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Would you like your own industrial robot arm, but don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend? You could instead build Giovanni Lerda’s KAUDA, a five-axis device that uses under 800g of PLA, an Arduino Mega, and other off-the-shelf parts.

KAUDA utilizes servos to actuate the two wrist joints, along with a NEMA 17 motor for the elbow. A single stepper rotates the base in the horizontal direction, while dual steppers provide lifting force at this joint.

The gripper is a three-fingered linkage assembly, controlled by a small DC motor. The arm’s construction is outlined on its official website, and instructions can be found in Lerda’s write-up here. As seen in the video below, KAUDA looks great and appears to work quite well!

According to Michael Gardi, although you can find numerous stunning Turing machine implementations on the Internet, their complexity tends to detract from the simplicity of what a Turing machine actually does. In order to easily show how they work, he decided to create a demonstrator with the actual calculations handled by an Arduino Mega.

The console, dubbed TMD-1, displays a “tape” state on the top of the device using eight servo-controlled flip tiles that write 1s or 0s, while a series of lighted arrows indicate the program’s position. On the bottom surface, users can program instructions with magnetic tiles, and read the current machine state via LEDs.

It’s a slick design — as seen in the short demo clip below — and more details on the build can be found in Gardi’s tutorial.

Rubik’s cubes are traditionally 3x3x3, and have been solved by robotic systems in a variety of different ways. But what about a 4x4x4 variant? Such a device presents expanded solving challenges, which creators Thibault and Florent were able to address with their BallCuber contraption.

The BallCuber utilizes an independent camera unit to obtain the cube’s initial state, after which it’s placed in a spherical solving chamber ringed by nine NEMA 17 stepper motors.

Software running on a PC processes the scanned pattern and an algorithm works out the movements needed to complete the puzzle. Two Arduino Mega boards, each with a RAMPS 1.4 shield, along with stepper drivers rotate the cube in the proper sequence.

The device can solve the colorful toy in around three minutes and 20 seconds, but Thibault and Florent hope to eventually rework it to beat the world record of 1:18! More details can be found on their page here.

If you’re tired of playing chess on a screen, then perhaps you could create a “real life” chess robot like Michalsky’s augmented board. The build runs micro-Max source code, enabling chess logic to be executed on an Arduino Mega with room for control functions for a 6DOF robotic arm.

The setup uses magnetic pieces, allowing it to pick up human moves via an array of 64 reed switches underneath, along with a couple shift registers. The Mega powers the robot arm accordingly, lifting the appropriate piece and placing it in the correct square to challenge its human opponent.

You can get a look at the project, with gameplay demonstration, in Michalsky’s video below.

Having a pool can be a great way to relax during the summer, but keeping the water crystal clear and safe to swim in can be a challenge. To help, engineer Diego has developed the Arduino Mega-powered ARDUPOOL, which is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

This modular, open source device is capable of controlling up to four peristaltic pumps for dosing chlorine and other chemicals, as well as the filtration system. Programming is done via a simple LCD screen on the front, along with three buttons.

Depending on the setup, ARDUPOOL can either run the pool on a schedule, or be automated based on pH and chlorine sensors. Further functionality for lighting and app control is also in the works. Reward pledge levels vary from €149 (~$176 USD) for a Basic Kit to €399 (~$468 USD) for an assembled ARDUPOOL Super.

For a class project, University of Stuttgart students Ekin Sila Sahin, Lior Skoury, and Simon Treml came up with a unique painting robot named the Physical Twin.

The Physical Twin travels on a three-wheeled chassis and mounts a four-axis arm with a brush. An operator controls the arm to dip the brush into an onboard paint container, and can then manipulate it for application.

The controller consists of a joystick for movement as well as a mini version of the arm. Four potentiometers measure arm input angles, which are duplicated on four corresponding servos on the robot. A pair of Arduino Mega boards are used for the setup — one on the mobile robot and another in the remote unit.

You can see the device in action in the videos below, showing off direct operation and the ability to play back prerecorded movements.

Mechanical table hockey games, where players are moved back and forth and swing their sticks with a series of knobs, can be a lot of fun; however, could one be automated? As Andrew Khorkin’s robotic build demonstrates, the answer is a definite yes — using an Arduino Mega and a dozen stepper motors to score goals on a human opponent.

The project utilizes an overhead webcam to track the position of the players and puck on the rink, with a computer used for object detection and gameplay. Each player is moved with two steppers, one of which pushes the control rod in and out, while the other twists the player to take shots.

Training the game took six months of work, which really shows in the impressive gameplay seen below.

Capture the flag can be fun, but Karel Bousson has put a new spin on the game that allows you to compete against neighbors over who can keep a single item — a modified tool case — in their possession the longest.

The box contains an Arduino Mega that interfaces with an RFID reader to enable the current owner to scan in, plus a GPS module for location data. Additionally, an LDR sensor can be incorporated to set the brightness of an LED matrix on the outside.

Data passed along to a Raspberry Pi for time of possession tracking via LoRa with The Things Network. This also runs a server that shows game info to others playing, meaning that you’ll have to be very careful to keep it around!

Code for the project is available on GitHub.

Ivan Miranda has come up with a novel method for drawing messages in the sand, using a tread assembly that prints as it travels along the beach.

The robot uses a length of square tubing to connect a pair of half tanks, with 50 SG90 micro servos spaced out on the bottom. As it pulls itself, the motors are controlled with a total of three Arduino Mega boards, intermittently extending into the sand. This creates lines that combine to form individual letters.

You can see the build process in the video below, including his initial trial at around the 11:00 mark. This is actually Miranda’s second attempt at a “beach drawer,” and his first version, which uses a much different technique is seen here.

While almost everyone has a heater of some sort in their home, it’s fairly unlikely that the heat provided by a central heating system such as a furnace is distributed in an efficient way. There’s little reason to heat bedrooms during the day, or a kitchen during the night, but heating systems tend to heat whole living space regardless of the time of day or the amount of use. You can solve this problem, like most problems, with an Arduino.

[Karl]’s build uses a series of radiator valves to control when each room gets heat from a boiler. The valves, with a temperature monitor at each valve, are tied into a central Arduino Mega using alarm wiring. By knowing the time of day and the desired temperature in each room, the Arduino can control when heat is applied to each room and when it is shut off, presumably making the entire system much more efficient. It also has control over the circulating pump and some of the other boiler equipment.

Presumably this type of system could be adapted to a system which uses a furnace and an air handler as well, although it is not quite as straightforward to close vents off using a central unit like this as it is to work with a boiler like [Karl] has. With careful design, though, it could be done. Besides replacing thermostats, we can’t say we’ve ever seen this done before.

Thanks to [SMS] for the tip!



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