Saturday, 9 February 2013

Make: Bleep Drum

I love this. Its is available as a kit based on the same chip as the arduino so already the architecture will be familiar to many. Full diagrams are needed to assemble the kit, but they also provide code listings on the website making it eminently hackable.
The design is tidy and I could see this finding a home in many small studios setups, but my first reaction was that this would fit easily in the corner of my guitar case and would be a bit more fun for practice sessions than my existing very pretty, but boring electronic metronome.
The only thing that puts me off is the price of $60 for the kit, which will probably be around £50 in the queens own sterling.
See for full details.
[Via Make]

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hack a Day: Military steals idea of anyone who ever tied a cellphone camera to quadcopter

From Hack A Day"Check out the toy this solder is using. It’s a tiny remote-controlled helicopter. The thing comes in a kit that includes a small tablet through which the nose-mounted camera image can be viewed. These are in use in Afghanistan by the UK Military. The purpose is to help protect foot soldiers by allowing them to perform discrete reconnaissance. What would you pay for this type of life saving technology? How does $31 million for 160 units sound? For that price we expect eight propellers and a cinema quality camera.
The drone is manufactured by Prox Dynamics. They’ve been in development since 2008 and you can bet that a lot of that time went into making it “inaudible” which is the main difference we see between this and hobby-built versions. For now you’ll have to deal with trying to make your own since they will only sell to the government.
The best we can do for you when it comes to video of the thing is prototyping footage from 2009 (after the break). If you have a link to a newer clip we’d love to see it in the comments."
See for full story and video clip.
[Via Hackaday]

Sunday, 3 February 2013

LEGO MINDSTORMS Sensors with the Raspberry Pi

"This is a quick tutorial to show how to hook up a dIMU (An Accelerometer and Gyroscope for the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT) to a Raspberry Pi."
"This is also a great example of how to get started with I2C on the Raspberry Pi.  We chose the dIMU because it’s easy to access and use, with just four lines to connect (SDA, SCL, GND, and VCC).You may have to make modifications to attach other sensors."
If this really floats your boat then watch this space, because here at we have just started working on a PCB that will allow you to connect any Mindstorms device to your PI. Once its ready you will be the first to know.
"Chinese girl PixieTea has created a great video in which she is playing and singing a popular song, supported by her LEGO® MINDSTORMS band"
Absolutely superb idea, another reason why I need to get more Mindstorms kit :-)
[Via TheNxtStep ]

Hack A Day: Getting rid of telemarketers with a Banana Phone

From Hack A Day "The Federal Trade Commission really doesn’t like robocalls and other telephone solicitors selling you vinyl siding or home security upgrades. The FTC is even offering $50,000 to anyone who can do away with these robocalling telemarketers, and [Alex] looks like he might just claim the prize. He developed The Banana Phone, a device that eliminates those pesky telemarketers.
The basic idea of the Banana Phone is requiring callers to enter a four-digit pass code (played via text to speech over a relevant song to prevent a bot from getting through) before connecting them to the main line. Once a caller has been verified as human, their number is added to a white list so they won’t have to listen to [Raffi] every time they call."
Full details, including a video, at  Hack A Day