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Using a couple Arduinos, a team of Makers at a recent McHacks Hackathon developed a speech-to-sign language automaton.

Alex Foley, along with Clive Chan, Colin Daly, and Wilson Wu, wanted to make a tool to help with translation between oral and sign languages. What they came up with was an amazing animatronic setup that can listen to speech via a computer interface, and then translate it into sign language.

This device takes the form of two 3D-printed hands, which are controlled by servos and a pair Arduino Unos. In addition to speech translation, the setup can sense hand motions using Leap Motion’s API, allowing it to mirror a person’s gestures.

You can read about the development process in Foley’s Medium write-up, including their first attempt at control using a single Mega board.

Love eating lunch, but hate making it? Good news, an automated machine may soon be able to take care of the task for you. Meet Sandwich-o-Matic, a voice-controlled, robotic sandwich-building station.

The project–which was created during a thirty-six hour hackathon by the team of Clive Chan, Colin Daly, Alex Foley and Wilson Wu–is based on an Arduino and a Photon. A rotating dispenser is driven by a series of servos, while a DC motor is responsible for a toaster-lifting mechanism. The backend is running Node.js, hosted on AWS, and the Google Cloud Platform handles the voice-to-text features.

The Sandwich-o-Matic accepts both voice and NFC requests. Simply place your order by saying the ingredients, or tapping their respective images on an accompanying menu. The device will then begin crafting your lunch from scratch.

The Makers hope to even develop a future version, which will include more topping and condiment options as well as a more streamlined voice-to-sandwich process. You can read more about the project on Devpost and its GitHub page.

Food. A necessary — often delicious — interruption of whatever project you’re currently hacking away at. Ordering takeout gets expensive and it’s generally unhealthy to subsist solely on pizza. With the Sandwich-O-Matic, a simple voice command fulfills this biological need with minimal disturbance of your build time.

Built for a thirty-six hour hackathon, the Sandwich-O-Matic is controlled by a Photon and an Arduino. The backend is running node, hosted on AWS, and Google Cloud was used for voice to text recognition. This thing is a fully automated and voice controlled sandwich building station. A DC motor services the toaster, while the rest of the device is actuated by servos. Simply tap the ‘begin recording’ button on the site, tell it your ingredient choices, and off it goes.

Despite some challenges with I2C and rebuilding their dispenser design, they managed to finish the build ahead of schedule. A future version will include more topping options, condiment choices, and a more streamlined voice-to-sandwich process.

If, however, you prefer to play with your food, then by all means turn it into an RC car.

[Thanks for the tip, Nils Hitze!]

Filed under: Arduino Hacks


Once in a while, South East Asia countries such as Singapore and Malaysia suffers from the haze, a fire-related large-scale air pollution problem that occurs regularly. Especially during dry season there are some persisting forest fires in Indonesia that spread to other countries nearby.

In 2015 the haze hit Singapore quite badly, causing schools to close down for one day. That’s why during Hyper Haze Hackathon taking place in Singapore, Tian Lye Teo and Ethan Lee Yong Sheng worked on and presented a low-cost solution based on Arduino Uno to tackle difficulty to communicate haze rising to illiterate elderly in the nation and won second prize !


Here’s how the two creators described the project:

The main problem we are trying to address is to help the elderly who are living alone in Singapore during the haze period. There are several factors that make this a suitable source of information for them. While the PSI* reading are widespread, they might not be accessible to these elders (no cellphone, TV, radio) or they do not understand the mainstream languages used by our medium (Chinese, English etc).

Furthermore, the PSI reading comes with 2 sets of readings (3hr and 24 hrs) and it is confusing to them what need to be done when PSI reached a certain number (“200 already? so what? aiyo… looks clear lei”).

The solution we came up with is this inexpensive Arduino device that fetch current PSI reading from a server. With the reading, the device will point at one of the five indicators that ranges from don’t need to “wear mask” to “die die cannot go out’.

The device actually cost about 20 dollars to build and implementation is ideally done at home. However, we understand that elders would not pay for this (“20 dollars?! I can eat 5 days meals with this”). We are hoping we can get in touch with some organisation(perhaps the govt) to install this at either the lift lobby at every floor or at the ground floor. We believe that even at its current stage, it is still very useful for the elders.

The ideal grand plan we had for this is to be able to link this to the pioneer generation card and from there, dispense a mask for the elder so that they can travel safe (something we felt the govt might help)

Please help spread this by sharing it and hopefully someone can help us achieve this little wish of two guys trying to give back to the pioneer generation who helped built the nation


*PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) is an index to provide  understandable information about daily levels of air quality and it’s the indicator used in Singapore to show how bad the haze is. The monitoring stations measure concentration levels of particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO). All of them determine the level of PSI.

DSC_0515Makers hacked real problems faced by people with special needs to create tools that will help improve mobility, independence, and comfort.

Read more on MAKE

The post 5 Life-Changing Accessibility Inventions Made in 72 Hours appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.


Hack to the future: Win $1000 Prize and Arduino Zeros in NYC

arduino, Arduino Zero, events, Featured, hackathon, Hackster, New York, prize, Zero Commenti disabilitati su Hack to the future: Win $1000 Prize and Arduino Zeros in NYC 


Hackster is a hardware creation community and since last february has been organizing Hardware Weekends with hackathons all over US. On Saturday and Sunday June 26th and 27th  it’s  coming back to New York City for the last time in 2015.  This hackathon is focused on open source hardware and the maker communities across America: all ages and skill levels are welcome (Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.)

Here’s a short video from their event taking place at Kickstarter offices last month and some pictures past events.

Hackster is providing all the food, tools, soldering stations, 3D printers, workshops and gear (Arduinos, Particle, LinkItOne, Intel Edison, Pebble, Smart Things, and software from Autodesk, Azure and more!)

$1000 Grand Prize from Microsoft and Arduino Zeros from Hackster!

Register your participation here.  It’s going to be a lot of fun!





Ready to fly to Sweden? Apply to the Nordic IoT Hackathon 2015

Arduino Verkstad, Competition(s), Featured, hackathon, iot, Sweden Commenti disabilitati su Ready to fly to Sweden? Apply to the Nordic IoT Hackathon 2015 


Arduino Verkstad is partner of the Nordic Internet of Things Hackathon 2015 organized in collaboration with Mobile Heights & the MVD Project and taking place April 10th-12th, 2015 in the city of Lund Sweden. Programmers, interaction designers, professionals and enthusiasts  are invited to a 50-hour competition for attendees from any part of the globe no matter their technical skills on two topics: Smart Transportation or Smart Home.

The great news is that the organisation is ready to pay travel expenses to up 10 teams from outside Sweden. You can submit your idea or project proposal within the Hackathon’s framework and if it gets accepted they will fly you here to compete against the other teams.

Read more about it at this link


HackPhx 2014

The HackPhx Winter 2014 hackathon was held at Heatsync Labs hackerspace in Mesa, Arizona, USA. The advertised theme was “Arduino Wearables”. Participating attendees were randomly placed on teams evenly distributed by their disclosed skills across all teams. There were 10 teams with 4 to 5 members per team competing for two winning spots.

Each team had to build an amazing wearable project utilizing the secret ingredient which was Seedstudio’s Arduino-compatible Xadow wearable platform and add-ons. The Xadow is similar to the Arduino Leonardo and participants used an Arduino cross compatibility and pin mapping chart to assist in development.

Top prize was the Judges’ prizes for the best completed and documented Xadow wearable team project. The second prize was the Jury’s prize given to the team project that the other teams liked the most regardless of event criteria.

Read more about the winning teams and watch their presentations after the break.

I was already planning on attending the hackathon. When I mentioned this to the Hackaday team they also put me on assignment to film and write about the winning teams. Full disclosure: I couldn’t resist signing up as a team member for some hacking fun.

No team members had experience using the Xadow platform so the playing field was quite level. The range of Xadow add-ons was extensive, but teams could only blindly select from a bucket of donated Xadow add-on modules such as OLED display, LED arrays, motors, accelerometers, GPS, NFC and BLE. Bartering between teams was encouraged as teams developed their final project plans.

The event really began the night before the hackathon with a 4 hour meet and greet to divide into teams and finalize hardware trades. The real event started at 8 am the next morning and lasted for 12 straight hours of mad hacking using any tools and supplies available at Heatsync Labs. Heatsync Labs provided experienced volunteers to assist teams that needed to use lab equipment such as the Laser cutter, 3D printers, welders, metal lathes or any power tools.

All team code, photos and final documentation had to be uploaded to each team’s GitHub repository before judging started at 8 pm.

Morse code Jelly Friend Earrings Flashing HackPhx in Morse code Controller and Bluetooth reciever module hidden in necklace

After the smoke cleared the Judges’ winner was Team 8 with “Morse Code Earrings”. This really was an amazing wearable hack especially if you take into account they scrapped their first project and started over on the winning project halfway through the hackathon. Team 8 utilized the Xadow Bluetooth LE module to send text messages from a phone to a stealth receiving necklace containing an Xadow which modulated the message in Morse code over flashing “Jelly Friend” LED earrings. The earrings were also made by Team 8 using clear acrylic laser cut in the shape of jellyfish and having a base of LEDs and some old Christmas tree fiber-optic lighting parts. The big advantage to having such decorative communication is to send SOS requests to nearby girlfriends when you find yourself entangled in scary company. Or to scream covertly flash profanity at your boss.

Team 8 members:

  • Mattie Finney – GossamerLights
  • James Brooks – pyrobrooks
  • Nate Plamondon – meznak
  • Brett Warner – brettwarner
Experiencing a new reality The OLED display attached to the back of the head unit How the user sees the OLED display in the 2 reflecting mirrors

Team 4 with “Over 9000” won the Jury’s prize. This prize winner was picked by all the other teams and I must say my team members were amazing; yes I was on Team 4. My team members were extremely talented at learning this new hardware platform. Almost effortlessly, and with time to spare, they quickly integrated the hardware, code and bits of scrap into a wearable head mounted heads-up Google Glass style interactive and fully functioning augmented reality head unit. I say “they” because I only worked on the glove unit and cabling. The glove unit retrieves distance measurements in feet and inches from a Parallax ultrasonic ping sensor mounted on the back of the glove and is cabled into the back of the head unit.

The project name comes from the accelerometer output mounted in the head unit. Once the accelerometer’s power unit output tops 9000 all the LEDs on the side will turn red indicating max power level activity. This power unit value along with distance measurements to objects in front of the glove unit are internally reflected into the wearer’s right eye from an OLED display mounted at the back of the head unit. If the glove detects objects closer than 3 feet, a front mounted red LED also lights to warn innocent bystanders. The back of the head unit is prewired for jacking in auxiliary off board sensors and equipment to simplify integration and assimilation.

Team 4 members:

  • Chad Tech – ChadCS
  • Joe Fleming – w33ble
  • Doug Sheridan – dsherida
  • Todd Harrison – toddfun

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Hackerspaces, iphone hacks, Virtual Reality, wearable hacks, wireless hacks

Batman Inspired Indoor Localization

Arduino Wifi Shield, hackathon, mp3, shield, singapore, wifi Commenti disabilitati su Batman Inspired Indoor Localization 

Batman Inspired Indoor Localization

Last August Arduino Tour landed in Singapore, hosted by The Hub Singapore. Davide Gomba held a workshop there and met a lot of cool people during the hackathon happening in the same days. Ted, one of the participants, submitted to our blog the Indoor Localization (see video below) project  he prototyped with his team during the 24 hours CodeXtreme hours:

Our idea is to convert existing speakers inside shopping malls into an indoor localization beacon. This allows malls to track the location density without adding extensive infrastructure since it uses embedded inaudible sound signatures in music that shops play in the malls. In short, instead of tracking Joker, we use Arduino (with WiFI Shield & MP3 Shield) and Android to track people (customer) inside a mall.


They used Arduino Uno with Sparkfun Mp3 Shield to make the audio playback and Arduino Uno with Arduino WiFi Shield for the server. They are now working on fine-tuning the code as they’ve just bought Arduino Yún and trying to port the code over. Once they finish with that the code will be available on their  blog. In the meanwhile you can enjoy two other projects they are sharing on their website, and email prank and a wi-fi controller.


Some notes from Hack the Hackathon London

arduino, hackathon, Hacks, london Commenti disabilitati su Some notes from Hack the Hackathon London 



At the beginning of July Arduino was in London to participate to Hack The Hackathon event. We had a great time and a lot of enthusiasm about Arduino: at least 60 hands went in the air when Russ Klein, from HTH,  asked on Friday night who had never seen Arduino. And by the end of the weekend, 5 projects were developed using the technology and 26 people emerged with hands-on experience. Here’s a summary of the projects and some pictures:


Katie Bibbard, Edwin Senjobe, Duncan McKenzie, and Julian Carstairs created a method for rural healthcare workers in Africa to monitor and report a patient’s vital signs, diagnose the patient’s condition, and take appropriate action. A portal allows the readings to be communicated to experts in other locations who provide advice and guidance. Arduino and GSM Shield were used to collect physical data and upload via USSD or SMS but also program reminders to deliver medicines. This is their presentation on Prezi.


Hoi Lam created a local communications system to be used when there is a report of disaster. The system sends the coordinates to users of local team within a specified radius then asks, “are u ok?” Arduino makes the system easy to use for small teams of people (for example a United Nations Convoy) which may not be able to communicate with the outside world but which can communicate locally among team members. Arduino provides visible cues to help rescue and reconnaissance workers coordinate efforts.


Alex Gonzalez, Carlos Miguel, and Gianfranco Cecconoi created an inexpensive device that functions as a remote control unit to help elderly and learning disabled people access basic communications functions without having to learn a complex system of menus and other user interface options. Arduino is the controller giving support technicians a reduced set of possible issues, fewer distracting features, and fewer ways that the end user can get lost or confused.


Matthias Buchting created a way to detect critical injury at home. Elderly or infirmed people living on their own sometimes suffer catastrophic injury and cannot call for help. Using Arduino and sensors such as temperature for fire, sensors at the door to see if a person is walking in apartment, motion and sound to detect the absence of movement, abnormal readings can be sent as notifications to healthcare or emergency response personnel.


The team composed by Omkar Vadpathak, Munya Mutikani, Thura Z Maung, and Javier Madrigal worked on a project that tests well water in rural areas of India and Africa. Water wells are far apart and regular testing is difficult or impossible in many areas.
Before going to the well, user can send an SMS to request info and the well answers back delivering some environmental parameters and, most importantly, if there is water and if it’s drinking water. Arduino is able to measures the temperature, water level, toxicity, oxygen content, and other vital readings to determine whether the water is safe to drink. All the wells are sending info to authorities allowing them to monitor the level of pollution and understand if reclamation is needed.


Javier Madrigal created a sensor-based safety system for use by bicyclists. Using proximity and other sensors, a cyclist is alerted of approaching vehicles and other obstacles. Arduino acts as the data collection device and communicates with the cyclist’s phone or other audio or visual warning system. The system focuses on blind spots, darkness, and other cycling hazards.


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