HAL 9000 reimagined as a useless machine

Arduino Team September 23, 2016

GeekCon participants add a switch and actuator to a HAL 9000 model for the world’s largest “leave-me-alone box.”

You’ve probably seen the silly boxes that when you flip a switch to turn it “on,” an arm comes out to turn itself “off” again. At this year’s GeekCon Makers conference, participants decided to make a useless machine, but in place of a simple box, they made a model of the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Rather than the normal “useless” configuration, it turns itself “on” instead of “off” in an apparent nod to the fact that the computer didn’t want to be disconnected in the movie. One Arduino controls a projector for the “eye” assembly, while another takes care of the servos and audio. HAL’s sounds are stored on an SD card inside an Adafruit Music Shield. Read the rest of this entry »

An Arduino VU meter for classrooms

Arduino Team September 23, 2016

With his beautifully-colored classroom “noise-o-meter,” Mr. Jones knows when things are getting out of hand.

When you were in school (or if you are in school) the teacher likely told the class to be quiet, perhaps repeating him or herself over an over during the day. The teacher, however, likely never really defined what is good and bad. Mr. Jones has finally solved this issue by creating a classroom “noise-o-meter” using an Arduino, an electret microphone, and a programmable LED strip. In order (apparently) too keep the class in line, noise is simply marked as green for “expected,” amber for “louder,” and “red” for too loud which corresponds nicely with more “traditional” VU meters. Read the rest of this entry »

Build your own robotic vacuum from scratch

Arduino Team September 23, 2016

This dust buster-based robotic vacuum may or may not work as well as a Roomba.

If you’re fascinated by the idea of a robotic vaccum cleaner to keep you from having to do certain chores, you could buy an iRobot, or you could make your own instead. This particular DIY model uses four motors for locomotion, an Arduino Uno, IR and ultrasonic sensors to avoid obstacles, as well as a (formerly) handheld vacuum cleaner to suck up debris.

The assembly sits on a wooden chassis, and as author B. Aswinth Raj is quick to point out, many variations on this robot could be made. Code is included and fairly short, so whether you’d like to copy this design or improve upon it, the bot should certainly give you some build ideas! Read the rest of this entry »

An animatronic talking takeout container

Arduino Team September 22, 2016

An Arduino plus fake food and audio capabilities equals something truly unique!

Randy “randofo” Sarafan had an idea when he was in college: a takeout container that talked. To the world’s great benefit, now that he knows about electronics, he finally made this dream a reality. Using an Arduino Mega with a Seed Studio Music Shield, he was able to coordinate the movements of a servo and thus the lid of a box with the audio coming out of a speaker. After attaching googly, or “googily” eyes, and modifying a fake serving of spaghetti, he had something that should be quite entertaining! Read the rest of this entry »

IDE 1.6.12 released with Sierra support and more

Arduino Team September 22, 2016


A new version of the Arduino IDE (1.6.12) supporting OSX Sierra is available for download! All OSX users updating to Sierra are invited to also update the IDE to avoid crashes when uploading sketches.

This update includes an experimental integration with Arduino Cloud API already used by Arduino Create. The Arduino Cloud is simple tool to connect your Arduinos to the Internet and to each other. From now on, when you insert for the first time an Arduino/Genuino or AtHeart board which needs an additional core, you will be prompted to automagically install its bundled software.

You’ll notice that the example menu has been reorganized, making it much more consistent and easier to navigate.

We’ve released version 1.0.7 of Curie core as well, which is a transitional release guiding us towards 2.0.0 with BLE central role and a lot of other goodies. You can read all the details on the forum.

PIXIE is an Arduino-based NeoPixel watch

Arduino Team September 20, 2016

Not looking for a smartwatch? PIXIE is an Arduino-based NeoPixel wearable device that not only keeps time, but will also keep your geek cred intact.

You won’t find any numbers on this watch; instead, PIXIE uses LEDs to reveal the time–hours in blue, minutes in red, and seconds in green. Beyond that,  a capacitive touch switch on its strap will activate a flashlight mode.

In terms of electronics, PIXIE is equipped with an Arduino Pro Mini, an Adafruit NeoPixel Ring, a real-time clock module, a lithium-ion battery, and a few other components–all housed inside a simple cardboard box with a piece of transparent plexiglass. Read the rest of this entry »

Capture time-lapses with a steel and aluminum camera slider

Arduino Team September 20, 2016

Using an Arduino, along with a stepper motor and ball bearings, YouTuber GreatScott! has created a very smooth camera slider.

Time-lapse sequences can be interesting on their own, but if you can add motion to the camera, this adds a really neat element. To give a little extra flair to his video production, GreatScott! built his own motorized slider using stainless steel and aluminum parts. Movement is accomplished via an Arduino Nano controlling a stepper motor, and ball bearings are used to keep the shots smooth. You can see the results and process in the two-part video sequence below. Read the rest of this entry »

The MR-808 is a robotic drum “synthesizer”

Arduino Team September 19, 2016

The MR-808 robotic drum machine looks like a gigantic Roland synthesizer, but plays with real instruments!

The Roland TR-808 was released in 1981 and was meant to replace a human drummer for practice purposes, but was instead used to produce music itself, helping to birth the electronic, techno, and hip hop genres. Moritz Simon Geist and the Sonic Robots collective, however, decided to turn this on its head, with a machine made to look like a gigantic ‘808, but containing real instruments.

With a variety of hardware, including an Arduino Uno and Mega, an audience can program the MR-808 using a tablet and get down to the grooves they create themselves!

Read the rest of this entry »

Meet Floris.cc: a new Genuino reseller in The Netherlands

Arduino Team September 19, 2016

Joining a list of others from GermanySpain, Italy and Portugal, Europe’s latest Genuino reseller hails from The Netherlands! Let’s give a warm welcome to Pieter Floris, who we recently had a chance to catch up with to learn a little more about the work he’s been doing with Floris.cc!


Read the rest of this entry »

Analyze your world with the WiSci portable spectrometer

Arduino Team September 16, 2016

Spectroscopy is an incredible tool for chemical analysis–and now you can make your own Bluetooth-enabled device with an Arduino Pro Mini.

If you took advanced chemistry classes, you may have had the opportunity to work with a spectrometer. It probably seemed like a magical gadget, identifying the chemicals in a substance through its light characteristics unlike the experimental methods you previously had to use.

Using off-the-shelf components–including an Arduino, a Bluetooth module, an LED, optical filters, and a LiPo battery–housed inside a 3D-printed case, the WiSci aims to take this tool out of the lab, and into the “real world.” By following the instructions on its project page, you can build one for just under $250. Read the rest of this entry »

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