Posts with «featured» label

Simple Computer Gesture Control with Arduino and Python

As outlined in this Circuit Digest write-up, with the right hardware, you can now control your computer using hand gestures. While interesting, this kind of technology can be a little expensive. But if you’d like to augment your notebook or laptop via simple gesture capabilities without breaking the bank, B. Aswinth Raj has your answer in the form of an Arduino Uno and two ultrasonic sensors.

His system places the two sensors at the top of a screen, which are read by the Uno. This data is then passed on to a Python program running on the host computer that allows for actions such as play/pause, fast-forward, and volume control while watching videos.

Given the nature of the setup, there’s no reason why more sensors or programming couldn’t be added for further control, perhaps as shortcut “keys” for your favorite design software package! You can read more about the project here, and see a demo of it below.

Use all your old-school game controllers with the turn of a dial

IT professional (and Arduino cap fan) John Milner had a minor problem. While his retro gaming setup could emulate a wide variety of systems and games, it was still missing the tactile feedback of the original controllers. Rather than “submit” to playing with only an Xbox 360 controller, he developed the Multijoy Retro Gaming System that can change gamepads with the turn of a knob using an Arduino Micro.

The resulting system lets him not only choose the original controller for each game, but if you want to mix things up and see how Super Mario Bros. would feel on a PlayStation 1, or even a Genesis controller, you can do that too! It also features shortcut buttons on the new console.

The Arduino presents itself as two joypads with native plug-and-play support for Microsoft Windows 7+ and Linux/RetroPie. The selector is simply a ring of LEDs with a potentiometer in the center, using the knob will move the lit LED to the desired controller pictured in that position, a simple system with an unexpected bonus of being a little retro in its appearance.

You can check it out in the video below, and see more of the project on his blog and on GitHub.

Linux support comes to Arduino Create

We’re excited to announce a new update to the Arduino Create web platform, which will enable fast and easy development and deployment of IoT applications with integrated cloud services on Linux-based devices.

What this means is that users will be able to program their Linux boards as if they were regular Arduinos. Multiple Arduino programs can run simultaneously on a Linux board and programs can communicate with each other leveraging the capabilities of the new open source Arduino Connector. 

Arduino Create Cloud now allows users to manage individual IoT devices, and configure them remotely and independently from where they are located. To further simplify the user journey, we’ve also developed a novel “out of the box” experience that will let anyone set up a new device from scratch via the cloud without any previous knowledge by following an intuitive web-based wizard

The initial release has been sponsored by Intel® and supports X86/X86_64 boards. As a reference implementation, a simplified user experience has been designed for the AAEON® UP² board, although other platforms are already supported by the Arduino Create Cloud platform, such as the Intel® NUC, Dell Wyse®, Gigabyte™ GB-BXT.

In the coming months, we plan to expand support for Linuxbased IoT devices running on other hardware architectures. Until then, you can find more information here and follow the tutorials below to help get you going:


ASPIR is a full-size, Arduino-powered humanoid robot

Building robots can be difficult, and if you want to construct something humanoid, designing the mechanics alone can be a significant task. ASPIR, which stands just over four feet tall, looks like a great place to start.

John Choi’s 3D-printed robot can move its arms, legs, and head via 33 servo motors, all controlled by an Arduino Mega, along with a servo shield.

The documentation found here is excellent; however, it comes with a warning that this is a very advanced project, taking several months to build along with $2,500 in parts. Even if you’re not willing to make that commitment, it’s worth checking out for inspiration, perhaps parts of the ASPIR could be adapted to your own design!

This Arduino-controlled LED glove can ‘stop’ moving objects

While you might not be able to actually manipulate time, this glove by YouTuber “MadGyver” certainly makes it appear that way. His glove, shown in the video below, uses a gigantic LED controlled by an Arduino Nano to allow objects such as a fan, water falling from a shower, and a spinning top to stop, slow down, and even reverse.

The trick is that when the LED’s frequency is aligned with that of the observed moving subject, it lights it up in the same position over and over, making it appear to pause. Frequency is adjusted by rolling one’s hand via an accelerometer, or a potentiometer mounted in the base of the glove can also be used.

If you want to build your own, instructions can be found here and the Arduino code and schematics are available on GitHub.

An Arduino-controlled geodesic greenhouse and chicken coop

Danish industrial design student Mikkel Mikkelsen decided to do something a little different this spring, and constructed a self-sufficient geodesic greenhouse dome. His dome, which was planned using this online calculator, now stands roughly 13 feet tall, providing space for crops, along with an annex for chickens.

While this seems like a very “back to nature” project, he didn’t forget to include modern conveniences via an automation system that uses both an Arduino Nano and a Mega. The chickens can come and go through an automatic door, while ventilation windows on the top of the dome can be opened as needed. Even plant watering is controlled automatically.

The dome is also equipped with a GSM module that allows Mikkelsen to check on things using his phone via SMS, as well as a potentiometer for manually varying the watering levels and a speaker that is triggered upon entering the greenhouse.

Be sure to check out Mikkelsen’s elaborate Instructables write-up for more info on the build.

Automate Halloween with the Stack-O-Lantern memory game

While Halloween has come and gone, it’s not too early to start brainstorming for next year’s jack-o’-lantern hack. Perhaps you’re thinking about lighting a pumpkin with an Uno-powered array of LEDs, or activating a shield to play scary recorded noises. If, however, you’d like inspiration for something more involved, the New Scientist team’s Arduino-controlled nine-pumpkin rig shows off lots of creative ideas.

The system holds candy in a hacked cereal dispenser, which is released through a long clear plastic tube. But instead of giving away treats for free, it’s activated by an interactive memory game involving four pumpkins on the sides of the assembly.

Trick-or-treaters must tap each pumpkin’s aluminum foil switches in sequence. If replicated in the correct order, they are rewarded with candy. If not, visitors are “treated” to a spray of silly string!

You can read more about New Scientist‘s project in this article, and see it in action below!

Capturing a complex TV commercial with Arduino

Ever wonder how studios like Oslo-based Flambert get perfectly timed (and complex) shots of “disasters,” such as the destruction of a birthday party setting seen in the Coop Obs! commercial below?

While the moving camera position was handled by a robotic arm, food jumping off of the table is coordinated by a series of 18 pneumatic actuators controlled by an Arduino.

The pneumatic equipment is cleverly concealed by a tablecloth, making the food appear to fly off the table with no trigger other than the hostess of the party initially slipping. Another clever innovation was making the table with two interchangeable tops, so one could be set up while the other was being shot, saving a huge amount of time during filming.

“We decided to build a table consisting of high-pressure valves with nine individual triggers and 18 air pressure points that could shoot items into the air with extreme precision. We recommended a combination of high-speed camera movements, and triggers to set off and capture the chaos. All this was controlled by an Arduino unit, that again was controlled by a motion-controlled robot.”

Arduino Blog 31 Oct 21:55
arduino  featured  

An Arduino vibe bowl screw feeder

Vibratory bowls, which feed small parts up a long curved ramp, are essential elements in many types of automated manufacturing. While the video seen here doesn’t get into how the bowls themselves are made, a crucial part of the setup is the ramp on the end, which controls how items exiting the bowl are aligned.

In the clip below, NYC CNC’s John Saunders machines a feed ramp and proceeds to integrate an Arduino Uno after the 21:00 mark, which uses a photo interrupt sensor to count how many parts have exited the bowl.

Once the proper number has been attained, it can then switch things off as needed using a PowerSwitch Tail. It’s a great setup for testing out the design before being put to use. Code and parts for the project can be found here.

Ivy is a massive 240-step sequencer

Most musical sequencers use an array of buttons to control sounds played in 16 or perhaps 32 steps. As seen here, Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov (aka ::vtol::) created an installation called “Ivy” wth not 16, but 240!

The sequencer is based on an Arduino Mega along with 74HC40967 multiplexers to handle input from the 240 sliders arranged as controls for each step.  There’s also a bunch of WS2811 LEDs, which are driven by a Teensy board.

Ivy stretches five meters in length, and several “voices” represented by dots on the 1-dimensional light array travel both right and left at different speeds simultaneously. This allows it to be programmed in ways that wouldn’t be possible with traditionally-operated musical devices.

The project is created specially for Open Codes exhibition in ZKM center, dedicated to codes and programming in art. On one side, Ivy is a representation of an archaic method of electronic music programming for analog synthesizers. On the other side – gigantic scale and obsessive multiplication of simple primitive elements turns this project into an art installation, that is referring to the topic of graphic and physical organization of parameters in electronic music.

You can read more about ::vtol::’s latest sound installation here, and see it in action below!

Arduino Blog 24 Oct 19:27