Try Not To Fall Off The Backwards Brain Bike

By Theodora Fabio

[Destin] of SmarterEveryDay fame has a challenge for your brain : a bicycle where the handlebars turn the front wheel in the opposite direction of a typical bike (YouTube link). For example, turning the handlebars left turns the wheel right and vice versa. He warns you it’s harder than it looks.

The hack that pulls this off is a simple one compared to bike hacks we’ve previously covered. Gears on the head tube make this possible. It was built by his welder friends who challenged him to ride it. He couldn’t at first; determined to overwrite his brain’s memory of bike riding, he practiced until he finally succeeded. It took him eight months. When it was time to ride an old-fashioned bike, it only took him about twenty minutes to “un-learn” the Backwards Brain Bike. [Destin's] biking illustrates neuroplasticity, memory, and learning in a fun way (fun for us; no doubt frustrating for him).

As a testament to the sponge-like brains of youth, [Destin's] son learned to ride the Backwards Brain Bike in only two weeks.

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Via: Hack a Day

    

The Internet Just Killed An App Store For Video Game Worlds

By Sean Hollister

Perhaps you’ve heard a thing or two about “Valve” and “Skyrim” and “mods” recently. What does it all mean? The company that built the world’s most successful video game marketplace started an app store that pays people to remix virtual worlds—and 100,000 angry internet denizens just shot down that idea.

Via: Gizmodo

    

The Infinite Bar(T)

By James Hobson

Combining an Android app with some fluid pumps, an infinity mirror, and a whole lot of booze — let us introduce BarT — the Automated Bartender.

It’s the work of [dosko27] for his senior design project in Electrical Engineering. It’s an automated and wireless drink mixology system. Since it’s for school, the demonstration video doesn’t have any “hard drinks” but the ingredients (up to sixteen) are completely up to you.

He started off with the case. It’s your standard infinity mirror build, a mirror, a 1-way mirror, and some programmable RGB LEDs. We covered a great build tutorial on how to make your own a few years ago. Unlike most automated bar units, [dosko27] opted for a simple, yet elegant design hiding all the electronics. One small LCD to name your drink, and one small spot to stick your cup.

He designed a custom PCB bank of solenoid drivers to control the valves on each ingredient. The trickiest (and most expensive) part with most of these builds is a pump for every ingredient — so instead, he’s using a CO2 supply to pressurize the bottles. This cuts the cost of the build, although you will have to supply CO2 now.

For more great barbot builds, check out the

Via: Hack a Day

    

Workbench Eye Candy from Around the World

By George Graves

The workbench. We’re always looking for ways to make the most out of the tools we have, planning our next equipment purchase, all the while dealing with the (sometimes limited) space we’re allotted. Well, before you go off and build your perfect electronics lab, this forum thread on the EEVblog should be your first stop for some extended drooling research.

You’ll find a great discussion about everything from workbench height, size, organization, shelf depth, and lighting, with tons of photos to go with it. You’ll also get a chance to peek at how other people have set up their labs. (Warning, the thread is over 1000 posts long, so you might want to go grab a snack.)

We should stop for a moment and give a special note to those of you who are just beginning in electronics. You do not need to have a fancy setup to get started. Most of these well equipped labs is the result of being in the industry for years and years. Trust us when we say, you can get started in electronics with nothing more than your kitchen table, a few tools, and a few parts. All of us started that way. So don’t let anything you see here dissuade you from jumping in. As proof, we’ve seen some amazingly professional work being done with the most bare-bones of tools (and conversely, we seen some head-scratching projects by people with +$10,000 of dollars of equipment on their desk.)

Here’s some links that you might find handy when setting up a lab. [Kenneth Finnegan] has

Via: Hack a Day