Your Arduino can tell you which countries you AREN’T in

Arduino Team August 29, 2016

A few months ago, Connor Nishijima demonstrated a neat project highlighting the Arduino Uno’s “built-in motion sensor.” Now, he’s using the Arduino Mega’s “built-in anti-GPS” to guess which countries you’re NOT in.  How, you ask? By reading the frequency of the alternating current (AC) cycles in his house using an open analog pin.

You’ll need an Arduino Mega to fit the array of Strings below, Uno doesn’t cut it even with use of PROGMEM. The Sketch is also written to use the Seeed Studio TFT Shield, but if you remove all “TFT” lines from the sketch you can just see the output in the Serial Monitor. An antenna (just a breadboard jumper) on A7 might be necessary.

Since various locations have varying power systems, Nishijima was able to program the board with a list of all those that cycle the AC at 60Hz and 50Hz AC. By knowing which one you have, the Arduino can then reckon which countries you’re not in and display its findings on the TFT shield.

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Make a cat feeder with Arduino, a servo and two cans

Arduino Team August 29, 2016

YouTuber “Mom Will Be Proud” and his family have a cat. And like all pets, their feline friend requires fresh food every morning. But rather than disrupt your sleep or daily routine, why not build an automated feeder using some spare parts? This is exactly what the Maker did using an Arduino, a servo, a simple button, a power supply, and two cans–one for housing the electronics, the other for the food.

Mom Will Be Proud cut little openings into each container, and connected them to a servo that rotates one on top of the other without ever getting stuck. A broken IKEA timer and a piece of plastic are used for the button, which when pressed, turn the cans until its holes match up and the food is dispensed into a bowl. Read the rest of this entry »

Robot gets peanut butter everywhere but on the bread

Arduino Team August 28, 2016

What do you do when you’re the Queen of S****y Robots and you’re in the mood for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? You have a remote-controlled bot make one for you, of course. This is exactly what Simone Giertz set out to do in her latest hilarious project using a pair of robotic arms: one holds a plastic knife for spreading, while the other is puppeteered by her friend, Fiona.

Although this sandwich robot may not be making any PB&Js anytime soon, Giertz’s video will surely have you LOL-ing. Enjoy!

Interactive instrument turns brainwaves into art

Arduino Team August 26, 2016

Moscow-based hacker artist ::vtol::, a.k.a. Dmitry Morozov, is back with another impressive project. His latest, called 2ch, is an interactive, pyramid-shaped instrument that enables two people to communicate via brain activity.

2ch consists of two NeuroSky EEG interfaces worn by both users, as well as two servo motors with a hall sensor and magnet, a two-channel sound system, a couple screens, and an Arduino. In terms of software, the instrument uses Pure Data and Max/MSP. Read the rest of this entry »

Teenage student creates a wearable system to reduce concussions

Arduino Team August 24, 2016

For a high school science fair project, Berto Garcia came up with an idea to help reduce concussions among football players. Now a student at Texas Tech University, he holds a provisional patent for the award-winning, life-changing project.

The helmet-and-shoulder pads system consists of an Arduino connected to four sensors around the front and inside of the helmet, which is programmed to stabilize immediately after impact. When the stabilizers are not activated, players have full movement. But when a wearer suffers a hit above a certain threshold, the board activates the stabilizers, locking the helmet into place and stiffening up to reduce the whiplash motion of the neck. It doesn’t stop the impact of the initial hit, but it keeps the head from rattling around inside the helmet after the collision. Read the rest of this entry »

Genuino handbag will deter you from impulse buying

Arduino Team August 24, 2016

Do you or your significant other have trouble sticking to a budget? Well, say goodbye to overspending with the iBag2: a high-tech wearable device that helps curb your impulse buys.

The iBag2 is equipped with a Genuino Uno, a 10,000mAh power bank, and several other interesting components. There’s a timer connected to electromagnets that lock the bag according to your most vulnerable spending moments during the course of a day, an RFID system hooked up to LEDs and vibration motors that illuminate in blue and vibrate each time your wallet is taken out, as well as a built-in GPS unit that warns you when you’re near a pre-preogrammed “vulnerable spending zone.” Read the rest of this entry »

This installation creates a digital orchestra of swamp sounds

Arduino Team August 23, 2016

Developed by media artist Bojana Petkovic, Swamp Orchestra is an interactive sound installation that mimics the natural chorus of swamp creatures. The project is comprised of 16 light-sensitive sound modules, with each one producing noises from insects, frogs, amphibians, birds and other organisms. Each module responds to a flashlight, and the sound varies based on the amount of the light.

Swamp orchestra seemingly functions as sound sculpture which in a subtle way changes the ambience and acoustic experience of the space but also has a substantial presence as a work of physical sculpture. The set up itself reflects the layout of a concert hall stage on a much smaller scale. The pyramid shape has been carefully chosen for its symbolism as well as modularity where three or five pyramids form the cube.

Petkovic says Swamp Orchestra is an example of the complex, multi-layered interplay between nature and machine, human intervention and artifice. The installation’s programming and electronics, according to her, are excellent examples of this.

Each light that shines above the modules represents a “personal conductor,” an oscillator controlled by an Arduino. This enables endless variations of composing the peace but also allows the participant to slow down and notice the subtleties of the composition.

Talk to the (animatronic) hand!

Arduino Team August 22, 2016

Maker Shuang Peng has created a 13 DOF animatronic hand using an Arduino Mega, seven servo motors, and six air cylinders, along with a Leap Motion sensor for control.

As briefly described on his Instructables page:

There are various ways to control the hand. I’ve tried the Leap Motion sensor and the data glove, which catches my motion via Processing. Then the Processing communicate with the Mega via serial. Now, I’m trying to use EMOTIV Insight EEG sensor to control it.

Ford billboard creates an immersive experience for travelers

Arduino Team August 22, 2016

Although digital billboards may be nothing new; a marketing campaign by Ford is taking them to a whole new level. Created by Kinetic Worldwide, the automaker has created a ‘sensorial’ experience that blows air and smoke while emitting the sound of an engine as a person makes their way past the advertisement.

Installed at an airport in India, the billboard features a red carpet which is connected to a large screen via an Arduino. Whenever a traveler approaches the carpet, it triggers the wind, the noise of a revving Mustang engine, and for some of the ads, artificial smoke.

Sommnath Sengupta, creative director at Kinetic India, tells The Drum that more immersive experiences can lead to greater ROI:

First and business class travelers come with a mindset of luxuriating in a personalized experience. Our creative concept is a sensorial statement of power that speaks directly to and resonates with this audience. By contextualising the experience of driving a Mustang through dynamic content and technology, Ford has already seen an increase in potential buyers requesting test drives.

See it in action below!

A video posted by Kinetic (@kineticworldwide) on

Turn your old Game Boy into a drone controller

Arduino Team August 21, 2016

What do you do when you find your old Game Boy? Most of us try to boot it up and reminisce the days of playing Tetris, Super Mario and Pokémon. Others like Gautier Hattenberger decide to turn it into a drone controller.

In order to do this, Hattenberger modified the Game Boy’s Game Link port with an Arduino Nano and an FTDI chip, which converts the Game Link signals to USB. Using a small piece of software on his laptop, he is able to control his Parrot ARDrone 2.0 via the classic device— A and B buttons for up or down, and the directional arrows for maneuvering.

Hattenberger has detailed his entire build here, and shared the code on GitHub.