Steampunk Conference Personality Identification Apparatus – Gen 5

Gen 5 Steampunk Conference Badge

The 5th-generation conference badge sports a 3.5″ color TFT touchscreen and a Raspberry Pi 3, wrapped in a decorative brass and leather Steampunk-themed package. An additional Arduino Pro Mini manages the ultrasonic range finder, with an “ozone tube”, photocell and digital temperature sensors, in the works. The device plays promotional .mp4 movies using mplayer, on the display and runs for about 2 hours on a 2200 Ah cell battery. There were a lot of “Wow, what’s thats?” when I wore it to a recent conference in Santa Clara.

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 thenewstack.io.

1800 Lb-Ft Of Torque…Electric!

Imagine having 1800 lb-ft of torque under your right foot.

Mitch Medford came up with the idea of building high-end electric muscle cars, after seeing a story on the venerable White Zombie 1972 Datsun electric monster. Medford exited the corporate world to work full-time on his dream of building a specialty, high-performance electric classic car business. It’s appropriately named “Bloodshed Motors”. Sick!

His first project is the Zombie 222, a full-bodied, full-glass 1968 Mustang Fastback. Medford said the name came from “two motors, two controllers, and too damn fast”. It has a 1.5 megawatt battery pack and puts out 800 hp with 1800 lb-ft of torque.

Here’s a nice story about the car on the Verge.

Medford took the Zombie 222 to the Texas Mile event and eventually ran 174.2 mph, top-end. It’s zero-to-60 time is 2.4 seconds and quarter mile time is 10.7 seconds at 125 mph.

As you know, I love putting big motors in things. Big gas, big diesel, or big electric…it certainly works for me. The more torque the better.

Check out the Zombie 222 photo gallery.

It’s nice to see that radical innovation, with style, is still thriving in America.

Steampunk Name Badge – Version 1.0

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.