Category Archives: Hardware

Free Fruit Machine E-Book

Fruit Machines can be a fun way of passing the time, but can also be very expensive.

I tend to only play then very occasionally, as you can get hooked very easily.

However if you want to play them, and do not have the first idea of how to play them, or what sort of the buttons mean, then this ebook is for you.

A lot of the information will be out of date by now, but the basics are still as relevant today as they were when this was published.

Download the Fruit Machine – Bandit Bible Ebook (1.35MB).

This file has been virus checked, but please check it with your own anti-virus software.

Getting a Grip: Building the Ultimate Robotic Hand

A 6-foot-tall, one-armed robot named Stair 1.0 balances on a modified Segway platform in the doorway of a Stanford University conference room. It has an arm, cameras and laser scanners for eyes, and a tangle of electrical intestines stuffed into its base.

The next Stair will look for the object in its hand and measure the force its fingers are applying to determine whether it’s holding anything. It will plan an action, execute it, and observe the result, completing a feedback loop. And it will keep going through the loop until it succeeds at its task.

When a computer fails at a task, it spouts an error message. Babies, on the other hand, just try again a different way, exploring the world by grabbing new objects — shoving them into their mouths if possible — to acquire additional data.

Source: Wired.com

Now hopefully this research will advance Computer Vision and Computer Intelligence, and be available to computer scientists.

Free Money and a Couple of Bargins

I am always up for money saving tips, and money off.

So when I heard about Give or Take I was impressed.

Give or Take is cash back website that allows you claim back a proportion of the money you spend online at some retailers.

Some times its a percentage of the sale, and some times its a fixed amount.

Recently I’ve purchased a Dell Vostro 1000 (read my review), my car insurance, a copy of Command and Conquer 3 and have also signed up for an American Express Nectar card and a free credit check.

Total Cash Back: £168.97

I should get a cheque beginning of October 2007, minus a £5 admin fee for the year.

That’s not a bad amount when I had spent only £530 on items I was going to buy anyway.

How much could you claim back using Give or Take?

Featuring Sir Bones

I have been looking everywhere for some realistic ears for Sir Bones.   The idea of the ears is to channel forward sound in to the microphone; just like in the human body.

Trying to find realist ears is actually quite hard.  Most of the ears available are novelty ears, over-sized and not very realistic.
I even went into a fancy dress shop to ask if they knew where I could get some, with no luck.

Recently I was shopping in Tesco's and I noticed this scary Halloween mask. The ears were almost perfect size for Sir Bones, so I could not resist buying this face mask.

 Sir Bones getting ready for Halloween

Continue reading

The beginning

I have been trying for a long time to understand computer vision, and trying to make a program that could pick out useful information from web cameras.

It was a standard set-up of 2 cameras and slight angles to each other, pointing forwards.

The trouble was they were free to move around. What was needed, was something to hold the cameras in a fix position.

Mac Mini with two web cameras

The hunt for a human skull was on!

Give him a voice

With the ability to hear and to see, Sir Bones is progressing very well.

 Sir Bones needs to be able to communicate with the world around him.

What Sir Bones needs is a voice.

I have a voip handset, which is basically a USB sound card, which has a standard 3.5mm audio jack.

What I need now is to find a good enough speaker to fit inside Sir Bones, which is also loud enough to be heard.

We don't want him sounding weak now Wink