Posts with «nano» label

Portable Arduino Bot lets you test ideas on the go

As you experiment with Arduino boards and programming, you’ll likely have ideas that you want to test right now. Unfortunately, you can’t always have the entire project with you to try out. With that in mind, Khang Nguyen has designed the Portable Arduino Bot.

This sci-fi-inspired device packs an Arduino Nano inside, along with an on/off switch, a microswitch, three LEDs, and a LiPo battery for power. To protect these components, the bot features a nice 3D-printed enclosure, complete with foldable feet that make it look like a small robot or even spaceship. 

While it won’t replace all the tools you have at home, it appears to be a great way to carry out testing, and as shown in the videos below, to play sounds with the addition of a buzzer!

Microscopic gigapixel photography with this X/Y stage setup

Normally the 10-50 gigapixels of a DSLR are good enough for nearly any photo you can imagine, but if you need more—and don’t want to spend many thousands of dollars—then this clever setup by Jon Bumstead may be just the thing.

His contraption uses a Nikon D5000 camera situated above a small photographic subject, which progressively moves in front of the lenses using an X/Y stage setup. Motion is handled by pair of stepper motors, under the control of an Arduino Nano and two L9110 driver boards. The Nano also commands the camera to snap a picture when the subject in position, producing an array of photos that can be stitched together to form an image with extreme detail.

In optical microscopes, there is a fundamental trade-off between field-of-view and resolution: the finer the detail, the smaller the region imaged by the microscope. One way to overcome this limitation is to translate the sample and acquire images over a larger field-of-view. The basic idea is to stitch together many high resolution images to form a large FOV. In these images, you get to see both the full sample, as well as fine detail in any portion of the sample. The result is an image consisting of about a billion pixels, much larger in comparison to the pictures taken by a DSLR or smartphone, which typically have around 10 to 50 million pixels.

In this Instructable, I will go over how to build a microscope capable of imaging a 90mm x 60mm field-of-view with pixels corresponding to 2 micrometer at the sample (although, I think the resolution is probably closer to 15 micrometer). The system uses camera lenses, but the same concept can be applied using microscope objectives to get even finer resolution.

Building gas thruster-controlled drone

In the Earth’s atmosphere, a drone can adjust its heading by varying the speed of the propellers, and thus the thrust output of each. If you wanted to land something on a lunar surface, or maneuver a spaceship, the lack of atmosphere means a different technique must be used.

While not going to space (yet), Tom Stanton decided to create a demonstrator for this technique, similar to how the manned Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) operated in the 1960s and ’70s. Stanton’s device employs a central electric ducted fan (EDF) to hold the craft up, while three compressed air nozzles provide most of its directional control. 

In action, an RC flight controller’s signals are modified by an Arduino Nano to accommodate this unique control scheme, pulsing out bursts of air via three solenoid valves.

Check out the build and experimental process in the video below, culminating with untethered tests starting at around 17:30.

Manage household chores with an RFID system

If your kids aren’t thrilled about doing chores, you could resort to a whiteboard, or simply create your own RFID tracking system like maker “alastair-a.” 

His project uses an Arduino Nano, along with an RFID reader and RTC module to track when a job has been completed. The chore is selected using a rotary encoder and displayed on a 16×2 LCD screen. When it’s done, the child who completed it can then scan in with their RFID fob to claim it as his or her own.

While there was initially some cash payment in mind for each task that’s accomplished, the novelty factor of using the system is reportedly so interesting that alastair’s children have entirely forgotten about it. Whether it works this well or not in all cases is an open question, but Arduino code and build info is available here if you’d like to make your own!

Plastic lid becomes Arduino Nano short circuit armor

If you want to keep your Arduino project or other circuit boards safe from exposure, an electrical box is the traditional choice. But what if you want to apply protection directly to the board?

In the video below, “TheRainHarvester” shows us a novel and inexpensive method for hardening a Nano from short circuits and other minor exposure by simply melting plastic on the top. 

The Nano’s new armor is sourced from a lid that you might find on a coffee or oatmeal container, and after cutting it to size, a “plasti-shell” is fused to the board with a heat gun. The procedure couldn’t be simpler, and appears to provide a good amount of protection for the little board!

Drag:on varies air resistance for VR feedback

As seen here, “Standard controllers for virtual reality (VR) lack sophisticated means to convey realistic, kinesthetic impression on size, resistance or inertia.” To overcome these limitations, André Zenner and Antonio Krüger at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) have come up with Drag:on—a haptic feedback device that changes air resistance and weight distribution using a commercially-available hand fan.

Drag:on uses a pair of MG996R servos to actuate the fan, shifting its weight and air resistance as needed to simulate a virtual environment. The assembly is attached to an HTC Vive tracker, and an Arduino Nano provides control and computer interface via a USB serial link.

Drag:on leverages the airflow occurring at the controller during interaction. By dynamically adjusting its surface area, the controller changes the drag and rotational inertia felt by the user. In a user study, we found that Drag:on can provide distinguishable levels of haptic feedback. Our prototype increases the haptic realism in VR compared to standard controllers and when rotated or swung improves the perception of virtual resistance. By this, Drag:on provides haptic feedback suitable for rendering different virtual mechanical resistances, virtual gas streams, and virtual objects differing in scale, material and fill state


More details on the project can be found in the researchers’ paper here.

Getting started with the new Arduino Nano Every

The original Arduino Nano occupies a special place in many makers’ hearts. The tiny footprint (48*18 mm), reliability and tons of examples makes the Nano perfect for wearables, drones — in fact any project made to last.

The Nano is back! The new entry-level Arduino Nano Every manages to pack in even more features at an even lower price – just $9.90 / €8.00 without headers — and is backwards compatible with the original. Dario Pennisi led the development of the Arduino Nano Every. We sat down with him to learn more.

Why did you decide to create the Arduino Nano Every?

Searching for “Arduino Nano project” yields millions of results. But you also find people complaining about boards not working. Of course these boards are usually clones (not genuine Arduino boards)! Clones can be cheaper but reliability issues can mean you need to pay for more, or are frustrated trying to get them to work.

This is why we made the Arduino Nano Every. It’s reliable, affordable and more powerful. We’ve used a quality USB chip so people won’t have connection or driver issues. The newer ATmega4809 microcontroller fixes limitations of older ATmega328p based boards – you can add a second hardware serial port! As well as more peripherals and memory, the Configurable Custom Logic (CCL) is a great way to get beginners more interested in hardware. Finally, the separate processor handling the USB interface makes it possible to implement USB classes such as Human Interface Device (HID) instead of just the classic CDC/UART.

We see the Arduino Nano Every at the heart of wearable projects; in experiments, in prototypes or in a full cosplay setup! Sensors and motors can be connected without too much fuss which means it’s great for robotics, drones and 3D printing too. Not only is it a great choice for makers – in buying a genuine Arduino they will be supporting us in continuing to contribute to open source for the whole community to benefit from.

Can you tell us the three key features of Nano Every?

  • New processor with more memory and new peripherals, still 5V capable. The added memory will unleash creativity and open to more complex applications and the new peripheral set, which includes a second serial port, will finally allow communicating at the same time with a PC and with peripherals such as a wireless interface or a GPS.
  • The new power supply architecture based on a high efficiency DC-DC converter allows powering the board at up to 21V and to drive output peripherals with up to 950mA without overheating
  • Castellated contacts and flush bottom side allow soldering the Nano Every directly on a board as a traditional SMT component, opening the possibility to reduce final product size and helping the use in volume applications

So the processor is the same as the Uno WiFi R2 and it has more Flash and more RAM. The sketches made for the Nano are going to run on the Every as they are? Is it truly a replacement with zero modification in any Nano based project? Please elaborate.

Actually the ATmega4809 we use on Uno WiFi R2 and Nano Every is not directly compatible with ATmega328p, however we’ve implemented a compatibility layer which translates low level register writes without any overhead so the result is that most libraries and sketches, even those accessing directly GPIO registers, will work out of the box

Why you decided to offer the board with no headers supplied or soldered in the basic package?

Not only are new Nano boards are offered without headers, they all are totally flat on the bottom side and offer castellated pads on the sides, so you can actually solder them on your PCB as a standard SMT component using a normal pick & place machine.

The price is really aggressive, did you compromise on Arduino quality standards to achieve this?

We’ll never give up on Arduino quality standards and we’re still manufacturing in Italy making sure that our ethical values are strictly followed. The lower price point on these products has been achieved thanks to a careful optimization on purchasing prices and by trimming our margins as we believe that it’s important to give makers the quality they deserve at competitive prices.

The Arduino Nano Every is now available for pre-order on the Arduino online store with headers or without headers mounted (estimated shipping date: mid-June 2019).

Tom Stanton’s trebuchet altitude measurement “golf ball”

YouTuber Tom Stanton built a trebuchet about a year ago. Now, in order to figure out just how high it can toss something, he designed a custom altitude tracking device in the form of an oversize golf ball. 

An Arduino Nano is squeezed inside this sphere, along with a battery, an altimeter, an accelerometer, and even a small servo. The altimeter is used for primary height measurement, while the accelerometer detects launches. A servo then deploys a parachute four seconds later to keep the electronics safe.

As it turns out, the trebuchet is able to fling the ball in the air 60 meters. While impressive, per Stanton’s discussion, it may not be as efficient as you might suspect! Be sure to check out the project in the video below! 

Vari-Sound dynamically manipulates sound waves

Consider all the tools that modify how light is transmitted and received: lasers direct light in a tightly focused beam and telescopes let us focus on an area far away. While there are certainly ways to modify sound, these techniques are not nearly as developed as their light counterparts. 

With hopes of changing that, researchers from the University of Sussex and the University of Bristol have been working with metamaterials—normal materials like plastic, paper, wood or rubber with an internal structure designed to manipulate sound waves—to build acoustic lenses. 

The team demonstrated the first dynamic metamaterial device with the zoom objective of a varifocal for sound, as well as create a collimator capable of transmitting sound as a directional beam from a standard speaker.

The lenses are attached to the collimator, and can be used to direct sound from a speaker or two can be employed together to construct an adjustable focus system. Focal length is regulated by the distance between the two lenses, which is controlled by an Arduino Nano and a single stepper motor mounted to an adjustable rail.

You can learn more about Vari-Sound in this article or read the team’s entire paper here

Arduino Blog 21 May 12:57

Program smart devices with a ‘magic wand’

Consider how interactive devices have come to dominate our lives. Once the purview of a select few in large laboratories, powerful gadgets—supercomputers even—are carried with us everywhere we go in the form of smartphones. And as everything around us becomes increasingly more connected, those that have no interest in the technical aspects of computing will still need to know how to configure the networked things throughout their homes.

As an experiment in interactive design, Austrian researchers Florian Güldenpfennig, Daniel Dudo, and Peter Purgathofer have come up with a ‘Magic Paradigm’ for programming.

Their project uses a wand with a built-in RFID reader, allowing it to sense which RFID tagged object it’s pointing to and register various sequences. This enables devices to be customized as needed, many of which contain an Arduino Nano as ‘active’ units and an nRF24L01+ module for communication. A central desktop/Arduino setup is also implemented to coordinate system elements.

We are surrounded by an increasing number of smart and networked devices. Today much of this technology is enjoyed by gadget enthusiasts and early adaptors, but in the foreseeable future many people will become dependent on smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, desired or not. To support people with various levels of computer skills in mastering smart appliances as found, e.g., in smart homes, we propose the ‘magic paradigm’ for programming networked devices. Our work can be regarded as a playful ‘experiment’ towards democratizing IoT technology. It explores how we can program interactive behavior by simple pointing gestures using a tangible ‘magic wand’. While the ‘magic paradigm’ removes barriers in programming by waiving conventional coding, it simultaneously raises questions about complexity: what kind of tasks can be addressed by this kind of ‘tangible programming’, and can people handle it as tasks become complex? We report the design rationale of a prototypical instantiation of the ‘magic paradigm’ including preliminary findings of a first user trial.