Archive for the ‘Arduino’ Category

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…)

Introducing the Arduino MKRFOX1200

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

On Arduino Day, we announced the latest member of the Arduino MKR family: the MKRFOX1200. This powerful IoT development board offers a practical and cost effective solution for Makers looking to add Sigfox connectivity to their projects with minimal previous networking experience.  

The MKRFOX1200 shares several similarities with other MKR products, like the MKR1000 and MKRZero, including a compact form factor (67 x 25mm) and a Microchip SAM D21 32-bit Cortex-M0+ microcontroller at its core. The recently unveiled board also features an ATA8520 module for long-range, low-energy consumption, and is capable of running for over six months on two standard AA 1.5V batteries.

Designed for Makers ready to take their IoT projects into the real world, the MKRFOX1200 comes with a GSM antenna that can be attached to the board and a two-year subscription to the Sigfox network. This provides users with full access to Sigfox’s efficient messaging system (up to 140 messages per day), cloud platform, webhooks, APIs, as well as the new Spot’it geolocation service. (more…)

Pablo Odysseus is an autonomus bot that rakes art in the sand

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

For this year’s Hackaday Prize, hacker “Ulysse” has designed an autonomous beach art rover using an Arduino Mega and a pair of Micros.

While walking along the shore, the footprints you leave behind are mildly interesting, and perhaps you might go to the effort of scraping a pattern in the sand if you were feeling rather creative. If, however, you wanted to make drawings on a massive scale, Ulysse’s robot “Pablo Odysseus” looks like an elegant solution.

The Arduino-powered rover uses two wheelchair motors to propel it along the beach, as well as a rake to leave a mark as to where it’s been. Navigation is provided by a GNSS receiver (a more general term for “GPS”), a digital compass, and an odometer set up on each of the motors. Meanwhile, USB dongles enable it to communicate wirelessly with a smartphone and laptop.

Now, Ulysse can simply program in an artistic pattern, and Pablo will take care of the rest! You can see more about this project on Hackaday.io and GitHub. (more…)

This Maker built a game board that lights up correct moves

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Want to help familiarize someone with the rules of checkers? Tired of cheating opponents? Well, Bogdan Berg has just the thing for you!

After discussing the idea for an electronic board that teaches kids how to play chess, Berg decided to make this a reality. Hall effect sensors on each square tell the Smart Game Board—rather the Arduino Mega controlling the board—where pieces are, and when one is picked up, LEDs highlight what moves are possible. These lights can also show the pieces’ starting positions, assisting novice players in this important part of the game. (more…)

Multi-player retro gaming on an Arduino VGA console

Monday, April 17th, 2017

When you’re introduced to an Arduino Uno, perhaps you want to take button inputs, control a few LEDs, or move a hobby servo motor. These boards are quite good at that, but with some creative coding, they can actually control a VGA monitor and even play low-resolution games like Pong, Snake or Tetris.

Using Sandro Maffiodo’s VGAx libraries, Instructables user Rob Cai built his own gaming setup, wiring the controls into two separate units. Now, while the base unit hooks up to the actual screen and takes inputs from player one, the second allows player two to participate as well. (more…)

Lift takes finger tracking accuracy to a new level

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Using a pair of Arduino MKR1000s, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and FX Palo Alto Laboratory have come up with a new way to track 10 fingers to within less than two millimeters.

In this technique, called “Lift,” a normal DLP projector is used to display a series of tiny encoded images onto any flat surface. Instead of using an external vision system, or even an accelerometer, Lift employs tiny light sensors on each finger to detect this pattern, then relay this information to the MKR1000 mounted on each wrist. From there, the Arduino is able to translate these light signals into positional data with an average accuracy of 1.7 millimeters and an average refresh rate of 84Hz. (more…)

Turning a Wii Nunchuk into an RC car controller

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

With the help of an Arduino, this dad turned a Wii Nunchuk into a wireless remote for a kid’s RC car.

The Wii Nunchuck has been a favorite control device for hackers since it’s debut in 2006. And why not, it has a simple design with a directional joystick, and can output signals via the I2C protocol. For this project, software engineer “trandi” used an Arduino Pro Mini to translate these signals into 9600bps serial signals needed for the wireless module he was using. The car is also hacked with a corresponding receiver, a TI Stellaris Launchpad, and a motor controller. (more…)

Why buy a soldering station when you can build one instead?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

As with many products, if you want the best, you’ll pay top dollar for it. After seeing that the supposed best soldering station on the market sells for $500, YouTuber GreatScott! decided to instead purchase the iron and tip for a total of around $100, then reverse-engineer how the station should work.

From there, he used an Arduino Pro Mini along with a little OLED screen to display the temperature, and a toroidal transformer as well as several other components to power and complete his build. Finally, he 3D-printed a nice red enclosure and attached everything together, making his own custom soldering station. (more…)

Turn and film your projects in style with this $8 DIY device

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Using an Arduino along with some 3D-printed and salvaged parts, hacker “notionSunday” made an excellent photo turntable for under $10.

In a masterful display of converting one man’s junk into another man’s treasure, notionSunday used a VCR head as a very smooth-looking bearing surface for a small turntable. A DVD-ROM drive motor, a potentiometer from an old TV, and screws and wires from other electronics rounded out the internals of this build, as well as an Arduino Pro Mini with an H-bridge driver for control. All of this was placed inside of 3D-printed housing, then a disk was added to the top for other contraptions to rest on. (more…)

Smart earbud lets you control your phone with facial expressions

Friday, April 7th, 2017

After much experimentation, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research in Rostock and the University of Cologne in Germany have developed an electronically-augmented earplug that can read facial expressions and convert them into controls for your smartphone. For example, you may soon be able to answer a call with a wink or launch an app by moving your head to one side.

The prototype of this EarFieldSensing, or EarFS, technology consists of the earbud itself, a reference electrode attached to the user’s earlobe, and an Arduino along with four sensing shields in a companion bag.

Currently, the system can recognize five expressions–winking, smiling, opening your mouth, making a ‘shh’ sound, and turning your head the right–with over 85% accuracy while walking, and even better when sitting. Hands-free emojis would be an obvious use case, but perhaps it could be employed for covert signaling as well. Was that a nice smile, or are you calling in backup? It could also be quite useful while driving or for those with disabilities. (more…)