Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ Category
Have you ever wanted a smart home that can automatically adjusts the blinds for you? If so, this project is for you.
In this instructable, the author describes his approach to “smart blinds”, by using an Arduino board, an ethernet shield, a motor shield and a couple of sensors.
By means of a simple web-based GUI, the user can manually open and close the blinds, or he/she can setup both temperature and brightness thresholds in order to automate the whole process. Finally, opening and closing events can also be scheduled at pre-defined times of the day, if necessary.
The complete tutorial, together with the source code of the project, can be found here.
This plant has a twitter account, you can water it by direct tweets. Since a single tweet can’t save her, she needs twitter friends to grow up!
A Processing application listens to new tweets via Twitter APIs. A servo motor is bringing water to the plant while sensor checks its the humidity rate (if it’s too low the plant tweets in order to alert her followers).
If you follow the plant’s account, she can send you private messages.
Go here to visit the plant. And do not forget to water it!
PLOTS guys propose an interesting way to measure the quality of the air for indoor environments, by hacking a second-hand Roomba robot (an autonomous vacuum cleaner).
These robots are programmed to randomly move inside rooms to clean up the floor, so by adding a simple air quality sensor on top of one of them, it is possible to easily implement a sort of “random walker” that will sense for us the presence of gases (volatile organic chemicals, VOCs), such as NH3, alcohol, CO2 and so forth.
To keep track of the air quality measurements, the authors equipped the so hacked Roomba with an RGB led, whose color can be changed according to the air sample. By taking a long exposure picture of the room where the robot was roaming in, they could determine the areas where a high concentration of VOCs was present.
The complete description of the project can be found on the PLOTS’ website, while here you may find a short video about it:
PLOTS guys are also working on a different approach to air sensing, which does not make use of a Roomba robot but uses a hamster ball, instead. Further details can be found here.
Ever wanted to see how much electricity your next project is consuming? Look no further; this Instructable will guide you about how you can, too, make a device to monitor the same.
“There’s a couple of commercial products that can do this, but not with the flexibility I wanted. I designed an Arduino micro-controller based solution that is very extensible. Right now it monitors the above values of attached gear, and I’m thinking about adding web monitoring and an SD Card for data collection.”
Thermal flashlight is a widely used technique to “paint temperature with light”: by using a temperature sensor and a RGB flashlight, it is possible to illuminate a surface with a proper tonality, which, in turn, can be acquired by means of a standard camera. It’s main use is to find thermal leaks in houses and buildings.
Read more here.
There are many available projects for the automated irrigation and lighting of plants using the Arduino board.
For those who were not already aware, here is the link to a tutorial by Instructables published a few days ago.
And here an old but useful article written by Luke Iseman on Make Volume 18.
The Botanicalls crew had created a leaf-shaped electronic board that allows transmission via Twitter of your plant conditions.
It ‘s time to seed!
“MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. ”
Now that the basics are clear, let us enjoy the beauty of the new feature!
“Simulink built-in support for hardware is a big boost to project-based learning,” said Dr. Farid Golnaraghi, professor and director of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at Simon Fraser University. “Our engineering students who learn control theory by creating and running models in Simulink can now easily test and tune their algorithms on hardware, without knowing embedded systems.”
Simulink provides built-in support for the following platforms:
Arduino Uno and Mega 2560 microcontroller boards for robotics, mechatronics, and hardware-connectivity tasks
BeagleBoard-xM single-board computers for audio, video, and digital signal processing
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics platform for robotics applications
As you know MATLAB is a product of MathWorks, and is widely used for data visualization, attaching an Arduino would be really beneficial and wonderful applications from the maker community can be expected!
If you envision an open future, sustainable development through community contribution seems to be the way out. With open platforms both across hardware and software freely interacting with each other, car makers are finding a viable way to improvise the already developing intelligence of the cars.
Ford (and other automakers) envision future cars with high tech infotainment systems galore where car dashboards could have downloadable app’s just like todays smart phones and tablets. With the OpenXC platform Ford is creating a channel for open collaboration with 3rd party application developers, allowing them to use cars like the Ford Focus to prototype their gizmos.
The OpenXC platform is an open source hardware and software stack which allows 3rd parties to connect self-created gadgets to an OpenXC-compliant car.
If “your car is as easy to program as your smartphone,” it stands to reason that future cars could generate as much innovation and excitement as todays smartphones are generating.
The company announced last week they were making the OpenXC source code available, in beta form, to developers and universities around the world. Ford demonstrated a sample third-party mobile app created with the OpenXC toolkit at NASSCOM India Leadership Summit, held last week in Mumbai India.
The OpenXC platform is being developed in collaboration with Bug Labs, a New York based developer of small computer hardware building blocks meant to help organizations build the “Internet of Things.” This concept looks toward a day if/when all objects will have embedded computerization, with ubiquitous connections to the Internet to share data and information enabling large scale applications to be built upon the data coming from all the connected gizmos.
The documentation on the OpenXC Platform website describes installing small hardware module, attaching it to the OBD-II port so the module can read CANBUS messages. The hardware module interfaces the OBD-II/CAN bus to the more common USB interface, and sends data from the car to the software running on the OpenXC software platform. The software part of the OpenXC platform runs on Arduino or Android platforms, and provides to software measurements of vehicle operation such as brake pedal status, engine speed, latitude and longitude, steering wheel angle, and vehicle speed. The documentation does not provide methods for the software application to send commands to the car, only to receive data from the car.
This is unlikely to result in consumer applications right away, if only because interfacing to the OBD-II port is not exactly a user-friendly experience. Ford is positioning this as an outreach to application developers. Ford asks us to ponder these sorts of questions: What if “user-facing hardware and software” (such as the dashboard) was based on open software stacks, where car owners could purchase and install add-ons as easily as they buy smart phone apps today? What if the infotainment systems were easily user upgradeable? What if you could transfer a high tech gizmo easily from car-to-car?
[Elvia Vasconcelos] developed a very simple yet interesting installation based on PureData and Arduino. The main goal is change / remix (and therefore innovate) the approach toward domestic appliances:
To re-purpose an object is to manipulate its construction. I believe there is nothing natural about the way objects behave and therefore in their potential to be reinvented. It is in the artistic domain to liberate these objects from the settings in which they have become predictable and accepted. For this installation I am looking at objects from the Home. I present a fan, an extractor, a light bulb and a vacuum cleaner that are pretending to be toasters. They are controlled by the viewer via a telephone. My work is guided by a desire to hold onto things but not exactly to hold them in place.