Robot Dog V3 – 3D Printed & Open Source #1

I’ve previously built several robot dogs which used a variety of servos and brushless motors. The most agile robot dogs are the ones with back-drivable low-ratio reducers which allows the motor to be back-driven so we get some natural spring in the legs – which can be controlled on the fly with software. So it’s time for openDog V3 – this version uses my Cycloidal Drives which I’ve developed over the last few months. I will eventually publish the CAD and code as open source when it works.

The Most Important Device in the Universe is Powered by a 555 Timer

The Hackaday comments section has become infamous for a recurring theme that goes something like “I don’t know why they used an Arduino, they could have done it with a 555 timer!” If you’ve ever thought the same way, then this post is for you!

What is The Most Important Device In The Universe, then? It’s the Modern Props #195-290-1, a movie prop originally built in the 1970’s. It’s a product of the creative mind of [John Zabrucky] who founded Modern Props in 1977 to serve Sci-Fi television and movie productions that wanted to invent the future with their props. Known for their high quality and impeccable craftsmanship, Modern Props’ products were in demand until the day they closed the doors so that [John] could retire.

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Waterproof Sensors Designed for Submerged Wearable Applications

The flexible, waterproof design could be used for many applications, including wearable healthcare devices and scuba diving equipment.

Researchers from Soongsil University in Seoul have developed a flexible, waterproof sensor that can be used for submerged wearable applications, including scuba diving gear, healthcare devices, smart textiles, and more.

According to their recently published paper, the team demonstrated using the pressure sensor to control a phone, such as playing music and taking pictures, while fully immersed in water. They also incorporated the sensor into a flexible face mask, which could track the breath rate of a wearer by detecting air movement inside the mask.

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Spot Release 3.0 Gives Everybody’s Favorite Quadrupedal Robot Edge AI Powers, Improved Autonomy

Boston Dynamics has unveiled an upgrade for its quadrupedal Spot robot, Spot Release 3.0, which offers new autonomy functionality, AI-powered data collection, and the ability to operate the arm remotely — even opening doors.

“We’ve been working closely with Spot users in asset-intensive industries to operationalize the robot on their sites,” the Boston Dynamics team writes of the new upgrade. “With Spot Release 3.0, we’ve added flexible autonomy and repeatable data capture, making Spot the data collection solution you need to make inspection rounds safer and more efficient.”

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Automated Backyard Studio Model Driven by an ESP32

The architectural model was designed using steel-reinforced concrete, glass windows, wooden steps, and an ESP32 for automation.

Architectural models are designed to approximate life-sized buildings in nearly every way, which is done for several reasons, including visualizing how light illuminates spaces, analyzing the best forms, and the relationships between spaces and materials. The Best Ever Architect’s Tiny Backyard Studio is one of those models and provides an understanding of home automation systems. While it may look simplistic, the model was created almost the same as life-sized buildings, beginning with a solid steel-reinforced concrete foundation, complete with pillars.

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See Your Circuits in All Their Glory with This Glass-Based “PCB”

By using glass as the substrate instead of the typical FR4 material, circuits can be visible from all angles.

Printed circuit boards, or PCBs, are essentially circuits that have been etched onto a piece of substrate material in order to use less space than something using wires and plugs. Commercially, PCBs are opaque, which does not allow anyone to easily observe the traces unless they get extremely close. It was for this reason that Okubo Heavy Industries wanted to build his own transparent version for a better viewing experience.

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Speak4Me is an eye-to-speech module designed to assist those unable to communicate verbally

People who suffer from physical disabilities that leave them unable to speak or communicate effectively can end up frustrated or largely ignored. In response to this issue, Hackaday users MalteMarco, and Tim R wanted to create a small device that can turn small eye movements into simple commands and phrases for easier communication, which they call the “Speak4Me.”

At the most basic level, the Speak4Me consists of an Arduino Nano board that controls a set of four infrared sensors which are pointed at the user’s eye within a single glass lens. Then once every 100 milliseconds, a measurement is taken to determine the location of the pupil and thus the direction being focused on. The word or phrase is chosen by first selecting a profile containing four groups of four elements each, for a total of sixteen possible combinations per profile. As an example, the caretaker profile has elements such as “yes,” “I want to sit,” and even “I need medical treatment.”

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UCTRONICS’ PoE HAT Mini Adds Power-over-Ethernet to a Raspberry Pi in Tiny Footprint

Designed to leave most GPIO pins free and not block the SoC, UCTRONICS’ PoE HAT Mini is an interesting add-on for Power-over-Ethernet.

UCTRONICS has launched a pair of alternatives to the Raspberry Pi Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) HAT, and while one is a near-copy the second is considerably smaller: the PoE HAT Mini.

The original Raspberry Pi PoE HAT was unveiled three years ago alongside the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Designed to simplify cabling for remote installations, the add-on connects to the Raspberry Pi’s general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header and a second dedicated header found only on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and later Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, and allows the device to be powered using an Ethernet cable and a compatible switch or power injector.

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