Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Let’s explore Arduino Yún’s unique features – Hardware review

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Arduino Yún

As announced a few days ago, the newest addition to the Arduino family, the Arduino Yún, will be available starting September 10. This is the first in a series of posts that will describe some of the Yún’s unique features. Today, we’ll focus on the hardware.

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The Yún is unique in the Arduino lineup, as it has a lightweight Linux distribution to complement the traditional microcontroller interface. It also has WiFi and Ethernet connections on board, enabling it to communicate with networks out of the box. The Yún’s Linux and Arduino processors communicate through the Bridge library, allowing Arduino sketches to send commands to the command line interface of Linux.

Introduction
The Arduino Yún has the same footprint as an Arduino Uno but combines an ATmega32U4 microcontroller (the same as the Leonardo) and a Linux system based on the Atheros AR9331 chipset. Additionally, there are built-in Ethernet and WiFi capabilities. The combination of the classic Arduino programming experience and advanced internet capabilities afforded by a Linux system make the Yún a powerful tool for communicating with the internet of things.

The Yún’s layout keeps the I/O pins the same as the Arduino Leonardo. As such, the Yún is compatible with the most shields designed for Arduino.

With the Yún’s auto-discovery system, your computer can recognize boards connected to the same network. This enables you to upload sketches wirelessly to the Yún. You can still upload sketches to the Yún through the micro-USB connector just as you would with the Leonardo. (more…)

Overclocking Arduino with liquid nitrogen

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

nitrogen Arduino

What happens to electronic components at cryogenic temperatures? That’s the main question Mikail tried to answer with his experiment using liquid nitrogen and Arduino: 65.3Mhz@-196°C. Check the video below to see the magic:

Internet, Arduino, two men and a company

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Observos

 

What defines a maker? A wish to make things , a quest for tools and ample creativity. They say that creativity has no bounds so what inspired this Ex-restaurateur to create a company Haxagonal Research with their much featured product Observos?  In people’s words words:

 

Observos, a box that can monitor the temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure of a space and shuttle this information across the net.

 

The company’s two founders Ronald Boynoe and Loren Lang both were pretty tech savvy, but it was the Arduino movement, which kickstarted their dream together.

“Arduino provided us an extraordinary platform for testing against, an invaluable repository of preexisting libraries and other code that would have taken an incredible amount of time to write, and a lot of community support,” he says. “It has decreased our time to market, and significantly reduced our startup costs, allowing us to more rapidly develop new prototypes.”

observos

From having a restaurant as their first customer to diversifying into agriculture sector,  they define their biggest challenge as tuning the humidity sensor to a required precision.  Hexagonal at the moment has a presence here and here.

 

Via: [Wired][Twitter][Engadget]

 

Send in the clones

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Arduino - 2007

When we came up with Arduino, one of the things we decided very early on was that we wanted to release the hardware design files so that people could make their own versions or just make an exact copy if they couldn’t find boards where they lived.
I think we contributed to popularize the concept of open source hardware and we can see it from the huge amount of variations of Arduino-compatible devices being released every day.

After the platform started to become popular we had the issue of figuring out a business model to sustain our work and keep innovating the project. But we also realized we needed a way for people to be guaranteed that

  • they were buying a quality product that would replace any defective item, should problems arise
  • they were contributing to a community that would bring forward  open-source values and knowledge sharing

We decided that the best way was to register the trademark of the Arduino lettering and to create a logo that would make it easier to identify products sanctioned by us.

Arduino Trademark

A few years later the situation is clearly complex with so many companies identifying something as an Arduino even if the only thing they have in common with us is the board pinout. It’s time we clarify what in our mind is an Arduino, what are the different variations of Arduino around and how they relate to our project.

We classified them as Clones, Derivatives, Compatibles and Counterfeits. But let’s start with explaining what is an official board.

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Open Hardware Summit: call for papers is open!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

open hardware 2013

The Open Source Hardware Association invites submissions for the fourth annual Open Hardware Summit, to be held September 6, 2013 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Open Hardware Summit is the world’s first comprehensive conference on open hardware; a venue to discuss and draw attention to the rapidly growing Open Source Hardware movement. The Open Hardware Summit is a venue to present, discuss, and learn about open hardware of all kinds. The summit examines open hardware and its relation to other issues, such as software, design, business, law, and education.

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DIY farm hacking takes off

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Farm hacks

 

Steve Spence, an amateur organic farmer in Andrew, South Carolina, has a smart way of irrigating his vegetables. He uses water from his pond and the fish waste to fertilize his plants, a technique known as aquaponics. But the critical balance between the makeup of the water and soil means Spence has to know exactly what’s going on in both. Real-time information about the pond’s make up is imperative to know he’s giving his veggies the best drink of water.

This is the beginning of a post published on ModernFarmer a couple of days ago. Click here to keep reading about nice stories and real examples (+ 5 farm hacks!) on how to use Arduino for farming and what happens when farmers  start  embracing the modern trends of DIY tech.

Introducing the Arduino TFT LCD screen

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

LCD_blog

 

In conjunction with the release of the new version of the Arduino IDE and the Arduino Robot, we’re also putting out a TCT LCD screen. The screen was developed in conjunction with Complubot and the library relies on the Adafruit GFX and ST7735 libraries.

The screen lets you do all sorts of fun things, like play games or lose the serial monitor to see the values from sensors.

The Arduino specific library, named TFT, extends the Adafruit libraries to support  more Processing-like methods. You can write text, draw shapes, and show bitmap images on the screen in a way that should be familiar to users of Processing.

The screen works well with all types of Arduinos with a little bit of wiring, and fits perfectly in the Esplora and Robot sockets. In addition to all this other goodness, there’s a SD card slot on the back for storing pictures and other data.

If you want to learn more about the screen and what it’s capable of, check out the TFT library page, getting started guide, and product page.

You can buy the TFT screen from the Arduino store now!

If you have something cool you’ve made with this, let us know!

Two Arduino-based Kickstarter projects worth a look

Monday, May 20th, 2013

SmartCitizen kit
Some weeks ago I read an article on the New York Times talking about Kickstarter. The author was exploring the logic of the platform and especially in which way backers shouldn’t really be considered like investors. They aren’t because their main aim is not looking for the project that will give them the greatest return on their money.

Kickstarter as a phenomenon is made much more comprehensible once you realize that it’s not following the logic of the free market; it’s following the logic of the gift […] People contribute to them because they’re friends who know the artist personally; they’re fans engaged in a highly personal if unidirectional relationship with the artist [creator]; or simply because they’re intrigued by the project and want some sense of participation in it.

Here we are then, highlighting  two Arduino-based projects because we are intrigued by them and hope you like them too.

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Welcome Arduino Yún – the first board combining Arduino with Linux

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Arduino Yun - iso

 

Massimo Banzi announced it some minutes ago during his annual “The state of Arduino” presentation at Maker Faire Bay Area:  Arduino Yún  is the first of a revolutionary family of wifi products combining Arduino with Linux.

Yún means “cloud” in chinese language,  as the purpose of this board to make it simple to connect to complex web services directly from Arduino.

ArduinoYun - scheme

Designed in collaboration with Dog Hunter, a company with extensive experience with Linux, the board adopts the Linino distribution which provides signed packages to ensure the authenticity of the software installed on the device.

Historically, interfacing Arduino with complex web services has been quite a challenge due to the limited memory available and they tend to use verbose text based formats like XML that require quite a lot or ram to parse. On the Arduino Yún we have created the Bridge library which delegates all network connections and processing of HTTP transactions to the Linux machine.

Arduino Yún is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT). It’s based on the ATMega32u4 microcontroller and on the Atheros AR9331, a system on a chip running Linino, a customized version of OpenWRT, the most used Linux distribution for embedded devices.

Like a Leonardo, it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connector.

Arduino_Yun
Like any modern computer, it’s Wi-Fi enabled, it has a Standard-A type USB connector to which you can connect your USB devices and it has a micro-SD card plug, for additional storage.

The Yún ATMega32u4 can be programmed as a standard Arduino board by plugging it to your computer with the micro USB connector. And you can also program it via Wi-Fi.

When the Yún is turned on for the first time, it becomes an Access Point, creating a Wi-Fi network named “Arduino”. Open your browser and go to the webpanel: configure the board by entering your Wi-Fi network name, type and password. Click the “Configure” button to restart the board and have it join your home network. Opening the IDE, you’ll see it listed in the “Port” sub menu with its IP address instead of the serial port name.

Using the Bridge library in your sketches, you can link the 32u4 to Linux, launching programs and scripts, passing them parameters (sensor readings for example) and reading their output, thus creating a strong integration between the creativity of your sketch and the power of Linux. The Yún supports Shell and Python scripts out-of-the-box but you can install a wide range of open source software and tools.

For the Linux geek in you, Yún can be reached with SSH:  that means you’ll be able to customize it in whatever way. And you’ll always be able to reset it to its factory settings.

On top of that to make it even simpler to create complex applications we’ve partnered with the innovative startup Temboo which provides normalized access to 100+ APIs from a single point of contact allowing developers to mix and match data coming from multiple platforms (for example Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare but even FedEx or PayPal).

Arduino Yún will be available at the end of June at the price of 69$ + taxes.

 

Arduino is ready for Maker Faire Bay Area, and you?

Friday, May 17th, 2013

ArduinoRobot

The world’s most diverse showcase of creativity and innovation in technology, craft and science is starting tomorrow in San Mateo, California and the Arduino team will be there with more than a couple of new things to present.

First of all, finally and officially the Arduino Robot will be alive and running around the Arduino tent to bring you into the world of robotics. Designed with Complubot, the 4-time world champions in Robocup Junior robotics soccer, the robot allows for endless hours of experimentation and play. It is a self-contained platform allowing you to build interactive machines to explore the world. As all the other Arduino products you can use it as it is, modify its software and even add your own hardware on top of it: it is perfect for the novice but also for those looking for their next challenge.

As you may have read in the article published on MAKE some days ago, The Arduino Robot is the result of the collective effort from an international team looking at how science can be made fun to learn and we loved to share its story. Connected with this aim, David Cuartellies – head of Arduino Verkstad, the Arduino office in Malmö (Sweden) – during Maker Faire Bay Area will present the Castilla Education Project  aiming at evaluating the use of Arduino and other open source tools in the schools of Spain. He’ll especially focus on the way content was created and validated in an experiment involving 24 schools, 30 teachers, over 500 kids, and a 6-members design team.

On the topic of education also Michael Shiloh — Coordinator of Education materials for Arduino, will be on the Education stage on Sunday  at 4.30pm for a Q&A on how to use Arduino boards and how to prepare material for teaching.

 

Arduino tft - Esplora compatible

Then we’re happy to announce that Arduino is releasing the new version of the Arduino IDE and the new TFT screen. TCT LCD library relies on the Adafruit GFX and ST7735 libraries.   The Arduino specific library, named TFT, extends the Adafruit libraries to support more Processing-like methods. You can write text, draw shapes, and show bitmap images on the screen in a way that should be familiar to users of Processing.

If you want to hear all these news from the voice of Massimo Banzi, don’t miss the center stage of Maker Faire Bay Area, saturday 18th of May from 1.30 and come to visit us at the Arduino tent (see map below for directions).

MakerfaireMap