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An important new feature is now available in the Arduino IoT Cloud — full support for LoRa® devices!

LoRa® is one of our favorite emerging technologies for IoT because it enables long-range and low power transmission of data without using cellular or WiFi connections. It’s a very powerful and promising technology but it comes with its own complexity. In our pursuit to make IoT easier, we’ve already released a few products that enable anyone to build a LoRa® device (or a fleet of LoRa® devices!). Thanks to the Arduino MKR WAN 1310 board, combined with the Arduino Pro Gateway you can create your own LoRaWAN™ network. But we have decided to do more than that, and it’s time to release one more important piece….

The  Arduino IoT Cloud now provides an incredibly easy way to collect data sent by your LoRa® devices. With a few clicks, the IoT Cloud will generate a sketch template for the boards that you can adapt to read data from your sensors, pre-process it as you want, and then send it to the IoT Cloud. With a few more clicks (no coding required), you’ll be able to create a graphical dashboard that displays the collected data in real-time and lets users see their history through charts and other widgets. You will not need to worry about coding your own compression, serialization and queueing algorithm, as it will all be done under the hood in a smart way — you’ll be able to transmit multiple properties (more than five), pushing the boundary beyond the packet size limits of LoRaWAN™

This is our take on edge computing — you program the device to collect and prepare your data locally, and then we take care of shipping such data to a centralized place.

Such a simplified tool for data collection is already quite innovative, but we decided to take it an important step further. All the available solutions for LoRa® currently focus on collecting data, but they do not address it from the other way round i.e. sending data from a centralized application to the LoRa® device(s). Arduino IoT Cloud now lets you do this — you’ll be able to control actuators connected to your device by sending messages via LoRa®, with no coding needed.

Build and control your own LoRaWAN™ network with Arduino IoT Cloud, the Pro Gateway and the new improved MKR WAN 1310 board that features the latest low-power architecture to extend the battery life and enable the power consumption to go as low as 104uA.

Learning to play an an instrument well takes a lot of time, which many people don’t have. To address this, Franco Molina — who enjoys MIDI controllers and writing music, but describes himself as being terrible at playing the keyboard — created the Synthfonio.

Molina’s DIY device is vaguely reminiscent of a guitar, with a series of keys on the neck that indicate the chords and key signatures, and another set roughly positioned where you’d strum a guitar to play the notes.

The Synthfonio is assembled from laser-cut MDF sections, and utilizes a MKR WiFi 1010 to take care of I/O and MIDI functions. A second microcontroller in the form of an ATmega328 on a breadboard is used to produce actual synth sounds, though most Arduinos would be suitable either function.

The Synthfonio features 2 sets of keys, one to define chords and key signatures, and another one to actually play the notes. Whatever chord is pressed in the instruments neck keys, will define the pitch of the keys on the instrument handle. Similar to a guitar, violin, and other string instruments; with the added advance that the Synthfonio is a smart device that can deduce the chords being played from a single set of notes. This way, for example, the musician can use the handle keys to play chords, melodies, and arpeggios in the key of A, just by pressing the A key on the neck. In the same way, pressing the A key on the neck in conjunction with the C key (minor third of A) will activate an A minor tonality for the handle keys.

This can allow any player to execute a 4-chord melody, accompaniment, or even improvisation; with no more than one or two fingers in position.

Our dev team has some more exciting news to share: Arduino Pro IDE v0.0.4-alpha has been released.

Highlights include:

  • Automatic Arduino language server (LS) recovery. From now on, if the LS process terminates, it restarts automatically.
  • Updated the bundled Clang version to 9.0.0. Bundled Clangd into the application for all supported platforms.
  • Better keybinding support for the upload, verify, and the serial monitor.

You can download the latest version here.

Using 7-segment displays to make a clock is nothing new, but what if you combined 144 of them together to create an epic LED timepiece? That’s exactly how this project was made, allowing it to show surprisingly smooth mega-numbers and a colon set at an angle.

The build itself is controlled by an Arduino Nano, along with an RTC module for timekeeping and 18 MAX7219 drivers to activate over a thousand (1,008) individual segments. 

One could see this used for a variety of purposes, perhaps as a scoreboard for sporting events, a scrolling display, or even as 36 little clocks, which can actually be seen below.

When you get a notification on your smartphone, more often than not, you’re doing something more pressing. You then silence the alarm, and perhaps forget about it. Nick Bild, however, has created a pair of smart glasses that take a new “look” at things by instead giving you a notification when you’re staring at an appropriate item.

For instance, as demonstrated in the demo below, if your calendar says to “Go for a walk,” the Newrons would light up when you’re glancing at a pair of sneakers.

The prototype is controlled by an Arduino Nano 33 IoT, which connects to the Google Calendar API over WiFi to view your schedule. Object recognition is taken care of with a JeVois A33 machine vision camera and notifications are shown on an LED.

More details can be found in Bild’s write-up here

We’re excited to announce that Arduino IDE 1.8.11 is here!

In addition to the usual load of bugfixes and small improvements under the hood, the latest version includes:

  • Improved support for Mac OS X (the app is now notarized and strictly follows the latest OS X recommended security guidelines)
  • A “send text” command within the serial plotter (so you can interact with the board while plotting data!)
  • Better sketch build time
  • Updated AVR core and WiFi firmware

As always, we must thank our amazing community for their incredible support and contributions. The complete list of changes and contributors can be found in the full changelog.

Shape-shifting interfaces, which could be deployed to create dynamic furniture, structures or VR environments, have great potential; however, creating them is often quite difficult. To simplify things, researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have developed “LiftTiles,” modular blocks that raise to the desired height (between 15 and 150 centimeters) via air pressure and then collapse under spring force when needed.

Each pneumatic tile costs under $10 USD, weighs only 10kg each, and supports up to 10kg of weight. To demonstrate their design, the team used solenoid valves to inflate blocks and servo motors to open release valves that allow the blocks deflate and compress. 

The system is based on an Arduino Mega board, along with an SR300 depth camera to measure the height of each section and client software running on a control computer. 

More details can be found in the project’s research paper.

During Bett Show 2020, Arduino will launch the Arduino Education learning evolution: four new STEAM products for students in lower secondary school through to university. Arduino Education will also announce a partnership with the Fraunhofer Initiative: “Roberta – Learning with Robots” in Germany.

Arduino Education‘s latest products — CTC GO! Motions Expansion Pack, Engineering Kit Rev2, Arduino Education Starter Kit, and IoT Starter Kit — will be unveiled at Bett and available in Q1. These new products complement the existing portfolio, which includes the Science Kit, CTC GO!, CTC 101, Arduino Starter Kit, and Certification program.

Arduino CEO Fabio Violante comments: “We are delighted to announce four new products which will expand STEAM learning for lower secondary to university students. Our technology, programming, and curriculum content are creative tools just like brushes and paint that students can use as they become part of our next generation of scientists and artists.”

CTC GO! Motions Expansion Pack (Age: 14+)

Build on your secondary school students’ STEAM knowledge with more complex programming concepts that develop computational thinking and 21st-century skills.

For educators who have taken their students through the CTC GO! – Core Module, the Motions Expansion Pack builds on what they have already learned about how to use technology as a tool and how to apply that knowledge in the real world. The Motions Expansion Pack challenges students to go a step further in computing and design while introducing them to motors and transmission mechanisms such as pulleys and gear concepts that develop their logical reasoning, hands-on building skills, and problem-solving skills. Educators get all the teaching support they need with webinars, videos, guides, and direct contact with an expert.

Engineering Kit Rev2 (Age: 17+)

Challenge upper secondary school and university students and help them develop hands-on engineering skills.

Educators can challenge engineering students and help them develop physical engineering skills with the Arduino Engineering Kit Rev2. Featuring cutting-edge technology, the kit is a practical, hands-on tool that demonstrates key concepts, core aspects of mechatronics, and MATLAB and Simulink programming. Developed in partnership with MathWorks, The Engineering Kit Rev2 is ideal for advanced high school and college students, the three projects teach the basics of engineering — plus they’re fun to do! 

Education Starter Kit (Age: 11+)

Learn electronics and get started with programming in your classroom step-by-step — no experience necessary!

Educators can teach lower secondary school students the basics of programming, coding, and electronics. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary as the kits guide educators through step-by-step, they are well-supported with teacher guides, and lessons can be paced according to students’ abilities. The kit can be integrated throughout the curriculum, giving students the opportunity to become confident in programming and electronics with guided sessions and open experimentation. They’ll also learn vital 21st-century skills such as collaboration and problem-solving.

IoT Starter Kit (Age: 14+)

The first step into the world of connected objects has never been easier. 

Advanced secondary school and university students can get started with the Internet of Things quickly and easily. They’ll learn about using sensors; automation; logging, graphing and analyzing sensor data, and triggering events with serious technology made simple. The kit contains step-by-step tutorials for ten different projects – fun, creative experiments using real-life sensors.

In partnership with the Fraunhofer Initiative: “Roberta – Learning with Robots”

The dream team for classrooms worldwide: Arduino Education has officially partnered up with the Fraunhofer Initiative “Roberta – Learning with Robots.” The Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 board, part of Arduino CTC GO!, joined the Open Roberta Lab, the biggest open-source coding platform developed in Europe.

The Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 is the fourth Arduino board to be integrated into the Open Roberta Lab, which currently supports 13 robots and microcontrollers that enable children worldwide to adopt a playful approach to coding. The lab is the technological component of the Roberta Initiative, which was started by Fraunhofer IAIS in 2002. Eighteen years’ experience in STEM education, training teachers, and developing materials as well as launching the Open Roberta Lab in 2014 make Roberta a one-of-a-kind initiative in Germany and beyond, and the perfect partner for Arduino Education.

“Fraunhofer offers guaranteed quality, both on the technical level as well as for community support,” says Arduino CTO David Cuartielles. “There are a lot of synergies in our cooperation. Roberta is really meant for teachers to learn how to teach technology, and that’s also a key part of Arduino Education’s mission.”

“Open Roberta is developed as an open source platform to engage a community worldwide to join our mission. As a popular open source electronics platform, Arduino is the perfect match for us as it also motivates people all over the world to develop their own ideas and move from using to creating technology,” adds Thorsten Leimbach, head of business unit “Smart Coding and Learning” and Roberta manager at Fraunhofer IAIS.

Apparently not content with simply brewing his coffee to perfection, Alex Campbell can actually take control of the roast itself thanks to his beautiful fluid bed roasting rig.

His DIY device is constructed using a variety of stainless steel and aluminum components, along with a transparent roasting chamber. A spa blower is employed to suck waste out and agitate beans during the process.

The machine’s heating element is driven by a solid-state relay and a thermocouple provides feedback. An Arduino board is tasked with controlling the system, while user interface and higher-level control are handled via a laptop linked to it over serial. 

It’s an amazing design as seen in the two videos below — all to get that perfect cup!

Dream team for classrooms worldwide: Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 for CTC GO! joins Open Roberta Lab, the biggest open source coding platform made in Europe.

The Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 is the fourth Arduino board to be integrated into the Open Roberta Lab, which is currently supporting a total of 13 robots and microcontrollers to enable children worldwide to adopt a playful approach to coding. By “dragging and dropping” the colorful programming blocks called “NEPO” hundreds of thousands of users worldwide from more than 100 countries per year create their own programs to make their hardware come to life.

“Fraunhofer offers guaranteed quality, both on the technical level as well as for community support,” says Arduino CTO David Cuartielles. “There are a lot of synergies in our cooperation. Roberta is really meant for teachers to learn how to teach technology which is a key part of the Arduino Education’s mission.”

The CTC GO! – Core Module containing eight Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 is supporting the joint mission of Open Roberta and Arduino in providing teachers with a getting started program including eight lessons, eight guided projects, and six self-guided projects that teach students how to use electronics and introduces them to programming and coding. The lessons increase in difficulty from the very basics all the way through to learning different programming capabilities and building circuits for different sensors and actuators. During the self-guided projects, students practice building structures and applying the knowledge acquired in the hands-on lessons to develop their critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills in a collaborative manner.”

Arduino first joined Open Roberta in 2018, when the microcontrollers Arduino Uno, Nano, and Mega were integrated into the Open Roberta Lab. The lab is the technological component of the Roberta initiative, which was started by Fraunhofer IAIS in 2002. 18 years of experience in STEM education, training teachers and developing materials as well as launching the Open Roberta Lab in 2014 make Roberta a one of a kind initiative in Germany and beyond.



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