Posts with «mega» label

An Automated Paper Cutter

Are scissors and manual paper cutters not working for you? Well, “Mr Innovative” has the solution in the form of an Arduino-driven device that cuts paper to length automatically. 

As you can see in the video below, a user simply inputs the length of paper and the number of strips needed via a series of buttons and a tiny OLED display, and the automated machine does the rest.

The system works by pulling paper inserted into the machine’s body at precise intervals using a stepper motor and rollers. When in place, a second stepper moves a razor blade over the paper, cutting it into perfect strips for whatever craft project you have in mind. An Arduino Mega controls the device, along with a pair of stepper drivers via designed PCB-shield. Code and PCB files are available here for download.

SmartCash can sort and give out change

If you run a small business where transactions are made, handling out coins is a necessary part of the job. While a cash register does the trick, perhaps you could try out the SmartCash device—a cylindrical electromechanical system running on an Arduino Mega—to help you count coins and make change.

Aside from sorting coins, there’s the added benefit that customers will want to come and try it out, maybe even using more cash (and letting you as the owner avoid pesky credit card charges). 

SmartCash is currently designed to work with Euro coins ranging from 5 cents to 2€. Build information is available in this write-up and on the project’s official site. You can also see it in action in the first video below, or how it’s assembled in 3D CAD in the second.

Meme Weaver guides users through fabric creation

We all need to wear clothes, but where do they come from? If you answered “the mall,” then perhaps it’s time to play a couple rounds on the “Meme Weaver.” 

As seen here, this project by the husband and wife team of David Heisserer and Danielle Everine prompts users to adjust levers correctly in order to control how yarn travels through the machine, weaving fabrics together that reveal poems, quotes, and other interesting sayings.

Control for the device—which in turn “commands” humans via a series of audio-visual cues—is accomplished using an Arduino Mega, along with an Adafruit Audio FX sound board. 

Part mechanized tool and part arcade game, Meme Weaver is an interactive machine that weaves poems. Meme Weaver is a complex instrument with large-scale elements of a traditional loom – beams, rollers, yarns, shuttle, beater – with people operating individual treadles. Blinking lights and buzzers create an arcade game feel by lending a bit of Dance Dance Revolution ambiance to the loom.

We have chosen to weave a collection of memes, poems, quotes and maxims from a wide range of authors. The selections include personal favorites, well-known classics and contemporary works within the theme of knowledge sharing. The scroll will be written with poems that remind us that we are standing on the shoulders of giants when we make new technologies.

More info is available on the Meme Weaver’s website , or you can see it on display at the Northern Spark art festival in Minneapolis on June 1516th.

Pull small planes around with this Arduino Mega-based tug

While there are many ways to move an airplane on the ground, Anthony DiPilato decided to build a “tug” of his own.  

The treaded device looks like a tiny tank, and when it slides under the aircraft’s front wheel it locks in place, allowing a 5,200-pound plane to be pulled around courtesy of the RC system’s wheelchair motors. Onboard, an Arduino Mega serves as the brains of the operation along with an H-bridge for motor control. User interface is handled by DiPilato’s iPhone via Bluetooth.

For small aircraft, a towbar is sufficient, but for larger aircraft a power assisted tug is necessary for maneuvering the aircraft. Commercially available aircraft tugs are considerably expensive, so many people use small tractors or golf carts to pull their aircraft.For this project I wanted to see if I could build a remote controlled aircraft tug for a reasonable price.

The goal was to design a remotely controlled tug capable of pulling a Cessna 310 with an estimated weight of 5,200 lbs while keep the cost under $1,000.

Build details can be found in his blog write-up. The Arduino code is available on GitHub, as well as the iOS program. Finally, you can see the tug in action in the first video below, while the second clip shows how the locking mechanism works.

Arduino Blog 12 Jun 17:07

A DIY Automobile Black Box with Arduino Mega

If you’d like to monitor your driving habits, or perhaps keep them handy in the event of an accident, a “black box,” or more properly a “telematics” device is just what you’re looking for. 

Monitoring driving habits can be interesting, but what if you’d like to make a telematics box yourself, giving you total control over how data is collected and used?

That’s just what maker “TheForeignMan” did, using an Arduino Mega to take in data from his car’s OBD-II port, along with position information from a GPS module. Vehicle speed, engine RPM, and throttle depression are saved on an SD card, which can be removed and graphed on the driver’s computer.

DISCLAIMER: This custom-made black box may not always be valid evidence in a court of law. Some countries/states/local laws may not allow installation of custom monitoring units into moving vehicles unless authorized by an approved installation team. For these reasons, and any other associated to tampering with the OBD port, the author(s) of this article and website hold no responsibility over the outcome of your driving, your car, your car’s electronics (including on board computer), and any other incidents occurred with a custom-made monitoring unit fitted.

Instructions for this build are available here and code can found on GitHub. 

These high school students built their own vending machine

If you’re a high school student and would appreciate a vending machine in class, what’s to be done? Most of the time the answer is “not much,” but Tustin High T-Tech students were able to get one—by building it themselves!

In fact, this excellent device functioned both as a class project and as a fundraiser for their engineering program. It can be seen working in the video below, and uses an Arduino Mega for control, along with motor drivers and steppers to actuate six snack pusher coils. 

Customers simply insert a dollar into the bill acceptor, punch in the correct number in the keypad, and snacks drop out. Arduino code is published here, and Solidworks design files are also available for your DIY vending edification.

DIY submersible ROV flies through the water

If you’d like to check out your pool or a lake without getting wet, this underwater ROV looks like a great solution. 

The DIY device features a sturdy PVC frame with six thrusters that allow it to move through water like a drone through the air (complete with depth and heading hold), and uses the same kind of controller configuration as its airborne cousin.

Onboard control is handled by an Arduino Mega along with an FPV camera, which transmit signals back to a base station via an Ethernet cable stuffed inside of a length of polypropylene rope. The driver can then see what the ROV sees on a small display, supplemented with data from the base station’s Arduino Uno and an onscreen display (OSD) shield.

Arduino Blog 31 May 15:07

Wake up to an Arduino-based overhead alarm clock

Tired of wondering what time it is at night, only to have to roll over to look at your alarm clock? If you’d like to avoid this nighttime inconvenience, then Kurt Andros has a great solution with his Arduino Mega-based Overhead Alarm Clock. 

The device consists of a nice wooden housing that gets mounted to a wall above where you sleep, and has separate displays for the alarm time and current time.

Instead of a menu system that you must navigate through to tune settings, the clock features buttons to change both current time and alarm time, as well as potentiometer knobs to modify brightness and alarm volume. The result is a simple interface that requires little thought to set up, and no snooze button since you can simply reprogram the wake-up time with a single button.

The overhead alarm clock offers the following features: 

• Time and alarm time can be read effortlessly and glare-free even in the dark; without glasses, without pressing buttons, without having to leave the right or left side position.

• The alarm clock can also be operated in the dark and with only one hand.

• The alarm clock can be used by a first-time user by looking at the control panel. Reading any operating instructions is not necessary.

• It wakes you up with a pleasant, volume adjustable sound (MP3 song).

• It also functions reliably in the event of a power failure.

• It is very accurate and independent of the reception of a radio signal, the power line frequency and the ambient temperature.

• It does not occupy space on the nightstand.

Sound like something you’d like in your bedroom? You can find Andros’ full project write-up here.

Arduino Mega + former nuclear indicator = coolest Nixie clock ever?

There have been countless clocks made using Arduino boards, but you’ve likely never seen anything quite like this display. It features four Nixie tubes that alternate between the time, temperature, pressure, and relative humidity, in addition to a clock-like hand as a secondary indication of atmospheric pressure. That is interesting in itself, but to top it off, the synchroscope display housing used is actually recycled from a nuclear power plant!

An Arduino Mega coordinates data from the sensors and an RTC module to control the Nixie tubes via driver ICs, along with a micro servo to move the pressure indicator. Power for the electronics is provided by three separate transformers in order to accommodate the tubes. 

The clock displays the time from the top of the minute to 15 sec in, and then displays the temperature (F), then back to time until the bottom of the minute (30 sec.), then it displays atmospheric pressure (mm Hg), then back to time until 45 sec into the minute and displays relative humidity. Upon reaching 60 sec. it increments the time and repeats the cycle. The BMP280 has a very poor temperature sensing capability and is not nearly as accurate as a DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor that I used in another project of mine. I may just swap this out. Also I had a nice mesh cage around the sensors to protect them from damage and this too led to inaccurate results so I modified that as well. The indicator arrow is scaled for the low and highest pressures found in my state. the indicator arrow does a good job of showing changes in the pressure when a storm or clear skies are developing.

A full write-up on the build can be found here and the Arduino code in this repository.

This Arduino-controlled machine draws on textile with wax

Batik is a fabric decoration technique where wax is applied by hand to cloth that is then died, leaving behind beautiful patterns. While interesting, doing this manually is time-consuming and requires quite a bit of skill to properly execute. In a new take on this traditional technique, makers Olivia De Gouveia and Eugenia Morpurgo decided to make a machine to create wax patterns automatically.

What they came up with is a gantry-style robot that moves molten wax over a surface using a tempeature-controlled pen, with the help of an Arduino Mega with a RAMPS 1.4 shield. In theory, the device allows for an infinite printing area, and can be used to draw decorative patterns or even cutting paths for clothing. 

More information is available on GitHub and on the Digital Wax Print website!