arduino

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  • Make's Redpark Breakout Pack lets you build iOS apps with Arduino assistance

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    07.18.2011

    In the mood for some homebrew iOS app-building fun? Well, Make's got a kit just for you that bundles the Redpark Serial Cable for iOS with an RS232-to-TTL board and the 60 plus component Minitronics Survival pack for $80. Hailing it as "the first general-purpose serial cable that Apple has approved," this limited supply pack will let you get your Arduino-tinkering hands all sorts of iPhone dirty -- jailbreak not required. And if you're the uninitiated type, the DIY magazine's also put together a helpful, hand-holding guide to walk you through some basic first-timer projects. Hit the source to order your own Jobs-certified cable. [Thanks, Marc]

  • Android trash can robot begs the question: 'Why are you hitting yourself?' (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    07.16.2011

    We've seen robots that look like they've had one too many, but we're pretty sure this little guy needs to check into rehab. Despite its absolutely adorable appearance, this Android seems hell-bent on destruction, literally beating itself up, and eventually falling on its face. Built using the requisite Arduino, a trash can, some LEDs, and a slew of other components, this little guy was apparently created in three days on a budget just barely exceeding $100. You can see a video of the waste-bin bot hitting rock bottom at the source link below, but please refrain from laughing; Android alcoholism is a serious issue.

  • Arduino delivers Android and Ethernet toys for all the good little DIYers

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    07.15.2011

    It's like Christmas in July Arduino fans. The Italian open-source hardware platform just scored a number of new add-ons and a pair of fresh iterations that are sure to keep you tinkering and hacking for some time. First up is the Arduino Ethernet -- which, as you may have guessed -- sports an onboard Ethernet jack. You'll probably want to pick up a USB Serial Adapter to program the ATmega328 chip but, once you've loaded your code, it can be hooked up to the web without the need for a Ethernet shield -- and an optional PoE (Power over Ethernet) module means you'll only need one cable for all you net-connected projects. The DIY scene's favorite microcontroller was also blessed with the new Arduino ADK board, a take on Google's accessory development platform. And, if you're not sure where to get started, you can pick up an entire kit for €249 (about $352) that includes not only the ADK board, but a huge pile of sensors and components, and the Mega Sensor Shield to arrange them on. The ADK alone will run you €59 ($83), while the Arduino Ethernet costs €39.90 ($56) with an additional €14.90 ($21) for the PoE module. Can you say a synonym for awesome?

  • Spazzi dancebot can't teach you how to Dougie, but it's got the robot on lock

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    07.15.2011

    It looks like somebody's got some competition. So, Spazzi's probably not going to dethrone the reigning King of Cute, but judging from what we've seen of its moves, it could give Keepon some competition on the dance floor. This little, solenoid-packing robot, featured in the latest issue of Make, is actually kin to our boy Keepon, and uses an Arduino (holla!) to control the solenoid's and springs that give it that special robot swag. If you've been pining after Keepon, and have some DIY skills, hop on past the source link for the full build, or just check out a video of Spazzi gettin' its groove on after the break.

  • Ben Heck's Xbox 360 automatic disc changer mod targets lazy gamers (video)

    by 
    Richard Lawler
    Richard Lawler
    07.12.2011

    The latest creation from modder extraordinaire Benjamin J. Heckendorn? This mashup of an Xbox 360, Maker Faire-provided Arduino board and a Sony CD changer lets gamers play their entire collection without ever needing to leave the couch again. The latest episode of The Ben Heck Show takes viewers through the build process in a bit under 19 minutes, but leaves the device still needing a bit of polish in the end. Sponsor element14 is offering motivated viewers a chance to with this and finish it off properly as they see fit, removing the hassle of L.A. Noire disc swaps once and for all without buying a PS3. The video, and press release with details on how to win the as-yet unfinished project for yourself, can be found after the break.

  • Modder outfits Nexus One with an Arduino-powered, pager-style display -- of course

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    07.02.2011

    Not satisfied with a Sony Ericsson LiveView as a secondary display for your Android phone, or a dual-screen device like the Kyocera Echo? Then you might want to consider something like this decidedly more homebrew approach from modder "follower," which uses the Android Open Accessory protocol to connect the Frankenpager-type contraption you see above to an otherwise ordinary Nexus One. Of course, that two-line display does limit things somewhat, but it will at least let you see the time and any incoming text messages without forcing you to leave your game. Hit the source link below for all the details and software you need to build your own.

  • Verbalizer: the open-source wireless microphone of your Arduino-loving dreams

    by 
    Jacob Schulman
    Jacob Schulman
    06.23.2011

    Google's Voice Search for desktop is nifty and all, but what it's really been lacking is a worthy way to trigger it into action. The Verbalizer is an open-source dev board made specifically to be used with the search giant's new tools from up to ten meters away. This microphone-shaped piece of circuitry was made with Arduino compatibility in mind, which means that voice search is just the beginning. The company (who happens to be the same folks behind the brilliant Instaprint) will be distributing schematics and source code through its website, and promises to give away a "limited run" of kits for free in a drawing starting today. Head on over to the source link if you feel like testing your luck, but not before checking after the break for one more shot of these mini masterpieces on display as well as the nitty gritty PR.

  • Web-controlled tweeting Roomba is a perfect storm of DIY magic

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    06.17.2011

    There are three things that will guarantee your DIY project some attention: slap it on a Roomba, base it on Arduino, or make it tweet. Do all three and, well, you've got a nerdgasm-inducing bit of Make fodder. The creation you see above is a web-controlled tweeting Roomba whipped up by Instructables member matchlighter using a 500 series vacuum bot and the Sparkfun WiFly shield for Arduino. The autonomous cleaner can be triggered from anywhere there's an internet connection and updates Twitter to keep you abreast of its status (Ahh! Dock sweet dock). While Mr. matchlighter was kind enough provide directions for building your own, a lot of the actual coding is left up to you. (We're lazy, let us just copy and paste dammit!) If you think you've got the programming chops, hit up the source link for instructions and check out the original's Twitter feed at the more coverage link. Update: The complete code is in step eight of the Instructable.

  • Simple DIY cellbot ditches Arduino, jousts poorly (video)

    by 
    Sean Buckley
    Sean Buckley
    06.03.2011

    Want an adorable little Android cellbot to call your own, but aren't quite ready to tackle Arduino code? Darrell Taylor's got you covered with an audio-controlled, jousting cellbot: no muss, no fuss, no microcontroller. The Make project, called TRRSTAN, accepts commands via Google chat, web browser, or Wii remote piped through the headphone jack of your Android phone -- the robot's brain, of course. Tack on a few makeshift weapons procured at the local dollar store, and you've got a homemade warrior you can be proud of. Want one? Taylor has a ready-made kit available for just shy of $50, and offers a 'fully assembled' option for the extra-lazy robot enthusiast. Of course, you could always go back to playing Android-bots with your Legos if you aren't quite ready to big-boy world of DIY. Just sayin'.

  • Modder turns candy canisters into gaming console, retro Pong paddles (video)

    by 
    Dana Wollman
    Dana Wollman
    05.30.2011

    This is the second time this week we've covered a modder getting an old-school game to run with the help of some unexpected hardware. And arguably, it's the simpler of the two tales. A fellow named John Graham-Cumming fashioned a game console out of little more than a pair of metal canisters, an Arduino Pro board, and a potentiometer -- all so he could play Pong on his TV. The rig (cutely dubbed the Cansole) actually consists of two controllers, with the secondary one housing just a potentiometer. The first has one, too, but also houses the Arduino Pro, along with a battery, A/V controls, and a button for selecting and firing in the game. Et voilà! 1970s arcade-style tennis for two. For a 90-second nostalgia break, head on past the break to see these vintage-looking paddles in action.

  • Arduino, magnet wire, and Android combine to create poor man's NFC (video)

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    05.27.2011

    Jealous of your Nexus S-owning friends and their fancy NFC chips after yesterday's Google Wallet announcement? Well tech tinkerer Joe Desbonnet has whipped up what he dubs "poor man's NFC" using an Arduino, some magnet wire, and any compass-equipped Android smartphone (which is almost all of them). By placing a coil of wire on the phone and connecting it to the DIYer's favorite microcontroller, Desbonnet was able to send data, albeit very slowly, to his HTC Desire running a special app to decode the signals. Granted, you're probably not going to see American Eagle mod their point of sale systems to talk to your phone's magnetometer, but it's still a neat trick. In fact, we'd break out our Arduino right now to give it a try, but our secret lair is strangely devoid of enameled copper wire. Check out the source link for instructions, and don't miss the video after the break.

  • Telecommunications device for the deaf gets hitched to a rotary phone, hacked to run Zork

    by 
    Dana Wollman
    Dana Wollman
    05.27.2011

    In today's episode of "But will it run Zork?" a chap named Ulysses got the vintage game to run on a TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) -- a project he built to show off at the Bay Area Maker Faire last weekend. In a move we truly respect, he hunted down a rotary phone lifted straight out of the era when Zork was conceived (that would be the late '70s / early '80s). Then, he modified a modem so that the acoustically coupled TDD could be interfaced -- transmitting at a slow 45.5 baud to make it easy for even ponderous readers to keep up, one line at a time on the TDD's narrow display. Once this was sorted, things weren't exactly smooth sailing when Ulysses started fitting the compressed Zork story file into the system. At first, he tried using an Arduino Pro and an Arduino Mega, but found that neither had enough memory to accommodate the compressed Zork story file. Ultimately, he took a different tack and settled on an embeddable FitPC. We'd love nothing more than to see this thing in action, but in lieu of a video we highly suggest carving out a few minutes and perusing Ulysses' photo blog at the source link.

  • Maker Faire 2011, in pictures: Arduinos, Androids, and angry robots (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    05.22.2011

    The rapture has come and gone, but the Maker Faire powers on. Despite warnings of a May 21st doomsday, folks came out in droves for the annual celebration of all things DIY, and we were there to bring you the best in homespun inventions. This year's Maker Faire was light on robots and big on corporate sponsorship. Among the giants supporting the little guys were Google, ASUS, and HP, but El Goog's presence extended beyond its dedicated tents. The new Android ADK was big with at-home tinkerers this year, spawning a number of little robots and at least one DIY alternative. Perhaps no other trend proved more pervasive than 3D printing, however -- every time we turned around there was another MakerBot or RapMan pumping out everything from statuettes of attendees to cutesy salt shakers. There were robotic building blocks, a Heineken-themed R2-D2, DIY drones, custom keyboards, and a ton of repurposed gadgets, but it was an arena of destructo-bots, tucked away in the farthest corner of the San Mateo County Event Center, that really blew us away. We came away sunburned and bedraggled, but lucky for you, we did all the dirty work so you don't have to. To see what made this year's Maker Faire, hop on past the break for a video of our favorite DIY finds. %Gallery-124165% Myriam Joire contributed to this report.

  • Emoti-bots turn household objects into mopey machines (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    05.20.2011

    Some emotional robots dip deep into the dark recesses of the uncanny valley, where our threshold for human mimicry resides. Emoti-bots on the other hand, manage to skip the creepy human-like pitfalls of other emo-machines, instead employing household objects to ape the most pathetic of human emotions -- specifically dejection and insecurity. Sure it sounds sad, but the mechanized furniture designed by a pair of MFA students is actually quite clever. Using a hacked Roomba and an Arduino, the duo created a chair that reacts to your touch, and wanders aimlessly once your rump has disembarked. They've also employed Nitinol wires, a DC motor, and a proximity sensor to make a lamp that seems to tire with use. We prefer our lamps to look on the sunny side of life, but for those of you who like your fixtures forlorn, the Emoti-bots are now on display at Parsons in New York and can be found moping about in the video after the break.

  • Google's Arduino-based ADK powers robots, home gardens and giant Labyrinth (video)

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    05.11.2011

    Sure, it looks just about like every other Arduino board found at Maker Faire, but this one's special. How so? It's Google-branded, and not only that, but Google-endorsed. Shortly after the search giant introduced its Android Open Accessory standard and ADK reference hardware, a smattering of companies were already demonstrating wares created around it. Remote-control robots? Check. Nexus S-controlled gardens? Check. A laughably large Labyrinth? Double check. It's already clear that the sky's the limit with this thing, and we're as eager as anyone to see 'em start floating out to more developers. Have a look in the gallery for close-ups of the guts, and peek past the break for a video of the aforementioned Xoom-dictated Labyrinth. %Gallery-123306%

  • Google announces Android Open Accessory standard, Arduino-based ADK

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    05.10.2011

    Google's really not leaving any stone unturned at IO today -- it's now also announced a brand new Android Open Accessory standard, which promises to effectively be its own version of "Made for iPod." That means that any accessory designed using the API (which could even be something like an exercise bike) will be compatible with any Android phone or tablet -- running at least Android 2.3.4 or 3.1, that is. What's more, Google is also making a reference hardware design dubbed an "ADK" available to developers and, get this, it's based on Arduino. Right now, it only includes USB, but Bluetooth support is planned for the future -- developers can hit up the link below for the complete details on how to get started with it. %Gallery-123224%

  • Blocklets' Arduino-powered trebuchet could be your cat's worst nightmare (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    05.05.2011

    We don't do a whole lot of reporting on ancient weaponry here, because, well, it's a little dated -- but throw in an Arduino and a servo, and you've got our attention. Take, for example, this miniaturized trebuchet. Constructed from a series of click-in-place pieces known as Blocklets, the little launcher is basically a standalone slingshot. With the addition of the aforementioned components, however, it becomes a motorized annoyance for anyone and anything that stands in its way. The folks behind the tiny trebuchet tested its capabilities against a sculpture similarly built from Blocklets, but we prefer the challenge of a moving target. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait to get all medieval with this thing, as Blockets haven't quite made it out of the funding stage yet.

  • Vibratron plays impossible music with ball bearings, is your new master (video)

    by 
    Jesse Hicks
    Jesse Hicks
    04.26.2011

    First they came for Jeopardy!, then they came for our vibraphones. We still own baseball, but the "humans only" list has grown one shorter now that the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Club has birthed Vibratron, a robotic vibraphone. Vibratron's Arduino Mega controls 30 solenoid gates that drop steel balls onto the vibration keys, producing a note; an Archimedes screw recycles the bearings, turning them once more into sweet, sweet music. We should also note that Vibratron doesn't put decent, salt-of-the-earth vibraphonists out of work. That cacophony in the video is "Circus Galop," written for two player pianos and impossible for humans to perform -- and still pretty hard for humans to listen to. See, Vibratron is here to help you, fellow humans. At least for now. Click the video above to get acquainted.

  • B-Squares bring portable solar energy and Arduino compatibility to toy blocks (video)

    by 
    Amar Toor
    Amar Toor
    04.25.2011

    We've seen plenty of portable solar chargers in our time, but few have looked quite as versatile as B-Squares -- a new collection of 3D modular energy storage devices that can be arranged in various configurations, according to the kind of gadget you're looking to juice. Developed by MIT grads Jordan McRae and Shawn Frayne, each solar-powered B-Square features a sticky microsuction surface, along with magnetic and electric contacts at each corner, making it easy to connect and arrange them in different formations. Rotating a single square will change its electrical circuit, depending on its adjacent connection. Some B-Squares, for example, feature LED surfaces, allowing you to create solar-powered lanterns, while others have solar panels, or simply serve as rechargeable battery sources. There's even a square devoted to Arduino boards, along with another surface designed to dock and charge iPhones. McRae and Frayne have already put together a full "recipe book" of different configurations, though the DIY route seems a lot more enticing to us. Their B-Squares are set to leave the prototype phase on May 1st, at an as yet unspecified price. Check them out in video action after the break. [Thanks, Ryan]

  • Arduino geiger counter brings open source radiation detection to the geeky masses (video)

    by 
    Joseph L. Flatley
    Joseph L. Flatley
    04.18.2011

    Need to detect radiation? We sure hope not -- but if you're looking for a straight-forward, altogether geeky geiger counter, the Libelium gang has your back. En route to the Tokyo Hackerspace as we speak (and believe us, they need it), the Radiation Sensor Board for Arduino is a low-cost alternative to existing devices. It's available now either with a compatible geiger tube for €95 ($135) or without for €65 ($50). Hit up the source link to get started, but not before peeping the thing in action after the break. Is there anything you can't do with Arduino?