The Steampunk Eye Ball Is Operational

Dr. Torq's Steampunk Eye Ball.
Dr. Torq’s Steampunk Eye Ball.

The Steampunk Eye Ball is up and running.

It features a copper lightning-rod ball, pan and tilt servos, a decorative brass frame and base, along with a Pixy image processing camera inside. You simply sit it on a table, plug in a cell phone power pack and the device will track you as you walk around…if you are wearing a blue shirt. You can train it to recognize other colors using the PixyMon application on a Linux notebook. Be sure to check out the entire build series, “Off-The-Shelf Hacker Steampunk Eye Ball (parts 1 through 5) over at

New Off-The-Shelf-Hacker Series On

I recently started a brand new column on about hardware hacking. The series walks through tips, techniques and projects for the physical computing hardware hacker.

The first edition, Off-The-Shelf-Hacker: The Physical Computing Stack, introduced the reader to the exciting new world of off-the-shelf microcontrollers, sensors, actuators, Linux/Free software, NanoLinux systems and companion topics like the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266, and other tools and designs of the DIY (do-it-yourself) and Maker movement.

Future stories will take readers through hands-on fabrication tutorials, using various programming tools/frameworks and discussions on using sensors, micro-controllers, nano-Linux systems and interfacing to various electronic/mechanical devices.

The articles will appear weekly, typically over the weekend.

If you want to get into hacking hardware and building physical computing projects, be sure to check it out.