Teleclaw: Remote Robot Gripper

It might have been Robots of Saturn that first got my young brain thinking about building a mechanical man. In that obscure 1962 sci-fi adventure novel, Dig Allen and his fellow teenage space explorers transfer their thoughts into the bodies of teleoperated robots to mine Saturn’s dangerous rings for precious... Read more »

Lunchbox Laser Shows

Back in the 1970s, my friend Wayne Gillis and I used to do light shows at science fiction conventions. We had the usual panoply of overhead, slide, and custom-made projectors, and a single, very expensive, helium-neon laser from Edmund Scientific. Calling ourselves Light Opera, and later, Illuminatus, we performed at... Read more »

The Autophenakistoscope

Motorize a phenakistoscope, a 19th-century parlor novelty that preceded motion pictures, and keep its frames synched to an LED strobe by using a sensor and an Arduino microcontroller. Invented in 1832 by Joseph Plateau, this device creates a moving picture from a sequence of stills arranged on a spinning disk... Read more »

Custom LED Spiral Staircase Lighting

I needed a lighting solution for my spiral staircase. After looking at various options (such as direct lighting from above or below) I decided to create my own lighting using some cheap components and a bit of time. I’ll show how I designed and built my lighting rig. Hopefully I... Read more »

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