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Ultrasound images are an important tool for medical diagnosis, and while units used by doctors can be very expensive, getting a basic image doesn’t have to be. Inspired by this attempt at a $500 ultrasound machine seen here, maker “stoppi71” decided to create his own using a 5 MHz ultrasound transducer via a paint-thickness gauge.

An Arduino Due provides computing power to turn sound pulses into images, while a 3.5-inch TFT display shows what it’s examining. Short pulses in the 100-200 nanosecond range are generated with the help of a monoflop and MOSFET, returning an echo corresponding to what it’s “looking” at. 

Although the results are not nearly what you’d expect at the doctor’s office, rudimentary readings of skin and bone are definitely visible. 

I’ve examined different objects from aluminum-cylinders over water-filled balloons to my body. To see body-echos the amplification of the signals must be very high. For the aluminum-cylinders a lower amplification is needed. When you look at the pictures you can clearly see the echoes from the skin and my bone.

So what can I say about the success or failure of this project. It is possible to look inside the body with such simple methods and using parts, which aren’t commonly intended for that purpose. But these factors are limiting the results too. You don’t get such clear and well structured pictures compared with commercial solutions.

Automated cocktail machines can be fun projects, but this device by CamdenS5 takes things to a whole new level. Not only can it pour liquids from multiple bottles, but it chops limes, dispenses sugar and mint, and even features a refrigerated compartment to keep ingredients at the appropriate temperature.

An Arduino Mega along with an Uno are employed for control, while user interface is provided by an Android tablet affixed to the front of the assembly. 

There’s a lot going on mechanically inside, including a linear actuator for chopping, and augers that dole out mint/sugar as needed. 

Details on the build are available here, with code/files ready for download, and an interactive Fusion 360 model that you can manipulate in your browser.

Back on Arduino Day, we announced the winners of the Arduino Day Community Challenge, awarding the best community projects and their impact on the local and global community.

The contest collected more than 120 projects from all over the world, broken down into seven different categories: home automation, social innovation, kids and education, environment and space, robotics, audio and visual arts, small scale manufacturing, and startups.

With this blog post, we want to inaugurate a series where we learn more about each of the winning entries. The first project highlighted is Andruino, the best submission from the ‘home automation’ category. Prototyped in Palermo (Italy) by Andrea Scavuzzo, Andruino is an Arduino-based smart home system that enables users to control the devices around their house in real-time via an accompanying app, the AndruinoApp.

What’s the project about?

‘The Andruino ecosystem is based on the AndruinoApp and a number of Arduino-compatible nodes (e.g. Arduino Mega, NodeMCU, ESP8266 or STM32 Nucleo boards). Once the hardware is configured with the AndruinoApp, users will be able to communicate with their nodes (over a proprietary IoT infrastructure), checking their status, and controlling the devices in real-time. For instance, with Andruino you can control the room temperature, the humidity, and check if your door is locked all in an instant via your phone. Moreover, you can also record the data and create graphs to analyse consumption around your home to make it more efficient.’

What inspired you to develop this project?

With my phone in my hands, I thought that my mobile device was the best interface for my Arduino.

What is the impact of Andruino on the local/global community?

I have created an easy to use, open-source and inexpensive remote control system for the home… almost everyone can benefit from it.  

What are the next developments for your project?

I want to prototype ‘Garagino,’ a remote control system for my garage.

How can we learn more about Andruino?

You can visit my website, or check out my write-up on the Arduino Project Hub.

Watch the video below as Andrea Scavuzzo presents Andruino to the Arduino community.

While much less common than quadcopters or airplanes, if you want a device that truly soars like a bird, you need an ornithopter. To help others make their own flying contraption, YouTuber Amperka Cyber Couch is outlining the build process in a video series starting with the one seen below.

Construction is also very well documented in his project write-up, and a clip of it in-flight can be found here. The bionic ‘bird’ uses a BLDC/ESC combination to turn a gearbox that flaps its wings, and an onboard Arduino Nano for control. 

Communication is via an MBee 868 wireless module, which links up to an Arduino Uno base station that provides its user interface.

Keytars may have had their moment of popularity in the 1980s, but instruments of the day can’t hold a candle to “The Blade” by makers Sam Wray, Siddharth Vadgama, and Greig Stewart. 

The musical device feeds signals from a pair of Guitar Hero necks, along with a stripped down keytar from Rock Band, into an Arduino Mega. This data is then sent to a Raspberry Pi running PD Extended, and is used to control a pair of Game Boys to produce distinct 8-bit sounds. Audio output can be further modified with a Leap Motion sensor embedded in one of the two necks. 

What makes up The Blade?

– 3D-printed housing

We custom modeled and printed a housing for the instrument to ensure it would be ergonomic to wield, hold together with all the components, and also look badass.

– Two Guitar Hero necks

The necks, hacked off a couple of old Guitar Hero controllers, were totally rewired to output the button presses to jumper cables.

– Arduino Mega

All the wiring from the Guitar Hero necks fed into the Mega, which then registered the button presses and output appropriate MIDI signals over USB serial into the Raspberry Pi.

– Rock Band keytar

We stripped this down to the bare keyboard and had the MIDI also going into the Pi.

Raspberry Pi

Taking in all the MIDI, and running PD Extended we got this to manage and re-map all the button presses we needed. This then output to a MIDI thru box.

– Arduino Boy

This fed the MIDI signals from the thru box into the Game Boy.

Game Boy

These were heart. With MIDI fed in from a multitude of sources, the Game Boy, running mGB, was the synthesizing the signals into sound, output via a standard 3.5mm jack. 

Leap Motion
The Leap Motion was used for further sound modulation.

Music, food, and coding style have one thing in common: we all have our own preferences. On the other hand, there are arguably more people on this planet than there are varieties in any one of those categories, so we rarely fail to find like-minded folks sharing at least some of our taste. Well, in case your idea of a good time is calling a service hotline for some exquisite tunes, [Fuzzy Wobble] and his hold music jukebox, appropriately built into a telephone, is just your guy.

Built around an Arduino with an Adafruit Music Maker shield, [Fuzzy Wobble] uses the telephone’s keypad as input for selecting one of the predefined songs to play, and replaced the phone’s bell with a little speaker to turn it into a jukebox. For a more genuine experience, the audio is of course also routed to the handset, although the true hold music connoisseur might feel disappointed about the wide frequency range and lack of distortion the MP3s used in his example provide. Jokes aside, projects like these are a great reminder that often times, the journey really is the reward, and the end result doesn’t necessarily have to make sense for anyone to enjoy what you’re doing.

As these old-fashioned phones gradually disappear from our lives, and even the whole concept of landline telephony is virtually extinct in some parts of the world already, we can expect to see more and more new purposes for them. Case in point, this scavenger hunt puzzle solving device, or the rotary phone turned virtual assistant.

While having a huge workshop with every tool imaginable is ideal, if you have limited funds and/or space, then Mark Miller’s gantry-style machine could be just the thing you need. 

In this setup, the workpiece moves via a stepper motor and a rod system on the bottom, while top support rods accommodate interchangeable tooling.

Tools compatible with the machine (so far) include a 10 watt laser, marker, knife for stencil carving, and a motor/router bit combo for light milling operations. An Arduino is employed for control, while user interface is provided by a series of buttons and a joystick. 

Miller even wrote custom software to transform CAD files into sketches that can be directly loaded onto the machine.

The project is still a work in progress, so be sure to follow along in its Hackaday write-up here.


When you see a vacuum cleaner, most people see a useful implement to keep their carpets clean. James Bruton, however, envisioned another use—as a musical instrument. His new project, which made its appearance this year on April Fools’ Day, sucks air through 12 recorders, allowing it to play a full octave and the melody and lead from “Africa” by Toto… or so he’d have you believe!

In reality, power for his instrument comes from a separate Henry Hoover in another room, blowing air through the normally-suction tube of the broken device on the screen. An Arduino Mega, along with a MIDI shield, enables it to open and close air lines to each of the 12 recorders as needed. 

Check out how it was made in the first video below and the original fake in the second.


Your leather jacket might look cool, but one thing it’s missing—unless you’re maker “abetusk” or perhaps a Japanese musician—is lasers! 

After seeing Yoshii Kazuya’s laser-spiked outfit, ‘tusk decided to create an excellent version of the getup by embedding 128 laser diodes embedded in his own jacket. These lasers are powered by an Arduino Nano, along with a pair of I2C PWM output boards, allowing them to be switched in sets of four. 

The lasers can be controlled either by joystick, via a microphone in order to react to sound, or in a looping ‘twinkle’ pattern. 

More information on the project is available in this write-up as well as on GitHub, which includes Arduino code and other files needed to build your own.

After seeing Wei Chieh Shi’s laser jacket design, I wanted to create my own. These instructions show how to modify a jacket to add laser diodes and control them electronically to produce different laser light patterns. The laser diodes give the jacket an appearance of being “spiky”, like having metal spikes but with red laser light. The effect is especially striking in environments with fog or smoke as the laser light path shows a trail from where it originates.

The concept and execution is relatively simple but care has to be taken to make sure that the electronics, wiring and other aspects of the jacket don’t fail when in use. Much of the subtlety and complexity of the project is providing proper wire routing and making sure that strain relief for the electronics and connections is provided so that it’s resilient under normal wear.

Assuming the basic parts are available (soldering iron, multimeter, wire strippers, laser cutter, etc.) I would estimate that this project is about $300 in raw materials and about 20 hours worth of labor.

Depending on the battery used, the jacket can operate for about an hour or two continuously. Spare batteries can be carried around and used to replace the depleted batteries if need be.

Word clocks normally use an array of lights to show the time, and although this project does use lights, how it works is much different than others. 

LEDs for the device are hidden behind a thin layer of PVC, while 114 tiny SG90 servos move the lights and their 3D-printed frames back and forth. The result is a stunning display where the time is spelled out by the appropriate letters. These progressively come into focus, setting them apart from inactive letters which appear to fade into the background.

An Arduino Nano drives the assembly, along with an infrared controller setup and an RTC module for accurate timekeeping. A demo can be seen in the first video below, and the very involved build process is highlighted in the second clip. 

What has 114 LEDs and is always running? As you may know the answer is a word clock. What has 114 LEDs + 114 servos and is always moving? The answer is this servo controlled word clock.

For this project I teamed up with a friend of mine which turned out to be a must because of the large effort of this build. In addition, my electronic and his mechanical skillset complemented each other quite well. The idea for this adaptation of the popular word clock came to us while we were making a regular one as Christmas gift. There, we noticed that it is also possible to project the letters from the back onto a white sheet of paper. At the time this was only a workaround solution to hide our crappy craftsmanship since we ended up with a lot of bubbles while attaching a vinyl sticker with the letters to the back of a glass plate. We then noticed that one can achieve interesting effects when bending the sheet of paper since the letters change size and become blurred. This made us come up with the idea to make a word clock where the letters are projected from the back onto a screen and can be moved back and forth to change the size of the projected image. At first we were a bit reluctant to build this project because of the costs and effort it takes when you want to move each of the 114 letters individually. So we tossed with the idea to make a version where just every word that is used to display the time can be moved back and forth. However, after seeing that the Epilog contest was coming up on Instructables asking for epic projects, and also after finding relatively cheap servo motors, we decided to go all the way and make a proper version where each letter is individually controlled by a servo



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