Posts with «inspiration» label

A tribute to 5-bit Baudot code

Julian Hespenheide is an interaction designer based in Germany who submitted to Arduino blogpost a writing machine called émile. It’s an interactive installation created in collaboration with Irena Kukric, David Beermann, Jasna Dimitrovskais and using Baudot code - a binary 5-bit code, predecessor of ASCII and EBCDID – intended for telecommunication and electronic devices, representing the entire alphabet.

It runs on Arduino Uno and  translates the bauds (/?b??d/, unit symbol Bd) into moving objects that are being sent over physical tracks in order to illustrate  a simple computational process of 5-bit binary information transmission:

The machine was built in six days with four people. In our group we came to the conclusion, that not every process in a computer is really transparent and it already starts when you type a simple letter on a keyboard. To unwrap this “black box” of data transmission, we set our goal to build a small writing machine where you can literally see bits rolling around. After some research we got back to the beginnings of Telefax machines and data transmission using Baudot-code. We then quickly designed punchcards and mapped them to a slightly altered baudot code table and cut them with a laser cutter from 5mm plywood.
Whenever a marble hits a switch, a short timer goes off and waits for input on the other switches. If no other marbles are hitting those switches, we finally translate the switches that have been hit into the corresponding letter.

Take a look at the machine in action:

 

Measure time like an egyptian with an Arduino hourglass

Todo is the italian design consultancy and creative agency taking care of Arduino and Genuino brand identity and interviewed in this previous blogpost.

Last year, among other projects, they worked on an unconventional communication campaign to narrate the re-opening of the well-known Turin’s Egyptian Museum, displaying a collection of over 30,000 ancient pieces.

The campaign’s goal was to hold people’s attention over six months before the official opening of the Museum and be able to speak to a broad national and international audience.

TODO created an open air installation composed by an almost-4-meter-tall hourglass (with a hidden mechanism running on Arduino) that had to work day and night, for six months and over the winter. According to Wikipedia, this hourglass could be the 4th biggest of its kind in the world!

The main challenge was that they had to make sure that the very last grain inside the hourglass would fall on the day of the Museum’s inauguration.

The installation was created thanks to many collaborators among which Gabriele Gambotto who developed the electronic part based on the Arduino Yún on which they added a custom shield ( See pic below), connected to various sensors and a precision scale. The sand-like material passed through a valve and a long screw conveyor controlled by a mot

Take a look at the video of the ‘Hourglass Countdown’ and to see it in action:

In an indoor area of the museum an interactive display case was the other face of the campaign revealed to the audience:

A series of replicas of ancient Egyptian finds were covered in sand, and users could interact with the system by choosing the spot they wished to unveil, blowing into a microphone, and having their breath converted by a small robot arm, which placed itself in the exact spot, blew away the sand and revealed part of the find.

The experience came to life in two different contexts. Locally, a roadshow with several stops made the display case accessible all around the city. Online, through the campaign’s website, you could blow away the sand from anywhere in the world, seeing the live streaming video of the robot moving and unveiling the find.

 

 

The installation was running on a ROS system, Arduino Mega, using blow sensors and controller, and an iPad to allow interaction with the visitors of the museum.


Check the video to see the amazing expression of people discovering ancient objects below the sand:

Arduino Blog 27 Jul 21:39

Casa Jasmina: we’re open! Visit us on June 6th

Casa Jasmina, Torino’s Open-Source Connected Apartment, opens its doors on Saturday during Mini Maker Faire in Torino. The unique example of connected apartment with open-source ideals, promoted by Arduino and curated by the futurist and science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, is hosted by Toolbox Coworking in a old industrial building already shared by Officine Arduino (the Italian Arduino headquarter), and Fablab Torino.

During the opening, Casa Jasmina will be available publicly for the first time, hosting some local Maker furnitures, an Italian selection of Valcucine kitchen appliances, household works by International Open Source designers (OpenDesk, Jesse Howard, Aker, Open Structure), and a small display of various connected objects and artifacts from the Energy@Home consortium, Torino Share Festival, and designs and prototypes from the first Casa Jasmina “Call for Projects”.

In the forthcoming months, Casa Jasmina will host residency programs, workshops and talks. This “house of the future” is not restricted to technicians but is meant for people interested in everyday life under near-future conditions and will be available on AirBnB for futurist weekends in Torino.

During the day at the Faire from 10am to 7pm,  you can explore over 50  makers’ projects, listen to many talks and  to the presentation of Casa Jasmina project by Bruce Sterling, enjoy a kids’ area with activities and a lab for the little ones.

Casa Jasmina  guided tours are starting from 11.30 am. Check the program.

E-traces creates visual sensations from ballerinas

Electronic Traces is an interactive project designed to allow ballet dancers to recreate their movements in  digital pictures using a customizable mobile application. It was prototyped by product-designer Lesia Trubat mixing technological, artisanal skills and using Arduino Lilypad, force sensitive resistors and accelerometer:

The concept of Electronic Traces is based on capturing dance movements and transforming them into visual sensations through the use of new technologies. To do this we focused on the ballet shoes themselves, which through the contact with the ground, and thanks to Lilypad Arduino technology, record the pressure and movement of the dancer’s feet and send a signal to an electronic device. A special application will then allow us to show this data graphically and even customize it to suit each user, through the different functions of this app.

The user can then view all the moves made in video format, extract images and even print them. Dancers can interpret their own movements and correct them or compare them with the movements of other dancers, as graphs created with motion may be the same or different depending on the type of movements execute.

 

The internet of trees makes smart birdhouses using Arduino Yùn

The connected birdhouse is a project prototyped during a workshop ran by Massimo Banzi at Boisbuchet, last August in France. It was developed using Arduino Yùn, by Valentina Chinnici, who shared with us the project, and two other students taking part to  the week of learning-by-doing around the theme of  the Internet of Trees.

They redesigned a traditional object, a wooden birdhouse to be placed outdoor, and connected it to a lamp shaped like a nest, to be placed indoor:

The connected birdhouse was in fact an interactive object able to communicate to the nest/lamp the presence of a bird inside the house, and accordingly to a color coded signal was giving also some informations about the size of the bird itself. In the event of a bird entering into the house, the nest/lamp remotely controlled via WiFi by an Arduino Yùn, was turned on. The nest/lamp received the notification from the birdhouse translating it firstly with a rainbow effect. After few seconds the light changed according to the weight of the bird (green, yellow or red).

The LED strip used for the nest lamp was an Adafruit Neopixel strip controlled by an Arduino Yún.

On this blog you can find the sketch to make it work and create one yourself.

Arduino Blog 15 Sep 22:27

Why the NSA Can’t Listen to His Mixtape – Interview with David Huerta

David Huerta is a technologist who recently published a provocative work to make everyone think a little bit more about privacy and what governments should be allowed to do or not:

I work outside the Pokemon business model of catching every user’s data or abusing it for state surveillance. I work instead surrounded by priceless art and in giving it a voice inside and outside the thick, Faraday cage walls of the museum it lives in.

He created an encrypted mixtape and sent it to NSA. The device runs on Arduino and other open hardware and for David is a:

machinery that can be trusted not to spy on you because of the disclosure of its design, schematics and bill of materials to anyone who wishes to inspect, build, or build upon the device. The device contains a soundtrack for the modern surveillance state. It’s designed to be enjoyed only by people I have consented it to be listened to. A second copy of this device will also be sent to the NSA’s headquarters in Maryland, but without the private key needed to decrypt it; a reminder that the rules of mathematics are more powerful than the rules of even the most powerful states.

We got in touch with him and was happy to answer a couple of questions for the blog:

Z: What makes you more uncomfortable about NSA actions which made you react and build this device?

D: The NSA’s mass surveillance encompasses a lot of programs which run counter to what I feel is a fundamental right to privacy. In the US Constitution there’s an expression of that in its fourth amendment.
What the NSA is doing goes against the spirit of that much like petting a cat backwards; It’s the wrong direction to go towards and a cat/society will swipe its paw at the offender.

Z: Arduino community is always interested in understanding how things are made. Where we can find source code and technical specs to build one? It would be great if we all could share more practical knowledge on these topics.

D: The mixtape device is basically just an Arduino and Adafruit wave shield. The code to play each wave file on the SD card on a loop (when unencrypted) is right off their list of examples.
I made one slight modification, which is to turn on a purple LED to indicate when it’s working. Purple is not an easy LED color to source, but it’s the global Pirate Party color and I wanted to give them subtle props for working towards a free and secure internet on the policy side of things.

I will at some point publish a way to do the encryption part of this using a Beaglebone Black and CryptoCape to make it a fully open hardware proof-of-concept, but in this case the SD card encryption was done off-device. I also plan on going through a full tutorial based on that at this year’s Open Hardware Summit in Rome.

Z: You said: “The NSA can read my stupid Facebook updates but without my consent it will never be able to listen to my kick-ass mix tape, even if it’s sitting right in front of them.” – What makes you believe that your encryption is strong enough?

D: The truth is that everyone sucks at information security, including myself, so no one can really make the claim something they’ve built is “NSA-proof.” Generally though, the less hardware and software you have, the less complexity and thus, opportunity for attack vectors or human errors there are. The playlist was kept offline, is not on the Arduino sketch, or anywhere in the hardware except encrypted in the SD card. The only place the audio existed aside from in the various sources I collected it from was on the hard drive of the PC I used to compose the mix tape, which has since been removed and stored offsite and offline. The encryption was also ran by a different machine, and one that I generally keep on my person. This goes beyond mass surveillance capabilities and into TAO/FBI “partyvan” surveillance; I can’t imagine an intelligence analyst is going to go to their very serious boss to explain that they need to expense a vehicle to go after some guy’s mix tape in a city where they won’t even be able to find a parking spot close enough to run a tempest attack from.

ZDo you have the pictures of the inside showing the components and the circuits?

D: They’re not too exciting since its just the Arduino + Wave Shield, but I attached a photo of the unencrypted version (clear acrylic instead of red clear acrylic), which I’ll also be bringing with me to the Open Hardware Summit.

 

Looking forward to meet him at Open Hadware Summit!

Arduino Blog 30 Jul 07:50

Opensourcing imagination and sharing knowledge in Nepal

David Cuartielles held a worshop at Campus Party Berlin introducing  Arduino and the cool things you can do with it. Some months later, on of the students, Sanjeet Raj Pandey, wrote him to reveal that the event was a life changing moment.

After that Sajeet decided  to share his knowledge and experience organising workshops in a rural city called Janakpur in Nepal. In that occasion a 100 participants got introduced to Arduino. They learnt how to blink LEDs, work with a temperature sensor, light sensor, ultrasound sensor and also to make a DIY Arduino:

Most of it was financed by myself and a bit of donation from Telecommunication department -Technical University of Berlin and Berlin Promotion Agency.

I like to make things which are real and can be put to work for society . Making things, one just cannot see but also touch is awesome.

Hope you will share Janakpur (Nepal) as one more place with Arduino. I would be keeping up pace and will be doing more such projects, workshops, seminars, remote sessions, etc for students in Nepal.

These are some pictures from the workshops:

Do you have a similar story to share? Submit it to our blog!

What’s the future of board games? Some students are making it connected

Fifteen students from Master degree of ECV Aquitaine  under the direction of Tazas Project - an artistic group run by Guillaume Beinat and Alexandre Suné –  created and shared with us a smart board game called “Web World War”.

The goal is simple: survive a computer virus that has infected your machine and, throughout the game, the player should build a strategy  to win this virtual war.

The game runs on Arduino and is composed by a screenprinted board connected to any mobile device plugged on a local WiFi connection. Take a look at the video:

Arduino Blog 27 May 15:36

1900 Chinese lanterns and more than 15000 LEDs controlled by Arduino in Jakarta

We are delighted to share a video about the light installation performed by Arduino Verkstad in Jakarta in 2013. 15200 LEDs in 3800 groups adding up to 1900 Chinese lanterns controlled by 40 Arduino Mega boards with a specially design shield to handle communications and a lot of manual work.

Take a look at the shorter version of video below focusing more on the results of the installation, or the full length directly on youtube.

Enjoy!

 

Creating colourful clouds of light

Arduino user SicLeung is part of Do Interactive, an interactive design team based in Hong Kong. He sent us a video about his experimental installation at Hong Kong Poly University – School of Design and exploring unusual ways of activating light: