Posts with «toy» label

Spice Up Your Bench With 3D Printed Dancing Springs

Not all projects are made equal. Some are designed to solve a problem while others are just for fun. Entering the ranks of the most useless machines is a project by [Vladimir Mariano] who created the 3D Printed Dancing Springs. It is a step up from 3D printing a custom slinky and will make a fine edition to any maker bench.

The project uses 3D printed coils made of transparent material that is mounted atop geared platforms and attached to a fixed frame. The gears are driven by a servo motor. The motor rotates the gears and the result is a distortion in the spring. This distortion is what the dancing is all about. To add to the effect, [Vladimir Mariano] uses RGB LEDs controlled by an ATmega32u4.

You can’t dance without music. So [Vladimir] added a MEMs microphone to pick up noise levels which are used to control the servo and lights. The code, STL files and build instructions are available on the website for you to follow along. If lights and sound are your things, you must check out the LED Illuminated Isomorphic Keyboard from the past.


Filed under: musical hacks
Hack a Day 30 Jul 06:00
arduino  diy  led  musical hacks  neopixel  slinky  sound  toy  

VGA Monitor Becomes Drawing Toy

We hate to break it to [Rob Cai], but he’s built a VGA drawing toy, not an Etch-a-Sketch. How do we know? Simple, Etch-a-Sketch is a registered trademark. Regardless, his project shows how an Arduino can drive a VGA monitor using the VGAx library. Sure, you can only do four colors with a 120×60 resolution, but on the other hand, it requires almost no hardware other than the Arduino (you do need four resistors).

The hardware includes two pots and with the right firmware, it can also play pong, if you don’t want to give bent your artistic side. You can see videos of both the art toy and the pong game, below.

Because the device started as a pong game, [Rob’s] version has two boxes, each with a pot and a button. Of course, if you were really building it just for the drawing toy, you’d probably put it all in a box. Maybe even a red box. If we were building it, we’d be tempted to put a tilt sensor or an accelerometer in the box so you could shake it to erase the picture. Just saying.

If you want 640×480 resolution from an Arduino, it can be done, but it takes more hardware. If you were trying to get a kid interested in Arduino, you could do worse than start with two projects with video that are fun, use a handful of easy-to-source parts, and shares hardware. Then again, if you are in the “go big or go home” camp, we’d redirect to this pong game, instead.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Hack a Day 09 Dec 00:00

Turning Broken Toy Into Laser Target Practice

[Mathieu] wrote in with his laser target practice game. It’s not the most amazing hack in the history of hackery, but it’s an excellent example of the type of simple and fun things you can do with just a little bit of microcontrollering.

First off, the gun is a broken toy gun that used to shoot something other than red collimated light beams. The Arduino knockoff inside reacts to a trigger pull and fires the laser for around 200 milliseconds. The gun also has a “gas gauge” that fills up with repeated shots and cools down over time. And therein lies the game — a simple race to ten, where each player only has a fixed number of shots over time.

The targets are simply a light sensor, scorekeeping LED display, and a buzzer that builds tension by beeping at you as the countdown timer ticks down. The bodies are made out of 3D-printed corners that connect some of [Mathieu]’s excess wooden goat-cheese lids.

All the code is up on GitHub so you can make your own with stuff that you’ve got lying around the house. The “gun” can be anything that you can embed a laser in that makes it aimable. Good clean fun!


Filed under: toy hacks
Hack a Day 19 Oct 00:00

Cheap Toy Airboat Gets a Cheap R/C Upgrade

[Markus Gritsch] and his son had a fun Sunday putting together a little toy airboat from a kit. They fired it up and it occurred to [Markus] that it was pretty lame. It went forward and sometimes sideward when a stray current influenced its trajectory, but it had no will of its own.

The boat was extracted from water before it could wander off and find itself lost forever. [Markus] did a mental inventory of his hacker bench and decided this was a quickly rectified design shortcoming. He applied a cheap knock-off arduino, equally cheap nRF24L01+ chip of dubious parentage, and their equivalent hobby servo to the problem.

Some quick coding later, assisted by prior work from other RC enthusiasts, the little boat was significantly upgraded. Now the boat could be brought back to shore using any R/C controller that supported the, “Bayang,” protocol. He wouldn’t have to face the future in which he’d have to explain to his son that the boat, like treacherous helium balloons, was just gone. Video after the break.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, toy hacks
Hack a Day 07 Sep 09:01
airbot  arduino  arduino hacks  boat  hack  nrf24l01+  rc  servo  simple  toy  toy hacks  

Otto - build you own robot in two hours!

Primary image

What does it do?

Otto walks, dances, makes sounds and avoids obstacles, is completely open source, Arduino compatible, 3D printable, and with a social impact mission to create an inclusive environment for all kids.

Otto was inspired by another robot instructable BoB the BiPed and programmed using code from another open source biped robot called Zowi.

CC-BY-SA

Otto's differences are in the assembled size (11cm x 7cm x12cm), cleaner integration of components and expressions.

Cost to build

$49, 00

Embedded video

Finished project

Complete

Number

Time to build

2 hours

Type

URL to more information

Weight

250 grams

read more

Engadget giveaway: Win a pair of Vortex robots courtesy of DFRobot!

Since most kids have already mastered the art of iPad password cracking and in-app purchasing, we should probably give them something productive to do. The arduino-based Vortex from DFRobot is a STEM-reinforcing plaything that can help kids learn to code. It comes with preinstalled programs, so you can have fun racing, bumping and spinning right out of the box, but the variations are endless. Open-source hardware and the WhenDo app's graphical programming interface mean the sky's the limit with Vortex. These little bots are laden with proximity and ground sensors, LEDs and speakers — not to mention all the optional add-ons — to help bring them to life. DFRobot has given us a pair of two-robot packs for a couple lucky Engadget readers this week. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this hackable robot duo.

Engadget giveaway: Win a pair of Vortex robots courtesy of DFRobot!

Since most kids have already mastered the art of iPad password cracking and in-app purchasing, we should probably give them something productive to do. The arduino-based Vortex from DFRobot is a STEM-reinforcing plaything that can help kids learn to code. It comes with preinstalled programs, so you can have fun racing, bumping and spinning right out of the box, but the variations are endless. Open-source hardware and the WhenDo app's graphical programming interface mean the sky's the limit with Vortex. These little bots are laden with proximity and ground sensors, LEDs and speakers — not to mention all the add-ons — to help bring them to life. DFRobot has given us a pair of two-robot packs for a couple lucky Engadget readers this week. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning this hackable robot duo.

DIY Hot Wheels Drag Race Timer

[Apachexmd] wanted to do something fun for his three-year-old son’s birthday party. Knowing how cool race cars are, he opted to build his own Hot Wheels drag race timer. He didn’t take the easy way out either. He put both his electronics and 3D printing skills to the test with this project.

The system has two main components. First, there’s the starting gate. The cars all have to leave the gate at the same time for a fair race, so [Apachexmd] needed a way to make this electronically controlled. His solution was to use a servo connected to a hinge. The hinge has four machine screws, one for each car. When the servo is rotated in one direction, the hinge pushes the screws out through holes in the track. This keeps the cars from moving on the downward slope. When the start button is pressed, the screws are pulled back and the cars are free to let gravity take over.

The second component is the finish line. Underneath the track are four laser diodes. These shine upwards through holes drilled into the track. Four phototransistors are mounted up above. These act as sensors to detect when the laser beam is broken by a car. It works similarly to a laser trip wire alarm system. The sensors are aimed downwards and covered in black tape to block out extra light noise.

Also above the track are eight 7-segment displays; two for each car. The system is able to keep track of the order in which the cars cross the finish line. When the race ends, it displays which place each car came in above the corresponding track. The system also keeps track of the winning car’s time in seconds and displays this on the display as well.

The system runs on an Arduino and is built almost exclusively out of custom designed 3D printed components. Since all of the components are designed to fit perfectly, the end result is a very slick race timer. Maybe next [Apachexmd] can add in a radar gun to clock top speed. Check out the video below to see it in action.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, toy hacks

The Lightgame Project: A Multiplayer Arduino Game

Summer is upon us. The Lightgame Project is a multiplayer reaction time based game built around the Arduino. It’s a perfect rainy day project for those restless kids (and adults!). Designed by two undergraduate students [Efstathios] and [Thodoris] for a semester long project, all the hard work has already been done for you.

There are tons of reasons we love games that you can build yourself. For one, it’s an amazing way to get children interested in hobby electronics, making, and hacking. Especially when they can play the game with (and show off to) their friends. Another reason is that it is a perfect way to share your project with friends and family, showcasing what you have been learning. The game is based on your reaction time and whether or not you press your button when another players color is shown. The project is built around two Arduinos connected via I2C. The master handles the mechanics of the game, while the slave handles the TFT LCD and playing music through a buzzer.

I2C is a great communication protocol to be familiar with and this is a great project to give it a try. [Efstathios] and [Thodoris] did a great job writing up their post, plus they included all the code and schematics needed to build your own. It would be great to see more university professors foster open source hardware and software with their students. A special thanks goes out to [Dr. Dasygenis] for submitting his student’s work to us!


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Hack a Day 29 May 03:00

How to Control Your Cheap RC Car with a Computer

[Jon] wrote in to tell us about his programmable RC car, and the Howto guide that he’s made. According to him, this project can be constructed with $9 worth of parts plus an Arduino and a small toy car. So around $50 if you’re starting from scratch.

At it’s core, this project is about using the Arduino to allow your computer to send signals to the toy car. For this, [Jon] has included JAVA code that should be able to run on Mac, Linux, and PC operating systems. The Arduino code is also included.

Most small RC cars like those used in this project switch on at full speed or turn off, but this project allows the PC/Arduino to give the car PWM signals to control the speed. As pointed out in the video after the break, this can be a bit jerky at slow speed, but still a neat effect. A decent amount of soldering is required to get this project working, but it may be a good project especially if you have some of the parts already available!


Filed under: arduino hacks, toy hacks
Hack a Day 29 Aug 13:01
arduino  arduino hacks  c car  r  toy  toy hacks