Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

8-bit Frogger game on a digital microfluidics device

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

OpenDrop V2 is an updated design for an open-source digital microfludics platform, which was initiated by GaudiLabs in Luzern, Switzerland and developed in collaboration with several communities including hackteria | open source biological art, BioFlux and digi.bio. The device is part of a much larger ecosystem focused around digital biology with hopes of making personal lab automation accessible to everyone.

OpenDrop runs on a technology called “electrowetting” to control small droplets of liquids across a special PCB covered with a hydrophobic film. Pads on the PCB are driven to high voltages to attract the droplets, so moving them is simply a matter of controlling which pads are charged.

In terms of specs, OpenDrop features an Arduino Micro, two HV507 high voltage drivers, a 16×8 electrodes array, four buttons, a tiny OLED Display, a WiFi module, LEDs, liquid connection ports, and a micro USB slot.

Potential applications are not only limited to science, but the art, music, gaming and education fields as well. One such example is OpenDropper, an 8-bit video game. See it below!

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Meet the new MKRZero, the power of the Zero in a smaller board!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

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Say hello to the newest member of the Arduino family! The MKRZero–now available on our stores at the price of $21.90/€20.90 (+ tax)–shrinks the functionality of the Arduino Zero down into an Arduino MKR1000 form factor, making it a great educational tool for learning about 32-bit application development.

Like the Zero, the latest board is based on a Microchip SAM D21 ARM Cortex®-M0+ MCU. An integrated SD connector with dedicated SPI interfaces (SPI1) allows you to play with files without any extra hardware, while an analog converter enables you to monitor its battery voltage.

The MKRZero’s features in a nutshell:

  • small form factor
  • number crunching capability
  • low power consumption
  • integrated battery management
  • USB host
  • integrated SD management
  • programmable SPI, I2C and UART

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Measuring AC power with the Industruino PROTO

Monday, November 21st, 2016

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Industruino PROTO–now available on our online storejoined the AtHeart Program back in 2015 with hopes of combining industrial automation components and the simplicity of Arduino.

This robust DIN rail mountable, Leonardo-compatible controller enables you to take your existing Arduino projects and swiftly transform them into permanent installations. The prototyping area and screw connectors allow you to install your own circuitry and reliably connect to accessories.

In the video below, Industruino co-founder Loic De Buck discusses these key features and more with Davide Gomba. (You can also find an extended version here.)

The team recently created an excellent tutorial showing how you to build an Arduino-based electricity consumption monitor with the Industruino PROTO platform. You can use it to measure AC power of your appliances, including a water cooker, TV, laptop charger, or anything else plugged into a wall socket. Alternatively, you can even use it in your electricity cabinet to evaluate the power consumption throughout your entire house (at least one phase).

The challenge is to measure an AC of a relatively high voltage (220-240V) with a direct current 5V Arduino MCU.

This may seem dangerous, but we will use a non-invasive Current Transformer (CT),  so our Arduino remains galvanically isolated from the high voltage AC.

This prototype is based on the excellent open source project OpenEnergyMonitor. It uses parts of the its standard emonTx hardware and software to report the AC apparent power consumption, based on measurements of a Current Transformer as in the picture on the left. The original project also allows to measure 3 phase and/or real power, but for our prototype here we are only measuring the current of one phase, not its voltage which would require an AC/AC adaptor.

Want to make one yourself using the Industruino PROTO? You can find all the necessary documentation, including schematics and code, on the Industruino blog!

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Yet another Engima machine by a young Maker!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Enigma machines are fascinating devices, especially for young Makers looking to explore the world of electronics. Awhile back we featured a similar project from Italy, and we’re once again amazed by the work of 14-year-old Andy Eggebraaten, who built a retro-modern gadget of his own. The project, which was for his high school’s science fair, took nine months to complete.

These electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines were developed  in the early 20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication, used especially by German military intelligence during World War II.

In the video below, Andy opens the machine to show its inner workings: the unit runs on Arduino Mega along with 1,800 other parts and 500 color-coded wires. We can see that he evolved the rotors into electronic modules that plug into D-Sub sockets, and the interface is made using a 16-segment display showing the rotor position as well as an LCD screen to read the plain- and the encoded text. (more…)

Discover the latest Arduino build for ARM Linux

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

ARMIde

As many of you already noticed, we recently released a new “Linux ARM” version of the Arduino IDE available for download on our website together with the usual “Linux 32bit” and “Linux 64bit.”

This release enables you to run the Arduino Software (IDE) on many of the mini PC boards based on ARM6+ processors currently on the market, including Raspberry Pi, C.H.I.P., BeagleBone, UDOO… just to name a few.

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Arduino and Genuino MKR1000 now available in our stores

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

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We are happy to announce Arduino MKR1000 and Genuino MKR1000 are now available in our stores at the price of 34,99$/30,99€ (+tax)!

MKR1000 is the protagonist of World’s largest Arduino Maker Challenge and was shipped exceptionally to  1000 winners of the contest. Now, this powerful board which combines the functionality of the Zero and the WiFi Shield, is available to all makers wanting to design IoT projects with minimal previous experience in networking.

We are sharing some documentation so you can learn more about the features of this new board:

And  4 tutorials focused on the new features of Arduino and Genuino MKR1000:

  • Analog to Midi build a device that recognizes an input frequency and outputs it to MIDI
  • Wifi RTC   use the RTC (Real Time Clock) and the WiFi capabilities
  • Scheduled Wifi SSL learn to use scheduled functions to establish a secure web connection
  • Battery operations learn more about the battery support of the MKR1000

MKR1000 and Genuino MKR1000  is available for purchase now.

Testing riders’ clothing with Arduino

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

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Worse for Wear is a clothing company  for women who ride motorcycles. The fascinating clothing they produce is very fashionable, comfortable, and needs to protect riders from impact and abrasion if they have an accident. Jackets and trousers have knee and hip pads  included to protect the rider when sliding many meters across asphalt. That’s why the fabric must be strong and abrasion resistant because if the fabric wears away too quickly, the rider’s skin will be exposed and injured.

To choose the perfect fabric, Scott and Laura, co-founders of the company, created an Impact Abrasion Resistance Testing Machine running on Arduino Uno to perform tests on different materials like knit fabrics, woven fabrics, and leather, to see how long it takes before the material is sanded completely through. I interviewed them to learn more about it!

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Farmbot and why documentation’s vital to open source projects

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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Farmbot is the first open source cnc farming machine with the aim to create an open and accessible technology aiding everyone to grow food and to grow food for everyone. It runs on open source hardware like Arduino Mega 2560 and  involves a community of contributors on the wiki and forum where you can find documentation, schematics, assembly guides, troubleshooting tips and many more on all currently supported and old FarmBots. (more…)

Watch a fin-propelled underwater robot prototype

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

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The robotic prototype swimming under water propelled by fins, it was developed at the Control Systems and Robotics Laboratory of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, in Heraklion (Greece) and it’s controlled by an Arduino Mega:

Each fin is comprised of three individually actuated fin rays, which are interconnected by an elastic membrane. An on-board microcontroller generates the rays’ motion pattern that result in the fins’ undulations, through which propulsion is obtained. The prototype, which is fully untethered and energetically autonomous, also integrates an IMU/AHRS unit for navigation purposes, a wireless communication module, and an on-board video camera. The video contains footage from experiments conducted in a laboratory test tank to investigate closed loop motion control strategies, as well as footage from sea trials.

the Arduino runs a custom-developed real time firmware that implements two Central Pattern Generator (CPG) networks to generate the undulatory motion profile for the robot’s fins. The robot  contains a  7.4V lipo battery powering also a Bluetooth module for wireless communication and a video camera to record footage of the missions.

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Explore tangible interfaces with a wooden sequencer

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

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During the Physical Computing and Creative Coding course at School of Form a team composed by Ernest Warzocha, Jakub Wilczewski, Maciej Zelaznowski worked on a project starting from the keyword “the aesthetics of interaction”. With the help of their lecturers – Wieslaw Bartkowski and Krzysztof Golinski – they decided to rethink about typical button-like interface of audio sequencer and design a unique tangible interface for it.

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The Wooden Sequencer runs on Arduino Uno and works by using familiarity of real objects and manipulating them similarly to the idea of Durell Bishop’s Marble Answering Machine: (more…)