Back in 2004, Jason Levin and Chris Hopkins, two students at Cornell, hacked a serial mouse into an Etch-a-Sketch:
The public was introduced to the EAS in 1960 and since then it has stayed virtually the same. This nostalgic toy is recognized by many generations and we decided to put a new spin on the device. Most Americans are familiar with the two knob design which allows a user to control the movement of a stylus by turning each knob. The left knob controls horizontal motion and the right knob moves the stylus vertically. Turning both knobs at the same time causes the stylus to draw out a diagonal line. We decided to mount a stepper motor on each knob and control those with the Atmel Mega 32. By connecting a serial mouse to the microcontroller and using our line drawing algorithm, we could move the stylus directly by moving the mouse. The ability to record movements and play them back is available for creating more interesting designs.
In designing this project, we decided to create something that was a mix of mechanical and electrical components and would ultimately be fun to use. Using an EAS would be a throwback to our childhood but adding the mouse also revitalized the toy. Many students who saw us working with the EAS were immediately interested in what we were doing because it is such a popular childhood toy. Though the control of an EAS with a mouse is not necessarily a practical project, we thought it would be a good way for us to practice our engineering skills and would be something entertaining to do.
I got one of those bug-zapping LED lightbulbs, in hopes of murdering the flies drifting into my office during the increasingly warm and muggy Pennsylvania summer. I got mine from Home Depot, but the bulbs at Lowes, Wal-Mart and Amazon are all obviously identical. There are two lights in each bulb: an ultraviolet one inside […]
Did you buy a useless $400 “smart” juicer and now feel the need to accessorize it with more extrusions from the Internet of Shit timeline? Then The Leaf from Teaforia is just the thing: it’s a tea-maker that uses DRM-locked tea-pods to brew tea in your kitchen so you don’t have to endure the hassle […]
A popular French blogger was killed after a pressurized whipped cream dispenser exploded and struck her in the chest. French media reported she had died of cardiac arrest after the incident, despite medical attention. The popular fitness and travel figure was well-known in France, with some 55,000 Facebook fans and 154,000 followers on Instagram. One […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]