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Giu
30

If you’ve ever had to move around in a dark room before, you know how frustrating it can be. This is especially true if you are in an unfamiliar place. [Brian] has attempted to help solve this problem by building a vibrating distance sensor that is intuitive to use.

The main circuit is rather simple. An Arduino is hooked up to both an ultrasonic distance sensor and a vibrating motor. The distance sensor uses sound to determine the distance of an object by calculating how long it takes for an emitted sound to return to the sensor. The sensor uses sounds that are above the range of human hearing, so no one in the vicinity will hear it. The Arduino then vibrates a motor quickly if the object is very close, or slowly if it is far away. The whole circuit is powered by a 9V battery.

The real trick to this project is that the entire thing is housed inside of an old flashlight. [Brian] used OpenSCAD to design a custom plastic mount. This mount replaces the flashlight lens and allows the ultrasonic sensor to be secured to the front of the flashlight. The flashlight housing makes the device very intuitive to use. You simply point the flashlight in front of you and press the button. Instead of shining a bright light, the flashlight vibrates to let you know if the way ahead is clear. This way the user can more easily navigate around in the dark without the risk of being seen or waking up people in the area.

This reminds us of project Tacit, which used two of these ultrasonic sensors mounted on a fingerless glove.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Nov
09

Mobile Planter Chases the Sun

Afinia, arduino hacks, Arduino micro, green hacks, PING, planter, solar panels Commenti disabilitati su Mobile Planter Chases the Sun 

F3VQBWAI27GVR4M.LARGE

There are two types of people: ones with green thumbs, and ones that kill their cacti  because they forgot to water them for over a year. Sadly, we are of the latter group. We currently have a resilient spider plant that looks like it could use more sun. Now there’s a way for it to catch those rays wherever they may shine, thanks to [Dot Matrix] of Instructables. She made a mobile planter that actively seeks out sunlight.

The planter’s base was made of plywood, topped with fake grass and a watering can to hold the plant. Anything above the planter base can be modified to whatever desired aesthetic. A CRT planter may be too heavy, but there are countless ways to personalize it. [Dot] used an Afinia 3D printer to make various mounts and brackets with ABS plastic. The planter was controlled by an Arduino Micro and used a pair of 0.5W solar panels and Parallax PING))) sensors to decide how it should move from its current position. If the planter would fall or hit an object moving forward, it would reverse and turn on wheels powered by Parallax continuous rotation servos. It would evaluate its new position, repeating the process if it was in danger. Once the planter was safe, it used the solar panels to detect the most sunlight: the sum of the panels determines the area’s brightness while the individual panels’ readings were used to move the planter towards a brighter area. The sun-seeking continued until the sunniest spot was found (defined in the code). Here, the planter remained idle for 10 minutes before restarting the process.

We think [Dot's] planter is a fun way to keep plants happy and healthy in spite of us. See a video of the planter after the break.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, green hacks

HackPhx 2014

The HackPhx Winter 2014 hackathon was held at Heatsync Labs hackerspace in Mesa, Arizona, USA. The advertised theme was “Arduino Wearables”. Participating attendees were randomly placed on teams evenly distributed by their disclosed skills across all teams. There were 10 teams with 4 to 5 members per team competing for two winning spots.

Each team had to build an amazing wearable project utilizing the secret ingredient which was Seedstudio’s Arduino-compatible Xadow wearable platform and add-ons. The Xadow is similar to the Arduino Leonardo and participants used an Arduino cross compatibility and pin mapping chart to assist in development.

Top prize was the Judges’ prizes for the best completed and documented Xadow wearable team project. The second prize was the Jury’s prize given to the team project that the other teams liked the most regardless of event criteria.

Read more about the winning teams and watch their presentations after the break.

I was already planning on attending the hackathon. When I mentioned this to the Hackaday team they also put me on assignment to film and write about the winning teams. Full disclosure: I couldn’t resist signing up as a team member for some hacking fun.

No team members had experience using the Xadow platform so the playing field was quite level. The range of Xadow add-ons was extensive, but teams could only blindly select from a bucket of donated Xadow add-on modules such as OLED display, LED arrays, motors, accelerometers, GPS, NFC and BLE. Bartering between teams was encouraged as teams developed their final project plans.

The event really began the night before the hackathon with a 4 hour meet and greet to divide into teams and finalize hardware trades. The real event started at 8 am the next morning and lasted for 12 straight hours of mad hacking using any tools and supplies available at Heatsync Labs. Heatsync Labs provided experienced volunteers to assist teams that needed to use lab equipment such as the Laser cutter, 3D printers, welders, metal lathes or any power tools.

All team code, photos and final documentation had to be uploaded to each team’s GitHub repository before judging started at 8 pm.

Morse code Jelly Friend Earrings Flashing HackPhx in Morse code Controller and Bluetooth reciever module hidden in necklace

After the smoke cleared the Judges’ winner was Team 8 with “Morse Code Earrings”. This really was an amazing wearable hack especially if you take into account they scrapped their first project and started over on the winning project halfway through the hackathon. Team 8 utilized the Xadow Bluetooth LE module to send text messages from a phone to a stealth receiving necklace containing an Xadow which modulated the message in Morse code over flashing “Jelly Friend” LED earrings. The earrings were also made by Team 8 using clear acrylic laser cut in the shape of jellyfish and having a base of LEDs and some old Christmas tree fiber-optic lighting parts. The big advantage to having such decorative communication is to send SOS requests to nearby girlfriends when you find yourself entangled in scary company. Or to scream covertly flash profanity at your boss.

Team 8 members:

  • Mattie Finney – GossamerLights
  • James Brooks – pyrobrooks
  • Nate Plamondon – meznak
  • Brett Warner – brettwarner
Experiencing a new reality The OLED display attached to the back of the head unit How the user sees the OLED display in the 2 reflecting mirrors

Team 4 with “Over 9000” won the Jury’s prize. This prize winner was picked by all the other teams and I must say my team members were amazing; yes I was on Team 4. My team members were extremely talented at learning this new hardware platform. Almost effortlessly, and with time to spare, they quickly integrated the hardware, code and bits of scrap into a wearable head mounted heads-up Google Glass style interactive and fully functioning augmented reality head unit. I say “they” because I only worked on the glove unit and cabling. The glove unit retrieves distance measurements in feet and inches from a Parallax ultrasonic ping sensor mounted on the back of the glove and is cabled into the back of the head unit.

The project name comes from the accelerometer output mounted in the head unit. Once the accelerometer’s power unit output tops 9000 all the LEDs on the side will turn red indicating max power level activity. This power unit value along with distance measurements to objects in front of the glove unit are internally reflected into the wearer’s right eye from an OLED display mounted at the back of the head unit. If the glove detects objects closer than 3 feet, a front mounted red LED also lights to warn innocent bystanders. The back of the head unit is prewired for jacking in auxiliary off board sensors and equipment to simplify integration and assimilation.

Team 4 members:

  • Chad Tech – ChadCS
  • Joe Fleming – w33ble
  • Doug Sheridan – dsherida
  • Todd Harrison – toddfun


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Hackerspaces, iphone hacks, Virtual Reality, wearable hacks, wireless hacks
Ott
25

Fire Breathing Jack-O-Lantern of Death

arduino hacks, fire, halloween, Holiday Hacks, jack o lantern, Parallax, PING, pumpkin Commenti disabilitati su Fire Breathing Jack-O-Lantern of Death 

fire_pumpkin

[Rick] is at it again, this week he has conjured up an even more dangerous Halloween hack. Thankfully [Rick] has included a warning of just how dangerous this hack can be, especially if children are around. Don’t do this hack unless you know what you’re doing and you can do it safely.

For [Rick]’s number four hack of the month he gives us the Fire Breathing Jack-O-Lantern of death! This isn’t a new idea but it is a very unique and simple implementation. We always love seeing the ingenuity of hackers to repurpose existing commercial products. In this case, [Rick] uses an automated air freshener which dispenses a flammable spray for the pumpkins breath if you dare get too close, but not so close as to get burned. The trigger distance is controlled by an Arduino and a Parallax Ping))) sensor so as to fire only when people are farther than 3 feet but closer than 5 feet. You can get a copy of the Arduino sketch from his blog posting.

A small candle is used to ignite the flammable spray, which shoots out 5 to 10 inches from the pumpkin’s mouth when triggered by the ultrasonic sensor. It couldn’t be simpler. The most challenging part was getting the large air freshener dispenser in the pumpkin with the flames coming out the mouth. A little extra whacking at the pumpkin fixed the fit, but planning for a larger pumpkin would be advised.

Theoretically the Arduino shouldn’t trigger and throw flames if people are too close, but when kids are running around they may come right into the target area unexpectedly. If this hack is used in the right place it would make for a great Halloween display item and could be used safely.

After the break you can watch [Rick’s] flame breathing Jack-o-Lantern build tutorial.

If you would like to see a voice controlled dragon pumpkin that throws flames whenever somebody says “trick or treat” then checkout this Microsoft Kinect voice recognition hack .


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Holiday Hacks
Mar
13

No-touch music player

arduino hacks, digital audio hacks, mp3, PING, PING sensor, rangefinder, ultrasonic Commenti disabilitati su No-touch music player 

no-touch-mp3-player

This little box not only plays tunes, but it lets you control several aspects of playback without touching a thing. [Thomas Clauser] calls it the LighTouch and we like it because it uses inaudible sound to control audible sound.

We think the pair of cylinders sticking up through the top of this project enclosure will be recognized by most readers as the business end of an ultrasonic rangefinder. This is the only control interface which [Thomas] chose to use. Although he didn’t write very extensively about the specific control scheme he implemented, the video embedded in his post shows some of the gestures that cause the Arduino inside to change its behavior. For instance, a swipe of the hand at higher level starts playback, swiping at a lower level pauses it. When adjusting the volume the box responds to how close his hand is to that sensor. With this control in place, the music side of these things is simply handled by a music shield he is using.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, digital audio hacks
Dic
14

Sensing Hot and Cold with Weekend Projects

arduino, Beginner, breadboard, GreatCreate, LED, leds, MAKE Projects, PING, PING sensor, RadioShack, Weekend Projects Commenti disabilitati su Sensing Hot and Cold with Weekend Projects 

MCjiWaqjfHqqWF4XCombine an Arduino, an ultransonic distance sensor, and some common components to build a classic "hot/cold" project. Once assembled, we'll walk through the software "sketch" loaded onto our Arduino, and experiment with three variations of the "hot/cold" theme, all the while using the same circuit.

Read the full article on MAKE



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