Posts with «nano» label

Animate a soda bottle structure with TrussFormer and Arduino

While you may not give soda bottles much thought beyond their intended use, researchers in Germany and the U.S. have been working on a way to turn empty bottles into kinetic art. 

The result of this work is a program called “TrussFormer,” which enables one to design a structure made out of soda bottles acting as structural beams. The structure can then be animated using an Arduino Nano to control a series of pneumatic actuators.

TrussFormer not only allows for animation design, but analyzes stresses on the moving assembly, and even generates 3D-printable files to form the proper joints.

TrussFormer is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to 3D print large-scale kinetic structures, i.e., structures that involve motion and deal with dynamic forces.

TrussFormer builds on TrussFab, from which it inherits the ability to create large-scale static truss structures from 3D printed hubs and PET bottles. TrussFormer adds movement to these structures by placing linear actuators and hinges into them.

TrussFormer incorporates linear actuators into rigid truss structures in a way that they move “organically”, i.e., hinge around multiple points at the same time. These structures are also known as variable geometry trusses. This is illustrated on the on the example of a static tetrahedron that is converted into a moving structure by swapping one edge with a linear actuator. The only required change is to introduce connections at the nodes that enable rotation, i.e. hinges.

As for what you can build with it, be sure to check out the bottle-dinosaur in the video below! 

3D wire bending with Arduino!

If you thought that automatic wire bending was solely the purview of expensive industrial machinery, think again. How To Mechatronics has come up with a bender that not only twists wire left and right, but can rotate to create three-dimensional shapes.

The heart of the system is an Arduino Nano, which controls three stepper motors for wire manipulation via DRV8825 driver boards. A servo motor is also implemented in order to push a piece of copper tubing into place to physically bend the wire. 

As noted, the device does have some trouble moving the wire when its straightening rollers are tight, but this likely could be perfected with a little more work. If you’d like to take a crack at it, code and build files are available here.

Paper-cut light box replicates the Philadelphia skyline and its actual moon phases

Rich Nelson wanted to make a unique gift for his brother, and decided on a paper-cut light box of Philadelphia’s skyline, the city where he lives. 

The resulting device is controlled by an Arduino Nano, and not only features a trio of lights and layers to represent buildings and foliage, but also a moving sun and moon display that changes depending on the actual time and date.

Timing is accomplished via an RTC module, while the sun/moon is displayed on a small TFT screen that moves across the sky using a servo motor and extension arm. The build can be seen in the video below, and code as well as CAD info is on GitHub for your perusal.

Arduino Blog 16 Oct 14:32

Measure noise levels in your home with the Hello Light

After realizing that asking his kids to keep the noise down was meaningless without some sort of standard, maker Jeremy S. Cook decided to construct the “Hello Light.”

This cylindrical device measures sound with an electret microphone and an Arduino Nano, then commands a set of RGBW lights to progressively light up depending on the noise level.  

In the end, the Hello Light eventually ended up as more of a game to see who could trigger the flashing volume limit warning—not particularly effective for its intended purpose. It does, however, make a fun interactive decoration, and also features a random lighting mode, and a slowly blinking white light setting.

Code for the project is available on GitHub, and the build process can be seen in the clip below.

Augment RC vehicle control with an IMU-based transmitter

When piloting a vehicle remotely, it’s only natural to tilt your controller one way or the other to “help” guide it in the right direction. While usually this has no effect whatsoever, YouTuber Electronoobs decided to take this concept and run with it, creating a remote control transmitter that responds to an onboard MPU-6050 inertial measurement unit.

The transmitter’s Arduino Nano takes movement data, and sends the corresponding signals to a custom receiver board on the RC car via a pair of HC-12 wireless modules. A second Arduino mounted in the car then commands the vehicle’s DC motors with the help of an H-bridge. 

This is a radio controller that has 2 analog channels and the data is out from a MPU-6050 gyro module. So, we could control a toy car for example just by rotating the controller. I usually use the nRF24 module, but in this project I also want to show you how to use the HC-12 module. You will learn how to get the IMU data, how to use the HC-12 radio connection and how to control 2 DC motors using PWM signals and an H-bridge.

It’s quite a versatile build, and it can even be set up to output PWM signals if you need to interface with more advanced electronics.

Arduino Blog 02 Oct 13:43

Custom “doorbell” flashes house lights for the hearing impaired

Darren Lewis’ parents both have a difficult time hearing the doorbell. He experimented with an off-the-shelf flashing light, but found that could only really be seen when they were in the room—an obvious problem. In response to this, Lewis decided to make his own system that flashes multiple house lights at the same time.

His device uses an Arduino Nano to detect the stock doorbell speaker voltage. When a press is sensed, it then activates a RF light switch via a modified remote, using an output pin and opto-isolator to substitute in for the normal button press. 

It’s a clever hack, and certainly one that will certainly help alleviate doorbell frustration in the future!

ArdOsc is a matchbox-sized, Arduino Nano-based oscilloscope

Oscilloscopes come in all different shapes and sizes, and now with just a few discreet components, maker Peter Balch has been able to turn an Arduino Nano into an oscilloscope the size of a matchbox. 

The simplest version of this device, which he calls the “ArdOsc,” displays data on a computer screen, but a small 1.3” OLED can also be added if you want to use it on its own.

His build write-up goes through several versions of the instrument, progressively adding capabilities including a logic display, signal generator, and other useful tools. It’s certainly worth checking out, whether you need tiny test equipment or just want to marvel at how something this small can be made!

This oscilloscope costs the price of an Arduino Nano, plus a few pence for resistors, etc. Its specifications are:

  • Max 1M samples/second, min 1000sps
  • 8-bits per sample
  • DC 0-5V; AC +/- 550mV, AC +/- 117mV, AC +/- 25mV
  • USB “PC scope” or built-in display
  • Could be battery-powered
  • Optional logic display
  • Optional frequency meter
  • Optional voltmeter

A DIY stroboscope is a bright idea!

Stroboscopes produce carefully timed pulses of light in order to make a rotating object appear still. While this may seem like something of an exotic concept, YouTuber Mr. Innovative decided to build his own using an Arduino Nano.

His project uses a PN2222A transistor to drive a 10W LED, which acts as the device’s light source. The spinning RPM is set via a potentiometer, and a small OLED provides user feedback.

As shown in the video below, the stroboscope is able to cause a sign spinning around on a fan to appear nearly stationary. If you’d like to create you own, Arduino code is available here.

Ariadne Headband is a wearable device for haptic navigation

In a new take on haptic navigation, makers Vojtech Pavlovsky and Tomas Kosicek have come up with a novel feedback system called the “Ariadne Headband.”

This device—envisioned for use by people with visual impairments, as well as those that simply want to get around without looking down at a phone while walking or biking—uses four vibrating motors arranged in a circle around the wearer’s head to indicate travel direction.

An Arduino Nano provides computing power for the setup, along with a compass module and a Bluetooth link to communicate with a companion smartphone app. The Ariadne Headband is currently a prototype, but this type of interface could one day be miniaturized to the point that it could be placed in a hat, helmet, or other everyday headgear.

Project Ariadne Headband is made out of two parts: headband and control app. The common usage flow is following. First, you open Ariadne Headband Android app. Using this app you connect via Bluetooth to your Headband. Next, the app will ask for you current GPS location. Then you open Google Maps integrated into our app and select your destination (place where you want to go).

Our Android app will compute the geographical azimuth from your current location and chosen destination. When you are ready you start navigating by pressing a button that sends computed azimuth to the Headband you put on your head.

Headband consists of Arduino Nano board, GY-271 compass module, HC-06 Bluetooth module (we selected this module only for local availability and will switch to BLE soon) and 4 vibration motors. Compass module allows us to know current azimuth, that is where is the user looking. All components are placed into a small box on back of your head. Our aim in the future will be to make this as small as possible so you will not even feel it. It is also possible to place everything into a hat or helmet for example instead of rubber headband. We are using rubber headband because it is very easy to manipulate.

Vibration motors around your head are placed in set directions so they can signalize where you should head. Your heading is computed by taking your current azimuth and the azimuth sent from android app (that is where you are currently going and where you should go, respectively).

Control your camera with this Arduino intervalometer

When you need a high-quality image, it’s hard to beat the resolution and lens options of a DSLR. But what if you want to take a photo over and over at set intervals to produce a time-lapse sequence? You could purchase an intervalometer, or make one using an Arduino Nano.

The device shown in the video below uses a 2.5mm audio plug for the input to a Canon T2i camera. An opto-isolator is activated by the Nano, connecting the ground (base) and tip (shutter) pins. Intervals are set via a 4-position DIP switch, allowing photo intervals of 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds—or any combination thereof.

While the functionality shown is quite basic, the setup could be adapted for other timing patterns, or even for use with a sensor. Build instructions are available here, and you can find code and the 3D-printed base on GitHub.