The Weather Followers randomizes your digital experience

Arduino Team October 20, 2017

As our lives become more and more automated, we tend to rely on computers and unseen algorithms to “protect” us from unapproved experiences. In order to illustrate this concept, and hopefully introduce serendipitous events to our digital lives, David Colombini has come up with an installation that feeds information to users via a web app, available only when it’s on display.

Instead of implementing a carefully designed algorithm, what users experience is based on constantly evolving local weather data sensed by a physical machine equipped with an Arduino Mega, a Raspberry Pi, various sensors, and some other components. Read the rest of this entry »

Integrating a Nintendo Power Glove with today’s VR technology

Arduino Team October 19, 2017

When the Power Glove was released in the early 1990s, the idea that you could control games with hand motions was incredible, but like the Virtual Boy that followed years later, the hardware of the day just couldn’t keep up. Today, hardware has finally gotten to the point where this type of interface could be very useful, so Teague Labs decided to integrate a Power Glove with an HTC Vive VR headset.

While still under development, the glove’s finger sensors have shown great promise for interactions with virtual touchscreen devices, and they’ve even come up with a game where you have to counter rocks, paper, and scissors with the correct gesture.

Making this all possible is the Arduino Due, which supports the library for communicating with the Vive tracker. Read the rest of this entry »

Make an Arduino-controlled boost gauge for your racing sim dash

Arduino Team October 18, 2017

If you’re really serious about car racing games, at some point you may want to upgrade your instruments from being on-screen to physically residing in your living room.

While this would appear to be an arduous task, displaying your in-game boost level on a physical gauge is actually as easy as connecting a few wires to an Arduino Nano, then using SimHub to tie everything together. Read the rest of this entry »

Antique organ speaks clues at an escape room

Arduino Team October 17, 2017

When tasked with converting an antique pump organ—sort of a miniature version of a full-sized pipe organ—into part of an escape room puzzle, hacker Alec Smecher decided to turn it into a vocal MIDI device.

To accomplish this, he embedded switches in each of the keys, then wired them into an Arduino Leonardo embedded in the 100-year-old organ to act as input to a desktop computer. Information is translated into browser commands using the Web MIDI API, which controls the Pink Trombone application in order to imitate a human vocal tract. Read the rest of this entry »

A Playmobil Wedding Band

Arduino Team October 16, 2017

Two of Boris Werner’s friends, both musicians, were getting married, so for a unique gift he decided on a miniature stage setup with a Playmobil bride and groom as the guitarists.

After some research and ordering quite a few parts, he was able to construct a festival-inspired scene, complete with guitars, lights, and some tunes.

In order to bring this diorama to life, he used an Arduino Uno board to play WAV files from a micro SD card, along with NeoPixel rings in the background, and MOSFET-driven LEDs for stage lighting. There’s even a tiny disco ball that spins via a stepper motor, propelling the tiny bride, groom, and their young son as the drummer into the limelight. Read the rest of this entry »

Be among the first to try the Arduino IDE 1.9 Beta

Arduino Team October 11, 2017

Today we’re very excited (and a bit nervous) to announce the new development cycle of the Arduino IDE.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been continuously removing functionality from the Java package, and migrating them to a collection of external tools. We began this project by moving the build logic to arduino-builder, which now also powers the Arduino Create infrastructure.

We think that this split will keep the tools manageable, while giving a chance for third parties to integrate them into their products without the burden of a full-blown IDE.

Moreover, we are introducing another couple of tools:

One is arduino-cli, which we’ll uncover in the next few weeks as soon it comes out of pre-pre-alpha stage.

The other is arduino-preprocessor, which supersedes ctags in the sketch preprocessing phase. Moving to a different tool has been a necessary step for many reasons, the most important being the ctags’ limited parsing of complex C++ sketches.

arduino-preprocessor is based on libclang, statically compiled for zero dependencies execution; it uses clang’s superpowers to extract the prototypes we need, directly from the AST. As a (really nice) side effect, this engine can even be used for context-aware completion, probably the most required feature from the beginning of Arduino.

Since we’re unveiling such a big feature, it will surely impact the overall performance. To avoid keeping it out-of-tree for too long, we decided to open the beta branch.

This branch will be a playground for new ideas and implementations, including more collaborators with push powers. The branch has just been populated with all the IDE-related pull requests scheduled for the next release.

The beta branch is quite peculiar as well, because precompiled binaries generated from this branch will be available directly from the download page. We noticed that nightly (or hourly) builds are insufficient to spot a whole class of bugs, which may harm non-developers, users with non-latin charsets, and so on.

Being marked as experimental, the beta branch will not be ready for large-scale deployment (although it will probably be okay for everyday use); thus, we won’t provide a Windows exe or a signed OSX app. However, we hope that many people will test it and report bugs and impressions, so we can merge it safely into master in the near future.

A short curated list of the beta branch’s improvements over the latest 1.8.x IDE:

  • Initial support for autocompletion (activate it using CTRL+space)
    • Attention: Launching for the first time is quite slow and will freeze the UI. Don’t worry, simply wait for it to unstick.
  • Initial work on daemonized builder (using file watchers, will be able to spot if compilation can be avoided, partially or totally).
  • AVR core has been moved to its own repo.
  • Tabs are scrollable. 🙂
  • The serial monitor is html-aware and clickable (if steady).
  • Initial work on Library dependencies UI.
  • Initial work on Hi-DPI support on Linux.
  • Find/replace window is always on top of its own editor window.
  • Library/Board manager show buttons on mouseover.

An Arduino Mouse Wiggler!

Arduino Team October 10, 2017

If, for whatever reason, you need your computer to stay awake without changing its settings, that’s easy—just remember to shake your mouse back and forth intermittently! If remembering to do that over and over seems like too much work, then here’s a simple solution: a device setup to optically wiggle your mouse using an Arduino Nano and a micro RC servo.

The 3D-printed unit sits underneath a mouse and rotates a printed grid left and right in order to trick it into thinking that you’re moving the mouse, and thus keeping the computer awake.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cutting electronic parts with Arduino-powered scissors

Arduino Team October 10, 2017

When faced with the need to cut thousands of parts from reels in order to make them into kits, “Der Zerhacker” decided to automate the process.

For his robotic machine, an Arduino Pro Mini pulls strips of SMD tape into position with a stepper motor, coloring them along the way with a marker. An infrared sensor is used to align the correct number of parts with a pair of scissors, which are then cut via a second motor and tumble into a basket. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet Moo-Bot, a robotic cow scarecrow

Arduino Team October 9, 2017

With Halloween around the corner, hackers are gearing up for festivals and trick-or-treaters, hoping to spook visitors or simply impress others with their automation prowess. DIY bloggers Ash and Eileen are no different, and decided to enter a local scarecrow contest in the “Out of this World” category. Their entry? Moo-Bot, an Arduino-powered sheet metal cow that looks like it came straight off the set of a 1950s sci-fi flick.

Not that that is a bad thing; somehow this retro-futuristic bovine looks quite interesting. Making it even better is that the robotic cow’s eyes are made out of two OLED displays, and that it can interact with observers through an internal speaker.

When someone presses a button on its nose, the onboard Uno powers up and tells a pre-recorded series of cow jokes via an MP3 player module. Power is supplied by eight D batteries, which is enough to keep the Moo-Bot going for a few months. Read the rest of this entry »

The BecDot is an Arduino-based Braille teaching tool for children

Arduino Team October 6, 2017

While instruments are available for those with visual impairment to read electronic media, they can be quite expensive, costing over $1,000. This is good for adults, but something more kid-friendly (and possibly replaceable) is needed to open up this world to those just learning.

For this purpose, Jacob Lacourse, whose daughter Rebecca was born with Usher Syndrome, developed the BecDot educational toy.

The device–which is now in a prototype form–senses when a plastic object (a letter block, a plastic animal, etc.) is placed in the reader via preprogrammed NFC tags, then raises the corresponding dots on four Braille pads. The prototype uses an Arduino Uno for control, and a system that he developed to raise the Braille dots as needed. Read the rest of this entry »