Archive for the ‘Nano’ Category

Enhance your keyboard with the SlideBar

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Using a keyboard and mouse usually gets the job done, but if you want to navigate around a website or video, the process could be a little more efficient. It may not be a big deal to reach over and use your mouse and scroll wheel, but if you had this control on your keyboard, that tiny bit of time savings could add up over the thousands of times you do this.

For this purpose, Imgur user “Electricrelay” added a motorized force feedback slider to his keyboard using an Arduino Nano for control. This easily customizable device can scroll through pages, or switch between open browser tabs or programs. It can also act as a mechanical display, shaking for notifications, or sliding with keystrokes like an old-school typewriter. The Maker even created a plugin for timeline scrubbing in Adobe Premiere. (more…)

DIY panoramic thermal imaging

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Using an Arduino Nano and two rotary stages, this Maker hacked together a panoramic thermal imaging camera.

After ordering and finally receiving a thermopile (infrared thermometer) in the mail, the author of this project set to work to construct his own scanning thermometer. This type of setup acts like an IR camera, but instead of taking one instantaneous picture, it stores thermal data points that are then resolved into a coherent image.

Though the panoramic results can be fantastic, since the thermometer has to be rotated to each point individually via stepper motors on the rotary stages, a single image capture can take over an hour. (more…)

These e-tattoos turn your skin into smartphone controls

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Electronic interfaces have advanced from plugging things in, to keyboards, touchscreens, VR environments, and perhaps soon temporary tattoos. Led by Martin Weigel, researchers at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany have come up with a way to turn your skin blemishes and wrinkles into touch-sensitive controls for devices like smartphones and computers.

“SkinMarks” can be transferred onto the skin using water and last a couple of days before rubbing off. As seen in the video below, these e-tattoos can take the form of buttons, sliders and visual displays, and even sense when a joint is bent. For example, knuckles on a hand made into a fist could act as buttons and then become a slider when the fingers are straightened.

Another type of SkinMark is electroluminescent, meaning that an image printed on your skin could light up to signal a phone call or other important notifications.

These tattoos are connected to a wrist-mounted Arduino Nano and an Adafruit MPR121 capacitive touch shield via wires and copper tape; though if the system can be shrunk down even further, this could open up many different possibilities! (more…)

Add flair to your turn signals with programmable LEDs

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Modding vehicles to do something different and unique has been a pastime of “motorheads” almost since cars began to replace horses. Many modifications involve speed, but some like these fancy turn signals by Shravan Lal, simply supplement the looks of his ride.

An Arduino Nano was used as the brains of this hack in order to control strips of WS2812B LEDs acting as blinkers (similar to those on the new Audi A6) in the video below. In addition to signaling a right or left turn, Lal’s build also has a neat startup animation, and can act as a set of hazard lights if needed. (more…)

Make an “analog” bike speedometer with Arduino

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

As Maker Alex Gyver points out in his video, Chinese bike computers are quite cheap, but “why not?” It’s a great question, and one that motivates many of the hacks seen here, including his mountain bike speedometer.

Although he could have simply used a numerical display to show how fast his bike was going, he instead employed a small servo to point to the speed like an analog gauge. The custom speedometer is based on an Arduino Nano, and wheel revolutions are measured by a magnet and Hall effect sensor.

This may seem like a silly project, but if you need to take a very short glance at something, analog gauges tend to be much easier to read than digital. Perhaps this concept could be quite useful! You can see exactly how to make this hack on Instructables and in his video here with a few action shots. Code can be found on GitHub if you’d like to check that out as well!

Display time on a 1950s multimeter

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Given an input and some sort of indicator, is there any device that can’t be hacked into a timepiece? With the help of an Arduino Nano and an ESP8266 module, Guilio Pons has created a unique clock out of a 1950s-era multimeter.

Pons’ project not only displays time with an indicator originally meant to reveal electrical values, but is also able to output sounds as needed using a speaker recovered from an old toy. He integrated three LEDs as well as a PIR sensor, so the unit can light up at night.

PWM control from the Arduino takes care of moving the gauge, while the ESP8266 allows the time to be synchronized via the Internet and the alarm adjusted over WiFi. (more…)

Laptop control box provides speedy access to apps

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

If you need to quickly launch certain apps on your MacBook Pro, Carl Gordon has your solution using an Arduino Nano.

Although the TV ads for your notebook computer would perhaps have you believe that everyone who uses it is a DJ, artist, or rock climber, chances are you just use it for a handful of programs and folders over and over. If this sounds like you, you can at least speed up access to them using Gordon’s “Laptop Control Box.”

As seen below, the box acts as a grid of shortcuts to your favorite applications, with a button to select sets of programs and an embedded RGB LED module to show you which set is active without having to look at the screen. Control on the computer side is accomplished with Processing, and though it might look like its window needs to be active in the video, it can work in the background as well. (more…)

Remotely control a sumo bot with a gaming wheel

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Using an Arduino Uno, Nano, and two Bluetooth modules, engineering student “Roboro” can now remotely control his sumo robot.

Like many hackers, Roboro had an old gaming controller that he wasn’t using, in this case an Xbox steering wheel and pedals. Naturally, he converted it into a controller for his sumo robot, which can now be driven manually. This involved wiring the wheel controls into an Uno; the smaller Nano was used onboard the bot.

Rewiring a controller is nothing new, but what is also quite interesting from a hack point of view is that the Arduinos communicate over Bluetooth. When initiated, the controller connects itself to the robot, which can then be driven around (as long as it doesn’t get stuck in the hardwood). (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.

Sort your M&Ms or Skittles with this ingenious machine

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Inspired by a YouTube video of another candy sorter, Willem Pennings decided to build his own version.

After nearly eight months of work, he now has a device that can separate M&Ms or Skittles into their respective color dishes. Control is accomplished via a pair of Arduino Nano boards along with two EasyDrivers and an RGB sensor. These actuate a small servo for mixing the candies, and a stepper motor to properly position the candy tube.

Besides designing the controls for the machine, everything is modeled beautifully in the NX10 CAD package. The results, as seen in the video, look extremely polished–and it’s quite soothing to watch these candies drop into their little bowls in automated fashion!

You can find more details on Pennings’ project page and check out the video that inspired him here. (more…)