Maker Nation

Archive for the 'Inspiration' Category

Portal Pumpkin Sentry Gun

Pumpkin Turret

I love Halloween. I love Portal. So it goes without saying that I’m crazy about this awesome Portal Sentry Gun Pumpkin, complete with a home-brew Erector Set pan & tilt, made by Neil Fraser. Freakin’ awesome!

Read “Portal Pumpkin” for more details and pictures!

The Chipophone: An 8-Bit Chiptunes Electric Organ

Linus Åkesson is back with an amazing chiptune organ! I can’t decide what impresses me more: that he made it or that he can play it so well!

Linus came up with an ingenious design, wiring up all of the original keys, pedals and knobs to a microcontroller that generates midi notes which are then sent to a second micro that generates the sounds. It’s amazingly complete with multiple waveforms, independent modules, sound effects, an arpeggiator, and even a step sequencer! Seriously, I am just blown away at the awesomeness of this thing!

Check out Linus’ site for all the details.

Behold: The Dice-O-Matic

Let me disclaim that I’m a software guy, so I fully understand the deterministic nature of computer-generated random numbers. That said, bulding a “7 foot tall, 104 pound, dice-eating monster,” capable of generating 1.3 million random dice rolls per day is an extreme, to-the-max, over-the-top solution! In other words, exactly the kind of solution that sets a maker’s heart aflutter.

And while I may not understand what, exactly, correspondence gaming is all about, I’ve got nothing but respect for the maker of this beautiful behemoth!

Read “Dice-O-Matic hopper and elevator” for plenty of juicy details!

Craft: Amazing Demo in 8.5k of Atmel Assembly

If you remember downloading the latest demoscene releases from back in the days of 2400 baud modems BBS’s, you know that demos were (are?) notorious for squeezing every last drop of performance from a processor with unbelievable realtime 3D graphics and wicked tunes. Seriously, a couple of those old Future Crew demos are still stuck in my head some 20 years later!

Well, Linus Åkesson managed to squeeze a very cool demo onto a 20 Mhz ATmega88 microcontroller with only 1K of RAM and 8.5K of Flash/EEPROM program space! It’s incredibly cool — a full-fledged demo with all the “classical” demo effects (3D shapes, plasma, starfields, fire, etc.)! Then when you consider that he’s doing all the timing of VGA signals in software and and still manages to generate waveforms for audio while the screen is blanking, it just boggles the mind (and says a lot about the ATmega88)!

Check out Linus’ site for build details, lots of explanation, and full source code!

DIY film: This is not a trivial undertaking.

Monster Film-Coating Machine

No build info on this one, but the pictures pretty much tell the whole story. It makes me wonder if the renaissance of film isn’t on its way, where you’ll buy boutique films from guys with big, homemade machines like this one in their garages.

Personally, I get goosebumps just knowing that someone built such behemoth because he wasn’t satisfied with the film you can buy nowadays. It’s the embodiment of the maker spirit!

Read “DIY film”

Robot Rock

I’ve always been intrigued by the evil robot stylings of Captured! By Robots even if their music wasn’t really my bag, but this new video of New Zealand robo-band The Trons has finally given me something to look forward to when robots eventually takeover mankind.