Regulate air flow with Arduino

Arduino Team August 29, 2017

Blow guns can be very helpful around your workshop, but sometimes you want a subtle shot of air instead of a full blast. There are several ways to take this on, but YouTuber “MBcreates” decided on a novel method using an Arduino Nano for control.

In his setup, a stepper is used to turn a screw as a linear actuator, pushing an intermediate blow gun’s trigger at progressively more aggressive intervals. This effectively regulates the air flow going into the handheld blow gun, allowing for a more subtle burst of air when needed.

Simple is often better. So I grabbed an old blow gun and used this a valve. The Arduino Digital Air Pressure Regulator uses a NEMA 17 stepper motor to press the lever of the blow gun. A micro end switch was placed against the lever. When the Arduino Nano goes through the setup, the stepper hits the end switch, now the program knows the exact position of the stepper.

The video seen here features some very clever build techniques, and it really turned out spectacular, especially considering it was MBcreates’ first Arduino project! Read the rest of this entry »

Fling discs with a brushless motor and an Arduino

Arduino Team August 27, 2017

YouTuber “austiwawa,” apparently not satisfied with other methods of causing mayhem in his garage and backyard, has come up with an innovative disc shooter.

His homemade device uses a brushless motor controlled by an Arduino Nano and an ESC to pull a vacuum belt at high speeds. A clear plastic tube on top holds a stack of about 27 3D-printed discs. At the press of a button, they are then fed one by one onto the belt surface by another motor, which accelerates the disc to ejection velocity and out the “muzzle.” There’s also a potentiometer that allows him to adjust the fire rate.

Although it appears to work quite well, destroying items like an apple and eggs, austiwawa notes that this is only a prototype, and plans to make a fully 3D-printed version in the future. At that point, he’ll release the Arduino code and STL files, making it easy for others to duplicate! Read the rest of this entry »

Watch this maker cruise the beach on an electric luge

Arduino Team August 25, 2017

We’ve all seen clips of people speeding down mountain roads on luges, but if landing on concrete or careening off a cliff doesn’t look like your cup of tea, perhaps something meant for the beach would be more suitable. Taking inspiration from these luges, as well as kite surfing rigs, and even Land Speeders from Star Wars, UK-based maker John Dingley came up with his Electric Beach Luge.

Foot pegs straddling a single go-kart tire in the front are used for steering the vehicle, while power is transferred to the sand by a pair of wheels in the back. A potentiometer is wired into an Arduino Uno for speed input, which uses this information to signal a 500W, 24V golf cart motor via a robot combat controller, capable of producing 160 amps continuously. Read the rest of this entry »

Check the time on this large and inexpensive “Titan Clock”

Arduino Team August 25, 2017

When you, perhaps after being late for an important event one too many times, decide to build a wall clock, there are many DIY options from which to choose. But none may be as massive or unique as the aptly named “Titan Clock.”

To justify this particular design, hacker “ProtheanSoft” lists several of its advantages, such as its large size, energy efficiency (runs on a smartphone charger), thinness (only 18mm thick with casing), and of course, affordability.

The Titan Clock—which can be assembled for less than $50—consists of RGB LEDs, inexpensive craft materials like foamcore board, acrylic and aluminum sheets, as well as recycled components including the diffuser from a broken LCD monitor or TV to generate a uniform glow for each segment.  Read the rest of this entry »

Motorgan is an electromagnetic organ

Arduino Team August 22, 2017

What do you get when you combine three small motors with a guitar pickup and a touch keypad? That would be the Motorgan by Moscow-based media artist Dmitry Morozov (aka ::vtol::). The result is a unique Arduino Mega-controlled instrument that looks and sounds like he somehow combined a V8 engine with a pipe organ.

The electromagnetic/electromechanical organ uses two differently sized PC cooling fans, as well as a gear motor to produce various sounds. A separate keypad is used for each motor, and each of the 24 keys can be tuned with a potentiometer, which reportedly allows one to “make any kind of music.” Read the rest of this entry »

Over-engineered, Arduino-powered closet lights

Arduino Team August 21, 2017

If you’re faced with a closet that doesn’t have any lights inside, you simply could go and find puck lights at most retail stores. But, if you’re Dillon Nichols, you buy a set of lights, and enhance them with a wired power supply and automatic Arduino control.

To accomplish this, Nichols decoded the infrared remote control signal to his puck lights using an Arduino Leonardo, then set up things to sense the door’s opening via a physical switch and signal the lights accordingly. Now when he opens the closet, lights automatically shine down and fade out when it’s closed. Read the rest of this entry »

Project Aslan is a 3D-printed robotic sign language translator

Arduino Team August 21, 2017

With the lack of people capable of turning written or spoken words into sign language in Belgium, University of Antwerp masters students Guy Fierens, Stijn Huys, and Jasper Slaets have decided to do something about it. They built a robot known as Aslan, or Antwerp’s Sign Language Actuating Node, that can translate text into finger-spelled letters and numbers.

Project Aslan–now in the form of a single robotic arm and hand–is made from 25 3D-printed parts and uses an Arduino Due, 16 servos, and three motor controllers. Because of its 3D-printed nature and the availability of other components used, the low-cost design will be able to be produced locally.

The robot works by receiving information from a local network, and checking for updated sign languages from all over the world. Users connected to the network can send messages, which then activate the hand, elbow, and finger joints to process the messages. Read the rest of this entry »

The GuitarBot will strum you a song

Arduino Team August 17, 2017

While many Makers have musical skill, others attempt to compensate for their lack of it by producing automatic instruments that play themselves. One such attempt started in 2015 as a collaborative project between three University of Delaware professors as part of an initiative known as “Artgineering.” This was meant to “create a public spectacle… to demonstrate that engineering and art can work together harmoniously.”

Although many would consider engineering to be an art in itself, if you’d like to create your own robotic band, this Instructables write-up for the GuitarBot is a great place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

Levitate liquids and other tiny objects with this DIY device

Arduino Team August 17, 2017

If you’ve ever wished you could levitate tiny drops of liquid, small solids, or insects in mid-air, new research has you covered. That’s because Asier Marzo, Adrian Barnes, and Bruce W. Drinkwater have developed a 3D-printed, Arduino Nano-controlled acoustic levitator.

Their device uses two arrays of 36 sonic transducers in a concave pattern, which face each other in order to suspend objects like Styrofoam, water, coffee and paper in between. Several items can even be trapped at the same time, and liquid is inserted into the “levitation zone” via a syringe.

The principle is similar to the vibration you feel when next to a large speaker, but in this case, the homemade levitator employs ultrasonic waves to push particles without causing any damage to humans. Read the rest of this entry »

Maker creates his own coilgun using an Arduino Nano

Arduino Team August 15, 2017

If you suppose that electromagnetically-propelled projectiles are strictly the purview of well-funded government research labs, think again! Using two sets of coils wrapped around custom 3D-printed base structures and an Arduino Nano for control, YouTuber “Gyro” created his own coilgun capable of propelling steel fast enough to dent a piece of wood.

When fired, a photodiode at the end of each electromagnet coil sends a signal to the Arduino. This, in turn, shuts off the coil, allowing it freely escape the barrel. Read the rest of this entry »