Archive for the ‘Mega’ Category

Build a motorized gimbal on a budget with Arduino

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Tadej Strah, a freshman at Gimnazija Vic in Slovenia, made a motorized gimbal using only $60 worth of parts.

After joining a photo and film club at his university, Strah was inspired by a member with cerebral palsy to build an inexpensive gimbal to keep a small camera level. His project uses an MPU-6050 sensor to detect motion, and an Arduino Mega to process this data and control the device’s two servos. The setup includes a handle from an angle grinder, while the servos are mounted on bent pieces of metal, helping keep the cost down.

Strah believes that with a few upgrades, such as a smaller battery, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 3D-printed frame, it should be able to provide many of the features of those available for $500 or more. Hopefully we’ll see this design become even better in the future! (more…)

Selectively silence a landline phone with Arduino

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Silencing a smartphone at night isn’t difficult, but if you have a landline, Arduino can help!

Before computer hacking/modding became accessible, the next best thing was to creatively explore the phone system via custom electronics. Though this pursuit, known as “phone phreaking,” has largely gone away, some people still have landlines. As “MolecularD” shows in this Instructables writeup, with a few components you can creatively trick your phone into not ringing on your end, while appearing to the caller to simply ring and ring as if no one is home.

In order to make it much more useful, MolecularD hooked up an Arduino Mega with a real-time clock module to turn the device on and off depending on the time of day. Now calls from phone solicitors, or “IRS agents” at 4 in the morning can be eliminated automatically. As noted, this may or may not be legal where you live, so attempt it at your own risk!

This animatronic device turns speech into sign language

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Using a couple Arduinos, a team of Makers at a recent McHacks 24-hour hackathon developed a speech-to-sign language automaton.

Alex Foley, along with Clive Chan, Colin Daly, and Wilson Wu, wanted to make a tool to help with translation between oral and sign languages. What they came up with was an amazing animatronic setup that can listen to speech via a computer interface, and then translate it into sign language.

This device takes the form of two 3D-printed hands, which are controlled by servos and a pair Arduino Unos. In addition to speech translation, the setup can sense hand motions using Leap Motion’s API, allowing it to mirror a person’s gestures. (more…)

Need desk lighting? How about 1,200+ LEDs?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

After he’d just finished a project using RGB LEDs, Imgur user nolobot’s brother mentioned he needed a new computer desk. Most people would probably just let their brother buy one, others would make something out of wood, but nolobot instead decided to create something truly amazing using more than 1,200 WS2812 RGB LED modules, an Arduino Mega, aluminum extrusion, and translucent polycarbonate.

The Mega controls these LEDs with the FastLED library, which are sandwiched between a base piece of plywood and a strip of polycarbonate using custom spacers. This diffuses the light nicely, allowing for beautiful light animations directly on the desk’s surface. (more…)

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…)