Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Arduino

The Social Drink Machine is a robotic bartender that takes your order via Facebook or Twit...

Robofun, which bills itself as the largest open-source hardware store in Romania, has built a robotic bartender called The Social Drink Machine. It takes its inspiration from another recently created "botender," The Inebriator, which the team at Robofun felt could be improved with a social media interface. They built their own robot from scratch in just 10 days and added Facebook and Twitter apps that let you order drinks from a mobile phone.  Read More

panGenerator's Dodecaudion is a 12-faced music controller that can trigger audio or video ...

Moving around the stage while performing is a whole lot easier with instruments such as the Vortex or Kitara than with something like the mighty JUPITER-80. Innovations like Onyx Ashanti's Beatjazz hands or the Air Piano from Omer Yosha go even further, by making movement a vital part of the music creation process. Such is the case with the Dodecaudion from Polish art and design group panGenerator. When a performer places a hand, foot, head or other part of the body in front of any of its 12 IR-sensor-packing faces, wirelessly-linked processing hardware generates pre-programmed audio or visuals.  Read More

Moritz Simon Geist has built a huge mechanical homage to Roland's iconic TR-808 drum machi...

If you're a fan of 1980s music, then there's a very good chance that you'll already be familiar with the electronic beats provided by what's widely regarded as the drum machine that started it all, Roland's TR-808. It set the mood for Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing, fired shots at David Byrne in the concert movie Stop Making Sense and was the inspiration for the naming of the band 808 State. In his own homage to the iconic device, electronic music tinkerer Moritz Simon Geist has mechanically reproduced 11 of its key sounds using real instruments played by robots within the supersized, wall-filling frame of the stunning MR-808.  Read More

Just in time for Halloween, an actual pumpkin was outfitted with LED lights to create a pl...

Every Halloween brings a new batch of creative takes on the traditional Jack-o-lantern, but very few of these actually try to give a pumpkin a technological enhancement. This year, one programmer decided to change that by hacking a pumpkin into a working version of Tetris by using a grid of LED lights and converting the stem into a functional joystick.  Read More

The ArduinoLCD is a touchscreen designed for use with the Arduino microcomputer

For all the Arduino microcomputer addicts who love tinkering around on really cool projects, here's something that will might help you bring those projects to the next level. It's the ArduinoLCD from EarthMake, and it offers an affordable way of integrating a touchscreen into your latest gizmo.  Read More

Both the TinyDuino and TinyLily Mini are significantly smaller than, but compatible with, ...

The popular open-source Arduino microcontroller has been implemented in countless projects worldwide, and this very success has led the hacker community to create several smaller and cheaper alternatives to the Arduino, such as the Digispark. TinyDuino continues in this miniaturization trend but, crucially, does so while promising to retain all the flexibility of its illustrious forbear.  Read More

Aisoy 1 II includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as com...

Spanish start-up Aisoy Robotics is marketing a new robot that, while it may look similar to the famous Furby, is actually a fully programmable research and development platform. The Aisoy1 II robot comes with a variety of sensors (touch, light, position, temperature, and camera), microphone and speaker, a 70 mini-LED matrix display (for animated lips) and includes a dialogue system for speech recognition and synthesis, as well as computer vision software for face and object recognition, all running on the Linux operating system.  Read More

Uploading of a home destination can be achieved with the use of custom-made mapping softwa...

British designer Dominic Wilcox has created a pair of prototype shoes which offer to guide the wearer home with built-in GPS navigation. The inspiration for the clever footwear derives from The Wizard of Oz character Dorothy’s red shoes, which famously transported her home with a click of her heels. Naturally, the GPS system within Wilcox’s shoes is also activated by clicking the heels together.  Read More

Boom! Mind powers equals exploding melons (Photo: Nick Elrod on Flickr)

Games that are played by using your hands are so last year – why not do something a little more fun? For instance, why not explode watermelons ... with your mind? One Kentucky-based hackerspace took that idea and ran with it, turning a mind-reading toy into a melon blasting machine.  Read More

The Inebriator robot bartender ready and waiting to serve cocktails

Imagine having your own personal bartender ever-present in your home just waiting to be given the instruction to produce a cocktail of your choosing. While employing a dedicated bartender to be on hand 24/7 is the exclusive domain of the rich, a robot bartender doesn't have to be. Especially for those with a little passion and dedication – oh, and the technical know-how to build one out from the humble beginnings of an Arduino board. This is exactly what a group of amateur engineers have done with the Inebriator.  Read More

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