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While playing a game called slither.io, Nathan Ramanathan was asked by his father to turn on a wet grinder for “exactly 45 minutes.” As explained, this device uses stones to grind rice into dough, producing material for delicious-looking Dosa cakes.

Deliciousness aside, Ramanathan would rather have the grinder stop automatically than wait around for it, and came up with his own Arduino Uno-based outlet timer controlled via smartphone over Bluetooth. As a bonus, it plays “The Final Countdown” by Europe when only a few seconds remain. 

His write-up includes some discussion about multitasking and the perils of using the delay() function, so be sure to check that out if you’d like more information. Also, when dealing with outlet/mains power, use extreme caution and get help from someone qualified if needed.

When you’re introduced to an Arduino Uno, perhaps you want to take button inputs, control a few LEDs, or move a hobby servo motor. These boards are quite good at that, but with some creative coding, they can actually control a VGA monitor and even play low-resolution games like Pong, Snake or Tetris.

Using Sandro Maffiodo’s VGAx libraries, Instructables user Rob Cai built his own gaming setup, wiring the controls into two separate units. Now, while the base unit hooks up to the actual screen and takes inputs from player one, the second allows player two to participate as well.

I decided to split it in two units: one with a potentiometer and four buttons for the single player games, the other with one button and the second potentiometer for the second player. Thus in total you need 5 buttons, two potentiometers, a VGA connector (DSUB15 female) and, of course, an Arduino! Most importantly, there is no need of supporting IC or special shields!

Want to make one of your own? Check out the DIY VGA console in action below, and see more details on the project’s Instructables write-up. Smaffer’s VGAx libraries can be found here.

Now on Kickstarter, ArduECU is an IP69K-rated waterproof, rugged and impact-resistant electronic control unit (ECU) that enables your Arduino projects to withstand the elements and other harsh environments.

ArduECU is compatible with all 12V to 24V systems, and can be used in a wide range of applications such as vehicle diagnostics and control, stationary machines, remote monitoring, industrial automation, and agriculture to name just a few.

Based on an ATmega328, the ECU can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and also supports CoDeSys, meaning you can now configure your ArduECU with ladder logic, functional block, structured text, instruction list, or sequential function charts.

ArduECU comes in three models–one for basic projects, one for CAN bus vehicle and machine control applications, and another which converts an existing Arduino Uno into a weatherproof, custom-tailored ECU with an on-board prototyping area for your own creations and circuits. Each of these units will have expansion headers to leverage IoT and wireless capabilities, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular and GPS, or to house future expansion shields with additional functionality at a later time.

Jonathan Odom, a full-time designer at Instructables who goes by the name “JON-A-TRON,” decided to make a clock illustrating time’s linearity.  What he came up with was a beautifully crafted (robotically manufactured at the Pier 9 workshop, that is) clock that uses two rack and pinion assemblies to move a line of numbers for hours on top of another line signifying minutes.

The minute “hand” is divided up into five-minute intervals, which seems to him to feel less neurotic than being precise down to the exact minute. Magnifying glasses are used to magnify an hour and minute number, reminding onlookers to focus on the present.

The clock is actuated using an Arduino Uno with a motor driver, controlling a stepper motor for each “hand.” It’s an incredible build, and nicely illustrated. Whether or not you have access to the tools needed to recreate this exact clock, perhaps this concept will inspire something similar!

Be sure to check out Odom’s clock Instructables write-up here and see a demo of it below!

Using an Arduino, wildlife observer and hiking hacker Andrew Quitmeyer modified a spherical camera to take pictures when motion is detected.

If you’d like to photograph wildlife without actually being there to scare the animals off (or because you would eventually get bored), a great solution is a camera trap. These devices can trigger a camera when animals move nearby, hopefully capturing interesting images. Generally, you need to point your camera in the right direction, but Quitmeyer got around this by using a 360 camera instead to eliminate this placement bias.

In order to control the device, he rigged up his own system with PIR motion sensors and an Arduino Uno to prompt the camera as well as power it on and off. The hack looks effective, though voiding an expensive camera’s warranty like this will certainly scare a few Makers off!

You can see more about how this project was pulled off on Instructables, and find the Arduino code used on GitHub.

As touched on in this video by Charlotte Dann (aka “Charbytes”), she has magnets in her fingers.

This may or may not seem like a small detail, but either way it allows her to draw interesting shapes by passing them over a magnetometer mounted to an Arduino Uno. Dann’s sensor/Arduino package passes serial data to a computer, which does the “heavy lifting,” turning the input into beautiful colors on a computer screen.

It’s an interesting project, and the build process is nicely narrated in her video. A few highlights include a problem with “plastic weld” at 4:00, and a few electrical issues around 7:30 that she eventually solves. You can see more details on this project on its GitHub page, as well as check out Dann’s Twitter account to see what else she’s up to!

After procuring a new Easy-Bake Oven, engineer Jason Cerundolo decided to convert it to run off of USB. According to his project write-up, “USB-C spec allows for 100 Watts of power to be transferred through the connector, and that is the power rating for the oven, so it should work.”

The biggest modification in this build was dividing the heating element into six segments in order to power it with 20V allowed over USB-C. Finding a suitable charger for this device was also a bit of a challenge, but after 20 minutes, it was able to reach 300° F, producing five strangely-shaped but likely still tasty cookies!

For the electronics, I used my USB-C breakout board with the FUSB302B PHY and an Arduino Uno. I wired I2C plus interrupt between the two. I connected VBUS from the breakout board to VIN on the Arduino to power it. Then, I connected +3V3 from the Arduino to the VDD on the breakout board to power the FUSB302B, as well as +5V to V_pullup on the breakout board. I also connected VBUS to the switch, then to the modified heating element and back to GND. To make the connections easier, I crimped spade connectors onto jumper wires. Finally, I plugged the modified light into pin 13 on the Arduino.

You can check out more about Cerundolo’s project, and find his code on GitHub.

After procuring a new Easy-Bake Oven, engineer Jason Cerundolo decided to convert it to run off of USB. According to his project write-up, “USB-C spec allows for 100 Watts of power to be transferred through the connector, and that is the power rating for the oven, so it should work.”

The biggest modification in this build was dividing the heating element into six segments in order to power it with 20V allowed over USB-C. Finding a suitable charger for this device was also a bit of a challenge, but after 20 minutes, it was able to reach 300° F, producing five strangely-shaped but likely still tasty cookies!

For the electronics, I used my USB-C breakout board with the FUSB302B PHY and an Arduino Uno. I wired I2C plus interrupt between the two. I connected VBUS from the breakout board to VIN on the Arduino to power it. Then, I connected +3V3 from the Arduino to the VDD on the breakout board to power the FUSB302B, as well as +5V to V_pullup on the breakout board. I also connected VBUS to the switch, then to the modified heating element and back to GND. To make the connections easier, I crimped spade connectors onto jumper wires. Finally, I plugged the modified light into pin 13 on the Arduino.

You can check out more about Cerundolo’s project, and find his code on GitHub.

Though this low-cost robotic hand by Maker “MertArduino” might not be the best platform for manufacturing, or even world domination, it does show off some interesting physical build techniques. The DIY device can mimic a human’s hand wirelessly via a pair of Arduino Unos and nRF24L01 modules.

For construction, the fingers and thumb are made out of springs and foam, and nylon cords are used to pull them closed with a small servo for each digit. Control is accomplished by flex sensors attached via zip ties to a glove. It’s a great demonstration of how you don’t actually need a 3D printer or other advanced CNC machinery to craft something really unique!

You can see the project in the video below, and check out more hacks on Mert Arduino’s YouTube channel!

Using an Arduino Uno along with a Raspberry Pi for control, hacker “HomoFaciens” came up with this clever delta-style robot.

If you were going to make a robot with five servos, many Makers would make a robot arm with them and call it a day. HomoFaciens, however, who is known for making amazing machines with minimal tools and improvised materials, instead made something that seems to be a cross between a delta robot and a Skycam.

His device, called “WinchBot,” uses three winches attached to an equilateral triangle frame to move a slider on a central pivoting square rod. This allows the robot’s 5-axis “hand” to be positioned within the robot’s work area. The servos are then tasked with keeping everything in the correct orientation, as well as opening and closing the gripper as needed.

If you’d like more details than given in the very entertaining video seen here, be sure to check out the project’s write-up.



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