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If your kids (or you) have somehow gotten tired of playing with LEGO bricks, Lenka Design Workshop has a great way for you to breathe new life into this unused pile. 

Their game enclosure consists of a 32×32 LEGO baseplate, along with walls made of blocks to support a clear acrylic cover. This in turn holds four large arcade buttons for gameplay control. Five games are currently implemented to run on the game’s Arduino, with light and sound feedback.

We decided to recycle the unwanted Lego bricks and created an arcade game.

The code has been written in such a way that it doesn’t have dependencies and will compile on any Arduino board. And of course the games have been intensively tested by our kids. 🙂

How is this game different from many others that have been published before?

First of all, there are 5 games built into it:

  • Memory Game (“Simon-Says”-like, similar to Touch Me game)
  • Reaction game (similar to Whack-a-Mole game)
  • Contest/Competition game (for 2-4 players)
  • Melody Game (Push and Play free mode for toddlers and smaller ones)
  • War game (for 2-4 adults)

Secondly, it has a great design (from our perspective) and can be easily repeated.

And thirdly, it is earth-friendly because it allows you to recycle the plastic.

You can see a short demo of the system in the video below, or check out the project write-up for more info. 

If you’re ever wanted to make something awesome, but thought that you just didn’t have the right tools to do so, this soda fountain by “The Wrench” could provide the needed inspiration. 

The project uses an Arduino Nano to control a small air pump via a relay, which turns on when a glass is the correct dispensing position. This pushes air into a sealed soda bottle, and soda is pushed out of another tube to equalize the pressure.

It’s a certainly a neat trick. Given its frame made out of cardboard stuck together with hot glue, the raw materials are very easy to obtain and dispose of when needed. The build process is explained in the video below, while the circuit diagram and Arduino code can be found here.

Many DSLR cameras can be operated with a simple infrared signal, making them perfect targets for Arduino control. Travis Antoniello took advantage of this with his brilliantly simple 3D scanning rig.

Electronics are handled by an Arduino Uno, which commands a stepper motor to rotate a scanning platform 10 degrees per photo. After rotation, it stops for a set amount of time to let scanned objects settle, and triggers the camera, a Nikon D3200, via an infrared LED. It then repeats this process over and over until a full set of photos is taken. 

Code for the build can be found on GitHub, and the device’s 3D-printed components are available on Thingiverse. The project video seen here gives a good overview of how it works, and the scanned object on display just after 2:30 looks absolutely brilliant.

As seen here, Alex Mikes enjoys reading his Kindle in bed at night, but prefers to use a stand rather than hold it in his hands. The one disadvantage to this is that one normally has to lift his or her hand up to change pages. Thanks to a clever bit of engineering, Mikes only has to press the button on a small RF remote, signaling an Arduino Nano-based robot to press it for him.

The device uses a micro servo motor to actuate the fake finger, which swings into the correct position to advance pages on command. A 3D-printed frame holds everything in place, and in order to properly control his Kindle’s capacitive touchscreen, a wire is wrapped inside the stylus tip and connected to the circuit ground. 

Not since Rick and Morty’s butter-passing robot has there been a more hyper-specific, purpose-built device than perhaps Alex Mikes’ automatic Kindle page turner. Instead of having to raise his arm to tap the edge of the screen while reading in bed, a simple click of a wireless remote makes the attached contraption do all of that hard work for him.

More photos of the project are up on Imgur.

One of the biggest advantages of e-readers such as the Kindle is the fact that it doesn’t weigh as much as a traditional hardcover book, much less the thousands of books it can hold in digital form. Which is especially nice if you drop the thing on your face while reading in bed. But as light and easy to use as the Kindle is, you still need to hold it in your hands and interact with it like some kind of a baby’s toy.

Looking for a way to operate the Kindle without having to go through the exhaustive effort of raising their hand, [abm513] designed and built a clip-on device that makes using Amazon’s e-reader even easier. At the press of a button, the device knocks on the edge of the screen which advances the book to the next page. Going back a page will still require you to extend your meaty digit, but that’s your own fault for standing in the way of progress.

The 3D printed case holds an Arduino and RF receiver, as well as a small servo to power the karate-chop action. There’s no battery inside, meaning the device needs to stay plugged in via a micro USB connection on the back of the case. But let’s be honest: if you’re the kind of person who has a remote-controlled Kindle, you probably aren’t leaving the house anytime soon.

To fool the Kindle into thinking a human finger is tapping the screen, the page turner’s arm has a stylus tip on the end. A channel is designed into the 3D printed arm for a wire to run from the tip to the Arduino’s ground, which triggers the capacitive screen to register a touch.

All joking aside, the idea holds promise as an assistive technology for individuals who are unable to lift an e-reader or operate its touch screen controls. With the Kindle held up in a mount, and this device clipped onto the side, anyone who can push a button (or trigger the device in whatever method they are physically capable) can read a book on their own. A simple pleasure that can come as a huge comfort to a person who may usually be dependent on others.

In the past we’ve seen physical buttons printed for touch screens, and an Arduino used to control a touch screen device. But this particular combination of physical and electrical interaction is certainly a unique way to tackle the problem without modifying the target device.

While “Boardwalk” and “Park Place” may not mean anything to you outside of the game of Monopoly, there is a plethora of custom versions to suit your particular interest. If you enjoy the world of Skyrim, then you need to check out this board by Charles Ledford. 

The build features an anodized aluminum playfield coated in epoxy, along with a wooden frame that conceals electronics including an Arduino Uno inside. This enables a set of programmable LED strips to light up a dragon and lettering in the middle, as well as properties in the correct Monopoly color. 

Custom coins, playing cards, characters, and even farms and castles (houses and hotels) complete the project, allowing for fully Skyrim-themed gameplay!

You can find more details in Ledford’s write-up, and see a quick demo of it below! 

When Hunter Irving spotted a knockoff Thomas the Tank Engine toy at a thrift store, he simply had to buy it, telling himself that he’d turn it into an animatronic contraption at some point. While these kind of promises often go unfulfilled, Irving converted it into an egg-shaped, karaoke-singing robot, with a mouth and eyes that move along with music.

The body of this new robotic device is designed in Blender and 3D-printed, while the mechanicals inside are actuated with a servo. Control is handled by an Arduino, which responds to MIDI signals from a speech synthesizer, used to produce its eerie electronic voice. 

Does a rocket need to use a certain type of fuel, or even be capable of spaceflight? While James Bruton’s build might not fit everyone’s definition of this type of craft because of its electric ducted fan (EDF) propulsion, it does face the same major challenge of controlling a tall pipe-like structure from thrust coming from the tail. It’s meant to both take off and land in a vertical orientation as well, something inconceivable in traditional rockets until very recently.

For control, Bruton uses an Arduino Mega inside the main fuselage of the craft, which regulates the speed of the three EDFs. It also turns two of these fans with a servo and linkage system in order to compensate for unwanted roll. A second Arduino and an IMU are embedded in the nose cone, which passes data to the Mega board via a serial connection. 

The build and early tests can be seen in the video below, and a full test is planned for the future alongside Ivan Miranda, who has been working on his own version.

Unless your car is fresh off the lot, you’ve probably had the experience of riding in a newer car and seeing some feature or function that triggered a little pang of jealousy. It probably wasn’t enough for you to run out and sign yourself up for a new car loan (which is what the manufacturer was hoping for), but it was definitely something you wished your older model vehicle had. But why get jealous when you can get even?

[Saabman] wished his 1999 Saab 9-5 had the feature where a quick tap of the turn signal lever would trigger three blinks of the indicator. Realizing this was an electronic issue, he came up with a way to retrofit this function into his Saab by adding an Arduino Pro Micro to the vehicle’s DICE module.

The DICE (which stands for Dashboard Integrated Central Electronics) module controls many of the accessories in the vehicle, such as the lighting and wipers. In the case of the blinkers, it reads the state of the signal lever switches and turns the blinkers on and off as necessary. After poking around the DICE board, [Saabman] found that the 74HC151 multiplexer chip he was after: the state of the blinker switches could be read from pins 1 and 2, and he’d even be able to pull 5 V for the Arduino off of pin 16.

After prototyping the circuit on a breadboard, [Saabman] attached the Pro Micro to the top of the 74HC151 with some double sided tape and got to work on refining the software side of the project. The Arduino reads the state of the turn signal switches, and if they flick on momentarily it changes the pin from an input to an output and brings it high for three seconds. This makes the DICE module believe the driver is holding the turn lever, and will keep the blinkers going. A very elegant and unobtrusive way of solving the problem.

Hackers aren’t complete strangers to the garage; from printing hard to find parts to grafting in their favorite features from other car manufacturers, this slick Saab modification is in good company.

Split-flap displays show information using characters changed by an electric motor. While they’ve largely been replaced by more modern means, hobbyists like “gabbapeople” have been keeping this this technique alive, in this case as a four-character weather display.

The device is built using laser-cut plexiglass, and uses four individual servos to actuate the character flaps. Control is accomplished using an Arduino Mega programmed in the XOD visual programming environment, along with the requisite driver modules. Weather data is pulled from the AccuWeather API. 

You can see it flapping away in the video below, displaying the weather in abbreviations such as “ICLO” for intermittent clouds, as well as the temperature in degrees Celsius.



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