Archive for the ‘Hacks’ Category

Showcase your project: ultimate cat litter box

Monday, February 25th, 2013


 

This project by Greg is about building a smart litter box for his cats:

We have three cats and the litter is difficult to control. So I had been thinking through a project to build an enclosure. Once I stumbled on Arduino the doors of opportunity were opened. I ordered the electronics and got started on my project right away. So far the Arduino is activating exhaust fans, lightng, and a Lysol spray dispenser. It tracks the number of times the fans are activated and uses a piezo buzzer to alert a filter cleaning. I plan to use it to trigger cleaning based on usage and track each cats potties so we can control their stink before its too late.

A nice video about this project can be found on YouTube.

Enabling F-bus communications with Arduino

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

It’s always nice to see how creative makers approach communication issues in DIY projects, and today we would like to highlight the approach followed by Alex, from InsideGadgets.

On his website, he provides a detailed tutorial on how to use an old Nokia 6110 (or any derivatives) to send SMS messages by exploiting the Nokia’s F-bus, a simple bi-directional and full-duplex serial protocol.

After considerable reverse engineering work, made possible by useful online documentation, Alex finally managed to send a SMS from his Arduino board, connected to the phone, thanks to AVR libraries made available by AVRFreaks.

More information can be found on InsideGadget.

[Via: Inside Gadgets]

An Arduino-based ADB-to-USB adapter for NeXT keyboards

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Have you ever wondered to use your old-fashioned NeXT keyboard with your current, non-ADB computer? The main issue that needs to be solved regards how to interface this ADB keyboard (standing for Apple Desktop Bus, an old protocol used in former NeXT and Apple computers) with a standard USB interface.

In this nice tutorial, Ladyada and Pt describe the approach they have used, based on an Arduino Micro board and… some luck in searching for the right information about the scancode table of the keyboard  ^^.

More information can be found here.

[Via: Adafruit Learning System]

 

Project feature: Accessing YQL from Arduino

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

The ethernet shield opens up lot of possibilities for Arduino. One of which has been explored by Sudar. He has found a way to make YQL calls and even parse the JSON response using Arduino and Ethernet shield.

So what is YQL?

YQL stands for Yahoo Query Language. It is an expressive SQL-like language that lets you query, filter, and join data across Web services. You can read more about YQL from the Yahoo Developer network page.

Checkout the tutorial and the source code at his blog hardwarefun.com.

He is a Research Engineer at Yahoo Research Labs India, by profession, and a hardware hacker by passion. More of his projects can be found here.

Product feature: Arduino based loo-information service

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Ever had to wait outside your loo, in a long queue during office hours? Wished that you had not left your desk un-attended when your boss was on rounds? Avail the new feature from the Indian company Webchutney.

It’s an interactive loo service which removes the queue from the loo. The service allows anyone in our office (Webchutney-Delhi, India) to check the status of the loo, ring a bell if engaged and get notified when the loo gets vacant, all this remotely sitting at your desk.

Contact them for more details! ;)

Disclaimer: This project was submitted as a part of our community contribution feature. The correctness of the information is the sole resopnsibility of the contributor.

Exceptionally Hard and Soft meeting at Berlin 28-30 December 2012 (Part1)

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Ever wished for a really geeky end of the year? Wondering where to get all the latest awesomeness in the hardware world and get to see the people behind it? Reach out for Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting (EHSM) 2012 in the beautiful city of Berlin.

Here is a list of confirmed speakers to give you an insight into why you must attend:

The keynote speaker is Will Jack a 17 year old who apart from building a nuclear fusion reactor, recently built a writing pen for himself because he wanted one.

ICs are really small and badass but you can learn the technique of Reverse engineering it from John McMaster. His work can be seen on siliconpr0n.org.

Wires are the veins of an electrical circuit and Adrian Lelong would teach you wire characterization and diagnosis using various methods which is essential for the critical applications.

What new can be innovated in the technology behind music? Kaspar Emanuel would share his experiences behind a startup AlphaSphere doing the exact same job. AlphaSphere is a new musical instrument designed exclusively for electronic music. He would talk about the approach of open Innovation behind it.

If film deposition, plasma etching, linear particle accelerator, electron beam microscope, electron beam welding, molecular beam epitaxy are your favorite words, then you would surely enjoy the talk by Sylvain Radix and David Rochelet where they describe their success and failures in electrolab while building high-end vacuum systems the step 1 for various purposes stated above.

Coding and debugging without Java? Yes, using the web browser, also you would learn to tweak the CPU with Yann Guidon and Laura Bécognée and demoing YASEP.

A talk by by Stefan Sydow and Sebastian Koch would be on software defined radio with aircraft radio transponders head to metafly to see its live application.

Don’t have a complete idea on all the above technologies? Want your child over 7 years of age to start with her first tech at the conference? Your beloved arduino might be there too, to take a workshop on ‘Getting started with arduino’ for children and beginners.

Head over here to read about more amazing people or wait for part 2 for more announcements on the speakers.

Heard enough already? Head here to book tickets now!

Hamburg Maker Meeting 2012 and Arduino Due preview

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Hamburg Maker Meeting 2012, which took place last week and involved about 200 visitors and more than 20 exhibitors, has been a fantastic opportunity to meet and share experience regarding several topics, such as 3D printing, hacking, retro gaming and so on. At the Attraktor Makerspace, several projects have been presented and demonstrated by their inventors, among which we highlight a very nice Arduino-based floppy drive organ that has been employed to play the Tetris game theme.

Moreover, among the others events planned for the meeting, a special sneak-preview session allowed all the interested people to get some insights on the new Arduino Due board, released a couple of days ago.

A video of the event can be found here, while here you may find more pictures.

More information can be found on the homepage of the meeting.

[Via: Hamburg Maker Meeting website]

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]

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]

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]