Archive for September, 2011:

RepRap @ Afrimold


Andrew and I headed over to Afrimold ( on Tuesday.

One of the vendors Cad House ( has a kit of the RepRap which they call RapMan (based on Darwin –

You have a choice of single or double headed device.  The second head allows you to print “scaffolding” which is soluble and allows you to print more intricate design

Watch this space for more feedback – but I can definitely see one of these in our near future

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Rat Trap 2000


The Rat Trap 2000 is a completely OTT yet humane rat catcher – it uses an Arduino UNO as the controller and an IR sensor to detect rodents chowing away on the food – we used apple and maize as bait.  The moment a rodent is detected, the Arduino actuates a servo motor that pulls a pin from the trap door and closes the entrance.

To see what is happening, I setup a webcam and a motion daemon on my eee-pc.  The following very short clip shows the money shot:

Ok, it is very fast, but it shows two rats inside the trap and right at the end of the clip the trap door closing.

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Life Size Game and Watch Game – Retro Style


Note – this little post seem to have gone a bit viral. If you google it now, there seems to be more than 39,000 pages linking here already.  Very cool indeed – Tobie

A while back a little hack I put together was featured on HackADay. Here is the original proof of concept video

I recently spoke to some very interesting people over at 21tanks.
They are a progressive company and the two guys Don and Trevor afforded me some face time to introduce the arduino to them. They play in many fields including sound, video, the arts etc. Since they operate in those fields and the arduino (sort of) originated within that context I thought it might be of interest to them.

They found it intriguing and we started bouncing some wacky ideas around.

One of the ideas Don put forward was for they new offices. They want a massive LED TV that is connected to the web, and specifically the retro games you can find over at

They want this TV in their reception room, with two massive buttons. The idea is that waiting people can play a quick game or two standing up while they wait.

I then quickly put this proof of concept together. It reads to buttons from the arduino.
The arduino debounces the keys in software and then sends a serial command to the PC.
The buttons are connected low to the arduino and pulled up high via a resistor when the button is pressed.

Was the left of right button pushed? The python script would then intercept this and mimic a key press.

The game is loaded into the browser and started, and the fun begins.

Well we have now completed the massive game. It is not only a proof of concept anymore.  Tobie did the inside of this game with an arduino and Chris from CubedModels. Here is some photos of the finished product



Python integration done with Sendkeys

 About the author

Some more links:

fixed the game within a game view issue

– post at Engaget 


– post at HackADay 










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