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After building a bicycle that could travel across town while making music, Sam Battle now taken things in a different direction. Synth Bike 3.0, which will be on display at the Science Center Dublin until September, is set up on a training fixture so that you can pedal it indoors rain or shine. This version also features a simplified control panel on the handlebars, allowing it to be played by anyone at a tempo controlled by the rear wheel’s speed.

Battle’s YouTube channel is named “LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER” however, this apparently doesn’t count microcontrollers. Hidden in the externally clean-looking handlebar groove box is a total of 12 Arduino Nano boards, along with a maze of wiring, strip circuit boards, frequency central PCBs, a SparkFun WAV trigger, and some other electronics. There’s even built-in speakers on the sides to output the created sounds.

Be sure to check out Synth Bike 3.0’s New Atlas write-up for more info on the project.

Computer vision has traditionally relied on an assortment of rather involved components. On the other hand, everything you need to do this complicated task is readily available on an Android phone. The clever setup seen in the video here uses a smartphone to capture and process images, then send out a signal over Bluetooth to tell which way the device needs to be adjusted in order to focus on a nearby face.

An HC-05 Bluetooth module receives this signal and passes it to two servo motors via an Arduino Nano, moving the phone left/right and up/down.

You can find the Arduino code for this project on CircuitDigest, and the Android Processing code can be downloaded there as a compressed folder.

Though time may be relative, unless you’re planning on doing a lot of space travel, slowing things down in real life is “notoriously” difficult. On the other hand, with carefully-coordinated vibrations and lighting, the “sLOMO” device is able to make objects such as a feather or plant appear to move in slow motion with the naked eye.

Inspired by Jeff Lieberman’s Slow Dance Frame, this project is made out of a readily available IKEA Ribba frame, and the object inside vibrates using an electromagnet. An Arduino Nano controls this magnet and pulses a double-row LED strip, in order to make the item appear to slow down, or even distort itself into multiple overlapping images.

Want to build your own? Check out the excellent write-up on Instructables, and see the magical frame in action below!

The La Fabrique DIY team has been working on a unique clock modeled after buildings seen along the Seine River in Paris. The “City Clock” is different from the others in that instead of a dial or decimal numbers, windows light up in a binary format, displaying the time in a binary sequence.

Electronics-wise, the clock can be made with an Arduino Uno, involving a fairly simple circuit with individual LEDs and resistors, as seen on this Imgur set. Also shown there is the Kickstarter version of the circuit, which amounts to a sort of gigantic shield that an Arduino Nano is plugged into.

With the City Clock, you calculate the time by adding every digit vertically. The first floor equals one, second equals two, third equals four, and the top equals eight. Using this system, it’s possible to create every digit from zero to nine by adding one number to another.

These clocks are available in various kit forms, including just the electronics or frame if you’d like a head start crafting something truly your own!

While touchscreens are nice, wouldn’t it be even better if you could simply wave your hand to your computer to get it to do what you want? That’s the idea behind this Iron Man-inspired gesture control device by B. Aswinth Raj.

The DIY system uses an Arduino Nano mounted to a disposable glove, along with hall effect sensors, a magnet attached to the thumb, and a Bluetooth module. This smart glove uses the finger-mounted sensors as left and right mouse buttons, and has a blue circle in the middle of the palm that the computer can track via a webcam and a Processing sketch to generate a cursor position.

You can see it demonstrated in the video below, drawing a stick man literally by hand, and also controlling an LED on the Nano. Check out this write-up for code and more info on the build!

As YouTuber Evan Kale puts it, his set is was kind of boring. He decided to spruce things up by turning his ordinary door into an “alien portal,” lining it with a strip of RGB LEDs. Though this may not be the first time you’ve seen this type of lighting in action, he directs our attention to a few interesting details about using them in typical Kale style.

One interesting note comes around the 4:50 mark, where he points out his portal is controlled using Hue Saturation Lightness (HSL) via a potentiometer instead of RGB. This keeps the glowing effect consistent, while allowing color adjustment.

For this project, he employed an Arduino Nano, which looks like a great choice since it needs a limited amount of I/O. Using this tiny board, the entire control package can fit into his small 3D-printed enclosure.

You can see a demo of Kale’s “alien portal” below, and check out his channel for more fun Arduino projects!

Using a keyboard and mouse usually gets the job done, but if you want to navigate around a website or video, the process could be a little more efficient. It may not be a big deal to reach over and use your mouse and scroll wheel, but if you had this control on your keyboard, that tiny bit of time savings could add up over the thousands of times you do this.

For this purpose, Imgur user “Electricrelay” added a motorized force feedback slider to his keyboard using an Arduino Nano for control. This easily customizable device can scroll through pages, or switch between open browser tabs or programs. It can also act as a mechanical display, shaking for notifications, or sliding with keystrokes like an old-school typewriter. The Maker even created a plugin for timeline scrubbing in Adobe Premiere.

Check out lots of example animations on the project’s Imgur page here and see it in action below!

Using an Arduino Nano and two rotary stages, this Maker hacked together a panoramic thermal imaging camera.

After ordering and finally receiving a thermopile (infrared thermometer) in the mail, the author of this project set to work to construct his own scanning thermometer. This type of setup acts like an IR camera, but instead of taking one instantaneous picture, it stores thermal data points that are then resolved into a coherent image.

Though the panoramic results can be fantastic, since the thermometer has to be rotated to each point individually via stepper motors on the rotary stages, a single image capture can take over an hour.

You can find more details of the build here.

Back in the day, building a DIY radio was fun! We only had to get our hands at a germanium diode, make some coils, and with a resistor and long wire as an antenna maybe we could get some sound out of those old white earplugs. That was back then. Now we have things like the Si4703 FM tuner chip that can tune in FM radio in the 76–108 MHz range, comes with integrated AGC and AFC, controlled by I2C, as well as a bunch of other acronyms which seem to make the whole DIY radio-building process outdated. The challenges of the past resulted in the proven solutions of the present in which we build upon.

This little project by [Patrick Müller] is a modern radio DIY tutorial. With an Arduino Nano as the brains and controller for an Si4703 breakout board, he builds a completely functional and portable FM radio. A small OLED display lets the user see audio volume, frequency, selected station and still has space left to show the current available battery voltage. It has volume control, radio station seek, and four buttons that allows quick access to memorized stations. The source code shows how it is possible to control the Si4703 FM tuner chip to suit your needs.

As for ICs, not everything is new, [Patrick] still used the good old LM386 amp to drive the speaker, which is almost 35 years old by now. As we can listen in the demo video, it can still output some seriously loud music sounds!

Sadly, due to the FM receiver band constraints, you can’t listen to Jupiter on this one.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Electronic interfaces have advanced from plugging things in, to keyboards, touchscreens, VR environments, and perhaps soon temporary tattoos. Led by Martin Weigel, researchers at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany have come up with a way to turn your skin blemishes and wrinkles into touch-sensitive controls for devices like smartphones and computers.

“SkinMarks” can be transferred onto the skin using water and last a couple of days before rubbing off. As seen in the video below, these e-tattoos can take the form of buttons, sliders and visual displays, and even sense when a joint is bent. For example, knuckles on a hand made into a fist could act as buttons and then become a slider when the fingers are straightened.

Another type of SkinMark is electroluminescent, meaning that an image printed on your skin could light up to signal a phone call or other important notifications.

These tattoos are connected to a wrist-mounted Arduino Nano and an Adafruit MPR121 capacitive touch shield via wires and copper tape; though if the system can be shrunk down even further, this could open up many different possibilities!

You can find more information on this project on New Scientist, or in the team’s published paper here.



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