Modder Andy Rawson thinks he’s found the secret to turning smartphones into super-cheap thermal imaging hardware. Inspired by his quest to find leaks in his old home and the high cost of professional gear, he set about building his own. A 64-zone temperature sensor connects to his iPhone via the dock, overlaying the data onto his camera display. He’s planning to open-source the $150 hardware, and an Android variant of the hardware is currently in the works — although details for both are currently thin on the ground, you can see his announcement video after the break. Read more…
Who here is a big fan of the “girl on a bike” trope that seems so ever-present in the motorcycle world? Yeah, if I regularly dedicated our post list to a few scantily clad women it would probably do wonders to our pageviews report, but oh well.
In case you didn’t know, if you really need some eye candy of the opposite sex, there are plenty of other websites on the internet that can suit your desires.
So, when we saw Portland-based Ducati dealer MotoCorsa do a photo shoot with a lovely lady named Kylie and a Ducati 1199 Panigale, we passed on running the photos. Then something interesting happened: MotoCorsa did a follow-up photo shoot, this time with men from around the shop, recreating the shots from the photo shoot with Kylie. Perhaps not the most flattering photos we’ve ever seen, it is however a delicious role-reversal, not to mention showing some good humor from the gentlemen involved.
Apparently a successful ad campaign in the motorcycle industry doesn’t have to be all Miracle Bras and ass cheeks…well, at least not in the traditional sense. Who knew? Read more…
Yes, this sounds like something straight out of the The Onion, but it appears to be the real deal. Toto Ltd., a Japanese toilet company, has apparently constructed a highly efficient motorcycle that runs on, well, excrement. The project, which has been ongoing since 2009 called “Toilet Bike Neo,” made its debut on Thursday in a Fujisawa showroom.
The basis is a three-wheeled, 250cc trike, with a specially built toilet as the seat. It’s important to note that the contraption does not run on the rider’s (*ahem*) leavings. Rather, the vehicle runs on livestock waste, or waste water. The toilet-derived seat is just a rather blatant advertising device.
According to a Metro UK report, the bike “runs on biogas fuel (fertilized, purified and compressed livestock waste and household waste water) provided by the Shika-oi Town in Hokkaido and Kobe city.”
This puts Toto at the front of the clean vehicle initiative in the Japanese market. The report says this vehicle could very well spawn a production model (we’re guessing it wouldn’t include the toilet seating), but there’s no word yet on production timing or price for the poo-burning hog.
Will we soon be commuting on real-life hovercraft soon? It depends on what you mean by “soon,” “commuting” and “real-life.”
Aerofex has released video showing its two-rotor, one-manned vehicle lifting off the ground, negotiating turns and landing.
But Gizmag says the most amazing claim from Aerofex concerns the tandem duct vehicle’s guidance system. The company says its prototype uses no flight software or electronics of any kind to give the “pilot” complete control over pitch, roll and yaw. The gadget site, though, isn’t totally convinced, stating the videos “appear to show successful test flights.” The italics are Gizmag’s.
Watching the video, it’s hard not to be impressed by how well the prototype seems to work. It’s also not hard to notice the complete lack of sound, leading us to believe the hover bike is a long way from cruising down Main Street. Watch the silent test flight video below.
While most Google Earth hobbyists are satisfied with a bit of snapping and geotagging, some have far loftier ambitions. Satellite archaeologist Angela Micol thinks she’s discovered the locations of some of Egypt’s lost pyramids, buried for centuries under the earth, including a three-in-a-line arrangement similar to those on the Giza Plateau. Egyptologists have already confirmed that the secret locations are undiscovered, so now it’s down to scientists in the field to determine if it’s worth calling the diggers in.
There were requests from all around to see video of the electric “Mini MINI” radio-controlled cars that are being used to retrieve javelins, hammers, shots and discus’ (disci?) at the London Olympics, and here it is.
The Olympic-liveried electric Cooper hatchbacks in roughly 1/4-scale ply the infield grass. The couriers are loaded up by judges in the field, who slot the particular sporting implements into holders built into the roofs, then the cars are driven back to the judges near the throwing area for retrieval.
Based on how many comments on the Mini R/C cars we’ve seen that are some variation of “Do want,” we wouldn’t be surprised to see these again somewhere else. You can watch them work in the videos below.
It’s a fairly menacing sight, an aluminum robot sporting big tank treads — that is, until you watch one of its creators do a handstand on top of the thing in a pair of cargo shorts. And really, while the ‘bot wouldn’t look too out of place with a small machine gun strapped to its front, its intentions are peaceful, seeking to extend the WiFi connections to hazardous places lacking in network infrastructure. The project was known only last week, when the team of computer and electrical engineers at Northeastern University that created it first revealed their work to the media.
After the limited machining resources at Northeastern failed to meet their needs, the students found a home at Artisan’s Asylum, where they learned the skills necessary to put together this ambitious project, utilizing classes and the metal shop provided by the space. The result is an impressive sight, a robot capable of climbing stairs and supporting the weight of two adult humans — the latter of which they happily demonstrated for us in a yet-to-be-occupied new wing at Artisan’s.
As convenient as touchscreens may be, there is still one fundamental flaw that every modern smartphone and tablet has failed to solve: touchscreens just aren’t capable of providing the same tactile satisfaction as keyboards. Sure there are a few phones out there with both a physical keyboard and a touchscreen, but now it looks like we might finally be able to get the best of both worlds.
California based Tactus Technology is working on an incredible new touchscreen that can physically mold buttons out of a glass-like surface as well as make them disappear when not in use. Utilizing tiny channels within the surface, a liquid is pumped into button-shaped chambers creating gel-like buttons that can appear and disappear on demand.
For more information on the Tactus Technology project, head on over to the Tactus webpage. No word on when we might see this technology reach our touchscreens, but we’re hoping its sooner rather than later. Haptic feedback can only do so much…
There are masochists, and then there are masochists. We’d have to put French hackers Dyak and Furrtek in the latter category. The two ingenious and self-destructive modders tweaked the beloved Sega Genesis to send signals to a pair of controllers any time the player takes damage. That signal doesn’t produce rumbles or blinking lights, however, it’s passed through a port to a shock collar meant for dogs. That’s right, every time you get hit, you get zapped. The jolt of electricity you receive is hardly deadly, but it’s certainly not pleasant, as you can tell from the barrage of obscenities bleeped out of the above video. The hack isn’t exactly easy but, if you’re bold, and don’t mind a bit of pain, you’ll find full details of the mod at the source link.
Using Microsoft’s Kinect to replace a mouse is often considered the Holy Grail of developers; there have been hacks and other tricks to get it working well before Kinect for Windows was even an option. A lead Technical Evangelist for Microsoft in France, David Catuhe, has just provided a less makeshift approach. The 1.2 update to his Kinect Toolbox side project introduces hooks to control the mouse outright, including ‘magnetic’ control to draw the mouse from its original position. To help keep the newly fashioned input (among other gestures) under control, Catuhe has also taken advantage of the SDK 1.5 release to check that the would-be hand-waver is sitting and staring at the Kinect before accepting any input. The open-source Windows software is available to grab for experimentation today, so if you think hands-free belongs as much on the PC desktop as in a car, you now have a ready-made way to make the dream a reality… at least, until you have to type.