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Hey guys, this seems like it would be up your alley. I designed and fabricated a custom lamp based on the ubiquitous Super Mario Brothers ? blocks. The bottom is a DIY capacitive-touch sensor which triggers an LED array and a tiny speaker to play some sound effects.
The best part is that the whole thing is powered by a little ATTiny85, including all of the audio! I’m really excited about the potential to make use of those cheap little microntrollers in places where you’d normally have to sacrifice an Arduino Uno. I plan to write up the full details of the build at some point, but for now you can just enjoy the video.
DISCO! We hope you enjoyed the over-the-top X2 Time Ball video as much as we enjoyed making it! Getting this finished in time for New Year’s Eve meant the progress blog posts would have to wait, so we’ll be returning to a few details now after the fact, and continuing as future design plans are ironed out…
In making our LED disco ball for the new year, it will be necessary to transition from the flat planes of Adalight and Adavision into the three-dimensional world. This has been a humbling experience in the KISS principle: “keep it simple, stupid!” The first tries did not end well…
With Adalight and Adavision out the door, we wanted to cap off the year with at least one more project showcasing the cool things that can be done with our Digital RGB LED Pixels, and we’ll be posting blog updates as the project progresses.
Adalight—ambient lighting for your monitor—was one line of LEDs, formed into a loop. Adavision—a mini LED video wall—spread out into a 2D grid. It’s only natural then to take the next step into the third dimension. Not simply a cube though…with the new year nearly upon us, and paying tribute to Adafruit’s NYC home, why not a shimmery Times Square-style “disco ball?” This would showcase the WS2801 Pixels’ greatest feature: unconstrained by flat planes or fixed grids, they can be spread out into any shape. Anything you can punch 11.5mm holes through, you can festoon with LEDs, whether it’s your backpack or the body panels of a Burning Man art car!
(Ours won’t be anywhere near this big.)
The Times Square ball drop always seemed a bit odd to me. New Year’s Eve? Ball drop? Buh…what? It was an excuse to stay up late, partying and making noise, and I never gave it much thought. Years later I learned the ball drop actually has a fascinating precedent, tracing its roots to one of the most pivotal inventions of modern commerce…
RoboBrrd is an robot / animatronic character whose purpose morphs to mirror that of the virtual world. It is designed to be used as a tangible real world interface to virtual world learning applications. As a standalone robot, RoboBrrd is an entertaining platform that can be used to learn about robotics, Arduino, circuits, and programming.
This Instructable will guide you through creating a RoboBrrd- all the way from the circuits to programming to the felt decorations. We will also include reasoning behind our design choices to further enlighten the Instructable.
This is a great robot project for kids and parents to build together — it’s low-cost and doesn’t require any special tools. Having seen it in person, I can also attest to how charming it is.
You can also check out this mini-interview I did with RobotGrrl at the Open Hardware Summit, in which she talks about Learning Pet, a smaller version of RoboBrrd:
Here’s an entertaining gadget — a waterfall over a miniature Mayan temple that responds to music. Speakers and lights are built into the Mayan pyramid, and water flows through the center of the gadget for a powerful overall effect. The device includes six main components: a pyramid plexiglass body, a water system, a control unit, speakers, and the output screen with the LEDs.
CONTEST: Make an “Electric Halloween” graphic, each day this month we’re going to feature a cool project from around the web that has electronics AND has something to do with Halloween. We don’t have a graphic for this effort so we’re going to have a contest. Just make a graphic for “Electronic Halloween” and post a link to it in the comments. We’ll pick our favorite one and use it for our posts!
THE PRIZE: $150 in the Adafruit store!
DETAILS: Make the graphic (at the most) 600 x 600, it will be used on each post here for the projects we feature! Make it Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. Deadline, let’s say October 8th!
A little project I’ve been working on: a variation on the classic Atari Punk Console circuit. I built the original, but then I decided it didn’t make enough noise, so I added some additional hardware to generate a whole lot of that good stuff.
Provided I can get it inside a proper enclosure, I’ll be bringing this to MakerFaire in NYC on Saturday. Be sure to say hello!
Instructables user cubeberg has posted about how he turned a cheap Tron Identity Disc into a prop for his daughter.
In this Instructable, I cover modding the store-bought Deluxe Identity Disc to an upgraded version with 64 leds, controlled by an AVR MCU. The upgraded version is costume-ready and would be an excellent addition to your Tron costume – it’ll also look great on your desk/dresser/etc.
Last night on the show+tell, I talked about the little steam engine I built last fall. It’s a horizontal single-cylinder, 1cc displacement, with a scotch yoke drive mechanism. It’s a combination of manually-machined and CNC-machined parts from aluminum and brass stock. Everything but the mounting bolts, the shaft bearing, and the scotch yoke dowel pin were made by me. It runs at about 3500RPM at 30 psi. Below is a short video I made of it running:
You can also check out this little stop-motion vid I did of the drive mechanism:
Finally, if you want to learn more about how scotch yokes work, and see how they differ from the typical crank arm and connecting rod linkage, you should check out this excellent demo at Wolfram Research, which illustrates the accelleration and velocity curves of each.