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Man versus machine may sound like a bit of cliché at this point, but PUMA recently took this concept to a whole new level with a shoebox-sized, programmable robot that helps runners push themselves to the limits. The BeatBot — which the apparel company created together with ad agency J. Walter Thompson New York and a team of MIT engineers — is a self-driving, line-following device that provides athletes with a visual target to beat.

The robot works by scanning lines on the track using its nine IR sensors, while wheel rotations are monitored by an Arduino to measure speed and distance. BeatBot is equipped with front and rear-facing GoPro cameras, as well as LED lights on the back so you can see it in your peripheral vision. Data is processed in real-time, making more than 100 adjustment per second to remain on course, navigate turns and finish the race at a pre-determined pace.

To get started, runners enter the time and distance of the race they want, place the robot on the starting line next to them and go. BeatBot is managed through a companion iPhone app that enables the runner to set their own time and goals, which can be anything from surpassing a personal best, competing against a rival, or even breaking world record-holder Usain Bolt’s fastest time with speeds of up to 44.66 km/h (27.7 mph).

Unfortunately, BeatBot is only available for PUMA-sponsored athletes. So for now, you’ll just have do it the old-fashioned way: stopwatch or find a friend.

Man versus machine may sound like a bit of cliché at this point, but PUMA recently took this concept to a whole new level with a shoebox-sized, programmable robot that helps runners push themselves to the limits. The BeatBot — which the apparel company created together with ad agency J. Walter Thompson New York and a team of MIT engineers — is a self-driving, line-following device that provides athletes with a visual target to beat.

The robot works by scanning lines on the track using its nine IR sensors, while wheel rotations are monitored by an Arduino to measure speed and distance. BeatBot is equipped with front and rear-facing GoPro cameras, as well as LED lights on the back so you can see it in your peripheral vision. Data is processed in real-time, making more than 100 adjustment per second to remain on course, navigate turns and finish the race at a pre-determined pace.

To get started, runners enter the time and distance of the race they want, place the robot on the starting line next to them and go. BeatBot is managed through a companion iPhone app that enables the runner to set their own time and goals, which can be anything from surpassing a personal best, competing against a rival, or even breaking world record-holder Usain Bolt’s fastest time with speeds of up to 44.66 km/h (27.7 mph).

Unfortunately, BeatBot is only available for PUMA-sponsored athletes. So for now, you’ll just have do it the old-fashioned way: stopwatch or find a friend.

Wafer level chips are cheap and very tiny, but as [Kevin Darrah] shows, vulnerable to bright light without the protective plastic casings standard on other chip packages.

We covered a similar phenomenon when the Raspberry Pi 2 came out. A user was taking photos of his Pi to document a project. Whenever his camera flash went off, it would reset the board.

[Kevin] got a new Arduino 101 board into his lab. The board has a processor from Intel, an accelerometer, and Bluetooth Low Energy out of the box while staying within the same relative price bracket as the Atmel versions. He was admiring the board, when he noticed that one of the components glittered under the light. Curious, he pulled open the schematic for the board, and found that it was the chip that switched power between the barrel jack and the USB. Not only that, it was a wafer level package.

So, he got out his camera and a laser. Sure enough, both would cause the power to drop off for as long as the package was exposed to the strong light. The Raspberry Pi foundation later wrote about this phenomenon in more detail. They say it won’t affect normal use, but if you’re going to expose your device to high energy light, simply put it inside a case or cover the chip with tape, Sugru, or a non-conductive paint to shield it.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Unfortunately, home appliances aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. What works for some may not always work so well for others. With this in mind, Raf Ramakers and the Autodesk Research team have developed a system that will enable you to retrofit your everyday devices with new controls that better suit your needs. RetroFab provides even the most non-tech-savvy users with a design and fabrication environment through which they can easily repurpose their existing physical interfaces with the help of 3D scanning, printing and basic electronics.

We present RetroFab, an end-to-end design and fabrication environment that allows non-experts to retrofit physical interfaces. Our approach allows for changing the layout and behavior of physical interfaces. Unlike customizing software interfaces, physical interfaces are often challenging to adapt because of their rigidity. With RetroFab, a new physical interface is designed that serves as a proxy interface for the legacy controls that are now operated using actuators. RetroFab makes this concept of retrofitting devices available to non-experts by automatically generating an enclosure structure from an annotated 3D scan. This enclosure structure holds together actuators, sensors as well as components for the redesigned interface. To allow retrofitting a wide variety of legacy devices, the RetroFab design tool comes with a toolkit of 12 components.

After loading the 3D scan, you can highlight and select the device’s controls on the model. The system then creates a 3D-printable rendering and offers redesign suggestions. From there, RetroFab automatically generates a housing that fits over the original interface and holds a series of actuators, motors, LEDs and other components, which are all connected to an Arduino.

The individual Arduino microcontrollers that control the enclosure structures run a generic firmware that handles the GPIO pins as well as the wireless communication. Even for retrofitted devices that do not intercommunicate, user input and sensor data from the retrofitted interface is first transmitted from the Arduino microcontroller to the central PC. This module then decides to turn on specific RetroFab actuators and sensors, controlled by the same or a different Arduino microcontroller. This approach makes it possible to change the behavior and interconnect retrofitted devices even after the design and fabrication is completed.

Using its accompanying mobile app, RetroFab also lets you easily interconnect and remotely control your gadgets — whether it’s setting the time on a retrofitted alarm clock or turning off a light switch right from your phone. You can read all about the project in its paper here, or watch the video below.

FullSizeRenderYou can buy large cold-brew towers, but they’re expensive, aimed at coffee shops. Make your own instead, and automate it using Arduino.

Read more on MAKE

The post Build a Behemoth Cold Brew Coffee Drip Tower appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Genuino Day 2016 in Indonesia was organized by the local community, who submitted this winning photo of the group on Instagram. For sharing the pic below, they’ll be receiving a Genuino MKR1000 and a Genuino Mug!

There’s still time to participate in this giveaway, which runs until May 26th. Here’s how:

– Follow our official Arduino.cc account on Instagram

– Share your images on your account on Instagram using hashtag #ArduinoD16 and #GenuinoD16 and mention us with the tag @Arduino.cc

– Every Thursday, from April 7th to May 26th, we are going to choose one of your pics (posted starting April 2nd) and announce the winner of an Arduino or a Genuino MKR1000 and one of our t-shirt or mug :) on the blog. That’s a total of of eight lucky people! Easy enough, right?

Remember to also share cool photos relating to your favorite Arduino and Genuino moments in your community beyond Arduino and Genuino Day.
Show us your local activities!

Someday not too far in the future, the idea of having to catch the attention of a bartender or preparing your own drinks at home may be a thing of the past. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we’ve compiled a list of of five Arduino robotic mixologists that’ll help whip you up a margarita or daiquiri with just the press of a button.

RumBot

The RumBot is equipped with a set of five reflective optical sensors, each represented by a different drink. Whenever a cup is placed on one of these sensors, the machine is triggered and a pre-programmed recipe begins dispensing the beverage of choice into your mug in as little as three seconds. Drink selection is handled by an Arduino Uno, which communicates with an all-in-one servo motor. This moves the nozzle into place, and then controls the on-time of five pumps to begin pouring the cocktail. RumBot’s frame is comprised of wood and several 3D-printed plastic parts, while a strength knob also lets you configure the amount of alcohol content.

The Inebriator

The Inebriator‘s design is fairly simply, with upside-down bottles lined up in a row and optics providing set measures. The user places their glass on a pedestal and selects their drink of choice on its accompanying display. The pedestal then moves along collecting the right spirits as it goes thanks to motors pushing the glass upwards at the appropriate moments. Finally it adds the mixers, connected as and when needed by nitrogen-pressurized tubes to deliver the final touches to the cocktails from a cooler located out of sight. The bot is driven by an Arduino Mega and includes a total of 132 LEDs that change colors each time a new ingredient is added. For some extra effects, the drink tray is surrounded by an Arduino Nano-powered LED ring.

Social Drink Machine

Unlike some other robotic bartenders, the Social Drink Machine uses a Facebook app and Twitter bot to prepare your drink. To get going, you first scan the QR code displayed alongside the device with their mobile phone or sends a tweet to @socialdrinkbot. This will pull up an app, which allows you to select which type of concoction you’d like. You’ll then receive another QR code on your phone that must be shown to the machine’s camera. Set your glass on its holding tray, and the Arduino-powered bot will take care of the rest.

Data Cocktail

Data Cocktail is an innovative gadget that whips up cocktails based on Twitter activity. The bot, which runs on Arduino Due and Arduino Pro Mini, works by scouring the web for the five latest posts mentioning keywords that are linked to available ingredients, each represented by differently colored bulbs. (The system will accept either words, hashtags and mentions.) These messages are then used to define the composition of the drink and fill the glass accordingly. The result is an original, crowdsourced mixture whose recipe can be printed out.

Drinkmo

Drinkmo is an automated device that works by rotating a long leadscrew to moves the mixing glass from bottle to bottle. The entire setup is comprised of aluminum extrusion, making it completely expandable. Along the top are gravity fed shot dispensers, which are controlled by 12VDC car lock actuators. The chaser station works differently, though. The chaser bottles are actually pressurized by a paintball gun tank and dispensed using four solenoid valves. Then one valve is actuated, it opens, allowing the pressure to push fluid through the solenoid. The entire system is based on a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian, Tkinter for the GUI and an Arduino Uno for motor control.

BONUS! One more round…

drinkerBot

The drinkerBot is a robotic mixer that serves made-to-order drinks for your party guests. It works with a companion web app that enables you to specify whether you want a specialty cocktail, a DIY concoction or a surprise mixture. Once you’ve chosen, the app tells the littleBits cloudBit what to make. The cloudBit’s signal is then passed through a littleBits Arduino module and some logic modules to determine which liquid dispensing mechanisms to activate. The drinkerBot even has a conveyor belt for your cup to travel on during its journey from empty to delicious!

Nowadays, it seems like instruments come in all different shapes and sizes. Take Jon Bumstead’s an electronic harp, for example, that plays music by blocking laser beams — similar to how a musician would pluck a stick on the real thing.

The project consists of a laser diode, an Arduino, a galvo, several mirrors to reflect the beams, 13 photoresistors and some 3D-printed components for the mounts. The harp’s large frame is made up of three foldable parts, while the electronics are secured in a wooden box with the galvo mounted at the top.

This laser harp has thirteen strings. To generate these strings, a laser beam is moved to thirteen different position (for thirteen different strings/notes) by moving a mirror galvanometer. The mirror galvanometer, or galvo for short, is a mirror that can quickly move to different positions depending on a control voltage that is sent to it. At the end of each laser beam is a photoresistor that is used to detect if a beam is blocked. When this is detected, a note is played. I also needed the laser beam to be turned off when moving positions so that it appeared as though there were thirteen distinct positions and not a continuous sheet of light.

To generate these signals, I used an Arduino. One of the greatest challenges of the project was creating  an analog output that was fast enough to move the galvo (and laser beam) so that it appeared like there were really thirteen different beams and not a single beam being moved to different positions. I constructed a 4-bit R2R digital to analog converter (DAC). The digital output of pins 8-11 incremented thirteen times (for the thirteen positions), and the DAC generated an analog voltage ranging from 0 to 4V. I then amplified this signal  and ran it through a differential amplifier to get an analog voltage from around -7 to 7 volts for the galvo. The laser diode was synchronized with the galvo using the Arduino.

According to the Maker, the harp can be programmed to direct the beam to any position at any speed. And not only can you put on your very own laser show, but you can control the type of MIDI signal being created as well.

This laser harp is really a MIDI controller (i.e. it does not have its own sound engine). You can select whatever type of MIDI signal you desire. I chose to select middle C to the C one octave higher in frequency. Another MIDI instrument or reader (I used by Macbook Pro and Garageband) must then be used to actually create audio signals that could be played through speakers.

You can see it action in the video below!

Birdhouse2

The northern part of Spain, which is full of villages, vegetation and wildlife, is prone to wildfires. In fact, nearly 40% of the land was burnt back in 2015. Unfortunately, whenever a fire breaks out in a remote area, it often goes unnoticed or reached before damage occurs. With these instances becoming more common, insurance company Generali decided to find a better solution for early detection.

Their answer to the problem? Birdhouse Alarms. Each wooden (recycled, of course) birdhouse features an Arduino, a solar panel, a rechargeable battery, a smoke sensor and a 3G network connection, enabling it to send a geolocated signal to local authorities in the event of a fire.

The prototypes, which were designed by Ogilvy & Mather, are currently being tested.

SubmitProject_blogpost

The Arduino Project Hub (powered by Hackster.io) is a community dedicated to discovering how fun and rewarding tinkering with electronics and software can be, so any project made with Arduino and Genuino boards is welcome! Each day, the Arduino Team will select some of the best tutorials and highlight them on our social channels.

The Arduino Project Hub is also a great place to keep your latest projects and easily share them with your friends, students and the rest of the community!

If you have tutorials and articles on other platforms, we’ve got some good news! There is a cool import function so you can just paste the link and we’ll take care of the transfer. When you click on ‘New Project’ you will be presented with two options, create a tutorial from scratch or import one via URL.

importProjectHub

Read this tutorial to learn more.



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