Archive for the ‘Arduino’ Category

Antique organ speaks clues at an escape room

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

When tasked with converting an antique pump organ—sort of a miniature version of a full-sized pipe organ—into part of an escape room puzzle, hacker Alec Smecher decided to turn it into a vocal MIDI device.

To accomplish this, he embedded switches in each of the keys, then wired them into an Arduino Leonardo embedded in the 100-year-old organ to act as input to a desktop computer. Information is translated into browser commands using the Web MIDI API, which controls the Pink Trombone application in order to imitate a human vocal tract. (more…)

A Playmobil Wedding Band

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Two of Boris Werner’s friends, both musicians, were getting married, so for a unique gift he decided on a miniature stage setup with a Playmobil bride and groom as the guitarists.

After some research and ordering quite a few parts, he was able to construct a festival-inspired scene, complete with guitars, lights, and some tunes.

In order to bring this diorama to life, he used an Arduino Uno board to play WAV files from a micro SD card, along with NeoPixel rings in the background, and MOSFET-driven LEDs for stage lighting. There’s even a tiny disco ball that spins via a stepper motor, propelling the tiny bride, groom, and their young son as the drummer into the limelight. (more…)

An Arduino Mouse Wiggler!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

If, for whatever reason, you need your computer to stay awake without changing its settings, that’s easy—just remember to shake your mouse back and forth intermittently! If remembering to do that over and over seems like too much work, then here’s a simple solution: a device setup to optically wiggle your mouse using an Arduino Nano and a micro RC servo.

The 3D-printed unit sits underneath a mouse and rotates a printed grid left and right in order to trick it into thinking that you’re moving the mouse, and thus keeping the computer awake.

(more…)

Cutting electronic parts with Arduino-powered scissors

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

When faced with the need to cut thousands of parts from reels in order to make them into kits, “Der Zerhacker” decided to automate the process.

For his robotic machine, an Arduino Pro Mini pulls strips of SMD tape into position with a stepper motor, coloring them along the way with a marker. An infrared sensor is used to align the correct number of parts with a pair of scissors, which are then cut via a second motor and tumble into a basket. (more…)

Meet Moo-Bot, a robotic cow scarecrow

Monday, October 9th, 2017

With Halloween around the corner, hackers are gearing up for festivals and trick-or-treaters, hoping to spook visitors or simply impress others with their automation prowess. DIY bloggers Ash and Eileen are no different, and decided to enter a local scarecrow contest in the “Out of this World” category. Their entry? Moo-Bot, an Arduino-powered sheet metal cow that looks like it came straight off the set of a 1950s sci-fi flick.

Not that that is a bad thing; somehow this retro-futuristic bovine looks quite interesting. Making it even better is that the robotic cow’s eyes are made out of two OLED displays, and that it can interact with observers through an internal speaker.

When someone presses a button on its nose, the onboard Uno powers up and tells a pre-recorded series of cow jokes via an MP3 player module. Power is supplied by eight D batteries, which is enough to keep the Moo-Bot going for a few months. (more…)

The BecDot is an Arduino-based Braille teaching tool for children

Friday, October 6th, 2017

While instruments are available for those with visual impairment to read electronic media, they can be quite expensive, costing over $1,000. This is good for adults, but something more kid-friendly (and possibly replaceable) is needed to open up this world to those just learning.

For this purpose, Jacob Lacourse, whose daughter Rebecca was born with Usher Syndrome, developed the BecDot educational toy.

The device–which is now in a prototype form–senses when a plastic object (a letter block, a plastic animal, etc.) is placed in the reader via preprogrammed NFC tags, then raises the corresponding dots on four Braille pads. The prototype uses an Arduino Uno for control, and a system that he developed to raise the Braille dots as needed. (more…)

12-year-old maker creates his own Flappy Bird console

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

12-year-old Savva Osipov has grown so far up hearing tales of the old Soviet Union from his father, including about the gadgets and technology that was then available. One particular device that caught his attention is the “Nu, pogodi!” portable game that his dad saved from that time. This inspired him to build another simple handheld, a Flappy Bird console, running on an Arduino Nano.

The project’s software is based on code by Themistokle Benetatos, and he designed and 3D-printed a custom case to tie all the necessary game elements (Arduino, screen, battery, speaker, button, etc.) together. (more…)

Creating moving, wirelessly-controlled train LED displays with Arduino

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

In order to make his model trains stand out, David G. Bodnar has been working on the best way to integrate 8×8 displays into the cars.

Through the process he’s come up with several great techniques, including a red filter to help them “pop,” as well as wiring things in such a way that sets of LEDs can be used on either side to show the same message.

An Arduino Pro Mini and Nano are used for control, while a Bluetooth module with an Android terminal program enables him to change the text remotely. (more…)

ASK.ME is an interactive Magic 8 Ball that you can walk into

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

What goes on inside of a Magic 8 Ball when you ask it a question and shake? Sure, as an adult you might guess that it’s some sort of fluid and a geometric shape that floats to the surface; but if you envision it though the mind of a child, there could be an entire colorful word that computes, queries a database, or even magically ascertains the answer.

ASK.ME is an Arduino-controlled installation by Joan Raspo that brings this imaginary world to life as a geodesic dome that you can walk into. As a visitor enters inside, their presence is detected and they are greeted with a holographic image that invites them to ask a question. (more…)

Arduino IDE 1.8.5: Hotfix for macOS High Sierra Users

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

In case you haven’t noticed, our team has just released Arduino IDE 1.8.5This time the changelog is fairly small, as it mainly solves a (rather important) problem being encountered by macOS users who just updated to High Sierra (10.13).

If you are not using English as system language, any version of Arduino you launch will lack the menu in the system bar. Every Java application is experiencing the same problem, so it will probably be solved by Apple in the near future.

In the meantime, IDE 1.8.5 recognizes when the menu bar is not being displayed and replaces it with a Windows-style one. It may not be the prettiest thing, but at least it works!

If you want to recover the old menu bar while keeping the whole system in your normal language, you can issue a single command on Terminal:

defaults write cc.arduino.Arduino AppleLanguages '(en)'

 

Thank @AdrianBuza for the workaround. Issuing this command will make Arduino IDE in English, however you can still change the language under “Preferences” without losing the macOS integration.