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Graduation season is now underway across America, and Western Carolina University student Michael King wanted to be sure he’d stand out from the crowd during his commencement ceremony. So being a computer science and electrical engineering major and all, naturally he decided to do some tinkering. He equipped his mortarboard with a 32×32 LED array, an Arduino Mega, three SPDT switches, a 2000mAh li-ion battery, and lots of wire, along with plenty of code. This enabled him to display a running Super Mario, Pac-Man, his school’s logo, a “Hire Me Google” message, and several other animated images on top of his cap.

I used three SPDT switches — one for LED grid power, one for Arduino power, and another to break out of the loop and display a static “WCU” logo. LED grid is powered via a 3.7V li-ion battery. 9V battery to power the Arduino Mega.

Lots and lots of Arduino code. I could convert bitmaps to arrays to use in the code. For those that would understand, I had a script written in Processing that could read a 32×32 pixel image, parse and convert it into an array of hex values, and literally format/write it out to a header file that I could just copy and paste into Arduino IDE… And yes, I am working on programming pong. Yes the actual, playable game.

thingThumbs up or thumbs down? This robotic arm skims social media to let you know if you're viewed positively or negatively.

Read more on MAKE

The post Read the Room with This Social Media Skimming Robotic Arm appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

If you’ve ever wanted to add biometric security features to your Arduino project, you’re in luck. That’s because Nick Koumaris of educ8s.tv has put together a quick tutorial on how to integrate a fingerprint sensor module with an Arduino Nano and a 1.44” color TFT display.

The fingerprint sensor module is small, nicely built, and it uses some advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chips inside. The sensor works like this. It is an optical sensor, which means it analyzes the photo of a finger. It then renders the image, makes some calculations, finds the features of that finger and then searches in its memory for a fingerprint with the same characteristics. It can achieve all that in less than a second! This module can store up to 1,000 fingerprints in its memory and its false acceptance rate is less than 0.001% which makes it pretty secure!

As you can see in the video below, the project requires a valid fingerprint in order to unlock. If it recognizes the user, which in this case is Koumaris or his girlfriend, the fingerprint icon on the display turns green along with a kind greeting, e.g. “Welcome, Nick!”

A few years ago, Integreight set out to turn your smartphone into more than 40 different Arduino shields. Now, the creators of the 1Sheeld have launched an open-source, fully-customizable home automation kit that will enable you to control your door locks, light switches and power strips using that very same mobile device.

Togglit” can be assembled without any programming, wires, or hassle — only a screwdriver. For its debut at Maker Faire Bay Area, the connected interface was based on an Arduino Uno and 1Sheeld; however, the startup’s founder Amr Saleh notes that it can run on virtually any hardware platform, ranging from Raspberry Pi to other Wi-Fi products.

At the moment, Togglit is compatible with typical toggle light switches, standard deadbolts, as well as American and European power outlets. Ready to make your house smarter? The DIY kit is currently available for pre-order.

With school just about out for the summer, Brian Fitzgerald’s son was throwing a party to celebrate the end of exam week. Like any cool Maker dad would, he decided to build awesome lights made out of a few old soda bottles, the “gooey innards” of glow sticks, and some other supplies he had lying around the basement.

Fitzgerald used a wooden plate for the base and a playground post bracket for the mount, along with an Arduino Leonardo (though any Arduino would do) and three NeoPixel rings for the colorful effects.

Fill the Coke bottles with water. Alternatively, you can add a drop of milk to get a cloudy effect — it makes the liquid translucent and gives the impression of solid light, but you loose the little bubble and scratch effects that clear water highlights, which we thought was cooler. We put a black Sugru cap on the bottles to avoid a drunken accident involving water and electronics. And filled the countersunk bolt holes with Sugru to hide the bolt heads as well.

I attached the plastic Arduino casing with double-sided velcro to the base unit for easy removal. It’d look nicer if I’d put the whole unit inside the base, but as we’re planning to pull the board out and modify for music sensitivity, I opted for convenience over beauty. If anybody has any cool Arduino code that gets an Adafruit auto-gain mic and NeoPixels jamming via FFT, I’d love to see it. There are some great color organ projects out there, but I can’t seem to find this particular combo. So we may have to write it ourselves!

Plug the 9v wall wart into the Arduino and BOOM. You got yourself a classic party light that’s mesmerizing to look at, throws patterns on the ceiling that look like Hubble images of distant nebulae, a fine conversation piece, and a bunch of cast off junk transformed into a thing of beauty.

Intrigued? You can check out the entire project on Instructables, as well as see it in action below.

 

From context clues, we can tell that [TVMiller] has been in and around NYC for some time now. He has observed a crucial weakness in the common metropolitan. Namely, they deafen themselves with earphones, leaving them senseless in a hostile environment.

To fix this problem, he came up with a simple hack, the metrophone. An ultrasonic sensor is hung from a backpack. The user’s noise making device of choice is plugged into one end, and the transducer into the other. When the metropolitan is approached from the rear by a stalking tiger or taxi cab, the metrophone will reduce the volume and allow the user to hear and respond to their impending doom. Augmentation successful.

The device itself consists of an off-the-shelf ultrasonic sensor, an Arduino, and a digital potentiometer. It all fits in a custom 3D printed enclosure and runs of two rechargeable coin cells. A simple bit of code scales the volume to the current distance being measured by the ultrasonic sensor once a threshold has been met.

In the video after the break, you can observe [TVMiller]’s recommended method for tranquilizing and equipping a metropolitan in its natural habitat without disturbing its patterns or stressing it unduly.

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Filed under: Arduino Hacks, robots hacks

Unlike many cars today, Aykut Celik’s 2014 Volkswagen Polo didn’t have Bluetooth connectivity or an elaborate touchscreen navigation system. So, the Maker decided to take matters into his own hands and swapped out his “useless” radio for a Samsung tablet, putting Google Maps, Spotify and other apps right in his vehicle’s dashboard.

In order to accomplish this, Celik needed an amplifier (to replace the one attached to the prior radio), a CAN bus shield from Seeed (so he could use the steering wheel’s volume buttons), a Bluetooth module, and an Arduino Mega 2560 (for parsing data and sending it over to the Android device).

A CAN-BUS shield is necessary to be able to read CAN-BUS commands from the CAN bus line… I used this shield for detecting wheel button commands like volume up, mute and volume down. Behind the car radio there are two CAN bus cables. One of them is CAN bus – HIGH and the other is CAN bus – LOW. These cables must be connected to green sockets on the shield.

Using the SeeedCAN bus shield, you can sniff you car’s CAN bus data.

The info which is gathered from CAN bus is transferred to the Android tablet via Bluetooth. There is a little app which is responsible, for example, reducing volume whenever the wheel volume button is clicked. And a menu activity to open other apps.

You can watch the elaborate project below, and read more about it on Celik’s blog. The Maker has also made the software and other information available on GitHub.

[Bokononestly] found a lil’ music box that plays Stairway to Heaven and decided those were just the kinds of dulcet tones he’d like to wake up to every morning. To each his own; I once woke up to Blind Melon’s “No Rain” every day for about six months. [Bokononestly] is still in the middle of this alarm clock project right now. One day soon, it will use a *duino to keep track of the music box’s revolutions and limit the alarm sound to one cycle of the melody.

stairway-musicbox-alarm-clock[Bokononestly] decided to drive the crank of the music box with a geared DC motor from an electric screwdriver. After making some nice engineering drawings of the dimensions of both and mocking them up in CAD, he designed and printed a base plate to mount them on. A pair of custom pulleys mounted to the motor shaft and the crank arm transfer motion using the exact right rubber band for the job. You can’t discount the need for a hig bag ‘o rubber bands.
In order to count the revolutions, he put a wire in the path of the metal music box crank and used the body of the box as a switch. Check out the build video after the break and watch him prove it with the continuity function of a multimeter. A clever function that should at some point be substituted out for a leaf switch.

We’ve covered a lot of cool clock builds over the years, including one or two that run Linux. And say what you will about Stairway; it’s better than waking up to repeated slaps in the face.

[via r/engineering]


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Arduino Hacks

Swedish electric car startup Uniti has unveiled an open-source, Uno-compatible board designed for controlling three-phase motors. The “Uniti ARC” combines the familiar layout of Arduino with a number of other powerful features that will help facilitate the prototyping of electronic machinery — which includes the company’s own EV.

Aside from transportation vehicles like cars, e-bikes and e-scooters, the Uniti ARC can be used with other equipment employing three-phase motors, such as CNC mills, conveyor belts, or even 3D printers.

In terms of hardware, the Uniti ARC is powered by an ATmega64M1 at 16 MHz, and comes with a 12-bit high speed three-phase motor controller, CAN 2.0 A/B transceiver for real-time communication, 10-bit digital to analog converter, and four analog comparators. In addition, it can be easily programmed using the Arduino IDE.

The ARC inherits the versatility of the Arduino and even expands it. Therefore, the possibilities of what you can build with it are only limited by your creativity. Every electric motor can also be used as a generator! Let your imagination go wild…

It is designed to empower makers, startups, educators and anyone else, to be part of the electric vehicle revolution by making electric car prototyping more accessible for a wider public.

Handheld measuring devices make great DIY projects. One can learn a lot about a sensor or sensor technology by just strapping it onto a spare development board together with an LCD for displaying the sensor output. [Richard’s] DIY air quality meter and emissions tester is such a project, except with the custom laser-cut enclosure and the large graphic LCD, his meter appears already quite professional.

For his build, [Richard] used a Sharp GP2Y1010AU0F dust sensor. This $11 device has a little hole, through which airborne dust particles can pass. On the inside, an infrared LED and a photodiode are arranged in a way that allows no direct light, but only light reflected by the passing by dust particles, to reach the photodiode. An accurately trimmed amplifier within the sensor package translates the diode’s photocurrent into an analog output voltage proportional to the dust density. With a bit of software wizardry, it’s even possible to differentiate between house dust and smoke by analyzing the pulse pattern of the output voltage.

diy-pollutant-meterThe development board used in this project, a PDI-1 (which stands for Programmable Device Interface) is [Richard’s] own design. Manufactured in the UK, it isn’t the cheapest, but it’s the part that makes this build a breeze. It’s basically an Arduino Nano with a lot of onboard peripherals, including a large graphic LCD, some buttons, a speaker, plenty of H-bridges, and a few more.

After bodge-wiring the dust sensor to the board and taking the enclosure out of the laser cutter, the hardware side of this project was almost done. A little fan was added to ensure airflow through the sensor. Eventually [Richard] wrote a basic firmware to display a graph of sensor readings on the LCD. A first test in the exhaust stream of his car, cycling through idling and revving as shown in the title image, suggests that the meter works as intended. Of course, air quality and emission testing depend on more parameters than just dust density, but if you want to replicate and extend this build, [Richard] provides you with all the Arduino compatible source files.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, misc hacks


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