Your source for daily hacks

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.

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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 keerbot.com.

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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.

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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 11, 2013 / Comments: None

A Disney inspired Haunted Mansion portrait using Rapsberry Pi

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.

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Published on: October 10, 2013 / Comments: None

SPiBot r/c tank uses Raspberry Pi for recon surveillance

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.

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