Marriage proposal using custom reverse geocache box

Software engineer Josh Robertson decided to come up with his own take on a marriage proposal, building a reverse geocache device for the job that uses not one, but two Arduino Uno boards

The unit, which is made out of a wine box, is unlocked by three servos that actuate rods to release a trio of clasps. His not-yet-fiancé had to first input the correct sequence on a keypad, then turn potentiometers to the right position, and finally traipse to the accurate location—sensed via GPS—for it to open up.

As the project’s I/O requirements went beyond a single Uno, Robertson linked a pair together using the I2C protocol, allowing the master to read GPS coordinates and control a small LCD screen, while the second Arduino takes care of user input and servo actuation. 

The result was a “yes” to the proposal, and while we can’t guarantee the same outcome if you build one yourself, more info on the contraption is available here. Congrats, Josh!

The Arduino Audio Meter is a programmable ‘guitar pedal’

Normally guitar pedals take in a signal from your instrument, then some modification to an amplifier. ElectroSmash’s open source device, however, looks like a guitar pedal, connects to a guitar and amp like a guitar pedal, but actually leaves the signal unmodified. Instead, it displays a variety of info about what you’re playing on its 16 x 16 LED matrix.

The Arduino Audio Meter uses an Uno for control and analysis, and acts as a VU meter by reading the incoming audio and creating LED animations. It also features a tuner function, visual metronome, frequency detector, and a simple lamp, which could all certainly be useful when playing. 

User input (besides the1/4-inch audio jack) is via a potentiometer and encoder, and it even has a few games available for it if you need to blow off some steam between sets! Build kits are available here if you’d like to make your own.

Arduino Blog 14 Oct 16:48

DIY MIDI Looper Controller Looks Fantastic!

Due to pedalboard size, complicated guitar pedals sometimes reduce the number of buttons to the bare minimum. Many of these pedals are capable of being controlled with an external MIDI controller, however, and necessity being the mother of invention and all, this is a great opportunity to build something and learn some new skills at the same time. In need of a MIDI controller, Reddit user [Earthwin] built an Arduino powered one to control his Boss DD500 Looper pedal and the result is great looking.

Five 16×2 LCD screens, one for each button, show the functionality that that button currently has. They are attached (through some neat wiring) to a custom-built PCB which holds the Arduino that controls everything. The screens are mounted to an acrylic backplate which holds the screens in place while the laser-cut acrylic covers are mounted to the same plate through the chassis. The chassis is a standard Hammond aluminum box that was sanded down, primed and then filler was used to make the corners nice and smooth. Flat-top LEDs and custom 3D printed washers finish off the project.

[Earthwin] admits that this build might be overkill for the looper that he’s using, but he had fun building the controller and learning to use an Arduino. He’s already well on his way to building another, using the lessons learned in this build. If you want to build your own MIDI controller, this article should help you out. And then you’re ready to build your controller into a guitar if you want to.

[Via Reddit]

UCSD engineers developed electrically-controlled soft robot actuators

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have come up with a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional without the requirement for compressed air. 

Instead, they’re using a system of tubular actuators made out of heat-sensitive liquid crystal elastomer sheets. Heating elements are placed between two layers of elastomer, which is then rolled up into a cylinder, allowing the tubular digit to bend and contract.

With this novel method, they’ve been able to build a three-jaw gripper, as well as a robot that walks independently with four legs under Arduino control. While the grippers are slow at this point, taking 30 seconds to bend and minutes to return to their original position, the eventual goal is to have them react at the speed of human muscles.

Watch this guitarist perform an acoustic set with his own robotic drummer

As shown in the video below, Tristan Calderbank is a very talented singer and guitar player, but what’s perhaps most interesting about his performance is the percussion section. Instead of a person (or an entire band) standing beside him, a robotic shaker, tambourine, snare drum and bass drum all play together under MIDI control.

Each device is activated by an HS-311 servo—or two in the case of the snare—powered by an Arduino Uno and MIDI shield. Signals are sent to the Arduino by a laptop running Ableton Live, and servo velocity can be varied to further control sound. 

A write-up on Calderbank’s build process can be found here, including what didn’t work, plus info on sound isolation from the servos. Arduino code is available on GitHub.

New MKR WAN 1310 for LoRa connectivity comes with 2MByte Flash and extended battery life

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Arduino MKR WAN 1310, which offers a practical and cost-effective solution for those looking to add LoRa connectivity to their projects. 

The new MKR WAN 1310 enables you to connect your sensors and actuators over long distances harnessing the power of the LoRa wireless protocol or throughout LoRaWAN networks.

This open source board can be connected to:

  • Arduino Create
  • To your own LoRa network using the Arduino Pro Gateway for LoRa 
  • To existing LoRaWAN infrastructure like The Things Network 
  • Or even to other boards using the direct connectivity mode

The latest low-power architecture has considerably improved the battery life on the MKR WAN 1310. When properly configured, the power consumption is now as low as 104uA!  It is also possible to use the USB port to supply power (5V) to the board; run the board with or without batteries – the choice is yours.

Based on the Microchip SAM D21 low-power processor and a Murata CMWX1ZZABZ LoRa module, the MKR WAN 1310 comes complete with an ECC508 crypto chip, a battery charger and 2MByte SPI Flash, as well as improved control of the board’s power consumption. 

Data logging and other OTA (Over-the-Air) functions are now possible since the inclusion of the on board 2MByte Flash. This new exciting feature will let you transfer configuration files from the infrastructure onto the board, create your own scripting commands, or simply store data locally to send it whenever the connectivity is best. While the MKR WAN 1310’s crypto chip adds further security by storing credentials and certificates in the embedded secure element.

These features make it the perfect IoT node and building block for low-power wide area IoT devices. 

The MKR WAN 1310 is available on the Arduino Store, where you’ll find complete specs and more information.

Calling volunteers for Maker Faire Rome 2019

Planning to attend Maker Faire Rome later this month? We’re currently seeking volunteers to join our team during the event—staffing tables and displays, helping with demos, and providing technical assistance when necessary.

If you volunteer with us for one shift, you won’t leave empty-handed! You’ll receive a day pass; spend two days with us, and you’ll have a ticket for the entire weekend to explore the show. Water and snacks will be provided, of course, along with some Arduino goodies.

Interested? Please fill out this questionnaire and we’ll get back to you soon! If you are under the age of 18, we will need your parents’ permission.

Hai in programma di partecipare a Maker Faire Roma? Entra a far parte del team di volontari/e all’Arduino booth! Stiamo cercando appassionati/e di Arduino che ci aiutino durante l’evento dando il benvenuto ai visitatori e fornendo assistenza tecnica e supporto durante le demo.

Con un turno di volontariato allo stand Arduino, avrai a disposizione un pass per l’intera giornata; se, invece, sarai al nostro booth per almeno due turni avrai il pass per i tre giorni di evento. Sappiamo quanto sia importante il tuo tempo e quanto sia fondamentale il tuo aiuto al nostro booth, per questo motivo saremo felici di offrirti il pranzo e un piccolo regalo, ovviamente Arduino.

Ti interessa aiutarci al booth Arduino? Per favore completa questo form, ti faremo sapere prestissimo!

Se hai meno di 18 anni puoi partecipare, ma con il consenso firmato dei tuoi genitori!

Problem in breadboard power

hello,

I am making the fingerprint based voting system using arduino and after installing the lcd display and connecting it with the arduino the display works fine but the rest part of the breadboard of 830tie is not getting the power.In the image link given from the push button part the power is not getting supplied.Can anyone help me with the solution.Also I am using the power that is being given from laptop usb port no other power source is used.

Circuit Digest 07 Oct 14:13

2D-Scanner Records Surfboard Profiles for Posterity

[Ryan Schenk] had a problem: he built the perfect surfboard. Normally that wouldn’t present a problem, but in this case, it did because [Ryan] had no idea how he carved the gentle curves on the bottom of the board. So he built this homebrew 2D-scanner to make the job of replicating his hand-carved board a bit easier.

Dubbed the Scanbot 69420 – interpretation of the number is left as an exercise for the reader, my dude – the scanner is pretty simple. It’s just an old mouse carrying a digital dial indicator from Harbor Freight. The mouse was gutted, with even the original ball replaced by an RC plane wheel. The optical encoder and buttons were hooked to an Arduino, as was the serial output of the dial indicator. The Arduino consolidates the data from both sensors and sends a stream of X- and Z-axis coordinates up the USB cable as the rig slides across the board on a straightedge. On the PC side, a Node.js program turns the raw data into a vector drawing that represents the profile of the board at that point. Curves are captured at various points along the length of the board, resulting in a series of curves that can be used to replicate the board.

Yes, this could have been done with a straightedge, a ruler, and a pencil and paper – or perhaps with a hacked set of calipers – but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. And we can certainly see applications for this far beyond the surfboard shop.

Current Measurement / DC Motor Drive

Hello world! First post here. I’m looking for feedback/advice on a motor controller / current sensing system. I'd like to replace the existing fritzy controller, which opens six skylights via ~30V geared DC motors. I’d like to control mine with an Arduino (maybe someday it’ll be based on time of day, rain, etc). I’m hoping to fit this in the original 2-gang electrical box, so ideally the circuit is simple and small. I’m planning to design my first PCB (through-hole) to keep it compact. For motor drivers, I chose SN754410 half bridge drivers and they’re working well.

Circuit Digest 06 Oct 05:15