At this point you’ve almost certainly seen one of these low-cost portable soldering irons, perhaps best exemplified by the TS100, a pocket-sized temperature controlled iron that can be had for as little as $50 USD from the usual overseas suppliers.
From Roger Cheng on the Hackaday blog:
A web search for “Uncanny Valley” will retrieve a lot of information about that discomfort we feel when an artificial creation is eerily lifelike. The syndrome tells us a lot about both human psychology and design challenges ahead. What about the opposite, when machines are clearly machines? Are we all clear? It turns out the answer is “No” as [Christine Sunu] explained at a Hackaday Los Angeles meetup.
When we build a robot, we know what’s inside the enclosure. But people who don’t know tend to extrapolate too much based only on the simple behavior they could see. As [Christine] says, people “anthropomorphize at the drop of the hat” projecting emotions onto machines and feeling emotions in return. This happens even when machines are deliberately designed to be utilitarian. iRobot was surprised how many Roomba owners gave their robot vacuum names and treated them as family members. A similar eruption of human empathy occurred with Boston Dynamics video footage demonstrating their robot staying upright despite being pushed around.
Here at mimicEducationalRobots we farm out most of our production circuit board assembly, but we still assemble all prototypes in house. Most people are surprised to learn how relatively simple the process really is. This blog assumes that a unique PCB of your own design has come out of your wonderful brain, or at least that you’re interested in how we do things here.
Here’s a challenge for all you hardware hackers out there. Peter Jansen has opened up the Hot Camera Contest on Hackaday.io to use a thermal imaging camera in a battery-powered project.
The challenge here is simple. Use a Flir Lepton thermal imaging camera module in a battery-powered configuration. There’s a catch, though: this is a project to use the Lepton in radiometric mode, where the camera spits out an actual temperature value for each pixel. Yes, this is a documented feature in the Flir Lepton module, but so far very few people are using it, and no one has done it with a small, battery-powered device.
The rules for this challenge are to use the Flir Lepton 2.5 in radiometric mode using either the Raspberry Pi Zero W or ESP32. Any software in this challenge must spit out absolute temperature values in a text format, and there must be a demonstration of putting the Flir Lepton into low-power mode. There are two challenges here, one for the Raspi and one for the ESP32; and winner will be named for each.
This weekend is HOPE XIII. The Hackers on Planet Earth conference is a biennial event held in New York City. Dating all the way back to 1994, HOPE is an excellent collection of people and ideas.
Sarah Petkus takes the stage to discuss her ongoing project, which measures and indicates human arousal using stylish wearables
Sarah’s talk entitled SHE BON: Using Body-data to communicate the intimate and the unseen, discusses her work on a unique new project aimed at encouraging communication around human sexuality. Sarah is a kinetic artist, roboticist, and was recently called a transhumanist, which fits really well once you’ve seen her presentation.
The term refers to an intellectual movement that seeks to elevate the human condition both mentally and physically through the use of technology. Sarah’s talk begins with her origins, which were rooted in feelings of powerlessness.
So, she did what any maker would do: she built a robot army. With the help of her colleague, she built an army of 100 delta robots that you control with physical gestures.