break.
Published on: October 9, 2013 /
Who doesn’t love Halloween? Especially since most of us are on the other end now doing the scaring instead of being a scared kid snatching up candy. Cabe wanted to create some pro haunted effects for himself and came up with a pretty cool project.
The build uses a 24″ LCD screen that is supposed to look like a window. Behind the door are a bunch of solenoid’s controlling pneumatic piston’s that really bring the video to life, making you think something is on the other side trying to get out. Everything is controlled by a Raspberry Pi, and it is triggered by a photoelectric beam sensor. The code is written in good ol’ regular c and the video is played through OMXPlayer.
Check out the video demo after the break. Source code, schematics, BOM and other details can be found on element14.
Published on: October 8, 2013 /
Daniel has a curiosity that most hackers like him share. And let’s face it, we like to take stuff apart. Some time ago, Daniel seen a previous teardown of the NEST thermostat by the ifixit guys. Inside there is an 802.15.4 radio transceiver that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the documentation this radio is commonly used in zigbee/xbee/mesh networks.
Daniel even went as far as to ask them what the radio was for, and got stonewalled. So Daniel decided to do his own teardown and probe at the inner workings of the thermostat even further. One of the goals was to see if the 802.15.4 radio was ever used without them saying so.
He notes at the end that the NEST guys have announced some new products like a smoke detector, and they have in the specs the 802.15.4 radio so it makes sense that the radio is there for future upgrades for the other devices to be able to talk, but I recommend watching the teardown video, it’s long but entertaining.
Check out the video after the break. Also more info over at Daniel’s site.
Published on: October 7, 2013 /
Taking a ploy from the upcoming TouchID feature the new iPhone will have, Grant was inspired to make this really neat toy box for his son’s toy car collection.
You would think getting a fingerprint reader would be the most difficult part, but apparently Adafruit has ‘em for sale! So Grant got a fingerprint reader, a hobby servo, pushbutton, and some batteries and hooked it up to an Arduino UNO.
Looks like a fun project, especially for something like a jewelry box.
Check out the source code and other details on Grant’s site.
Check out the video after the break.
Published on: October 7, 2013 /
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.