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retro edition                         /___/ 
Now optimized for embedded devices!
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Crabfu challenge winners announced

posted Sep 18th 2008 12:41pm by
filed under: news, robots hacks

The Trossen Robotics Blog has announced the winners of the “Crabfu challenge”. The challenge, issued by [Crabfu] was to make a robot that was full of character. It didn’t have to have a purpose or be autonomous, it just had to be full of character.

The first place winner, pictured above, won us over when he “blinked” a few moments into his video. Strange how something so simple can add so much life.

[via BotJunkie]

Giants roam Berlin

posted Oct 8th 2009 3:00pm by
filed under: misc hacks, news


I can hear the comments now: “Not a hack.” Yeah that might be true, but it’s still enormous puppets running around Berlin – that in its own right is pretty cool. The show, put on by the street theater group Royal De Luxe, is part of the 20th anniversary for the fall of the Berlin Wall. Spectators watched as the Big Giant rose from the water in search of his niece, the Little Giantess. We won’t spoil the ending, but its a happy one. Reminds us of the similar giant marionette group La Machine, and their La Princesse.

Simple motion detector and alarm

posted May 25th 2009 9:07am by
filed under: classic hacks, security hacks


[John] sent us this nice little project. He shows us how to create a motion activated alarm that plays the Mario Brothers theme and flashes some lights. He’s using an ATTiny13a for the brains, and a cool mario mushroom candy tin for the body. You can see it in action after the break.

Programming FPGAs with Python

posted Jun 11th 2012 7:01am by
filed under: hardware, Software Development

If you’ve ever wanted to jump into the world of FPGAs but don’t want to learn yet another language, you can now program an FPGA with Python. PyCPU converts very, very simple Python code into either VHDL or Verilog. From this, a hardware description can be uploaded to an FPGA.

The portion of the Python language supported by PyCPU is extremely minimal, with only ints being the only built-in data type supported. Of course ifs and whiles are still included along with all the assignments and operators. A new addition is a way to get digital IO access with Python, and obvious requirement if you’re going to be programming Silicon.

PyCPU surely won’t replace VHDL or Verilog anytime soon, but if you’re looking to get into FPGAs and the ‘telling a chip what to be’ paradigm it offers, it’s certainly a tool worth looking into.

Hats off to [hardsoftlucid] for sending this in. Our wonderful (we mean that, really) noticed a few mistakes when this was first posted. Those mistakes have been corrected.

high altitude linux weather balloon

posted Feb 9th 2005 12:45am by
filed under: gps hacks, misc hacks, wireless hacks

weather balloon

“i found it in my cow pasture, buried in the snow. i was riding my 4 wheeler.”  that’s what the postcard said when it returned to me after i sent it up with a helium balloon a couple weeks ago.  it traveled roughly 100 miles.

but i digress.

james meehan’s story began quite similarly, but he decided to take his balloon fascination to a much more fascinating and hackerly level.  follow the link to read about how he designed and constructed his linux powered weather balloon, complete with gps, packet radio uplink, and video camera.  he says it’s the coolest thing he’s ever done.  i can’t really vouch for what else he’s done, but this project is pretty darn cool.

when you’ve finished marvelling at this hack, make sure to also check out the home brew, high altitude glider we wrote about a while back.  i love this high altitude mischief.  if you know of similar projects, send ‘em in!

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