Smartwatch convenience ‘moves’ to the next level

Arduino Team May 9, 2017

To address the limitations of today’s fixed-face watches, researchers have come up with an actuated smartphone concept that physically moves itself using an Arduino Due, Bluetooth and several motors.

Receiving Internet notifications has gone from using a computer, to checking them on your smartphone, to now simply seeing them come in on your wearable device. On the other hand, you still have to rotate your wrist into the right position to see the screen. Worse yet, if you want to show others what is on your wrist, you may even have to twist your arm awkwardly.

Fortunately, there is a possible solution to this scourge in the form of Cito, which bills itself as “An Actuated Smartwatch for Extended Interactions.” This design can move in five different directions–rotates, hinges, translates, orbits and rises–potentially making viewing more convenient, or even providing haptic feedback. Prototype electronics are housed inside a control box on the upper arm, but presumably would become much smaller in a production version. Read the rest of this entry »

Building a pool-playing robot prototype with Arduino

Arduino Team May 8, 2017

Building robots can be (relatively) easy if you’d like something to wander around your room and avoid obstacles, but for complicated control tasks, like shooting pool, things need more development. Engineer “Bvarv” has been working on just such a robot, which currently exists as a one-sixth scale model.

Though it’s not currently capable of playing the game, the device uses some interesting tricks, including a frame supported by a pattern of increasing-diameter pieces of wood, a custom bearing made out of slingshot ammunition, and limit switches to control the billiard bot’s orientation. Read the rest of this entry »

Puzzle-locked geocache provides an extra challenge

Arduino Team May 8, 2017

Using an Arduino Uno and a servo motor, hacker “Cliptwings” came up with a surprise for treasure hunters!

Geocaching is a game where amateur adventurers find caches in different locations using a GPS receiver. Though this can be a fun way to get outside, once you find the storage box, the challenge is pretty much over. Cliptwings decided to take things in a different direction, and made his cache—which importantly contains a battery on the outside—lock until the retrieving party solves a hangman game.

Once this Arduino-based puzzle is solved, the gadget unlocks with a small servo, revealing the contents inside, most likely a logbook! Read the rest of this entry »

A LoRa home environment monitoring gateway

Arduino Team April 28, 2017

When you’re away from your home, perhaps you’d like to know what is going on there. A camera system is one solution, but is fairly data-intensive and might not be the right method if you’d like to monitor information such as temperature and humidity in several zones. For this, Rod Gatehouse decided to build his own LoRa environment monitoring system using an Arduino Mega.

To keep an eye on things, Gatehouse (aka “RodNewHampshire” on Instructables) came up with an excellent LoRa IoT gateway that can be controlled via four push buttons and an LCD screen. This device can take input from remote stations wirelessly, and can put this data online or push it to a user as a text message. Read the rest of this entry »

Enhance your keyboard with the SlideBar

Arduino Team April 28, 2017

Using a keyboard and mouse usually gets the job done, but if you want to navigate around a website or video, the process could be a little more efficient. It may not be a big deal to reach over and use your mouse and scroll wheel, but if you had this control on your keyboard, that tiny bit of time savings could add up over the thousands of times you do this.

For this purpose, Imgur user “Electricrelay” added a motorized force feedback slider to his keyboard using an Arduino Nano for control. This easily customizable device can scroll through pages, or switch between open browser tabs or programs. It can also act as a mechanical display, shaking for notifications, or sliding with keystrokes like an old-school typewriter. The Maker even created a plugin for timeline scrubbing in Adobe Premiere. Read the rest of this entry »

Unlock your garage door with a fingerprint

Arduino Team April 26, 2017

Using an Arduino Micro for control, French teenager “Joebarteam” came up with a way to biometrically secure his garage.

If you need to get into your locked garage, what could be better than using your fingerprint? To this end, Joe’ came up with a system that unlocks his door using a fingerprint scanner, and a bistable relay to disable communication between the scanner and the Arduino if there’s a problem. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lake Erie Mamba is a 12-servo snake robot

Arduino Team April 25, 2017

If you want to build a robot that moves across the ground, the normal options are wheels or legs of some kind. Maker “joesinstructables,” however, decided to do something a bit different. He created a versatile, slithering system, which he calls the “Lake Erie Mamba.”

He put a dozen Arduino Mega-controlled servos together in a reptile configuration to allow the robot to move via serpentine motion (like a normal snake), rectilinear motion (like a worm), or sidewinding (which snakes use in shifting terrain). It can also twist itself into a wheel and roll in this rather unnatural, though quite interesting way. Read the rest of this entry »

Scare your friends with a 3D-printed animatronic eyeball

Arduino Team April 24, 2017

With October still six months away, you may not be thinking about Halloween decorations just yet. However, this Arduino-based ocular assembly could make for a spooky yet simple prop!

There are few things more unnerving than an eyeball or three looking at you from some concealed position—such as under clothing as in the project’s video. If you’d like to scare friends, family, or random visitors, Maker Will Cogley has the perfect solution with his 3D-printed animatronic eye and eyelid mechanism. Read the rest of this entry »

Teenage Maker builds his own Arduino drone

Arduino Team April 21, 2017

When most people decide they’re going to build a quadcopter, they likely go to their favorite online retailer or hobby shop, and get the correct parts to connect together.

17-year-old Maker Nikodem Bartnik instead decided to customize things further, programming an Arduino to act as his flight controller, and constructing a transmitter (or “pilot” as he refers to it) from scratch. Finally, he attempted to 3D print the frame, but after some difficulty chose to just buy one. Read the rest of this entry »

A robotic dancing teapot

Arduino Team April 20, 2017

You may have seen robots that wobble around, such as BOB, OTTO and ZOWI. Though their locomotion style of shifting the unit’s weight on huge feet is clever, they all share a rather similar look. French computer scientist Paul-Louis Ageneau decided to do something about this and created his own biped in the form of a dancing teapot a la Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

To accomplish this, he attached four servos to the robot’s hips and ankles, which were connected to an Arduino Pro Mini and powered by a 9V alkaline battery. All the electronics are housed inside the 3D-printed teapot. It’s a neat build in itself, and in a separate post he goes over how to play music on an Arduino, which should make this little guy even more entertaining! Read the rest of this entry »