Posts with «open source» label

Stecchino Game is all about Balancing a Big Toothpick

Stecchino demo by the creator

Self-described “Inventor Dad” [pepelepoisson]’s project is called Stecchino (English translation link here) and it’s an Arduino-based physical balancing game that aims to be intuitive to use and play for all ages. Using the Stecchino (‘toothpick’ in Italian) consists of balancing the device on your hand and trying to keep it upright for as long as possible. The LED strip fills up as time passes, and it keeps records of high scores. It was specifically designed to be instantly understood and simple to use by people of all ages, and we think it has succeeded in this brilliantly.

To sense orientation and movement, Stecchino uses an MPU-6050 gyro and accelerometer board. An RGB LED strip gives feedback, and it includes a small li-po cell and charger board for easy recharging via USB. The enclosure is made from a few layers of laser-cut and laser-engraved material that also holds the components in place. The WS2828B LED strip used is technically a 5 V unit, but [pepelepoisson] found that feeding them direct from the 3.7 V cell works just fine; it’s not until the cell drops to about three volts that things start to glitch out. All source code and design files are on GitHub.

Games are great, and the wonderful options available to people today allow for all kinds of interesting experimentation like a blind version of tag, or putting new twists on old classics like testing speed instead of strength.

You can now use Arduino to program Linux IoT devices

Today, at Embedded Linux Conference 2018, Arduino announced the expansion of the number of architectures supported by its Arduino Create platform for the development of IoT applications. With this new release, Arduino Create users can manage and program a wide range of popular Linux® single-board computers like the AAEON® UP² board, Raspberry Pi® and BeagleBone® as if they were regular Arduino boards. Multiple Arduino programs can run simultaneously on a Linux-based board and interact and communicate with each other, leveraging the capabilities provided by the new Arduino Connector. Moreover, IoT devices can be managed and updated remotely, independently from where they are located.

To further simplify the user journey, Arduino has also developed a novel out-of-the-box experience for Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone boards, in addition to Intel®  SBCs, which enables anyone to set up a new device from scratch via the cloud without any previous knowledge by following an intuitive web-based wizard. Arduino plans to continue enriching and expanding the set of features of Arduino Create in the coming months.

“With this release, Arduino extends its reach into edge computing, enabling anybody with Arduino programming experience to manage and develop complex multi-architecture IoT applications on gateways,” said Massimo Banzi, Arduino CTO. “This is an important step forward in democratizing access to the professional Internet of Things.”

“At Arduino we want to empower anyone to be an active player in the digital world. Being able to run Arduino code and manage connected Linux devices is an important step in this direction, especially for IoT applications that need more computing power, like AI and computer vision,” added Fabio Violante, Arduino CEO.

Add Intuitiveness to OpenSCAD With Encoders

The first time I saw 3D modeling and 3D printing used practically was at a hack day event. We printed simple plastic struts to hold a couple of spring-loaded wires apart. Nothing revolutionary as far as parts go but it was the moment I realized the value of a printer.

Since then, I have used OpenSCAD because that is what I saw the first time but the intuitiveness of other programs led me to develop the OpenVectorKB which allowed the ubiquitous vectors in OpenSCAD to be changed at will while keeping the parametric qualities of the program, and even leveraging them.

All three values in a vector, X, Y, and Z, are modified by twisting encoder knobs. The device acts as a keyboard to

  1. select the relevant value
  2. replace it with an updated value
  3. refresh the display
  4. move the cursor back to the starting point

There is no software to install and it runs off a Teensy-LC so reprogramming it for other programs is possible in any program where rotary encoders may be useful. Additional modes include a mouse, arrow keys, Audacity editing controls, and VLC time searching.

Here’s an article in favor of OpenSCAD and here’s one against it. This article does a good job of explaining OpenSCAD.

[Editor’s note: This is a Hackaday writer’s hack, hence the “I” in place of the usual “we”. We all love custom peripherals though, and a good number of us love OpenSCAD, so you could probably read it either way, but we don’t want to take credit for [Brian]’s work.]


Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, Arduino Hacks

Add Robotic Farming to Your Backyard with Farmbot Genesis

Growing your own food is a fun hobby and generally as rewarding as people say it is. However, it does have its quirks and it definitely equires quite the time input. That’s why it was so satisfying to watch Farmbot push a weed underground. Take that!

Farmbot is a project that has been going on for a few years now, it was a semifinalist in the Hackaday Prize 2014, and that development time shows in the project documented on their website. The robot can plant, water, analyze, and weed a garden filled with arbitrarily chosen plant life. It’s low power and low maintenance. On top of that, every single bit is documented on their website. It’s really well done and thorough. They are gearing up to sell kits, but if you want it now; just do it yourself.

The bot itself is exactly what you’d expect if you were to pick out the cheapest most accessible way to build a robot: aluminum extrusions, plate metal, and 3D printer parts make up the frame. The brain is a Raspberry Pi hooked to its regular companion, an Arduino. On top of all this is a fairly comprehensive software stack.

The user can lay out the garden graphically. They can get as macro or micro as they’d like about the routines the robot uses. The robot will happily come to life in intervals and manage a garden. They hope that by selling kits they’ll interest a whole slew of hackers who can contribute back to the problem of small scale robotic farming.


Filed under: cnc hacks, green hacks

Intel releases an improved version of the Arduino 101 core!

A few weeks ago, an announcement was posted on the Arduino Forum mentioning new improvements on the software side of the Arduino/Genuino 101. With this release, the board–which was developed in collaboration with Intel–is reaching its full potential, with not only better code generation but unlocking useful features to make your sketches even more interactive as well.

You can easily upgrade the core using the Arduino IDE’s Board Manager (pictured below), while Arduino Create users will be automatically updated, so no action is required–the cool thing about the cloud!

In more detail:

  • The GCC compiler has been updated to support hardware extensions to the ARC EM core in the Intel® Curie™ module. This provides significant improvements in floating point operations, bit shifting, and other operations to enhance Sketch performance.
  • The Arduino/Genuino 101 platform offers 2MB Flash storage onboard, which is now enabled for user sketches.
  • An experimental driver has been implemented to enable the I2S interface via the CurieI2S library. Connecting the I2S bus to an external DAC (digital to analog converter) allows users to play high-quality music (HiFi).

Other improvements and bug fixes:

  • Motion Sensor: Several sample sketches, like MotionDetection, have been implemented to demonstrate the application of the IMU data
  • Bluetooth LE: Several new examples for BLE peripheral library added
  • IMU: Correct motion detection setting implemented
  • Library CurieTimerOne APIs are now compatible with the TimerOne library

For comprehensive release notes refer to the Intel Open Source Technology Center on GitHub.

Build an LED game system with Arduino and a picture frame

The LEDmePlay is an open-source DIY gaming console powered by an Arduino Mega. Games are displayed on a 32 x 32 RGB LED matrix housed inside an IKEA picture frame, and played using any C64-compatible joystick from the ‘80s. LEDmePlay supports several games, each of which are downloadable for free online, and Makers are encouraged to develop their own as well.

Its creator Mithotronic has also built a handheld variant for on-the-go fun, LEDmePlayBoy. This device is based on the same Arduino Mega, powered by eight AA batteries, and uses an analog thumb joystick and two fire buttons for control.

Interested? You can check out the LEDmePlay’s construction manual, and find all of the games’ source codes here.

FarmBot is an open-source CNC farming machine

With hopes of reinventing the way food is grown, Rory Aronson has developed humanity’s first open-source CNC farming machine. The FarmBot Genesis — which will begin taking pre-orders in July — is capable of planting seeds and then watering them precisely.

Designed with the Maker community in mind, FarmBot is driven by an Arduino Mega 2560, a RAMPS 1.4 shield, NEMA 17 stepper motors, and a Raspberry Pi 3. What’s more, all of its plastic components can easily be 3D printed, while its flat connecting plates can be made with either a waterjet, plasma or laser cutter, a CNC mill, or even a hacksaw and drill press.

The three-axis machine employs linear guides in the X, Y, and Z directions, which allows for tooling such as seed injectors, watering nozzles, sensors, and weed removal equipment to be accurately positioned. Impressively, FarmBot can cultivate a variety of crops in the same area simulatenously. 

FarmBot is controlled via mobile device or laptop, while its web-based interface makes customizing your garden as simple as playing FarmVille. You can also build and schedule sequences by dragging and dropping basic operations, adjust the parameters to your liking, and save. Meanwhile, a decision support system adjusts water, fertilizer and pesticide regimens, seed spacing, timing, and other factors based on soil and weather conditions, sensor readings, location, and time of year. And of course, FarmBot can be manually operated in real-time as well.

Aronson’s vision is to make precision agriculture open and accessible to everyone. Each FarmBot Genesis can be modified and augmented to suit anyone’s unique growing style and needs. For instance, you can power your machine with renewable energy from a small off-the-grid solar panel, or install a barrel to store and use rainwater.

Uniti ARC is an open-source board for three-phase EV motors

Swedish electric car startup Uniti has unveiled an open-source, Uno-compatible board designed for controlling three-phase motors. The “Uniti ARC” combines the familiar layout of Arduino with a number of other powerful features that will help facilitate the prototyping of electronic machinery — which includes the company’s own EV.

Aside from transportation vehicles like cars, e-bikes and e-scooters, the Uniti ARC can be used with other equipment employing three-phase motors, such as CNC mills, conveyor belts, or even 3D printers.

In terms of hardware, the Uniti ARC is powered by an ATmega64M1 at 16 MHz, and comes with a 12-bit high speed three-phase motor controller, CAN 2.0 A/B transceiver for real-time communication, 10-bit digital to analog converter, and four analog comparators. In addition, it can be easily programmed using the Arduino IDE.

The ARC inherits the versatility of the Arduino and even expands it. Therefore, the possibilities of what you can build with it are only limited by your creativity. Every electric motor can also be used as a generator! Let your imagination go wild…

It is designed to empower makers, startups, educators and anyone else, to be part of the electric vehicle revolution by making electric car prototyping more accessible for a wider public.

Pump up the volume of your party with Boogie cup

The Boogie Cup is an interactive project controlling the music volume according to the number of cups used in a party and allowing party-goers to follow each other on Spotify. How does it work?

The Boogie Cup Holder uses an infrared distance sensor to detect how many cups are in the stack. As guests take cups, the sensor detects a change in distance, and increases the volume at the party. The Genuino MKR1000 wifi chip connects the Boogie Cup to the Spotify API. When two guests pass by with similar playlists, their cups light up. When they cheers, a message is sent to a server that enables each user to follow each other on Spotify.

The device was created by a team of student (Sophie Chow, Priscila Ferreira, Lars Kaltenbach, Mary Mikhail) during a 4-day exploration into Physical Computing  during the Interaction Design Programme at CIID with the support of Massimo Banzi and Dario Buzzini, with the aim to encourage new behaviors with ordinary objects.

 

Minions Turn Your Keyboard into a Bluetooth Keyboard

Evil geniuses usually have the help of some anonymous henchmen or other accomplices, but for the rest of us these resources are usually out of reach. [Evan], on the other hand, is on his way to a helpful army of minions that will do his bidding: he recently built a USB-powered minion that turns a regular PS/2 mouse and keyboard into a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

[Evan] found his minion at a McDonald’s and took out essentially everything inside of it, using the minion as a case for all of the interesting bits. First he scavenged a PS/2 port from an old motherboard. An Arduino Nano is wired to an HC-05 Bluetooth chip to translate the signals from the PS/2 peripherals into Bluetooth. The HC-05 chip is a cheaper alternative to most other Bluetooth chips at around $3 vs. $40 for more traditional ones. The programming here is worth mentioning: [Evan] wrote a non-interrupt based and non-blocking PS/2 library for the Arduino that he open sourced which is the real jewel of this project.

Once all the wiring and programming is done [Evan] can turn essentially any old keyboard and mouse into something that’ll work on any modern device. He also put an NFC tag into the minion’s head so that all he has to do to connect the keyboard and mouse is to swipe his tablet or phone past the minion.

If you’re looking for an interesting case for your next project, this McDonald’s Minion toy seems to be pretty popular. PS/2 keyboards are apparently still everywhere, too, despite their obsolescence due to USB. But there are lots of other ways to get more use out of those, too.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Hack a Day 14 Apr 16:01