Posts with «arduino controller» label

An e-skateboard controller made from scratch with Arduino

Last June, Timo Brinschein bought a Qu4tro electric skateboard with hopes of using it for fun and commuting duties. Unfortunately, while the skateboard itself worked well, the remote had many shortcomings.

Since replacing the skateboard’s controls entirely was out of reach, he instead settled on the “small” job of reverse engineering and swapping out the wireless controller for one of his own designs. 

The resulting build uses an Arduino Nano as the brains of the device, along with the well-known nRF24L0+ module for wireless communication. Everything is housed inside a custom 3D-printed enclosure. 

Code for the project is available on GitHub, and print files for the excellent control handle is on Thingiverse.

The Maven Box is an Arduino controller for software developers

Matthias Faust has created an Arduino controller for speeding up software development.

The “Maven Box” is based on an Uno and communicates with a Java program running on a desktop. The device is equipped with customizable buttons, switches and a dial, which act as physical inputs for expediting his daily routine. This enables Faust to select a branch from several GitHub projects, stash changes before pulling, pull the changes, trigger a maven build, as well as display the status of six tests on a set of notification LEDs.

Every job has it’s routine. I am a software developer who works with a Git/Maven based workspace everyday. So when I start working, my daily routine is to update and build my local workspace, pulling changes from GitHub, execute a maven build and execute the updated software. Usually I get my first coffee after that, but because I love coffee so much I thought there must be a faster way to get my system updated and running.

Whether a software developer yourself or simply a fan of awesome Arduino builds, check out the Maven Box’s Instructables page to see more!

Making the threat of radiation visible with lightmapping

Even three decades after the Chernobyl disaster and five years after the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, each of the surrounding communities are still impacted by dangerous radiation levels. However, since the source of the problem is invisible, the relative risks remain difficult to communicate. As a result, the motivation and urgency to help those affected continue to diminish.

In order to visualize the threat, photographer Greg McNevin has mapped real-time measurements using long-exposure photographs of areas in Fukushima and Russia’s Bryansk region. To do this, McNevin and his team combined a custom Geiger counter with an LED stick and an Arduino-based controller. The detection device picks up radiation levels as it is moved around and outputs this data as an analog signal, which is then converted into white, orange or red lights — based on the severity of the reading.

Walking through a photo with shutter open anywhere from 20 seconds to five minutes allows us to create dynamic walls of undulating light, highlighting contamination in the environments it exists.

White shows levels under 0.23uSv per hour (1mSv per year), which is the Japanese government’s guideline for decontamination (which assumes people spend 8 hours a day outside and 16 hours inside). Russia’s official “norm” level is roughly the same, 0.20uSv/h.

Orange shows contamination levels elevated above this, up to 1.0uSv per hour (roughly 5mSv per year) – a range where protective measures to minimise radiation exposure should be considered. Protective measures can include resettlement, decontamination, special health services, food controls, etc. Russian communities are obligated to be resettled above this level.

Red shows radioactivity greater than 1.0uSv per hour (upwards of 5mSv per year) – a level where protective measures to minimise radiation exposure are necessary.

Using this tool in areas affected by Chernobyl and Fukushima, we found that places decontaminated by the authorities consistently exhibit radiation levels elevated above official guidelines. We also found that using the same scale, places in Russia’s Bryansk region demonstrated comparable levels of contamination now, 30 years later, as places in Fukushima do today.

As the photographer explains, this project is not a critique of the government’s decontamination efforts, but rather a demonstration of the long-term effects radioactivity has on the environments and those living within them. Be sure to check out all of McNevin’s photos, as well as learn more about the project here.

(Photos: Greg McNevin/Greenpeace)