The folks at Modd3d show us how to make a confetti cannon:
I’ll show you how to build a pneumatic confetti cannon that sprays bits of paper all over the place at the push of a button. It is safe to use and easy to build, and the confetti shower effect it produces is excellent for stage shows, dances, parties, and those times when you need to make the biggest mess possible in just under one second.
It uses a fire extinguisher, a sprinkler valve, and a plastic pipe. – Link.
The Wii Drum Kit is another great example of a tangible user interface made possible with the Wiimote. The latest version adds support for the Nunchuck, so you can use both hands to play your virtual drum kit. This one is a Windows application, and source is available at the This is Not a Label blog.
The Wiimote + Nunchuck combination seems like the perfect interface for an air drum. Different gestures are used to trigger a specific drum, so the high hat is a flick to the side, the snare is a forward hit, etc. There’s no kick pedal, of course, but the fist stamping motion that’s used is a reasonable alternative.
Wii Drum Kit – Link
Control Your Applications With a Wiimote – Link
Matt Mets’s Thing-a-Day projects are getting ridiculous:
Tonight’s project is a physical flag that attaches to my computer and goes up when I have new mail. First, I found biff, which is an extension to Thunderbird that proves a socket interface to poll for new mail status. Then, I wrote a little Python application to continuously poll the status and update the flag as necessary. Since I already had one written and didn’t feel like looking into any libraries, I used a C program to turn pins on the parallel port on and off to trigger the hardware. In a final bit of ridiculousness, I actually used some 555 timers to make an H-bridge to control the motor (don’t try that at home).
The Blow N Glo Special, built and driven by Maddog, is a nice-looking car built to compete in the San Fernando Valley Illegal Soap Box Federation races. The February issue of Hot Rod has an article about the S.F.V.I.S.B.F.
San Fernando Valley Illegal Soap Box Federation – Link
The fine folks at Graffiti Research Labs have won the Instrucatbles Laser Cutter Contest. I was honored to be one of the judges in the contest. It was an amazing group of finalists, with both impressive projects and equally impressive Instructables. The winning project was a low-budget camera special F/X rig GRL used in a rap video to recreate the “bullet time” effect from The Matrix.
“This will be the cornerstone of our new lab space,” said GRL member fi5e. “A whole crew of creative people are really excited to put this thing to use! Thanks for helping us bring the VersaLaser to Brooklyn.”
Graffiti artists replicate The Matrix on Instructables.com–and win $15,000 Universal Laser Cutter! – Link
These French engineering students wrote some software to control a little Pekee bot via Nintendo DS’ wi-fi. They utilize several different control methods you may recognize from DS games (such as the MarioKart steering interface). To check out the app for yourself, download the .nds file posted here.
And just in case that demo was too slick for you, take a look back at the DSRobot:
From the MAKE Flickr pool:
Ryan made his own retro-pixel cookie cutters and churned out a fresh batch o’ aliens. He seems to be a little wary of eating them tho, since the cutter shapes were assembled using solder. Yeah, probably a good idea to avoid all known lead content in food – but hey, they look cool!
Jewelry making can be a lot of fun (even if you’re not the intended wearer). Dan wrote an in-depth tutorial on using the Ponoko fabrication service to create laser-cut Valentine’s gifts. He goes into detail regarding the specific steps involved in making with Ponoko – very useful stuff if you’re new to the process. He even shares the .eps files from his butterfly earring design.
How to make laser-cut jewelry for Valentine’s Day -Link