Last week, Hive13 member Rick showed off a rather impressive project: An electric motorcycle he’s building. He started it near the end of 2011, inspired by his father who started building an electric car years back but due to funding issues could not complete it. A lot of online resources helped greatly by providing information on what people had tried, what worked, what did not, what parts they were using, and so on. (Did I really need to mention that part? This is a blog for a hackerspace.)
Whatever its stage of completion, he says he has about 100+ miles on it so far and it can do 54 mph.
Digital programmable LED belt kit from www.adafruit.com part number 332. Very easy kit requires minimal knowledge of soldering and programming will get your 32 LED’s (or more) up and running in about an hour.
Brian Lam has a nice article in the New York Times today profiling the OpenROV project. OpenROV is a low cost submarine that will launch on Kickstarter later this summer for around $750.
The OpenROV uses common parts to cut the cost. The depth sensor they plan to use is commonly found in a scuba diver’s computer. High definition video camera is scavenged from a cheap Web-camera that people use to video chat. The most expensive part inside is the computer, a little Linux computer called a BeagleBone that costs $89. Still, the team thinks they can get costs down by buying parts in bulk.
The main body is a plastic tube where the computer, the camera, and LEDs are protected from the elements by the use of double rubber o-rings seated with silicone grease. A small hole sealed with epoxy allows power cables to pass through the end caps, and to the horizontal and vertical thrusters, as well as the battery packs. Controls and video are relayed using a pair of twisted copper wires like the kind used in old landline phones. The wires spool out like a fishing reel so the robot will eventually be able to reach 100 meters under water.
Instead of being built in a factory, OpenROV’s chassis is constructed using laser cutter machines that Mr. Stackpole pays to use at San Francisco’s TechShop, a community tool-share and clubhouse for tech wizards and designers in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco.
New from the fine people who have brought us the Beagle Board, we now have a smaller, lighter, but powerful single board linux computer, Beagle Bone! This is the same microcontroller used in the OpenROV project. We like this move to a more compact and integrated SBC. For example, there is onboard Ethernet and USB host, as well as a USB client interface (a FTDI chip for shell access). It even comes preloaded with Angstrom Linux on the 4 GB microSD card!
I found the mint tin limiting though if you’re adding wires & parts to your circuit, plus I have always felt a little iffy about putting prototypes in metal enclosures.
So here’s a printable case for mint tin-sized circuits like the Menta. It has openings for the DC power jack and the FTDI cable.
Included is a 25mm high version and a 35mm high version. For larger or smaller sizes, it’s pretty easy to stretch the case bottom to fit your size. Also you can design in some holes for pots & switches on the top.
The case top has little clasps that grab onto the small nubs on the case bottom to securely keep the case on.
Adafruit MENTA – Mint Tin Arduino Compatible Kit, Includes Mint Tin. Introducing the MENTA, a portable minty Arduino-compatible project that fits into a common mint tin. We took our super popular Boarduino series, and wrapped it with a prototyping area into a rounded PCB that slots directly into an Altoids-sized metal tin. We included everything you expect to jump-start your project:
DC power adapter jack with polarity protection
Beefy 1 Amp 5V regulator and 250mA 3.3V regulator for 3.3V devices
Space innovators at the University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) are developing ‘STRaND-2’, a twin-satellite mission to test a novel in-orbit docking system based upon XBOX Kinect technology that could change the way space assets are built, maintained and decommissioned.
STRaND-2 is the latest mission in the cutting edge STRaND (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) programme, following on from the smartphone-powered STRaND-1 satellite that is near completion. Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the XBOX Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes.
Jordi Muñoz was selected by Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been recognized among the ten brightest Mexican innovators under age of 35, noted for revolutionizing areas such as biotechnology, energy or biomedicine through technologies with a high social impact.
Kreek is a Kinect controlled interface which extends a normally two-dimensional multi-touch environment by the perception of depth. This allows the user to literally reach into the interface and gives applications the possibility to interprete parameters like pressure or solid distance.
The recent burgeoning of New York’s Internet industry has forced some entrepreneurs — who, just a few years ago, might have felt they had little choice but to head west to pursue their dreams — to make a difficult choice. New York is now enough of an attractive alternative that a few West Coast-born start-ups are even packing up and moving east.
Much of this change has to do with the way that the technology industry has shifted toward creating consumer products and applications, rather than building the basic framework of computing and the Internet. Many new start-ups benefit from proximity to the media, advertising and fashion industries, New York’s strengths. And as the city’s industry grows, entrepreneurs say, it is offsetting some of the traditional disadvantages of being outside Silicon Valley.
The Ivanpah solar thermal plant uses concentric circles of mirrors that will focus sunlight onto a central tower, generating high temperatures to produce steam. The plant will feature three towers, each with its own set of mirrors. The first unit, in the foreground, is the nearest to completion. By February of this year, workers had begun to install mirrors, which can be seen in the upper left and right sides of the field.
Nat writes in to show us his Twitter controlled dog feeder that anyone can control. Made from a Nanode and other random components he had laying around. Simply tweet ‘Feed’ to @feedtoby to send Toby a little treat. To keep Toby from packing on some extra weight, the feeder only allows food between 09:00 and 21:00, plus it limits to once every 30 to 45min.
I’ve built the breadboard prototype, then the first version, using only one layer (which is a good version if you want to etch your own PCB). Always wanted to make the project public as an Open Hardware, but due my lack of time, I never did, until I arrive in Genova. I then decided to make a second version of the board, two layers, the ability to program the µC without removing it from the socket (for programing you will need an Arduino, FTDI or USB-to-serial cable) and some available pins for those who want’s to add more features to the board, like a temperature sensor or another kind of sensor.