Multi-player retro gaming on an Arduino VGA console

Arduino Team April 17, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Lift takes finger tracking accuracy to a new level

Arduino Team April 14, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Turning a Wii Nunchuk into an RC car controller

Arduino Team April 12, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Why buy a soldering station when you can build one instead?

Arduino Team April 12, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Turn and film your projects in style with this $8 DIY device

Arduino Team April 11, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Join DSI4EU’s final event in London!

Arduino Team April 10, 2017

The Digital Social Innovation for Europe (DSI4EU) is an online platform supporting those developing open hardware and software solutions that tackle social challenges.

The platform showcases the work of Makers and designers, and tags their organizations as part of networks like research alliances or membership bodies. DSI4EU also aims to map and identify fundings across Europe, along with other potential partners and collaborators for digital social innovators.

On May 16th, DSI4EU will share their approach to policy, funding, and public service partnerships with policymakers, investors and practitioners in London. The event will take place at Nesta headquarters (58 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DS) and is open to everyone (free registration).

Topics discussed will include: lessons about growth and impact from the innovators themselves, building capacity in the non-profit, funding, investment and sustainable business models, as well as emerging city-based strategic approaches to digital social innovation.

Then on May 17th, participants will be able to join fellow practitioners, policymakers, and civil society groups from Europe on a tour of London’s most exciting digitial social innovation venues, while gaining an overview on some amazing projects that are delivering real social impact. Each organization will host for an hour and offer a short workshop with opportunities for networking, conversation, and knowledge exchange.

Interested? You can read more about next month’s event here.

Smart earbud lets you control your phone with facial expressions

Arduino Team April 7, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Add smartphone control to your rolling backpack

Arduino Team April 7, 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Arduino Day 2017: Thank You!

Arduino Team April 6, 2017

On April 1st, Arduino Day was celebrated by more than 499 communities in 79 different countries, with official events held in Turin, Malmo and San Jose.

In Turin (photos can be found here), Massimo Banzi and Federico Musto unveiled the latest developments of the Arduino platform, including products like the MKRFOX1200, NFC Shield, LoRA Gateway Shield, LoRA Node Shield, as well as the Casetta and Libretto Kits. Moreover, they also highlighted new improvements to Arduino Create, particularly its expansion to Chromebook users, and recent advancements of Arduino’s educational project, CTC.  

Weren’t able to tune in to our live stream? Watch the video below to catch all of the day’s talks by various members of the Arduino team.

Most importantly, we would like to express a heartfelt thanks to our extremely passionate and awesome community. It was YOU who made Arduino Day a huge and successful celebration we will never forget.

 

ArduECU is a waterproof and rugged Arduino electronic control unit

Arduino Team April 5, 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.

Read the rest of this entry »