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Apr 24, 2014, 07:31 PM
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Science project wishlist


It's been probably 30 years since the last science project which had utterly no point. Helas there are many people who do make stuff with absolutely no point & show it at maker faires. The ideas are still mounting.

Recording & playing back video from cassette tape, using a soundcard, ancient cassette deck, & software. There's a large stockpile of useless cassettes whose content is now freely downloadable in higher quality. You could probably get 64x64 10fps B&W out of it.

Wireless router with 400 mile range, using either optics or very short packets over ham radio. Cell phone data for under $75 is still worthless, so there might be some point in some kind of extended range router.

Camera based on a single photodiode & pinhole assembly that mechanically sweeps in an X/Y pattern.

There was an idea for an extremely large reflector that focused light from a very small point in the sky onto a photodiode. It would use the earth's rotation to scan in 1 axis & mechanically scan in the other axis to make a picture.

Spinning XV-11 Lidar mounted on a panning servo to make a 3D map of a room.

Fixed XV-11 lidar on a pan/tilt mount to make a higher quality map of a room.

The ability to capture an exact replica of a place in 3 dimensions is the successor to photography. It's so far from being done conveniently that it hardly ever comes up. Setting up a modern quad copter for aerial mapping is not convenient. It's equivalent to capturing a place by painting. It makes sense for it to be based on a flying platform, but something small, extremely reliable, that you could throw & have automatically fly a route that captures an object in 3D.

A less pointless science project is a super high quality audio recorder, using multiple ADS1675's to record the balanced output of 2 microphones in 24 bit 4 megasample. Then use an FFT to chop at the nyqust for conversion to 192khz.

A tube soundcard capable of playing 24 bit 192khz.

A tube pre-amp.

Wearable dongle that records high resolution acceleration of any part of the body. It would compare the impact of various running & walking styles.

A 2 wheeled balancing robot, with brushless motors & high quality tires that could be used as a more robust, more compact, longer range pacer.

External wire bundle for connecting a flash to a camera body.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Apr 25, 2014 at 09:58 PM.
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Apr 28, 2014, 08:05 PM
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A parent-following jogging stroller (with saddlebags for groceries, naturally) would free up both of the parent's hands for smartphone operation.


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