Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Introducing the Arduino TFT LCD screen

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

LCD_blog

 

In conjunction with the release of the new version of the Arduino IDE and the Arduino Robot, we’re also putting out a TCT LCD screen. The screen was developed in conjunction with Complubot and the library relies on the Adafruit GFX and ST7735 libraries.

The screen lets you do all sorts of fun things, like play games or lose the serial monitor to see the values from sensors.

The Arduino specific library, named TFT, extends the Adafruit libraries to support  more Processing-like methods. You can write text, draw shapes, and show bitmap images on the screen in a way that should be familiar to users of Processing.

The screen works well with all types of Arduinos with a little bit of wiring, and fits perfectly in the Esplora and Robot sockets. In addition to all this other goodness, there’s a SD card slot on the back for storing pictures and other data.

If you want to learn more about the screen and what it’s capable of, check out the TFT library page, getting started guide, and product page.

You can buy the TFT screen from the Arduino store now!

If you have something cool you’ve made with this, let us know!

Two Arduino-based Kickstarter projects worth a look

Monday, May 20th, 2013

SmartCitizen kit
Some weeks ago I read an article on the New York Times talking about Kickstarter. The author was exploring the logic of the platform and especially in which way backers shouldn’t really be considered like investors. They aren’t because their main aim is not looking for the project that will give them the greatest return on their money.

Kickstarter as a phenomenon is made much more comprehensible once you realize that it’s not following the logic of the free market; it’s following the logic of the gift […] People contribute to them because they’re friends who know the artist personally; they’re fans engaged in a highly personal if unidirectional relationship with the artist [creator]; or simply because they’re intrigued by the project and want some sense of participation in it.

Here we are then, highlighting  two Arduino-based projects because we are intrigued by them and hope you like them too.

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Welcome Arduino Yún – the first board combining Arduino with Linux

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Arduino Yun - iso

 

Massimo Banzi announced it some minutes ago during his annual “The state of Arduino” presentation at Maker Faire Bay Area:  Arduino Yún  is the first of a revolutionary family of wifi products combining Arduino with Linux.

Yún means “cloud” in chinese language,  as the purpose of this board to make it simple to connect to complex web services directly from Arduino.

ArduinoYun - scheme

Designed in collaboration with Dog Hunter, a company with extensive experience with Linux, the board adopts the Linino distribution which provides signed packages to ensure the authenticity of the software installed on the device.

Historically, interfacing Arduino with complex web services has been quite a challenge due to the limited memory available and they tend to use verbose text based formats like XML that require quite a lot or ram to parse. On the Arduino Yún we have created the Bridge library which delegates all network connections and processing of HTTP transactions to the Linux machine.

Arduino Yún is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT). It’s based on the ATMega32u4 microcontroller and on the Atheros AR9331, a system on a chip running Linino, a customized version of OpenWRT, the most used Linux distribution for embedded devices.

Like a Leonardo, it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connector.

Arduino_Yun
Like any modern computer, it’s Wi-Fi enabled, it has a Standard-A type USB connector to which you can connect your USB devices and it has a micro-SD card plug, for additional storage.

The Yún ATMega32u4 can be programmed as a standard Arduino board by plugging it to your computer with the micro USB connector. And you can also program it via Wi-Fi.

When the Yún is turned on for the first time, it becomes an Access Point, creating a Wi-Fi network named “Arduino”. Open your browser and go to the webpanel: configure the board by entering your Wi-Fi network name, type and password. Click the “Configure” button to restart the board and have it join your home network. Opening the IDE, you’ll see it listed in the “Port” sub menu with its IP address instead of the serial port name.

Using the Bridge library in your sketches, you can link the 32u4 to Linux, launching programs and scripts, passing them parameters (sensor readings for example) and reading their output, thus creating a strong integration between the creativity of your sketch and the power of Linux. The Yún supports Shell and Python scripts out-of-the-box but you can install a wide range of open source software and tools.

For the Linux geek in you, Yún can be reached with SSH:  that means you’ll be able to customize it in whatever way. And you’ll always be able to reset it to its factory settings.

On top of that to make it even simpler to create complex applications we’ve partnered with the innovative startup Temboo which provides normalized access to 100+ APIs from a single point of contact allowing developers to mix and match data coming from multiple platforms (for example Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare but even FedEx or PayPal).

Arduino Yún will be available at the end of June at the price of 69$ + taxes.

 

Arduino is ready for Maker Faire Bay Area, and you?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

ArduinoRobot

The world’s most diverse showcase of creativity and innovation in technology, craft and science is starting tomorrow in San Mateo, California and the Arduino team will be there with more than a couple of new things to present.

First of all, finally and officially the Arduino Robot will be alive and running around the Arduino tent to bring you into the world of robotics. Designed with Complubot, the 4-time world champions in Robocup Junior robotics soccer, the robot allows for endless hours of experimentation and play. It is a self-contained platform allowing you to build interactive machines to explore the world. As all the other Arduino products you can use it as it is, modify its software and even add your own hardware on top of it: it is perfect for the novice but also for those looking for their next challenge.

As you may have read in the article published on MAKE some days ago, The Arduino Robot is the result of the collective effort from an international team looking at how science can be made fun to learn and we loved to share its story. Connected with this aim, David Cuartellies – head of Arduino Verkstad, the Arduino office in Malmö (Sweden) – during Maker Faire Bay Area will present the Castilla Education Project  aiming at evaluating the use of Arduino and other open source tools in the schools of Spain. He’ll especially focus on the way content was created and validated in an experiment involving 24 schools, 30 teachers, over 500 kids, and a 6-members design team.

On the topic of education also Michael Shiloh — Coordinator of Education materials for Arduino, will be on the Education stage on Sunday  at 4.30pm for a Q&A on how to use Arduino boards and how to prepare material for teaching.

 

Arduino tft - Esplora compatible

Then we’re happy to announce that Arduino is releasing the new version of the Arduino IDE and the new TFT screen. TCT LCD library relies on the Adafruit GFX and ST7735 libraries.   The Arduino specific library, named TFT, extends the Adafruit libraries to support more Processing-like methods. You can write text, draw shapes, and show bitmap images on the screen in a way that should be familiar to users of Processing.

If you want to hear all these news from the voice of Massimo Banzi, don’t miss the center stage of Maker Faire Bay Area, saturday 18th of May from 1.30 and come to visit us at the Arduino tent (see map below for directions).

MakerfaireMap

 

 

 

Esplora is now available in the Arduino store

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Arduino Esplora

 

The Arduino Esplora is a ready-to-use, easy-to-hold controller that lets you explore the infinitive possibilities you have in the world of sensor and actuators, without having to deal with breadboards, soldering or cable.

There is no limit to the applications-amusing, educational, useful – you can program. You can even add a couple of extra sensor and actuators if you need them. Add a colour LCD module and you’ll be able to create original game on your very own open-source console!

Buy it from the Arduino Store (you can also have it with the retail package below).

ArduinoEsplora retail package

Something is rotten in Denmark (Bio-Hacks)

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Labitat, 3/2013

Massimo and I had the chance to visit a Labitat makerspace in Copenhagen. I have to thank Martin Markus to let us in on a non-visit day and move underground, where the lab is.

The main reason of our visit was getting in touch with the Bio-Hackers and Maker Community meeting there, get them involved in the Call of Makers for the upcoming European Maker Faire in Rome. We had a good time in talking with them about the strange situation we are witnessing here in Europe: many languages, many nations, one big movement of people tinkering around stuff. Get everybody to know about this event and the chance to meet and talk to each other is a massive task. But we are going to overcome it!

Labitat, 3/2013

The place is just super. I’ve been involved in the making of a makespaces in the last three years of my life, but I have no words in describing the feelings I had in witnessing the massive amount of contents that basement kept. No joke.

I tried my best in recovering those objects, those feelings and this odd XXIst century knowledge in a pool set of Flickr, where I tried to describe and follow the different projects I’ve seen.

 

Why visiting makerspaces is to me just like standing on giants shoulders? Basically because I know the problems and I see better, streamlined solutions answering (better than ours in Fablab Torino. You guys feel free to comment and make me feel naiv about the Fridge,  Bio Hacks, the communication billboards, and the AtMEGA 16u2 hack from Dennis.

 

Make a voice call with Arduino Gsm Shield & more examples!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Arduino Gsm Shield

Some days ago we launched our new product, the Arduino Gsm Shield, together with an intro video explaining how to make the first steps into the creation of interaction with it.
Today we’re publishing another video with a second step-by-step tutorial by David:

 

 

And we want to share some more because last year at the Malmo University K3 during the second year in Interaction Design BA, David Cuartielles and Tony Olsson run a course where students had to work on a project with state of the art of technology using wireless communication as a main mode of operation.

As one of the tools, 30 students could experiment with early prototypes of the GSM shield  and they came out with different projects and ideas.  Here you can see one of the proposals that made it to the finals at a M2M contest arranged in Sweden by Tele2. (more…)

A visit to the Arduino factory on DomusWeb

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Arduino Factory

The entire manufacturing process (except for certain purchased components) [of Arduino boards] takes place in and around Strambino, Ivrea, in a context dominated by the small- and medium-sized companies that are typical of Italian industrial districts and of the “Made in Italy” phenomenon itself.

Ivrea’s history is another interesting part of the picture. The city was intimately tied to the presence of Olivetti, a company with a legacy of incredible electronics know-how, and an entire generation of experts. In fact, the Interaction Design Institute was established in a former Olivetti building randomly covered with blue tiles — just like the Arduino boards. The company still exists as a brand, but it is no longer involved in design and development. If Olivetti had not been there before, maybe Arduino would not exist today.

This is an extract from an article by Alice Mela and published today on DomusWeb.

 

A thermometer of future temps with the Arduino GSM Shield

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

thermometer

Things you can do with the new Arduino Gsm Shield: a thermometer of future temps!

 

 

Dive into the Internet-of-Things world with the new Arduino GSM Shield

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Arduino Gsm Shield

We are excited to announce that the new Arduino GSM Shield is ready to be shipped allowing Arduino boards (Uno, MEGA and Leonardo) to explore the wonders of adding a GPRS/GSM connection to interactive projects.

We teamed up with Telefónica Digital to design a tool that is greatly simplifying the process of building Internet of Things applications based on the GSM mobile phone network and controlled through the internet anywhere there is mobile phone coverage.

 

 

Every shield is equipped with a SIM card ready to be plugged in and used within a special worldwide data tariff especially created for the product by Telefónica but you can use any SIM from other providers.
As you can see from the video above, the activation process is really simple and fast through the BlueVia website where you can login with your Arduino account and be online in minutes! (more…)