arduino

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  • The Awesome button is...

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    04.08.2011

    Ever struggled to find the perfect adjective to articulate your admiration for a given article of awesomeness? Matt Richardson over at Make felt exactly the same way, so he perfected himself an Awesome button, designed specifically to spit out synonyms for his favorite descriptive word. To accomplish the task, he had to gut a Staples "easy" button and arrange a Teensy USB microcontroller inside it, before making the resulting mini-thesaurus compatible with his computer. Don't worry, full instructions are contained in the video above. Just mash the play button.

  • Man steers R/C car with his hands, not to mention an HTML5-based web app (video)

    by 
    Sean Hollister
    Sean Hollister
    04.03.2011

    With the right Arduino board, an R/C race car, a couple paperclips and the MacGyver spirit, we imagine most anyone can hack together a creative remote control these days... but how many can open-source an HTML5 web app that'll do the deed from any tablet, phone or PC? Gaurav Manek crafted just such a thing, and he'll demonstrate it for you on an Apple iPad in the video immediately above. What's more, he's also got a Kinect hack that uses Microsoft depth camera (with Code Laboratories' NUI SDK) to control the very same with the wave of a well-placed hand -- we're already envisioning fisticuffs should he and a lab partner try for some head-to-head racing action. That said, you don't need to wait for an illustrious creator to have all the fun. Why not download his source code at our links below and give it a go yourself?

  • Watch-controlled robo-tot grasps small objects, the meaning of life (video)

    by 
    Sam Sheffer
    Sam Sheffer
    03.30.2011

    It may seem like there's an abundance of robot news lately, but we're just trying to please our mechanical overlords deliver the latest in gadget and technology news. What we've got here is an Arduino-based robo-gripper that serves only to move around and use its 3D printed claws to grab tiny objects that we'd otherwise be too lazy to pick up ourselves. The robot, infused with a Texas Instruments CC1110 dev kit, is controlled using an accelerometer-based Chronos watch and can move in all directions by simply tilting the timepiece. If you want to take a gander at this little guy in action, check out the video past the break -- it's always warming to see humans having the upper hand against the machine.

  • Keyglove ditches QWERTY for one-handed computer control (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    03.29.2011

    We've seen some pretty ambitious hand warmers in our day, but this one takes the cake. Keyglove is an Open Source Hardware (OSHW) project that's intended to eliminate those clunky keyboards and unmanageable mice from the computing process altogether, instead engaging a series of conductive sensors that, when touched together, mimic a keystroke. The mitt's creator says the traditional mobile keyboard is "either too big to be portable, or too small to be easy to use," adding that his solution would eventually become second nature just like touch typing. Keyglove is an Arduino and AVR-powered device that also incorporates an accelerometer to control mouse movements. It's apparently fully customizable and allows for a total of 60 unique touch combinations -- impressive, sure, but it took us long enough to figure out the home keys on the real thing. If you dream of a world full of one-handed typists, check out the video after the break, or follow the source link to find out how you can donate to the project.

  • Cube made of 512 LEDs does 3D with calculus, not glasses (video)

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    03.21.2011

    No goofy active shutter glasses, no headache-inducing parallax barrier screens, no optical trickery here. This is a pure 3D display -- unfortunately done at a resolution of just 8 x 8 x 8. It's a hand-built LED cube created by Nick Schulze, powered by Arduino, and driven largely by Matlab. Yes, Matlab, an application you probably deleted less than three minutes after signing off on your calculus final. We can't help you find that installation disc again, but we can encourage you to enjoy the video of this 3D matrix of blinkenlights after the break, and you can get the full details on how to build your own at the other end of that source link.

  • NAVI hack uses a Kinect to let the blind see, wear awesome headgear (video)

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    03.17.2011

    They're getting ever more practical, these Kinect hacks. Two days ago it was creating 3D models in free-space, today it's letting the blind see. Well, not really see, but better navigate through and stay informed about their environment, at least. A Kinect is attached to a helmet and connected to a backpack-mounted Dell laptop. Also connected to the laptop is an Ardunio-controlled belt that has three separate regions of vibration and a Bluetooth headset of the "obnoxious guy talking loudly to his stock broker on the train" variety. Finally, thanks to a little C#, the whole package allows someone to walk down a hall and receive verbal and tactile notifications of obstacles in their path. Wearers can also receive navigation to different areas and, thanks to ARToolKit identifiers stuck on the walls, even have signs read to them. It's called NAVI (Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired), created by Michael Zöllner and Stephan Huber at the University of Konstanz, and it's all demonstrated for you below. Dig that hat, man. Dig that hat.

  • RoboTouch brings NES controller to iPad

    by 
    Dana Franklin
    Dana Franklin
    03.16.2011

    Mix a handful of micro servos, an old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller, a pinch of open-source Arduino magic, an iPad running Reckless Racing, a few pounds of ingenuity and elbow grease, and what do you get? Most of us would probably end up with an iPad and a small yard sale. But avid technology tinkerer Joven of ProtoDojo used these ingredients to build a contraption that let him play his favorite iPad game using a classic Nintendo controller. "I hacked my old NES controller to control micro servos with custom conductive arms that simulate touches to the screen of my iPad," writes Joven. "The servos are attached to the screen with mini suction cups and can be easily positioned for any game." The RoboTouch appears impressively responsive in the video demo below, allowing its builder to play Reckless Racing, a game fittingly reminiscent of R.C. Pro-Am for the NES. Joven hasn't provided the complete recipe for cooking your own Nintendo-controlled iPad, but he does briefly explain how to convert a classic NES gamepad into a USB flash drive secured by the Konami Code. He also suggests this article as a reference for adapting your old NES controllers for use with Arduino. Keep reading to see the video demo.

  • Hack connects NES controller to iPad using robo-fingers

    by 
    Mike Schramm
    Mike Schramm
    03.16.2011

    The solution found after the break for using an NES controller with Reckless Racing on the iPad is more mechanical than anything -- it attaches the boxy gamepad to a series of robotic fingers that interact with the iPad's capacitive touchscreen. But that doesn't make it any less awesome.

  • RoboTouch brings a wired NES controller to a wireless iPad (video)

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    03.15.2011

    Oh Arduino, is there anything you can't do when put in the right hands? The hands in this case belong to a guy named Joven of ProtoDojo, and they whipped up the contraption you can see in the video below. Basically, it's a wired NES controller that goes to an Arduino board, which in turn controls a set of servos. Those servos articulate conductive arms to touch the screen in just the right places. The whole contraption enables a rather playable version of Reckless Racing, making it feel all the more like the RC Pro Am successor it's trying to be. Check it out in the video below, and then hope that Jovan hurries up and posts the instructions so we can start building our own. [Thanks, Chad]

  • LikeLight lights up your likes with Legos, Arduino (video)

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    03.15.2011

    How long has it been since someone lit up your life? Since someone gave you hope, to carry on? As it turns out all you need for that is a box of Lego, an Arduino board, and a bit of your time. Ad agency Redpepper has successfully proven its abilities to generate buzz by creating this "LikeLight," an up-scaled version of the blue pixelated thumb that makes Facebook denizens get all in a tizzy. This bigger version is almost guaranteed to generate even greater tizzies, glowing blue thanks to a combination of clear bricks outside and four LEDs inside. Code is even provided that pulls data from the Facebook Graph API to light up those bricks -- and your life.

  • Kinect + homemade Power Gloves = 3D modeling in free-space (video)

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    03.15.2011

    The Kinect hacks keep rollin', and we just keep on lovin' every one of 'em -- despite most being decidedly non-practical. This one actually is, created by Sebastian Pirch at 3rD-EYE, a media production company. He's made a free-space 3D modeling tool using a Kinect camera to track his hands, which he uses to create points in space and draft a model. To provide greater control he then made two Arduino-powered gloves that detect finger touches -- basically DIY Peregrines. Using different connections of finger-presses he can move the entire model, move single points, create new points, create new polygons, and basically do everything he needs to do to create a mesh, which can then be imported into 3ds Max for further refinement. He even manages to make it all look fun, thus besting Lockheed Martin's similar system that's powered by zombies.

  • Networked 'On Air' light illuminates when webcast begins, dims when it ends (video)

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    03.08.2011

    We won't get into the myriad ways to impress one's audience while engaging in a live video podcast, but here's one that slides into the 'surefire' category. The crafty folks over at MAKE decided to construct an automated On Air light for their new live sessions, and rather than automating it with a human hand flipping a switch at a predetermined time, they decided to wire it up to receive signals from a UStream API. In essence, the light is programmed to turn on when the podcast shows 'online,' and turn off when that status changes to 'offline.' It's a beautifully simple concept, and yet, so illuminating. See for yourself after the break.

  • Kinect hack turns Arduino-controlled delta robot into aggressive claw crane (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    03.07.2011

    Candy crane, teddy picker, claw machine, whatever you call it, this arcade mainstay was robbing children of their golden tokens long before we slid into our first pair of Hammer pants, but despite the changing face of the plush offerings within, the crane game's remained mostly the same. Now a team of students at the Bartlett School of Architecture have produced a Kinect hack that could change the way you drop that claw. The rather temperamental delta robot enlists the ever-hackable peripheral in combination with Processing and Arduino to mimic the movements of a user's arm. As you can tell by the video below, the delta hasn't quite figured out the subtleties of human gestures, but the robot's creators say they intend to implement "several autonomous behaviors" once all the kinks are worked out. Frankly, we'd pay our weight in tokens to see the crane game bite back at an unsuspecting whippersnapper. Video after the break.

  • RixRover is the cheap RC car controlled by a rather more expensive Arduino and netbook combo (video)

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    02.16.2011

    Driving RC cars never gets old, but driving them over the internet is truly something magical. Welcome to the RixRover, the creation of Quebecer Pierric Gimmig. It's a cheap RC truck fitted with big knobby tires that's had its ABS body removed, replaced by an Arduino board and a netbook. The car itself cost about $45, the Arduino about $30, and Eee PC 1005-series netbook about $200. But the result, being able to drive the car over remotely via streaming video, why that's quite simply priceless. Video after the break and, if you want to try your hand at this, there's some source code on the other end of the source link.

  • Elaborate Arduino tutorial explains the nuts and bolts of communicating over GSM

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    02.06.2011

    If you're looking to make yourself somewhat more productive on this lazy weekend, and you've got an Arduino or two collecting dust, we've got just the thing to add line after line to your dwindling to-do list. Tronixstuff has a borderline insane tutorial series going, and as of now, 27 chapters have been published. It's essentially the Arduino Bible, but the two most recent additions in particular have piqued our interest. With the explosion in mobile broadband, even hackers are looking to get their creations online. If you've mastered the art of Arduino, but haven't yet been brave enough to toss in a bit of GSM communication, the how-to guides linked below definitely deserve your attention. Just be careful how you write that code -- one wrong line with a SIM card installed could lead to text overages that'll take two lifetimes to pay off.

  • Real-life mailbox mod tells your iPhone when you've got snail mail (video)

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    01.22.2011

    Do you spend your days desperately awaiting credit card bills, coupons to Pizza Hut, and reminders from your dentist's office that it's time for another cleaning? We've pared down our dependence on USPS, but for those who still get physical communications of note, Make has developed an Arduino-based mailbox mod that sends push notifications when the post is in. Back in 2005, we saw a clunky device called POSTIN that did much the same thing. Thankfully, this system doesn't require an extra gadget, instead it sends messages straight to your iPhone. The postal alert system uses a snap-action switch, connected to an Arduino sensor, to signal when your mailbox is opened. A piece of code waits for the signal and then requests a URL from a PHP-enabled server, pushing an alert to your cellphone using the Prowl iPhone app. Die-hard USPS fans can check out the instructional video after the jump.

  • iPhone receives push notifications from real-world mailbox

    by 
    Steve Sande
    Steve Sande
    01.20.2011

    Sure, push notification is nothing new for iPhone users. But when was the last time that you received notification that real-live mail -- the kind made of atoms, not bits -- has shown up in your mailbox? One of the new evil geniuses at Make Magazine online, Matt Richardson, decided he'd like to get notification when the flesh-and-blood mailman delivers something to his mailbox. Using a standard USPS-approved mailbox, he installed a snap-action switch that signals when the mailbox door has been opened. That switch is connected via wire (yeah, I was also surprised that it wasn't wireless) to an Arduino. Some simple code watches for the mailbox door to be opened and closed, and then grabs a piece of PHP code from a web server that also has to be running. The PHP and web server are necessary since Matt is using the Prowl: Growl Client app (US$2.99) to get the push notifications. Prowl requires an SSL connection, which that Arduino can't make. As Matt notes, the end product is something that can send push notifications to your iPhone whenever some physical state changes -- when the garage door is left open, when home power usage exceeds a certain level, etc... Any switch or sensor connected to the Arduino can send a push alert. There's video of the construction and use of the setup on page 2. [Tip of the hat to Boing Boing and Gizmodo]

  • DIY ArduSpider robot battles household pets, beats other homemade gifts

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    01.14.2011

    So Christmas is coming and your daughter asks you to build her a robot after she sees you building so many for yourself -- what do you do? You could build a cute and simple robot, or you could do what Jose Julio did and build something like the Arduino-based ArduSpider robot (since nicknamed Sara), which he's now showing off for everyone to see. As you can see in the video after the break, the bot is able to both operate autonomously or be controlled remotely, and it packs a surprising number of tricks, including the ability to get tired or bored, and even some basic gymnastic and acrobatic skills. Interested in building your own? You can find all the details and code you need at the source link below.

  • Mechanized joystick built to control iPhone tilt sensor, rack up high score

    by 
    Matt Tinsley
    Matt Tinsley
    01.12.2011

    What do you do when you just can't get that high score you're looking for in Tilt to Live? You build a computer that's better at playing the game than you are. For Shane Wighton, that turned out to be a mechanized joystick for tilt-controlled iPhone games. When Shane couldn't achieve the score wanted on Tilt to Live, he asked himself, "[Can] I program a computer to detect patterns in the enemies, be strategic, and make the best moves using its superior reaction time and raw processing power?" As part of answering that question Shane's made the above illustration a reality by building a mechanized joystick with an Arduino, some servo motors and metal. The next phase is for Shane to mount the webcam, write the code that will actually play the game for him and, hopefully, rack in some damage on the score board. Check out the video after the break to see the beast in action. Shane, we're looking forward to seeing how this works out for you. From all of us here at TUAW, we wish you the best of luck. Go get 'em! [Via Joystiq, TouchArcade]

  • Nixie tube reverse geocache box makes us long for the 80s, our very own spy card

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    01.12.2011

    This reverse geocache box reminds us of something out of Mission: Impossible -- the second-run of the TV series, not that dreadful Tom Cruise franchise -- only it won't self-destruct in five minutes. It will, however, unlock when it reaches a pre-programmed location. Like the Deluxe Reverse Geocache, this box gives its holder a mission should they choose to accept: use the display to find the box's final resting spot. Unlike its predecessor, this one uses three nixie tubes, not an LCD screen, to track the box's distance from its destination. A built-in Arduino GPS sensor does all the tracking, and a servo motor pops the top when triggered. The refashioned French army medical box operates off of three D-cells, and can do about 600 GPS fixes before powering down. We're definitely fond of this throw-back treasure chest, we just wish it had a built-in audio player for bumping the MI theme. Yeah, we said it.