Contraption to shoot mosquitos with laser beams

In development for several years, the Photonic Fence is an anti-mosquito laser weapon that's apparently now being tested in a real world situation. I hope when it hits the market it still looks like a crazy contraption from a 1960s science fiction film! From the company site:

One potential use of the Photonic Fence is to create a virtual fence that detects insects as they cross its plane. When an invading insect is detected, our software is able to estimate the insect’s size and measure its wing beat frequency. Using this method, not only can the system distinguish between mosquitoes, butterflies, and bumblebees, but it can even determine whether a mosquito is male or female. This is important to know because only female mosquitos bite humans. Once the software establishes that the insect is a valid target, it tracks the mosquito in flight, runs a safety check to ensure no innocent bystanders are in view, and then activates a laser to zap the mosquito. The Photonic Fence could be set along the perimeter of clinics or other strategic areas to control mosquitoes without endangering humans or other animals.

From Wired UK:

When Intellectual Ventures co-founder and former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold came up with the idea of a bug-killing fence in 2010, the intention was to use it to improve public health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, however, the Photonic Fence has become a commercial project with a particular target: the Asian citrus psyllid. This insect invader has reduced citrus production in Florida by at least 70 per cent over the last 15 years.

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Cool hand-cranked laser show made from 3D printed parts

Evan built this nifty mechanical laser show on his 3D printer. The gizmo has two rotating cams that tilt a laser pointer up and down and from side to side in such a way that it draws different 3D shapes. In this video he explains the math behind it. You can download the model at Thingiverse

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Machine burns fades into denim with lasers

In the age of fast fashion, it's too slow and expensive to pay humans to hand-distress denim for impatient shoppers. Golden Laser makes machines that laser print fades onto jeans—as in literally burn off the dye with a goddamn laser—while playing epic orchestral music. Read the rest

Elaborately-detailed sculptures made from stacked sheets of laser-cut paper

Strictly Paper blogs the work of Eric Standley, who uses lasers on hundreds of sheets of paper to create incredibly-detailed works of art. [via]

These laser-cut masterpieces, reminiscent of stained glass windows, are inspired by geometry found in Gothic and Islamic architectural ornamentation in an attempt to capture a reverence for the infinite. “I am interested in the conceptual migration from the permanence and massiveness of stone to the fragility and intimacy of paper,” he mentions in an artist statement.

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Compact laser measure

Measuring tapes can be a pain to use solo, and just wanted to measure some stuff around the house. This compact laser measure is perfect.

Honestly, I was sold at compact and laser, but the ability to measure stuff with one touch of a button is pretty handy. Good for measuring distances of 6 inches to 50 feet, or basically what you need around the house, this Bosch measure is accurate to 1/8 of an inch. Literally all it does is measure distance, and it only has one button. This unit is super simple to use.

If you just want to center a painting on a wall without begging a friend to come over this is a great tool!

Bosch GLM 15 Compact Laser Measure, 50-Feet via Amazon Read the rest

Playable records laser-etched in cheese, eggplant and ham

Artist Matthew Herbert has successfully created edible record albums that he laser-etched into a variety of foodstuffs, then played and displayed at London's Science Gallery.

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Meet the laserist for a 1970s planetarium laser show!

"If your thoughts were in the future, you loved electronics and music, and you had a vivid visual imagination, what profession would you choose?"

A laserist for a psychedelic light show at a planetarium, 'natch!

In this fantastic 1977 video, meet Glenn Thomas, the laserist behind the Laserium "Cosmic Concert" at L.A.'s Griffith Observatory, who performed 12,500 shows over 25 years.

Far fucking out.

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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Terrorize the seas as the white whale of Moby Dick, but with lasers

Did you enjoy Ecco the Dolphin, but wish it had allowed you to commit mass murder? Then Pequod might be for you.

Man builds impressively dangerous laser shotgun

This fellow made a 40W laser shotgun that is quite powerful and, yes, ridiculously dangerous. Read the rest

Watch: 40 watt “LASER SHOTGUN!!!!!”

The all-caps and the exclamation points are mandatory. Read the rest

HOWTO demo your homebrew laser CNC without zapping bystanders

Do you have a home-made, high-powered laser that you fear demonstrating because you might hurt someone? Here's the solution: fit it to a pen-holder/plotter derived from Evil Mad Scientist Labs's Watercolorbot. Read the rest

Comic strip etched into a human hair

The folks behind EHSM2, the upcoming maker/hacker conference in Hamburg, have released a video of comic strip that has been etched into a human hair using a focused ion beam. The comic, by Claudia Puhlfürst, can be seen in more detail in this github repo. Read the rest

Open source furniture

Shareable rounds up 20 Open Source Furniture Designs -- ingenious plans for home furnishings that you can make yourself, improve upon, and share. My favorite is this Never Ending Bench by Félix Lévêque, which you can keep on adding slats to in order to create a seat tailored to your needs. Like many of the pieces, this one comes from the Open Design Contest.

20 Open Source Furniture Designs (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Kickstarting laser-cut RPG terrain

Infinite Crypt, a Kickstarter project aiming to raise £6,000, is a system for building relatively cheap tabletop RPG terrain in quantity, using snap-together, laser-cut materials.

The pieces are architecturally ambitious and the accompanying photos show how great they look when painted. I don't buy a lot of RPG terrain stuff, so I can't really tell if £59 is a cheap price for the materials to build "a large room, a colonnade or a key intersection." But what's immediately obvious is that these pieces are gorgeous and well-designed, and that the project itself has pretty modest and sensible goals -- give us money to buy a laser. More money? We'll buy another laser. More money? We'll make more stuff.

As with all crowdfunded projects, you should be prepared for the eventuality that nothing will come of it, and you'll lose your money. That said, project founder James Wallbank runs a successful hackspace in Sheffield, and seems to be a together sort of dude. So caveat emptor, but also, FWOAR. Read the rest

Cairo protesters zap military helicopter with lasers

Agence France-Presse posted this amazing photo (just a thumbnail shown here, click through for the full image) of protesters in Cairo zapping a military helicopter with lasers of varying power and color. As one of my tweeps said, behold the future of drone countermeasures.

#PHOTO: Egyptian protestors direct laser lights on a military helicopter flying over the presidential palace in Cairo Read the rest

Homemade laser pops 100 balloons

Scott A. Stevenson modded a Blu-ray laser flashlight to run at 500mW and used it to pop 100 black balloons. For science!

100 black balloons vs. Blu-ray laser! It is all over in under 8 seconds. The sound they make as they pop is a bit mesmerizing! Note: The laser used in this video is custom made from a flashlight body and the laser diode from a 12X speed Blu-ray burner drive and not purchased in a store or online.

Laser Videos by WorldScott.com (via Geekologie) Read the rest

Laser on ship shoots down drone

A US Navy demonstration of a high-energy laser on a moving ship shooting down a drone.

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