Archive for the ‘Mega’ Category

Giant interactive crossword puzzle uses 130 Arduinos

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

In what is perhaps the most Arduino boards used together, 130 Arduino Nanos, (plus an Arduino Mega), 130 RFID readers, and 750 RGB LEDs power this interactive crossword puzzle.

As you might suspect, bringing a giant crossword puzzle to life was lot of work. If you’d like to know how much, you can see the process laid out in the video below. Like many great hacks, this project starts out with a lot of prep, making sure the mechanical pieces go together as they should. Everything is then wired and programmed, and on day six, it finally goes out the door, destined for the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Each letter is equipped with an RFID tag. Under the table lies custom circuits consisting of a Nano, an RFID reader, and some WS2812B LEDs, which are connected to the Mega via an I2C interface. The Mega communicates with a PC, which reveals a visualization on the nearby wall.

Blank squares are dimmed. However, as a letter is placed down, the LEDs will light up in either green or red depending on whether it is correct. Once a word is completed, the entire table produces a disco-like animation with sound effects.

It’s quite a colorful display, and it looks like the kids playing with it in the “Anything Goes” exhibition love it! You can see more about this project in Robert Mordzon’s write-up.

Converting a coffee maker into a 3D printer

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Heavy duty coffee makers are good for, well, making coffee. On the other hand, if you were to look at the frame without the preconception of what it can do, you might notice that there is space on top where equipment could be attached, and space on the bottom with a built-in heating pad on which to place an object… in other words, a perfect 3D printer frame!

Tropical Labs realized this, and turned the ordinary household appliance into a delta printer with three steppers for motion and another to feed the printing media. An Arduino Mega serves as the brains of the operation along with a popular RAMPS 1.4 shield. (more…)

Build your own MIDI accordion with Arduino

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

If you want to play accordion via a MIDI interface, manufacturers such as Roland do make such a device. The downside is that they tend to be fairly expensive, as one would have to assume they are something of a specialty item.

Conversely, if you are able to get your hands on an accordion whose buttons and general movement work, but can’t actually produce good notes, you can build your own! This is just what developer and composer Brendan Vavra did, purchasing a broken instrument for $150 on eBay, then carefully disassembling the keys which were mapped to an Arduino Mega. (more…)

uArm Swift is an open-source robotic assistant for your desktop

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Need a hand? The UFACTORY team has got you covered with the uArm Swift, an open-source robotic assistant for your desktop.

The four-axis uArm Swift is a smaller and sleeker version of the company’s original device from 2014. Based on an Arduino Mega, the robot is capable of lifting 500 grams (1.1 pounds) with a working range of 5 to 32 centimeters (2 to 12.6 inches).

UFACTORY has launched two different models of the consumer-friendly arm on Indiegogo. Whereas the basic model is perfect for beginners and those looking to tinker around with robotics, the Swift Pro is designed for a more experienced Maker crowd with a stronger motor, more precision, and greater versatility. It also boasts position repeatability down to 0.2mm. (more…)

Dot² isn’t your typical coffee table

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Coffee tables are useful for putting coffee, food, or perhaps way too much junk on, but it’s 2017—we can do better than that! Akshay Baweja certainly has at least with Dot², an interactive piece of furniture that can run animations, display lighting effects, and play old-school games.

The Arduino Mega-based table features a matrix of 296 LEDs that shine up through sections of diffused acrylic, and uses a grid of foam board strips to keep each light in a square. Dot² can be controlled either by a PC running GLEDIATOR software, or via a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection and its own custom app. (more…)

Emulate a Commodore 64 keyboard with a modern PC and an Arduino

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Using an Arduino, Adam Podstawczynski is able to translate keystrokes on his notebook to character inputs on a C64.

If you enjoy using a Commodore 64, but either don’t like (or perhaps don’t have) its keyboard, Podstawczynski’s project could be a great solution. His build runs a Python script on a PC, Mac, or Linux computer, which maps Commodore keys to a series of binary digits. It then sends this data over USB to an Arduino Mega, which in turn uses an MT8088 crosspoint switch to interface with the mainboard of a C64, allowing for hardware keyboard emulation.

This setup can act as a simple keyboard interface from the computer, or could be employed as a macro generator for demonstration purposes. It could even enable you to input an entire BASIC program on your PC, then send it to the C64 as desired! (more…)

Attachment is like a modern-day message in a bottle

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

If you want to reach out to someone, you could always pick up your phone and send a text. But if you’re seeking something a bit more random and indirect, one idea would be to write and attach a message to a biodegradable balloon using Swiss designer David Colombini’s “poetic machine.”

Colombini’s Attachment project allows you to do just that, by dispatching digital notes, images or videos gleaned from the Internet into the atmosphere. Once the Arduino Mega-driven device receives this input, the message is laser-etched on a thin piece of balsa wood, then released into the air (though a human has to ‘reload’ after five launches). Word space is limited to a Twitter-esque 120 characters, but the finder of the balloon can access any additional content that you include through a code on the project’s website. (more…)

Watch an Arduino Mega-based robot play the bagpipes

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Using gigantic hands scaled up from a prosthetic design, “XenonJohn” can now hear the sweet sounds of Scotland whenever he wants.

Seeing this invention, you might note to yourself that most instrument-playing robots don’t actually bother to have realistic—if huge, at 171% normal print size—hands attached. Then again, you probably haven’t seen a robot configured to play the bagpipes.

The robot named Ardu McDuino plays the bagpipes, or rather the chanter part that is manipulated with one’s fingers, using actual prosthetic fingers to cover the holes. It also has a less-realistic “thumb” to cover a hole on the back. (more…)

Turn an Atari 2600 into an electronic drink racer and timer

Friday, January 6th, 2017

The next time you and your friends want to see who can chug beer (or a non-alcoholic beverage for the younger crowd) the fastest, you may want to try building your own Cider Racer 2600–an electronic racing platform and timer for competitive drinking.

Created by YouTuber “MonkeyBOX Entertainment” for an annual Christmas party, the project consists of a broken Atari 2600 retrofitted with an Arduino Mega, two 4-digit 7-segment displays, some LEDs, wires, and other miscellaneous parts. A pair of custom coasters were constructed using force-sensitive resistors, soft springs, rubber actuators, and three layers of CNC-cut materials: acrylic bottom plate, brushed aluminum center, and acrylic spacer to make it level with top of the old gaming console. (more…)

This guitar-playing robot performs American folk music

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Inspired by a statement written on Woody Guthrie’s guitar, This Machine Kills Fascists (TMKF) is an Arduino Mega-based, guitar-playing robot that performs traditional American folk music on a portable stage. Sheet music with the song lyrics are printed and left on the benches set up in front of the stage, while audience members are encouraged to sing along to the tunes.

Developed by engineer Dustyn Roberts, artist Troy Richards, and designer Ashley Pigford, TMKF is combines the analog tradition of folk music and digital technology of robotics. (more…)

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