Launching Angry Birds from a slingshot on your iPhone screen is fun, but actually launching Angry Birds from a slingshot sounds difficult, and borderline dangerous (well, definitely dangerous to the bird, variably dangerous to you depending on size of bird and degree of anger). A clever hack over on mbed shows you how to have the best of both worlds--real slingshot, digital birds--by turning a slingshot into a USB peripheral for playing Angry Birds.
By Justin DiPlacidoPosted 02.24.2012 at 10:30 am 8 Comments
Instant hand warmers are great--just shake 'em up, and you've got spontaneous warmth to thaw your hands during the cold winter months. But they're awfully expensive, and not because they're complicated to manufacture. In fact, you can make them yourself in a few very easy steps.
By Amber WilliamsPosted 02.10.2012 at 4:18 pm 0 Comments
Sure, you can buy fun things. But if you make them, you get the fun of construction plus the fun of use, with a dash of satisfaction and an anecdote to tell anyone who uses your creation. These three projects--a sledding winch to get you up a hill, a giant version of the board game Operation, and an Angry-Birds-playing robot--are all homemade.
I'm getting my MBA.
Of course, MBA stands in this case for the Master Builder Academy, a program run by LEGO that's designed to take your LEGO-building abilities from playful amateur to impress-your-friends amazing. It's a six-part course, and I've worked my way through the first two parts. Already I'm seeing a major change in the way I think about LEGO. This is the first of a three-part series documenting my journey from neophyte to Master Builder.
Among the most strictly enforced consumer-protection laws are those banning lead in toys. Lead is an insidious poison: It’s slow-acting and results not in immediately noticeable effects like rashes but in behavioral problems and a slightly lowered IQ. Even a very small amount of it is harmful. Yet a few decades ago, a lot of the most popular playthings were made from solid lead, including tin soldiers.
In the late 1980s, millions of arcade-addicted kids sat in the faux racing seats of Sega’s OutRun videogame, grabbed the rubber-covered wheel of the imitation Ferrari Testarossa, pressed down on the pedals, and imagined they were roaring down the street. Twenty-five years later, one of those kids, Garnet Hertz, has realized that fantasy, modding an 1,100-pound arcade machine to ride on pavement.
Viral marketing agency Thinkmodo has been bringing sci-fi to life in the skies over New York City for the past couple of weeks, so if you thought you saw something out of the ordinary in the past few days--like perhaps a few people lazily looping around the skyline like superheroes--no need to adjust your medication. To promote an upcoming film, the agency custom built three remote controlled aircraft shaped like humans and put them in the air over New York and New Jersey.
Recently I converted my old Ford pickup to diesel, and I needed to make a bracket to hold a throttle position sensor, which helps to control the new transmission. Often I wing this sort of thing, working from notebook drawings or cardboard models. But this time I decided to use 3-D CAD modeling, CNC manufacturing and 3-D printing to design and fabricate the part to the exact specifications I wanted.
Without conducting some tests on a smartphone, it’s hard to tell whether an upgrade is overdue or just a waste of money. The most important component to benchmark is the CPU, which is most easily done on Android phones—the free application Quadrant generates a graph comparing processor speed with that of other popular phones.
One of the most fun Kinect hacks we’ve seen in a while gives the idea of motion capture a whole new meaning. Behold the Board of Awesomeness, an all-terrain motorized longboard wired to a Kinect and a Samsung tablet running Windows 8. To roll ahead, the rider simply pushes his hand forward.