Jean-François Duval’s entry to 2015 Hackaday Prize is FlexSEA, a wearable robotics toolkit.
FlexSEA wearable robotics toolkit
The human body is an incredibly efficient machine, the result of millions of years of optimization via evolution and natural selection. Improving on that is hard, really hard, but sometimes, we have no choice but to replace biological limbs with artificial ones. Every year, 185,000 Americans get an amputation and the large majority of them will end up in a wheelchair, or with a passive or quasi-passive artificial limb that is only slightly better than a peg leg.
Can’t we do better? What about that revolutionary design that you saw in the news? Truth is, we are now able to design powered prosthetic limbs that will truly change people’s lives. Sadly, a very small subset of the successful research projects will reach the market. The commercialized products will often have a price tag comparable to a mid-sized car, not something that everyone can afford (especially if you need one per leg!)
Andrew Hannay has posted this great Instructable about his DIY Game and Watch video game console using the PIC18F4550 microcontroller and Nokia 5110 graphical LCD display.
DIY Game and Watch video game player
Back in the 80s when I was a kid, My parents bought me a Game and Watch game called Vermin. It was actually a TimeOut Exterminator. It was a really simple game with just left and right controls and the idea was to hit moles that were emerging from the ground. The screen consisted of pre drawn monochrome lcd images that were turned on and off when they were needed to be displayed. I loved that game and played it for many years. My parents still had it many years later and I ended up selling it on eBay and got quite a lot for it.
A few months back I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts “Retro Gaming Roundup” which featured the Top 10 Game & Watch games. This re-ignited my interest for the Game & Watch series and so I decided to build one of my own only mine would feature a graphic LCD and allow me to emulate multiple Game & Watch games and even write new ones. Source code and Schematics can be found in the final step.
I found this nice series of lessons on Python and Arduino interaction. These lessons cover topics ranging from installation of Python and Arduino libraries to connecting sensors and wireless communication.
Python and Arduino interaction
Matthew Venn has designed a prototype energy wristband that would tell you when there is a change in electrical energy usage at home through a a gentle vibration. The wristband also consists of a 4-LED bargraph to display the current usage.
Energy wristband monitors energy usage at home
A wristband that tells you energy changes in your home. It connects via a Raspberry Pi computer to a base station like a ‘current cost’ or similar. When a change in energy usage occurs, the wristband vibrates and a small LED bargraph shows your current usage from 1 to 4. Realtime energy use can be queried by pressing the button.
Microchip is launching a new development board called Curiosity for 8-bit PIC lovers. It supports 8-, 14-, 20-pin 8-bit PIC® Microcontrollers with low voltage programming capability and has an integrated Programmer/Debugger with USB Interface that is fully compatible with Microchip’s MPLAB X development environment.
Curiosity development board from Microchip
Your next embedded design idea has a new home. Curiosity is a cost-effective, fully integrated 8-bit development platform targeted at first-time users, Makers, and those seeking a feature-rich rapid prototyping board. Designed from the ground-up to take full advantage of Microchip’s MPLAB X development environment, Curiosity includes an integrated programmer/debugger, and requires no additional hardware to get started.
Curiosity is the perfect platform to harness the power of modern 8-bit PIC® Microcontrollers. Its layout and external connections offer unparalleled access to the Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) available on many newer 8-bit PIC MCUs. These CIPs enable the user to integrate various system functions onto a single MCU, simplifying the design and keeping system power consumption and BOM cost low.
Also, check out Mike Szczys‘ (over Hackaday) reviews of this new PIC development board here.