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[Tijmen Schep] sends in his project, Candle Smart Home, which is an exhibit of 12 smart home devices which are designed around the concepts of ownership, open source, and privacy.

The central controller runs on a Raspberry Pi which is running Mozilla’s new smart home operating system. Each individual device is Arduino based, and when you click through on the site you get a well designed graphic explaining how to build each device. The devices them

It’s also fun to see how many people worked together on this project and added their own touch. Whether it’s a unique covering for the devices or a toggle switch that can toggle itself there’s quite a few personal touches.

As anyone who’s had the sneaking suspicion that Jeff Bezos was listening in to their conversations, we get the need for this. We also love how approachable it makes hacking your own hardware. What are your thoughts?

DSC_0515Makers hacked real problems faced by people with special needs to create tools that will help improve mobility, independence, and comfort.

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The post 5 Life-Changing Accessibility Inventions Made in 72 Hours appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

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20

Arduino and Genuino brand refresh, design insights

brand, Design, Featured, Genuino, packaging, StarterKit Commenti disabilitati su Arduino and Genuino brand refresh, design insights 

todoOpen1

A few months ago we introduced Genuino, Arduino’s sister brand for products sold outside the US. TODO, the design agency that developed the Arduino branding language since its early beginnings, created the new Genuino look & feel and signature elements. This new branding language is going to be applied to all Genuino and Arduino products in the near future.

Giorgio Olivero, one of TODO co-founder, studied at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, where Arduino was conceived. Giorgio and later on his team (among others Vanessa Poli and Alessandro Argenio) have been taking care of Arduino’s brand identity since then. We have asked Giorgio to tell us the reasons behind the original Arduino branding language, and the Arduino/Genuino design language refresh. Here is the story in his own words:

‘When we began developing Arduino’s identity in late 2009 we wanted the project to feature an accessible, pop, and clear communication language for the new community that was growing around DIY electronics. Something that wouldn’t compare to the technical-macho look of the engineer-oriented platforms and products: a testosterone-free positioning that could speak to everyone and not only to experts and hard-core enthusiasts.

starter

Arduino’s original visual language had to stand out and define a yet uncharted market, its goal was to ‘declare, define, simplify’ without scaring people away with overly technical details. Arduino’s identity had to be true to its community values, not too polished but still elegant and accessible. It was basic, technical and playful. The message was: Arduino is a modular system open to anybody and in constant evolution.

As the electronics market keeps evolving at an incredible rate, it’s about time to refresh both the Arduino and the Genuino brand with an updated system. The new design keeps a strong continuity with the previous one, we see it as an evolution rather than a revolution. We want people to recognize that the core values and the ‘personality’ haven’t changed. The new recipe is spicier and less technical though, it has a sort of circus-like feeling: it’s about the joyful interplay of the Arduino ecosystem and community. You could see these colourful squares as different components, circuits, and modules of an electronics system. Or rather as the interlocking building blocks of the maker movement itself, that recipe of openness that makes Arduino so unique.

Screenshot 2015-07-20 17.40.32

The new visual language evokes empathy, joy, and playfulness. Collaboration is its core value. It introduces a series of characters based on the electronics components with a playful personality, that will enable new outlets for the visual identity.

Screenshot 2015-07-20 16.31.42

We have always enjoyed working with Arduino, our ongoing collaborations (and long friendship) surely requires very fast design iterations, because the Arduino ecosystem keeps evolving, but hopefully we are making the brand stronger and very well equipped for the new challenges ahead.’

Learn more about Todo on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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07

New Project: Building a Robot Arm Part 4: Adding Control with an Arduino

3D printing, arduino, ARM, Design, Electronics, H-Bridge, Robot, robot arm, Robotics Commenti disabilitati su New Project: Building a Robot Arm Part 4: Adding Control with an Arduino 

robot arm featured imageThis project is part 4 in the building a robot arm tutorial. In the first part I show how to design the arm, the second part shows how to design the base, and the third shows how to design the mount. After all of the Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and 3D modeling […]

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The post Building a Robot Arm Part 4: Adding Control with an Arduino appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

openQCM

Marco Mauro is a physicist currently employed as Scientific Coordinator at Novaetech, the first Spin-off Company of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Italy. He shared with us all the info about a project he’s been working on  and based on Arduino Micro.

OpenQCM is a fully open source scientific microbalance capable of weighing mass deposition down to 1 billionth of gram:

The sensing core of the microbalance is a piezoelectric quartz crystal oscillator. The deposition of a very tiny mass on the surface causes the variation in the quartz frequency. openQCM belongs to a new generation of innovative smart sensor which boast high resolution and ultra high mass sensitivity. The open source strategy made the creation of openQCM available at low cost which represents a bit fraction of the cost of similar scientific products.

openQCM was built keeping in mind the emergent principles of the open source hardware movement. The open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology through the open exchange of all the project features, 3D design, electronics and software. The open hardware potentiality is even greater when it comes to hardware for scientific applications.

openQCM is exactly something like that, the first open hardware quartz crystal microbalance with applications in a wide range of scientific fields, such as chemical and biological sensing, material science.

openQCM has an Arduino Micro board inside at heart. By hacking the timer counter of the AtMega32U4 Arduino microcontroller, it is possible to measure the quartz crystal frequency variations using the 16 Mhz microprocessor clock. openQCM team has designed an Arduino Micro shield with an embedded quartz crystal oscillator driver circuit and a temperature sensor. The output of the quartz crystal oscillator driver is fed to the Arduino Micro timer counter and the analog value of the temperature sensor is fed to the analog pin of the board. This configuration allow you measure the quartz crystal frequency with a resolution of 1 Hz, which roughly corresponds to a mass resolution of 700 pg over the entire quartz surface in air.

One of the major challenge of an open hardware project is that such devices require funding to prototype and manufacture. That’s why the openQCM team have selected the 3d printing technology to keep high quality and low cost. Using 3d printing to print out the prototypes via the SLS process from OS Formiga P100, P110, P395, and P730, the openQCM team created the device’s parts, which required a precision down to 60 µm.

The open source concept made openQCM publicly available so that anyone (scientists, technology enthusiast, makers, hobbyist …) can study, modify, and develop the hardware based on the original design. openQCM is now working and ready to win the heart of the scientific community and more.

Go and make one yourself!

openQCM2

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 4.55.48 PMThe Atmospheric Gas Detector Kit, found in the Makershed, gives you the components needed to detect different kinds of gases. In this episode of "Projects with Ryan Slaugh", we will go through the steps of setting up the base experiment from the book included with the kit.

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19

Playing with the new Arduino Yún at the headquarters in Torino

arduino, Arduino Yún, Design, Hardware, Officine Arduino, video, Yun Commenti disabilitati su Playing with the new Arduino Yún at the headquarters in Torino 

arduino yun @ designboom

Designboom published the second part of the report after visiting Officine Arduino in Torino. This time the focus is on the Arduino YÚN!

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17

Going Kinetic With Sculptor Eric Hagan

arduino, Art, Art & Design, Design, eric hagan, gears, kinetic sculpture, Maker Faire, Makers Commenti disabilitati su Going Kinetic With Sculptor Eric Hagan 

267939_598439077140_798464_nI took some time to talk to kinetic sculptor Eric Hagan and what he'll be up to at Maker Faire NY this year.

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06

Designboom visits Officine Arduino in Torino

arduino, Design, designboom, factory, magazine, Officine Arduino, press Commenti disabilitati su Designboom visits Officine Arduino in Torino 

image © designboom

Last week Officine Arduino in Torino was visited by a crew of Designboom – according to Time magazine one of the top 100 design influencers in the world. Today, they published a report of the tour to the factory and the fablab with many pictures and videos:

 

who would ever imagine that global cultural and economic revolution would spring from the tranquil fields of piedmont, italy, in tiny towns nestled against the stunning backdrop of the alps? but that’s exactly where arduino, the system of microcontrollers revolutionzing the maker movement and pioneering the concept of opensource hardware, was born in 2005 and continues to make its home today.

arduino’s story is unusual to say the least. five colleagues, seeking to empower students with the tools to create, developed the platform in 2005. now distributors estimate that over one million arduinos have been sold, and the arduino community is among the most resilent and inventive on the internet. forums like instructables and arduino’s own scuola connect enthusiasts to learn from one another, and arduino users build on the platform to open up new creative possibilities.

we traveled to turin, italy, to see arduino’s first officina, before setting off north to visit the italian factories that continue to be the heart of arduino manufacturing for the entire world…

Click and read the full article on their website!

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16

Rapid stripboard prototyping made easy with Lochmaster

4.0, abacom, Design, lochmaster, oscillator, review, Software, software review, square, stripboard, tronixstuff, tutorial, veroboard, wave Commenti disabilitati su Rapid stripboard prototyping made easy with Lochmaster 

Introduction

As a beginner in the world of electronics, sooner or later you’ll want to make a more permanent project than what can be constructed on the solderless breadboard. It’s easy to say “make your own PCBs” – however this can introduce a steep learning curve, not to mention the cost and time involved in waiting for PCBs to arrive – and hoping they’re correct. Thus for many people a happy medium is transferring prototype circuits over to stripboard – it’s really cheap (check ebay), you can keep various sizes on hand, and it’s quick.

However planning more complex circuits can be difficult – so it would be much easier with the use of a software design tool. Which brings us to the subject of our review – the Lochmaster v4.0 software from Abacom. It’s an incredibly easy to use developer’s tool for strip board projects. No more loose pieces of graph paper, soldering parts “one row too far over”, or lost design plans – you can now design stripboard projects efficiently and with ease.

Installation

Available for all versions of Windows from XP to 8, Lochmaster is less than ten megabytes and is distributed electronically after purchase – so backup your installation file when received. Otherwise it’s a quick install, you don’t need any extra framework software and due to the size will run well on less-specified machines. Although we have screen shots in the review below, you can download a trial version - so it won’t cost you anything to check it out yourself.

Designing your circuits

Once installed, opening Lochmaster for the first time you’re presented with a blank example of stripboard ready for your components:

Lochmaster

However you can also use different types of prototyping board, such as varieties with all holes, edge connectors, mounting holes, different copper directions – or even make your own board to match a preferred style. Boar dimensions can be displayed in measurement units as well as “holes”. Then it’s a simple matter of selecting a part library from the drop-down list on the left of the window. For example, to add a 555 timer (which is an 8-pin DIL part) select the “ICs” library, click on the 8-pin enclosure and the following window appears, prompting you to fill out the appropriate details such as label, type etc:

Lochmaster 555

… then you can drop the 555 on the board. It then becomes an object which can be dragged around and placed where you need it. You can also create and modify the component libraries, and also create your own custom parts.

At that point, you might want to cut the tracks on the other side of the board. By clicking the “turn around” button the menu bar, you’re presented with the bottom of the board. Using the “add/split” button on the vertical toolbar between the library and the board, you can then virtually cut the tracks, for example:

lochmaster

You can also see the rounded circles which represent solder joints. After a few minutes we found dragging and dropping components onto the board very simple, and with the turn-around button you can easily flip sides until the placement looks good. After placing components, running the necessary links or wires is simple with the “draw jumper wire” tool. They can run in any direction, and also have corners, for example:

Lochmaster wires

You can also adjust the colours and thickness of the wires,  and of course can also be placed on the other side of the board – just flip it around and place the wires. After wiring things up and getting to the stage when you’re ready to build – you can test the connections to ensure you haven’t mis-counted holes or tracks. Using the “Test mode” tool you can click on tracks and the sections that are electrically connected to the point with the cursor are all highlighted – for example if you click on the point marked by the black arrow below, the connected tracks are highlighted:

lochmaster test

If you don’t like the 3D-rendered components, you can also work with normal 2D in colour or black and white:

lochmaster 2D

For final quality-control, you can also review the project at any time with “X-ray” view, which shows an outline of the parts on the other side, for example when looking at the bottom of the board, turning on X-ray results with:

Lochmaster xray

You can also generate component lists, which are great for documentation or simply making up a shopping list. It can be exported to .xls or text file, for example:

lochmaster list

And then you can export your project as an image (.jpg or .bmp), HPGL machine file – and print out both sides to serve as an assembly guide. There is also standalone file-viewer software, so you can share your designs with others who haven’t got the full Lochmaster software installed.

Example project

After experimenting with Lochmaster for a short while, we decided to test using it with a real project that a beginner might assemble. For example, a square wave oscillator from an old Talking Electronics magazine (click image for larger version):

square wave oscillator

Nothing too complex, but a useful tool for anyone experimenting with electronics. It’s a 555 astable with six different RC values which allows you to select from 1, 10, 100, 1 k, 10 k and 100 kHz outputs. The first step is to gather all the components together, so you know the widths and number of holes each needs on the stripboard:

lochmaster_components

The next step is to measure the board, as you can enter the dimensions via Board>Edit board layout… into Lochmaster to avoid having excess space in the design plan. Then after consulting the schematic and the single-layer PCB layout from the magazine, it’s a simple matter of placing the parts onto the virtual board after checking how the fit in on the real thing:

osciillator top

… and the flip-side:

oscillator bottom

Not a work of art – but it works.  (We didn’t fit the 100 kHz setting, as the capacitor wasn’t in stock). And that’s the neat thing – you can experiment with placement until you’re happy, then double-check connections before soldering. You might find even after some planning, that you may deviate from the plan. Fair enough, but just double-check what you’re doing. And a short while later, the results, top and bottom:

oscillator PCB top

oscillator PCB bottom

Conclusion

If you’re a beginner and don’t have the time, money and patience to design your own PCBs – Lochmaster is ideal. It’s a neater way to visualise physical circuits, as well as filing and sharing them with others.   To order your own copy, get the trial version, or if you have any questions please contact Abacom. Full-sized images of the screen-shots can be found on flickr. And if you made it this far – check out my new book “Arduino Workshop” from No Starch Press.

In the meanwhile have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column? And join our friendly Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

[Note - Lochmaster software license was a promotional consideration from Abacom]

The post Rapid stripboard prototyping made easy with Lochmaster appeared first on tronixstuff.



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