Posts with «mega» label

Arduino Mega is the brains of this ant-like hexapod

Six-legged robots are nothing new, but if you’d like inspiration for your own, it would be hard to beat this 22 servo-driven, 3D-printed hexapod from Dejan at How To Mechatronics. 

The ant-inspired device features three metal geared servos per leg, as well as a pair to move the heat, another for the tail, and a micro servo to activate the mandibles.

To control this large number of servos, Dejan turned to the Arduino Mega, along with a custom Android app and Bluetooth link for the user interface. While most movements are activated by the user, it does have a single ultrasonic sensor buried in its head as “eyes.” This allows it to lean backwards when approached by an unknown object or hand, then strike with its mandibles if the aggressor continues its advance. 

As the name suggests, the hexapod has six legs but in addition to that, it also has a tail or abdomen, a head, antennas, mandibles and even functional eyes. All of this, makes the hexapod look like an ant, so therefore we can also call it an Arduino Ant Robot.

For controlling the robot I made a custom-built Android application. The app has four buttons through which we can command the robot to move forward or backwards, as well as turn left or right. Along with these main functions, the robot can also move its head and tail, as well as it can bite, grab and drop things and even attack.

You can see it in action and being assembled in the video below, and build files are available here.

Teenager automates his family’s holiday lights with an Arduino Mega

As first reported by the Des Moines Register, this year 14-year-old Josiah Davenport decided to animate 3,500 Christmas lights on his family’s home with the help of an Arduino Mega. The lighting pattern is synchronized with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter,” which passersby can listen to by tuning in to 89.5 FM on their car radios. 

This ambitious installation was started back in July, and took around 100 hours of research, programming, and assembly. How the lights look at night can be seen in the first video below, while the second and third outline how everything was assembled.

Davenport notes that it’s been a fun endeavor, but is happy to see it come together, hoping that it brings a smile to people’s faces this holiday season! You can read more about the project in his local newspaper’s article here.

Bit clicks away to illustrate complex interrelationships

Aseen here, Bit by Jonghong Park at the University of the Arts Bremen is a beautiful visualization of how everything is linked together using the Markov chain principle. This installation uses an Arduino Mega for control, rotating arms that hold a pair of microswitches around coaxial gear-shaped cylinders.

In the sequence, one arm turns, then lobes on these “gears” that represent a two-bit number push the microswiches. This number is used to choose the following stepper to be turned in the sequence. The next selected arm then rotates in the same manner. This predictable cycle continues on and on clicking in a way that’s related, but not without careful observation.

The installation ‘bit’ represents a natural random process based on the principle of a Markov chain. Each machine consists of “information” engraved on the read head and an “event” caused by the operation of the motor. Machines are linked together based on a Markov chain algorithm to influence events, and eventually we can predict which of the four machines will move in the next turn. The movements of these four machines are shown as a random process, but in fact they are sequence of events. Like an invisible chain, all things and events in our world are connected.

Each of the four machines has its own state, which have been named ( 0,0 / 0,1 / 1,0 / 1,1 ), respectively. Each machine is equipped with a wooden read head with binary information on the surface and a microswitch to read the current state of the read head. The microswitch is connected to the stepper motors located in the center of the machine. A machine whose state is called moves the stepper motors by 1/240 of a degree. The microswitch turns on / off (1/0) along the surface of the read head each time the motor moves and calls the next machine corresponding to the state (2-Bit) of the current position of the read head. At this time, the machine corresponding to the measured state goes through the same process and calls another machine or itself.

These four machines symbolize another system separate from ours. We observe machines separate from the world as if we were watching computer simulations. The binary digits recorded in the read head are the smallest units of unspecified information possible, called bits. The bit, as the smallest particle that can make up the world and not simply as a digital recording unit, symbolizes the basis of this world. The things that we call noise, the information that we think of as meaningless, the information from which we cannot find the pattern, and the information that we cannot decode are called “chance”. When this information can be observed from outside our own world, we have proven through the Markov chain that all events are linked together.

The interplay concept is certainly interesting, and it’s pleasing to watch in the video below from a purely aesthetics point of view as well.

Arduino Mega controls this amazing water organ

Earlier this year, artist Niklas Roy was invited to participate in the Drehmoment art festival that takes place in the south-west of Germany. The “catch” to this festival is that each artist was invited to team up with a local company to take advantage of their products and resources. Of these was cleaning equipment brand Kärcher, known for their pressure washers.

With this company’s backing, Roy put together a musical water fountain powered by eight pressure washers, dubbing it the “Wasserorgel von Winnenden,” or “Water Organ of Winnenden”—the location of Kärcher’s headquarters. 

The installation is controlled by an Arduino Mega, along with supporting electronics including a Music Maker Shield and solid state relays to activate the pressure washers. During the festival, passerby were invited play some tunes using a 3D-printed keyboard made to withstand the elements and less-than-gentle interactions.

The brain of the Wasserorgel was an Arduino MEGA 2560, stacked with an Adafruit Music Maker Shield. The MIDI synthesizer of the shield generated the instrument sounds based on the input coming from a self-built, 3D-printed keyboard. The keyboard was designed solid enough to withstand weather and the misguided enthusiasm of drunk people at 3 ‘o clock at night. The program on the Arduino translated the keystrokes into water and light effects by switching 12V RGB LEDs via darlington transistors and the eight pressure sprayers via solid state relays. Five of the pressure sprayer fountains were installed on top of the main basin, one was installed on top of an existing fountain and two were installed on the roof of the Kronenplatz-building.

You can find more information in Roy’s project write-up, and see it in action below!

Custom weather station enhances and modifies electronic music

While the environment is important for any musical performance, generally it’s not an active part of the show. Adrien Kaeser, though, has come up with a device called the “Weather Thingy that integrates weather directly into electronic music performances. It’s able to sense wind direction and speed, light intensity, and rain, translating this data into MIDI inputs.

The system, which was created at ECAL, consists of two parts: a compact weather station on top of a portable stand, as well as a small console with buttons and knobs to select and modify environmental effects on the music. 

Hardware for the project includes an Arduino Mega and Leonardo, a small TFT screen to display the element under control and its characteristics, an ESP32 module, a SparkFun ESP32 Thing Environment Sensor Shield, a SparkFun MIDI Shield, high speed optocouplers, rotary encoder knobs, and some buttons.

Be sure to see the demo in the video below, preferably with the sound on!

Twinky, the Arduino robot assistant

In the middle of a project, you may find that what you’re making is similar to something that’s been done before. Such was the case with Adrian Lindermann when he started constructing his “Twinky” robot and found the Jibo social bot had a similar design. 

Like any good hacker, he pressed ahead with his build, creating a small yellow companion that can respond to voice commands via a SpeakUp click module, along with pressure on its face/touchscreen.

Control is provided by an Arduino Mega, and Twinky can interact with other devices using a Bluetooth module. The robot’s head can even turn in order to point the display in the needed direction, and it’s able to play sound through an audio amplifier and speaker. 

IT CAN SPEAK! PLAY MUSIC, SET TIMERS, ALARMS, TURN ON/OFF THE LIGHTS OR OTHER APPLIANCES. IT HAS A CALCULATOR AND A WEATHER STATION! DATE & TIME, BLUETOOTH 4.0, EVERYTHING WITH VOICE COMMANDS!!! And also with a touchscreen, it has one little motor so it can turn around when one of the two microphones hear you talk or make a noise.

For more on this wonderful little robot, check out the project’s write-up and and build files here.

3D-printed “orbament” lights up with movement

What would you get if you crossed a gigantic Christmas tree ornament with an LED strip and Arduino/IMU control? Perhaps you’d come up with something akin to this colorful “RGB LED Ball” by James Bruton.

The device features eight curved supports along with a central hub assembly, forming a structure for APA102 RGB LED strips. Each of these is linked together via wiring that winds through the central hub making them appear to the Arduino Mega controller as one continuous chain of lights. 

Several animations can be selected with a pair of control buttons, and the ball even responds to movement using an MPU6050 IMU onboard. Files for the build are available on GitHub.

Build an Arduino Mega fingerprint door lock

If you don’t want to carry keycard or memorize a passcode, this build from Electronoobs might be just the thing. 

The system uses a fingerprint reader to check to see if you have access, and if approved, the device’s Arduino Mega unlocks the theoretical door using a micro servo motor. Three push buttons and a 16×2 LCD screen complete the user interface, and allow more authorized fingers to be added with the main person/finger’s permission.

While you might question the security gained by a hobby servo, the video notes that this could trigger any sort of security device, perhaps via a relay or electromagnetic coil lock. Besides security, the build gives a good introduction to Arduino fingerprint scanning, as well as the use of an SD card for data logging functions.

Sip and puff Morse code entry with Arduino

Those that need a text entry method other than a traditional keyboard and mouse often use a method where a character is selected, then input using a sip or puff of air from the user’s mouth. Naturally this is less than ideal, and one alternative interface shown here is to instead use sip/puff air currents to indicate the dots and dashes of Morse code.

The system—which can be seen in action in the video below—uses a modified film container, along with a pair of infrared emitters and detectors to sense air movement. The device was prototyped on an Arduino Mega, and its creators hope to eventually use a Leonardo for direct computer input. 

A tube connected to a custom made bipolar pressure switch drives an Arduino which translates puffing and sucking into Morse code and then into text.

Puffs make repeating short pulses (dots) and sucks repeating longer pulses (dashes) just like ham radio amateurs do with a dual-lever paddle.

Code for this open source project can be found on GitHub.

Don’t Forget Your Mints When Using This Synthesizer

While synthesizers in the music world are incredibly common, they’re not all keyboard-based instruments as you might be imagining. Especially if you’re trying to get a specific feel or sound from a synthesizer in order to mimic a real instrument, there might be a better style synth that you can use. One of these types is the breath controller, a synthesizer specifically built to mimic the sound of wind instruments using the actual breath from a physical person. Available breath controllers can be pricey, though, so [Andrey] built his own.

To build the synthesizer, [Andrey] used a melodica hose and mouthpiece connected to a pressure sensor. He then built a condenser circuit on a custom Arduino shield and plugged it all into an Arduino Mega (although he notes that this is a bit of overkill). From there, the Arduino needed to be programmed to act as a MIDI device and to interact with the pressure sensor, and he was well on his way to a wind instrument synthesizer.

The beauty of synthesizers is not just in their ability to match the look and sound of existing instruments but to do things beyond the realm of traditional instruments as well, sometimes for a greatly reduced price point.