Just finished presenting the ZigBee Internet Gateway at Sketching in Hardware 2010, held at the Encounter dome at LAX airport. My presentation covered the basics of (essentially) bringing web services to the Arduino via a ConnectPort and XBee radios from Digi International. The Gateway is intended for use in schools, design firms, hacker spaces or art venues.
Create wireless sensor networks and intelligent interactive devices with the ZigBee wireless networking protocol. With this fast-paced, hands-on guide, you’ll build a series of useful projects by the time you’re halfway through the book, including a complete Arduino- and XBee-powered wireless network that delivers remotely sensed data. This resource- and reference-packed book is perfect for inventors, hackers, crafters, students, hobbyists, and scientists.
It could be a stunt from a First World War epic - the German fighter plane preparing to swoop in for an air battle to the death. But while the replica Fokker Eindecker looks like a Hollywood prop, the plane was actually built by amateur pilot Dave Stephens at his home. The single-seater is one of two self-assembled aircraft that he regularly takes to heights of up to 10,000ft over Essex.
The Power Switch Tail is a smart alternative to slicing apart power cords to wire up your own relays. Its a compact 120V 3-pronged extension cord, with a relay board embedded in the middle. Connect to the relay using two screw terminals and activate by providing a 5V signal (40mA current draw). The relay can switch 10 Amp resistive loads such as heaters, small skillets, lights, etc. An LED indicator above the terminals will help you with debugging.
Ideal for people making their own controllable lights, SMT reflow plates, boilers or heaters, coffee roasters, home automation projects, etc. We even include a NPN transistor and 10K resistor so you can control the relay with a single microcontroller pin, as most cannot provide 40mA.
Please note, this is a safer alternative to wiring up your own relays but still requires common sense and knowledge of electrical circuits. Stay within the rated limit of the relay and use only resistive loads. Do not leave DIY electrical projects unattended or where they can get wet! This product is intended to be used by advanced hobbyists who are comfortable working with power supplies.
Ben was the Nierenberg Chair of Design for the Carnegie Mellon School of Design. At the end of 2007, he published Visualizing Data with O’Reilly, and in 2010 wrote Getting Started with Processing with Casey Reas. Fry’s work was part of the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial in 2003 and 2006. Other pieces have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and in the films Minority Report and The Hulk. His information graphics have also illustrated articles for the journal Nature, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Seed, and Communications of the ACM.
Chris Anderson (of DIY Drones) recently visited the Arduino manufacturing facility in Milan. In addition to discussing the new Arduino 1.0, he also got some behind the scenes pictures of how it all comes together. Check it out!
The Apple Macintosh combined brilliant design in hardware and in software. The drawing program MacPaint, which was released with the computer in January of 1984, was an example of that brilliance both in what it did, and in how it was implemented.
For those who want to see how it worked “under the hood”, we are pleased, with the permission of Apple Inc., to make available the original program source code of MacPaint and the underlying QuickDraw graphics library.
Maybe we’ll see more of this…
SONY – how about donating the source and schematics of the (now discontinued) QRIO humanoid project to a museum? QRIO photos here.
IBM – how about donating the source and the hardware of DEEP BLUE the chess computer to a museum?
Post up in the comments if you can think of other worthy donations from the milestones of technology that should be shared and also in a museum.
Last month, FedEx launched a multimillion-dollar online campaign against longtime rival United Parcel Service over a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill making its way through Congress. FedEx says a provision of the bill, as passed in the House, amounts to a “bailout” for UPS. But that’s an abuse of the term.
The measure would bring drivers and other non-airline-based employees of FedEx’s Express division, which handles “time-sensitive shipments,” under the coverage of the National Labor Relations Act, instead of the Railway Labor Act. Under the NLRA, the FedEx workers would be able to unionize locally, on a site-by-site basis, instead of nationally as required by the RLA. Unionizing, in other words, is somewhat easier under the NLRA.
We don’t have an opinion on this, only that the tactics and fight are interesting to watch. FedEx even hired a UPS-looking actor to make videos and put them on YouTube. His name is “brown bailout guy”. Intense!
We’re all working on some pretty cool projects over here at the moment, but this Arduino powered sewing machine is my personal favourite. I took an old zigzag sewing machine and kitted it out with servos to control the needle position and fabric feed.
Developing software – or better firmware – for the Atmel AVR can be quite easy or quite complicated. A lot of people like to just use vi, some source files and a make file. Here at Interactive Matter we are a tad lazy and want a fully fledged IDE, with code completion, one click building, no make files and buttons to flash the AVR. The easiest was is to achieve this with Open Source Software, using avr-gcc, avrdude and avr-eclipse. This guide explains how to install and use it.
We’re certain there is already a restaurant contacting the makers
The video shows a Barrett WAM 7 DOFs manipulator learning to flip pancakes by reinforcement learning. The motion is encoded in a mixture of basis force fields through an extension of Dynamic Movement Primitives (DMP) that represents the synergies across the different variables through stiffness matrices. An Inverse Dynamics controller with variable stiffness is used for reproduction.
The skill is first demonstrated via kinesthetic teaching, and then refined by Policy learning by Weighting Exploration with the Returns (PoWER) algorithm. Compared to policy-gradient approaches, the reward is treated as a pseudo-probability, which allows Reinforcement Learning to use probabilistic estimation methods such as Expectation-Maximization (EM).
After 50 trials, the robot learns that the first part of the task requires a stiff behavior to throw the pancake in the air, while the second part requires the hand to be compliant in order to catch the pancake without having it bounced off the pan.
TL;DR – In order to get raw parsed data out of a magstripe reader, we first experimented with a MAGTEK Centurion Keyboard Encoder (PN-21073062). We found that although we could get all 3 tracks of data, it was not possible to have it parsed out. We then purchased a raw magstripe decoder head with track 1 reading, the Omron V3A-6. By writing some parity checking code, we were able to read the raw data off of the magstripe, and parse it into output that would be ‘typed out’ as an emulated keyboard using a USB-enabled Teensy. An Arduino can also be used, and the data would be output as Serial which may also be useful.
We also suggest checking out StripeSnoop which despite being a couple years old, was extremely useful!
This project can only be used for card reading, not writing. There is no way to convert a card reader into a card writer.
So there I was, 5 days before HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference – getting ready for our booth that would be running all weekend. We had a similar booth at the previous HOPE, and it was pretty successful, one of the only things that hung us up was that we couldn’t easily accept credit cards and the ATM had run out of money. We could take credit cards but it took a long time and was typo-ridden because everything had to be entered into a website. See, instead of a boxy terminal, we were using a Virtual Terminal – a website that allows you to enter in all the important data (card number, expiration, name, amount, etc).
I wanted to say thank you for the detailed instructions and pictures on the website for building the kit. I’ve been wanting to do this type of project for a while, but didn’t feel that I knew enough to do it without more details. Your website provided that information -Kathy