Monday, December 29, 2008

iPhone controlled dog treat dispenser

[Stephen Myers] has been toying around with some beta ioBridge hardware. He decided to build a remote control dog treat dispenser. ioBridge’s hardware is built specifically to make web enabling projects easy. The main controller board has four I/O channels that speak to addon modules. It has an ethernet port on the main board and an easy to configure website.

[Stephen] used a servo addon board for his project. The dispenser is built from a scrap CD spindle attached to a servo. He can issue commands from his iPhone, which shows live video of the kennel. He’ll be building several other automation projects based on this system.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

cell phone of the future

You think your Razr's cool? When it comes to mobile phone design, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Clamshells and candy bars be gone. Tomorrow's cell phones may bear little resemblance to the snap-open handsets or even the sleek, flat rectangular phones we sport today.

Visionaries from design firm Pilotfish and sensor maker Synaptics have created a phone that has no buttons. It's operated with gestures. Designer Manon Maneenawa has built a phone that can be converted into an alarm clock or a wrist watch. Sweden's GoldVish just began selling a phone for $1.26 million that features diamonds and a secret compartment.

Friday, December 26, 2008

8 Coolest iPhone Apps at iPhoneDevCamp

iPhoneDevCamp took place this weekend in San Francisco, serving up dozens of new apps for the iPhone. The quality was mixed to say the least, but we’ve picked out 8 of the coolest apps to emerge from the gathering…

Telekinesis - Access your Mac remotely through apps on your iPhone. Stream music and videos from your Mac, browse your files and control iTunes remotely. Currently available for alpha testing.

Telemoose - This one is actually useful: browse and shop from your iPhone. See Mashable’s fuller review of Telemoose from earlier today.

GasApp - Another really useful one: find the cheapest gas prices in your area by entering your zipcode. Features Google Maps integration for driving directions, and a diesel version is available.

MoviesApp - Enter your zipcode and a date/time to find movies in your area. Also play the trailers (from and buy tickets (through IMDB).

iEventful - Find events in your area thanks to this iPhone interface built on the Eventful API.

iBrick - Three words: Tetris for iPhone.

Newsmatch (warning:resizes browser if you’re not using the iPhone to access) - A news quiz by Laszlo Systems: match the photo to the news item to read a news article. Great design, but it’s a catch-22: you need to know what the news story is about before you can read the article.

Applists - Explore new iPhone apps…on your iPhone. How very meta. You can also rate, share and submit apps, although there aren’t that many listed right now.

Create friends group on Google SMS channel and Send SMS to your friends for free

Recently Google India team launched an interesting service called “Google SMS channel“. Using Google SMS channel you can send SMS text messages to your friends for free. Even you can get SMS alerts on your mobile for news, cricket scores, Jokes, Job alerts and lot more, all for no cost! (Image credit: katielips)

How it works? Create a group on Google SMS channel. Invite your friends to join this group by providing their mobile numbers. That’s it. You all can send SMS text messages to this group, which will reach to all registered phone numbers in your group. Isn’t it that simple?

Another interesting use of this service is to get daily jokes on your mobile. Just search all the existing public Google SMS channels for your favorite subject and subscribe to that channel or group. For example if you want to get latest cricket updates or score, just search the group names like “cricket updates” and subscribe to appropriate group. You will get all cricket score updates for free on your mobile through SMS text alerts. If you subscribe to any jokes channel and if you don’t want spammed by messages during busy hours then you can set the SMS message frequency per day like only 4 text messages per day between 6 pm to 10 pm. You can unsubscribe from any channel at any time.

Publishers can use this service like RSS feed subscription. Publishers can send blog updates to their readers via SMS.
This SMS service is currently available for Indian phone numbers only. Soon may be available for other countries. Other than English some local Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil etc. are also supported to compose the SMS test messages.
How to start?
Head to Google SMS channel, register your phone number with Google and get your favorite channel content on your mobile all for free.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

T-Mobile G1 teardown

In our Dev Phone 1 excitement last week, we somehow overlooked phoneWreck’s teardown of the T-Mobile G1. The complex slider mechanism is certainly worth looking out. One of the major oddities they point out is the inclusion of two vibration motors. One is mounted next to the SIM on the mainboard. While the other is mounted in the frame next to the earpiece. We wonder what was gained/solved by using two. The phone also includes a digital compass module. We’d like a more detailed explanation of how the Xilinx CPLD is used. From this article in 2006, it seems HTC uses them to generate custom clock signals and switching off devices for power management.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cellphone operated robot

If you can get through the cell phone text speak, you’ll probably enjoy this cool tutorial on how to build a cell phone controlled robot. This bot decodes the key tones, similar to the automated phone systems we’ve all experienced. It uses a chip called a MT8870 DTMF decoder to translate the signal for the Atmega 16 controller. The circuit diagram is pretty hard to read, maybe we missed a downloadable one somewhere. The source code is available.

It would be nice to get some feedback from the robot, so you aren’t driving it completely blind. This is similar to the Lego cell phone rover that we showed you before. Next, he should make it recognize voice commands.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Panasonic unveils KAR robot arm that handles all your dirty dishes

Not very often does technology help us so much to the extent that it helps us out around the kitchen (the very thing that we’re all so lazy about). Now Panasonic thinks their latest creation might just do the trick. The KAR robot arm developed by a group of researchers from Panasonic and the University of Tokyo appears to do the sole task it was designed for relatively well. This is brilliant especially on a busy day when you come home from work, exhausted and just want to sit down on the couch for some tele. Though the KAR robot arm doesn’t exactly wash the dishes for you, it has been designed so that it is able to pick up your dishes gently without making a mess, rinse them and load them into your dishwasher - which is good enough for me!

The researchers apparently aren’t satisfied with things just yet, however, and they say they eventually hope that robot will be able to clean up after a family of four in just five minutes.