Posts with «featured» label

Think you know Arduino? Show off your skills with the Arduino Certification Program

The first-ever Arduino certification is now available in Asia, Australia/NZ, the Middle East and Africa, and the Americas (excluding Brazil).

The Arduino Certification: Fundamentals is a structured way to enhance and validate your Arduino skills, and receive official recognition as you progress. Anyone interested in engaging with Arduino through a process that involves study, practice, and project building is encouraged to pursue this official certificate.

Those wishing to learn more can do so here as well as try out our free demo to get a feel for the types of questions on the exam.

Arduino SIM extends availability around the world

Hot on the heels of announcing the launch of the Arduino SIMin the US, we’re very pleased to further roll out availability of the data plan to Asia, Australia/NZ, Middle East and Africa, and the Americas (excluding Brazil).

With 10MB free data for up to 90 days and a global roaming profile, the new Arduino SIM offers the simplest path to cellular IoT device development.

The Plan:

  • Arduino SIMcomes with 10 MB of data free for the first days 90 days.
  • One simple subscription at 5 MB for $1.50 USD per month*.
  • Global roaming profile – enjoy the same amount of data traffic for the same price wherever you are operating the device around the world.
  • Cellular connectivity to the Arduino IoT Cloud – monitor and control your devices anytime, anywhere.
  • Ideal for connected devices on the go or in areas without reliable WiFi.
  • Scalable to large numbers of devices in the future with Arm Pelion Connectivity Management.

*Available worldwide except for the European Union and Brazil

Currently, the Arduino SIM will allow users to send data into the Arduino IoT Cloud, while later in the year they will also be able to use the Arduino SIM to connect to the Internet via a combination of webhooks and APIs.

Arduino SIM will initially be compatible with the MKR GSM 1400 (3G with 2G fallback) — an Arm Cortex-M0+ board supporting TLS and X.509 certificate-based authentication through an on-board secure element and crypto accelerator. The Arduino IoT Cloud makes it possible for anyone to connect to these boards securely without any coding required, but they are still programmable using open-source libraries and the traditional Arduino IDE.

Now available for order from the Arduino online store!

Drag:on varies air resistance for VR feedback

As seen here, “Standard controllers for virtual reality (VR) lack sophisticated means to convey realistic, kinesthetic impression on size, resistance or inertia.” To overcome these limitations, André Zenner and Antonio Krüger at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) have come up with Drag:on—a haptic feedback device that changes air resistance and weight distribution using a commercially-available hand fan.

Drag:on uses a pair of MG996R servos to actuate the fan, shifting its weight and air resistance as needed to simulate a virtual environment. The assembly is attached to an HTC Vive tracker, and an Arduino Nano provides control and computer interface via a USB serial link.

Drag:on leverages the airflow occurring at the controller during interaction. By dynamically adjusting its surface area, the controller changes the drag and rotational inertia felt by the user. In a user study, we found that Drag:on can provide distinguishable levels of haptic feedback. Our prototype increases the haptic realism in VR compared to standard controllers and when rotated or swung improves the perception of virtual resistance. By this, Drag:on provides haptic feedback suitable for rendering different virtual mechanical resistances, virtual gas streams, and virtual objects differing in scale, material and fill state

More details on the project can be found in the researchers’ paper here.

A light-up Newton’s cradle for your desk

Newton’s cradles consist of a series of suspended spherical masses, and are normally started by pulling one ball back. The outer balls then click back and forth for an interesting distraction. 

To make things even more interesting, “TecnoProfesor” made his own version using ping pong balls and RGB LEDs. As the outer balls sway, they light up in sequence, along with the inner three balls that stay largely in one place.

Power here isn’t provided by kinetic energy, but everything moves via a pair of servo motors. An Arduino Mega is used to control the light/motion simulator, while a button and potentiometer allow the user to change between two modes and variable swing frequency.

Arduino Blog 03 Jun 18:54

Arduino IoT Cloud: Dynamic Dashboard

In this short article we are going to have a look at a new exciting feature: theDynamic Dashboard of Arduino IoT Cloud.

Among other things with Arduino IoT Cloud you can create a dashboard to monitor data and interact with your project.

If you want to know more about properties and widgets you can go here

Now it’s possible to arrange the widgets as you like. You can also increase their size and move them around following your needs.

In order to resize them simply drag the small resize handle in the right bottom corner of each widget. This way they become dynamic and the widgets below will adjust and rearrange accordingly.

How to resize properties boxes

For now, Location and String are the only resizable widgets.

If you want to move the properties around just click and drag the title area.

How to move properties boxes

Below you can see the callbacks used in this easy example

void onLatitudeChange() {
  lat = Latitude;
  GPS = {lat, lon};
  Locations += "lat: " + String(lat) + "; " + "lon: " + String(lon) + "\n";
  Movements ++;

void onLongitudeChange() {
  lon = Longitude;
  GPS = {lat, lon};
  Locations += "lat: " + String(lat) + "; " + "lon: " + String(lon) + "\n";
  Movements ++;

If you want to further experiment on how multi-value properties work here’s an example


Getting started with the new Arduino Nano Every

The original Arduino Nano occupies a special place in many makers’ hearts. The tiny footprint (48*18 mm), reliability and tons of examples makes the Nano perfect for wearables, drones — in fact any project made to last.

The Nano is back! The new entry-level Arduino Nano Every manages to pack in even more features at an even lower price – just $9.90 / €8.00 without headers — and is backwards compatible with the original. Dario Pennisi led the development of the Arduino Nano Every. We sat down with him to learn more.

Why did you decide to create the Arduino Nano Every?

Searching for “Arduino Nano project” yields millions of results. But you also find people complaining about boards not working. Of course these boards are usually clones (not genuine Arduino boards)! Clones can be cheaper but reliability issues can mean you need to pay for more, or are frustrated trying to get them to work.

This is why we made the Arduino Nano Every. It’s reliable, affordable and more powerful. We’ve used a quality USB chip so people won’t have connection or driver issues. The newer ATmega4809 microcontroller fixes limitations of older ATmega328p based boards – you can add a second hardware serial port! As well as more peripherals and memory, the Configurable Custom Logic (CCL) is a great way to get beginners more interested in hardware. Finally, the separate processor handling the USB interface makes it possible to implement USB classes such as Human Interface Device (HID) instead of just the classic CDC/UART.

We see the Arduino Nano Every at the heart of wearable projects; in experiments, in prototypes or in a full cosplay setup! Sensors and motors can be connected without too much fuss which means it’s great for robotics, drones and 3D printing too. Not only is it a great choice for makers – in buying a genuine Arduino they will be supporting us in continuing to contribute to open source for the whole community to benefit from.

Can you tell us the three key features of Nano Every?

  • New processor with more memory and new peripherals, still 5V capable. The added memory will unleash creativity and open to more complex applications and the new peripheral set, which includes a second serial port, will finally allow communicating at the same time with a PC and with peripherals such as a wireless interface or a GPS.
  • The new power supply architecture based on a high efficiency DC-DC converter allows powering the board at up to 21V and to drive output peripherals with up to 950mA without overheating
  • Castellated contacts and flush bottom side allow soldering the Nano Every directly on a board as a traditional SMT component, opening the possibility to reduce final product size and helping the use in volume applications

So the processor is the same as the Uno WiFi R2 and it has more Flash and more RAM. The sketches made for the Nano are going to run on the Every as they are? Is it truly a replacement with zero modification in any Nano based project? Please elaborate.

Actually the ATmega4809 we use on Uno WiFi R2 and Nano Every is not directly compatible with ATmega328p, however we’ve implemented a compatibility layer which translates low level register writes without any overhead so the result is that most libraries and sketches, even those accessing directly GPIO registers, will work out of the box

Why you decided to offer the board with no headers supplied or soldered in the basic package?

Not only are new Nano boards are offered without headers, they all are totally flat on the bottom side and offer castellated pads on the sides, so you can actually solder them on your PCB as a standard SMT component using a normal pick & place machine.

The price is really aggressive, did you compromise on Arduino quality standards to achieve this?

We’ll never give up on Arduino quality standards and we’re still manufacturing in Italy making sure that our ethical values are strictly followed. The lower price point on these products has been achieved thanks to a careful optimization on purchasing prices and by trimming our margins as we believe that it’s important to give makers the quality they deserve at competitive prices.

The Arduino Nano Every is now available for pre-order on the Arduino online store with headers or without headers mounted (estimated shipping date: mid-June 2019).

Augmented office chair provides hands-free drone control

Multi-rotor drones are normally controlled using handheld devices, but what if you wanted to instead operate them with your whole body? Flight Chair, developed by researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada, allows you to do just that, and is envisioned for use with emergency personnel observing a scene.

The chair is augmented with ultrasonic sensors to detect when a user leans forward, backward, left, and right, commanding the drone to do the same, while a gyroscopic sensor detects when the chair is swiveled to adjust its heading. 

Altitude adjustment is handled by a T-shaped foot panel, leaving one’s hands free to do other tasks. Sensor values are collected by an Arduino Mega, which passes this to a drone server over a USB connection.

In future, emergency services will increasingly use technology to assist emergency service dispatchers and call taker with information during an emergency situation. One example could be the use of drones for surveying an emergency situation and providing contextual knowledge to emergency service call takers and first responders. The challenge is that drones can be difficult for users to maneuver in order to see specific items. In this paper, we explore the idea of a drone being controlled by an emergency call taker using embodied interaction on a tangible chair. The interactive chair, called Flight Chair, allows call takers to perform hands-free control of a drone through body movements on the chair. These include tilting and turning of one’s body.

More details on the team’s prototype design be found in their research paper here

RC wheelbarrow racing with James Bruton, Ivan Miranda, and Tom Stanton

We’ve seen Arduino boards used in a wide variety of situations, but this may be the first time one has been implemented to control an RC wheelbarrow. 

In the video below, YouTubers James Bruton, Tom Stanton, and Ivan Miranda have taken on a ‘barrow racing challenge,’ where each competitor must modify a wheelbarrow for remote racing purposes.

Miranda and Stanton went with air-powered designs, while Bruton instead chose differential steering, adding a pair of wheelchair wheels to the main wheel that he modified to swivel on a caster. Bruton’s user interface is provided by a generic RC transmitter, and an Arduino Mega translates these signals into the proper left/right wheel speeds. 

‘Race’ results are quite entertaining, and include a variety of wheelies, crashes, and even some improvisation to deal with the day’s rainy conditions!

Star Wars-themed Mastermind with an Arduino Mega

Mastermind is a game where one player attempts to guess a secret combination of colored pegs. It normally requires a second player to act as the judge, giving hints in the form of secondary pegs as to whether the other participant is on the right track. Maker “luisdel” decided to put a new spin on things using an Arduino Mega to display RGB LEDs on a Star Wars-themed play field. This automation allows players to directly compete, rather than taking turns.

In action, each player uses a series of buttons to enter light codes, with 10 tries at guessing the correct combination. No human judge is needed, so it’s a race to see who can unlock this critical sequence first and save—or further subjugate—the galaxy!

These are adverse times for rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, the Imperial troops are using free hardware and Arduino as a secret weapon.

That is the advantage of free technologies, any person (either good or bad) can use them.

In a hidden base located on the planet Anoat, they are building a 3D printer capable of replicating Imperial Destroyer.

The only solution to defeat the Empire is that a group of rebels commanded by Luke Skycuartielles and Obi-Wan Banzi, defeat the imperial troops and get the key that will give access to the plans to destroy the secret weapon.

This key consists of 4 colors and you have 10 attempts to get it deciphered. There are only four rules:

1. The colors can be repeated

2. A white light indicates that you have hit the right color and position

3. A violet light indicates that you have hit the color but not the position

4. If there is no light you have not guessed the color or the position.

You must hurry since at the other extreme, the evil Darth Ballmer will try to get the key before you. In that case, you will not be able to find out what it is and you will not have access to the plans of the secret weapon. Your mission will have failed.

Little Padawan, may the force accompany you to decipher the key and thus be able to save the galaxy.

Arduino Blog 28 May 14:08

Fetch is a mesmerizing ferrofluid display!

You’ve seen LED matrices, E Ink, CRTs, and likely a variety of other display methods, but chances are you’ve never seen anything like the ferrofluid matrix display by ‘Applied Procrastination.’ 

This student team from the University of Oslo has created a 252-pixel ferrofluid panel, dubbed “Fetch,” manipulating the inky black substance suspended in a saltwater brine with an array of electromagnets.

The video below, however, shows only an early 6×6 prototype powered by an Arduino and motor driver. While certainly not as impressive as the yet-to-be-revealed final result, watching the fluid move via this small matrix and even under ‘manual’ magnet control is still incredible. 

More details on the build—and of course, the large display—is forthcoming, so you may want to subscribe to or bookmark their channel to see what comes next!