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February 22 2014

February 19 2014

February 08 2014

The Kickstarter Space Cannon

cannon

As far as space travel and Kickstarter is concerned, we’ve seen crowdfunding projects for satellites in low earth orbit, impacting the moon, and even a project for a suborbital rocket. This one, though, takes the cake.  It’s a gun designed to send very small payloads into space on a suborbital trajectory.

The gun itself is an 8-inch bore, 45-foot long monster of an artillery piece. While the simplest way of shooting something down the length of a barrel would be exploding something in the breech, [Richard] is doing something a little more interesting. He’s broken down the propellent charges so instead of one giant propelling a bullet down a barrel, the projectile is constantly accelerated with a number of smaller charges.

The goal of the Kickstarter is to send a small payload into a suborbital trajectory. Later developments will include putting a small rocket motor in the dart-shaped bullet to insert the payload into an orbit.

This isn’t the first time anyone has attempted to build a gun capable of shooting something into space. The US and Canada DOD built a gun that shot a 180 kg projectile to 180 km altitude. The lead engineer of this project, [Gerald Bull] then went on to work with [Saddam Hussein] to design a supergun that could launch satellites into orbit or shells into downtown Tel Aviv or Tehran. [Bull] was then assassinated by either the US, Israeli, Iranian, British, or Iraqi governments before the gun could be completed.

Two videos from the Kickstarter are below, with a few more details on the project’s webpage


Filed under: Crowd Funding

January 26 2014

Help Save Nullspace Labs

Nullspace Labs

A few days ago, the folks at Nullspace Labs in downtown LA got a surprising memo: their building is going to be gutted in a month. With thirty days left, they need money to cover first and last months rent, and help with moving. We can imagine that moving a Hackerspace is no small feat, since they tend to accumulate tons of awesome stuff.

The Hackerspace has started a crowd funding campaign, and has posted a call for help. They are looking for money, new members, or help with moving. If you’ve never been, you can check out our tour of Nullspace Labs.

It’s tough deciding what Hackerspace news to cover. We can’t run individual features on every tip we get promoting Hackerspace events, developments, crowd funding campaigns, and calls for help. We’re featuring this one because we just visited them, they’re awesome, and they’ve also been the source for many great stories over the years, like craning in a laser cutter or developing a modular LED orb. So here’s a question for you: Should we be presenting more Hackerspace news that is perhaps only relevant at the local level? If you think we should, how would we present it? There’s the option of doing occasional links-post-like roundups. But if you have a better idea we’re all ears.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, Hackerspaces

January 23 2014

LIDAR With LEDs For Under $100

LIDAR

If you need some sort of distance sensor for your robot, drone, or other project, you have two options: a cheap ultrasonic sensor with limited range, or an expensive laser-based system that’s top of the line. LIDAR-Lite fills that gap by stuffing an entire LIDAR module onto a small board.

In traditional LIDAR systems, a laser is used to measure the time of flight for a light beam between the sensor and an object. The very accurate clock and laser module required for this system means LIDAR modules cost at least a few hundred dollars. LIDAR-Lite gets around these problems by blinking a LED with a ‘signature’ and looking for that signature’s return. This tech is packaged inside a SoC that reduces both the cost and size of a traditional laser-based LIDAR system.

As for the LIDAR-Lite specs, it can sense objects out to 40 meters with 5% accuracy, communicates to any microcontroller over an I2C bus, and is small enough to fit inside any project.

Considering the existing solutions for distance measurement for robots and quadcopters, this sensor will certainly make for some very awesome projects.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, led hacks

January 18 2014

$20 GPS/GLONASS/Beidou Receiver

navspark

Sticking a GPS module in a project has been a common occurrence for a while now, whether it be for a reverse geocache or for a drone telemetry system. These GPS modules are expensive, though, and they only listen in on GPS satellites – not the Russian GLONASS satellites or the Chinese Beidou satellites. NavSpark has the capability to listen to all these positioning systems, all while being an Arduino-compatible board that costs about $20.

Inside the NavSpark is a 32-bit microcontroller core (no, not ARM. LEON) with 1 MB of Flash 212kB of RAM, and a whole lot of horsepower. Tacked onto this core is a GPS unit that’s capable of listening in on GPS, GPS and GLONASS, or GPS and Beidou signals.

On paper, it’s an extremely impressive board for any application that needs any sort of global positioning and a powerful microcontroller. There’s also the option of using two of these boards and active antennas to capture carrier phase information, bringing the accuracy of this setup down to a few centimeters. Very cool, indeed.

Thanks [Steve] for sending this in.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, gps hacks

January 14 2014

Creating PCBs with 3D Resin Printers

PCB

The folks over at Full Spectrum Laser are Kickstarting their own 3D printer – a stereolithography machine like the Form 1 and B9 Creator printers. During their testing, they discovered a new application for these SLA printers that should prove to be very useful for the makers and builders using machines – manufacturing PCBs with UV-sensitized copper clad boards.

Full Spectrum Laser’s printer – the Pegasus Touch – uses a near UV laser and a galvo system to build objects in UV-curing resin layer by layer. In retrospect it seems pretty obvious a UV laser would expose UV sensitive boards, but this discovery simply reeks of cleverness and is a nice ‘value added’ feature for the Pegasus printer.

The Pegasus printer has a laser spot size of 0.25mm, meaning the separation between traces on Pegasus-produced PCBs will be just under 10 mils. That’s a bit larger than the limits of laser printer-based PCB fabrication but far, far less complicated. Making a PCB on an SLA printer is as easy as removing the resin tank and putting a sensitized board on the build platform. Draw some traces with the printer, and in a few minutes you have an exposed board.

We’d really like to see if this technique can also be used with other SLA printers. if anyone out there would like to experiment, be sure to send the results into the tip line.

Video from Full Spectrum Laser below.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Crowd Funding
Reposted bySpinNE555 SpinNE555

January 11 2014

Rex, the ARM-Powered Robot board

REX

There are a million tutorials out there for building a robot with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, but they all suffer from the same problem: neither the ‘duino nor the Raspi are fully integrated solutions that put all the hardware – battery connectors, I/O ports, and everything else on the same board. That’s the problem Rex, an ARM-powered robot controller, solves.

The specs for Rex include a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 with a Video SoC and DSP core, 512 MB of RAM, USB host port, support for a camera module, and 3.5mm jacks for stereo in and out. On top of that, there’s I2C expansion ports for a servo adapter and an input and output for a 6-12 V battery. Basically, the Rex is something akin to the Beaglebone Black with the hardware optimized for a robotic control system.

Because shipping an ARM board without any software would be rather dull, the guys behind Rex came up with Alphalem OS, a Linux distro that includes scripts, sample programs, and an API for interaction with I2C devices. Of course Rex will also run other robotics operating systems and the usual Debian/Ubuntu/Whathaveu distros.

It’s an impressive bit of hardware, capable of speech recognition, and machine vision tasks with OpenCV. Combine this with a whole bunch of servos, and Rex can easily become the brains of a nightmarish hexapod robot that responds to your voice and follows you around the room.

You can pick up a Rex over on the Kickstarter with delivery due sometime this summer.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, hardware, robots hacks

January 08 2014

Mooshimeter: The ‘Why Didn’t I Think Of That’ Multimeter

Mooshi

Despite how useful multimeters are, there are a lot of limitations you just don’t think about because they’re the way electronic measurement has always been done. Want to measure voltage and current simultaneously? Better get two meters. Measuring something in a dangerous, inaccessible, or mobile place? You could rig up a camera system to show the meter’s display on a monitor, you know.

Mooshimeter is the better way of doing things. It’s a multichannel multimeter that communicates with your cell phone over a Bluetooth connection. With two channels. the Mooshimeter makes it easy to graph voltage against current to plot a beautiful IV curve on your smart phone. Being a wireless multimeter means you can stick the Mooshi inside a robot and get instantaneous feedback of how hard you’re driving your motors.

Far from being a two-trick pony, the Mooshimeter is actually a pretty good multimeter by itself. It can handle 600V and 10A with 24 bits of resolution. Here are the complete specs. The Mooshimeter is available for preorder here for $100 USD.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, tool hacks

December 24 2013

3DMonstr Printer: 8 Cubic Feet Of Build Volume

3D Monster

So you’re looking at 3D printers, but the build volumes for the current offerings just aren’t where you’d like them to be. [Ben Reylblat] had the same problem and came up with the 3DMonstr, an enormous printer that has (in its biggest configuration) a two foot cubed build volume, four extruders, and the mechanical design to make everything work.

Most of the ginormous 3D printers we’ve seen are basically upgraded versions of the common table-top sided models. This huge Ultimaker copy uses the same rods as its smaller cousin, and LeBigRap also uses woefully undersized parts. The 3DMonstr isn’t a copy of smaller machines, and instead uses very big motors for each axis, ball screws, and a proper welded frame. It’s highly doubtful anyone will call this printer a wobblebot.

The 3DMonstr comes in three sizes: 12 inches cubed, 18 inches cubed, and 24 inches cubed, with options for two to four extruders.  We caught up with the 3D Monstr team at the NYC Maker Faire, and from first impressions we have to say this printer is freakin’ huge and impeccably designed.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Crowd Funding

December 19 2013

FPGAs For The Pi And ‘Bone

logi

We’ve seen FPGA dev boards out the wazoo—even some following the current trend of putting an FPGA and an ARM processor on a single board. Take one good idea and mix it in with a few million Linux/ARM boards already piling up on workbenches the world over and you get LOGi: an FPGA designed to plug into the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone.

Both the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone versions of the LOGi feature a Spartan 6 FPGA with 9152 logic cells, 16 DSP Slices, 576KB of RAM, and 96 I/O Pins. There’s also 256 MB of SDRAM and a SATA connector. The Kickstarter has a few demos for this board, namely a machine vision, Bitcoin mining (though don’t expect this board to make return-on-investment with mining), and an autonomous vehicle control demo. The LOGi’s hardware is comparable to the Papilio Pro, so potential projects may include generating NTSC video, adding a VGA out, and a few retrocomputer emulations via OpenCores.

For what this Kickstarter asks for the Pi or ‘Bone version of the LOGi—$89 USD for either—you’ll get a surprisingly capable FPGA dev board that’s a bit cheaper than comparable offerings. Sure, you won’t save any money buying a Pi and a LOGi, but if you have a few Raspberries lying about, you could do much worse for a starter FPGA board.

Thanks [hamster] for sending this one in.


Filed under: Crowd Funding

December 11 2013

A Really Big Extruder For Exotic Filaments

extruder

Even with ABS, PLA, Nylon, HIPS, and a bunch of Taulman filaments, the world of 3D printers is missing out on a great supply of spools of plastic filament. Plastic welding rod is available from just about every plastics supplier, and in more variety than even the most well-stocked filament web shop.

This Kickstarter hopes to put all those exotic plastic welding rods to good use. Instead of being designed to only use 1.75 and 3mm filaments, this guy will extrude welding rods up to 4.76mm in diameter. This opens the door for 3D printed objects made out of PDPF, PVC, Polypropylene, Polyethylene and other high molecular weight plastics.

Because these welding rods are much bigger than the usual plastic filament, this extruder also has the option for a very beefy NEMA 23 motor. It’s the perfect solution if you’re planning on building a homebrew ludicrous-sized printer, or you just to show off just how awesome you are.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Crowd Funding

December 06 2013

The Sub-$500 Deltaprintr

delta

We’ve seen them before, but only now has the Deltaprinter, a very simple and affordable delta printer finally hit Kickstarter.

We saw the Deltaprintr at the World Maker Faire last September where the team showed off their fancy new printer and the very nice prints it can produce. The printer itself is unique in that it eschews printed parts and is instead made of lasercut parts. Instead of belts, each arm of the delta bot is lifted with spectra line, and the entire mechanism is billed as not requiring calibration probably due to the accurate laser cut parts.

On a completely different note, we did notice the rewards for the Deltaprintr Kickstarter are limited. Unlike the gobs of 3D printers on Kickstarter, the Deltaprintr team actually wants to stay on schedule for their shipping dates. That’s an admirable dedication to getting their printer out to backers in a reasonable amount of time.


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Crowd Funding

November 25 2013

Circuit Stickers

10931799015_3fdff666bb_z

One of our tipsters just sent an interesting crowd funding project our way. They’re called Circuit Stickers and are a very creative way to get basic electronics into children’s hands through arts and crafts.

The project is the brainchild of [Bunnie] and [Jie Qi]. [Bunnie] is a hacker, and a Director of Studio Kosagi, a small manufacturing outfit in Singapore. [Jie] on the other hand is a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, who focuses her research on combining electronics and programming with arts and crafts. They came up with this idea to bridge the gap that exists between electronics and the arts, and the stickers are a great start. They allow anyone to learn basic electronics in a very easy and friendly way, using skills we all learned as children, drawing and sticking stickers on everything.

The current offering includes LED stickers, effects stickers (to control the LEDs), sensors, microcontrollers, and even breakout boards. They are all in sticker form, and can be connected together using  conductive fabric, thread, carbon-based paint, copper tape, pencil graphite, and really, anything conductive. They have already manufactured thousands of the stickers and everything is working as designed, so the crowdfunding campaign isn’t to raise funds to continue research, or even to start their company. It’s more of getting it out there, and getting these stickers into children’s hands to raise the next generation of hackers from a young age.

The video after the break gives a great overview of the project, and if anything we think it’ll give you some great ideas on children’s electronics projects.

[Thanks Valentin!]


Filed under: Crowd Funding

November 22 2013

Learn Engineering and Draw Narwhals

narwhals

Using LEGO robots and other ‘intro to robotics’ platforms is a great introduction to kinematics and programming, but if you’re teaching a classroom of people who don’t know what a 1/4-20 screw is, perhaps it’s not the right introduction to engineering. That’s the thinking behind NarwhalEdu’s upcoming, Kickstarted online course: give kids a bunch of servos, bolts, and a microcontroller, and they’ll be able to build anything, and not just what the instructions for a Mindstorm’s robot says.

Robots, Drawing, and Engineering is an online course built around a simple SCARA arm robot. It’s made out of laser cut hardboard and powered by three servos and an Arduino Nano with an extension shield. After building this robot in the first hour of the online class, students then learn a little programming and get their robot drawing everything from narwhals to nyan cats and faces.

In the second part of the course, students then tear apart their robot kit and start making other, cooler interesting devices. There’s a contest for the coolest project that will hopefully go a long way to show how creative engineering can be.

Two videos below of the NarwhalEdu SCARA arm in action.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, robots hacks

November 18 2013

Heirloom Chemistry Set

heirloom chemistry  set

We try not to share too many crowd funding projects, but when a tipster sent us to this Heirloom Chemistry Set we knew some would-be chemistry hackers might just want to see it!

[John Farrell Kuhns] runs a small science store with his wife in Kansas City called the H.M.S. Beagle, where young scientists (and adults!) can buy professional lab supplies, equipment, and the resources to study all things from chemistry to physics!

It all started when [John] was a child in the 1950′s and he received the classic Gilbert Chemistry Set as a Christmas present, which help set him on the course of becoming a professional research chemist. Now, wanting to share his love of chemistry with his children, he realized there just isn’t the same kind of chemistry sets available commercially!

Since the opening of his store he has made many custom chemistry sets very similar to the originals, but these were almost all one-off’s and very time consuming to make. So recently he decided to try making a set that he can produce in fair numbers to meet the demand, and so he started this Kickstarter to help it get off the ground. It’s already surpassed its goal by two times!

We wish we had one when we were growing up!

[Thanks Jeremy!]


Filed under: chemistry hacks, Crowd Funding

November 12 2013

Printing Printed Circuit Boards

circuit

We really respect the old timers out there and their amazing ways of crafting PCBs; they used black tape on clear acetate sheets to create single layers of PCBs with a photoetching process. Now creating a PCB is a simple matter of opening up a CAD package, but like the old timers we’re still dealing with nasty chemicals or long shipping times from China.

The EX¹, a new robot on Kickstarter - hopes to change that. They’ve created a PCB fabrication process that’s as simple as printing something with an inkjet printer. Just put in a piece of substrate – anything from Kapton to acrylic to fabric – and in a few minutes you have a single-sided PCB in your hands.

The printer dispenses two chemicals, silver nitrate and ascorbic acid, that react and produce traces and pads for the circuit. Right now, the EX¹ is limited to single-side boards, but experiments on creating multi layer boards are ongoing.

In any event, we’re really impressed with how simple the EX¹ setup actually is. Inkjet is a mature, well understood technology with more than enough resolution for simple homebrew circuits, and the AgNO3 + Vitamin C formula could easily be adapted to an inkjet printer modification.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, tool hacks

October 30 2013

Hackaday Interview with Amal Graafstra, Creator of xNT Implant Chip

Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled devices are starting to appear in our everyday lives. Shown in the picture above is the xNT (fundraiser warning), a 2mm x 12mm fully NFC Type 2 compliant 13.56MHz RFID tag encased in a cylindrical Schott 8625 bioglass ampule. It was created by [Amal Graafstra], who therefore aims to produce the world’s first NFC compliant RFID implant. The chip used is the NTAG203, which is (for the sake of simplicity) a 144bytes EEPROM with different protection features.

We can only start thinking of the different possibilities this chip will create in the near future, but also wonder which precedent this may set for future NFC enabled humans. Embedded after the break is the presentation video of xNT but also an interview I conducted with [Amal Graafstra], who has already been living for 8 years with RFID tags in each hand.

[Mathieu] First, we’d like to wish you all the best for your campaign, and it seems you’re already on the right path as you’ve just gotten $2k5 of your $8k goal on your first day.

[Amal] Thanks! We’re quite open about most of our R&D projects, and I know several people have been waiting for the xNT. They certainly came through at launch time. The tough part now will be to gather the remaining necessary backers, many of whom may be new to the entire concept of an implant.

[Mathieu] As mentioned in your video, you’ve been living with NFC chips in your left hand for 8 years now. Is it something you often ‘show’ to people, and what are their reactions?

[Amal] The chips I implanted back in 2005 are RFID technologies, but they are not NFC compliant, meaning they do not conform to NFC Forum standards. The xNT is the first NFC compliant implant available, which is why we’re so excited to see the campaign succeed! To answer your question though, most people don’t even know I have any RFID implants, and I don’t bother showing them off anymore. Most people find out when I use them to get into my home, or to access my datacenter or unlock my car. If they are paying attention, they will notice I don’t have anything in my hand and they will ask “hey, what just happened there” and I’ll show them and explain. When introduced to the concept in that way, seeing a useful application of it before contemplating the implant itself, most people are receptive and can see the usefulness. If I tell someone about it first, their reaction is usually a squeamish look on their face and sometimes a negative comment.

[Mathieu] Many of our geek friends at Hackaday are very interested by this technology, but are afraid to put it under their skin. What in your opinion could make them take this step?

[Amal] Back in 2005 I had several doctors as clients, and I consulted with both a cosmetic surgeon and my family general practice doctor about the device and the location I wanted to implant it. Both agreed it was a very safe place to install one of these devices, and both performed the procedure for me without hesitation. Since getting my implants, I’ve worked with hundreds of people also interested in getting an implant. I started Dangerous Things in order to control the materials processes involved to ensure the tags we sell are made with biocompatible glass and internal resins, and all components are bio-safe. Of all the people I’ve helped or sold implants to, I’ve never heard of any tags that have been implanted in the correct location (webbing of the hand) and in the proper orientation (parallel with the metacarpal) ever breaking or causing a problem. I’ve worked with doctors and body piercers to place these tags under the skin, and we’re building a partner network of professional body piercers to increase access to a clean studio environment and professional installation services. We offer procedure guides and phone consultations for piercing professionals who are installing for a Dangerous Things customer. Additionally, the implants are MRI safe, so getting one will not exclude you from medical imaging procedures.

[Mathieu] In your experience, are technical people less reluctant to try this chip than non-informed persons?

[Amal] Most of the time, people without a technical background will have misconceptions about the technology which lead them to believe that it is capable of doing something that it can’t. The most common misconception is that it can be tracked in real time by a 3rd party, like a GPS enabled device might be. Another common reason non-technical people are reluctant to entertain the idea of an implant is the lack of cheap, simple commercial products that work with the implant. When I got my first EM4102 based 125khz implant, the NFC standard was not published and there were no devices. This lack of standards meant you’d have to buy an expensive commercial access control system or you’d have to build solutions yourself. I ended up building my own solutions, as did many other hacker/hobbyists. The good news is, with NFC standards growing in popularity, commercial devices and systems based on NFC are now becoming available and a non-technical person can easily begin to integrate NFC into their daily lives without needing to solder it together themselves.

[Mathieu] The chip that you offer to put under the skin can be reprogrammed at will but has a unique 7 byte serial number, which may arise privacy concerns. What will you do with this information? Can we trust you? Do you think you’re setting a precedent in the history of NFC enabled humans?

[Amal] The 7 byte UID programmed into each NTAG203 chip could be a privacy concern if people used their tags with systems that are outside of their control. For example, if a person enrolled their implant with an access control system at their work or school, then every time they entered the premises by using their implant, that access even would be logged. But, the reality is, this is always the case when you use an access card, so there really is no difference having that access card under your skin instead of in your pocket.

The real question being asked about privacy revolves around consent – can someone read it, from a distance, without your consent. While it is technically possible someone could build a large, high powered antenna loop to pick up tags from a distance of a few feet, it’s not practical and not at all likely. Magnetically coupled data transmissions from passive tags don’t work like typical electric field radio emissions, and it becomes very difficult to generate a stable magnetic field that is large enough to envelope tags at a distance while maintaining the integrity and sensitivity required to communicate with those tags. Furthermore, the context in which you use your tag matters. If someone were to set up a large antenna loop somewhere and skim tag IDs of people walking by, in order to do anything with that information they would have to figure out who you were, how you used that tag ID, and plan an attack on you specifically. Unless a person were to use their implant to gain access to a bank vault or another target that an attacker would want to get into, it’s just not very likely. On the other hand, attackers who set up skim points to pull credit card data from RF enabled cards don’t need to know anything about their victims in order to go use that skimmed data to make purchases. Context matters.

[Mathieu] Did you try different antennas to see how far you could read the chip from?

[Amal] I’ve tried various antenna configurations with my 125KHz tag because low frequency works better than 13.56MHz high frequency tags when implanted into the body. The best range I could get using a high powered antenna loop coil that was 2 feet (~60cm) in diameter was about 1 foot (30cm). Typical read range of a 2mm x 12mm 125KHz tag using conventional readers is between 1mm and 2cm, depending on the reader and antenna configuration.

[Mathieu] In your opinion, can this chip be used to implement simple authentication on everyday devices?

[Amal] The xNT is well suited for simple authentication systems. The user memory space can also be used for NFC by storing an NDEF record, the latter portion of the user memory could also be used to store rotating one-time keys to help secure custom security systems. In a typical skim attack, an attacker that is able to read a tag’s UID bits and memory contents without consent would be able to emulate that UID and memory contents to the target reader device. In this scenario, the attacker gains entry and the victim has no idea anything is wrong. The attacker could come and go as they pleased without detection. By using a rotating key, each time the potential victim uses their tag the reader updates the key. This means two things; 1) the attacker has a very limited amount of time to utilize their attack. If the user were to return and use their tag before the attacker had time to execute an attack, the attack would fail. 2) the victim of a successful attack would not be allowed access due to a bad key on the tag. This would alert both the victim and the system administrator to a potential attack situation, which could bring up surveillance video of the current attempt and the last system access made by the attacker. Detecting an attack after it has happened is just as important as preventing one. Of course, there is no such thing as absolute security, and there are attacks which could be executed against a rotating key system, but again context is what matters. Typical users are going to be using the xNT for residential home access type projects, and I think if someone wants into your home that badly, they are much more likely to break a window or use some other, more conventional method.


Filed under: Crowd Funding, hardware, Interviews, wearable hacks

October 29 2013

1Sheeld Uses Your SmartPhone as an Arduino Accessory

1sheeld

The Arduino can be a bit of a gateway board. You start with an Uno, then a shield, then another. Before you know it, you have an entire collection of shields. This is the problem 1Sheeld wants to solve. 1Sheeld allows a you to use your cell phone as a sensor and I/O suite for your Arduino, replacing many existing shields. We think this will be a great idea, especially with all the older phones coming off contract these days. The sensor capabilities of the average smartphone, as well as the LCD and touchscreen I/O capabilities could make for an interesting pairing.

Currently the 1Sheeld page is just a sign up for an upcoming kickstarter, which leaves many details to the imagination. It appears that the 1Sheeld will be a bluetooth based board. A few questions do remain to be answered though – will the 1Sheeld use the Android ADK? The software is what we’re waiting to see. The software running in the 1Sheeld module bluetooth chip will be important, but the software running phone side will be the real make or break of this module. We would love to see more smartphones being used for hardware hacking rather than collecting dust once they’ve been replaced.

[Via TechCrunch]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Crowd Funding

October 23 2013

5 Year Mission Continues After 45 Year Hiatus

star trek continues

There have been many iterations of the Star Trek franchise since the original Star Trek 5 year mission series aired in 1966 including a cartoon series in 73, a new television series in 87 and many movies on the big screen. Those series and movies inspired many youngsters to pursue a career in the fields of science, engineering, technology and cinema. Now the franchise is coming full circle with a fan based Kickstarter funded web series. Those inspired fans are attempting to complete the original 5 year mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before”, which ended after only three seasons on the air. The fan based and fan supported reincarnation is cleverly titled “Star Trek Continues” and has CBS’s consent.

The production company behind this effort, [Far From Home, LLC], is owned and operated by [Vic Mignogna], who also plays Kirk in this web series. They have already finished the first amazing 51 minute web-isode titled “Pilgrim of Eternity“. The film may seem campy, but it’s not. They are sticking to the original format and using the sets that were used in the sixties, rightfully so being this is the continuation of the mission. This new web series has some very interesting actors. One is the well-known Mythbuster [Grant Imahara], who plays the role of Mr. Sulu. The actor playing Mr. Scott is [Chris Doohan] the son of [James Doohan], who played Mr. Scott in the original Star Trek series.

There are more details and episode 1 after the break.

Those not old enough to experience the original television series may not fully understand or appreciate how important sticking to the exact studio sets, simple props, sound tracks and cheesy video effects is to the completion of this passionate project. Truly “less is more” when making such a perfect reenactment of a vintage TV production. If only we had some tin trays with tinfoil covered meals it would be perfection!

This may be a project of passion but it also costs real dollars to produce and keep the mission on Trek. The Kickstarter linked above seeks to help fund the next three episodes. If they are as good as the first, they will be worth every bit of scratch you can part with. One reward level was a Blu-ray of episode 1 for $50, that would have been a great stocking stuffer. Unfortunately this reward was pulled, but there is some chatter in the comments about bringing it back. At the time of writing this article, they aren’t quite halfway to their $100,000 goal. Maybe they will bring back the Blu-ray reward and we can push them across the finish line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G-ziTBAkbQ


Filed under: Crowd Funding
Reposted bylordminxarendanielbohrer
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