Posts with «due» label

Ball-on-plate machine uses touchscreen position sensing

Redditor “xmajor9x” has spent several weeks building a three-legged machine to balance a metal ball on top of a plate. The device uses three servos attached to a rectangular surface with linkages that translate servo position into linear displacement of the table. This allows it to keep the ball centered, or rotate around the perimeter in a circle or square pattern.

An Arduino Due controls the ball using a PID loop, and the ball’s position is sensed not by an external camera, but by the top “plate,” which is actually made out of a resistive touchscreen. Although this adds a very unique element, it means that the ball on top must be quite heavy to be reliably tracked, and its creator is considering switching to a computer vision system in the future.

Be sure to check out the project’s GitHub page for code and more info on the build! <!–more–>

Arduino Blog 14 Jul 19:48

Building an Arduino-controlled single-pixel scanner

If you’ve seen color sensors such as the TCS34725,  you may have considered them for projects that can pick out one colored object over another. On the other hand, if you were to take one of these sensors, mount them to an Arduino-driven plotter, and then take readings in an X/Y plane, you’d have all the elements needed for a simple single-pixel scanner.

In the video seen below, Kerry D. Wong does just this using his hacked HP 7044A plotter to scan a picture, recording RGB color values in a 128 x 128 grid. As the device scans, the Arduino Due used for control passes these values to a computer, which assembles them together into a low-resolution image.

You can find more details on the project, including its code, in Wong’s blog post here.

Smartwatch convenience ‘moves’ to the next level

To address the limitations of today’s fixed-face watches, researchers have come up with an actuated smartphone concept that physically moves itself using an Arduino Due, Bluetooth and several motors.

Receiving Internet notifications has gone from using a computer, to checking them on your smartphone, to now simply seeing them come in on your wearable device. On the other hand, you still have to rotate your wrist into the right position to see the screen. Worse yet, if you want to show others what is on your wrist, you may even have to twist your arm awkwardly.

Fortunately, there is a possible solution to this scourge in the form of Cito, which bills itself as “An Actuated Smartwatch for Extended Interactions.” This design can move in five different directions–rotates, hinges, translates, orbits and rises–potentially making viewing more convenient, or even providing haptic feedback. Prototype electronics are housed inside a control box on the upper arm, but presumably would become much smaller in a production version.

You can see the team’s entire paper here, or read this write-up for a more involved summary.

Photo: Jun Gong

M2 by Macchina joins At Heart!

We’re excited to announce the latest member of Arduino’s AtHeart program. M2 by Macchinanow live on Kickstarter–is an open-source, versatile development platform for hacking and customizing cars.

M2’s design is compact, modular, wirelessly connectable, and built on the popular Arduino Due. The device can be wired under the hood for a more permanent installation or plugged into the OBD2 port, enabling you to do virtually anything with your vehicle’s software. 

Macchina, a Minnesota-based company, has partnered with Arduino, Digi and Digi-Key to develop M2, and believes that its highly-adaptable hardware will most benefit hot rodders, mechanics, students, security researchers, and entrepreneurs by providing them access to the inner workings of their rides.

M2 accommodates a wide variety of wireless options thanks to its Digi XBee form-factor socket, allowing you to easily connect your car to the Internet, smartphone, satellites, or the cloud using BLE, WiFi, GSM, LTE, and other modules.

The platform can be programmed using the latest Arduino IDE, and is compatible with a number of software packages. Moreover, given its open-source nature, potential applications are bounded only by the collective imagination of the coding community.

Interested? Check out Macchina’s Kickstarter page to learn more or pre-order your M2 today!

Roast coffee to perfection with an Arduino and Android app

After winning the South African National Barista Championship in 2009, Neil Maree decided to actually start a company to make coffee roasting equipment. Genio was the result, and after some work, his machines can now roast coffee to perfection using recipe input via an Android app.

Once instructions are transferred, a heavily modified Arduino Due controls the roaster depending on user preferences. Maree first tried an analog solution, then used a PLC before deciding that the Arduino was what he needed.

All of Genio’s roasters have a control panel with a variety of traditional switches and knobs, and then a not-so-traditional tablet mount. The app sends a “roast profile” to the roaster over a Bluetooth connection.

Perk your interest? You can take an inside look at the roasting machine factory on here.

Arduino Blog 14 Nov 18:24

Smartwatch prototype turns your wrist into a joystick

Although smartwatches were designed to be an easy-to-use alternative for your smartphone, interacting with their touchscreens still requires your opposite hand to be free. So what do you do when you’re carrying a bag of groceries or holding onto a bus handle?

This is the problem a Dartmouth-led team set out to solve with WristWhirl, a smartwatch prototype that uses the wrist wearing the device as a joystick to perform common touchscreen gestures with one-handed continuous input, while freeing up the other hand for other tasks.

WristWhirl was built using a two-inch TFT display and a plastic watch strap equipped with a dozen infrared proximity sensors and a piezo vibration sensor, which is connected to an Arduino Due board. Commands are then made by moving the hand as if it were operating a joystick, while a finger pinch turns the sensors on/off to indicate the start or end of a gesture.

For starters, the team implemented four sample applications with off-the-shelf games and Google Maps to illustrate potential use cases.

Four usage scenarios for WristWhirl were tested: 1) a gesture shortcuts app was created, which allowed users to access shortcuts by drawing gestures; 2) a music player app was created, which allowed users to scroll through songs through wrist-swipes and play a selected song by double tapping the thumb and index fingers; 3) a map app was implemented for which 2D maps could be panned and zoomed depending on where the watch was held in relation to one’s body; and 4) game input, which often requires continuous input was tested, for which Tetris was played using a combination of wrist swipes, wrist extension and wrist flexion.

You can read more about the project on its page here, as well as see a demonstration of it below!


Scubo is an omnidirectional robot for underwater exploration

A team from ETH Zurich has created an incredible submersible robot called Scubo as a way to scan entire coral reefs. Equipped with six onboard webcams, the omnidirectional device is capable of exploring the deep sea from every angle. What’s more, users can take a virtual dive by throwing on a pair of VR glasses to make it feel as if they’re swimming with marine life.

Scubo consists of an Arduino Due for hard real-time tasks, an Intel NUC for high-performance calculation, an IMU, and a pressure sensor — all housed inside a carbon cuboid. Eight thrusters are symmetrically mounted to the outside, one at each corner, while a tube goes through the box to ensure proper water flow and to keep the electronics cool. The system is neutrally buoyed and weight in the form of screws can be added to the thruster arms to adjust buoyancy and the center of gravity.

One of its creators Johann Diep tell us, “We chose to work with Arduino because it offers the required interface (I2C, SPI, etc.), it is easy to program (none of us ever worked with Arduino at the beginning), and there is a large community on the web that is very supportive with our questions.”

A tether connects Scubo to a computer outside the water and the power source, which allows the camera pictures to be viewed live and the batteries to be recharged with a steady current. According to the team, this highly extends the operation time, though the batteries would last approximately 120 minutes under standard conditions without recharging.

Scubo is based on ROS, and with the rosserial_arduino package, they are able to send or receive commands on a laptop from the Arduino. This enables them to steer the bot with a SpaceMouse joystick while monitoring all the sensor messages (pressure, leakage, temperature, voltage, etc.) at the same time.

It should be noted that Scubo isn’t only restricted to coral research either. In fact, the underwater machine was built with modularity and entertainment in mind as well. Users can easily attach their own sensors, lights and HD cameras via one of five universal ports.

We are confident that Scubo has great potential for the future. Since every necessary sensor is already implemented, Scubo can be programmed to scan a coral reef or any other place fully autonomous. Telepresence could be used in many aquariums or in the sea for entertainment. Because of the module ports different kinds of sensors and devices can be connected and used, for example to generate a geographical map of the sea floor or to inspect boats.

Whether corals in the Caribbean, the shore of Lake Zurich or even a virtual dive in an aquarium — Scubo not only convinces with its captivating technology but also with its modern design. Innovation starts when science meets entertainment.

Intrigued? You can read more about the project on its website, and check out its trailer video below.

How to turn data into cocktails!

Data Cocktail is a device which translates in a tasty way the Twitter activity and running on Arduino Due and Arduino Pro Mini. When you want a cocktail, the machine will look for the five latest messages around the world quoting one of the available ingredients. These messages define the drink composition and Data Cocktail not only provides a unique kind of drink, but it also prints the cocktail’s recipe along with the corresponding tweets.
Once the cocktail mix is done, Data Cocktail thanks the tweeters who have helped at making the recipe, without knowing it. Check the video below to see how it works:

Data Cocktail was created in a workshop held at Stereolux in Nantes by a theme composed by Bertille Masse, Manon Le Moal-Joubel, Sébastien Maury, Clément Gault & Thibaut Métivier.

They made it using Processing and Arduino:

A first application, developed in Processing, pilots the device. The requests are performed using the Twitter4J library, then the application processes the data and controls the device, i.e. the robot, the solenoid valves and the light. The robot itself is based on a modified Zumo frame, an Arduino Pro, a Motor Shield and a Bluetooth module. The solenoid valves and the LEDs are controlled by an Arduino Due connected via USB. The impression is realized by Automator.

To prepare a cocktail, the machine can take up to a minute and may provide up to 6 different ingredients!

Making Space Accessible to Students with U of M Satellite

The U of M Satellite project started in 2010 as a student group at the University of Manitoba with the goal of building a nano satellite (10 x 10 x 34 cm) and make space accessible to the public. We got in touch with Ahmed Byagowi, co-founder of the project, who teaches robotics in the same university. Ahmed told us that U of M Satellite became soon very popular, in fact  more than 300 students joined the group. In the first iteration the satellite’s goal was studying a micro animal (about 1 mm) called tardigrades and see its behaviour in space. The second iteration started in 2012, the same year of the launch of the Arduino Due and that’s why they designed everything based on it.

We had a nice talk with Ahmed and asked a bit more about the project.

Why is space so important for research, and why it would be cool if more people could have access to it?

Space research is important because it challenges us to solve problems and find solutions which can translate to everyday life here on Earth. The products of space research and space technology are all around us today. From the ballpoint pen, all the way to GPS, special composite materials, special surgical equipment and satellite communication.

For a while, only government and military had access to space. However, over the past decade there has been a rapid increase in commercial and public access to space. Private companies can take risks that the government and military can not, which leads to even bolder and newer technologies being developed.

For the general public, there are many creative and dynamic thinkers in the world who may not be able to share their ideas through a government agency or company. Public access to space allows more people to innovate on their own terms, and with 7 billion people on this planet, surely there are a great deal of innovation to be found.

With more people involved in researching space technologies, even more ideas can reach fruition, which can hopefully lead to technologies that will benefit life here on Earth even more.

There are other open source projects going to space (i.e. Ardusat), how’s U of M Student Satellite different or similar to others?

Ardusat is using Arduino as its payload (in fact, 16 of them) to run certain experiments in space and its main controller system is based on other processors and software. On the other hand, UMSATS’ satellite is going to be based on the Arduino Due architecture (the main controller) aided by the Arduino Zero and Arduino Uno’s design for payload and other controllers such as attitude determination and control system (ADCS) and power management as well as onboard image processing.

In which way open source is making exploration of space possible?

Open source makes things more accessible and helps a community work together to solve problems. If more open source platforms become available that can aid in space exploration, people can focus their efforts more on the next big problem using tools already developed, instead of resolving the same problems over and over again (reinventing the wheel). Plus, learning from watching other people’s work is a great way to learn things and apparently for some people like me or Massimo, this is best way to learn programming (based on Massimo’s TED talk).

Could you give us a bit more details on how you are using Arduino DUE ?

Our main Command and Data Handling (CDH) controller is based on the SAM3X8E and we are using Arduino Due’s bootloader and IDE for the software development. We added some more software layers as well as a scheduler and we aim to open source the entire software and hardware as soon as possible. In the picture of our motherboard below, you can clearly see the SAM3X8E and on the top right, there is a SMD version of the ATMEGA328P running and Arduino Uno core and acts as the beacon transmitter. This board encompasses the CDH, ADCS, Power and Communication of 2 meter and 70 cm bands (144.390MHz and 435MHz ham radio bands).

A famous quote of Massimo’s Banzi says: “You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great” and in your TED talk you start saying “You can make big things using small tools”, what’s the relations between the two?

There is no formula for greatness. We live in a time where anything is truly possible, and the way to achieve your goals is numerous. Nobody said we couldn’t do something big with our small satellite, and we didn’t ask if we could either. Instead, we try to do big things with small tools that are accessible to us.

Arduino Blog 03 Apr 18:22

Circular Knitic and the power of doers in open source

Circular Knitic is an open hardware project created for DOERS, an exhibition curated by Arduino co-founder David Cuartielles, which takes place at Etopia Center for Art & Technology in Zaragoza, Spain.

It consists of an exhibition and a series of presentations, workshops and seminars focusing on the world of open creation, invention and personal fabrication. It aims to unveil a variety of extraordinary creations, ideas that are transforming the world, but mostly show visitors a group of people: “the DOERS, constantly looking for new projects that surprise us”.

During a period of eight months, 5 knitting machines will be knitting slowly and produce enough tubulars so that the ceiling of the art centre will be covered with knitted scarves.

Using digital fabrication and maker tools like 3D printing, laser cutting, makerbeam, and Arduino Uno— Knitic duo designed a replicable circular knitting machine. It’s not the first time they experiment on knitting techniques. A couple of years ago I interviewed them on this blog for their previous project focused on giving a new brain to old knitting machines using Arduino Due.

Various designers are experimenting with 3D printing in fashion but this doesn’t mean  to 3d print garments directly. Knitic approach shows how digital fabrication could have greater impact on the way clothes are prototyped and produced, especially on producing new concepts of machines:

In maker culture, production of textiles is often overlooked. Circular Knitic demonstrates that beautiful textiles can be produced with digital fabrication tools.

Most of Circular Knitic parts are made with  RepRap 3D printers, some others are made of plexiglass that can be easily lasercut in a fablab. Instructions and all the stl files for the components are available for download on the project’s GitHub page.

The videos below shows the building of the machines and when they are in action.