When filming your projects—or day-to-day life—static shots can be fun, but having a moving perspective often looks even better. The challenge is keeping the camera pointed at your subject, which maker Saral Tayal addresses with his automated slider.
This Arduino Uno-controlled slider is powered by a pair of brushed DC motors with encoders attached for feedback. One pulls the camera along a pair of rails on a set of linear bearings, while the other adjusts the camera’s horizontal angle using trigonometry to keep a particular object in-frame.
Automated cocktail machines can be fun projects, but this device by CamdenS5 takes things to a whole new level. Not only can it pour liquids from multiple bottles, but it chops limes, dispenses sugar and mint, and even features a refrigerated compartment to keep ingredients at the appropriate temperature.
An Arduino Mega along with an Uno are employed for control, while user interface is provided by an Android tablet affixed to the front of the assembly.
There’s a lot going on mechanically inside, including a linear actuator for chopping, and augers that dole out mint/sugar as needed.
Details on the build are available here, with code/files ready for download, and an interactive Fusion 360 model that you can manipulate in your browser.
While much less common than quadcopters or airplanes, if you want a device that truly soars like a bird, you need an ornithopter. To help others make their own flying contraption, YouTuber Amperka Cyber Couch is outlining the build process in a video series starting with the one seen below.
Rigbsy’s robotic pet features four servo-driven legs, with two-axis shoulder movement, as well as an articulated knee joint. As seen in the video below, it’s capable of picking itself up off the ground, and can then walk using a slow side-to-side gait.
An Arduino Uno uses the majority of its I/O pins to control the legs, and as of now, it travels forward with no directional control or sensor input.
Instructions for the project, along code and 3D print files, are available in Rigsby’s write-up.
In a variety of robotic situations, you’ll need some sort of gripper. In this project, James Bruton attempts to create a force-controlled, three-fingered assembly using an Arduino Uno along with a trio of servos.
Instead of directly controlling the grip fingers, the 3D-printed device is held open with bungee cables. When it’s time to clamp everything down, the servos wind up the cables attached to the inside of the fingers, similar to how human tendons work.
To correlate servo inputs to grip force, he uses a series of springs to allow some amount of compliance, as well as flex sensors attached to the fingers themselves to measure the resulting positions. Arduino code for the build is available here.
Michael Sobolak was inspired by the hardware dedicated to Ableton digital audio software, along with the DIY MIDI Fighter pads that others have constructed, to make his own light-up version.
His device is cut out of ¼-inch MDF, housing a 4×4 array of main buttons, 18 smaller buttons on the bottom and eight potentiometers, four of which are surrounded by NeoPixel rings.
To handle this massive array of inputs, he turned to the use of multiplexers, creating a spaghetti-like—though functional—wiring arrangement hidden underneath. The pad uses an Arduino Uno to control the NeoPixels, while a separate board is tasked with the MIDI interface.
You can see Sobolak’s project crank out music in the video below, with LEDs that react to potentiometer input settings.
Retired maker “lingb” created an omni-bot, with four wheels that allow sliding motion in the X/Y plane courtesy of their perpendicular rollers. While that alone would have been a fun build, he also attached a pen, along with a servo-based lifting mechanism, turning this robot into a free-range plotter!
The device is controlled by an Arduino Uno and Bluetooth module, and takes movement commands via a linked smartphone or tablet. Four 28BYJ-48 stepper motors with ULN2003 drivers move each wheel, though outputs are shared between opposite motors to save on I/O.
This means that rotating the robot isn’t possible, but as shown in the video below, this isn’t needed to plot straight and curved lines with good accuracy.
As hardware hackers, we’re always on the lookout for discarded components that can be re-purposed into something even more awesome. One such class of component that you may find is the controller-less graphics LCD modules, which can be found on old copiers, tape libraries, and the like.
This project by Ivan Kostoski shows how to drive one of these displays with a 320×240 resolution. He’s tested his code using several types of Arduino board, such as the Uno and Leonardo, using minimal external components.
Summary Repository contains code samples for driving 4-bit parallel controllerless graphics LCD (CLGLCD) module with AVR MCU on an Arduino board, using minimal external components and staying within Arduino IDE.
4-bit Controllerless Graphics LCD modules Controllerless graphics LCD modules are antiques that can be salvaged from old copiers, tape libraries, etc… They commonly are missing, well, the controller chip, the one with the memory. Don’t go buying one of these, for Arduino usage, even if you find them on sale. They are usually industrial, have poor viewing angles, generally slow response time, and pain to work-with. There, I said my peace… But if you already have one, their size (i.e. 5.7in) or simplicity can have its uses and beauty.
I have tested this code with 320×240 STN LCD monochrome module marked as F-51543NFU-LW-ADN / PWB51543C-2-V0, salvaged some time ago from retired tape library, without the controller module (which it appears is based on FPGA and wouldn’t be of much use anyway).
The same type of interface (4-bit data) with various signal names is present on many industrial modules based on multiplexed column and common row LCD drivers, like LC79401/LC79431. Or this is what is behind the controller IC. They all have some variations like LCD drive voltage (positive or negative, depending on temperature and size of the module), backlight (LED/CCFL), some logic quirks (i.e. CL2 is ignored while CL1 is up, etc…), so maybe this code can be adapted to other controllerless modules. Module’s datasheet is necessity for the connector pinouts and timing requirements. Some modules may even generate LCD drive voltage internally, and outputting it on a pin so actual V0 driving voltage can be adjusted.
More info on the build/technique is found on GitHub, where you can also download project code and find more background on how interfacing with these devices works.
Depending on your personality, you may tend to dominate a discussion, or metaphorically slink back into the corner, waiting for a turn to speak that never comes. MIT Tangible Media Group’s SociaBowl, however, aims to change this as “a dynamic table centerpiece to mediate group conversations.”
SociaBowl takes the form of a circular standing table, with a rather curious servo-actuated bowl in the center. Copper wires embedded in the table’s acrylic surface, along with a capacitive touch shield pick up user inputs.
An Arduino Uno then translates into bowl motion, which can mean a reward for thoughtful speakers when the bowl is filled with candy, or in another implementation, the possibility of water inside spilling if one chats for too long.