Meet Moo-Bot, a robotic cow scarecrow

Arduino Team October 9, 2017

With Halloween around the corner, hackers are gearing up for festivals and trick-or-treaters, hoping to spook visitors or simply impress others with their automation prowess. DIY bloggers Ash and Eileen are no different, and decided to enter a local scarecrow contest in the “Out of this World” category. Their entry? Moo-Bot, an Arduino-powered sheet metal cow that looks like it came straight off the set of a 1950s sci-fi flick.

Not that that is a bad thing; somehow this retro-futuristic bovine looks quite interesting. Making it even better is that the robotic cow’s eyes are made out of two OLED displays, and that it can interact with observers through an internal speaker.

When someone presses a button on its nose, the onboard Uno powers up and tells a pre-recorded series of cow jokes via an MP3 player module. Power is supplied by eight D batteries, which is enough to keep the Moo-Bot going for a few months. Read the rest of this entry »

The BecDot is an Arduino-based Braille teaching tool for children

Arduino Team October 6, 2017

While instruments are available for those with visual impairment to read electronic media, they can be quite expensive, costing over $1,000. This is good for adults, but something more kid-friendly (and possibly replaceable) is needed to open up this world to those just learning.

For this purpose, Jacob Lacourse, whose daughter Rebecca was born with Usher Syndrome, developed the BecDot educational toy.

The device–which is now in a prototype form–senses when a plastic object (a letter block, a plastic animal, etc.) is placed in the reader via preprogrammed NFC tags, then raises the corresponding dots on four Braille pads. The prototype uses an Arduino Uno for control, and a system that he developed to raise the Braille dots as needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Arduino announces Arm partnership

Massimo Banzi October 5, 2017

Dear Arduino Community,

Back in July, we announced that the original Arduino founders regained full control of Arduino as a company. It was the culmination of a project that lasted several months, which required a tremendous amount of effort in finding the right partner that could help us make it happen while keeping the spirit of Arduino true to itself.

Throughout the litigation we dreamed of reclaiming control of the company, bringing it back to its original principles while designing a strategy that would allow us to tackle the challenges of the contemporary IoT world.

In order to make this a reality, we needed a partner that would provide us with the resources to regain full ownership of Arduino as a company while keeping it independent and true to its values of openness.

It wasn’t easy, but more than a year ago, in the middle of the litigation, we started a conversation with an important technology company that is an essential building block of today’s digital world: Arm. Read the rest of this entry »

12-year-old maker creates his own Flappy Bird console

Arduino Team October 4, 2017

12-year-old Savva Osipov has grown so far up hearing tales of the old Soviet Union from his father, including about the gadgets and technology that was then available. One particular device that caught his attention is the “Nu, pogodi!” portable game that his dad saved from that time. This inspired him to build another simple handheld, a Flappy Bird console, running on an Arduino Nano.

The project’s software is based on code by Themistokle Benetatos, and he designed and 3D-printed a custom case to tie all the necessary game elements (Arduino, screen, battery, speaker, button, etc.) together. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating moving, wirelessly-controlled train LED displays with Arduino

Arduino Team October 3, 2017

In order to make his model trains stand out, David G. Bodnar has been working on the best way to integrate 8×8 displays into the cars.

Through the process he’s come up with several great techniques, including a red filter to help them “pop,” as well as wiring things in such a way that sets of LEDs can be used on either side to show the same message.

An Arduino Pro Mini and Nano are used for control, while a Bluetooth module with an Android terminal program enables him to change the text remotely. Read the rest of this entry »

ASK.ME is an interactive Magic 8 Ball that you can walk into

Arduino Team October 2, 2017

What goes on inside of a Magic 8 Ball when you ask it a question and shake? Sure, as an adult you might guess that it’s some sort of fluid and a geometric shape that floats to the surface; but if you envision it though the mind of a child, there could be an entire colorful word that computes, queries a database, or even magically ascertains the answer.

ASK.ME is an Arduino-controlled installation by Joan Raspo that brings this imaginary world to life as a geodesic dome that you can walk into. As a visitor enters inside, their presence is detected and they are greeted with a holographic image that invites them to ask a question. Read the rest of this entry »

Arduino IDE 1.8.5: Hotfix for macOS High Sierra Users

Arduino Team October 2, 2017

In case you haven’t noticed, our team has just released Arduino IDE 1.8.5This time the changelog is fairly small, as it mainly solves a (rather important) problem being encountered by macOS users who just updated to High Sierra (10.13).

If you are not using English as system language, any version of Arduino you launch will lack the menu in the system bar. Every Java application is experiencing the same problem, so it will probably be solved by Apple in the near future.

In the meantime, IDE 1.8.5 recognizes when the menu bar is not being displayed and replaces it with a Windows-style one. It may not be the prettiest thing, but at least it works!

If you want to recover the old menu bar while keeping the whole system in your normal language, you can issue a single command on Terminal:

defaults write cc.arduino.Arduino AppleLanguages '(en)'

 

Thank @AdrianBuza for the workaround. Issuing this command will make Arduino IDE in English, however you can still change the language under “Preferences” without losing the macOS integration.

Maker builds an Arduino-controlled, chess-playing robot

Arduino Team September 29, 2017

While playing board games on a computer screen can be entertaining, this experience lacks a certain tangible aspect. YouTuber RoboAvatar decided to take things into the third dimension with a chess machine that uses an XYZ gantry system and gripper to move pieces as needed.

Instead of a vision system, RoboAvatar’s robotic device uses 64 reed switches (one for each square) to tell an Arduino Uno where the magnetized pieces reside. The project also features a Mux Shield and a pair of MCP23017 I/O expander chips, providing a total of 93 available pins. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing the Arduino MKR WAN 1300 and MKR GSM 1400!

Arduino Team September 25, 2017

First unveiled over the weekend at World Maker Faire New York, Arduino has introduced a pair of new IoT boards with embedded LoRa and GSM capabilities.

The Arduino MKR WAN 1300 and MKR GSM 1400 are designed to offer a practical and cost-effective solution for developers, makers and enterprises, enabling them to quickly add connectivity to their projects and ease the development of battery-powered IoT edge applications.

Both of the highly compact boards measure just 67.64 x 25mm, together with low power consumption, making them an ideal choice for emerging battery-powered IoT edge devices in the MKR form factor for applications such as environmental monitoring, tracking, agriculture, energy monitoring and home automation. Read the rest of this entry »

Add voice control to your 3D-printed desk lamp

Arduino Team September 24, 2017

Nikodem Bartnik had a small problem. When soldering, he had to move his light around in order to properly see what he was working on. In order to avoid this constant interruption, he built a 3D-printed lamp capable of manuevering like a small robot arm under voice command.

An Arduino Uno controls the light’s movement directly via three servos, and a relay flips the switch on and off. Instead of adding voice recognition hardware to his robotic light, he cleverly linked it with an Android app over Bluetooth, using his phone to translate spoken words into serial commands. Read the rest of this entry »