Archive for the ‘Arduino’ Category

An experimental game with a conductive rubber band controller

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

RubberArms is an experimental rubber band game, created by Robin Baumgarten at the Global Game Jam 2017 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.

The controller uses a conductive rubber cord from Adafruit that changes resistance as it’s stretched. This resistance is measured by an Arduino Micro/Leonardo (or a Teensy 3.2), which acts as a USB joystick sending signals to Unity3D. (The game is coded in Unity3D using Spring Joints and Line Renderers.)

At this point, the game is a simple prototype where you control the distance of two characters whose arms stretch whenever you stretch the rubber band, throwing little ‘Bleps’ around. You can read more about RubberArms on Baumgarten’s page, as well as his earlier project “Line Wobbler” here.


The Soda Locker

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

With books being replaced by electronic alternatives and sugary drinks in short supply, this custom locker has come to the rescue.

After a conversation with a few friends about an idea he had for a vending machine that fit entirely inside of a locker, high school student Blake Hawkins decided to actually make it a reality. His setup crams dispensing hardware for two types of highly-caffeinated soda, including an Arduino-connected coin acceptor and a spring to keep the locker closed between sales. The C-shaped cylindrical device that physically doles out the cans is quite clever too.  (more…)

Build an automatic cat treat dispenser with Hummingbird

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017


The Hummingbird by BirdBrain Technologies is an Arduino AtHeart microcontroller designed to enable beginners to create robots from craft materials. Hummingbird kits include LEDs, motors, and sensors that connect directly to the board. This eliminates the need for soldering or breadboarding and ensures that users have the parts they need to build their first robots. All of the components are reusable, so the same kit can be used to build many different robots.

In addition, the Hummingbird supports a variety of programming options, making it appropriate for beginning programmers as well as those who are more advanced. Some programming languages, such as Scratch and Snap!, can only be used when the board is connected to the computer. We will concentrate here on programming alternatives that enable users to upload a program onto the board’s Arduino.


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…)

Make your reflex punching bag interactive with Arduino

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

A traditional reflex bag is meant to help improve your punch accuracy and timing. However, Carl Gordon decided to make his a bit more interactive and gamified using an Arduino Uno.

As you can see in the video below, his setup adds four LEDs to the device to tell the user which side of the bag to punch, and an accelerometer to let the Arduino in the base of the stand know when it is actually hit. This means that the person using it has to further work on his or her movement skills, adding a whole new dimension to the workout. (more…)

IR thermometer hacked into an IR camera

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Using several clever hacking techniques, Niklas Roy can make thermal images using a “simple” thermometer.

True IR (infrared) cameras are still too expensive for many of us, but if you’d just like to know the temperature of something at a distance, IR thermometers aren’t that costly. In theory, if you were to take readings in a grid, color code them, and overlay these readings on an image, you would have a manual IR picture. If you can accomplish this manually, the obvious next step is, why can’t a computer? (more…)

Bookcase automatically opens to reveal secret lair

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

A secret lair isn’t much fun if it’s a pain to get into, so Instructables user SPECTREcat decided to automate his hidden doors using an Arduino Uno. This drives four linear actuators via a MultiMoto shield, which both pull and turn the bookshelf in such a way that the books stay in place.

When opening, the doors first pull apart with one set of actuators, then turn with the other two to allow enough space for a person to pass through. Instead of drilling a hole through the maple plywood shelves, SPECTREcat chose to use a reed switch that’s activated on the other side by a magnet taped inside a DVD cover. (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…)

A 3D-printed e-drum pad

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

After making his first drum with a laser cutter, Ryo Kosaka redesigned it as a 3D-printed structure so more people could build it.

If you’d like to practice playing the drums, but would rather not disturb your family, roommate, neighbors, dog, etc., then an electronic version is probably a good idea. Since you’re reading our blog, making one would be even better!

Although details on how it was interfaced software-wise with the Arduino Uno aren’t included in his log, the drum itself looks quite good. It’s 3D-printed out of several individual pieces, which are glued together using thick paper to help hold everything intact. The sectioned design means that you only need a 120mm x 120mm print area to produce this 8-inch drum pad. (more…)

Interactive geodesic LED dome = extreme geometric fun!

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

We’ve all seen geodesic domes in one form or another, whether as a modern experiment, as housing from a bygone era, or perhaps as a gigantic structure in Orlando (technically a geodesic sphere). Jon Bumstead apparently wasn’t satisfied with current dome options, and instead created his own, integrating elements from programmable LED tables to make it interactive.

The resulting build is quite spectacular. Each triangular section able to be lit up with an RGB LED, and further information is output to five MIDI signals in order to produce sound. This means that up to five people can play the dome as an instrument simultaneously. If that wasn’t enough, the Arduino Uno-based dome is programmed to play a version of Simon or Pong, and can be set up to display a light show!

I constructed a geodesic dome consisting of 120 triangles with an LED and sensor at each triangle. Each LED can be addressed individually and each sensor is tuned specifically for a single triangle. The dome is programmed with an Arduino to light up and produce a MIDI signal depending on which triangle you place your hand.


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