Posts with «shields» label

Microsoft and Arduino: new partnership announced today

It’s a special day for the Makers’ community. Massimo Banzi is in San Francisco attending Build Conference, the biggest developer event of the calendar year for Microsoft and today Microsoft is  announcing a strong partnership with Arduino: Windows 10 is in fact the world’s first Arduino certified operating system!

Arduino Certified’  Windows 10 enables makers to easily create smart objects combining hardware-driving capability of Arduino with the software capabilities of Windows.

For example, a security camera can be built by using Arduino to power the motors controls to tilt/turn the camera and using Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to create great UI, to connect the camera to the cloud, to process the image for motion detection and for adding facial/voice recognition.

The makers’ community can now also enjoy Windows Remote Arduino and Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino technologies – both released as open source libraries.

With Windows Remote Arduino developers can (wirelessly) access the capabilities of  Windows 10 devices as if they were physically attached to an Arduino Shield and leveraging Arduino functions directly from Universal Windows Application.

In this way Microsoft is enabling developers to extend their Universal Windows Platform Application with Arduino commands (that execute on a wirelessly connected Arduino device). Combining the power of Windows 10 devices including features such as Image processing, Speech recognition, Website parsing, Cameras and Advanced Audio pipelines with the power of physical world interactivity through Arduino enables incredible new scenarios to be created. Take a look at this Basic Windows Remote Arduino project to learn how to leverage this technology in any interactive project.

With Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino, users can tap into the incredible power of their Windows 10 devices through wireless protocols. For example Lumia 530 contains a lot of Arduino Shield capabilities and allows designers/makers to connect all those components seamlessly. Imagine being able to create an Arduino project that includes GPS, Web connectivity/parsing, touch display, speech technologies and more! Take a look at this Picture the Weather project created to bring children’s drawings to life!

Arduino is really happy that Microsoft got inspired by the enthusiasm and passion for technology represented by the Maker community and we look forward to see the amazing projects opening up from this unique offering.

An open robot shield for Arduino

Open Electronics‘ staff were looking for a common and standard hardware platform usable on different robots they were working on. Their goal was to find a single platform that had to provide power supply to the microcontroller, it had to provide stabilized voltage for the servos, and, finally, it had to be equipped with an obstacle detector and with an IR receiver.

Having chosen Arduino as the target core board, they developed an ad-hoc shield meeting all these requirements, whose detailed description can be found here, together with the BOM and a lot of source code.

[Via: Open Electronics]

[Interview] Dorotea Panzarella (Emmo)

Emmo is a ludic and interactive artifact for visually impaired children (age 4-6 y.) based on RFID technology. It is meant to motivate spatial exploration and helping children to develop the capability of creating mental topological maps.
The toy includes lighting and sounding elements for a treasure hunt, a space-related memory game. This activity is improving attention and acoustic capabilities.
The goal of the game is detecting each of the seven lighting elements according to the sound. The player is helped by this “magic wand”  (finder),

Emmo’s main colours are black and white (high chromatic contrast is important to let the childern discrminate colours); lights & sound are further aid, marking different phases of the game.
The command interface is pretty simple and visible. Buttons can be distinguished by colour and shape.
The toy elements are designed in order meet childern needs and  technology requirements.

We asked Dototea Panzarella to answer few questions regarding her project.

Q: Tell us about you and your background.

I was born  in Palermo on 21/04/1985 , in Cefalù, a charming Sicilian town overlooking the sea. I learned the words “project” and “creativity” since childhood, thanks to my dad, architect, and my mother, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. During childhood and adolescence I experienced different things:  artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, I learned to play keyboards and I worked in summer camps for children. Not yet having a clear idea about my future, after school, I enrolled at the Liceo Classico Mandralisca Cefalu. After high school, I registered for the Bachelor in Industrial Design at the University of Palermo and I had the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus program and attend the Hochschule fuer FHNW Design and Art in Aarau (CH). In 2008 I moved to Treviso, to follow the specialist degree course in product design of the IUAV University of Venice. Lately I collaborate occasionally with a design studio in Venice, which mainly designs consumer electronics.

(interaction) design is a challenge to me beacuse involves technical-scientific and humanistic-artistic elements: every project is a new discover!

Q: When did you start working on your project and how long did it take?

I started to work on “Emmo” at the end of August 2010 to end in April 2011: 8 months of work. The first 3 months were mainly research and analysis. In December 2010, I started to define the game’s playing features. From January onwards I have dealt with the choice of electronics need for the toy, the design of the artifact itself and eventually the realization of the prototype.
I saw many toys for the stimulation of hearing, the residual vision, touch. Emmo is thought to add something new.

Q: What inspired you to make the thing you made?

The interest in the project “Emmo” is the result of my interest in the world of childhood, science of learning and psychology of perception but also of my interest in electronics and interaction design.

It all started with a workshop of 2 years of specialization at the IUAV in which the teacher (and my future thesis supervisor) asked us to design interactive artifacts. We were also required to create a prototype using Arduino. Having found the theme of the workshop quite exciting I then wanted to continue on the same track with the thesis.In the spring of 2010 I went to Barcelona (Spain) to deepen my knowledge by participating in the 9th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. I picked up many hints. The theme of low vision was one of many that appeared in the list that I compiled and I chose it because it would give me the ability to use light and sound as real therapeutic tools.

Q: How did you hear about Arduino and why you decided to use this hardware in your project?

I had already seen some Arduino projects of my friends and especially my roommate during the course of the Medienkunst FHNW.

In that circumstance I had appreciated the installations but had not yet grasped the potential of Arduino.  I’ve used in the creation of Emmo because I knew that in case of any difficulty I could find help on the web easily.


We are extremely pleased that the Arduino is used in such projects, and we are sure that the community will always give a strong support.

Many thanks to Dorotea for her kindness.




WISP: a WiFi module for the Internet-of-Things

embdSocial™ is an Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform usable to provide communication support to smart objects and devices. embdSocial™ is based on WISP™, an electronic module that can be connected to any microcontroller-equipped device (such as an Arduino board, by means of ad-hoc shield) to exploit several communication services:

Each WISP™ allows real-time bi-directional communication through our secure, globally accessible API. In addition to merely providing internet connectivity, embdSocial™ provides one interface and architecture that simplifies common tasks through the use of plug-ins:

  • Tweeting/receiving @messages
  • Updating Facebook statuses
  • Sending/receiving emails
  • Sending/receiving SMS text messages
  • Manipulating files in your Dropbox

Each WISP™ is equipped with a 802.11 network interface (with support to WEP, WPA and WPA2 protocols) which allows the device to be easily connected with the embdSocial™’s servers; moreover, its configuration is completely web-based.

More information can be found on the embdSocial™ homepage, together with a couple of videos presenting its capabilities.

[Via: HackADay and embdSocial]

Arduino Blog 12 Jun 07:38

New in the Maker Shed: Positive RGB LCD Display Shield

We’ve had RGB LCD displays in the Maker Shed for a while now and while they are really cool, they take up a bunch of pins on an Arduino. This new Positive RGB LCD Display Shield fixes that problem by using I2C for communication. Using I2C, what once took 9 pins now takes only 2! Since the shield uses the I2C bus, you can add other I2C sensors to the same pins driving the LCD. It’s a great way to incorporate an LCD into your Arduino projects without the messy wiring! It even includes 5 input buttons for building projects that require a user interface. Very nice!


  • Dimensions: 2.1″ x 3.2″
  • Comes with a 16×2 RGB backlight LCD, positive display
  • Plug and play with any Arduino ‘classic’ – UNO, duemilanove, diecimilla, etc as well as Arduino Mega R3.
  • Uses only the I2C pins – Analog 4 & 5 on classic Arduinos, Digital 20 and 21 on Arduino Mega R3
  • Note: The shield comes as a kit and requires soldering!