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[Jared Bouck] has been sending in his projects for a couple years now. We’ve enjoyed his heavy-duty DDR pads, LCD backlight repair, and ion cooling projects. His latest, an RC paintball gun turret, is our favorite though. He actually rates this as one of the easier projects he’s published; it just took a while to assemble. Several design decisions were made to keep the project simple. Two 32 Degrees Icon-E paintball guns were used. The guns already have electric solenoids for firing, so a special trigger mechanism didn’t have to be fashioned. Q-loaders were used to prevent any ball feed problems. The motors, driver boards, and RC components are all borrowed from combat robots for reliability. He’s hoping to produce a small number of kits based on this design.
Related: We’ve got quite a few sentry gun projects in the archive.
This silly little video caught our attention. It is an alarm clock, hacked with two amazingly loud car horns. They are using a laptop power brick to push the two external car horns. The horns are triggered by a relay wired to the internal speaker of the alarm clock. This is a super quick project that could be done, not only to help yourself, but it is the perfect amount of effort for a prank. We bet you guys could probably wire one of these up and hide the horns in only a few minutes. If you are having problems waking up, you might also want to check out some of the other alarm hacks we’ve seen.
[Erik] was looking for a sturdy robotics platform and was initially considering the iRobot Create, until he found that he could score a Roomba Discovery series for a fraction of the price. The Discovery includes a battery, which is missing from the iCreate, though it also has all of the standard vacuum bits included as well.
He immediately removed all of the vacuum parts once he got his hands on the Roomba, and began adding the support structure to house the rest of his robot’s components. The robot is controlled via a small laptop which sits on top of the Roomba’s base, and features a panning and telescoping webcam to provide feedback to the operator.
The robot has been under construction for a little over a year now, and has had a few upgrades over that time. The original laptop was swapped out for a newer dual-core model, and the webcam was upgraded to a model featuring motion tracking. The whole thing has been skinned in thin sheet metal for a sleek look, and he has added a servo-driven arm as well.
The project is not quite complete, and he hasn’t really stated what he plans on using the robot for, but it looks good so far – we can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.
We’ve posted a plethora of Guitar Hero style hardware hacks, but this one is completely different than the others. Behold, the Banjo hero. This unique controller was constructed from an old banjo and a guitar hero controller. Custom software was then built with custom songs for game play. We really wish we could see it in action. There are a couple videos available for download, but they are just pictures of the build process.
[via Boing Boing]
Writing a paper in LaTeX will always result in beautiful output, but if you’d like to put that document up on the web you’re limited to two reasonable options: serve the document as a .PDF (with the horrors involves, although Chrome makes things much more palatable), or relying on third-party browser plugins like TeX The World. Now that [Todd Lehman] has finally cooked up a perl script to embed LaTeX in HTML documents, there’s no reason to type e^i*pi + 1 = 0 anymore.
For those not in the know, LaTeX is a document typesetting language that produces beautiful output, usually in PDF form. Unfortunately, when [Tim Berners-Lee] was inventing HTML, he decided to roll his own markup language instead of simply stealing it from [Don Knuth]. Since then, LaTeX aficionados have had to make do with putting TeX snippets into web pages as images or relying on the [; \LaTeX ;] generated from the TeX The World browser extension.
[Todd Lehman]‘s perl script generates the PDF of his LaTeX file and pulls out all the weird font and math symbols into PNG files. These PNG files are carefully embedded into the HTML file generated from the normal text pulled from the LaTeX file. It’s a ton of work to get these document systems working correctly, but at least there’s a reasonable way to put good-looking LaTeX on the web now.