Tag Archives: Adafruit Trinket

3D print a Daft Punk helmet with Bluetooth-controlled LEDs


Harder, better, faster, brighter! 


If there is one musical group that has inspired more electronics projects than any other, Daft Punk has to be it. Besides just producing awesome electronic tunes, the helmets that they wear are filled with blinking lights. Adafruit’s latest helmet build, which is the brainchild of the Ruiz brothers, features a replica of Thomas Bangalter’s helmet and uses two microcontrollers for lighting control.

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Possibly the most impressive thing about this wearable is the work it takes to 3D print something like this. One not experienced with this type of machine might expect to press a button and see a shiny new headpiece to simply pop out of the machine, after printing, the three sections had to be joined together, painted, and sanded in several steps. Additionally, the visor was made separately, and heated to bend it into place.

Of course, the helmet wouldn’t be much fun without an array of blinking LEDs. The visor lights are provided by a NeoPixel strip, cut into two layers and embedded in the helmet. Animations for this portion are enabled by an Adafruit Feather 32U4 Bluefruit LE (ATmega32U4), which offers the ability to communicate over Bluetooth. This, in turn, allows animations to be controlled via a smartphone or even a smartwatch using Adafruit’s “BLE Connect” app. Meanwhile, the NeoPixel rings on the ears are managed by a 5V Trinket board (ATtiny85), with both rings sharing data, power and ground; certainly an interesting technique that one might want to keep in mind for later use.

 

These string racing robots are awesome


One Maker decided to build tiny autonomous robots that could go back and forth along some string like a cable car. 


According to Adafruit forums user HarpDude, “Back in the 1980s, my college-aged brother designed a simple motor+battery car that raced along a string between the birch tree and the street-side power pole. For years now, we’ve been improving on the design.” Although this seems like a fun experiment by itself, one major weakness of the design was that it crashed at the end of its run, needing a human to catch it.

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Now 30 or so years later, encouraged by his son the ‘Dude decided to get back into electronic design. Proving that no Maker project is never really finished, he decided to start making these racers again. This time though, his goal was to make them autonomous, able to avoid crashing at the end of the string.

HarpDude’s background is in transistor-based logic, but after discovering the Arduino for himself, it seemed like a this type of system would work well in his device. Adafruit’s Trinket, with an ATtiny85 at its core, fit the bill perfectly for his little device, and at around seven bucks, wouldn’t be a tragedy if one did end up crashing.

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Currently, his string racer can be used in two modes, “Boomerang,” which travels to the end of the line and comes back, and “Pong,” which goes back and forth continuously. Besides racing, perhaps something like this used with a tiny camera to take neat video footage, or with a slower motor in time-lapse mode.

Only a true Maker has a Christmas tree like this


Zach Burhop’s Trinket-powered piece is complete with 3D-printed ornaments and a custom LED star.


Two years later and Zach Burhop’s Christmas tree is still spreading some holiday cheer. Back in 2013, the industrial designer by day and Maker by night may have built one of the most geeked-out decorations of all-time. And with December 25th quickly approaching, we figured what better time to reminisce about the amazing tinyAVR-powered piece — complete with 3D-printed ornaments and a custom LED star.

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“I was very disappointed in what you can buy — mostly just classical decorations. I saw the ornaments and had started playing around with the LEDs and thought this would be an awesome mashup,” Burhop explained.

In terms of electronics, the engineer (who happens to be a huge Adafruit fan) had some NeoPixels and Trinkets (ATtiny85) lying around. A two-meter LED strip was driven by the tiny MCU, and ran through the center of the tree, fading out through the branches. Another Trinket was tasked with controlling the 3D-printed tree topper’s animations. He also picked up an AC brick at a local thrift store, which handled all of the necessary power requirements for the 120 or so lights.

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What’s more, you’ll notice that Burhop selected a white tree, which proved to be the ideal backdrop for the flickering, addressable RGBs and colorful DIY ornaments. Trust us, you’ve got to see it in action.

 

Light the menorah with an ATtiny85 and LEDs


Add some colorful LEDs to your Hanukkah celebration!  


The Evil Mad Scientist’s Mega Menorah 9000 is an updated take on the traditional hanukkiyah, a nine-armed Hanukkah candelabrum. But instead of candles, this DIY kit swaps out flames for ultra-bright LEDs capable of producing all kinds of colors and flickery effects.

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The Mega Menorah 9000 has an Adafruit Trinket (ATtiny85) at its heart, and is powered by either USB or a 5V DC source. The device is USB programmable via the MCU’s built-in interface.

“No additional hardware is needed (other than the computer and standard USB cable), and you can use the Arduino IDE or avrdude (with some config changes). Our example code (standard firmware) is available for download and is written as an Arduino program, making use of the Lightweight WS2812 library,” EMSL writes.

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When turned on, the menorah displays the correct configuration of LED “candles” (just without all that wax) for each night of Hanukkah. Every time that a user presses the “night” button or plugs it in, the ATtiny85 based candelabrum will trigger one more light than it had the previous time. The LEDs are lit up in the traditional sequence, each with a candle-like fade.

The Menorah Mega 9000 features a candle lighting sequence, which allows a user to adjust the brightness level and dim intensity, turn on/off flicker mode, as well as enhance its beauty with one of 24 built-in color combinations. And for the more elegant folks, despair not! This DIY hanukkiyah is equipped with blue/white blinky modes. To change the tone, simply press the “color” button.

“From a control standpoint, it’s awfully nice that they’re managed by just a single pin of the microcontroller, and have the built-in ICs to handle colors and dimming,” EMSL notes.

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The Mega Menorah 9000 ships as a soldering kit and includes a pair of circuit boards: an oval-shaped one that holds the MCU, USB jack and control buttons, and another carved in the likeness of a menorah with nine RGB LEDs and connectors.

When completed, the accessory makes for an excellent holiday centerpiece. Measuring just 6” tall and  7.5” wide, the menorah can rest easily on any window sill, mantel or wherever else its creator desires. But perhaps one of, if not, the coolest things about this unit is that it boasts a unique “Trompe-l’œil” PCB design. Although it is actually flat, this gives the illusion of a rounded 3D surface.

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Interested? Head over to Evil Mad Scientist’s official page here. In the meantime, happy holidays!

Watch this low-cost, Arduino-compatible bot draw on its own


This group of Makers built a 3D-printed, Arduino-compatible robot that can draw and write.


Dating back to the late 1940s, turtle robots have been employed for computer science and mechanical engineering training. These low to the ground gadgets were later perfected by Seymour Papert, co-inventor of the Logo educational programming language in the 1980s. Papert’s models had carried out assigned drawing functions using a small retractable pen set into or attached to the robot’s body.

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Well, the MakersBox crew decided to take this concept and apply it to a 3D-printed, Arduino-compatible doodling robot of their own, which was originally conceived as part of a recent 10-hour workshop for ChickTech.org. Their device, equipped with a pen in the center of its body not unlike its predecessors, works by wheeling around a sheet of paper as it simultaneously draws shapes.

The bot is based on an Adafruit Pro Trinket 3V (ATmega328), along with a pair of steppers, a driver, a micro servo and four AA batteries for power. The Makers also created eight different 3D-printed parts, which included the chassis, wheels, pen holder and stepper bracket.

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The robot itself is programmed using a set of commands relating to its position on a piece of paper. The Trinket can be configured to move the robot backwards and forwards, rotate it in both directions, as well as raise and lower the pen so it’s not always drawing. Intrigued? Check out the Makers’ entire project here, or simply watch it in action below!