Categories: Apple, DIY, Geek, Mac, Technology, Videos


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I’m quite fascinated with Sugru, the magical mouldable glue that turns into rubber and that fixes (almost) everything. I bought a black and white 8-pack and used it to fix a bunch of stuff around the house.

Click here to see some Sugru-fu.

Published by António Lopes on July 19, 2013

I thought about creating different ways to control a toy car in a race track, instead of the typical handheld joystick-like device. One of those ideas was based on the use of a sonar (that measures distance to an object) as the controller for the car – the closer the hand to the sonar, the highest the acceleration.


However, considering that the sonar works through eco-location and that the track makes an infernal sound, the sonar accuracy is affected by the sound of the track, thus rendering this approach useless.

Any alternative ideas? I will try the best one (as long as it is not cost-prohibitive) 🙂

Published by António Lopes on July 16, 2013

When I was a kid, I used to do these spinning paintings using a small motor (salvaged from a broken toy car) connected a 9V battery with a piece of paper on top. The effect was mesmerizing and I had fun for hours.

Last week, given the amount of hardware I gutted for parts (for a digital fabrication workshop), I ended up with a bunch of different motors and that brought back those memories. So, I decided to do the same setup again, this time using an arduino (to easily control the speed given to the motor) to see if my son would find it as amusing as I did.

Check the video for a demo:

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Published by António Lopes on March 6, 2013
Categories: DIY, Geek, Images, Science, Technology

Continuing the work with analog sensors on the Raspberry Pi, I decided to test the PulseSensor‘s behavior in building a pulse sensing application. The Pulse Sensor is a well-designed plug-and-play heart-rate sensor for Arduino but considering that it’s a simple analog sensor that sends values between 0 and 1023, it’s easy enough to use  with the MCP3008 ADC on the RPi.

Click here to see the code

Published by António Lopes on March 5, 2013
Categories: DIY, Geek, Technology

As interesting as the Raspberry Pi may be, it does not have a way to read analog inputs directly, which makes it difficult to use in some DIY projects. Luckily, working with an ADC on the RPi is really simple and easy thanks to this lesson from Adafruit.

In that tutorial, you’ll learn how to setup the MCP3008 ADC with the RPi by using SPI communication to use a potentiometer to adjust the volume of an MP3 that is currently playing. I followed the tutorial and it worked nicely but I had other ideas for this ADC.

Click here to read more…