Published by António Lopes on March 28, 2014
Categories: Funny, Geek, Internet, Personal, Random

That moment when you know you’re gonna win…

win

…and you do your little victory dance…

Click here to see some amazing dance moves

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.

arduino_sonar_race_track

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:

Click here to see more details

Published by António Lopes on April 12, 2013
Categories: Geek, Random, Society, Technology, Videos

I’ve never actually been that much into cars but I have a general curiosity on how most things work and this includes the inner workings of vehicles. This golden-oldie video depicts the simple, yet effective, mechanism of differential steering, so if, like me, you didn’t know how this worked…well, now you know. Enjoy:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYAw79386WI]

(thanks, Sérgio)

Published by António Lopes on April 7, 2013
Published by António Lopes on March 19, 2013

Don’t know what “recursion” is? Google explains:

recursion_google

Published by António Lopes on March 9, 2013
Categories: Geek, Random, Science, Society

I know this is old news1, but I guess it’s worth the consideration: asteroid 2011 AG5, an asteroid roughly the size of a football stadium, is thought to be in a (albeit improbable) collision course to Earth.

(image source)

Should we start to worry?

  1. In Internet Years™, it’s ancient really! []

What happens when you want to start a band and you can’t find just the right partners to play the other instruments? Well, you can use Legos NXT Mindstorms:

[youtube http://youtu.be/QwGM-DxJwTg]

via @rechena

I can watch dogs running over a rainbow backdrop.

I can be hypnotized by the hypnotoad.

I can unroll a virtual roll of toilet paper.

I can dance around singing heyyyyy, hooooo.

I can paint virtual nails.

I can check if the good guys at CERN have already destroyed the world.

I can see a website that is sometimes blue and sometimes red.

I can check if my computer is on.

I can meet the watermelon duck.

I can turn a light on or off.

I can watch a dog lick my computer screen.

I can get free hugs from different people around the world.

I can even go to the end of the Internet.

But I cannot watch some video because some idiot decided that it should not be made available in my country.

(These interesting sites were kindly provided by The Useless Web)

I know that there are probably a bunch of other implementations of the Conway’s Game of Life in Javascript out there, but I wanted to try to create a new version that included (properly enjoyable) music that would be generated by the evolution of the cells in the game.

Conway's Game of Life

However, the use of the Web Audio API (I didn’t want to use MP3 or WAV) for this end proved somehow useless mainly because the sounds it generates are only comparable to those of the good old days of dial-up connections. Moreover, the API is only available (for now) in Google Chrome and Mac OS X’s Safari’s latest version.

Perhaps, in the future, I’ll change it once there’s some more interesting way of doing that and that works across more browsers.

So, for now, enjoy only the visual aspect of the game.