Posts with «nano» label

Unique Musical Instrument Defies Description

Since the first of our ancestors discovered that banging a stick on a hollow log makes a jolly sound, we hominids have been finding new and unusual ways to make music. We haven’t come close to tapping out the potential for novel instruments, but then again it’s not every day that we come across a unique instrument and a new sound, as is the case with this string-plucking robot harp.

Named “Greg’s Harp” after builder [Frank Piesik]’s friend [Gregor], this three-stringed instrument almost defies classification. It’s sort of like a harp, but different, and sort of like an electric guitar, but not quite. Each steel string has three different ways to be played: what [Frank] calls “KickUps”, which are solenoids that strike the strings; an “eBow” coil stimulator; and a small motor with plastic plectra that pluck the strings. Each creates a unique sound at the fundamental frequency of the string, while servo-controlled hoops around each string serve as a robotic fretboard to change the notes. Sound is picked up by piezo transducers, and everything is controlled by a pair of Nanos and a Teensy, which takes care of MIDI duties.

Check out the video below and see if you find the sound both familiar and completely new. We’ve been featuring unique instruments builds forever, from not-quite-violins to self-playing kalimbas to the Theremincello, but we still find this one enchanting.

Hack a Day 11 Apr 21:00
arduino  fret  guitar  harp  midi  musical hacks  nano  plectrum  pluck  servo  solenoid  string  teensy  

Designing a low-cost, open source ventilator with Arduino

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and while making your own medical equipment isn’t normally advisable, Johnny Lee’e project explores how to turn a CPAP machine into a ventilator.

The idea is that since these machines are basically just blowers controlled by a brushless DC motor, an Arduino Nano equipped with an electonic speed controller could allow it to act as a one.

Such a setup has been shown to provide more than enough pressure for a ventilator used on COVID-19 patients. This device has in no way been evaluated or approved for medical use, but it does provide a starting point for experimentation.

You can find additional details on Lee’s GitHub page.

Arduino Blog 17 Mar 18:54

This pair of Arduino glasses stops you from touching your face

Touching your face is a subconscious behavior that we all do, and it is also an easy way to pick up illnesses like the coronavirus and flu. However, like many infectious diseases, proper hygiene can help reduce your risk. With this in mind, Nick Bild designed a simple solution in the form of a modified pair of glasses to provide a subtle reminder not to go near your eyes, mouth, and nose.

The project, which Bild calls Sentinel, consists of an ultrasonic sensor mounted on top of the bridge and an Arduino Nano along the temple. Whenever a hand (or object) is detected in close proximity to the face, a red warning LED lights up in the wearer’s peripheral vision.

The Lightwaves is a participatory audio-visual installation

Music and synchronized lighting can be a beautiful combination, evident by panGenerator’s recent installation that was commissioned by the M?skie Granie concert tour in Poland.

The interactive sculpture was comprised of 15 drums that trigger waves of light traveling toward a huge helium-filled sphere floating above the area, appearing to charge it with sound and light energy as the instruments are played. 

“The audience was invited to drum collectively and together create an audio-visual spectacle – intensity of which depended on the speed and intensity of the drumming. That fulfilled the main goal of creating interactive art experience in which the audience can actively
participate in the event rather than just passively enjoy the music, gathering and playing together.”

The project incorporated 200 meters of addressable RGB LEDs and measured in at roughly 300 square meters, making it likely the biggest such build ever seen there. According to the designers, each of the drums featured a custom PCB equipped with an Arduino Nano and microphone, and used an MCP2515-based CAN setup for communication. 

All of this was assembled and taken down seven times over two months in cities around the country. Be sure to check out this dazzling display in action in the video below! 

Control the volume of programs running on your Windows PC like a DJ

If you have multiple applications open in Windows, you may want one to be louder than the other, but what if you want to adjust levels with physical sliders like an actual DJ? If that sounds interesting, check out this controller by “Aithorn.

The device uses an Arduino Nano to read signals from each slider and pass this info over to the computer. A Python script, along with a VBScript helper, runs on the PC to control the master and program-specific volumes. 

Code for the project, which was actually written by Omri Harel, is available on GitHub. You can see the original version of it the video below, working its magic on a shoebox stand. Print files for Aithorn’s new enclosure can be found here.

An Arduino Tetris console inside of an NES controller

Tetris was as a perfect complement to Nintendo’s original Game Boy when it came out in 1989, and now “Copper Dragon” has been able to fit an entire system for it — sans monitor or speakers — inside of a faux NES controller

Impressively, this feat was accomplished with an Arduino Nano and a few passive components, producing not only very believable grayscale blocks, but also playing the familiar tune to accompany the video.

Two signal pins are used for the gray levels, plus a pin for sync, and video generation is programmed in AVR assembler code. Audio is not just PWM, but a simple DAC circuit created by charging and discharging a capacitor at the video line frequency.

I wanted to build a game console into the case of a small USB game pad (a NES controler look-alike). To make the work a challenge, I wanted to only use an Arduino Nano clocked at 16 MHz and some passive components (diodes are OK) and create the best possible video and audio signal that is imaginable with such restrictions.

As it turned out, a monochrome 288p video signal with 4 gray scales is possible when progamming the controller at machine level. 4-channel music is also possible.

My game of choice is Tetris in a version that comes pretty close to the original GameBoy version with a very similar audio track.

Arduino Blog 03 Mar 20:17

Build a Nano-based binary Nixie clock with 18 IN-2 tubes

Nixie tubes are, of course, an elegant display method from a more civilized age, but actually powering and controlling them can be a challenge. This can mean a great project and learning opportunity, but if you’d rather just skip ahead to programming these amazing lights, then Marcin Saj’s IN-2 binary Nixie clock is definitely worth a look.

This retro-style unit features a 6 x 3 array of small IN-2 tubes, which are turned to “1” or “0” depending on the time. Reading the results takes a bit of binary math, but it would be good practice for those that would like to improve their skills. 

The clock is available for purchase, and can be driven by a classic Nano, Nano Every as well as a Nano 33 IoT — the last of which enables you to connect to the NTP server or cloud over WiFi.

A Tetris To Be Proud Of, With Only A Nano

Tetris may have first arrived in the West on machines such as the PC and Amiga, but its genesis at the hands of [Alexey Pajitnov] was on an Electronika 60, a Soviet clone of an early-1970s DEC PDP-11. Thus those tumbling blocks are hardly demanding in terms of processor power, and a game can be implemented on the humblest of hardware. Relatively modern silicon such as the Atmega328 in [c0pperdragon]’s Arduino Nano Tetris console should then have no problems, but to make that assumption is to miss the quality of the achievement.

In a typical home or desktop computer of the 1980s the processor would have been assisted by plenty of dedicated hardware, but since the Arduino has none of that the feat of creating the game with a 288p video signal having four gray scales and with four-channel music is an extremely impressive one. Beside the Nano there are only a few passive components, there are no CRT controllers or sound chips to be seen.

The entire device is packaged within a clone of a NES controller, with the passives on a piece of stripboard beside the Nano. There is a rudimentary resistor DAC to produce the grey scales, and the audio is not the direct PWM you might expect but a very simple DAC created by charging and discharging a capacitor at the video line frequency. The results can be seen and heard in the video below the break, and though we’re sure we’ve heard something like that tune before, it looks to be a very playable little game.

Hack a Day 28 Feb 09:00

Resys is an LED drawer system that makes it easy to find your resistors

You’ve got your design ready to go, you know you have the right components… but where exactly did you place that particular resistor? With the Resys drawer system by Lynlimer, you no longer have to wonder — just type in the needed value and the proper drawer lights up automatically.

The device is based on an Arduino Nano, with an LCD display for text output and a numeric keypad for value entry. The proper drawers are lit via WS2812B addressable LEDs, held in 3D-printed holders. 

It’s a clever project that could be expanded to well beyond the 16 drawers now used. Code, STLs, and circuit diagrams are available in Lynlimer’s write-up if you want to make your own!

Arduino Blog 25 Feb 16:25
arduino  featured  nano  

This SpaceX fan created a levitating Starship lamp

Although you might not be able to build or house your own SpaceX Starship, YouTuber “Embrace Racing” has created a levitating lamp model that will be much more attainable for non-multi-billionaires. 

The lamp’s landing pad features an Arduino Nano inside, which is used with WS2812 LEDs to simulate the smoke plume of the rocket through a 3D-printed “clear” PLA diffuser.

The base also contains a levitating module capable of supporting up to 400g to suspend the spacecraft in midair. While its height would tend to make it unstable, the onboard levitating magnet lowers the center of gravity, along with a battery and three LEDS that provide light from the bottom of the rocket itself. 

Print files and other project info are available on Thingiverse.