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Maker & DIY Posts - Page 1

littleBits release Star Wars R2D2 Droid Inventor Kit

By: Shaun Grimley | Maker & DIY | Posted: Sep 6, 2017 @ 10:15 CDT

The force is strong with DIY electronic toymaker, littleBits. They have just released an amazing toy that is supposedly aimed for users in the age bracket of 8-12 years old. Introducing the 11-inch tall, fully-functional R2D2 Droid Inventor Kit. The R2D2 Droid kit features everything you need to get your own R2D2 droid moving around your living room bleeping and whistling with 20 authentic sounds directly from the Star Wars movies.

The accessories kit consists of 20 parts that snap together magnetically, so no screws are required. 3 sticker sheets that allow yourself children to customize R2D2 to their liking. Electronically, we see DC and servo motors, 9V battery, proximity sensor that detects hand movements for Force Drive and also detects objects in its path and more.

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Galaxy Note 8 might rock next-gen Qualcomm camera tech

By: Anthony Garreffa | Maker & DIY | Posted: Aug 18, 2017 @ 23:24 CDT

Samsung is just days away from unveiling its new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, with what looks like a big emphasis on the rear-facing camera, which I think will be one of the first big tease of Qualcomm's next-gen camera tech.

Qualcomm held an intimate conference at SIGGRAPH a few weeks ago, showing off what I think will be one of the larger steps in smartphone camera technology (something you can read here). But now Samsung's marketing hype train is in full swing for the Galaxy Note 8, which is being unveiled on August 23... next week.

In the embedded video above, you can see the 'infinity' zoom that Samsung should bake into the Note 8. Samsung will be using a dual camera rig on the Note 8, and I'm sure there will be some impressive tricks up Samsung's sleeve.

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Homeade Iron Man glove can light things on fire

By: Sean Ridgeley | Maker & DIY | Posted: Jul 15, 2016 @ 14:09 CDT

An Iron Man glove created by laser gadget maker Patrick Priebe is 3,000 times more powerful than a typical laser pointer. As shown by Wired in the demo video below, that's enough to let you indulge your inner pyromaniac a little by igniting cigarettes, ping pong balls, and matches. You can also show up to children's birthday parties and make them cry by popping balloons with it (that's a win my book).

If you want to get your hands-on one, contract Priebe through his official website. Although after the press he's been getting, you may have to wait awhile for a response.

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ASUS holds event in Sydney showing off how cool water cooling can be

By: Jeff Williams | Maker & DIY | Posted: Mar 15, 2016 @ 15:21 CDT

Water cooling can be a pretty fun process, but also somewhat scary if you don't quite know what you're doing. And that's why ASUS partnered with INWIN, Bitspower, Kingston (HyperX), NVIDIA, Intel and Cooler Master during the ASUS Australia 2016 PC water cooling event in Sydney, Australia at the University of Sydney this past weekend to give Australian retailers and Sydney-based PC enthusiasts all the info they need to be water cooling professionals. We prepared a video from the event, embedded below.

The whole event had a great turnout, with a lot of different examples of water cooled PC's, from the more extreme, modded variety all the way to the other end of the spectrum with modest examples of what can be done with proper water cooling parts.

It was all about showing off the different ways in which it can be used and how efficient it can be, and how complicated it is not. Really, the scariest part is wondering if the tubes you connected were done so with a proper seal. But other than that, water cooling, as this event showed, is a splendid idea for everyone. And now a variety of retailers all have the knowledge and power to help just about anyone plan their build, no matter how complex it might be.

Windows 95 running on a 3DS looks as awesome as it sounds

By: Jeff Williams | Maker & DIY | Posted: Jan 3, 2016 @ 11:41 CST

As seems to be the tradition in the hardware hacking and modding community, someone has installed Windows 95 on their Nintendo 3DS. Why? Why not!


Having Windows 95 running is a bit of a hallmark, similar to getting an emulated version of Doom running on various bits of hardware. Just two year ago an astute modder was able to run Windows 95 on a Samsung Gear Live smartwatch. And why? Simply because it has never been done before, and because they could!

So that means that soon we'll have instructions on how to run an emulated version of Windows 95 on your 3DS or 3DSXL. But like all great efforts in the beginning, this doesn't have much functionality yet. The touchscreen doesn't work and no other programs can be run after getting to the desktop. Once the touchscreen issue is taken care of and the controller is functional, we might just see Doom running on it too.

Real-life laser-based Lightsaber is as dangerous as it sounds, bright

By: Jeff Williams | Maker & DIY | Posted: Dec 28, 2015 @ 18:05 CST

Someone has created a working lightsaber using laser-light as it's basis. Well, it's not quite a light-saber, but just a really bright and powerful 7W blue-diode laser that doesn't really resemble a lightsaber at all. But he's calling it one, so there's that I suppose.

In reality the individual in the video, styropyro, actually built his own laser using a rather 7W Nichia made GaN diode that runs at a maximum of 4.6A. His design uses a wavelength that just happens to be highly visible to the human eye. This laser definitely can cut, though slowly, through a variety of materials. Just don't expect it to be able to lop off limbs.

The great thing is that all of the parts used to make this pseudo-saber are actually publicly available in most regions. You can theoretically make a very powerful laser all on your own, well beyond the 7W power-envelope of the one in the video. But just be very safe if you do, and always wear eye-protection when playing with lasers.

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Adidas' new shoe is 3D-printed and made with ocean garbage

By: Sean Ridgeley | Maker & DIY | Posted: Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:35 CST

Adidas has partnered with its environmental group Parley for the Oceans to design a 3D-printed shoe created in part with garbage found in the ocean.


As of now, it's in the concept stage and comprises an upper made with plastic sourced from the ocean, and a 3D-printed midsole made with recycled polyester and gillnets (specialized nets used to catch fish and sometimes left in the ocean).

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Owning blueprints to a 3D-printed gun can now land you behind bars

By: Chris Smith | Maker & DIY | Posted: Nov 23, 2015 @ 14:25 CST

If you're thinking about making, downloading or tinkering with a 3D-printed gun file, you might want to think again. Reports have come to light stating that the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) doesn't take to this kindly, offering hefty jail time to anyone who might want a gun file of their own.


Last week, the NSW Government passed its Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, with one section stating that simply owning a 3D blueprint of a firearm can land you up to 14 years in jail.

With incarceration also extended to owning plans for "electric milling machines," this new legislation marks further action against illegal real-life weaponry, offering up harsher penalties to those with stolen guns or others who are keen on making illegal firearm modifications.

Custom Surface 3 skin evokes the inner Microsoft fanboy

By: Sean Ridgeley | Maker & DIY | Posted: Oct 20, 2015 @ 13:43 CDT

Reddit user "mechgingeneer" has applied a custom matte-like Windows logo-themed skin to his Surface 3, and it's strikingly well done, enough so that it's a wonder Microsoft hasn't come out with something like this by itself by now.


The skin was created by DecalGirl, so if you want it for yourself, head there with the image found at the bottom of the full gallery here.

Engineer builds Thor's hammer that nobody can lift but him

By: Sean Ridgeley | Maker & DIY | Posted: Oct 15, 2015 @ 12:23 CDT

Electrical engineer Allen Pan aka YouTube's Sufficiently Advanced has taken it upon himself to create a real-world version of Thor's hammer Mjolnir of Marvel fame. That is, the hammer that can only be wielded by "the worthy."


Pan utilized the power of magnets to make his version of Mjolnir impossible to lift when placed on a magnetic surface by anyone but himself. The exception is courtesy of a fingerprint scanner which, in combination with other hardware, deactivates the magnetic field effect when it detects his fingerprint.

Now, watch hapless citizens try to lift it in the video below. Most fail to catch onto why Pan can lift it but not them, but one clever fellow manages to, while another figures out a workaround.

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