Posts with «featured» label

Synth Bike 3.0 produces tunes with 12 Arduino Nanos

After building a bicycle that could travel across town while making music, Sam Battle now taken things in a different direction. Synth Bike 3.0, which will be on display at the Science Center Dublin until September, is set up on a training fixture so that you can pedal it indoors rain or shine. This version also features a simplified control panel on the handlebars, allowing it to be played by anyone at a tempo controlled by the rear wheel’s speed.

Battle’s YouTube channel is named “LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER” however, this apparently doesn’t count microcontrollers. Hidden in the externally clean-looking handlebar groove box is a total of 12 Arduino Nano boards, along with a maze of wiring, strip circuit boards, frequency central PCBs, a SparkFun WAV trigger, and some other electronics. There’s even built-in speakers on the sides to output the created sounds.

Be sure to check out Synth Bike 3.0’s New Atlas write-up for more info on the project.

A fidget spinning robot!

Fidget spinners are currently very popular, and if you get one you’ll certainly want to spin and spin, maybe thinking you’ll never put it down. Unfortunately, like Nikodem Bartnik, you’ll eventually get bored with this device. Perhaps setting it aside forever. However, as Bartnik puts it, “Spinner has to be spinned,” so he came up with a robotic device to do this for him.

The resulting robot consists of two small servos, along with two 3D-printed linkages, attached to a piece of wood. A spinner is also affixed to the same piece of wood with a bolt, which is spun by the servos under Arduino Uno control.

Check out Bartnik’s Instructables write-up to see how it was done, along with the code and STL files needed to create your own!

Arduino Uno-driven plotter uses rulers for arms

When you see a plastic ruler, you wouldn’t normally assume it was destined to become part of a CNC plotter. Maker “lingib,” however, realized their potential to be combined to form plotter arms, in this case actuated by two stepper motors.

The resulting build can expand and contract the resulting shape, allowing a pen at the end point of the two sets of rulers to move back and forth across a piece of paper. Necessary spaces in the plot are provided by a micro servo that can lift the pen/ruler off of the writing surface.

The device is powered by an Arduino Uno, which controls the two NEMA 17 stepper motors via a pair of EasyDriver Modules. You can find more details about how to create one of these, including code and how the geometry behind it works, on its Instructables page.

Face tracking with Arduino and Android

Computer vision has traditionally relied on an assortment of rather involved components. On the other hand, everything you need to do this complicated task is readily available on an Android phone. The clever setup seen in the video here uses a smartphone to capture and process images, then send out a signal over Bluetooth to tell which way the device needs to be adjusted in order to focus on a nearby face.

An HC-05 Bluetooth module receives this signal and passes it to two servo motors via an Arduino Nano, moving the phone left/right and up/down.

You can find the Arduino code for this project on CircuitDigest, and the Android Processing code can be downloaded there as a compressed folder.

Arduino-controlled frame makes objects move in slow motion

Though time may be relative, unless you’re planning on doing a lot of space travel, slowing things down in real life is “notoriously” difficult. On the other hand, with carefully-coordinated vibrations and lighting, the “sLOMO” device is able to make objects such as a feather or plant appear to move in slow motion with the naked eye.

Inspired by Jeff Lieberman’s Slow Dance Frame, this project is made out of a readily available IKEA Ribba frame, and the object inside vibrates using an electromagnet. An Arduino Nano controls this magnet and pulses a double-row LED strip, in order to make the item appear to slow down, or even distort itself into multiple overlapping images.

Want to build your own? Check out the excellent write-up on Instructables, and see the magical frame in action below!

A capacitive touch Jankó keyboard

If you have even a passing familiarity with how to play a piano, you know that there are a bunch of long white keys, with a lesser number of black keys in a nearly-universal arrangement. On the other hand, like the standard and much lesser-known Dvorak keyboard for typing, there are alternatives. One such alternative is the Jankó keyboard, which Ben Bradley decided to reconstruct for the Moog Werkstatt using a capacitive touch sensor setup.

His new instrument, which as of his write-up only had 13 keys connected, was constructed for the 2017 Moog Hackathon at Georgia Tech. It uses an Arduino Mega for control along with four MPR121 capacitive touch breakout boards, and as seen in the video below, can be played quite well after only one day of practice!

You can find more details on his build, including its Arduino code, on the Freeside Atlanta website and check out its feature on Hackaday here.

(Photo: Nathan Burnham)

Experience the Internet through a modified rotary phone

A winner in this year’s Core77 Design Awards, the “Internet Phone” allows one to access websites with the nostalgic interface of a rotary phone.

In order to “get to” a certain page, one must look up a website’s IP address in a physical phonebook Internet directory and dial the necessary digits using the rotary. It then reads the website to the user via one of four different token-selected modes, including an “incognito” setting, which reads the site in a sort of computerized whisper.

The phone uses an Arduino for control, and was developed as part of a physical computer course taught by Dario Buzzini, Ankitt Modi, and… none other than Massimo Banzi. The device was put on display at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and the Langelinie Harbor, also in Copenhagen to amused and astonished responses.

Each step in the user experience is comparable to the process that a browser takes when retrieving a website. Looking up the IP addresses in a phone book is similar to how a browser gets an IP address from DNS (Domain Name System) directories. Dialing the twelve digits and waiting for the phone to retrieve the HTML content mimic how a browser requests data from servers. The voice-to-speech reading of the website is comparable to how a browser translates HTML and CSS code into human understandable content.

You can read more about this project, which “leverages existing telephone behaviors to demystify the invisible workings of the Internet,” on Core77 here.

PropHelix is an amazing 3D POV holographic display

Chances are you’re likely familiar with POV displays. These devices move through the air at a high enough speed to trick your eyes into thinking that a sequence of flashing lights is actually a solid image. Though interesting enough in two dimensions, LED aficionado “Gelstronic” decided to add more depth to his display, stacking 12 LED-enabled circuit boards in a helical pattern. This meant his project, dubbed “PropHelix,” can create a light display in not two, but three dimensions.

PropHelix’s LED pattern is controlled by an also-spinning Propeller board, powered by a wireless charging setup normally seen used with mobile phones. An Arduino Pro Mini in the base of the assembly takes care of making things spin at the correct speed via a multicopter-style ESC and brushless motor, while an encoder handles feedback.

You can find more details on this build in its Instructables write-up here, or check out the beautiful images in the video below!

Grandfather builds a backyard railroad with Arduino

If you want to truly impress your grandkids, and perhaps entertain yourself at the same time, there are many things you could do. Building a 1/4-size railroad, however, has to be close to the top of the list. This well-constructed model was inspired by a 1965 Popular Mechanics article, and includes a beautifully-painted engine, a 275-foot-long wooden track, and an engine house for storage and maintenance.

The engine is powered by two 24V 350W DC motors, which are controlled by an onboard potentiometer or remote signal, via an Arduino Uno. As an added bonus, the tracks have a designated crossing area for his lawn mower, along with a fully functioning warning signal using ultrasonic sensors and another Arduino.

You can see more of this amazing backyard railroad on Imgur and on its project log here.

A Paris-inspired, Arduino-powered binary clock

The La Fabrique DIY team has been working on a unique clock modeled after buildings seen along the Seine River in Paris. The “City Clock” is different from the others in that instead of a dial or decimal numbers, windows light up in a binary format, displaying the time in a binary sequence.

Electronics-wise, the clock can be made with an Arduino Uno, involving a fairly simple circuit with individual LEDs and resistors, as seen on this Imgur set. Also shown there is the Kickstarter version of the circuit, which amounts to a sort of gigantic shield that an Arduino Nano is plugged into.

With the City Clock, you calculate the time by adding every digit vertically. The first floor equals one, second equals two, third equals four, and the top equals eight. Using this system, it’s possible to create every digit from zero to nine by adding one number to another.

These clocks are available in various kit forms, including just the electronics or frame if you’d like a head start crafting something truly your own!