Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

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]

An open robot shield for Arduino

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Open Electronics‘ staff were looking for a common and standard hardware platform usable on different robots they were working on. Their goal was to find a single platform that had to provide power supply to the microcontroller, it had to provide stabilized voltage for the servos, and, finally, it had to be equipped with an obstacle detector and with an IR receiver.

Having chosen Arduino as the target core board, they developed an ad-hoc shield meeting all these requirements, whose detailed description can be found here, together with the BOM and a lot of source code.

[Via: Open Electronics]

Space experiments for everyone: the ArduSat project

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

ArduSat, which stands for “Arduino satellite”, is a recently kickstarted project that aims at developing an open platform usable to emulate space scientists:

Once launched, the ArduSat will be the first open platform allowing the general public to design and run their own space-based applications, games and experiments, steer the onboard cameras to take pictures on-demand, and even broadcast personalized messages back to Earth.

ArduSat will be equipped with several sensors (such as cameras, gyros, accelerometers, GPS and more) packed inside a small cube (the side will be approximately 10 cm long) that can be accessed through a set of Arduinos.

Once in orbit, the ArduSat will be accessible from the ground to flash the required firmware for the experiments and for getting back all the collected information. People interested in performing space experiments will have access to a ground replica of ArduSat explotable to test and debug their code before the actual deployment.

The project is very ambitious, and it is expected that such an open accessible space platform will have a considerable impact on how simple space experiments will be carried out in the forthcoming years, in the case of fundraising success.

You may find the Kickstarter page of the project here.

[Via: Hack A Day and Kickstarter]

An IBM Selectric II wishes to be a teletype

Friday, June 15th, 2012

In his blog, Marc from Robot Dialogs presents a very nice hack involving a IBM Selectric II typewriter: by means of an Arduino board and several solenoids, the typewriter can be successfully connected to a computer to emulate a vintage teletype.

The complete story can be found here, together with several videos about its development.

[Via: Hack A Day]

Some advances in aerial vehicles: bat-inspired smart wings

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Researchers from Centro de Automática y Robótica (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and from Brown University carried out a very deep research about the specific behavior of bat flight, whose ultimate goal is to replicate the capabilities of bat’s wings by means of an ad-hoc designed micro aerial vehicle (MAV).

From the home page of the project:

[...] this research is oriented towards the development of a biological inspired bat robot platform, that allows to reproduce the amazing maneuverability of these flying mammals. The highly maneuverability is achieved by reproducing the flapping and morphing capabilities of their wing-skeleton structure. This structure is composed by several joints and a membrane that generates the required lift forces to fly.

To mimmic the muscular system that moves the joints of the wing-bones, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) NiTi wires are used as artificial-muscles. Several challenges in controlling this SMA-based actuation system are regarded in this research.

(more…)

Touché with Arduino

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Touché is a capacitive-sensing technology, developed by Walt Disney Research, which aims at providing touch and gesture sensitivity to a great variety of objects. From this research paper:

The technology is  scalable, i.e., the same sensor is equally effective for a pencil, a doorknob, a mobile phone or a table. Gesture recognition also scales with objects: a Touché enhanced doorknob can capture the configuration of fingers touching it, while a table can track the posture of the entire user.
The technique behind Touché is known as Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing (SFCS): at a glance, by monitoring the capacitive response of an object over a specific range of frequencies (instead of a single one), it is possible to infer about its interaction with the outside world.
In his blog, Dzl describes his personal approach toward the development of a system capable to emulate Touché’s behavior with Arduino. Currently, the project is still in a early stage, but improvements and further developments are expected soon.
More information can be found here.
[Via: Geekphysical blog and Dzl's blog]
UPDATE 2012-06-02: you can now try out how to make it yourself following this instructable.

 

DIY custom rugged Arduino

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

In this instructable, Dustin Andrews shows how to make a custom Arduino board, equipped with a lcd, a buzzer and a solid enclosure. Dustin’s goal has been to design a rugged Arduino version, that can be employed “as is” in many practical project, in place of a less solid breadboard-based solution.

The project is released under Creative Commons CC-BY license.

[Via: Instructables]

Mean Machines

Friday, March 16th, 2012

I am proud to announce the final show for the Physical Prototyping course at the BA in Interaction Design at the School of Arts and Communication at Malmo University, Sweden. This year our students got to work under the brief “Mean Machines” and a whole series of seriously nasty objects were produced as a result. There is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these objects in action by coming to K3 on Friday March 23rd between 11.00 and 18.00. There will be a guided tour at 17.00, don’t miss it!

As an example, here a picture of the All-In-A-Row keyboard, trying to slow down the typing experience to the maximum:

 

(c) 2012 by its authors, All In A Row Keyboard

I love the way Tony Olsson, the course’s instructor, introduces the final show:

As always its not officially spring until the bachelor students at the Interaction Design program in Malmö present their final exhibition for the Physical Prototyping 1 class. At this one day only event the student will introduce you to some rude, anti social, annoying and politically incorrect technology made with a whole lot of love.
So head over to Malmö University’s School of Arts and Communication (K3) on the 23rd of March.

The exhibition will open at 11.00 and at 17.00 there will be a guided tour where you will have the chance to meet up with the students behind these mean creations. The exhibition closes officially at 18.00 and then the unofficial party will start and move from K3 to continue elsewhere through the night.

You can find K3 on this map.

As a side note, Tony is also known for being behind the Open Softwear book.

 

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 makezine.com

 

 

Arduino meets Google Voice with the Verbalizer

Monday, June 27th, 2011

NYC-based interactive advertising agency and research lab Breakfast NY, in collaboration with Zach Eveland, just released The Verbalizer, an open source board based on Arduino, to use with Google Voice’s search for desktop.

The Verbalizer connects wirelessly to a personal computer via Bluetooth. When you trigger it, it opens google.com in a new tab and activates Voice Search. An audio notification is played, signaling when google is ready for your queryYou speak into the mic, and the query starts. Breakfast released all the plans and firmware appropriately, and left some I/O pins open for those who want to play with it.

 

The Verbalizer

 

 

Pretty neat, and nice to see folks inching toward consumer devices with Arduino inside.

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