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Motorized Lego tank with brick-shooting gun

Martijn "Dino_Martino" Hellemans of the NXT STEP Mindstorms blog has been working on a motorized Lego tank that packs a lot of sophistication. For instance, he uses a MTRMX-Nx multiplexer to control both NXT servos and Technic motors. In addition to rolling around on tank treads, the tank also packs a Badass Lego Guns-style "high velocity brick cannon" aimed with a laser. He's promising videos and build deets soon, so check back!

Crabfu’s rodent-powered Jansen walker

A couple of weeks ago, we posted about our pal I-Wei (Crabfu) being featured in the latest Gakken magazine/kit dedicated to kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen's Strandbeest walker. I-Wei built the mini walker kit and was pretty pleased with it. But his maker heart remained restless. He could make it better, faster, stronger... rodent-powered? And so, after some modifications involving a hamster ball, mounting brackets, and a Meccano sprocket and chain, the tightly-wound hamster, Princess, was borrowed from a friend and press-ganged into service. The result is the ominous Jansen Hamster Walker. Go Princess, go! Next step: weaponizing the platform. I kid, I KID. Princess the rodent-walker hybrid is a lover, not a fighter. For now. Hamster Powered Walker


How-To: Fingertip heart rate monitor

DIY Heart Rate Monitor

Here's a well-documented and rather enlightening project from Embedded Lab:

This project demonstrates a technique to measure the heart rate by sensing the change in blood volume in a finger artery while the heart is pumping the blood. It consists of an infrared LED that transmits an IR signal through the fingertip of the subject, a part of which is reflected by the blood cells. The reflected signal is detected by a photo diode sensor. The changing blood volume with heartbeat results in a train of pulses at the output of the photo diode.

More:
Collin’s Lab: Infrared heart sensor

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