We are excited to announce that UnlimitedHand is now an officially licensed Arduino AtHeart product. Created by Japanese startup H2L, the wearable controller straps around your forearm like an Ace bandage and allows you to actually touch and feel things within the gaming world.
UnlimitedHandconsists of a 3D motion sensor, an array of muscle sensors, a multi-channel electronic muscle stimulator, and a vibration motor, which together, enable you to interact with objects and characters in VR. It does this by syncing the movement of a user’s hand and fingers with its virtual counterpart, and contracting the muscles on the wearer’s forearm to simulate haptic feedback.
With UnlimitedHand, not only will you be able to experience the ricochet of a gunshot or pet animals, but also hack various customized gestures thanks to its full compatibility with the Arduino IDE.
According to H2L:
Arduino, with their commitment to open-source, has reached out with their technology to muster a great force of Makers and inventors. This omni-present community has no doubt supported us in many ways during the development of UnlimitedHand. By joining the program, we can now present our results back to the community.
[Marcelo Maximiano’s] son had a school project. He and a team of students built “The Pyramid’s Secret“–an electronic board game using the Arduino Nano. [Marcelo] helped with the electronics, but the result is impressive and a great example of packaging an Arduino project. You can see a video of the game, below.
In addition to the processor, the game uses a WT5001M02 MP3 player (along with an audio amplifier) to produce music and voices. There’s also a rotary encoder, an LCD, a EEPROM (to hold the quiz questions and answers), and an LED driver. There’s also a bunch of LEDs, switches, and a wire maze that requires the player to navigate without bumping into the wire (think 2D Operation).
In addition to the code and hardware diagrams, there is a PDF file on GitHub describing more about the game. It is in Portuguese, though, so most of us will probably need a little translation help. However, a Brazillian site did have an English post about the game, which might be a good place to start.
You might not want to replicate the game, but it is a great example of how much an Arduino can do with some simple externals devices and some attention to packaging.
Sadly, most of our projects look more like this game (no offense to that hacker). Projects like this are way more likely to spark young people’s interest than a blinking LED or a capacitor meter. If you are more in the mood for arcade play, you can also check out Arduinocade.
Kids love Minecraft, and a clever educator can leverage that love to teach some very practical skills. The summer class offered by the Children’s Museum in Bozeman Montana would have blown my mind if such a thing existed when we were younger. (Rather than begging one of the dads in my Boy Scout Troop to pirate Visual Studio for me, which was delivered in the form of an alarmingly tall stack of CDs.) The kids in Bozeman get to learn hardware, software, their integration, and all while playing Minecraft.
Minecraft is an immersive universe that has proven to suck in creative minds. It’s the bait that pulls the kids into the summer class but Serialcraft delivers on making the learning just as addictive. This is accomplished by providing students with physical objects that are tied to the Minecraft world in meaningful ways we just haven’t seen before (at least not all at one time). On the surface this adds physical LEDs, toggle switches, potentiometers, and joysticks to the game. But the physical controls invite understanding of the mechanisms themselves, and they’re intertwined in exciting ways, through command blocks and other in-game components that feel intuitive to the students. From their understanding of the game’s mechanics they understand the physical objects and immediately want to experiment with them in the same way they would new blocks in the game.
The thing that makes this magic possible is a Minecraft mod written by [John Allwine], who gave us a demonstration of the integration at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016. The mod allows the user to access the inputs and output of the Arduino, in this case a Pololu A-Star 32U4, from within Minecraft. For the class this is all packaged nicely in the form of a laser cut controller. It has some LEDs, two joysticks, buttons, potentiometers, and a photosensor.
As you can see in the video below the break, it’s really cool. The kids have a great time with it too. For example, [John] showed them how they can attach their unique controller to a piston in the world. Since this piston can be controlled by them alone, they quickly figured out how to make secret safe rooms for their items.
Another troublesome discovery, was that the photo transistor on the controller set the light level in the game world by altering the time of day. Kids would occasionally get up and change the world from day to night, by turning the lights in the room on or off. A feature that has a certain appeal for any Minecraft player, is rigging one of the LEDs on the controller to change brightness depending on proximity to a creeper.
There’s a lot more to the library, which is available on GitHub. The kids (and adults) have a great time learning to link the real world with the world’s most accessible fantasy world creation kit. Great work [John]!
The Interaction Awards published the shortlisted projects for 2016 and up to five finalists in each category will be announced during the event on Friday evening, March 4, 2016. In the Expressing category, showcasing projects enabling self expression and/or creativity there is a project called Step representing an innovative and engaging way of approaching music production for children between 6 and 100 years old.
To prototype the user experience we’ve used an Arduino Leonardo connected to a processing sketch that handle the recording and playback features. Using a Mux Shield 2 we managed connecting 25 IR sensors, 16 LEDs, 1 knob and a button to a single Arduino board. We needed a quick and effective way to test the experience and by using Arduino we managed to design and build the whole product in three weeks.
Most of the music toys on the market are trying to fake the sounds and the experience of real instruments. Step has a different approach as it’s designed to give children the opportunity to create real loops and beats using whatever sounds they like from objects of everyday life.
Players can record any sounds and match them with coloured tags, and then create melodies, loops and and beats by placing tags on the track and by adjusting the tempo!
Toronto-based collaborative duo Hopkins Duffield created a gaming environment running on Arduino Mega in which the player battles a laser wielding A.I. security system gone awry. It’s like being in an action movie, walking in a pitch black room filled with the hollow sound of a machine breathing and a series of red laser fences slicing through the fog-filled air!
explores the personality of a snarky and mysterious game sentience who has infected a room with technological systems that challenge players and collect data. With a limited amount of time, the player must pass through a complicated series of changing and alternating laser patterns without tripping any of the lasers in order to deactivate the system and win the game. If the player trips a laser or if the timer runs out, it’s game over.
The gaming installation uses Max 6, Max For Live, an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 and custom electronic circuits. They also used a special modification of Lasse Vestergaard’s and Rasmus Lunding’s ArduinoInOutForDummies designed to allow communication between Arduino 2560 and Max 7. In Max, laser patterns are written using MIDI.
Take a look at the video to discover how they made it:
If you’re like me, you find yourself fighting the urge to push every button, flip every switch, and turn every knob you see. This arcade-style puzzle box was designed to satiate those deep-seated desires. Powered by an Arduino, with completely custom wooden enclosure and components, this is a wood shop geek’s first […]
Learning becomes interesting when you make it fun, interactive and entertaining. [Arkadi] built ShakeIt – an interactive game for the Mini MakerFaire in Jerusalem to demonstrate to kids and grownups how light colors are mixed. It is a follow up to his earlier project – Smart juggling balls which we featured earlier.
The juggling balls consist of a 6 dof sensor (MPU 6050), a micro controller, transmitter (NRF24L01+), some addressable RGB LED’s and a LiPo battery. An external magnet activates a reed switch inside the balls and triggers them in to action. The ShakeIt light fixture consists of an Arduino Nano clone, NRF24L01+ with SMA Antenna, buck converter, 74 addressable RGB LED’s, and a bluetooth module. The bluetooth module connects to a smartphone app.
[Arkadi] starts out by handing three juggling balls, each with a predefined color (Red, Green, Blue). When the ball is shaken, the light inside the ball becomes stronger. The ShakeIt light fixture is used as a mixer. It communicates with the balls and receives the value of how strong the light inside each of the smart balls is, mixing them up, and generating the mixed color.
The fun starts when the interactive game mode is enabled. Instead of just mixing the light, the Light fixture generates patterns based on how strong the balls are shaken. At first the light fixture shows all three colors filling up the central ball. The three contenders then fight out to get their color to fill up the sphere completely until only one color remains and the winner is declared.
The kids might be learning some color theory here, but it seems the adults are having a “ball” playing the crazy game. If you’d like to build your own shoulder dislocating ShakeIt game, head over to [Arkadi]’s github repository for the ShakeIt and the Juggling Balls. Check the video below to see the adults having fun.
A pretty color LCD screen, an Arduino, a buzzer and a joystick is all you need for a minimalist gaming console for under $20. At least, that’s all [João Vilaça] needed to get this sweet version of Tetris up and running. (He’s working on Breakout right now.)
It’s a testament to the current state of the hardware hacking scene that [João] could put this device together in an afternoon for so cheap, presumably after waiting a while for shipments from China. The 320×240 SPI color TFT LCD screen used to cost twice as much as this whole project did. And wiring it up is a simple matter of connecting this pin to that pin. Almost child’s play.
Equally impressive is the state of open source software. A TFT library from Seeed Studios makes the screen interface a piece of cake. [João] wrote his own sound and joystick code, and of course the Tetris gameplay itself, but it’d be much more than a few weeks’ work without standing on the shoulders of giants. Check out [João]’s Github for the project code and stick with us after the break for a demo video and some of our other favorite Arduino gaming hacks.
Now, we’ve seen a whole lot of Arduino-based gaming platforms around here before, and they range from the simplistic black-and-white to the bells-and-whistles of the Gameduino which tacks an FPGA onto your Arduino to enable sprites, awesome sound, and VGA output. But we’ve also got a place in our hearts for simplicity and comprehensibility, and [João]’s device and code has got those in spades.
If you’re ready to push your Arduino skills beyond blinking LEDs, [João]’s game project should be on your reading / building list. We can’t wait to see Breakout.
Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program to invent and play games. It was recently backed by more than 1000 people and reached the goal!
As many other projects on Kickstarter, Hackaball was initially prototyped with Arduino using sensors that detect motions like being dropped, bounced, kicked, shaken or being perfectly still.
We got in touch with its team and asked them to tell us a bit more about the creation process:
Our early versions of the ball worked with the Arduino Uno board, progressing to a breadboard Arduino and then making our own SMD designs with the Uno. In the latests prototypes we used the Arduino Leonardo and our current version runs on the Arduino Mega. Our production version will run on an ARM chip.
We hope to offer Arduino Compatibility as one of our stretch goals in the Kickstarter, so that people can buy a board and put their own code on it using the Arduino software, effectively moving one step up from the app in terms of hacking the ball and making it do what you want it to do. We also believe many adults would love an interactive ball that they can control and design their own interactions – its packed full of features! Hopefully it will also allow kids who’ve outgrown our app to experiment with our technology in a more challenging way, bringing longevity to the product.
We’ve approached the kids who’ll play with Hackaball as the future Makers. The idea of hacking and getting close to technology starts with how the ball first arrives in your home. Kids open the packaging to find the ball is broken: Hackaball has crash-landed on earth and needs to be put back together again. After their first achievement, making the ball, kids are challenged to play games, change existing ones, fix broken games and create new ones from scratch.
We specifically designed the ball and packaging to be gender neutral – making it feel accessible to both boys and girls from the very beginning. We also expanded on the ability of the ball to include both hard and soft skills – from the tactile and linear computational thinking, to the storytelling and imagination-driven game creation, teaching a new generation of Makers to combine technology and creativity. We think that the kids who play with Hackaball would move on to Arduino in their teens!
Planet Arduino is, or at the moment is wishing to become, an aggregation of public weblogs from around the world written by people who develop, play, think on Arduino platform and his son. The opinions expressed in those weblogs and hence this aggregation are those of the original authors. Entries on this page are owned by their authors. We do not edit, endorse or vouch for the contents of individual posts. For more information about Arduino please visit www.arduino.cc
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