Task: remote control a lot of hacked toy hamster to start, stop and light blue on command.
Given the number of hamsters to control (about 20) this was an opportunity to design my own Arduino based miniature microcontroller board.
- IR receiver
- H brigde motor driver for almost any motor voltage.
- 3x LED open drain drivers
- 7-30V power input w/battery monitoring
- a little prototyping area
[will add photo of schematics here]
I used Pad2Pad for the manufacturing and used their PCB design software which was realy easy to learn.
In future productions I will mostly use these cards to avoid extra cards, and reduce space and cost.
Design flaws found so far:
- Motor driver gates need pull downs to make sure they are all “off” when microcontroller outputs are three-stated.
- Motor drivers could with a slight change bee all galvanicaly isolated trough the optocouplers. This would be nice.
- The third LED output PWM colides with the IR-outputs timing so I have to choose between dimming LED3 or using IR input. This could be avoided by choosing another output pin for this driver.
AutoCad is great but hopless when it comes to import other formats. I needed to vectorize a metal band logo for a project. Long story short:
1. Open the bitmap image in Inkscape (open source vector editor) and goto path – trace bitmap.
2. Select traces and do object – ungroup
3. Path Break Apart
4. Copy the traced vector path with ctrl+c
5. Open openOffice Draw and paste with ctrl+v. You have to copy this way instead of saving to a common format to avoid great quality loss.
6. Export to Windows Metafile.
7. In AutoCad goto Insert – Metafile. Voila!
Had a few challenges from Grenland Friteater again for their new performance “Lukta av penger”.
I have hacked a old nokia to play “Seiren følger våre faner” very loud. It goes off in the pocket of an old man during a memorial speech to make a really akward situation. Used original speakers but trew out everything else and replaced it with a 9V battery and a microcontroller with Arduini Dumilanove bootloader . Sounds awsome/ful.
Well documented as allways
Test of urn light effect
Used 4 bootles of 8Bar pressurised air to blow wood chips out in the air during a factory explotion at the end of the performance. We were lucky enough to have four 1/2″ electro pneumatic ball valves lying around which saved us a lot of money. Three of the blow tanks are old fire extinguishers (painted black to avoid confusion) and a regular work shop compressor. It was a pain getting rid of all the leaks, but Locktite saved the day 🙂
Air cannons without the blow tube.
Light effect for glass urn
Challenge was simply that they needed a pulsation battery operated pulsation red light. I hacked out the led-plate of a cheap shit LED PAR light. Connected to 24V battery pack and controlled it with an Arduino and a darlington transistor.
No real hack here. Just made some fake dynamite, igniters and timer for a guy making a furtilizer bomb.
Dynamite made of wood and paper.
Caterpillar puzzle for my todler:
Politicaly correct parents as we are. Homemade wooden toys we give. Wife (almost) came with the idea of a simple puzzle, like a car or caterpillar. I added the letters of his name to make it personal and to add an extra level of puzzle. It can be put together in any order but the one on the picture above is obviously the right one.
Intel has a Perceptual Computing Challenge going for their kinect-like webcam and the Space Invaders project a friend and I’ve been developing got through to the second stage. This is a project that we have tried making on several platforms and interfaces, but the original idea persists: remake the classic game in 3D, where you are the controller and the invaders and their space is as big and immersive as possible. Below a short video from the beta.
And here is a video from our alpha stage with the kinect a year or two ago.
The Machine. German quality.
Life’s hard. No time to blog. Yet time to brag 😉
The machine is professional, but bought it without electronics and software.
Electronics will be easy, I thought. It wasn’t. Made a simple version giving me aprox. 1/10 of the working-speed, but that’l do for most jobs anyway.
Programming will be fun, I thougt. I was right. It was. And it works.
No details ’cause no time. Doesn’t mather; Many better ways to do this already out there.
Einar (tech dept)
Cargo Cult at Burning Man
We should ask for some Norwegian cultural-petroleum monies and go to Burning Man this year…
Our story begins in Melanesia during World War II. Thousands of American GIs suddenly descended on this South Sea island chain, bearing with them unimaginable riches: magical foodstuffs that never spoiled, inconceivable power sources. Just as abruptly the troops departed, leaving only broken, rusted Jeeps, crumpled beer cans, and the memory of Spam. To the astonished eyes of the natives, this was a miraculous occurrence, and they yearned for the return of abundance. Accordingly, they built totemic sky-craft in an attempt to summon back these Visitors and their legendary leader, the man the Melanesians called John Frum. They had formed a Cargo Cult.
This is a crowd-founding success story and its only been going for a week. We are of course very supportive of the idea, but we think that his tower should also be rebuilt, just to put one final nail in Edison’s coffin.
Lars Vik of asked me last december if our robot, Dr. Bürhool (AKA Nille), could be used by Teater Avvik to create a performance for children. Dr Bürhool is already an experienced actor after two seasons of “Bråta” in Porsgrunn.
Anyways, he also wanted a kind of Nilfisk (the Brand of the vacuum cleaner used for Bürhool) univers, with more stuff to play around with. So I made him Willie and Ada. The story to be told is about a groundskeeper, Bull, taking his favorite inventions on the road after loosing his job.
Here they are, Nille (Bürhool), Willy and Ada.
Have an open assignment for Lars Vik to make robots for a possible performance for children in some near or distant future. The only guideline to follow is the concept “Nilfisk”. This is what I’ve got so far 🙂