Posts with «instructables» label

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.

This pocket-sized gadget helps build positive habits

Want to read more, remember to take your vitamins, or even take out the trash? With the “Dory” Arduino-based tracking device from YouTuber YellowRobot.XYZ, now you can!

Dory–which comes in both a circular and smaller square version–uses an NFC reader to sense tags attached near the object that needs work. When you complete a positive action, you simply tap the nearby tag and the small gadget will light up its corresponding LEDs via an Arduino Pro Mini.

If you’d like to know where you are on your habit count, this is displayed with a button in the middle, and can be reset by holding it down. Beside from tracking habits, Dory is a great reminder of what can be done with NFC tags!

The GuitarBot will strum you a song

While many Makers have musical skill, others attempt to compensate for their lack of it by producing automatic instruments that play themselves. One such attempt started in 2015 as a collaborative project between three University of Delaware professors as part of an initiative known as “Artgineering.” This was meant to “create a public spectacle… to demonstrate that engineering and art can work together harmoniously.”

Although many would consider engineering to be an art in itself, if you’d like to create your own robotic band, this Instructables write-up for the GuitarBot is a great place to start.

The guitar-playing robot is comprised of three major components: the brains, a strummer, and a chord mechanism. An Arduino Mega, a specially-ordered PCB and several shields are used for control, and a series of solenoids press down frets as needed. Finally, strumming is handled by a pick that is pulled by a DC motor and belt assembly, all of which is held up by an aluminum frame.

Maker creates his own coilgun using an Arduino Nano

If you suppose that electromagnetically-propelled projectiles are strictly the purview of well-funded government research labs, think again! Using two sets of coils wrapped around custom 3D-printed base structures and an Arduino Nano for control, YouTuber “Gyro” created his own coilgun capable of propelling steel fast enough to dent a piece of wood.

When fired, a photodiode at the end of each electromagnet coil sends a signal to the Arduino. This, in turn, shuts off the coil, allowing it freely escape the barrel.

As noted in his Instructables write-up, the gun is constructed without large capacitors, which can be expensive and dangerous. Instead, two LiPo battery packs are combined to produce around 22 volts, though this and the number of coils used, could be increased to produce a more powerful device!

Create an interactive laser sheet generator with Arduino

What’s better than a laser? How about two rapidly rotating lasers, attached to servo motors and controlled by an Arduino Mega? That’s exactly what Jon Bumstead made with his “Interactive Laser Sheet Generator.”

In addition to controlling the lasers, his device can sense hand motion on top of it using an array of 12 ultrasonic sensors, and can even coordinate music through a built-in MIDI output.

As seen in the demonstration video, Bumstead’s project–which was constructed with the help of a CNC router–looks like a cross between a coffee table and a test fixture for a space vehicle. When activated, a brushless motor spins the two lasers at a high speed, while the Mega controls the laser angles via two servos, creating a unique vortex-like light show!

I included distance sensors in the device so that the laser sheets could be manipulated by moving your hand towards them. As the person interacts with the sensors, the device also plays music through a MIDI output. It incorporates ideas from laser harps, laser vortexes, and POV displays. The instrument is controlled with an Arduino Mega that takes in the inputs of ultrasonic sensors and outputs the type of laser sheet formed and music generated. Due to the many degrees of freedom of the spinning lasers, there are tons of different laser sheet patterns that can be created.

You can find more details on the laser sheet generator on Instructables.

Get into shape as you game with Cykill

If you’re having trouble finding time to work out because you’d rather play video games, then this is the solution you’ve been waiting for. The Cykill device modifies a normal exercise bike into a device that won’t let you power on your Xbox unless you’re pedaling sufficiently fast enough.

Making this even more motivating, is that if you stop pedaling fast enough, it immediately cuts power, ruining any in-progress game, and potentially even damaging your hard drive!

To implement this hack, Instructables user “Fuzzy-Wobble” used an Arduino Uno to intercept the bike’s normal control signals. From this data, as well as settings on a custom control panel, it decides whether or not to activate switchable plug that provides power to the Xbox.

If you’d like to build your own forced-fitness setup, be sure to check out the project’s write-up here. Gaming not your thing? Perhaps it’s Netflix binge-watching getting in the way of your healthy lifestyle instead…

Binge-watch and burn calories with the Arduino-powered Cycflix

As entertaining as watching Netflix may be, you’re not burning a lot of calories while binging on your favorite shows. In order to do both at the same time, hacker “Roboro” modded a stationary exercise bike to stop streaming if he’s not maintaining his fitness goals.

Bicycle speed is derived from the signal that’s normally sent to the built-in display. He uses an Arduino Nano to hijack the square wave, and sends this info to the streaming computer serially via USB.

Starting the Python script and inputting some information, Firefox will start to stream Netflix and display in real-time for current workout information such as round, speed, nominal speed for this round and time to next round. If the user goes below the nominal speed for too long, Netflix will pause until the user has gotten back up to speed.

If you’d like to try this yourself, you can find an Instructables write-up with all the necessary details and check out his code on GitHub. Though designed around Netflix, Roboro notes that it can be used with other streaming services with a few changes.

Portal fan recreates a sentry turret using an Arduino

Steven Gioiosa recently signed up for a “Makecourse” class at the University of South Florida, where he was required to build something that featured both an Arduino and a 3D-printed part. As a fan of Portal, and especially the sentry turrets in the game, it was an easy decision to construct one of these devices for himself.

Gioiosa’s turret recreation is based on an Arduino Uno connected to an HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor, and features motion-activated lasers that move back and forth, along with audio feedback, depending on how far away the human target is. The project also involves a bunch of servos: one to open the arms out, another to pitch them up and down, and two more to move each arm left and right.

You can see Gioiosa’s sentry turret in action below, and find more details on his Instructables write-up here.

Building a pool-playing robot prototype with Arduino

Building robots can be (relatively) easy if you’d like something to wander around your room and avoid obstacles, but for complicated control tasks, like shooting pool, things need more development. Engineer “Bvarv” has been working on just such a robot, which currently exists as a one-sixth scale model.

Though it’s not currently capable of playing the game, the device uses some interesting tricks, including a frame supported by a pattern of increasing-diameter pieces of wood, a custom bearing made out of slingshot ammunition, and limit switches to control the billiard bot’s orientation.

For this project, Bvarv employed a pair of Arduino Unos and a PixyCam vision system, along with some servos, belts, and gears. While we may still be a few years away from a full-scale robotic opponent, you can check out the entire build over on Instructables and follow along with his progress in the videos below.

A LoRa home environment monitoring gateway

When you’re away from your home, perhaps you’d like to know what is going on there. A camera system is one solution, but is fairly data-intensive and might not be the right method if you’d like to monitor information like temperature and humidity in several zones. For this, Rod Gatehouse decided to build his own LoRa environment monitoring system using an Arduino Mega.

To keep an eye on things, Gatehouse (aka “RodNewHampshire” on Instructables) came up with an excellent LoRa IoT gateway that can be controlled via four push buttons and an LCD screen. This device can take input from remote stations wirelessly, and can put this data online or push it to a user as a text message.

The system enables a homeowner to monitor the home environment via an Internet accessible dashboard, receive periodic SMS environmental notifications, receive real-time SMS alerts when monitored environmental parameters exceed preset thresholds, and log environmental data to the cloud.

For more details on how Gatehouse set up this project and on his design choices, check out his Instructables page here.