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Open Source

— Urban Transport

Crowdfunding push for EZ-EV open source electric kit car

By - January 21, 2013 16 Pictures
Electrical engineer Gary Krysztopik has been driving his self-built, open-framed, three-wheeled electric "hotrod" on the roads and highways of San Antonio (TX) for over three years now, but folks still can't help staring as he zooms past. While also working on gas-to-electric conversions (including a VW Bug and a Porsche Carrera), he's been busy refining and tweaking the design for his "battery box on wheels" and is now preparing to release the EZ-EV car as open source plans, build-it-yourself kits and complete vehicles. Read More
— Laptops

Parts People founder creates chunky Raspberry Pi-to-Go portable with 3D-printed case

By - January 7, 2013 12 Pictures
Since being delivered into the eager hands of hackers, enthusiasts and dabblers, the credit-card-sized Raspberry Pi personal computer has found itself an integral part of a growing list of novel devices and applications. For his addition to the list, founder and CEO of Parts-People, Nathan Morgan, has built a feature-packed portable PC that brings another Gizmag favorite to the table ... 3D printing. Read More
— Music

MIT students develop oneTesla self-build, music-playing Tesla coil kit

By - January 4, 2013 14 Pictures
Educational electronics kits like the one from Minty Geek are a great introduction to the world of circuit building and electronic tinkering, but are perhaps a little too basic for more advanced hobbyists. Three MIT students are currently enjoying enormous success on the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform with a DIY Tesla coil kit called oneTesla that can make artificial lightning sing ... well, erm, play music from a MIDI source. Now where did I put that polyphonic version of This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us by Sparks? Read More
— Robotics

RQ-TITAN robot wants to dominate the soccer field

By - December 21, 2012 5 Pictures
Let's say you're interested in acquiring a large bipedal robot. Commercial options, like Kawada Industries' HRP-4 and KAIST's HUBO cost upwards of US$300K and $400K respectively. Those could break the bank, and building one from scratch is an expensive and time-consuming process in itself. Now Korean robotics company RoboBuilder is offering a pre-built solution that's one-tenth the cost of those robots, and at approximately three feet tall is big enough to compete in RoboCup soccer's "TeenSize" division. Read More
— Robotics

Pinokio lamp is the real-life counterpart to Pixar's Luxo Jr

By - December 4, 2012 7 Pictures
Luxo Jr, the adorable little lamp that appears in the Disney Pixar logo, illustrates how animators can breathe life into mundane inanimate objects. Now, robotics technology allows us to do the same thing in real life, as shown by a trio from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Using a combination of readily available robotics and automated manufacturing technology, mixed with open-source software, they were able to grace a desk lamp with a little personality. Read More
— Science

Puzzlebox Orbit brain-controlled helicopter is flying into production

By - November 22, 2012 6 Pictures
For the last few years, Puzzlebox has been publishing open source software and hacking guides that walk makers through the modification of RC helicopters so that they can be flown and controlled using just the power of the mind. Full systems have also been custom built to introduce youngsters to brain-computer interfaces and neuroscience. The group is about to take the project to the next stage by making a Puzzlebox Orbit brain-controlled helicopter available to the public, while encouraging user experimentation by making all the code, schematics, 3D models, build guides and other documentation freely available under an open-source license. Read More
— Music

A 12-eyed music creator: the Dodecaudion music controller

By - November 13, 2012 9 Pictures
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
— Military

DARPA opens registrations for for first FANG challenge

By - October 2, 2012 1 Picture
Earlier this year, DARPA revealed it was embracing the crowdsourcing model to develop a new amphibious infantry vehicle known as the FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle). Now designers and engineers with expertise in drivetrain and mobility systems who wouldn’t mind an extra US$1 million lining their pockets can express their interest with DARPA now opening registrations for the first of three planned challenges that will kick off in January 2013. Read More
— Computers

New font designed to help dyslexic people read

By - October 2, 2012 4 Pictures
Developer Abelardo Gonzalez has created an open-source font designed to help people with dyslexia read more easily. Dubbed OpenDyslexic, the font is currently available as a free download, in the form of a Safari and Chrome extension, a bookmarklet, and a free iOS web-browsing app. OpenDyslexic has also been incorporated into several third-party apps, including popular read-it-later service Instapaper. Read More
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