Archive for the ‘eHome’ Category

Arduino-Driven Content-Sensitive TV Mute

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Matt Richardson has a great blog post on Make about using an Arduino to read the closed-captioning stream from a TV using a video experimenters shield, then muting the TV whenever the name of an annoying celebrity is heard. Besides being a great idea, it’s a nicely made explanatory video.  Nice work, Matt!


Matt Richardson's TV muter project. Image from



The Roominator Against Conference Room Abuse

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

If your office suffers of  “conference room abuse” you should build your own “roominator” to coordinate it:

Conference Room Abuse is where people 2 or more people randomly grab a conference without any regard to the schedule for the room. Its a problem many companies face.

[Rapleaf] tried to solve this by creating a system to coordinate the (mis)use of room conferences

The hardware consists of two parts: a display unit that’s posted outside of each conference room, and a controller unit that’s located in Rapleaf’s wiring closet. The display unit shows the current and upcoming reservations and an LED status indicator that can tell you from a distance whether a room is “good to grab”. It also has a pair of buttons – one to make an ad-hoc reservation and one to cancel the current reservation. The controller unit interfaces with all the displays to distribute power and data, both of which run over a single standard Cat5e cable. Both the controller and the displays are Arduino-based.

The software component is a Rails web site that allows for configuration and integrates with Google Calendar. Reservations made via Google Calendar are sync’d with the Roominator, and vice-versa. The controller unit polls the web site for the information it should pass to the displays.

Rapleaf  open sourced the code on github, with all the instructions for the set up.

via [Kinlane] source [Rapleaf]

Chilean Teen Twitts About Earthquakes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Sebastian Alegria, a 14 years old Chilean teen created an earthquake warning system based on Arduino, an earthquake detector (bought for less 100 $) and an ethernet shield.

Alegria’s rudimentary yet effective system comes from having survived Chile’s own earthquakes last year and seeing the devastation that covered Japan earlier this year. Keen on finding an inexpensive solution for early earthquake detection, he rigged an Arduino and domestic earthquake detector to tweet seconds before detectable seismic activity. Tweeting from @AlarmaSismos, it has already successfully detected every major earthquake that could be felt from Santiago since May. And it’s piling on the Twitter followers.

via [amazonNews] [HackDay] source [InfoBae]

Plantduino Greenhouse Cares Of Your Plants While You’re Away

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Nice step-by-step guide to lets you set up a project that taked care of your field while you’re away:

This summer I wanted to combine my two loves of plant science and engineering. Thus I am constructing my very own greenhouse in my backyard. I am an undergrad, and as any former student knows, this means I move around constantly, and I am not always around to take care of my vegetable garden. I love my plants but since I am moving back to school in July, and my family is unreliable, I need a way to make sure that they are taken care of. Enter Arduino!

I have constructed an automated watering and temperature system. This includes sensors that will turn the systems on only when needed. This is essential when the ever-changing New England weather demands some intelligence in watering and heating patterns.

I want to document this project on Revolt Lab so that anyone who is also in love with vascular (or nonvascular) plants can join me and we can nerd out together! This is my first project using an Arduino so I am using wonderful articles from MAKE and Instructables as very helpful templates. Already the Instructables, MAKE, and Ladyada blogs have been ridiculously helpful so, worry not biology nerds, you too can show the engineers just how awesome we are!

via [instructables] source [RevoltLab]

Yahoo Farm From RoboFun Guys (at Yahoo Open Hack 2011)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

[Viorel] wrote me about an interesting project he and his friends from Robofun developed during the 2011 Yahoo Open Hack in Bucharest, and won the Hacker’s Choice Award. The diorama becomes a physical representation of tour friends’ behaviours.

If you’re a both nature lover and a geek, you would certainly love the Yahoo Farm. The Yahoo Farm is a 60 cm wide diorama, sitting in your bedroom and bringing you online data from the Yahoo ecosystem.

For example, the wind mill rotation below is directly controlled by the wind speed outside (being connected to the Yahoo Weather API), the hand-painted backgrounds are switched according to the weather state, a new sheep is coming out of the barn each time one of your friends gets online on Yahoo Messenger, and each new email lights up a fruit in the Email Tree.

Give a look at the presentation used for the 90 seconds pitch during the event.

via []

Arduino Controlled Dishwasher

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Arduino Forum User [UnaClocker] shared a cool hack on its Maytag dishwasher:

The control panel on the front of it died, it failed from corrosion getting into the laminated plastic PCB that it’s made up of. Not really repairable, just meant to be replaced, except that it’s a $150 part. From what I could find online, it seems to be a common failure, so why buy an overpriced part that’s just going to fail all over again?This is one of the things I love about the Arduino, it allows me to consider alternatives that I’d have NEVER been able to consider before. If I had to program a controller in assembly, or flat do it with just discrete chips, I’d have never considered this as an option. But with the Arduino, not only can I build my own controller, but it’s almost stupidly simple to do.

via [Arduino Forum] source [NeonSquirt] with Code!

Google Launches Android Open Accessory Development Kit Based On Arduino

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

As seen in the streaming of Google IO 2011, physical computing and interactive enviroments are one of the main topics opening the conference. The Android Open Accessory Kit is going to allow Android related devices receive data from different sensors (just via USB, for now).

The Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK) provides an implementation of an Android USB accessory that is based on the Arduino open source electronics prototyping platform, the accessory’s hardware design files, code that implements the accessory’s firmware, and the Android application that interacts with the accessory. The hardware design files and code are contained in the ADK package download.

The board is  based on the Arduino Mega2560 and Circuits@Home USB Host Shield designs, since it communicates to the phone in its “accessory” mode. You can get the custom library / firmware to make it run & test with the shield pictured on top.

more info on the [Android Developer site], via [engadget] source [Google IO]

Arduino Day a Roma, 14 Aprile 2011

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Il prossimo 14 aprile (giovedì) Massimo parlerà a Roma in occasione dell’Arduino Day, una giornata di conoscenza delle possibilità di Arduino a livello didattico e formativo. Le possibilità Arduino come mezzo educativo nelle scuole era stata presentata a fine dell’anno scorso in occasione di questo evento a Torino, seguito da un corso tenuto da me presso alcune scuole del circuito Dschola. Ora grazie all’associazione discienza abbiamo la possibilità di parlare a Roma, e finalmente conoscere un po’ di realtà locali.

Arduino Day è una giornata dedicata a far conoscere a docenti, ricercatori, artisti e ragazzi la piattaforma Arduino.

L’iniziativa, organizzata dall’associazione per la divulgazione scientifica DiScienza, nasce con l’obiettivo di catalizzare il sempre maggiore interesse nei confronti del progetto Arduino, e di convogliarlo in un’unica giornata in cui sarà possibile conoscere le diverse realtà che utilizzano la piattaforma e approcciarne alcune applicazioni.

segui il [thread sul forum di Arduino].

Arduino Candy Grabber, Web Controlled.

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

A step-by-step guide on controlling physical things (like grabbing candies with a mechanical arm) via Internet (please, try!).

In this instructable you will learn how to connect to your arduino and control it over the net, set up a video stream, and how to control stuff with your arduino all in realtime. I’ll try to show you on a concrete example how this could be done, but the code I used and wrote is going to be generic so you can use it for your projects. Note that I haven’t discovered anything new but rather used code that I found lying around the net, built from it and changed it fit my needs.

(…) So how should it work? The idea is that there is a Flash AIR app on my home computer that when a remote client connects to it starts the video broadcast. The communication between the client and the AIR app would be through a PHP socket because it can instantly push messages from one to the other. The socket will handle all the clients and the queuing. The Red5 server is used to handle the video broadcast, stream the video and send the arduino commands from the client that is first in the queue to the AIR app (although it could do so much more… we’ll talk about that in a later step). Finally TinkerProxy is used to send commands from the AIR app to the arduino that is connected to the same computer.

Thanks to Mario for the link!

via [Instructables], grab the thing [here]

RFID-based Dispencer Answers To The Question: Did I Already Take This Pill?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

[Mark Fickett] shares a nice solution to keep track of  pils and medecines his mother takes.

When taking her battery of medicines, my mother occasionally loses — or, lost — track of which ones she had already taken. This aims to keep track of what’s been taken (and how recently); and also to provide a night light, as long as it’s taking up an electrical outlet.