Archive for the ‘Protocols’ Category

Vibratron Robot Plays Out Midi As Steel Balls

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

As part of the National Robotics Week coverage of iheartrobotics, the Vibratron:

[...]the newest member of the RobOrchestra. This amazing musician was built by club members with a total budget of $1000. The Vibratron uses an Arduino Mega to control 30 individual solenoid gates which drop steel balls onto the vibration keys. Using the Arduino Mega they were able to avoid complications with multiplexing I/O lines. Notes are read in using a MIDI shield to receive standard MIDI signals from a sequencer or keyboard. The balls are recirculated using an Archimedes screw to raise them to the bucket at the top.


Arduino Midi Rainbow

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Last week I was in Rome for the Arduino Day. I was amazed by the projects and the people there: true Arduino fans. This is the first post about some of those projects: more soon.

[anbello] generates – via MIDI – different light patterns on a strip of addressable RGB LED

MIDI messages from the keyboard (real or simulated on PC) enter the MIDI Shield’s MIDI IN and are presented to the Arduino serial port. The Arduino firmware interprets the MIDI messages NoteOn NoteOff, associates each key on the five octaves (60 keys) keyboard to a strip LED and lights it with color associated with the note. In the firmware to control the strip we used the FastSPI_LED library that allows you to address every single LED and turn the desired color (R, G, B).
One interesting thing to note is the use of the firmaware function millis() to implement a sort of elementary multitasking. The idea was taken from this post after user “westfw” on the Arduino forum.

I really appreciate the effort of translating the post. Check the code and part list on [Sululab]


Tokyo Hackerspace/RDTN Geiger Shield

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Japan’s difficoult moment has challenged many Arduino users (I can count at least three different threads on the forum about geiger tube & sensors lately  1, 2, 3). As David posted some time ago, the need of an open, net-spreaded visualization of the real level of radioactivity was heavily felt by the community, also for  trasparency reasons.  This is when the Geiger shield comes in:

This is an Arduino-based geiger counter shield that makes it easy to upload data to the internet and also interchange tubes. Since it’s open source and Arduino-based, its also easy to hack this to other interesting applications.

you can follow on  [TokyoHackerspace] the all process of prototyping.

More Lufa Hacks: Keyboard, Mouse, and MIDI.

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

[Darran] played around LUFA firmwares on the Arduino UNO and Arduino 2560. It seems now LUFA hacking is getting more and more common among Arduino users.

I’ve published the source, hex files, and sample sketches for Keyboard HID, Mouse HID, and USB MIDI drivers for the UNO and Mega2560 on

The LUFA project has made this fairly easy to do which is great, the only drawback is the limitation of only 4KB of flash space for the driver in the atmega8u2.

via []

HIDUINO: Arduino talking MIDI

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Some time ago [ant.b]  from the Arduino Forum manage to reflash the Atmega8u with other LUFA Firmwares. [Dimitri Diakopoulos] has recently developed a similar approach for his HIDUINO project. Very good explanation & references.  Diakopoulos succeded to make Arduino show up as a MIDI Device:

LUFA powers the HIDUINO project in that it handles most of the low-level USB-HID implementation while exposing an API for developing other HID-compliant devices like MIDI.

The USB-HID specification has a specific type for MIDI input and MIDI output, which nearly all commercial musical controllers on the market use for class-compliant (driverless!) MIDI I/O.

Check out guide for ISP flashing, on the project page hosted on googleCode.

via [HackADay], source [HIDUINO]


Arduino Candy Grabber, Web Controlled.

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

A step-by-step guide on controlling physical things (like grabbing candies with a mechanical arm) via Internet (please, try!).

In this instructable you will learn how to connect to your arduino and control it over the net, set up a video stream, and how to control stuff with your arduino all in realtime. I’ll try to show you on a concrete example how this could be done, but the code I used and wrote is going to be generic so you can use it for your projects. Note that I haven’t discovered anything new but rather used code that I found lying around the net, built from it and changed it fit my needs.

(…) So how should it work? The idea is that there is a Flash AIR app on my home computer that when a remote client connects to it starts the video broadcast. The communication between the client and the AIR app would be through a PHP socket because it can instantly push messages from one to the other. The socket will handle all the clients and the queuing. The Red5 server is used to handle the video broadcast, stream the video and send the arduino commands from the client that is first in the queue to the AIR app (although it could do so much more… we’ll talk about that in a later step). Finally TinkerProxy is used to send commands from the AIR app to the arduino that is connected to the same computer.

Thanks to Mario for the link!

via [Instructables], grab the thing [here]

Arduino and NanoNote put together

Monday, March 14th, 2011

David Reyes, aka Tuxbrain, one of the Arduino distributors in Spain, has just brought to life one of the coolest hacks I have seen for some time. He managed to reflash Arduino Uno from a Ben NanoNote. He has implemented a text-based IDE that can reflash the boards directly from the NanoNote without using external power. If you want to have a device to reprogram your ATmega processors without having to bring your computer around, this can be a great solution. Just remember, this is an advanced hack, you should be familiar to the use of CLI (Command Line Interface), but David has promised taking a look at Qt-creator and put together a small text editor with uploading capabilities. Stay tuned at Tuxbrain’s development website!




Arduino and NanoNote put together

(c) 2011 Picture courtesy of Tuxbrain


On Tuxbrain, thanks to the Qi-HardwareAVRFreaks communities and to the little UBB board, we have successfully flash an Arduino board from Ben NanoNote without need of external power, directly connecting a cable from the NanoNote 8:10 bay to the ICSP header on Arduino, also without need of bootloader in the Atmega328 chip, in fact NanoNote can flash the bootloaders :) , and in theory Nanonote can flash whatever  avrdude compatible chip without need of any board (untested yet). Making the little Ben the first AVR microcontroller programmer in the world able to edit the source code, building it, listen music or play Supertux at same time, in same device, not bad for only 99€ ;)


Illutron Ship Gets Remote-Controlled

Friday, March 11th, 2011

[Christian] from Illutron hackespace in Copenhagen managed to control and monitor this ship (Illutron) from the internet.

Today, it is finally possible to remotely monitor the ship. In essence: I am sitting in the warm comfort of my home, and with a glance at my phone, I can see, that the sinking alarm in the machinery room is dry. The light is out in the Mess room. All is nice at our little lovely ship out there in the dark, cold Sydhavn.
Actually, behind this lies a pretty clever system (I think I am allowed to brag a little :-) , that makes it possible to monitor events on sensors on the ship, and trigger that messages is sent to Google
Talk users. (if you have a gmail, you have Google Talk) It is also possible via your chat, to send commands to the ship, and get reading from sensors when you want them.[...] Basicly, we can monitor anything, that can be plugged into an Arduino board. One thing I would love, is a temperature sensor for the Mess room. Bring the sensor, and I will mount it So far, we have
– a light sensor, that reports if it is light or dark in the Mess (the electronics room)
– a new water level sensor. I didn’t dare mess with the old system, so I am putting in new float sensors

Things can still be developed a lot, and it will be – Suggestions would be happily received.
Thanks and hello to Stephane and Olle that came by to visit us at the sunday meeting, and ended up staying all evening – for help with sensor mounting and JavaScript improvements!

Have a look at this Ship Automation project on [Christian Liljedahl project page] and [Illutron site]

Must-See Beginner Tutorials For Arduino

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

[Jeremy] made ten Tutorials about Arduino worth our “All Stars” category. He talks about different themes: Blinking Leds [Intro & #2], Electrical Engineering  [#3],  Analog Inputs [#4], Motors & Transistors [#5], Serial Communication & Processing [#6], I2C & Processing [#7], SPI Interfaces [#8], Wireless Communication [#9] and Interrupts [#10].

Thanks to a generous sponsorship from element14, I’m putting together a tutorial series on using the arduino microcontroller platform!  The arduino is a platform that I’ve done several projects with, and I think it is the best possible way for beginners to get acquainted with electronics.  This tutorial series will be aimed at beginner users, but I’m hoping to keep it going with some more advanced topics a few episodes into the future.

thanks Jeremy! ++

via [JeremyBlum] [Element14]

Kinect Controlled Delta-Robot

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Everybody’s amazed about the incredible things done with Kinect and Processing + Arduino. Tutorial need!

This is a project in development for the module “Digital Ecologies”, at the Bartlett’s Adaptive Architecture and Computation MSc. – University College London

A Delta-Robot is controlled by a Kinect through Processing and Arduino. The movements of the performer control directly the position of the robot’s effector, and the rotation and opening of the gripper.
Once the plattform is properly calibrated (still a little rough round the edges!), several autonomous behaviours will be implemented.

have a look at [resources]via [KinectHacks]