Archive for the ‘Arduino’ Category

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…)

Add smartphone control to your rolling backpack

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Have you ever hopped off the plane at LAX with a… rolling backpack, and wished it would just push itself? Using an Arduino and motor controllers, “TannerTech” made his own robo-backpack.

Carrying backpacks around is so 20th century. Modern travelers, of course, get their robotic minions to drive the bags around for them. Or at least that’s what this Maker’s vision seems to be. The backpack in question is wheeled around by two motors on mounts made out of paint sticks. Control is provided by an Arduino Mega using an H-bridge motor controller to handle the relatively high current required.

In order for a human to call the backpack to him or herself, an “Arduino bluetooth controller” Android app is used to send characters to the Mega and Bluetooth module in the bag. Electronics are housed inside of a pencil case, making this a surprisingly accessible project. (more…)

ArduECU is a waterproof and rugged Arduino electronic control unit

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Now on Kickstarter, ArduECU is an IP69K-rated waterproof, rugged and impact-resistant electronic control unit (ECU) that enables your Arduino projects to withstand the elements and other harsh environments.

ArduECU is compatible with all 12V to 24V systems, and can be used in a wide range of applications such as vehicle diagnostics and control, stationary machines, remote monitoring, industrial automation, and agriculture to name just a few.

Based on an ATmega328, the ECU can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and also supports CoDeSys, meaning you can now configure your ArduECU with ladder logic, functional block, structured text, instruction list, or sequential function charts.

(more…)

Geared clock measures time linearly

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Jonathan Odom, a full-time designer at Instructables who goes by the name “JON-A-TRON,” decided to make a clock illustrating time’s linearity.  What he came up with was a beautifully crafted (robotically manufactured at the Pier 9 workshop, that is) clock that uses two rack and pinion assemblies to move a line of numbers for hours on top of another line signifying minutes.

The minute “hand” is divided up into five-minute intervals, which seems to him to feel less neurotic than being precise down to the exact minute. Magnifying glasses are used to magnify an hour and minute number, reminding onlookers to focus on the present.

The clock is actuated using an Arduino Uno with a motor driver, controlling a stepper motor for each “hand.” It’s an incredible build, and nicely illustrated. Whether or not you have access to the tools needed to recreate this exact clock, perhaps this concept will inspire something similar! (more…)

Build a smartphone-controlled scoreboard with Arduino

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Using the Arduino 101’s built-in Bluetooth capability, Bob from the I Like to Make Stuff YouTube channel has crafted a beautiful, smartphone-controlled scoreboard.

If you’re into competitive sports, or perhaps want to settle who takes the trash out the most once and for all, an RGB scoreboard is a great solution. Perhaps it’s overkill in some cases, but Bob’s creation, which he expertly makes in the video here out of MDF looks amazing, and is large enough to be seen from a distance. It’s also small enough to be nominally portable.

His setup employs an RGB LED unit for each of the pixels that make up the score display, and uses an Arduino 101 as the brains of the device. Control is accomplished via a mobile app. (more…)