Posts | Comments

Planet Arduino

Archive for the ‘mega’ Category

Apparently not content with a traditional laser harp, Jonathan Bumstead set out to take things in a different direction. What he came up with is a device whose laser strings are arranged horizontally, and loop though its boxy structure for an amazing audiovisual effect. 

The aptly named Upright Laser Harp is divided up into six rows, which each contain two laser/photoresistor pairs for an instrument total of 12 notes. Each laser is reflected once before hitting its photoresistor to wrap the entire structure in light, and values are sensed by an Arduino Mega as note inputs. Sounds are then generated by an Adafruit Music Maker Shield, and different MIDI instruments are selected with a rotary switch and a stepper-based electromechanical display system. 

Laser harps are musical devices with laser beam “strings.” When the beam is blocked, a note is played by the instrument. Usually laser harps have the beams travel vertically in the shape of a fan or vertical lines. 

In this project, I built a laser harp with stacked laser beams that propagate horizontally. The beams reflect off mirrors to form square shaped beam paths. Instead of a MIDI output like my previous laser harp, this device has built-in MIDI player so the output is an audio signal. This means the device does not have to be connected to a computer or MIDI player (e.g. keyboard) to play sound. Both built-in speakers and audio output jack are available for playing music.

Be sure to check out the mini-concert and build details in the video below!

If you’d like to integrate touch functionality to your LED matrix project, then tuenhidiy may have just the thing for you

The setup uses 16 pairs of IR emitter and receivers arranged down the length of the bi-color 16×32 matrix to tell when one has inserted a finger or other object into an area. When sensed, it changes the corresponding column on the display from red to green or back again.

An Arduino Mega is used for overall control of the device, along with shift registers and multiplexers/demultiplexers to account for the massive amount of IO needed. 

Code for the build is available on GitHub, and you can see it demonstrated in the video below.

Upon obtaining a small toy piano, Måns Jonasson went to work “Arduinoizing” it with 30 solenoids to hammer out tunes. 

A MIDI shield is used to pipe commands from a computer to the Arduino Mega that’s used for control, and after experimenting with discreet wiring and electronics for each of the solenoids, he switched to motor shields as outlined here to simplify the setup. This, along with a new version of the solenoid holders he designed, cleaned up the build nicely, allowing it to play a plinky version of the Super Mario Bros. theme song.

Be sure to check out the Mario themed auto-concert in the video below, plus a video outline of its construction, below. 

Makerspace i3Detroit was the recent recipient of a free yet non-functioning CNC router. While out of commission when received, the device’s mechanical components and motors appeared to be in operational condition, plus it had a large work surface. The decision was made to get the CNC up and running for now, with the eventual goal of turning it into a plasma cutter.

First, they booted up its (Windows 95) computer and replaced a power supply on the controller. An adapter board for the controller was then built using info from this Arduino Forum post, allowing the router to be controlled with an Arduino Mega running grbl firmware

Although there is still some work to do, it can be seen happily jogging along in the video below, and appears well on its way to becoming a usable machine!

Marcelo Ávila de Oliveira likes to practice basketball, and while most of us would be content to shoot and hopefully improve, he actually tracks his workouts. While figuring out the number of made baskets, misses, times, etc. is useful, it’s also quite boring and difficult, so he came up with a real-time scoreboard system to take care of this for him. 

The device is mounted to an enclosure under the hoop, and uses an IR proximity sensor poking through Jerry West’s head to know when a ball has gone through. It also employs a vibration sensor to detect if the ball has hit the rim, and if the IR sensor isn’t triggered within three seconds, a miss is counted. 

The setup’s Arduino Mega communicates with a custom smartphone app over Bluetooth, and displays statistics on the practice session. It even plays notification sounds for scores and misses, as shown in the video below.

It’s easy to see that painting takes a lot of skill, but few really understand how much skill is involved like John Opsahl, who created the “If Then Paint” CNC canvas painting machine.

In order to produce the proper paint strokes, his device implements full six-axis brush control, moving not only in the X/Y/Z coordinate system, but rotating on three axes. Movement is handled by a modified version of Grbl running on an Arduino Mega.

If Then Paint also features the ability to change painting/art tools automatically, as well as a clever paint management system that turns a carousel of paint syringes. 

More info on the build can be found here, and check out a few examples of how it works in the videos below.

As seen in the videos below, Zeus is a metallic humanoid robot capable of moving its head and arms around, featuring a pair of hand grippers that should be quite useful when the time comes. For now, creator Luis appears to be focusing on its vocal skills, with plans to eventually teach it how to walk.

The robot can engage in conversation with its companion, whether it’s answering questions like “What’s your name?” with“My name is Zeus,” or “What’s your favorite movie?” with “I wasn’t that impressed with the special effects, also the plot was not deep.” Zeus even lets Luis know when he “has no idea what to say.”

Zeus’ communication and movement are accomplished through a variety of hardware, including an Arduino Mega and an AAEON UP board, as well as an Intel RealSense Camera SR300 for vision. Luis is also using CMUSphinx for voice recognition, eSpeak for text-to-speech and AIML chatbot for interactive responses.

Perhaps we’ll see this ~1/2-sized humanoid traipsing around on its own in the future, though hopefully its comment about “taking over the world” was just a joke!

In the early 1200s, Fibonacci introduced a series of numbers that now bear his name, starting with 0, then 1, and continuing on as the sum of the two preceding numbers. This gives values of 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and so on, and after being prompted by a friend, “TecnoProfesor” decided to turn this numerical pattern into a clock.

The concept here is that instead of using the conventional 1-12 to display the time, this device uses blocks corresponding to Fibonacci numbers 1-5, with circular icons adding increments of 12 for minute and second values. 

It’s an interesting concept, somewhat akin to the world of binary or even word clocks. The build consists of an Arduino Mega and a DS3231 RTC module for control, a wood and methacrylate housing, and a number of programmable RGB LEDs to indicate numbers.

Skittles candies come in various vibrant colors. While they may be a tasty treat, JohnO3 had another idea: to create an amazing automated display for the little circles. 

His device, dubbed the “Skittle Pixel8r,” uses an Arduino Mega to pull a dispensing funnel between one of 46 channels, covered on one side with a piece of glass.

On top of the shuttle mechanism, eight boxes release the correct flavor/color into an intermediate tube via individual metal gear servos. The Arduino then commands the linear axis to move the funnel to the appropriate bin. This process is repeated 2,760 times until an image, measuring up to 785 x 610mm (31 x 24 inches), is completed. 

The Skittle Pixel8r an incredible build, and perhaps we could see it expanded even further to not just dispense, but also sort Skittles as an all-in-one auto art installation! Code and files for the project can be found here.

Robotic arms can be interesting, as are robots that roll around—especially on a semi-exotic Mecanum wheel setup. Dejan Nedelkovski’s latest How To Mechatronics build, however, combines both into one package.

This project actually starts out in a previous post, where he constructs the moving base with Mecanum wheels, enabling it to slide and rotate in any direction.

In this final(?) stage, he adds a five-axis robot arm mounted on top of its boxy frame, or six-axis if you count the gripper. Either way, the arm uses a total of six servos for actuation, and the base of the bot travels around under the power of four stepper motors. Each motor is controlled by an Arduino Mega, using a custom shield, allowing repeatable movements in any direction. These can be stored and replayed via the robot’s custom Android app as desired.



  • Newsletter

    Sign up for the PlanetArduino Newsletter, which delivers the most popular articles via e-mail to your inbox every week. Just fill in the information below and submit.

  • Like Us on Facebook