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Swedish electric car startup Uniti has unveiled an open-source, Uno-compatible board designed for controlling three-phase motors. The “Uniti ARC” combines the familiar layout of Arduino with a number of other powerful features that will help facilitate the prototyping of electronic machinery — which includes the company’s own EV.

Aside from transportation vehicles like cars, e-bikes and e-scooters, the Uniti ARC can be used with other equipment employing three-phase motors, such as CNC mills, conveyor belts, or even 3D printers.

In terms of hardware, the Uniti ARC is powered by an ATmega64M1 at 16 MHz, and comes with a 12-bit high speed three-phase motor controller, CAN 2.0 A/B transceiver for real-time communication, 10-bit digital to analog converter, and four analog comparators. In addition, it can be easily programmed using the Arduino IDE.

The ARC inherits the versatility of the Arduino and even expands it. Therefore, the possibilities of what you can build with it are only limited by your creativity. Every electric motor can also be used as a generator! Let your imagination go wild…

It is designed to empower makers, startups, educators and anyone else, to be part of the electric vehicle revolution by making electric car prototyping more accessible for a wider public.

Handheld measuring devices make great DIY projects. One can learn a lot about a sensor or sensor technology by just strapping it onto a spare development board together with an LCD for displaying the sensor output. [Richard’s] DIY air quality meter and emissions tester is such a project, except with the custom laser-cut enclosure and the large graphic LCD, his meter appears already quite professional.

For his build, [Richard] used a Sharp GP2Y1010AU0F dust sensor. This $11 device has a little hole, through which airborne dust particles can pass. On the inside, an infrared LED and a photodiode are arranged in a way that allows no direct light, but only light reflected by the passing by dust particles, to reach the photodiode. An accurately trimmed amplifier within the sensor package translates the diode’s photocurrent into an analog output voltage proportional to the dust density. With a bit of software wizardry, it’s even possible to differentiate between house dust and smoke by analyzing the pulse pattern of the output voltage.

diy-pollutant-meterThe development board used in this project, a PDI-1 (which stands for Programmable Device Interface) is [Richard’s] own design. Manufactured in the UK, it isn’t the cheapest, but it’s the part that makes this build a breeze. It’s basically an Arduino Nano with a lot of onboard peripherals, including a large graphic LCD, some buttons, a speaker, plenty of H-bridges, and a few more.

After bodge-wiring the dust sensor to the board and taking the enclosure out of the laser cutter, the hardware side of this project was almost done. A little fan was added to ensure airflow through the sensor. Eventually [Richard] wrote a basic firmware to display a graph of sensor readings on the LCD. A first test in the exhaust stream of his car, cycling through idling and revving as shown in the title image, suggests that the meter works as intended. Of course, air quality and emission testing depend on more parameters than just dust density, but if you want to replicate and extend this build, [Richard] provides you with all the Arduino compatible source files.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, misc hacks

I caught up with Federico Musto, President and CEO of Arduino SRL, at the 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire. Their company is showing off several new boards being prepared for release as early as next month. In partnership with Nordic Semi and ST Microelectronics they have put together some very powerful offerings which we discuss in the video below.

arduino-primo-core-alicepad-star-otto-lcdThe new boards are called Arduino Primo, Arduino Core, Arduino Alicepad, and Arduino Otto.

The first up is the Primo, a board built to adhere to the UNO form factor. This one is packing an interesting punch. The main micro is not an Atmel chip, but a Nordic nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4F chip. Besides being a significantly fast CPU with floating-point support, the Nordic IC also has built-in Bluetooth LE and NFC capabilities, and the board has a PCB antenna built in.

On an UNO this is where the silicon would end. But on the Primo you get two more controllers: an ESP8266 and an STM32F103. The former is obvious, it brings WiFi to the party (including over-the-air programming). The STM32 chip is there to provide peripheral control and debugging. Debugging is an interesting development and is hard to come by in the Arduino-sphere. This will use the OpenOCD standard, with platformio.org as the recommended GUI.

The same nRF52 microcontroller is present on the Arduino Core and the Alicepad, which are targeted at wearable electronics. The circular form factor of the Alicepad mimics the familiar sewable form of the Lilypad.

Arduino Star Otto Arduino Star LCD

Arduino’s other offerings are where the horsepower really gets crazy. The Otto board boasts a gigantic STM32F469: a 169-pin ARM Cortex-M4F clocked at 180 MHz. The chip has a ridiculous assortment of built-in peripherals, and you’re not likely to run out of either pins or CPU cycles. It’s also got a hardware graphics accelerator, so it’s no surprise to find that the Otto has a DSI-IF connector on the back that is designed to plug into the LCD screen also being demonstrated at the event: a capacitive touch 480×800 display. The Otto also includes an ESP8266 to provide WiFi (why not, right?).

There are a few question marks in my mind on this one. First off, the Otto and the LCD have a product-family designator of “Star” which will be assigned to all the boards that feature the STM controllers. This seems a bit confusing (Star Otto, Star LCD, etc) but I guess they want to differentiate them from the “normal” Arduini. But are these devices becoming too complex to bear the Arduino name? Maybe, but the UNO is always going to be there for you and the new boards give you access to newer and more powerful features. Whether or not this complexity can be easily harnessed will depend on the software libraries and the IDE. After all, I think Donald Papp made a great point earlier in the week about the value of Arduino comfort in custom electronic work.

The Lawsuits

Finally, I asked Federico if there is any news about the Arduino versus Arduino trademark litigation. He spoke with us almost a year ago on the topic, but he had no new information for us at this point. (The US court case may be ruled on as early as July of this year, so there’s probably not much he could say, but I had to try.)

Federico spoke a little bit about the conflict between the two Arduinos, and said that it was brewing inside the company long before he got there. And it does appear that both companies calling themselves Arduino are trying to outdo each other with new boards and new initiatives, and going in different directions. If there is a bright side, it’s that this competition may end up building us better hardware than a single company would, because both are making bets on what will put them out ahead of the game.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cons, Interviews

Released in 1972, Pong was one of the earliest arcade video games to hit the scene and has since claimed its place in pop culture history. Whereas the Atari classic took the sport of tennis and brought it into the virtual world, a team of Makers led by Daniel Perdomo are taking it back to into the real world with an air hockey-like tabletop version.

As you can see in the video below, the “Pong Project” uses knobs similar to familiar arcade controls to move the paddles, which just like in the original, change the ball’s trajectory as it makes its way over to the opponent. The only difference is that it’s happening on a table instead of a screen. From the looks of it, there may even be a single-player mode with the other paddle seemingly moving all by itself.

To pay homage to the game, its creators gave the Pong Project some ‘70s flair with the iconic logo and play area, as well as neon lights along the sides that illuminate whenever the ball bounces off. Score is kept on seven-segment displays, while it would appear that at least a pair of Arduino boards are helping to drive the system. The team is currently seeking a hardware incubator and other Makers who may be interested in turning this into a final product. You can follow along with the project’s progress on Facebook.

Walking the streets of a highly-populated city, or even a crowded event for that matter, comes with certain risks like pickpocketing. Mindful of this, Maker TVMiller has come up with a clever system to prevent bag thieves from unknowingly creeping up behind you. Called the “Arduino MetroPhones,” the device consists of a Nano, an ultrasonic sensor, a digital potentiometer, a coin-cell battery, and a few other components, all housed inside a 3D-printed case.

The metropolitan in its natural habitat; unaware, oblivious, purposefully deafened and subsequent prey. To increase perception thus safety, we wed an Arduino Nano and ultrasonic sensor to regulate volume to proximity to someone behind you; easily deactivated per environment and rechargeable. Beyond this proof of concept, intention for apparel or accessory (purse, back pack) embedding is ideal.

This prototype of a prototype is a mono-version. A stereo version would merely require dual channels. Thus, imagine, you plug your head phones in to your purse strap which is embedded with a MetroPhone with Bluetooth that streams to your smartphone..

A variety of accessibility devices were on display at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016. Photo by Hep SvadjaWilliam Gerrey and Dr. Joshua Miele made the Blind Arduino Project to help those in the blind community expand their STEM and Maker education.

Read more on MAKE

The post Blind Arduino Project Proves You Don’t Need to See to Build Electronics appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Congratulations to Geoff Seawright for the following photo showing a cute dog getting angry with four-legged Arduino spider. He’s the last winner of our MKR1000 giveaway, which kicked off back on Arduino Day! Thanks to all the participants sharing their pics and mentioning our new official Arduino Instagram account!

Dog getting angry with 4-legged arduino spider…possibly it will replace him #arduinoD16 @Arduino.cc

A photo posted by Geoff Seawright (@geoffseawright) on

 

The Cloud” is an interactive lamp and speaker designed to mimic a thunderstorm in terms of appearance and entertainment. Created by Richard Clarkson, it not only provides users with an Arduino-powered, motion-triggered lightning and thunder performance, but serves as a music-activated visualizing speaker as well.

The Cloud employs embedded motion sensors to create unique lightning and thunder shows while providing entertainment value and inspiring awe. This is a kind of magic, not based on illusions and trickery, but on sensors and code. Featuring a powerful speaker system, The Cloud allows its beholder to stream music via any Bluetooth-compatible device and can adapt to any desired lighting, color and brightness.


The hybrid installation is suspended from the ceiling, and consists of hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill with a sponge casing that holds the Arduino, lights, sensors, speakers and other components. Users can control the Cloud through a small, wireless remote.

Clarkson tells The Creators Project:

“Acting as both an immersive lighting experience and a speaker with visual feedback, this hybrid lamp/speaker introduces a new discourse for what a light fixture could be. Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of smart-objects, which are gaining more and more traction in the design world. These smart-objects have the potential to be far more interactive and immersive than ever before.”

Seem awfully familiar? If it does, that’s because development of the project dates back 2012. Whereas the original model had subtle reactive light and sound elements, the latest iteration boasts a more robust design with a larger speaker system. And what’s even cooler is that multiple units are able to communicate with each other, creating a connected network of clouds right in your living room, office or wherever else it’s hanging.

You can check out Clarkson’s page to learn more about the Cloud, or even purchase your own for a few thousand dollars. You’ll also find cheaper versions with less functionality on the site, too.

(Photos: Richard Clarkson)

Hacked-knitting-machineYou can still use punch cards to operate knitting machines, but a few groups are now bringing the technology full circle by hacking knitting machines so that they may be operated digitally via an Arduino.

Read more on MAKE

The post How Punch Cards and Arduino Close the Gap on Hacked Knitting appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Everyone’s favorite safety-tie-wearing-eccentric-inventor, [Colin Furze], is back at it again, this time making a flamethrower guitar — sponsored by Intel!?

As an ex-plumber, [Furze] is a master fabricator, and he’s brought many amazing mechanical inventions to life. In this video, perhaps for the first time, he’s integrated an Intel Curie Arduino in it, for a bit more fine control.

He’s hacked apart a couple of propane blow-torches, milled and lathed his own fittings and manifolds, and even TIG welded together a pressure vessel for the fuel — kids, do not try this at home!

The two blowtorches act as pilot lights for a third gas supply line to make the big firing explosion — the plan for the Arduino? To blast off the fire at certain parts during the song, add timing, or even just set up some cool patterns.

Did we mention he’s also got his own custom propane fueled guitar amp to go with it??

[Caleb’s] going to want to beef up his flamethrower ukulele if he wants to go toe-to-toe with [Colin]! Stay tuned for next week when he tests it out.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks


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