Zunk writes “While traditional approaches essentially start with a “brain,” and attempt to build robots “downward” from that, BEAM robotics starts from simple reflexes, in a “bottoms-up” approach. The majority of BEAM robots are non-computerized (although simple CPUs can be used to drive them, in a “horse and rider” sort of way). Unlike many traditional processor-based robots, BEAM robots are cheap, simple, and can be built by a hobbyist with basic skills in a matter of hours. Because of this, BEAM is an excellent way of getting started in robotics, and of learning about electronics”. Link.
Wow, a Tablet Mac might be hitting the scene soon! Awhile back there were stories (2004) about a tablet Mac and today Mac Observer reports “Apple Computer was granted a patent for an enigmatically titled “Electronic device” Tuesday, May 10th, 2005. Illustrations for the device clearly indicate it to be a tablet-style Macintosh, and patent filings specifically compare it to the “HP Compaq Tablet PC” and several other tablet machines“. Of course if you’re jonesing for one now, you can always make your own.
Growing up as an only child, I spent a lot of time with an 8-track playing “robot” called 2XL. You’d get tapes and he’d ask you questions, to answer you’d press a button and then depending what you pressed it would play another portion of a track. It was pretty cool at the time and the Science tape was my favorite. Someone has made a Flash based one with many of the tapes you can try out and play. Memories! Link.
At Obtainium.net, you can get an old refrigerator (for example), get rid of one, or discuss what kind of art you can make with one. Many beautiful Burning Man projects have been sourced through this site, but it’s open to people of all faiths. Link.
MSNBC’s Gary Krakow got the DIY bug and made some holograms using the Litholo hologram kit. The article explains what holograms are, how they’re made and special “instant hologram film” used to make the home versions. Usually holograms require that there be no motion at all, but the home kit from Litholo gets around that and from what the article says, produces great results! Link.
The future of music mixing and sampling is here. It’s going to be around a ping pong table, with headbands…”We were playing ping pong with paddles that had piezo sensors in them. When the paddles hit the ball, they would actuate the starting and ending points of a sample – so the faster we played, the more ‘frantic’ the sonic output. It was a fun piece.” Link.
I’m hoping a Maker out there might consider check this out (and take pictures)- this site offers a GUI, console and source versions of a tool to change the graphics in the navigation system in Acura/Hondas. The trick seems to be to know the special codes to display the BIN files in your nav system, pop out the DVD, make a new one, mod the files and then hit some codes to have the car take the new graphics. This also seems to open up a lot of other hacks and mods if you can change other things. Link.
Here’s a great step-by-step on using Firefox, Greasemonkey and Flickr to GeoTag your photos to use with GeoBloggers.com. Once you get the script installed, you browse to your Flickr image, add a new “geotag” and enter in a zip code. You’ll then use Google maps to locate a position and it saves the location data to the photo. Once that’s complete you can submit the image to Geobloggers. Link.
The new version of iTunes (4.8) just came out and it now supports video. So it looks like we’re getting one step closer to use iTunes as a way to view video blogs and TV-like content (or whatever Apple has planned too). The next podcasting applications like iPodder will likely support ways of getting the videos in an easy way automatically (I’m guessing that it might work now, I just downloaded iTunes 4.8 a minute ago). Here are some screen shots of the video UI elements that were added. Link.
Electrist, from Red Binary Development (aka Patrick Griffin), is a $20 PalmOS app that helps anyone who’s building or modifying electronics. It plugs values into all the commonly-used formulas, as well as many obscure ones, and even shows resistor color codes. See a glowing review on page seven of the May issue of ESSN (Energy Self Sufficiency Newsletter). Link.
One is a mechanical genius, the other is a platform game hacker. They decided to join forces and turn a racked car into a simulation. They connected the car’s pedals, steering, gearshaft, to the game platform. It’s on hydraulics to turn the car in curves, there’s a fan to increase the wind when the speed is going up, and they install a small engine to make the sounds. Even the gauges work! Link.
On the BSD DevCenter Mikhail Zakharov has an article about installing NetBSD on an old Toshiba T2130CS- Intel 486DX4 75MHz notebook. The challenge was, with a lot of old hardware many of us have, is to install without the benefit of using a CD-ROM drive. With only the floppy drive and the LPT/COM ports, it’s usually tough to get anything on old machines. Link.