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While Arduino boards are useful for simple robotics and control applications, as outlined on William Osman’s blog, they can also be employed for data tracking to help engineers verify and modify a race car’s suspension design.

In this case, Osman decided to use a Pro Mini, a three-axis accelerometer, and an nRF24L01 module to implement a vehicular telemetry system for under $20. A second Arduino and 2.4GHz transceiver make up the base station, which is connected to his computer via USB.

While getting the raw data is interesting, he’s able to take the project to the next level using a free software package called COSMOS from Bell Aerospace. Although not initially user-friendly, it does allow those willing to conquer its learning curve to visualize data in real-time without spending thousands on software.

Be sure to check out his blog post, Hackaday’s recent write-up, or the video below for more information on the inexpensive telemetry system!

When you travel, you likely collect photographs and knick-knacks that can be displayed nicely for yourself and others. David Levin, however, took this one step further and used an MP3 recorder to capture the sounds of the places he and his wife have visited. But how does one show off sounds? Levin has a clever answer for that in the form of his Arduino-based Audio Memory Chest.

The project uses a recycled card catalog to hold items from each place traveled, and when one drawer is pulled out, a magnet and Hall effect sensor tells an Arduino Pro Mini which drawer has been opened. A serial MP3 player module then produces a random audio file recorded at that location, treating the user to both the sights and sounds of the region! 

My wife and I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world together during the past few years. Wherever we go, I collect little knick knacks, souvenirs, and ephemera. I also use a little MP3 recorder to capture sounds (marketplaces, street sound, music, etc). It’s always amazing to listen to these later—they immediately bring you back to a place, far better than a photograph alone could.

After discussing how their grandfather used to monitor well levels outside of a summer cottage in order to avoid emptying it, Instructables user “karlli” and his brother decided to take on this task themselves. Instead of checking it manually, they used a pair of Arduinos to do this for them.

One board sits above the well and senses water level with an ultrasonic sensor, while the other receives this data, calculates the volume of water remaining, and displays it nicely for those in the house to see.

Because the well is located about 25m from the house and we wanted the display indoors, we opted for using two Arduinos with a data link in between. You can easily modify the project to use just one Arduino if this is not the case for you. Why not use wireless data transfer? Partly due to simplicity and robustness (the wire is less likely to be damaged by moisture) and partly because we wanted to avoid using batteries on the sensor side. With a wire, we could route both data transfer and power through the same cable.

According to the write-up, volume can be calculated to an accuracy of ± one liter. In practice, the setup responds to a flushed toilet or running the tap for a few minutes, and shows the well refilling overnight!

While most of us take being able to remotely control a television or other appliance for granted, for the millions of people with some form of disability, this can present a challenge. In order to help those with limited mobility, Cassio Batista along with Erick Campos have come up with a system that translates head movements into infrared (IR) control signals.

In the project’s video seen below, Batista shows off how he can move his head to turn a TV on and off, as well as control channel selection and volume. A webcam captures these gestures, which are passed on to a Linux-based C.H.I.P. board that translates the movements using OpenCV. Finally, an Arduino Uno receives these commands over Bluetooth and signals the TV as needed via IR.

In addition to television, this system could easily be applied to other IR-based appliances, making lives easier, or perhaps simply eliminating a physical remote altogether.

When you’re the best man at a wedding, you could get the groom a nice knife, shaving kit, or some other sentimental and/or useful item. If, however, you’re Imgurian “msx80,” you make a video poker machine with an Arduino!

The game itself is controlled using five switches to hold or change cards, along with a deal and bet button. The play field is shown on a small LCD screen via I2C, which uses custom characters to reveal the different card suits.

Everything is housed in a nicely decorated wooden box, giving it a retro, almost steampunk feel. As you can see from the Imgur photos, it’s certainly a unique display piece and looks like something that would be fun to play. And yes, the groom was happy with the gift as well!

Want to read more, remember to take your vitamins, or even take out the trash? With the “Dory” Arduino-based tracking device from YouTuber YellowRobot.XYZ, now you can!

Dory–which comes in both a circular and smaller square version–uses an NFC reader to sense tags attached near the object that needs work. When you complete a positive action, you simply tap the nearby tag and the small gadget will light up its corresponding LEDs via an Arduino Pro Mini.

If you’d like to know where you are on your habit count, this is displayed with a button in the middle, and can be reset by holding it down. Beside from tracking habits, Dory is a great reminder of what can be done with NFC tags!

Planning on attending Maker Faire New York this month? We’re looking for volunteers to join the Arduino team for the weekend—staffing tables and displays, assisting with one-on-one demos, and providing technical assistance when necessary.

Those who help us out will receive a day pass so you can explore and enjoy everything happening around the faire grounds. Water, snacks, and a t-shirt will be provided, and we’ve even prepared a small gift to show our appreciation at the end of the your shift.

If interested, please fill out this questionnaire and we’ll get back to you soon! We also have a paid position available for a NYC-based photographer, who will be responsible for taking pictures of our booth, Arduino projects, and talks. Sound like you or someone you know? Send us a note at events@arduino.cc

You may think that visually sensing colors is a complicated operation, requiring a camera or other advanced sensors. This isn’t always the case, as engineer “Tech Martian” illustrates in the video below, using a photoresistor and RGB LED along with an Arduino 101 board.

His setup uses the LED to shine on a piece of paper in three colors, measuring the reflected light intensity. These reflections are first calibrated by reflecting light off of white and black paper, which can then be combined to show the colors presented in front of the emitter/sensor pair.

I got a comment and request from one of my Instructables that they would like to see an LED used as a color detector. Then, I got the idea that if I were to use an RGB LED, I can detect all the color spectrum possible by sending PWM signals to the LED.

Be sure to check out the project write-up for more information, including the Arduino code!

As seen on Make:, Barton Dring wanted to make something interesting to bring to a hardware meetup, along with learning more about the Grbl Arduino machining package. What he came up with was a pair of drawing robots that are both small enough to fit inside of a backpack, and are used to decorate coasters!

The first of these projects, known as “Coasty,” employs a laser to mark, or even cut, square coasters. They are fed in from the side, then pop out again with a new pattern.

The second device uses a much different method, showing off Grbl’s versatility as a polar plotter. Round coasters are placed on a rotating base, and a pen goes around and around until a new doodle is produced.

Be sure to check out both of these machines in action in the videos below!

Blow guns can be very helpful around your workshop, but sometimes you want a subtle shot of air instead of a full blast. There are several ways to take this on, but YouTuber “MBcreates” decided on a novel method using an Arduino Nano for control.

In his setup, a stepper is used to turn a screw as a linear actuator, pushing an intermediate blow gun’s trigger at progressively more aggressive intervals. This effectively regulates the air flow going into the handheld blow gun, allowing for a more subtle burst of air when needed.

Simple is often better. So I grabbed an old blow gun and used this a valve. The Arduino Digital Air Pressure Regulator uses a NEMA 17 stepper motor to press the lever of the blow gun. A micro end switch was placed against the lever. When the Arduino Nano goes through the setup, the stepper hits the end switch, now the program knows the exact position of the stepper.

The video seen here features some very clever build techniques, and it really turned out spectacular, especially considering it was MBcreates’ first Arduino project!



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