We’re slowly getting more of our kit documentation up on Instructables, here’s the MiniPOV kit – this is an inexpensive Persistence of Vision (POV) toy, which is designed for beginners in electronics. You swing this little thing around to reveal a customizable message or image through it’s 8 red LEDs. It has 4 holes for mounting on bikes, fans, and anything else that swings around. You can purchase this kit from the Make Store.
This project is the third revision of the MiniPOV. This version is nearly identical to the last version, MiniPOV2 but uses the serial port (possibly with a USB/Serial converter) instead of a parallel port, for programming. Because the programmer is built into the kit, one does not need a special “microcontroller programmer”. This version can be used with PCs (Linux/Unix or Windows) and Macs (running MacOS X and with a USB/serial converter).
Crabfu released his latest steam creation, robo-beetle!
The Cheddar Pegasus is a marine plant, so the engine is made to fit propeller shafts. Adapting it for this project required the engine to adapt to a much smaller pinion shaft. Luckily the High-Lift chassis had just enough room in the front (which later became the back) to fit the 4 cylinder engine. The boiler was mounted as centered to the chassis as possible to spread out the distribution of the weight to the four wheels.
Here’s an interesting use of PDAs + iPods to become a better bird watcher… Makes sense if you can quickly cycle through a ton of photos and songs when you’re out in the field…
Birdwatchers have long headed into the woods with little more equipment than binoculars and a notebook. But when Laura Erickson sets out on a birding trip, she now brings along two digital cameras, a Palm device with a bird-species database and an iPod loaded with bird songs.
“I used to be a very low-tech person,” says Ms. Erickson, a 55-year-old ornithologist in Duluth, Minn. “It’s become such a high-tech kind of thing, with so many people carrying so much equipment now.”
Does this qualify as a Make project? It started as a kit for a regular violin, but I mod it into a left hand violin. Unfortunately, since it is a kit and not a finished product, I couldn’t violate any warranty of the kit’s manufacturer. I hope it still qualifies as a Make Project. Makers Rules!
Mitsuoka Motor, a Japanese company, has just unveiled a micro kit car “K-4″, equipped with a 50cc engine on its classical tested sports car body, developed for the do-it-yourself customers in Tokyo. It is composed of more than 500 parts and takes approximately 40 hours to assemble. The Kit-Car measures just under 2.5 meters (eight feet) long and can run at up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) an hour.
The F12 dashboard is one of my favorite features in OS X. If you have a widget that you use all the time, however, it’s sometimes a bit of a nuisance switching back and forth between the dashboard and your desktop.
There’s a hidden dashboard feature that will allow you place dashboard widgets right on your desktop. I’ve found this to be particularly useful with the calculator widget and a post-it note or two (especially during the tax season).
Just type the following command into a Terminal window (use NO instead of YES to undo this property change):
defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES
Then restart the dashboard application by typing the following:
Now if you click and hold a widget in and hit F12 to return to the desktop, you can drop the widget onto your desktop and it will stay there. The widgit will sit above any other application windows and will always be immediately available, no F12 required. When you are done, just drag it back to the dashboard with the same technique to return it.
ViEmu is a cool add-in that brings vi/vim editing modes to several Windows apps, including Visual Studio, Word, and Outlook. It seems to have a lot of features that vi users are used to, and George V. Reilly (originator of the Win32 version of Vim, and currently releasing Win64 versions) has kind words for it:
All in all, I’m favorably impressed with ViEmu. It provides much of the muscle memory experience of Vim inside of Visual Studio. Technically, it can’t have been easy to impose such a radically different input model on VS or to emulate Vim and Ex fairly faithfully.
(ViEmu has 30-day trial versions available) – Link.
George V. Reilly’s Blog – ViEmu: a vi and Vim emulator for Visual Studio – Link
Goodness, this looks great, it’s on eBay good luck if you want grab it, if anyone does let us know!
We offer a rare RB5X, The Intelligent RobotTM by RB Robot Corp. of Golden, CO. Serial No. 0010140 (#140). This early example comes with its battery recharging nest, Reference Manual dated 4/6/83, specifications and sales literature, and a February and March, 1983 issue of the RB Forum newsletter. Some excerpts from the RB literature:
“The RB5X was the first mass-produced, programmable robot designed especially for home experimentation. It may be programmed using any computer with an RS-232 communications interface. RB’s simple design allows users to thoroughly study its mechanical systems and electronics, and to adapt the robot to their own interests.
An intelligent robot, the RB5X learns progressively from its own experience. RB owner’s may add on an optional 16K bytes to the standard 8K bytes. A special circuit enables it to recognize that its batteries are low and to seek out its charger. It then automatically charges its batteries, detaches itself from the charger, and resumes its adventures. A robotic arm and a vacuum cleaner attachment may be installed for added capabilities”.
eBay: 1983 VINTAGE RB5X RB THE INTELLIGENT ROBOT EDUCATIONAL (item 200091717150 end time Mar-27-07 09:47:58 PDT) – [via] Link.
Our friends at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and the TechShop have a great “learn how to make things” series of classes coming up, Windell writes -
This spring, I’ll be teaching several classes on Saturday afternoons at TechShop. TechShop is a San Francisco Bay Area “open-access public workshop,” located just off of 101 in Menlo Park, where you can go use a wide range of tools to make things. They have full-size milling machines and lathes, welding and rapid-prototyping equipment, Lego, sewing machines, computers, and well… just look at this list of equipment. (Seriously.)
One of the things that TechShop does is hold classes on a variety of topics. These are inexpensive (typically ~$30) drop-in classes that anyone can take without a long-term commitment. Many of them are short “safety and basic usage” classes that teach you what a given machine can do– and how to do it without killing yourself. Other classes teach simple and specialized skills like soldering for kids, blacksmithing, or silk screen printing. I’ll be teaching three (or four, depending how you count) classes, each of which will be held on a Saturday afternoon at Techshop.
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – Learn how to make cool things at TechShop – Link.
Beat Blocks is a tangible interface for a rhythm sequencer. The user is able to create and manipulate an 8-track drum loop (4 tracks in the featured prototype) on the fly by physically re-arranging blocks within a matrix. Each block is actually a sub-sequence identified by a patterning scheme. This allows the user to quickly identify what the sub-sequence is and place it within the composition in one motion, an action that would otherwise take several steps with a screen and mouse/trackpad interface. The device can be integrated directly and synchronized with other midi hardware or communicate with a computer via midi.
Two versions of Beat Blocks are in the works. The first being a sequencer for use in a performance setup and the second being an installation based around a table design. The performance device will be much more compact, utilizing a 4 x 4 or 8 x 8 matrix, and the installation version will be designed around an 8 x 16 or 32 matrix with a more spacious layout to accommodate multiple users.