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Archive for the ‘Nano’ Category

Optical media normally contains information in the form of 1s and 0s that are much too small to be seen by the human eye. This can make understanding their operation less than straightforward. To solve this problem, Jon Bumstead constructed an Arduino Nano-controlled player that uses wooden discs, with holes and solid sections large enough to clearly show what’s going on.

The discs spin under power from a DC motor, while a stationary laser/sensor pair keeps track of its rotation via repeating holes. A second laser assembly moves in and out on the disc using a stepper motor to read data, returning short messages like “don’t panic” on the LED matrix screen below.

Instead of being based on light interference like CD players, the device I built plays wooden discs with holes and “non-holes” (as I refer to them in this instructable) that either pass or block a laser beam. These holes and non-holes correspond to 1’s and 0’s in binary data that code a text message, like song lyrics or a quote. The binary information is read off the disc, stored on an Arduino, and decoded to display the text message on an LED matrix on the front of the device. As the data is being read, the LED matrix is populated to visualize the binary information. When a high bit is read, a MIDI note is also played. The music produced may sound random, but it symbolizes a series of 1’s and 0’s that actually holds meaningful information.

The wooden disc player I created can only hold about 700bits (<0.1kB) because of how large the holes are in the disc. Therefore, the messages that can be stored are short. For reference, a CD can hold around 700MB of information, which is about 10 million times more information than the wooden discs I made. The whole project helps imagine the scale of information storage on CDs (an already dated storage device) and how the digital information is read and decoded into something meaningful to humans.

If you want to build your own first-person view RC rover for some backyard exploration, this design by “MoreMorris” is a great place to start.

The tank-esque vehicle features a 3D-printed frame, including print-in-place tracks, and is able to traverse rough terrain as seen in the video below. Meanwhile, a servo-mounted FPV camera on top allows it to look left and right without swinging the body around.

Inside the vehicle, an Arduino Uno board controls its two motors with the help of an L298N driver module. User interface consists of a Nano-based remote, while communication is handled via a pair of nRF21L01 radio transceivers.

Plenty of additional project info is available in MoreMorris’s write-up.

Moritz v. Sivers recently got into river surfing, which unfortunately leaves him with less time for other hobbies, like making electronics projects. The solution, of course, was to create a teched out surfboard.

His build features an array of WS2812B LEDs embedded into the sides of the board, controlled by an Arduino Nano housed in a Tupperware box strapped to the back.

The device also includes an MPU-6050 inertial measurement unit, allowing the unit to react to Sivers’ movements through the water. Left and right turns, standing, pumping the board, and surfing straight all have their own animations.

A demonstration can be seen below, along with shots of it in action at night, on the Eibach river in Munich, Germany. It looks brilliant, and like a lot of fun!

These days many of us are turning to bicycling for fun and exercise. While some may enjoy being able to change up the resistance and pedal speed by shifting, if you would instead prefer to be in the ideal gear automatically, then Jan Oelbrandt’s Shift4Me could be just the thing you need.

The add-on device works by determining the rider’s cadence via a magnetic sensor attached next to one of the pedals. If it’s significantly slower than a set range — 60 RPM in the video below — it shifts down to decrease resistance. If higher, it upshifts.

An Arduino Nano is used for control, with a high torque servo to pull and release the cable. More specific information is available by registering on Shift4Me’s forum, and a quick demo is shown here.

When a task is difficult, or you’re going through something challenging, a little encouragement can be just what you need. If, however, there’s no one else around, YouTuber JBV Creative has come up with what could be the next best thing.

His aptly named “Encouragement Machine” uses a DC motor-driven stamp to press messages of “YOU CAN’T DO IT” on a piece of paper, pulled into place via a stepper.

It’s a strange message for such a device, but as a sort of happy ending to this process/metaphor, a servo-actuated pair of scissors then cuts off the ‘T to form the words: “YOU CAN DO IT.” The Encouragement Machine is controlled by an Arduino Nano, and you can see it built and demonstrated in the video below.

Sourino — which comes from the French word for mouse, “souris,” plus Arduino — is a small robot by 11-year-old maker Electrocat, meant to entertain kitties and kids alike.

The device features a 3D-printed body roughly shaped like a mouse, controlled by a Nano along with three HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensors poking out for autonomous navigation. An IR sensor is implemented for remote operation, and two small gearmotors with a driver board enable it to move around on the floor.

As seen in the video below, Sourino is able to travel a path made out of books and interact with (more like drive crazy!) the house cat. Full build instructions are found here, including a parts list, Arduino code, and CAD files.

La Toulouse Robot Race is an annual racing event held in Toulouse, France, which includes a 10-meter autonomous sprint for multi-legged robots. The current record for quadrupeds is 42 seconds, so Sebastian Coddington decided to construct a robot in hopes of taking the category at the next race in January 2021.

His “GorillaBot” quadruped features limbs made from two-servo five-bar linkage systems, controlled using an Arduino Nano. In autonomous mode, the robot stays on course thanks to a magnetometer; however, if it does lose its way, an on-board ultrasonic sensor helps to keep it from crashing.

Apart from electronics and fasteners, the inexpensive build is completely 3D-printable, and assembly directions with some videos are available in the project write-up. From the demo clip below, the GorillaBot looks like it will be quite a competitor, and perhaps Coddington will even be able to enhance the design before the event!

High-end robotic systems are still out of price range of most individuals, and even many research labs. Smartphones, however, with an astonishing array of computing power, sensors, and networking capabilities, are commonplace and becoming more powerful every day. To leverage these abilities, Intel researchers Matthias Müller and Vladlen Koltun have come up with OpenBot, which uses an Android smartphone as the brains, and otherwise costs about $50 to construct.

The OpenBot software stack consists of a custom Android app, along with code for an Arduino Nano that connects to the phone over USB serial. The mobile device takes care of higher level processing, while the Nano handles lower level tasks, such as motor control.

So far the OpenBot design has been able to follow a human and navigate autonomously. As experimentation, plus phone technology progresses, it could potentially do even more in the future!

Centas wanted a project for his new laser cutter, and decided to make this beautiful crafted tree shadow box. While the cutting is impressive enough by itself, to take this from “cool” to “ultimate,” he added 86 individually controllable LEDs and a bundle of fiber optic cable for lighting effects.

These LEDs are powered by an Arduino Nano, along with PCA9685 driver boards, in order to tell the story of the changing seasons. Leaves appear and fall, complete with birds, blossoms, and apples. There’s even Christmas lights wrapped around the trunk and branches when appropriate for a festive accent!

Code and cutting files are available on GitHub, but be sure to consider just how much wiring and fiber optics were involved before committing to such an intense and (literally) brilliant build!

Tom of Build Comics created a unique analog weather station that shows temperature and humidity on a pair of recycled gauges. An Arduino Nano reads the levels using a DHT22 sensor and outputs them in the proper format for each display.

Both units have a new printed paper backing to indicate conditions, along with a trimmer pot for calibration. To set the build off nicely, the Nano and other electronics are housed inside a beautiful custom wooden box, to which the antique meters are also affixed.

Code and additional information for the project is available on GitHub, while a short demo of the gauges can be seen below.



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