This Measuring Tape Measures Both Time and Distance

If you want to know the time, you use a clock, a watch, or a smartphone. If you want to measure the length of an object, you use a tape measure. But it appears this tape measure didn’t get the memo, as it’s actually a clock.

Alex Fiel and Anna Lynton made this unusual timepiece that uses its measuring tape to indicate the current time. They built it by ripping apart an ordinary tape measure, then installed a custom 3D-printed enclosure, along with an Arduino Nano controller, a stepper motor, and some ball bearings to move the measuring tape in and out of its shell.

While it’s first and foremost designed to work as a clock, I see no reason why you couldn’t use its tape to measure things – assuming it’s late enough in the day to fit the object you’re measuring, and you work fast enough that the time doesn’t change time on you.

You can check out the full build log for the Measuring Time clock over on Instructables.

This Mechanical 7-Segment Clock Tells Time with Servos

When it comes to digital clocks, they typically use segmented or dot-matrix displays in order to tell the time. But one thing most of these displays have in common is that have no moving parts. Not so with this unusual timepiece, which looks like a digital display, but is actually mechanical.

Michael Klements of The DIY Life built this cool clock that uses 28 micro-servo motors to move its segments into place.

The brains of the operation are an Arduino Uno controller and a DS1302 clock module to keep time. As the minutes tick away, the circuit and code instruct the servos to rotate back and forth. In the back position, it hides the segment on its side, while in the forward position, the segment is visible. By 3D printing the segments with a brightly-colored translucent green filament, they look kind of like they’re illuminated. You can see the clock in action in the video below:

If you’d like to build your own mechanical 7-segment clock, you can check out all of the details over on Instructables or on The DIY Life. You’ll need some basic electronics skills, along with access to a 3D printer.

Daisy is a tiny $29 computer for building custom musical instruments

Coding your own musical instruments just got a lot more convenient. Music tech company Electrosmith has launched the Daisy, an open source microcomputer packed with everything you need to code your own pedals, synth, modules and instruments -- and it...

You can make your own rotary cellphone

As convenient as modern cellphones are, there's a certain charm to spinning an old-fashioned rotary dial to make a call -- and now, there's a cellphone that caters to that nostalgia. Brookhaven National Lab engineer Justine Haupt has developed a rot...

This Clock Draws the Time Using Sequins

There are lots of different ways to tell the time. You can use an old school analog clock with hands, a segmented digital display, or even a sundial. But I can say with 100% certainty that this is the first clock I’ve ever seen that tells time with sequins.

Architect Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi put together the Sequino, a truly unique timepiece that takes advantage of the bi-colored nature of some sequins, flipping them from one side to the other to reveal the current time. The sequins are set onto a cylindrical backdrop, and then a mechanical arm moves up, down, left and right to flip the sparkly bits over with a specially engineered tip that’s designed to emulate a human fingertip. Imagine a two axis plotter set onto a curved surface, and that’s basically the mechanism. It’s driven by a pair of motors and controlled by an Arduino Nano. Check it out in action in the video below:

If you’d like to build your own Sequino, you can read the full details of the build over on Hackaday.

[via Digg]

RVR is a Sphero robot for budding tinkerers

Sphero's been amusing us with its collection of robotic balls, like its adorable BB-8, for eight years. But lately the company has been getting away from the toy aspect of its products and embracing its educational potential. It's had an app th...

Learn to Master Arduino (and Pay What You Want)

Arduino is a powerful tool for creating versatile, effective electronics projects. Want to become a master of the open-source electronics platform without shelling out big bucks for training? With the 2018 Arduino Enthusiast E-Book Bundle, you’ll learn a ton about Arduino, and pay what you want for all the courses in the bundle.

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Pay what you want for the 2018 Arduino Enthusiast E-Book Bundle in the Technabob Shop, and start your training today.

Learn About Robotics with This Bionic Lizard

Interested in learning more about robotics? The DIY Bionic Robot Lizard is a perfect way to make robotics education really fun. Designed for STEM education, this mechanical lizard can provide hours of amusement to both beginners and advanced robotics experts, all while being an effective educational experience.

With the kit, users will assemble the lizard robot, then utilize the provided programming language and Sunfounder Nano board to make the robotic reptile move. By the end of the lesson, students will have gained valuable knowledge about all different aspects of electronics and programming.

Let the DIY Bionic Robot Lizard teach you about robotics. It’s yours for $54.99 in the Technabob Shop. Plus, you can use code USA20 for an extra 20% off through 2/20/2018.