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 thenewstack.io.
The response has been amazing for the Generation 4.0 Steampunk Conference Badge. People stopped me and asked what it was and if I made it. I told them how it worked and showed them the connected Raspberry Pi. There were a few selfies, which was kind of new to me. Nevertheless, everybody enjoyed it and seem inspired.
Found a few challenges. I’ll likely mod the alligator clip attachment system. The clips bend and are hard to get lined up correctly. The thumb screws loosened over time, as well, so those will have to be changed a bit.
Looking forward to demonstrating the “Steampunk Conference Presentation and Manipulation Apparatus” at FETC in January. It sports a Raspberry Pi 2, hacked Web cam for showing small parts and a Steampunk-inspired theme. Slides will be handled with LibreOffice Impress and parts viewing will be via guvcview.
I recently started a brand new column on TheNewStack.io 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.
After a lot of work, version 1.0 of my Steampunk Name Badge was unveiled at the recent Orlando Robotics and Maker Club meeting. It features a 1.8″ color TFT LCD screen, an Arduino Pro Mini microcontroller and a Dallas DS18B20 digital temperature sensor. It has an integrated micro-SD card and can display bitmaps at 160×128 resolution. The badge cycles through a “Dr Torq” bitmap and a text readout of the ambient temperature. It’s all wrapped up in a brass Steampunk-themed frame with several interesting aesthetic features.
There were about 30 attendees at my session today. People seemed to like the Steampunk Eye and many examined the nearly-antique Arduino NG, the Raspberry Pi B-model, and the Beaglebone Black. Overall everybody seemed to get something out of the presentation. Here’s the PDF slidestack (reference pages are at the end).