Posts with «pneumatics» label

Programmable-Air is an Arduino Nano-based pneumatics kit

Arduino boards have been employed in all sorts of robotics and IoT applications, although working with air as a power source is less than straightforward. In order to make this experience easier, the Programmable-Air pneumatics kit puts everything you need for simple air power experimentation into one package.

It features pressure and vacuum pumps, as well as pneumatic valves and a pressure sensor. An Arduino Nano is implemented as the controller, and a custom library is available here, so programming should be a snap. 

Programmable-Air has a built-in high-pressure pump, vacuum pump, pneumatic valves, pressure sensor, and an Arduino Nano. The output from Programmable-Air is a single tube that goes into your soft robot or pneumatic actuator. By controlling the motors and valves, you can push air in or out of the actuator, or let it exchange air with the atmosphere. All the while you get feedback about the state of the actuator through the pressure sensor.

The kit is coming soon to Crowd Supply, so be sure to sign up there to be notified when it goes live!

Air Bubble Characters Float Along This Unique Scrolling Display

We’ve seen a lot of unique large-format scrolling message boards on these pages, but most of them use some sort of established technology – LEDs, electromechanical flip-dots, and the like – in new and unusual ways. We’re pretty sure this air-bubble dot matrix display is a first, though.

While it may not be destined for the front of a bus or a train station arrivals and departures board, [jellmeister]’s bubble display shows some pretty creative thinking. It started with a scrap of multiwall polycarbonate roofing – Corotherm is the brand name – of the type to glaze greenhouses and other structures. The parallel tubes are perfect for the display, although individual tubes could certainly be substituted. A plastic end cap was fabricated; air nozzles in each channel were plumbed to an air supply through solenoid valves. An Arduino with a couple of motor driver hats allows pulses of air into each channel to create reasonably legible characters that float up the tube. The video below shows it in use at a Maker Faire, where visitors could bubble up their own messages.

It took some tweaking to get it looking as good as it does, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. We wonder whether colored liquid might help, or perhaps adding a Neopixel or even a laser to each channel to add some contrast. Maybe something to cloud the water slightly would help; increasing the surface tension with a salt solution might make the bubbles more distinct. We doubt it’ll ever have the contrast ratio of a flip-dot display, but it certainly has a charm all its own.

Inflate Your Wearables Using Drone Motors and Pneumatic Air Muscles

Pump up your look using drone motors and pneumatic air muscles to give your wearables a hint of animation with soft robotics.

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