Bluetooth Thingies at Maker Faire

In case you haven’t noticed, one of the more popular themes for new dev boards is Bluetooth. Slap a Bluetooth 4.0 module on a board, and you really have something: just about every phone out there has it, and the Low Energy label is great for battery-powered Internets of Things.

Most of these boards fall a little short. It’s one thing to throw a Bluetooth module on a board, but building the software to interact with this board is another matter entirely. Revealing Hour Creations is bucking that trend with their Tah board. Basically, it’s your standard Arduino compatible board with a btle module. What they’ve done is add the software for iOS and Android that makes building stuff easy.

Putting Bluetooth on a single board is one thing, but how about putting Bluetooth on everything. SAM Labs showed off their system of things at Maker Faire with LEDs, buttons, fans, motors, sensors, and just about every electrical component you can imagine.

All of these little boards come with a Bluetooth module and a battery. The software for the system is a graphical interface that allows you to draw virtual wires between everything. Connect a button to a LED in the software, and the LED will light up when the button is pressed. Move your mouse around the computer, and the button will turn on a motor when it’s pressed.

There are a few APIs that also come packaged into the programming environment – at the booth, you could open a fridge (filled with cool drinks that didn’t cost five dollars, a surprise for the faire) and it would post a tweet.

Filed under: hardware
Hack a Day 23 Sep 21:00

Yes, The Drink Up Fountain is talking to you!

The Drink Up Fountain is project created in September 2013 by YesYesNo Interactive studio in collaboration with PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama and dedicated to encouraging people to drink more water more often: “You are what you drink, and when you drink water you drink up!”

The Fountain runs on Arduino Mega  and

dispenses entertaining greetings and compliments intended to entice the drinker to continue sipping. When a drinker’s lips touch the water, the fountain “talks,” completing a circuit and activating speakers. When the drinker pulls his or her head away and stops drinking, the circuit breaks and the fountain stops talking. With hidden cameras set up, Drink Up caught unsuspecting individuals using the fountain in New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park

Take a look at the video to see how the fountain interacts the people:

Arduino Blog 23 Sep 17:03

Arduino Cool

Intermediate Arduino: Inputs and Outputs I2C between Arduino's DIY littleBits Building an ISP Shield for Arduino Comprehensive Guide to Electronic Breadboards: A Meta Instructable Dot Matrix Printer from a CD/DVD Reader with Arduino Salvaging Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)...
By: denis74hd

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Instructables 23 Sep 12:57

Lilypad Projects

Snapable Lilypads LilyPad Arduino Totoro Plush with Umbrella LilyPad Arduino Blinking Bike Safety Patch How to make a LilyPad Arduino LED skirt Skirt Full of Stars - Motion reactive skirt with fiber optics LilyPad Arduino Sensor Demo Mat
By: fireezdragon

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Instructables 23 Sep 11:29

Automated Gyro Wheel Toy (version 2)

Here is my second version of an automated toy using a reed switch from my bicycle to control the servo which tilts the toy up and down. Also I use a smoothing routine in the Arduino code to keep the toy from bouncing. It works quite well and goes quite fast (video does not show the top speed) but st...
By: JimRD

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Instructables 23 Sep 07:08

World’s Largest “Nixie” Clock at World Maker Faire

World Maker Faire was host to some incredible projects. Among the favorites was Nixie Rex [YouTube Link]. Nixie Rex is actually a Panaplex display, since it’s glow comes from 7 planer segments rather than 10 stacked wire digits. One thing that can’t be contested is the fact that Rex is BIG. Each digit is nearly 18 inches tall!

Nixie Rex was created by [Wayne Strattman]. Through his company Strattman Design, [Wayne] supplies lighting effects such as plasma globes and lightning tubes to the museums and corporations. Nixie Rex’s high voltage drive electronics were created by [Walker Chan], a PHD student at MIT. Believe it tor not the entire clock runs on an ATmega328P based Arduino. The digits are daisy chained from the arduino using common Ethernet cables and RJ45 connectors. A Sparkfun DS1307 based real-time clock module ensures the Arduino keeps accurate time.

[Wayne] and Rex were located in “The Dark Room” at Maker Faire, home to many LED and low light projects. The dim lighting certainly helped with the aesthetics, but it did make getting good photos of the clock difficult. Long time Hackaday tipster [Parker] graciously provided us with a size reference up above.

Click past the break to see a closeup of that awesome cathode glow, and a video of the Nixie Rex  in action.

Got to love that tube glow.


Filed under: clock hacks
Hack a Day 23 Sep 06:00

Arduino TFT Color Clock

You may be familiar with a website in the UK called Colour Clock ( which converts the time into a hex value and then uses that value to update the background color. It's very hypnotic and once you get used to how it works you can actually tell where you are in the day ju...
By: Sound Guy

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Instructables 23 Sep 02:28

Starry Night Ceiling Tiles

Hello! Are you ready to witness my biggest project yet?? Well lets get started!It all started up in Utah, (I was visiting some friends) and the sky looked so beautiful compared to the star-less sky down south. So instead of creating my own stars I created my own stars! Confused? lets take a closer l...
By: enelson8

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Instructables 23 Sep 02:06

How to make an auto-brewing coffee maker

Intro:For those mornings where you just need that coffee to be ready when you wake up, your Arduino Coffee maker will come to the rescue! This can be done with most coffee makers, but the one I used was a Keurig B-40, but the steps should be essentially the same for different brewers.Materials:-A co...
By: koolaid1994

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Instructables 22 Sep 22:40

A keyboard for Minecraft addicted to customize the gaming experience

The award-winning Minecraft is a very popular PC game and also pretty addictive. It was originally created  by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson, later developed and supported on different platforms and recently acquired by Microsoft for 2.5$ billions.

Arduino user lakhanm shared  a DIY keyboard prototyped with Arduino Uno and substituting the basic keyboard controls such as move forwards or backwards. The project is also compatible with most of the Arduino boards. 

Take a look at the circuit below and grab the sketch and bill of materials at this link.


Arduino Blog 22 Sep 16:57