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Giant Stepper Motor Gets You Up to Speed on Theory

Few hackers have trouble understanding basic electric motors. We’ve all taken apart something that has a permanent magnet DC motor in it and hooked up its two leads to a battery to make it spin. Reverse the polarity, reverse the spin; remove the power, stop the spin. Show More Summary

Learning Verilog for FPGAs: Flip Flops

Last time I talked about how to create an adder in Verilog with an eye to putting it into a Lattice iCEstick board. The adder is a combinatorial circuit and didn’t use a clock. This time, we’ll finish the demo design and add two clocked...Show More Summary

Tap On! Tap Off! The Backlight!

We recently covered [TechnologyCatalyst’s] excellent $50 multimeter shoot out, and we weren’t surprised when the winner was the Uni-T UT61E. It’s jam packed with features, and has a lot of bang for your buck. But one thing that it’s missing is a backlight. The 61E uses a chip form CyrusTek called the ES51922A. Show More Summary

GeForce GTX 950: Impressive & Optimized For MOBA Gaming

NVIDIA has just launched its new GeForce GTX 950, a graphics chip which will power graphics cards priced around $150. It is pitched as being a good upgrade for current users of the popular GeForce GTX 650 which sells today for about $105-$120. Show More Summary

Here's A New Trailer For The Martian

There’s a new trailer out for The Martian, the Andy Weir sci-fi novel turned Matt Damon summer blockbuster. In it, we learn a lot more about astronaut Mark Watney’s plight on the red planet, and what everyone else in the solar system is doing to help him. More »      

Here's The Second Trailer For The Martian

There’s a new trailer out for The Martian, the Andy Weir sci-fi novel turned Matt Damon summer blockbuster. In it, we learn a lot more about astronaut Mark Watney’s plight on the red planet, and what everyone else in the solar system is doing to help him. More »      

Steam-Powered Machine Shop

It’s sometimes hard to believe how stuff was made over a hundred years ago when electricity wasn’t widely available. One of the most common ways of powering tools was via belt drive — powered by a water mill, or a steam engine, or even horses. Show More Summary

Retrotechtacular: One Does Not Simply String Up a Half-Million VDC Transmission Line

It takes strong and determined population to build a lasting civilization. If the civilization includes electricity and the inhabitants live in a hilly place with an often-unforgiving climate, the required strength and determination increases proportionally. Show More Summary

Learning Verilog for FPGAs: The Tools and Building an Adder

Over the last year we’ve had several posts about the Lattice Semiconductor iCEstick which is shown below. The board looks like an overgrown USB stick with no case, but it is really an FPGA development board. The specs are modest and there is a limited amount of I/O, but the price (about $22, depending on where you shop) is right. Show More Summary

Amiiqo Lets You Back Up 200 Amiibo: Amiiclone

Nintendo’s Amiibo line has been a big hit for the company so far, but a $50 (USD) device called Amiiqo could put a dent in their profits. It’s a shame, because Amiiqo does have legitimate and…

Ferrofluid Clock is a Work of Art

It is not usually too difficult to separate functionality from art. Consider a clock. It’s a machine that has a clear and distinct function. It provides information. Nothing could be more different from a clock on a wall than a piece of artwork.  A painting, for instance has no clear function and provides no information. Show More Summary

Adventures With Vacuum Deposition Power Supplies

[Jerry Biehler] called this a “fail of the week”, but of course failure is just another part of the hacker adventure. Fail and fail often! [Jerry] has been slowly assembling a vacuum deposition system. These systems let you deposit thin films on a substrate. Show More Summary

Lessons From The Fablab Masters

I spent some time recently at the Fab11 conference, a gathering of the people behind the Fab Labs that are springing up all over the world, where entrepreneurs, hackers and the curious can learn about making things. So, it was no surprise that this was a great place to pick up some tips on designing, building and hacking things. Show More Summary

Taking Atlas For a Walk

Remember Atlas, the humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics? The company bought by Google, er, owned by Alphabet, and uh, most likely to become Skynet? Well — they’ve just shown us that Atlas can take a light jog through the woods now. Published...Show More Summary

Software That Learns To Drift Could Teach Autonomous Cars To Drive Like Ken Block

Most researchers developing artificial intelligences are working towards a goal of making robots that can one day adapt to any situation. But researchers at MIT have instead created an AI that can learn to drift an RC car, which means that one day the terminators will drive even better than Ken Block can. Read more...

This GPS Speaks In a Child's Voice Near Schools To Make Drivers More Careful

Humans are hard-wired to respond to the voice of a child. So to make drivers more cautious and careful around children, an ad agency in Sweden created a GPS app that switches to the voice of a child whenever the car is near a school. Read more...

Hackaday Links: August 16, 2015

[Matt] created an animated gif of New Horizon’s Pluto flyby. The source images were taken from the the raw LORRI images, modified so the background star field could be seen, and assembled with OpenCV. Because Pluto and Charon orbit each other around a point above Pluto’s surface, simply putting Pluto in the center of each frame wouldn’t work. Show More Summary

Commodore C16 Resurrection with a Raspberry Pi

[lactobacillusprime] had a non-working Commodore C16 and too many Raspberry Pi computers, so he decided to bring the C16 back to life by emulating it on the Pi. At the heart of the project is the Pi, along with a small board that converts...Show More Summary

Volkswagen’s Stroller Automatically Brakes & Follows: Das Kinderwagen

We’ve seen a robotic stroller that can drive itself. Volkswagen Netherlands claims it came up with a similar project just for kicks. The project was accidentally inspired by a short VW commercial. In the ad, a…

Jedi Koala: Luke Branchwalker

Back in the day, I loved this cartoon that came on Saturday mornings called Kwicky Koala. He was a Koala bear that was really fast and ate lots of leaves. It was weird, but I thought…

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