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If necessity is the mother of invention, then inconvenience is its frustrating co-conspirator. Faced with a finicky dryer that would shut down mid-cycle with a barely audible beep if its load was uneven (leaving a soggy mass of laundry), [the0ry] decided to add the dryer to the Internet of Things so it could send them an email whenever it shut itself down.

After opening a thinger.io account, adding the soon-to-be device, and setting up the email notification process, [the0ry] combined the ESP8266 Development Board, a photosensitive resistor, and a 5V power supply on a mini breadboard. All that was left was to mount it on the dryer and direct the LDR (light-dependent resistor) to the machine’s door lock LED to trigger an email when it turned off — indicating the cycle had finished or terminated prematurely. A little tape ensured the LDR would only be tripped by the desired light source.

If you’re an apartment-dweller have WiFi in the wash area it would be awesome to see a battery-powered version you take with you. But in general this is a great hardware blueprint as many device have status LEDs that can be monitored in a similar way. If you want to keep the server in-house (literally in this case) check out the Minimal MQTT series [Elliot Williams] recently finished up. It uses a Raspberry Pi as the center server and an ESP8266 is one of the limitless examples of hardware that plays nicely with the protocol.

We love seeing hacks like this because not only does it conserve water and energy by reducing instances of rewashing, but it’s also a clever way to extend the life of an appliance and potentially save hundreds of dollars in replacing it. Add this to the bevvy of hacks that add convenience to one’s home — some of which produce delicious results.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home hacks

While this recent project may look like something straight out of Simone Giertz’s notebook, it’s actually the brainchild of James Cochrane. The engineer, who admittedly loves building all sorts of crazy machines, has developed an apparatus he calls the IoT Robot People/Pet Affectionator.

As its name would suggest, the Affectionator is an Arduino Nano-driven device that automatically gives his dog T-Bone a pat on the head along with a spoon-fed treat at the touch of an arcade button. That’s not all, though. It even allows the pup to reciprocate by pressing his own button and sending over a token of his appreciation on a fork–which in Cochrane’s case is a gummy worm.

Aside from the Arduino, the Affectionator is equipped with two H-Bridge motor drivers, two geared Pittman motors, and two geared hobby motors.

These days people are more connected with each other, however we are experiencing fewer physical interactions. This device will allow you to provide affection either locally or remotely to your pet without any physical contact. If your pet decides you are also worthy of their affection they can also reciprocate with a pat on the head and a tasty treat.

One day while giving my dog T-Bone a scratch behind the ears I came up with this silly idea. A robot which gives you a pet on the head and feeds you a treat. With the IoT, you can also build two of these and network them across the Internet.

Intrigued? Watch the hilarious idea in action below!

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Cosmic Bitcasting is a digital art and science project emerging from the idea of connecting the human body with the cosmos by creating a wearable device with embedded light, sound and vibration that will provide sensory information on the invisible cosmic radiation that surrounds us. This open-source project actually works by detecting secondary muons generated by cosmic rays hitting the Earth’s atmosphere that pass through the body.

Artist Afroditi Psarra and experimental physicist Cécile Lapoire worked together to develop a prototype of the wearable cosmic ray detector during a one-month residency at Etopia in Zaragoza, and is currently on display at the Etopia-Center for Art and Technology in Zaragoza as part of the exhibition REVERBERADAS.

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Cosmic Bitcasting is comprised of an Arduino Lilypad, High Flex 3981 7×1 fach Kupfer blank conductive thread from Karl Grimm, Pure Copper Polyester Taffeta Fabric by Less EMF, white SMD LEDs, a coin cell vibration motor, and an IRL3103 MOSFET with a 100 Ohm resistor to drive the motor.

Intrigued? Take a look at the video below and read the diary of the residency to learn more!

 

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A big thanks to everyone who already submitted their projects, performances, and workshops for Maker Faire Rome. However, due to such an incredible demand, the Call for Makers deadline has been extended to Thursday, June 30th. That means you have one more week to send your applications to participate in the 4th edition of Europe’s biggest innovation event, held October 14-16, 2016 at Fiera di Roma.

Want to join us in celebrating Maker culture this fall? With more than 100,000 square meters of exhibition space available, the time to submit your project is now!

Prizes and contests
All the projects selected within the Call for Makers are automatically eligible for the following prizes and contests if they match the requirements specified in each regulation.

[Javier] has put in his time playing Final Fantasy X. In the game, there’s a challenge where you have to dodge 200 consecutive lightning strikes by pressing a button at just the right time. [Javier] did this once, but when he bought a new PS Vita handheld, he wanted the reward but couldn’t bear the drudgery of pressing X when the screen lights up 200 times.

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So he did what anyone would do: hooked up a light-dependent resistor to an Arduino and rubber-banded a servo to press the X button for him. It’s a simple circuit and a beautiful quick hack, all the more so because it probably only took him a half hour or so to whip up. And that’s a half hour better spent than dodging lightning strikes. According to his screen-shot, he didn’t stop at 200 dodges, though. He racked up 1,568 dodges, with a longest streak of 1,066. You can watch a video on his blog and pull the code out of his GitHub.

Why do this? Because that’s what simple computers are for. We hate these silly jumping mini-games with a passion, so we applaud anyone who cheats their way around them. And while not as hilarious as this machine that cheats at Piano Tiles, [Javier]’s hack gets the job done. What other epic video game cheats are we missing?


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, handhelds hacks, playstation hacks

The LEDmePlay is an open-source DIY gaming console powered by an Arduino Mega. Games are displayed on a 32 x 32 RGB LED matrix housed inside an IKEA picture frame, and played using any C64-compatible joystick from the ‘80s. LEDmePlay supports several games, each of which are downloadable for free online, and Makers are encouraged to develop their own as well.

Its creator Mithotronic has also built a handheld variant for on-the-go fun, LEDmePlayBoy. This device is based on the same Arduino Mega, powered by eight AA batteries, and uses an analog thumb joystick and two fire buttons for control.

Interested? You can check out the LEDmePlay’s construction manual, and find all of the games’ source codes here.

Announced back at Maker Faire Bay Area, the Arduino Web Editor is a new online tool that enables users to write code and upload sketches to any Arduino or Genuino board directly from the browser. 

Over the last couple of months, we have been gathering feedback from beta testers on the Editor’s overall experience, its features, and what they’d like to see in the future. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can gain access to the Web Editor right away and try it out firsthand!

Wondering what makes the new platform more useful and feature-rich than its previous version? The most interesting upgrade is surely the ability to share what you make. Every sketch you create has a unique URL, similarly to Google Docs. If you give the URL to someone, they will be able to see your code, add it to their Sketchbook in the Cloud or download it. If you write a tutorial on Project Hub and add the link in the Software section, your code will be embedded and will always be up-to-date.

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We envision the Arduino Sketch as the unit that includes everything you need to bring an idea to life. When someone shares a sketch with you, you’ll now have access both to the code, the layout for the electronics, and the full tutorial (when available). This will allow you to have all the necessary information to build on top of the original project, making it your own.

Arduino Web Editor is designed to take the headache out of the development process: your Sketchbook is in the Cloud, available from any device and backed up. Simply save a .ZIP file of your local one and import it in a click.Meaning, you don’t need to install any additional cores for Arduino and Genuino boards, just install a simple agent, plug your board in and we’ll set it up for you.

We made the Serial Monitor pretty robust, and of course, you can finally enjoy a dark theme for your IDE.

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ArduinoWebEditor_share ArduinoWebEditor_layout ArduinoWebEditor_invite ArduinoWebEditor_import

We are currently working on the Library Manager (as you have on the Desktop IDE), and a ‘secret tab’ where you will be able to store all your sensitive data and share them safely. At the moment, all the sketches you create on the Arduino Web Editor are public–anyone with the link can access them. We are also developing a private sketch feature–more on that soon.

Interested in learning more? Sign up today and participate in shaping the next generation of Arduino tools!

For a recent column in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, Rolf Hut built a slick longboard with LED strips that respond to speed. If you think that sounds awesome, wait until you see it in action.

As the Maker explains, four magnets and a Hall effect sensor are used to measure the longboard’s speed so the Adafruit NeoPixels can react at the same pace. To achieve this, the magnets are glued to the inside of each wheel, while a Hall sensor counts the number of revolutions and sends that information over to one of two Arduino Micros. The first Arduino translates that into a speed, while the second Micro converts that speed into a signal for the LEDs. Everything is powered by a power bank.

Intrigued? Head over to the Hut’s project page, where you will find a detailed breakdown of his build along with its code.

The Da Vinci system is one of the most popular surgical robots around, which allows surgeons to perform operations through only a few small incisions. The device works by translating a doctor’s hand movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. As ubiquitous as they may be in hospitals, chances are it’s never been operated quite like this before.

That’s because Julien Schuermans has managed to connect the robotic surgical tool’s hardware up to a LeapMotion controller, making its small forceps gesture-controlled. You can see how it all works in the video below.

As The Verge explains, four Arduino Uno-controlled servos are fitted to the pulleys and cables that handle the rotation, angle and gripping mechanism. Gesture input is captured by the Leap Motion’s infrared cameras, which is then converted into instructions for these servos, enabling the user to command the endoscopic device with just a wave of the hand.

The Da Vinci system is one of the most popular surgical robots around, which allows surgeons to perform operations through only a few small incisions. The device works by translating a doctor’s hand movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. As ubiquitous as they may be in hospitals, chances are it’s never been operated quite like this before.

That’s because Julien Schuermans has managed to connect the robotic surgical tool’s hardware up to a LeapMotion controller, making its small forceps gesture-controlled. You can see how it all works in the video below.

As The Verge explains, four Arduino Uno-controlled servos are fitted to the pulleys and cables that handle the rotation, angle and gripping mechanism. Gesture input is captured by the Leap Motion’s infrared cameras, which is then converted into instructions for these servos, enabling the user to command the endoscopic device with just a wave of the hand.



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