Open Electronics‘ staff were looking for a common and standard hardware platform usable on different robots they were working on. Their goal was to find a single platform that had to provide power supply to the microcontroller, it had to provide stabilized voltage for the servos, and, finally, it had to be equipped with an obstacle detector and with an IR receiver.
Having chosen Arduino as the target core board, they developed an ad-hoc shield meeting all these requirements, whose detailed description can be found here, together with the BOM and a lot of source code.
Nice Grasshopper-to-Arduino plotter hack from FablabTorino maker Pietro Leoni, a collabotator at Carlo Ratti Associati studio in Turin. We’d love to see code & sketches online soon, as much as a second edition of the plotter.
2012 is not only the year of the Olympics, but also the launch of the first ever ‘Digilympics’, a twitter-powered race for sporting success where you determine the outcome. Four Lego athletes move down a physical racetrack as fans Tweet their team to move them further towards the finish line.
Starting today (07/18/2012), the Digilympics will be a two-week event as the four teams – UK, US, Canada and Japan – compete for the prestigious Digilympics Gold Medal.
The competition is open to anyone on the web, allowing them to Tweet their team to success using one of four unique Twitter accounts (UK_Digi, US_Digi, CA_Digi &JP_Digi). Tweets in support of a particular account will move that country’s contestant physically along a running track.
After each race, the team victories are recorded and contestants go back to the starting line. At the end of the week the team who has won the most races will be given the Gold Medal online at digilympics.com
Under the hood, this funny race is enabled by a Processing sketch that seeks for Twitter replies on each account: a new reply triggers a motor-shield equipped Arduino board, which provides the movement to each athlet.
More information can be found here. And… let’s start twitting for your favourite team! ^^
One-time-password (OTP) and its time-based version (time-based OTP, or simply TOTP) are commodity solutions to provide a second factor, in addition to simple passwords, for authentication.
Here Jose Damico proposes his way to implement a simple TOTP device using only open-source tools. The core of the project is an Arduino board connected to a small LCD. From the software perspective, the SHA-1 library comes from Cryptosuite, a cryptographic library for Arduino.
Loccioni Group, is an italian company that sponsors every year a project internship entitled “Classe Virtuale”, dedicated to young students coming from local technical schools.
This year, “Classe Virtuale 2012″ has been composed by 27 students with different backgrounds, selected among 120 candidates. After a stating training period, during the three-weeks internship the team worked on a very nice Arduino-based project: Flow Meter.
Here you may find a brief interview we had with Daniele Caschera, one of the components of “Classe Virtuale 2012″, about Flow Meter and on how Arduino helped in its design.
This is a working model of an Arduino based Milling Machine created using FischerTechnik. For those of you who are unaware of FischerTechnik, it is similar to the LEGOTM Building Blocks.
A group of four Mechanical Engineering students at the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) created this project as part of their Mechatronics class in their Second year of Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc.) Program.
Laurens Valk, one of the creators, explains the essence of Arduino in the project:
“The system uses the Adafruit motor shield to run two stepper motors, and the Sparkfun EasyDriver for the third stepper motor. The Arduino runs code that listens to Matlab commands over USB. We expanded that code a little to make it possible to add the third stepper motor and some other commands. Most of the actual code was programmed in Matlab, with the Arduino as the interface between computer and motors/sensors.”
We had a little chat with Laurens. Here is the excerpt:
When did you first hear about Arduino, and when did you first start using it?
I’ve seen a lot of Arduino projects over the years, but this was the first time we used it in a project. Personally, I usually build robots with MINDSTORMS NXT, but this felt like a good opportunity to combine mechanical work (the printer hardware) with real electronics (Arduino).
How did you end up making a Milling Machine/ 3D Printer for your project?
We chose to come up with our own design challenge and decided not to do the standard exercise. Initially we thought about making a (2D) plotter or scanner. Then quickly we started thinking about the same things, except in 3D. One of the projects that inspired us was the LEGO Milling Machine by Arthur Sacek. Both a scanner and printer would still be doable in 3D, but the time was limited, so we settled with the printer idea.
All construction had to be done in one workweek for logistical reasons. To make sure we were able to finish in time, we prepared much of the electronics and software outside the lab. We finished just in time, but unfortunately we could do only one complete print before we had to take it apart. Not surprisingly, it was very exciting to wait for the result of the one and only complete test run. We couldn’t see the result until we used the vacuum cleaner to remove the dust.
Here is a video showing the working of this machine. [And the Vacuum Cleaner Laurens is talking about]:
This gives an Insight into the many feats that an Arduino can accomplish.
In his blog, Marc from Robot Dialogs presents a very nice hack involving a IBM Selectric II typewriter: by means of an Arduino board and several solenoids, the typewriter can be successfully connected to a computer to emulate a vintage teletype.
The complete story can be found here, together with several videos about its development.
On her blog, Dustyn Roberts presents her own experience on current sensing for controlling DC electric motors with an Arduino board and an Arduino Motor Shield. This shield, based on a L298 H-bridge, provides two current sensing pins to the user, which can be used to measure the instantaneous current absorpion by each H-bridge. After some trials, Dustyn managed to have a quite clear picture of the absorption behavior of the DC motor:
Researchers from Centro de Automática y Robótica (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and from Brown University carried out a very deep research about the specific behavior of bat flight, whose ultimate goal is to replicate the capabilities of bat’s wings by means of an ad-hoc designed micro aerial vehicle (MAV).
[...] this research is oriented towards the development of a biological inspired bat robot platform, that allows to reproduce the amazing maneuverability of these flying mammals. The highly maneuverability is achieved by reproducing the flapping and morphing capabilities of their wing-skeleton structure. This structure is composed by several joints and a membrane that generates the required lift forces to fly.
To mimmic the muscular system that moves the joints of the wing-bones, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) NiTi wires are used as artificial-muscles. Several challenges in controlling this SMA-based actuation system are regarded in this research.