Archive for the ‘English’ Category

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.

Whatever happened, Happened

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011


(c) 2011 Courtesy of D. Palacios

“Whatever happened, Happened” is the title of Daniel Palacios’ latest work (WhH), powered by an Arduino Uno, representing the flow of time, how hard it is to stop it, and the human need for a point of reference to compare to. In his own words:

WhH is a machine which creates growth rings in a section of virgin wood, so that we may be part of a process which we believed before to be foreign to us, because we weren’t capable of perceiving it.

The machine engraves concentric rings in the wood surface by laser, so that the result is closer to reality than a computer-generated graphic. It is just as important that the graphic is realised slowly over time, involving external factors which could affect the process, separating us from the instantaneousness of a printer in order to understand the process that it is giving at that exact instant, while confronting the vision we are accustomed to, because we will always be able to make a comparison with the rings that it already drew at the moment of our visit.

Every day the machine begins drawing a new ring, taking as a reference point the shape of the previous one from the day before. However, the distance of this and variation of its perimeter with be directly tied to the number of people in the hall and their movements; this will also affect the number of passes the machine makes over the ring throughout the day, thus influencing its thickness and depth.

Daniel is known for his pieces including microcontroller technology. His first solo piece Waves that represented sound physically ran on an Arduino Diecimila using a bunch of PIR sensors and some relays, OutComes was a collection of human-size antennas made of pipes that would play depending on how people affected the electromagnetic field of a room stuffed with those (he made his own Arduino derivatives for this project), and now WhH is a self-made laser engraver replicating the growth of a tree running on Arduino Uno that reads information from the room.




(c) 2011 Courtesy of D. Palacios

Something I like from Daniel’s work is that he is happy to share. All his pieces come with the technical description on how he made them. And a CC-SA-NC license that will allow you replicating his work. This link will give you the information about WhH.

For more information, visit Daniel Palacios’ website.

K3 – Prototyping Show Announcement

Monday, March 28th, 2011

K3 PP1 End Of Course Show

During the last year Tony Olsson has been teaching the Physical Prototyping courses at K3 – The School of Arts and Communication, at Malmo University, Sweden. My former student and now colleague is making a terrific job in introducing the students to design concepts and how to materialize them. This year’s brief invited the course participants to research new ways of visualizing data in physical ways. If you happen to be close to Malmo, feel free to pass by the show this Wednesday afternoon. Here the invitation:

PP1 2011

Its that time of year again. The sun is shining, the flowers a slowly waking up and it is time for the annual Physical Prototyping 1 final show. This year the first year students at the Interaction Design course at k3 have been tackling the topic of Physical Data Visualization. On Wednesday 30/3 at 16.00-19.00 they open up the doors at Malmö Högskola and will bring you the latest in novel human computer interaction and data visualization.

So join the data flow to Östra Varvsgatan 11 (Karanen Bulding) and partake in this one day only exhibition.

where?: Östra Varvsgatan 11, C floor infront of the boat.

when?: Wednesday 30/2 at 16.00-19.00

Arduino Computer Vision With Video Experimenter Shield

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

[Michael] posted some interesting uses of Nootropic’s latest shield, the Video Experimenter Shield, besed on a LM1881 video sync separator to detect the timing of the vertical and horizontal sync in a composite video signal. It’s one of the few examples of Arduino processing a live video signal, as previously seen with the Eye Shield (based on the same IC, but with no video out implemented). The image here is processed and sent out from the Arduino using a custom version of the TVoutLibrary. Wow.

The Video Experimenter shield can give your Arduino the gift of sight. In the Video Frame Capture project, I showed how to capture images from a composite video source and display them on a TV. We can take this concept further by processing the contents of the captured image to implement object tracking and edge detection.

The setup is the same as when capturing video frames: a video source like a camera is connected to the video input. The output select switch is set to “overlay”, and sync select jumper set to “video input”. Set the analog threshold potentiometer to the lowest setting.

Please have a look at the other examples, such as edge detection, and using the shield to Decoding Captioning Data inside the signal.

via [nootropicDesign], also [Video Experimenter Project Page]

Gameboy ROM backups using an Arduino

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

[Alex] collects retro gaming consoles. One day while playing a SNES title, his save games got wiped when he powered off the system. It turned out that the battery inside the game cartridge got disconnected somehow, and it got him thinking. He decided he wanted to find a way to back up his save games from the cartridges for safe keeping.

While cart readers exist, he says that they are hard to find nowadays, so he decided to construct his own using an Arduino. SNES cartridges are relatively complex, so he opted to focus on Gameboy cartridges for the time being. Before attempting to back up save games, he first chose to learn how to communicate with the cartridges in general, by reading the ROM.

via [HackADay]

The BodySuit and the Swedish Crown Princess

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Last week, Victoria -the Swedish Crown Princess- and Daniel -her husband- came by Malmo University and visited the Medea Research Facility. There was a talk about New Media and the importance of the research made in the field in order to identify new business opportunities, as well as promote freedom of speech.  There were four projects presented to the Royal couple, all coming from different initiatives related to the activities at Medea.


BodySuit by Mads Hobye, operated by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

(c) 2010 by Svenskdam, Princess Victoria playing with an Arduino enabled suit

One of the projects, made by PhD candidate Mads Hobye, is a BodySuit he made for Burning Man that measures body resistance and responds with interesting sound patterns. It becomes some sort of communication enhancer. The BodySuit was prototyped using an Arduino, two sets of headphones, some LEDs and a lot of creativity. I know the code he used for generating the sound was made by a friend of his … you should try to get that code, it is worth every byte.