Archive for the ‘Arduino’ Category

A Paris-inspired, Arduino-powered binary clock

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

The La Fabrique DIY team has been working on a unique clock modeled after buildings seen along the Seine River in Paris. The “City Clock” is different from the others in that instead of a dial or decimal numbers, windows light up in a binary format, displaying the time in a binary sequence.

Electronics-wise, the clock can be made with an Arduino Uno, involving a fairly simple circuit with individual LEDs and resistors, as seen on this Imgur set. Also shown there is the Kickstarter version of the circuit, which amounts to a sort of gigantic shield that an Arduino Nano is plugged into.

With the City Clock, you calculate the time by adding every digit vertically. The first floor equals one, second equals two, third equals four, and the top equals eight. Using this system, it’s possible to create every digit from zero to nine by adding one number to another. (more…)

Computer gesture control via webcam and Arduino

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

While touchscreens are nice, wouldn’t it be even better if you could simply wave your hand to your computer to get it to do what you want? That’s the idea behind this Iron Man-inspired gesture control device by B. Aswinth Raj.

The DIY system uses an Arduino Nano mounted to a disposable glove, along with hall effect sensors, a magnet attached to the thumb, and a Bluetooth module. This smart glove uses the finger-mounted sensors as left and right mouse buttons, and has a blue circle in the middle of the palm that the computer can track via a webcam and a Processing sketch to generate a cursor position. (more…)

The ClearWalker is an 8-legged, Arduino-powered Strandbeest

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

What has eight legs, a tail, and is powered by an Arduino Mega? The ClearWalker, of course!

This Strandbeest-style walker employs two motors, controlled by individual H-bridge relay modules to traverse forwards, backwards, and slowly rotate to one side or another via a hesitating leg motion. You can see how the electronics (including a bunch of LEDs) were integrated into this build in the video below.

If you’d like to try a similar control scheme for your ClearWalker/Strandbeest/treaded vehicle using an Arduino and smartphone, you can find it outlined in this Arduino Project Hub post. For the rest of the steps in this quite involved build, and more rather zany inventions, be sure to check out the “Jeremy Cook’s Projects” YouTube page. (more…)

A ‘little helper’ for cutting square tubing

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

YouTuber “HomoFaciens” had quite a bit of square tubing to cut for his latest CNC router. As he’s known for combining simple tools with creative uses of electronic components, he came up with a jig that helps him precisely position his cuts.

This device works using an encoder made out of paper, tape, and a nail sharpened on both ends. Two IR emitter/receiver pairs send pulses to an Arduino Uno, which displays this number on an LCD screen. The machine is calibrated by measuring a known length of tubing verses the number of pulses for an actual distance measurement. Once set up, not only can the digital ruler be used to properly cut tubing, but can be put on a drill press for accurate hole placement! (more…)

Log your hamster’s runs with Arduino

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

We’ve all seen hamsters in a cage, furiously running nowhere. Perhaps you’ve thought about the pointlessness of this activity, before going to the gym to lift weights up and down or run on a treadmill. From an outside perspective, both activities seem pointless, but when you realize the benefits, maybe tracking what “feats of strength” you’re able to accomplish, things become much more clear.

As seen on Hackaday, in order to track the activity of his daughter’s hamster, John Mueller implemented an Arduino Uno-based system that records revolutions using a magnet and a reed switch. Every time the magnet on the wheel passes the fixed switch, it triggers an Arduino input, recording how many revolutions, and thus how many miles the little guy runs each night. Results are quite impressive considering its size, recording over 3.5 miles on one occasion!

This type of encoder concept could be used in many different situations, such as logging bicycle speeds, or tracking motor stats. (more…)

Build your own Arduino balancing robot

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

If you’re familiar with the Segway or other vehicles that balance in what is known as an “inverted pendulum” configuration, you may think that while interesting, creating something similar would be too complicated or out of your budget. Though perhaps still not simple, Joop Brokking takes you through his design for this type of bot in the video seen here, making it accessible if you’d like to build your own.

The robot, which will cost about $80 in parts, uses two stepper motors for greater movement precision than could be had with normal DC models, and employs an Arduino Pro Mini, along with an MPU-6050 accelerometer/gyroscope for control. It can be driven around by a Wii U-style nunchuck, which transmits to the robot via an Arduino Uno and wireless transceiver module. (more…)

Try to grab some candy with this Arduino claw machine

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Depending on your point-of-view, you may see claw machines as an interesting device that can normally be ignored, or perhaps magnet for quarters that you must satisfy until you capture the stuffed animal that’s “so easy to get.” Maybe these gantry-crane gadgets would be a bit more fun if you could play them at home to your heart’s content. If that sounds appealing, then Ryan Bates of Retro Built Games has the perfect solution with his “Super Claw” machine.

This project, though on version four, is not currently for sale as a kit, but he is now selling his stepper driver board for the device, which links up to an Arduino Mega via an IDC cable. This takes advantage of the brick of I/O opposite the USB and power connector on the Mega to clean up wiring significantly.

You can buy the board here and check out his build page for lots more info on the (still ongoing) development process! (more…)

Ancient CRT monitor revived using an Arduino Uno

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Hacker “MmmmFloorPie’s” senior project in college, in 1989, was a device based on the venerable Motorola 6800 chip that could record and play back sounds. It could also display these recorded waveforms on a monochrome CRT monitor. The monitor in question was purchased as a bare CRT for $20, and mounted in the cardboard box it was shipped in. Various risks aside, it’s quite an impressive setup.

As with many projects that seemed very cool at the time, this one sat in ‘FloorPie’s garage for many years, until it was finally powered up many years later. Naturally it didn’t work, but instead of giving up, an Arduino Uno shield was made in the form of the 68000 motherboard to send it the required signals. (more…)

Turn your door into an ‘alien portal’ using Arduino

Monday, May 15th, 2017

As YouTuber Evan Kale puts it, his set is was kind of boring. He decided to spruce things up by turning his ordinary door into an “alien portal,” lining it with a strip of RGB LEDs. Though this may not be the first time you’ve seen this type of lighting in action, he directs our attention to a few interesting details about using them in typical Kale style.

One interesting note comes around the 4:50 mark, where he points out his portal is controlled using Hue Saturation Lightness (HSL) via a potentiometer instead of RGB. This keeps the glowing effect consistent, while allowing color adjustment.

For this project, he employed an Arduino Nano, which looks like a great choice since it needs a limited amount of I/O. Using this tiny board, the entire control package can fit into his small 3D-printed enclosure. (more…)

Grow your own salad with this rotating hydroponic system

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

You likely know that growing plants via hydroponics involves some sort of water and fertilizer solution. Perhaps, however, you don’t realize that these plants need to be removed from the water occasionally in order to air out the roots. Normally, this means that the water is raised and lowered.

Peter Fröhlich, though, decided to go a different route, and came up with a device to physically raise and lower the plants using a large wheel, resembling a sort of Ferris wheel for plants!

The frame itself is a plastic bin he purchased at a local hardware store, while the wheel and its arms were made with components lying around his lab and other laser-cut parts. To make this interesting setup turn, he used a stepper motor from an old printer, controlled by an Arduino and stepper driver. (more…)