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Quadcopter carrying a semi-automatic gun

Posted by GarageLab on July 30, 2015 at 5:30am 0 Comments

While debates continues about the legality of fire guns in the USA, the authorities remain alert about the unquestionable risks of this kind of "project" making its way to the streets being that it is too violent. 

Small quad-copter drones of the type that are now widely used to videotape animals, waves and landscapes, apparently can be transformed into killing machines.

Outdoor Hub reports that the weapon appears to be a KelTec PMR-30, and adds: “With over 30 rounds of .22 Magnum, that’s some serious firepower for a flying drone."

It's not legal to hunt with drones, and we can't help but wonder whether it’s legal to build and operate a device like this beyond a person’s private property–or period.

Arduino X Arduino

Posted by GarageLab on July 29, 2015 at 7:00am 0 Comments

On the 23rd of July, the Hackaday published an article giving more details about the dispute over the Arduino brand, including the vision of Frederico Musto about this matter. In their dispute, the Chinese (and others) flooded the market with clone boards (legal) and fake boards (illegals) confusing the buyers. But at the same time cheapening the board, which in its genuine version, could be a lot cheaper, democratizing even more the learning and developing of embedded systems.

Given the tremendous amount of press coverage of Massimo Banzi and the Arduino LLC side of the story (Arduino.cc), it's very interesting to hear how the whole situation looks where [Frederico Musto] sit (Arduino.org). In the end, it came away with what it feel is a more balanced and complete picture of the situation, as well as interesting news about future products from the Arduino SRL camp. [Musto’s] take on the legal proceedings, both past and present, is nothing short…


Hackers Commandeer a Moving Jeep

Posted by GarageLab on July 28, 2015 at 10:00am 0 Comments

With the devices connectivity going foward, questions and concerns about safety pops up. There's no way to to run, or your system will be fated to invasion, like this example where it was possible to hack the system of a Jeep that was in motion, controlling the display, windshield wipers,  air conditioning, engine and even the breaks!

It was all staged, of course, by our redoubtable rival, Wired magazine, whose Andy Greenberg knew only that he’d be hacked, not how. In fact, after recovering from the poltergeist-like possession of the Jeep’s peripheral features he got the full treatment: the transmission cut out and he slowed to a crawl.

For more information click here.

Building a Single-molecule Transistor from Scratch

Posted by GarageLab on July 27, 2015 at 10:16am 0 Comments

An international team of researchers has demonstrated for the first time that a single molecule can operate as a field-effect transistor. The team published its results on Nature Physics in the August 2015.

The experiments were performed in Berlin at the Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI), in collaboration with researchers at the Free University of Berlin (FUB), the NTT Basic Research Laboratories (NTT-BRL) in Japan, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C.

The researchers used a technique first demonstrated by researchers at IBM in 1990 when they created the letters I, B, and M by moving single atoms around on a metal surface with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). In order for the molecule to function as a transistor, the researchers had to deposit it—as well as the charged indium atoms that surround…


Mobile Robots and RFID Tags Internet-of-Things-ify the Outdoors

Posted by GarageLab on July 24, 2015 at 6:36am 0 Comments

In order to grow plants most efficiently, we’d want to be able to measure moisture levels in the soil to make sure that we’re not over or under watering. Assuming that we’re looking for a better solution than a human to walk around probing the soil all the time, we could try to have a mobile robot do the same thing, but that can be tricky and probably expensive. Another option might be to put sensors in the ground all around the field, but then you’ve got to buy the sensors, power them, and do some sort of fancy wireless thing to get them all reporting back.

In a paper recently posted on arXiv, a team of researchers has proposed a hybrid approach using long-range UHF RFID sensors that are dirt cheap and require no power source, combined with a mobile robot that can talk to them. Is it the best of both worlds? Yes. And does it work? Yes. It does. Maybe.

For more information …


Sensors, Liquid Crystals Make "Omnifocal" Glasses

Posted by GarageLab on July 23, 2015 at 11:30am 0 Comments

The glasses include sensors and liquid crystal materials to adjust to the wearer's near- and long-distance viewing.

Two optical sensors in the frames continually analyze the eyes' pupilliary distance, which changes when the wearer is focusing on objects at different distances.

This information is then sent to an on-board processor that calculates the distance the wearer is trying to focus on and determines the optical compensation needed to produce sharp vision at that distance.

The processor then instructs the lenses, which are a sandwich construction including liquid crystal material in the middle layer, to produce the appropriate degree of refraction. This is done by altering the voltage applied across the liquid crystal and thereby changing its refractive index.

For more information …


Google Proposes Open Source Beacons

Posted by GarageLab on July 22, 2015 at 4:30am 0 Comments

(Image: Google)

Beacons are commonly marketed to help people find their way around, and to provide information to them relevant to specific locations, such as digital coupons in store aisles, bus schedules at bus stops, and historical information in museums.

Just like lighthouses have helped sailors navigate the world for thousands of years, electronic beacons can be used to provide precise location and contextual cues within apps to help you navigate the world.

Google introduced an open specification for Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons on Tuesday in the hope that it can encourage developers, marketers, and hardware makers to adopt its technology alongside, or in lieu of, the iBeacon system offered by Apple.

For more information click…


How to build a proxyham despite a cancelled defcon talk

Posted by GarageLab on July 21, 2015 at 5:23am 0 Comments

A few days ago, [Ben Caudill] of Rhino Security was scheduled to give a talk at DEFCON. His project, ProxyHam, is designed for those seeking complete anonymity online. Because IP addresses can be tied to physical locations, any online activities can be tracked by oppressive regimes and three letter government agencies. Sometimes, this means doors are breached, and “seditious” journalists and activists are taken into custody.

With the ProxyHam, the link between IP addresses and physical locations is severed. ProxyHam uses a 900MHz radio link to bridge a WiFi network over miles. By hiding a ProxyHam base station in a space with public WiFi, anyone can have complete anonymity online; if the government comes to take you down, they’ll first have to stop at the local library, Starbucks, or wherever else has free WiFi.

For more information …


Robotic hand controlled by voice

Posted by GarageLab on July 20, 2015 at 8:00am 0 Comments

Robotic hacker [Andrea Trufini] apparently likes choices. Not only does his robotic arm have six degrees of freedom, but it has a variety of ways he can control it. The arm’s software can accept commands through a programming language, via potentiometers, an infrared remote, or–the really interesting part–through spoken commands.

The software (myrobotlab) is on github and looks very impressive. The Java-based framework has a service-oriented architecture, with modules that support common processors (like the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beagle Board) along with I/O devices (like motors, sound devices, and that Leap Motion controller you just had to buy). As you might expect from the demonstration found above, there are speech to text and text to speech services, too. Like a lot of open source projects, some of these services are more…


Man Constructs 3D Printed Concrete Castle

Posted by GarageLab on July 17, 2015 at 8:00am 0 Comments

Minnesotan contractor Andrey Rudenko is now the king of his castle; his 3D-printed concrete castle, that is. After completing a journey that took more than two years, Rudenko developed a customized 3D printer to extrude concrete and build a castle that he had designed himself. The entire structure is approximately 3 meters by 5 meters, which really makes it an amazing backyard fort rather than an actual livable structure.

As a machine capable of extruding concrete wasn’t commercially available, Rudenko had to develop his own. He also had to make a unique blend of concrete to suit his needs. While it does take longer than usual for the concrete to cure, it is incredibly viscous. This high viscosity allows for the walls to be smoother and eliminates the need for interior wall coverings — an advantage over some other…


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