Archive for the ‘Matrix’ Category

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.

Portable, DIY Disco Dance Floor

Friday, December 9th, 2011

[Rave Rover's Chris Williamson] made a portable DIY dancefloor, sharing instructions and schematics.

Like with many projects similar to this, an Arduino board controls pretty much everything. The floor is dominated by powerful LED lights, which respond to a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). A small computer is also inside (complete with Wi-fi), along with a car radio hooked up to speakers. Oh, and thanks to additional wheelchair motors, the floor can be wheeled away to wherever it’s needed.

Chris managed to build the dance floor in just one month, and documented how to do it on Instructables for anyone who wants to make their own. And now you’ve seen this, would you really want to throw a party without one?

via [PCworld] source [Instructables]

Time To Go Matrix

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

We are happily announcing two new products in the Arduino Store: [E000011] 32×08 Red LED 5mm Matrix and [E000013] 32*16 Green/Red LED 3mm Matrix from Sure Electronics. Both products are coming with tutorials and related projects.

Have a good prototyping!

 

 

 

 

A Wall of 250 Canon Cameras Flashing Their Lights In A Matrix

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Japanese band Androp realized for it’s latest single “Bright Siren” a 250 Flash light-based interactive Matrix.

Japan musicians Androp built a backdrop of 250 Canon cameras and programmed all their flashes to fire off in a sort of digital stop-motion screen.

The “Making of” after the break.

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“Light Scythe” Lets You Do Huge Light Paintings

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Some of you may know “light painting”  it’s a photographic technique which uses long exposures and a light source, to “paint” the photo with light. The project was inspired by the Wifi Netword Visualization, The Mechatronics Guy later brought in the concept of writing and painting pictures with the beams of light with a pc (wirelessly via Xbee).

The hardware is pretty simple. There’s a 2m programmable LED strip inside an acrylic tube, which is controlled from a small receiver and battery pack. A laptop PC with a wireless Xbee link sends the image data to the scythe at a specified time.

via [UberGizmo] source [mechatronicsGuy]

Samsa II, The Hexapod

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

[pabloxid] shared an Hexapod project on the forum based on an Arduino MEGA 1280 and 18 Dynamixel AX-12 motors:

SAMSA is based on the Wiring board, with an ATmega128 microcontroller, and SAMSA II on the Arduino Mega, with an ATmega1280. Both are pretty similar, tough the ATmega1280 has 8 KB SRAM, twice the ATmega128. For SAMSA II the Arduino IDE was not used. The software was written directly in C++, using some libraries from both Arduino and Wiring.

SAMSA II has also two additional microcontrollers. One is an old Arduino Mini (ATmega168) located in the head, tasked with handling the sensors. The other is an ATmega8 and is integrated in the display. The firmware in the display was replaced with another one, freeing the main microcontroller from handling the display pixel by pixel, storing the frame buffer, etc.

The head’s microcontroller is responsible for sampling, filtering and processing sensor’s data. The data from the Sharp distance sensor and the lateral IR sensors are combined in a single “super smart distance sensor”. This microcontroller also decodes the data coming from the 38 KHz IR receiver, used for the Remote Control.

These two additional microcontrollers further reduce the load on the main microcontroller, allowing for more sophisticated behaviours.

(more…)

Place-stat* Helps You Visualize Your Energy ConsumptionPlace-stat* Helps You Visualize Your Energy ConsumptionPlace-stat* Helps You Visualize Your Energy Consumption

Monday, November 8th, 2010

 

[Gonzalo Garcia-Pelate] is developing Place-stat*, an interesting Arduino-based home-monitoring tool, adding a more intuitive, informal and relational way to visualize data:

People install energy monitors in their homes to become more aware of their consumption, and to improve based on the information the meter provides. To lower energy consumption the key information people want from their meter is whether they are doing better or worse, compared to yesterday, their neighbours, or a national average, for instance. The majority of devices in the smart meter space tend to provide energy consumption data in kW h, sometimes mixed with a trends graph. There is a mismatch between users’ understanding of their energy usage, which is informal and relational, kettle vs. toaster or today vs. yesterday, and the continuous numeric data stream provided and presented by meters. I believe end users can benefit form a different approach, an ambient display which presents information as relationships, to encourage behaviour change.

Here are some pictures of the developing process. Find more info about the early presentation of the project at Pervasive 2010, and the latest Carbon And Energy Hack Weekend event where Gonzalo is actually

[...] interested in discussing additional aspects of the project with others. In particular, energy experts, statisticians, social scientist, product designers, marketers, potential partners, investors. I am also really looking forward to see what others are doing, I’m happy to provide input where I can.

via [makesenseofspace]

 

 

 

[Gonzalo Garcia-Pelate] is developing Place-stat*, an interesting Arduino-based home-monitoring tool, adding a more intuitive, informal and relational way to visualize data:

People install energy monitors in their homes to become more aware of their consumption, and to improve based on the information the meter provides. To lower energy consumption the key information people want from their meter is whether they are doing better or worse, compared to yesterday, their neighbours, or a national average, for instance. The majority of devices in the smart meter space tend to provide energy consumption data in kW h, sometimes mixed with a trends graph. There is a mismatch between users’ understanding of their energy usage, which is informal and relational, kettle vs. toaster or today vs. yesterday, and the continuous numeric data stream provided and presented by meters. I believe end users can benefit form a different approach, an ambient display which presents information as relationships, to encourage behaviour change.

Here are some pictures of the developing process. Find more info about the early presentation of the project at Pervasive 2010, and the latest Carbon And Energy Hack Weekend event where Gonzalo is actually

[...] interested in discussing additional aspects of the project with others. In particular, energy experts, statisticians, social scientist, product designers, marketers, potential partners, investors. I am also really looking forward to see what others are doing, I’m happy to provide input where I can.

via [makesenseofspace]

 

[Gonzalo Garcia-Pelate] is developing Place-stat*, an interesting Arduino-based home-monitoring tool, adding a more intuitive, informal and relational way to visualize data:

People install energy monitors in their homes to become more aware of their consumption, and to improve based on the information the meter provides. To lower energy consumption the key information people want from their meter is whether they are doing better or worse, compared to yesterday, their neighbours, or a national average, for instance. The majority of devices in the smart meter space tend to provide energy consumption data in kW h, sometimes mixed with a trends graph. There is a mismatch between users’ understanding of their energy usage, which is informal and relational, kettle vs. toaster or today vs. yesterday, and the continuous numeric data stream provided and presented by meters. I believe end users can benefit form a different approach, an ambient display which presents information as relationships, to encourage behaviour change.

Here are some pictures of the developing process. Find more info about the early presentation of the project at Pervasive 2010, and the latest Carbon And Energy Hack Weekend event where Gonzalo is actually

[...] interested in discussing additional aspects of the project with others. In particular, energy experts, statisticians, social scientist, product designers, marketers, potential partners, investors. I am also really looking forward to see what others are doing, I’m happy to provide input where I can.

via [makesenseofspace]

 

Place-stat* Helps You Visualize Your Energy ConsumptionPlace-stat* Helps You Visualize Your Energy ConsumptionPlace-stat* Helps You Visualize Your Energy Consumption

Monday, November 8th, 2010

 

[Gonzalo Garcia-Pelate] is developing Place-stat*, an interesting Arduino-based home-monitoring tool, adding a more intuitive, informal and relational way to visualize data:

People install energy monitors in their homes to become more aware of their consumption, and to improve based on the information the meter provides. To lower energy consumption the key information people want from their meter is whether they are doing better or worse, compared to yesterday, their neighbours, or a national average, for instance. The majority of devices in the smart meter space tend to provide energy consumption data in kW h, sometimes mixed with a trends graph. There is a mismatch between users’ understanding of their energy usage, which is informal and relational, kettle vs. toaster or today vs. yesterday, and the continuous numeric data stream provided and presented by meters. I believe end users can benefit form a different approach, an ambient display which presents information as relationships, to encourage behaviour change.

Here are some pictures of the developing process. Find more info about the early presentation of the project at Pervasive 2010, and the latest Carbon And Energy Hack Weekend event where Gonzalo is actually

[...] interested in discussing additional aspects of the project with others. In particular, energy experts, statisticians, social scientist, product designers, marketers, potential partners, investors. I am also really looking forward to see what others are doing, I’m happy to provide input where I can.

via [makesenseofspace]

 

 

 

[Gonzalo Garcia-Pelate] is developing Place-stat*, an interesting Arduino-based home-monitoring tool, adding a more intuitive, informal and relational way to visualize data:

People install energy monitors in their homes to become more aware of their consumption, and to improve based on the information the meter provides. To lower energy consumption the key information people want from their meter is whether they are doing better or worse, compared to yesterday, their neighbours, or a national average, for instance. The majority of devices in the smart meter space tend to provide energy consumption data in kW h, sometimes mixed with a trends graph. There is a mismatch between users’ understanding of their energy usage, which is informal and relational, kettle vs. toaster or today vs. yesterday, and the continuous numeric data stream provided and presented by meters. I believe end users can benefit form a different approach, an ambient display which presents information as relationships, to encourage behaviour change.

Here are some pictures of the developing process. Find more info about the early presentation of the project at Pervasive 2010, and the latest Carbon And Energy Hack Weekend event where Gonzalo is actually

[...] interested in discussing additional aspects of the project with others. In particular, energy experts, statisticians, social scientist, product designers, marketers, potential partners, investors. I am also really looking forward to see what others are doing, I’m happy to provide input where I can.

via [makesenseofspace]

 

[Gonzalo Garcia-Pelate] is developing Place-stat*, an interesting Arduino-based home-monitoring tool, adding a more intuitive, informal and relational way to visualize data:

People install energy monitors in their homes to become more aware of their consumption, and to improve based on the information the meter provides. To lower energy consumption the key information people want from their meter is whether they are doing better or worse, compared to yesterday, their neighbours, or a national average, for instance. The majority of devices in the smart meter space tend to provide energy consumption data in kW h, sometimes mixed with a trends graph. There is a mismatch between users’ understanding of their energy usage, which is informal and relational, kettle vs. toaster or today vs. yesterday, and the continuous numeric data stream provided and presented by meters. I believe end users can benefit form a different approach, an ambient display which presents information as relationships, to encourage behaviour change.

Here are some pictures of the developing process. Find more info about the early presentation of the project at Pervasive 2010, and the latest Carbon And Energy Hack Weekend event where Gonzalo is actually

[...] interested in discussing additional aspects of the project with others. In particular, energy experts, statisticians, social scientist, product designers, marketers, potential partners, investors. I am also really looking forward to see what others are doing, I’m happy to provide input where I can.

via [makesenseofspace]

 

Daft Punk helmet project recap

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Amazing Daft Punk helmet replica from [Volpin Props]. It took a long time to came around a wonderful replica of the famous iconic helmet used by Daft Punk. The lighting is powered by Arduino.

Its been a long road. Seventeen months, countless hours, multiple dead ends, hundreds of lessons learned, and one helmet made. In the past two installments I’ve discussed sculpting, resin casting, chroming and vacuum forming. This is where the magic happens though… Illumination.

more after the break

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Wire-wrapping an LED matrix

Monday, June 7th, 2010

[Osgeld] hackaday reader and Arduino forum friend made an odd matrix:

Regular reader [Osgeld] built a 1024 LED display matrix. This is a proof-of-concept design and he admittedly has overloaded the components. Most notably, the 595 shift registers (featured over the weekend) are sourcing too much current if all eight pins are active. That’s easy enough to fix in the next design by moving up to cascading LED drivers. Instead of soldering every connection in the display, [Osgeld] soldered the components in place and then used wire wrapping to make the point-to-point connections. This must have saved him a ton of time and frustration. We can’t wait to see what comes out of this first prototype.

via [Hackaday]