Archive for the ‘English’ Category

Libelium’s new Geiger Counter

Friday, April 15th, 2011

There are at least three of our distributors working against the clock to create new geiger shields in an attempt to provide people in Japan with tools for self-measuring radiation levels as we have been reporting earlier. Libelium, from Zaragoza, Spain, released one yesterday with one of the most comprehensive guides I have seen so far to how a geiger counter works, how to measure, and how to connect it to an Arduino board.

 

 

 

libelium_geiger_board_sbm20_tube

(c) 2011 geiger sensor, picture by Libelium.com

Libelium’s work in this case could almost be considered political, here their manifesto:

The main finality of the Radiation Sensor Board for Arduino is to help people in Japan to measure the levels of radiation in their everyday life after the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March 2011 and cause the nuclear radiation leakages in Fukushima. We want to give the chance to measure by themselves this levels instead of trusting in the general advises which are being broadcasted. The usage of this sensor board along with the affordable and easy to use Arduino platform helps people to get radiation values from specific places.

As technical guys, we feel the responsibility of providing our support in those areas where we can contribute. As a result, first batch has been shipped to Japan at no charge to the Tokyo Hackerspace and other working groups.

The design of the board is open hardware and the source code is released under GPL.

The Libelium Team. April 2011.

In parallel to the effort to provide people with Hardware, Shigeru Kobayashi is working in creating a central point of information on where to find sensors, and how to send the information to the net and make it available for the rest of us. We will come back with more information about this soon.

Read more at Libelium’s page, where you can also acquire the sensor.

Libelium's new Geiger Counter

Friday, April 15th, 2011

There are at least three of our distributors working against the clock to create new geiger shields in an attempt to provide people in Japan with tools for self-measuring radiation levels as we have been reporting earlier. Libelium, from Zaragoza, Spain, released one yesterday with one of the most comprehensive guides I have seen so far to how a geiger counter works, how to measure, and how to connect it to an Arduino board.

 

 

 

libelium_geiger_board_sbm20_tube

(c) 2011 geiger sensor, picture by Libelium.com

Libelium’s work in this case could almost be considered political, here their manifesto:

The main finality of the Radiation Sensor Board for Arduino is to help people in Japan to measure the levels of radiation in their everyday life after the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March 2011 and cause the nuclear radiation leakages in Fukushima. We want to give the chance to measure by themselves this levels instead of trusting in the general advises which are being broadcasted. The usage of this sensor board along with the affordable and easy to use Arduino platform helps people to get radiation values from specific places.

As technical guys, we feel the responsibility of providing our support in those areas where we can contribute. As a result, first batch has been shipped to Japan at no charge to the Tokyo Hackerspace and other working groups.

The design of the board is open hardware and the source code is released under GPL.

The Libelium Team. April 2011.

In parallel to the effort to provide people with Hardware, Shigeru Kobayashi is working in creating a central point of information on where to find sensors, and how to send the information to the net and make it available for the rest of us. We will come back with more information about this soon.

Read more at Libelium’s page, where you can also acquire the sensor.

Arduino at HCI India 2011

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Today I presented Arduino at HCI India 2011 as one of the keynote speakers. It is interesting to get a chance of introducing my research in the field of prototyping and the work I do for Arduino all at once to the HCI community in India, which is strongly focused in the creation of software solutions. I attended the track where the Full Papers were presented and got to see a whole lot of projects where Interaction Design and usability techniques are applied to study the use of mobile technologies to help illiterate people getting access to micropayments, learning about irrigation, or just learn how to read.

2011_cuartielles_hci_india_keynote

(cc-sa-nc) 2011 D. Cuartielles at HCI India

The other three keynotes went from the very theoretical to the extremely practical. PhD. Mark Billinghurst spoke about the future of Augmented Reality and made some nice demos of the software they are developing at HitLabNZ. PhD. Kari Rönkkö from the Technical University Blekinge (BTH) presented his thoughts around the concept of “Wicked Problems” after designing a whole educational computer system together with ABB. And Prof. M.P. Ranjan, now retired after over 40 years at the National Institute of Design, provoked the audience with his visions on how to approach design thinking and how the educational and value system should be improved in India.

My demo was a walkthrough to the use of ArduinoBT + Processing + Android to conceptualize about the Internet of Things. It worked just great and I had people to program graphical behavior patterns on an Android’s screen by drawing how an LED should fade or a motor should move. I am making a post about this technology that was developed by A. Goransson, D. Sjunnesson and myself during the last month.

Talking about the papers, there were two papers on security that I found interesting as a topic for HCI professionals. Can you imagine designing a password system based in icons for people that cannot read nor write? NAPTune: Fine Tuning Graphical Authentication Rohit Khot, Kannan Srinathan and Rutuja Khot got the conference award to the best research paper and I think it was well deserved.

It was really a pleasure to be among such a selection of speakers, panelists, companies, students and practitioners. Arduino was present and we had fun. IIITB -the International Institute on Information Technology Bangalore- was a great host and the Lord hotel served the best food I have had in India so far (I am living on campus for three weeks, that could be a good explanation for this last statement not that the food here is bad, but that my experience is limited to just two places).

I have to add that there was a lot of video tracking going on at HCI India 2011. Tommy from Tobii presented his slideshow by using only the movement of this eyes. Tobii is a Swedish company specialized in eye tracking that has released a prototype of a laptop with Lenovo including this feature. Also I liked very much the approach to social design by Microsoft Research team. I got someone (Ed Cutrell) to rebate my understanding of HCI vs. IxD and I think I got convinced, but I will figure out a way of turning it around.

BTW, it seems like India is in the need for interaction designers. If you guys are looking for a good job in the field, check out the companies that were present both as sponsors and at the company presentations, because they are hiring. Remember you have to be open minded, have good communication skills, like research, and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Teaching Arduino in Seattle

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Andrew Davidson is running a high school class named “Intro to Computer Science” at Roosevelt High School, in the Seattle Public School district of Seattle, Washington. His relationship to the Arduino project goes back to Ivrea, where he used to work at the very same location where we created the small blue boards.

At his course, students will be introduced to programming using Scratch and Processing, and to physical computing using Arduino boards. As Andrew mentions on the official course announcement:

Through a project-oriented approach, students will create a variety of software applications and systems. By collaborating in a hands-on environment, students will learn problem solving, software design and programming, debugging strategies, and the fundamentals of computer science (data structures, procedures, and algorithms). We will use a variety of programming systems that are not only creative and highly interactive, but also provide an engaging way to learn the practice of software engineering.

Students will work on projects (both individual and team) in the areas of graphics and games, animation and art, electronics systems, and interactive fashion. The software used to create the projects will be open-source packages such asScratchProcessingArduino, and LilyPad.

We really want to reach out to highschools and, if possible at even lower levels. We are preparing something new for this (but we are not going to reveal it yet). We want to help to all of you preparing curriculum for schools in making the best out of teaching. For the time being, if you are in doubt whether it is possible to teach with open source tools to kids, just take a look at Andrew’s course, there is even a calendar showing how to structure the assignments over several weeks (please note that, at the time of posting this, the Arduino assignments weren’t there yet).

Read more about Andrew, check out the class syllabus, and the list of resources.

Macklin Chaffe's Golden Orb is the new OSH's logo!

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

There is a brand new logotype for the Open Source Hardware initiative, as Ayah reported on this blog post:

The results of the public votes for the OSHW logo are in! Almost 9000 people voted, and the community selected “Golden Orb” by Macklin Chaffe as the OSHW Logo v1.0 (submitted on Feb 11th, 2011).

Congratulations Golden Orb and thank you all for voting!

If you support the OSHW Definition 1.0, you can GO AHEAD and USE, PROMOTE and Apply the OSHW Definition and logo to you projects and circuits. Here’s to another great day for Open Hardware!

 

Open Hardware Logo

(cc) 2011 Open Hardware Logo by Macklin Chaffe


Thanks again to Phil, Dale, Mako, Alicia, John, Bruce, Dave, Windell, Juergen&Tuomo for helping out

Via the Open Hardware Summit Website, thanks Ayah for the link! See the whole results here.

 

Macklin Chaffe’s Golden Orb is the new OSH’s logo!

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

There is a brand new logotype for the Open Source Hardware initiative, as Ayah reported on this blog post:

The results of the public votes for the OSHW logo are in! Almost 9000 people voted, and the community selected “Golden Orb” by Macklin Chaffe as the OSHW Logo v1.0 (submitted on Feb 11th, 2011).

Congratulations Golden Orb and thank you all for voting!

If you support the OSHW Definition 1.0, you can GO AHEAD and USE, PROMOTE and Apply the OSHW Definition and logo to you projects and circuits. Here’s to another great day for Open Hardware!

 

Open Hardware Logo

(cc) 2011 Open Hardware Logo by Macklin Chaffe


Thanks again to Phil, Dale, Mako, Alicia, John, Bruce, Dave, Windell, Juergen&Tuomo for helping out

Via the Open Hardware Summit Website, thanks Ayah for the link! See the whole results here.

 

The Rhythm of City

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

This is an art project born as the collaboration between Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet. During the last couple of years they have been collaborating in the creation of several interactive installations, some of them containing Arduino boards. The Rythm of City is about to be presented in the following weeks at the Czec Festival Enter5 and has pretty good online documentation, so I think it is interesting to show it here.

 

2011 Rythms by Canet and Guljajeva

(c) 2011 Rythms by Canet and Guljajeva


The Rhythm of City(2011) is a mixed reality real-time artwork that applies geo-located social data for an artistic purpose. It is an art installation that explains in original way digital geo-located social content and characterizes cities [...] Moreover, we would like to give an alternative meaning and purpose to the location-specific invisible online data. In short, the artwork makes invisible information visible and even audible.

[...] Important thing is that we do not rely on single social network but multiple. At the moment we are applying Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr. We plan extend our selection.

The installation controls 10 metronomes via servomotors using one Arduino Mega2560, The data to decide whether the metronome should be active and how active it should be is taken from geo-tagged posts to social networks. The following video hints how it works with 5 linked cities represented by 5 metronomes:

For more information visit Varvara Guljajeva or Mar Canet‘s personal websites, this blog explaining the process, the technical diagram, or the festival page with information where to see the piece in action this April.

SegWii: Self balancing robot with Arduino + Wiimote

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Hello I am Tijmen Verhulsdonck 17 years old and come form the Netherlands. In the past six months I have been working on a self balancing robot (SegWii) that you can control with a Wiimote. I got the idea from Ara Kourchians, he thought of the idea to remote control a self balancing robot with a Wiimote. He never succeeded in connecting the Wiimote to an Arduino [...]

Hey thats the great thing about open source someone else could pop up and finish your idea.

Tijmen came with the idea of taking over an existing project to improve it. Six months later he was posting his videos online and even came on the Dutch TV (you need to understand Dutch for this). If you check his material you will see how clean the loop turns out. An important part of a project is to get it work, but if at the same time you make clean code, then you are making it much more accessible to others.

His design, as many we have seen in the robotic’s scene lately, includes two Arduino boards. One is dedicated just to handle the communication with the wiimote, and a Mega2560 taking care of the whole rest. There is even a 25×4 screen to display information to the user.

For more information, visit Tijmen’s post on letsmakerobots.

 

Geiger sensors needed for Japan

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

I am not sure we have been echoing these news, so I am going to write a short blog post after having a chat with Shigeru Kobayashi, the maker of the Arduino FIO, Gainer board and Funnel IO. A small community of Japanese makers are building a network of sensors monitoring the radiation in the air and sending the data to Pachube.

 

Radiation in Japan

(c) 2011 courtesy of Pachube

Turns out they are out of the sensors they need to send their data to the internet. This is a call for help finding more of those sensors to help Shigeru and the others monitor the quality of the air. This is what he mentioned during our conversation:

 

At current moment, SparkFun’s is out of stock, but will be back by the end of April. A hobbyist is working on a russian tube based counters. And Seeed Studio is also working.

The group at Tokyo’s hackerspace, as we informed earlier, is using a hacked Geiger counter, as reported on March 24th:

Unfortunately, geiger counters were sold out everywhere. The fear of nuclear disaster and radiation spread internationally and there was a run on geiger counters. Luckily, Tokyo Hackerspace was able to obtain two of them from Reuseum . They had actually bent over backwards getting them to us quickly and was calling their warehouse for stock and UPS and FedEx to see who would still deliver to Japan. We received them two days ago and I brought them to Tokyo Hackerspace yesterday to show people how to use it. We’re keeping one at the space so that people can borrow it to check out their living area and reassure their families that its safe.

[...] I decided that this geiger counter would reside outside on my balcony, although inside a cardboard box. The reason for this is that most of the geiger feeds in Tokyo right now are indoors and I noticed a larger variance in geiger measurements outdoors versus indoors. I checked the measurements of this geiger inside my apartment and they follow closely with the official government numbers as well as other geiger counters around Tokyo. I figured its better to have it outdoors so that people can get an idea of what they’re being exposed to when walking around. Most of the fallout is particulate matter. As a point of reference, the normal background radiation in Shinjuku is 0.035 uSv/Hr .

This said, if you happen to be seating on top of a box of anything that can monitor radiation, please answer this blog post or send an email to team [at] arduino [dot] cc, we will put you in touch with Shigeru. I think I speak for the whole Arduino Team if I say we will correspond your generosity/help by also contributing to this project.

Links for more information: send your data feed to Pachube (in Japanese), Pachube’s blog post about radiation measurements, data feeds as made by Shigeru, and the Japan Geiger Map,

Arduino controlled robot inagurates Malmo's FabLab

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

The robot in the video is Kiwi Drive, developed by Malmo’s Hakerspace (Forsknings Avdelningen) in a total time of 1,5 weeks. The crew started assembling it at a hackathon we held at our FabLab in February and the robot got the honor of presenting the official opening of our brand new space to the public on March 31st. I runs on a laptop an includes an Arduino Uno to control the motors.

Once the project began design stage we realized that focusing on making it easy for others to reproduce was a good idea. Therefore we choose to use nothing but standard components. Nema 23 stepper motors and drivers are standard, cheap and common due to the increase in DIY CNC and Reprap manufacturing. The Arduino Uno is available across the world. We also only use metric standard components (sorry about that US) such as M5 threaded rods and M4, M3 screws for the smaller components.

Omnidirection wheels however are not exactly standard components, but given the simplicity of the drive mechanism it would be very easy to adapt the design for other wheels and shafts of a similar size. We have also made sure it is easy to re-design the drawings to account for other types of motors and bearings and we’ve left significant space (length-wise) for larger motors and gearboxes.

 

 

Kiwi Drive HouseBot

(c) 2011 courtesy of Forsknings Avdelningen

 

Find more information about Kiwi Drive on it’s official development wiki, also take a look at this hilarious post by the Hackerspace members about moving their offices to Malmo’s City Hall.