October Swag Bag: Web Platform

Dangerous Prototypes sent me a web server from their "Scratch and Dent" drawer. The circuit board was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand — but just how dinged was it, and could I get it working?

Dangerous Prototypes Web Platform


Bug Shaped Solar Robot

Powered by a solar panel, this miniature robot shuffles towards the light.

Shokpopper side viewShokpopper rear view

Shokpopper bottom viewShokpopper front view


Animated LCD Name Tag

While we are on the subject of calculators, this one has been ever so slightly -- what is the word? -- doctored for use as an animated name plate. The perfect desk toy for a nutty scientist.


Chip Off The Old Block

Digikey have frequent competitions and giveaways advertised on their twitter feed, and this week I was a lucky winner. So what happens when you give your kid a Cui Inc. branded pen and some Digikey post-its to play with? She draws a calculator. :-)

Calculator drawing


Flickery LED Bar Candle

Perhaps the world has no need for another blinky LED candle effect. But with Halloween coming up, I was still in the mood for repurposing logic chips.


Hacky Random Number Generator / Cat Toy

For my entry to the Dangerous Prototypes 7400 Contest, I decided to make a true random number generator. In particular, I wanted a latching RNG — not merely a continuous stream of numbers, but a continuous stream which I could sample at intervals. The circuit would be made up of a minimal number of digital logic parts. And deliberately inducing noise into the digital circuit would involve breaking all the usual design rules, which is fun.


Twirly Webcam

Reaching forward to adjust the webcam got old. Technology came to the rescue in the form of a webcam that pans around the room under the control of a paddle or foot pedal.