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Toronto-based collaborative duo Hopkins Duffield created a gaming environment running on Arduino Mega in which the player battles a laser wielding A.I. security system gone awry. It’s like being in an action movie, walking in a pitch black room filled with the hollow sound of a machine breathing and a series of red laser fences slicing through the fog-filled air!

Laser Equipped Annihilation Protocol (The L.E.A.P. Engine) is a an installation that :

explores the personality of a snarky and mysterious game sentience who has infected a room with technological systems that challenge players and collect data. With a limited amount of time, the player must pass through a complicated series of changing and alternating laser patterns without tripping any of the lasers in order to deactivate the system and win the game. If the player trips a laser or if the timer runs out, it’s game over.

The gaming installation uses Max 6, Max For Live, an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 and custom electronic circuits. They also used a special modification of Lasse Vestergaard’s and Rasmus Lunding’s ArduinoInOutForDummies designed to allow communication between Arduino 2560 and Max 7. In Max, laser patterns are written using MIDI.

Take a look at the video to discover how they made it:

All photos: Hep Svadja, Make:Escape room games, or mystery rooms, or puzzle rooms, are trending, and many rely on Makers and Maker tech to make them work

Read more on MAKE

The post Locked In: Behind the Scenes of the Escape Room Craze appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

[Yveaux] had a problem. The transmitter on his outdoor weather station had broken, rendering the inside display useless. He didn’t want to buy a new one, so, like the freelance embedded software designer that he is, he decided to reverse engineer the protocol that the transmitter uses and build his own. He didn’t just replace the transmitter module, though, he decided to create an entire system that integrated the weather system into a sensor network controlled by a Raspberry Pi. That’s a far more substantial project, but it gave him the ability to customize the display and add more features, such as synching the timer in the display with a network clock and storing the data in an online database.

Fortunately for [Yveaux], the transmitter itself was fairly easy to replace. The weather station he had, like most, transmitted on the 868MHz frequency, which is a license-free ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Monitoring) spot on the spectrum. After some poking around, he was able to figure out the protocol and teach the Pi to speak it. He then added a Moteino and an nRF2401+ transmitter to the weather station, so it can send data to the Pi, which then sends it to the display. It is a more complicated setup, but it is also much more flexible. He’s had it running for a couple of years now and has collected more than a million sensor readings.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, wireless hacks

A couple of old DVD ROM drives and a compact photo printer is fairly standard fare at the thrift store, but what do you do with them? Hack them up to make a CNC foam cutter of course!

[Jonah] started with a couple LITE-ON brand DVD RW drives, which use stepper motors instead of plain old DC motors. This is a huge score since steppers make accurate positioning possible. With the internal frames removed, threaded rod and nuts were used to hold the two units parallel to each other forming the Z axis.

The feed mechanism from a Canon compact photo printer was then bolted onto the bottom to form the Y axis. Add a bit of nichrome wire for the cutting element (this can be found in old hair dryers) onto where the laser assembly of the DVD rom once lived, and you have the mechanics done.

Control is handled by an Arduino and some easy-driver modules to interface with the steppers. G-Code is generated by CamBam, which handles various cad files, or has its own geometry editor.

This is a fantastic way to get your feet wet in several ways; Cracking things open to harvest parts, driving steppers with simple micocontrollers, modeling and generating g-code, etc. The one issue we see with this build is a chicken-or-egg problem since you need to have a cube of foam cut down to somewhat strict dimensions before it will fit in this cutter. But we suppose that is really just an iterative design problem.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, cnc hacks, tool hacks


Originally from Guatemala, Balam Soto is an artist and maker of software and hardware creating interactive art installations and public artworks that fuse low tech with high tech. He recently shared with us a project called Exp.Inst.Rain and running on Arduino Uno:

” Exp.Inst.Rain” is an interactive installation and experimental instrument that incorporates projection and sound generated by a wireless box made of wood, plexiglas, Arduino, electronic components and custom touch sensors. By touching the box at various points, participants create different sounds; these sounds then generate changes in the projection.

It is an analysis of the social and cultural adoption of tangible user interface. Globally, touch devices are increasingly common; people understand how to use them. “Exp.Inst.Rain” analyses this new technology and makes use of this new common understanding to fuse sound and visuals into realtime interactivity.

This artworks it’s power by Arduino and wireless vibes , using Capacitive Touch Sensor and home made aluminum electrode to pick up touch. Custom software acts as a Bridge between the Exp.inst.X and Midi software.


The world’s first Android autonomous vehicleLearn how a team of students created the first Google Android-based autonomous R/C car, able to detect lanes, avoid obstacles, self-park, and more.

Read more on MAKE

The post Build Your Own Android-Powered Self Driving R/C Car appeared first on Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers.

Want to control the colors in your home? Sure, you could just buy a Philips Hue bulb, but where’s the hacking fun in that? [Dario] agrees: he has written a tutorial on building an Arduino-controlled RGB light system that plugs into a standard light socket.

[Dario] is using a bulb from Automethion in Italy, an Arduino, and an ESP8266 shield that sends signals to the bulb. The Arduino and shield are running the Souliss framework that provides smart home features and runs on a number of platforms, so it is a good open platform for creating your own smart home apps, and would be easy to expand. We have also seen a few other projects that use the ESP8266 to control an RGB strip, but this is the first one that uses a bulb that plugs into a standard light socket.

At the moment, Automethion is the only company selling this light, but I hope that others will sell similar products soon.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Many people have their home network setup with a dynamic dns service in order to remote access their files, printers, or Pi based security camera systems. Many people also suffer from less than stellar internet connectivity and find themselves unable to access their home system due to a stalled signal.

netBOOT is an Arduino based device that automatically resets your modem for you, when you are unable to. Core of the system is a standard issue ATMEGA328p based Arduino board combined with a W5100 Ethernet module, and a relay module. The software on the Arduino periodically pings a list of IP addresses and listens for a response. If none is found within 3 tries the relay module, which is connected inline with the DC power of your modem, is clicked open for 10 seconds and then returned closed. Once your modem has rebooted and re-synced everything should be good to go.

We don’t remember seeing this feature in the list of specs for Google’s new OnHub. The ability to reset bad connections seems like a feature that should be built into future-thinking routers, right?

The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, internet hacks, Network Hacks

The uninterruptible power supply was once a standard fixture in the small office/home office as a hedge against losing work when the electrons stop flowing from your AC outlet. Somewhat in decline as computing hardware shifts away from dedicated PCs toward tablets, phones and laptops, the UPS still has a lot of SOHO utility, and off-the-shelf AC units are easy to find. But if your needs run more to keeping the electrons flowing in one direction, then you might want to look at [Kedar Nimbalkar]’s programmable DC backup power system.

Built inside a recycled ATX power supply case, [Kedar]’s project is heavy on off-the-shelf components, like a laptop power supply for juice, a buck converter to charge the 12 volt sealed lead acid battery, and a boost converter to raise the output to 19.6 volts. An Arduino and an optoisolator are in charge of controlling the charging cycle and switching the UPS from charging the battery to using it when mains voltage drops.

 If you need a DC UPS but would rather skip the battery, you could try running a Raspberry Pi with electrons stashed in a supercapacitor. Or if you’ve got an aging AC UPS, why not try beefing it up with marine batteries?

[Thanks for the tip, Morris]

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, misc hacks


Julian Hespenheide is an interaction designer based in Germany who submitted to Arduino blogpost a writing machine called émile. It’s an interactive installation created in collaboration with Irena Kukric, David Beermann, Jasna Dimitrovskais and using Baudot code - a binary 5-bit code, predecessor of ASCII and EBCDID – intended for telecommunication and electronic devices, representing the entire alphabet.

06emile 08emile 09emile 04emile

It runs on Arduino Uno and  translates the bauds (/?b??d/, unit symbol Bd) into moving objects that are being sent over physical tracks in order to illustrate  a simple computational process of 5-bit binary information transmission:

The machine was built in six days with four people. In our group we came to the conclusion, that not every process in a computer is really transparent and it already starts when you type a simple letter on a keyboard. To unwrap this “black box” of data transmission, we set our goal to build a small writing machine where you can literally see bits rolling around. After some research we got back to the beginnings of Telefax machines and data transmission using Baudot-code. We then quickly designed punchcards and mapped them to a slightly altered baudot code table and cut them with a laser cutter from 5mm plywood.
Whenever a marble hits a switch, a short timer goes off and waits for input on the other switches. If no other marbles are hitting those switches, we finally translate the switches that have been hit into the corresponding letter.

Take a look at the machine in action:


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