Thursday, March 15, 2012

Animatronics and Cosplay

Instructables author Honus has posted this excellent tutorial on how he built an Animatronic Horus Guard Mask from Stargate.  The detail on his build is amazing - a fantastic blend of art and technology.  The heart of the build is an Arduino-based motion control rig, controlling 5 servos that move the bird head and the fans on the side.  The video below shows the mask in action.

Also check out Honus' other build: Predator

If you're interested in something a little... creepier, check out these animatronic babies:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pop-Up Robotics

Researchers at Harvard have developed a set of new techniques for micro-fabrication of robots using principles of origami and pop-up books.  This article at Gizmag and the video below explains the details of the process.  

The capabilities of this technology are astounding, as the video below shows they can construct very complex shapes using this technology.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Torrent of Tesla Coil Tutorials

Photo by Flickr user Pekar [source]
Tesla Coils are a special type of transformer originally intended to broadcast electrical power without the use of wires.  These days they're primarily used for special effects in TV and movies, electrical testing (why wait for lightning to strike? Make your own!) and plain old mad-scientist style geeky fun.

Instructables has a couple of excellent tutorials on building the Basic Spark Gap Tesla Coil, and a more advanced Solid State Tesla Coil that can be modulated to play music.

Get Cracking Roboteers!

All about Arduino Timer Interrupts

The excellent author(s) over at EngBlaze have a great series of AVR / Arduino Tutorials running, with their latest article on the topic of using Timer Interrupts with the Arduino.  As usual, the article does a great job of describing basic concepts and how to apply them.  Be sure to check out their other tutorials, such as Interrupts and Low-Power Sleep Mode.