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Archive for the ‘Nano’ Category

DIY camera sliders are a great way to get professional-looking video shots on an amateur budget, but few can compare to the quality of this project by “isaac879.”

His device features a pan/tilt mechanism outlined in a previous video, but in the clip below he’s attaching it to a piece of aluminum extrusion to enable it to slide as well.

The build is controlled by an Arduino Nano, which actuates three stepper motors using A4988 drivers. The carriage is pulled along by a belt drive, via a stepper mounted to the carriage itself. This allows for easy disassembly when needed.

It’s a clever and extremely clean design, and the video shows some great examples of the shots it can take (even when upside down).

Er13k was inspired to create an Arduino music box to go along with his girlfriend’s giant stuffed dog Tobias. This eventually morphed into something that not only plays songs on its own speaker, but also lights up a 3D-printed keyboard with LEDs. Perhaps its coolest feature, though, is that it includes an RCA output jack to show a cartoon representation of the plush toy on a CRT television.

When the AV output is active, the device pushes tunes through the TV’s speaker and displays 95×95 pixel drawings and simple animations. 

You can see it demonstrated in the video below, as well as some of the build process. On his “channel,” Tobias gets hungry, makes a drawing, and… becomes quite unsatisfied with his job.

After mechanical engineer “Kuchbert” saw the hip-hop/electropunk band Deichkind perform — wearing LED-embedded tetrahedral hats, no less — he decided he wanted his own glowing geometric headpiece. Now, nearly 10 years and several shows later, he finally got his wish by constructing one out of acrylic triangles with 156 WS2812Bs.

An Arduino Nano controls the device, which links up to an Android app via an HC-06 Bluetooth module, while a portable USB power bank keeps things running.

More info on the fun project is available in Kuchbert’s article. You can also see this brilliant head covering demonstrated in the video below. 

If you’ve ever seen a gigantic air dancer on the side of the road and thought you might want one of your own, Davide Marin shows how to create a desktop version here. The flailing figure is constructed out of trash bags that are cut and melted into shape, and designed to stand and dance via a centrifugal blower assembly.

An Arduino Nano board is used to control the waving inflatable’s fan, along with a MOSFET to turn it on and off. A servo can optionally be implemented to direct air output back and forth to make things even crazier. 

It looks like a lot of fun, as seen in the videos below! 

Measuring voltage with a multimeter is easy enough, and current is a bit harder, but reading both values simultaneously can be a challenge. If you’re tired of having to replug or find two meters, then look no further than Karl Kristian Torp’s palm-sized Tiny V/A

His Arduino Nano-based unit takes input from a power supply via a female barrel jack connector. This supplies the load through a male connector output, and also powers the Arduino, an IN219 sensor, and a 0.96” OLED display. Everything is housed inside a 3D-printed case.

A single capacitive touch buttons allows you to easily navigate Tiny V/A’s menu and change settings like sensor range and refresh rate. Additionally, it can even powered over USB as needed for an expanded voltage range.

More details on the project are available in Torp’s Instructables post.

If you grew up watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids, you may recall the scene with Wayne Szalinski’s remote-controlled lawn mower. Inspired by the 1989 film, “elliotmade” designed a version of his own a few years ago that’s still functioning today.

With a successful proof of concept, he decided to assemble a second version featuring some improvements like an FPV camera; however, this one was for Elliot’s wheelchair-using friend to help him retain his independence. 

The mower is driven by a pair of power wheelchair/scooter wheels and motors via differential steering. It uses an RC-style setup for primary control, along with an Arduino Nano that activates a couple relays for an electric starter setup, as well as a cutoff and battery switch. 

Once the mower’s combustion engine is started, it then replenishes the battery through an alternator, allowing it to keep going until gas runs out. 

More details on the build, including a few notes of caution, can be found in Elliot’s write-up.

When wearing a face mask nowadays, you can’t show expressions in the same ways that we’re all accustomed to. As a possible solution to this problem, programmer Tyler Glaiel decided to create a custom covering, with an 8×8 LED matrix that picks up his voice and imitates his mouth moving. It even allows him to smile by sensing when he makes a “pop” sound.

The build is entirely self-contained, with an Arduino Nano, 9V power supply, and electret microphone embedded in the mask’s translucent black cloth.

Instructions on how to make your own are available in Glaiel’s blog post, though he is quick to note that it’s not guaranteed to inhibit virus transmissions, and is meant as something of a novelty.

How do we know that planets exist outside of our solar system? While too far away to observe directly, with extremely sensitive equipment like the Kepler space telescope it’s possible to detect changes in light as these exoplanets pass in front of a star. For an excellent visualization of how this all works, check out Marcin Poblock’s simplified model in the video below.

The 3D-printed apparatus employs an Arduino Nano that controls the motion of two planets around a light bulb “star,” via a stepper motor and gear system. The variable light is then sensed by an LDR on a separate Nano-driven device. This sends info to a computer over serial to be graphed in real-time, and can also store it on an SD card for later analysis. 

While this project won’t necessarily help you explore our galaxy, it will provide you with a fun way to learn about the principle of exoplanet detection using the transit method.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with people, things, and the world around us. We’re calling on the community to use an Arduino Nano or MKR board to build solutions that can help us practice better social distancing, improve queue management, or enable touch-free technologies.

Stepping out from our homes, to go to schools, factories, offices and pursue leisure pastimes all these will need to change as lockdown restrictions are eased. With terms like social distancing, remote learning and remote working becoming the norm, let’s see how your ideas can help the world move forward and rebuild everyday life based on a project in one of these two categories.


Category 1: Touch-Free

Create a solution that can be applied to devices that currently rely upon manually pushing a button e.g. elevators, pedestrian crossings, door entry systems, sanitizer dispensers, etc.


Category 2: Social Distance Enablement and Tracking

Create a solution that will allow individuals to maintain the recommended distance apart (1m to 2m) to safely work in the office, factory, commute to work on public transport, or socially interact in cafes and parks. The time people spend within close proximity to each other may also be a factor considered within the design.

N.B. The purpose of the competition is to create products and solutions that are ready to help people around the world to move forward with their lives and safely emerge from lockdown restrictions, rather than developing medical devices.

Contest Scope and Schedule

As any potential solution may be required to operate in a variety of environments, important factors to consider as part of the design process are reliability, durability, connectivity, and power management — hence the option to base your project on any Arduino Nano or MKR board.

The Arduino MKR Family represents the ideal solution for emerging battery powered IoT edge applications. All of the MKR boards share a common pinout for developers to easily shift between wireless communication protocols with minimal software changes, and in a cost efficient manner.

The Arduino Nano Family offers a tiny format, powerful processors and excellent reliability. All of the Nano boards can run embedded machine learning (AI).

The challenge is organized in two phases:

Phase 1: Apply for hardware — Deadline June 16th, 2020: Submit your idea and have the opportunity to receive a free Arduino MKR WiFi 1010.

Phase 2: Submit your project — Deadline July 14th, 2020: Submit your project for a chance to win up to $10,000 worth of prizes!


We are giving away tens of thousands of dollars in prizes to the top five projects, including product assessment and marketing support to bring your project to market! Our judges are going to pick the best qualifying projects based on the judging criteria outlined in the rules section.

Grand Prize

$5,000 voucher for hardware on the Newark online store
$750 of pre-manufacturing assessment with Dragon Innovation
$5,000 towards product marketing with


1st Place — Touch-Free

$1,500 voucher for hardware on the Newark online store
$750 of pre-manufacturing assessment with Dragon Innovation
$3,000 towards product marketing with

2nd Place — Touch-Free

$500 voucher for hardware on the Newark online store
of pre-manufacturing assessment with Dragon Innovation
towards product marketing with

Social Distance Enablement & Tracking

1st Place — Social Distance Enablement & Tracking

$1,500 voucher for hardware on the Newark online store
$750 of pre-manufacturing assessment with Dragon Innovation
$3,000 towards product marketing with

2nd Place — Social Distance Enablement & Tracking

$500 voucher for hardware on the Newark online store
of pre-manufacturing assessment with Dragon Innovation
towards product marketing with

How will you help change the world? Join the contest now!

Gregory Leveque has created an adorable 3D-printed robot that not only walks on four legs, but folds up into a ball when not in use. 

To accomplish this, the round quadruped utilizes one servo to deploy each leg via a parallelogram linkage system and another to move it forwards and backwards. A clever single-servo assembly is also implemented on the bottom to fill gaps left by the legs.

The device is controlled by an Arduino Nano, along with a 16-channel servo driver board. Obstacle avoidance is handled via an ultrasonic sensor, which sticks out of the top half of the sphere and rotates side to side using yet another servo. 

It’s an impressive mechanical build, especially considering its diminutive size of 130mm (5.12in) in diameter.

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