Archive for the ‘Mega’ Category

Monitor your solar energy with a dual-axis tracker

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

As part of a thesis project, Belgian student Bruce Helsen built a dual-axis tracker for optimizing solar panel use. Although adding a tracking system to a larger installation can be pricey (and likely not the most cost-effective option), it can certainly come in handy for smaller units.

Helsen’s dual-axis tracker fits two 12V 150W solar panels for a 300W peak output, and has a few key features: it turns to make sure the panels are aligned with the sun for as long as possible, it measures the panels’ voltage and current then calculates the generated power and energy, and it sends that data from the monitor to ThingSpeak for analysis and logging. There’s also an LCD to display the readings.

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Interactive sidewalk plays music to your shadows

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Designed by Montreal studio Daily tous les jours, Mesa Musical Shadows is a public installation that turns the sidewalk of Arizona’s Mesa Arts Center into a super-sized dance pad which reacts to the shadows of passersby with the sounds of singing.

Shadows cast on different tiles trigger different voices, all while singing in harmony. Length of shadow is dependent upon the season, the time of day and the weather; meaning, a visitor may never quite cast the same shadow twice. The sounds themselves also change with the angle of the sun, which makes interacting with the installation a dynamic experience in the morning, midday, evening, and in the middle of the night. As the day turns into night, the tracks shift from upbeat, Pitch Perfect-like acapella to creepier, ominous tones. (more…)

Building a water collection vessel with an Arduino Mega

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

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As part of an electrical and electronic engineering course at Singapore Polytechnic, a group of students were challenged to build an aquatic vehicle that could collect samples from one and two meters underwater. After three months of hard work, the Imp Bot was brought to life!

Imp Bot is controlled by a mobile application made using the MIT App Inventor. Communication is achieved via a Bluetooth module hooked up to an Arduino Mega, while an onboard GPS sensor is used to log sampling locations in the app. Power is provided by a LiPo battery, which supplies high current to the two DC motors responsible for moving the 11-pound vessel around. (more…)

Autonomous machine makes music with 7 lasers and 42 fans

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Russian artist ::vtol:: is no stranger to the Arduino blog. His latest project–which was designed for the Polytechnic Museum Moscow and Ars Electronica Linz–is an autonomous light-music installation called “Divider.” The wall-mounted soundscape consists of seven lasers that send rays horizontally through 42 PC cooling fans, acting as divider-modulators, to turn the light signals into rhythmic impulses. Seven photo sensors on the end monitor the presence or absence of light, while four Arduino Mega boards control the system. (more…)

Build an LED game system with Arduino and a picture frame

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The LEDmePlay is an open-source DIY gaming console powered by an Arduino Mega. Games are displayed on a 32 x 32 RGB LED matrix housed inside an IKEA picture frame, and played using any C64-compatible joystick from the ‘80s. LEDmePlay supports several games, each of which are downloadable for free online, and Makers are encouraged to develop their own as well.

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Make masterpieces with a homemade CNC painting machine

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Longtime artist Jeff Leonard has built a pair of Arduino-driven CNC painting machines with the motivation to grow his toolbox and expand the kinds of marks he could make simply by hand. By pairing the formal elements of painting with modern-day computing, the Brooklyn-based Maker now has the ability to create things that otherwise would’ve never been possible.

Machine #1 consists of a 5’ x 7’ table and is capable of producing pieces of art up to 4’ x 5’ in size. The device features a variety of tools, including a Beugler pinstriping paint wheel, a brush with a peristaltic pump syringe feed, an airbrush with a five-color paint feed system and five peristaltic pumps from Adafruit, a squeegee, and pencils, pens, markers and other utensils.

In terms of hardware, it’s equipped with three NEMA 23 stepper motors, three Big Easy Drivers, as well as an Arduino Mega and an Uno. There are two servos and five peristaltic pumps on the carriage–the first servo raises and lowers the tool, while the second presses the trigger on the airbrush. An Adafruit motor shield on the Uno controls the pumps, and the AccelStepper library is used for the Big Easy Drivers. (more…)

Build your own life-size, multipurpose robot with Arduino

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

If you’ve always wanted a bot for a friend, personal assistant or butler, you’re in luck. John Choi, a Carnegie Mellon University computer science and arts student, has managed to build his own life-size robotics platform for about $2,000. Sure, a price tag like that may not seem “cheap” but in comparison to other research-grade platforms out there, it’s a bargain.

Ideal for Makers, students, educators, artists and researchers alike, the Multipurpose Mobile Manipulator Mk 1 is capable of playing the piano, drawing pictures, preparing meals, watering plants, and engaging in toy sword duels, among many other things. (more…)

Hacked typewriter prints selfies as ASCII art

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Last year, Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov — known by many as ::vtol:: — came up with a far less modern way of taking selfies. The Maker modified an old Brother SX-4000 typewriter to create portraits in the form of ASCII art.

The machine, called “i/o,” is controlled by an Arduino Mega and works by capturing an image using an iSight camera (with the help of a lamp for proper lighting), converting it into ASCII art using Pure Data and MAX/MSP, and then gradually printing it onto a piece of paper — one alphanumeric character at a time. (more…)

FarmBot is an open-source CNC farming machine

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

With hopes of reinventing the way food is grown, Rory Aronson has developed humanity’s first open-source CNC farming machine. The FarmBot Genesis — which will begin taking pre-orders in July — is capable of planting seeds and then watering them precisely.

Designed with the Maker community in mind, FarmBot is driven by an Arduino Mega 2560, a RAMPS 1.4 shield, NEMA 17 stepper motors, and a Raspberry Pi 3. What’s more, all of its plastic components can easily be 3D printed, while its flat connecting plates can be made with either a waterjet, plasma or laser cutter, a CNC mill, or even a hacksaw and drill press.

The three-axis machine employs linear guides in the X, Y, and Z directions, which allows for tooling such as seed injectors, watering nozzles, sensors, and weed removal equipment to be accurately positioned. Impressively, FarmBot can cultivate a variety of crops in the same area simulatenously.  (more…)

Yet another Engima machine by a young Maker!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Enigma machines are fascinating devices, especially for young Makers looking to explore the world of electronics. Awhile back we featured a similar project from Italy, and we’re once again amazed by the work of 14-year-old Andy Eggebraaten, who built a retro-modern gadget of his own. The project, which was for his high school’s science fair, took nine months to complete.

These electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines were developed  in the early 20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication, used especially by German military intelligence during World War II.

In the video below, Andy opens the machine to show its inner workings: the unit runs on Arduino Mega along with 1,800 other parts and 500 color-coded wires. We can see that he evolved the rotors into electronic modules that plug into D-Sub sockets, and the interface is made using a 16-segment display showing the rotor position as well as an LCD screen to read the plain- and the encoded text. (more…)