Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Space experiments for everyone: the ArduSat project

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

ArduSat, which stands for “Arduino satellite”, is a recently kickstarted project that aims at developing an open platform usable to emulate space scientists:

Once launched, the ArduSat will be the first open platform allowing the general public to design and run their own space-based applications, games and experiments, steer the onboard cameras to take pictures on-demand, and even broadcast personalized messages back to Earth.

ArduSat will be equipped with several sensors (such as cameras, gyros, accelerometers, GPS and more) packed inside a small cube (the side will be approximately 10 cm long) that can be accessed through a set of Arduinos.

Once in orbit, the ArduSat will be accessible from the ground to flash the required firmware for the experiments and for getting back all the collected information. People interested in performing space experiments will have access to a ground replica of ArduSat explotable to test and debug their code before the actual deployment.

The project is very ambitious, and it is expected that such an open accessible space platform will have a considerable impact on how simple space experiments will be carried out in the forthcoming years, in the case of fundraising success.

You may find the Kickstarter page of the project here.

[Via: Hack A Day and Kickstarter]

XOrduino: an Arduino-compatible board for the OLPC XO laptop

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Dr. Scott Ananian, from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, conceived an Arduino Leonardo-compatible board especially designed for the OLPC XO laptop, with the goal to cut down its price as much as possible, to foster its adoption even in developing countries. From Scott’s blog:

The board uses mostly through-hole parts, with one exception, and there are only 20 required components for the basic Arduino functionality, costing about $5 (from digikey, quantity 100). It is reasonable for local labor or even older kids to assemble by hand.

The board, named XOrduino, is open hardware (schematics and pcb files can be found on github), and can be directly plugged into the XO’s USB ports, which allowed Scott to save the money required for the USB connector. Moreover, its design has been inspired by other open hardware projects, such as SparkFun’s ATmega32U4 breakout board and SparkFun’s Scratch Sensor Board-compatible PicoBoard.

Scott designed also a second board, which is even cheaper than the first one, called XO Stick:

It’s based on the AVR Stick using the ATtiny85 processor and costs only $1/student. It’s not quite as user-friendly as the Arduino-compatible board, but it can also be used to teach simple lessons in embedded electronics.

A longer description can be found here, while detailed release notes can be found on github.

It’s very exciting to see how open technologies, such as open hardware and open source software, contribute to the way education and creativity can take place around the world, especially regarding their promotion in developing countries.

[Via: Ossblog, OLPC blog, Scott Ananian's blog]

Arduino Barcamp Zaragoza 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Arduteka - Arduino Barcamp Zaragoza 2012


Arduteka en colaboración con Cooking Hacks y Milla Digital del ayuntamiento de Zaragoza han preparado un evento con capacidad para más de 400 personas en uno de los edificios más emblemáticos de la ciudad, el Antiguo Seminario Metropolitano de Zaragoza transformando en una moderna Ciudad Administrativa Municipal y que amablemente han cedido para organizar el evento.


Desde charlas sobre arte interactivo con Arduino como interface, pasando por talleres sobre impresión 3D hasta demostración de integración de Arduino con Asterisk será solo una parte de lo que vamos a poder disfrutar, ya que estarán habilitados diferentes Stands como el de Parrot, en que podremos probar el nuevo Ar-Drone 2.0, el de Cooking Hacks que nos amenizarán con micro talleres Arduino e incluso el de nuestros amigos de Ultra-Lab que seguro hará las delicias de los asistentes.


Por si esto fuera poco.. Contaremos con la presencia y colaboración de David Cuartielles, el cual nos ofrecerá una charla sobre los últimos productos Arduino que se está aconteciendo…


Accede ahora a toda la información en la nueva web de Arduteka AQUÍ e inscríbete!!

Te lo vas a perder??


Via | Arduteka


Some advances in aerial vehicles: bat-inspired smart wings

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

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).

From the home page of the project:

[...] 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.


Summer School on wearable computing

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Next July a workshop on wearable computing will be held at Supsi Summer School (Ticino).



Goal of the workshop is the design and prototyping, through the Arduino platform, of objects that sense, interpret and react to the real world and that can be wearable and digitally fabricated.

More info here.

Via []



Alarma DIY con Módulo 3G, Cámara, Ultrasonidos, Teclado Matricial & Led RGB

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Arduteka lanza su último tutorial!

En él nos descubre el nuevo módulo 3G para Arduino de Cooking Hacks con el que podremos construir una divertida alarma que nos enviará la foto de nuestro intruso directamente a nuestro correo, además de avisarnos por un mensaje sms a nuestro teléfono móvil sin necesidad de tener conectado nuestro Arduino a internet constantemente, pues lo hace todo a través de la red móvil.

Vamos a construirnos una alarma totalmente casera, a través del sensor de ultrasonidos, escanearemos continuamente el espacio situado enfrente suyo con un radio aproximado de 30º, cuando algún objeto o persona se sitúe en su campo de actuación a una distancia inferior a la que establezcamos, haremos sonar una alarma, tomaremos una fotografía, el Led RGB que antes estaba verde, pasará a color azul y daremos 10 segundos para poder desactivar la alarma a través de nuestro teclado matricial, si la desactivamos, volverá de nuevo a escanear el campo, pero si no!! Reproducirá un sonido contundente y se dispondrá a mandarnos un sms a nuestro teléfono móvil y la fotografía a nuestro correo electrónico.



MAKEmatics – Mathematics for Makers

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Makers need to familiarize themselves with the core concepts and the theory involved in creating applications such as Motion Sensing and Face Tracking. As the technology is churning out new hardware day and night, DIYers need to work hard to keep up and always be in touch with the latest technology around them.

For example, anyone working with Accelerometers/ Gyroscopes or Inertial Measurement Units needs to understand the theory of Vectors, Force, Gravity and be able to work out complex mathematical problems. They may easily get an Arduino Board and an Accelerometer Breakout or an IMU Board and use a library instead of writing their own code but to truly understand the theory behind it; how the device actually works, is not for the faint of heart.


One such problem is the Face Tracking Application. Unless you know the real theory behind how the Algorithm actually works, you can only wonder about that robot which follows its master. Greg Borenstein had an idea of creating a website dedicated to this issue. Makematics – Math for Makers.


In an introductory post, Greg writes:

” I hope to show that a normal programmer with no special academic training can grapple with these areas of research and find a way in to understanding them. And as I go I aim to create material that will help others do the same. If I can do it, there’s no reason you can’t.”

More and more people should step forward and create or compile a good amount of research data to help fellow makers and DIYers in solving complex mathematical problems.

MathWorks announces built-in Simulink support for Arduino

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

“MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. ”

Now that the basics are clear, let us enjoy the beauty of the new feature!

“Simulink built-in support for hardware is a big boost to project-based learning,” said Dr. Farid Golnaraghi, professor and director of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at Simon Fraser University. “Our engineering students who learn control theory by creating and running models in Simulink can now easily test and tune their algorithms on hardware, without knowing embedded systems.”

Simulink provides built-in support for the following platforms:

Arduino Uno and Mega 2560 microcontroller boards for robotics, mechatronics, and hardware-connectivity tasks
BeagleBoard-xM single-board computers for audio, video, and digital signal processing
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics platform for robotics applications

As you know MATLAB is a product of MathWorks, and is widely used for data visualization, attaching an Arduino would be really beneficial and wonderful applications from the maker community can be expected!


ArduinoDay a Roma

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Per il secondo anno Discienza organizza l’Arduino Day, un giorno di incontri e scambio su progetti, pratiche, e smanettamenti vari fatti con Arduino. Alle 17:00 il nostro speech mostrerà alcuni prodotti e progetti su cui Arduino sta lavorando.

Arduino Day 2012 è una giornata dedicata a Arduino e alla community dei suoi utilizzatori, un evento in cui verranno presentate le novità
2012 più importanti del settore, e dove un grande open space raccoglierà i migliori progetti di appassionati e professionisti.
Nella sezione dedicata alle scuole e alla didattica sarà possibile richiedere informazioni per l’attivazione di corsi di formazione su Arduino.
La mattina sarà aperta con una conferenza dedicata a studenti e docenti per discutere insieme dei progetti di didattica della robotica e stimolare un confronto attivo.
Per tutta la giornata sarà attivo uno spazio aperto con esposizione libera di una selezione di progetti di istituti e appassionati e nel contempo sarà
possibile assistere ad una serie di Mini, brevi speech di circa 15 minuti in cui verranno presentati alcuni progetti Arduino based

prenota e partecipa, e porta a vedere il tuo progetto!

Maker from India: Anirudh Sharma

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A former student of a college located in the town Bikaner, Rajasthan(India), Anirudh Sharma (twitter, blog) is a maker with a lot of perseverance. His first project Sparsh (Video) during college days generated a lot of interest in the Indian Maker community. His regular work at HP labs as a consultant, and his most famous recent work which was presented at TEDx BITS, Goa, the shoe for the blind – Le-chal, has brought him to the attention of makers around the world.

The latest was him getting featured in the MIT Technology Review, India TR35 list as a ‘young technology innovator’ followed by a call to pursue further studies with MIT Media Labs.

A casual chat-up with him threw light on the way open source hardware is affecting the lives of independent makers of India.

Priya: Congrats Anirudh! How does it feel to be featured in MIT list of young inventors?

Anirudh: Feels great that our work is being recognized at that level. Its a great platform to meet other people in doing technology related work.
Priya: Could you explain the project that was featured for our readers?
Anirudh: Codenamed as le´ chal, it’s a way of communicating navigational information with an intuitive eye-free interface. We used pizeo vibrational actuators in the four sides of the shoe that ‘poke’ the user about the direction he needs to walk in. The system could fit within a shoe. The reason we used a shoe is because it is something that we can repeatedly use in our day to day lives. We’ve started a company – Ducere Technologies [website yet to be up] to take this forward as a full fledged product.
Priya: Which specific area interests you the most in the field of electronics?
Anirudh: [I am] Not much of an electronics guy, I started fooling around with transducers back in 2010. I like the research going on in area of MEMS/Biomechatronics though.
Priya: What prompted you to use Arduino?
Anirudh: [Laughs] Not being an electronics guy, Arduino was the easiest way for me to start prototyping. The high-level easy access to sensor data pushed me to choose this platform to begin with.
Priya: So, MIT media labs :) that is big! What do you plan to study there?
Anirudh: Not thought yet. I’d love to explore tangible input to CAD systems, Raskar’s NETRA project which creates an inverse Shack-Hartmann sensor. This compiles to new hardware add-on to mobile phones for instant eye-prescription data. Other projects that interest me are AutoStereoscopic displays-BiDi screen, similar to explorations I did with my mentor ‘SriG‘(Sriganesh Madhvanath) at HP Labs.
Priya: I see that you have taken initiatives for the blind, what other areas can you see open source hardware solving problems?
Anirudh: If you’ve an idea that could touch lives, there’s nothing better than open source hardware to start your explorations with, as it not only provides the right tools but a community backing that you could rely on.
Priya: Any special blogs/people that you follow in the field of technology?
Anirudh: [I follow the works of] Arduino, MIT Tech Review, Seth Sandler, Bret Vitor, Aza Raskin, ladyada for it brings out fresh insights. In general, I admire works of VS Ramachandran, Feynman, Shwetak Patel and Bill Buxton.
Priya: Any other hobbies other than tinkering?
Anirudh: I play Portal 2, FarCry, trek to new places, and do photography.