Posts with «uno» label

A linear actuator that won’t break the bank

Extremely good linear actuators can be expensive and heavy, but what if you need something for relatively light applications? In the video below, James Bruton explains how you can make one using parts including a DC motor with a quadrature encoder, 3D-printed mounting, and a lead screw assembly.

His device uses an Arduino Uno for control, using pins 2 and 3 as interrupts to ensure correct rotation—and thus linear travel—sensing. Proper movement is facilitated with a pair of PID loops to regulate both the position and velocity, even under differing load and battery conditions. 

Arduino code and CAD information can be found on GitHub, while an explanation of the project is seen in the video below. 

Arduino Blog 19 Oct 15:32

Arduino Uno controls a trio of singing pumpkins

Halloween is just around the corner, and to celebrate, fadecomic decided to set up a trio of singing animatronic pumpkins to belt out scary songs. 

The project uses a Raspberry Pi for high level control and browser interface, and sends animation commands to an Arduino Uno via USB serial.

The Uno takes this data and translates it into actual pumpkin movements coordinated with music. The resulting trio of pumpkins each use their own servo to lift the top of the foam gourd up like a gigantic mouth, and also feature PWM-driven LED eyes. A light show controlled by SSRs completes the spooky musical effect. 

Build info is available here and the Arduino code can be found on GitHub.

FacePush adds extra realism to your VR experience

Haptic feedback is something commonly used with handheld controllers and the like. However, in a virtual reality environment, it could also be used with the other interface surface attached to your body: the VR headset itself.

That’s the idea behind FacePush, which employs an Arduino Uno-powered pulley system to place tension on the straps of an HTC Vive headset. A corresponding pushing force is felt by the wearer through the headset in response to this action, creating yet another way to help immerse users in a virtual world. 

Applications tried so far include a boxing game, dive simulator, and 360-degree guidance You can check it out in a short demo below, and read more about it in the full research paper here.

CasioKeyBot plays electronic keyboard with automated fingers

Electronic keyboards have been around for many years, taking human input and translating it into a variety of sounds. In a strange twist on this technology, Igor Angst has decided to substitute a robot in to push the synthesizer’s keys, using a laser-cut finger setup controlled by an Arduino Uno.

The MIDI sequence/notes to be played are provided by a computer running ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), and interpreted by a C program that translates it into USB serial signals that the Uno can use. It then actuates its wooden fingers, playing a pleasing tune along with apparently keyboard-provided accompaniment in the video below.

I really like the crappy sound of those ‘80s toy keyboards. Unfortunately, I am a lousy live keyboarder and I only have so many hands. So I thought about adding MIDI capability to my good old Casio SA-21. The simplest way to do this is obviously building a robotized hand with 8 servo motors controlled by an Arduino microcontroller, which in turn receives its commands through the serial-over-USB interface sent by a tiny C application that connects to the ALSA sequencer world of my Linux live music setup.

Laser cutter files are available on the project’s write-up and code can be found on GitHub.

Talking Baymax inflatable robot greets kids at the pediatrician’s office

At Jason Poel Smith’s local pediatrician’s office, they have a variety of movie posters and displays to help make the environment more welcoming to kids. The most popular of them all is a huge inflatable Baymax robot character from the Disney movie Big Hero 6. 

While a beautiful display, Smith decided that what would make it even better is if it could talk, and went to work adding this functionality with an Arduino Uno, an MP3 shield, and a very large button. 

Now when kids arrive, they can hit the button to hear Baymax welcome them to the office as their “personal healthcare companion” via a pair of powered speakers. 

Arduino code and more info is available here, if you’d like to build something similar!

Arduino Blog 02 Oct 13:56

Vintage ham radio transformed into epic party game prop

Maker Thomas Meston needed a “mysterious looking device” that allows players to enter codes obtained via an original party game. What he came up with is entitled “Dr. Hallard’s Dream Transmission Box,” and consists of an Arduino, a party light, a smoke machine, and other components stuffed into a broken National NC-33 ham radio.

This radio makes a really excellent enclosure for the electronics inside, and when the device is properly activated the winning team hears a special message via an Arduino Uno-controlled MP3 shield, accompanied by laser lights and smoke. 

How it works:

  • When the box is switched on you hear static and see a yellow light. The device is ready for the codes to be entered.
  • Once all three dials have been set, the player switches the bottom toggle to “send” state, the box will message back whether team blue or team red has entered any codes with a quick flash of either a red or blue led.
  • If all three dials are set to red codes, the red team wins and hears a special message through the speaker just for them. The laser lights and smoke machine will be activated at the same time.
  • If all three dials are set to blue, a different message will play as well as activating the smoke machine and laser lights.

More info on the project can be found here, and while it might seem like a shame to modify this kind of vintage equipment, Meston notes that he sees this as giving it a nice second life since it was previously non-functional.

Arduino Blog 02 Oct 13:30

Three-axis rotary machining with Arduino

For many years CNC machining was the purview of well-equipped shops and manufacturing facilities. With the availability of inexpensive control hardware, such as Arduino-based GRBL packages, this type of control has come to the (technically inclined) masses, enabling us to create complicated 2D and 3D shapes automatically.

Normally, this means X, Y, and Z axes that control a cutting head, and if you wanted to much further in complexity and cost, you could add a fourth or even a fifth axis to tilt things as needed. The RotoMill, however, seen at World Maker Faire in New York, puts a different “spin” on things, substituting a stepper-controlled spindle for the Y axis. The result is a machine with unique machining capabilities, driven by an Arduino Uno running custom GRBL firmware.

As for now, the CNC can easily mill parts out of softer materials like plastic, wood, and foam, although it is designed to cut aluminum as well.

A three-axis rotary CNC built for the Mechanical Engineering senior design capstone course at Carnegie Mellon University by a team of engineering students. The CNC uses NEMA24 motors for each of the axes, with the X and Z axes actuated by lead screws, and the A (rotary) axis actuated by a worm gear. The spindle is an off-the-shelf Makita hand router, which allows for any router bit to be used.

Each motor is controlled by a stepper motor driver, which are all coordinated by an Arduino Uno running a customized version of the GRBL firmware. This is in turn controlled by a laptop running open-source GCode sending software.

To generate the GCode, we would create a 3D model of the part that we wanted to machine. We then “unwrapped” about the A axis. This basically takes the part and converts it from Cartesian coordinates to Cylindrical coordinates.

To generate the GCode, we would create a 3D model of the part that we wanted to machine. We then “unwrapped” about the A axis. This basically takes the part and converts it from Cartesian coordinates to Cylindrical coordinates.

At this point, we could take the unwrapped part and load it into Autodesk HSM, a popular industrial CAM package. This allowed us to generate a toolpath for machining the part. We basically “fooled” the CNC into thinking that it was a normal, three-axis Cartesian CNC. The trick, however, is that the Y axis is wrapped around and becomes the A axis.

Additional information and photos can be found on RotoMill’s page or Hackaday’s recent write-up.

Star Wars mouse droid reveals hidden scrolling LED display

In several iterations of the Star Wars saga, small black droids can be seen scurrying around imperial installations. While they tend to fade into the background or provide a fun distraction in the movies, the mouse droid by Potent Printables acts as a sort of physical messaging app. It’s able to travel to the correct location, then pop open to unveil a scrolling LED sign.

Potent Printables can trigger the side door using a Bluetooth app on his phone. On command, an RC servo pushes it open, and lowers it down using a stepper motor/reel setup. An Arduino Uno along with an Adafruit Motor Shield are used for control, while an HC-05 module enables communication with the system.  

Check out the latest video in this build series below!

Let this Arduino robotic bartender mix you a drink

We’ve seen different versions of robotic bartenders over the last few years, but this one by DIY Machines looks quite clean, and because of its battery-powered operation can be taken anywhere.

The device works like a simple CNC machine, using a stepper and pulley setup to transport a glass between one of six upside down bottles. When it’s in the correct position, two more stepper motors push a lifting assembly into the selected bottle’s dispenser valve, emptying the correct amount of liquid into the glass. An Arduino Uno is used for control, with user interface provided via a Bluetooth module and smartphone app. 

More videos and build instructions can be found in the project’s write-up, while Arduino code is available here.

The Airdrum plays music with Arduino and six sensor PCBs

Playing music well can be difficult for anyone, especially those with certain disabilities. To make this form of self-expression easier for everyone,  Alessandro Verdiesen and Luuk van Kuijk built the Airdrum—an IR sensor-based instrument that is played simply by the wave of a hand.

The Airdrum uses six individual sensor boards to detect when a hand is present. This input is then processed via an Arduino Uno and passed along to a Raspberry Pi to produce individual tones.

People with multiple severe disabilities often encounter the difficulties of playing a music instrument due to their mental and physical deficits.

Health care institutions which facilitate housing, learning opportunities and day care for these people often encounter the difficulties of communicating with their clients. These institutions experienced that making music together is a great way of communicating and therefore many institutions offer music therapy. According to music therapists, the main goal is having fun. It is proven that people learn more when having fun. When playing an instrument, clients can share emotions and practice their motor skills.

We have designed a musical instrument which is easy and fun to play, not just for people with severe disabilities, but for everyone: the Airdrum. The Airdrum is a small device containing panels with motion sensors and colored lights. When somebody moves their hand or head above the panels, they light up and they play sound.

The device, as shown in the demo video, appears to still be a work-in-progress, but has all the functionality needed to play a simple tune with RGB LED feedback.