Archive for the ‘Actuators’ Category

Upcycling Umbrellas into a Blinky Bike Bag with Lilypad

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

UmbrellaBag lilypad

Agy used for the first time Lilypad Arduino and LEDs on a textile project called Blinky Bike Bag, combining her expertise in fabric hacking with electronics:

The bike bag is made from umbrella material to make it waterproof, and I made it with safety features using the Lilypad light sensor and LEDs. My husband always forgets his reflectors but with the bikebag always being on the bike, he’ll have no excuse not to be a safe cyclist! (more…)

My open-source, do-it-yourself cellphone (built with Arduino).

Monday, August 12th, 2013

DIY cellphone (in hand)

For a little over a year, I’ve been working on an open-source, DIY cellphone as part of my PhD research at the MIT Media Lab. The current version of the phone is based on the Arduino GSM shield and Arduino GSM library. It sports a deliberately low-resolution screen (8 characters, each a 5×7 matrix of LEDs), a laser-cut wooden enclosure, flexure (living hinge) buttons, and a ~1000-line Arduino program that powers the user interface. The phone can make and receive phone calls and text messages, includes a phone book and caller id, and keeps the time. Everything you’d expect from a 20-year old Nokia! (Except snake.) I’ve been using various iterations of the project as my primary cellphone for the past six months or so.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

The phone is open-source and the design files are available on GitHub (hardware, software). Assembly instructions are on my website, although I wouldn’t recommend making your own unless you have experience with soldering surface mount components.

Second DIY cellphone workshop

Of course, it’s not just me that’s been building these phones. I’ve run two workshops in which other people have made them for themselves. A few people have been building them on their own, including someone who posted his result on Twitter.

Ben Peters' Phone.Dena's purpleheart phoneNadya and Jeff making cellphones

Here you can see some the variations on the enclosure that my friends have made. On the left is a 3d-printed case by Ben Peters, the middle is a CNC-milled purpleheart wood case by Dena Molnar, and on the right is a hand-cut cardboard case by Jeffrey Warren.

DIY Cellphone Prototypes

The phone has undergone numerous revisions as I’ve tried to get it into a robust, useable form. Here you can see some of those variations. I started with an LCD screen like those found on old Nokia phones, but it would break after a month or so in my pocket, so I switched to the more-robust LED matrix. The enclosure has had a few tweaks as well, primarily to find a good design for the flexure buttons.

DIY Cellphone (LED matrix variant)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the current incarnation. It seems to be relatively robust, simple enough to assemble by hand, and functional enough to use everyday (although a long way from a smart phone). That’s my DIY cellphone.

Introducing the Arduino TFT LCD screen

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

LCD_blog

 

In conjunction with the release of the new version of the Arduino IDE and the Arduino Robot, we’re also putting out a TCT LCD screen. The screen was developed in conjunction with Complubot and the library relies on the Adafruit GFX and ST7735 libraries.

The screen lets you do all sorts of fun things, like play games or lose the serial monitor to see the values from sensors.

The Arduino specific library, named TFT, extends the Adafruit libraries to support  more Processing-like methods. You can write text, draw shapes, and show bitmap images on the screen in a way that should be familiar to users of Processing.

The screen works well with all types of Arduinos with a little bit of wiring, and fits perfectly in the Esplora and Robot sockets. In addition to all this other goodness, there’s a SD card slot on the back for storing pictures and other data.

If you want to learn more about the screen and what it’s capable of, check out the TFT library page, getting started guide, and product page.

You can buy the TFT screen from the Arduino store now!

If you have something cool you’ve made with this, let us know!

An Arduino-controlled RGB lamp

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

On his blog, Miguel presents one of his latest projects:

This project shows the operation of an RGB lamp using a digital LED strip. After activating the bluetooth connection, the user can open the GUI on the PC to control the lamp. The program shows a hue palette divided into 30 rods, one for each LED of the strip.
By clicking & dragging the mouse cursor it is possible to make your own patterns,. To remove a color, the user can simply click on a rod while pressing the spacebar, which switches off the selected LED.

Part list: wooden support, RGB digitally-addressable LED strip, microcontroller (Arduino Pro Mini, for example), Bluetooth or USB wire.

More information on this project can be found on Miguel’s blog, while a brief video about its operation can be found here; the code of the project can be found on Github. The project’s page on Thingiverse can be found here.

[Via: Miguel's blog]

 

Arduino powered Lucky Cat as physical webcounter

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Rebuilt my lucky cat: whenever a page of my website is loaded, the cat will be waving its arm. There’s a light sensor so when its dark, the cats RGB-LED is changing the color instead of waving the arm. Changing the color of the LED is also possible with one of the buttons on the cats ears. The other one is the reset button. Used an arduino ethernet, a servo, two buttons, an RGB LED and two small yellow LEDs. The seven segment display is one that I harvested from an old stereo. It’s driven by the arduino and two shift registers. unfortunately I’ve soldered that one together for an older project, so that it doesn’t fit into the cat too. It shows the number of pageviews of the website.

via [instructables] visit the page of [Janwil]

Weird Eye Robot with the Arduino Starter Kit

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

[Robotgrrl] made a nice project with the Arduino Starter Kit: The Eye Robot.

It reacts differently when you ‘pet’ it and ‘poke’ it. Beware when it ruffles its brow! It enjoys singing short jingles. Rumour has it that the light up googely eye can peer into your soul.

source [Robotgrrl]

Drive a DC Motor With Arduino DUE

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

 

Arduino DUE and Motorshield

We are proud to show you a tutorial about using an Arduino Motor Shield with the  Arduino Due. This example shows the simplest thing you can do: driving a DC motor forward and backwards.

Read on the [tutorial]

Arduino-controlled blinds: a tutorial

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Have you ever wanted a smart home that can automatically adjusts the blinds for you? If so, this project is for you.

In this instructable, the author describes his approach to “smart blinds”, by using an Arduino board, an ethernet shield, a motor shield and a couple of sensors.

By means of a simple web-based GUI, the user can manually open and close the blinds, or he/she can setup both temperature and brightness thresholds in order to automate the whole process. Finally, opening and closing events can also be scheduled at pre-defined times of the day, if necessary.

The complete tutorial, together with the source code of the project, can be found here.

[Via: Instructables and Lifehacker]

Arduino Starter Kit is here to Rock

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

We are eager to announce the launch of the official Arduino Starter Kit! We have been working hard together in developing a complete selection of 15 projects that will let you become a true arduino tinkerer!

But that’s more:

The new starter kit has been developed together with a series of ten video tutorials hosted by Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi, which can be viewed at www.rs-components.com/arduino. Ideally used in conjunction with the videos, the kit provides an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It contains all of the essential components required to start programming with the Arduino Uno board, and a guidebook featuring 15 different projects, which are designed to evolve the user from beginner to professional level. Comprising a motor, servomotor and driver, the kit also offers particular benefits to users wishing to apply mechatronics to their designs.

read through for the whole components and projects list

(more…)

Workshop on “Physical and Wearable Computing”: projects and outcomes

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Last July 23-27 2012, the workshop on “Physical and Wearable Computing”, organized by SUPSI within the summer school in “Digital Fabrication and Interaction Design”, has took place involving about 20 participants. This workshop has proved to be a very good approach to introduce future makers to the concepts of digital fabrication, prototyping and design of interactive objects.
On the workshop’s homepage, several prototypes and artifacts manufactured during the workshop are presented. Among them, it’s worth to mention Poetry Zoo, a set of laser-cut and RFID-equipped animals that generate poetries, The Sound of a Line, where simple melodies can be performed by using a ball with conductive ink in combination with a special glove, and Superfluo Shoes, a pair of shoes that react based on movement.
The complete list of projects developed during the workshop can be found on its official home page, while a personal view of this experience by Zoe Romano, who has taught at the summer school together with Massimo Banzi, can be found here.

[Via: homepage of the workshop and Zoe Romano's blog]