Tag Archives: Arduino nano

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Maker mods his NERF blaster into a fully-functional Halo 5 MA5D


A DIY weapon for Humans vs. Zombies — with an ammo counter, scope and all!


Jeremy Chang is a big fan of Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ), a live-action game where players try to survive a post-apocalyptic world using soft toys like socks and foam dart guns. Well, in this case, the Maker decided to do something a little different and add another layer of roleplaying to his HvZ experience by modding his NERF blaster to resemble a Halo MA5D assault rifle.

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This device boasts a number of impressive features, which range from a digital ammo counter to a functional scope. Based on the fictional United Nations Space Command weapon, the 3D-printed replica certainly looks ready to obliterate zombies.

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In order to get the iconic shape of the MA5D, Chang used some 3D-printed part to upgrade his blaster. On the inside, Chang employed an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) to detect trigger pulls, a few reed switches in the chamber to determine the current ammo count and an Adafruit 128×64 OLED lit with a NeoPixel LED. (The color on the screen change as the percentage of ammunition goes to zero.) The display even has a functional mission timer and will reveal if the clip is not fully closed. Aside from all that, a 5V scope adds a nice finishing touch to the MA5D prop.

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Intrigued? You can check out Chang’s entire build here.

Automat

Coolest dorm room of all-time?


Inspired by Derek Low’s Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm, one undergrad at Rice University decided to add some smarts to his room as well.


During his freshman year at UC Berkeley, which as you could tell by the old tunes of Justin Bieber tunes in the video below dates back to 2012, Derek Low set out to create the most ridiculously automated dorm room in the school ever. After working diligently on the project for three months and shelling out several hundred dollars, BRAD (the Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm) came to fruition. The student outfitted his living quarters with remote-controlled lighting, music and curtains, voice activation, as well as a number of other features like a low-light ‘romance mode’ and a ‘party mode’ complete with a fog machine, strobe lights and disco ball.

The now four-year-old project recently inspired another college student to pursue something similar. Rice University undergrad Jordan Pole built a modular system — aptly dubbed RRAD — employing three NRF24L0+ transceivers, two Arduino Nanos (ATmega328) and a Raspberry Pi. The setup consisted of three different types of nodes: actuation (for switching relays and solenoids), sensory (for measuring and reporting room brightness, temperature and motion), and hub (for hosting the control panel, recording room data, providing an external interface for live updates and coordinating information between the other two nodes). What’s more, the hub also allows Poles to manage things throughout his dorm using an Android phone with Tasker.

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To no surprise, this neat project went on to become a quarterfinalist in last year’s Hackaday Prize. Since then, Poles has been developing an improved automation system, equipped with voice recognition. You can read all about it here.

SAM_4383

Add a touchscreen to your oscilloscope


This Maker replaced his oscilloscope’s knobs and buttons with a touch interface. 


Igor, the author of the “More Than User” blog, decided that his unwieldy button and knob interface on his oscilloscope wasn’t good enough. He chose to enhance it with a touchscreen ripped out of a Preistigo 7” tablet, using an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) to convert these signals into something that the scope could understand.

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This stated goal of this project was to “remove keyboard completely, instead add touch screen to control oscilloscope.” As seen in the video below, the project is a success, and Igor can control quite a few scope parameters with the press of an onscreen button or the swipe of a finger. As he puts it, he “managed to emulate keyboard data with ATmega328, then I just mapped all the codes that was used to control DSO [digital storage oscilloscope], and bascially that’s all.”

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Despite his humble description of the project, actually implementing this solution involved quite a bit of work. The COM port wasn’t working correctly, so he had to find and analyze the keyboard interface pins and revers-engineer the protocol for it. He recommends getting a logic analyzer for tasks like this, as the job will be much easier, especially since he was working on the same scope that he was using for analysis!

If that weren’t enough, the touchscreen itself had to be set up, including multiple broken component issues that had to be dealt with. In the end, it now works well, and is mounted on a nice wooden stand. The Nano is displayed proudly on the front, with wires radiating toward the touchscreen, which should be useful for troubleshooting and modification in the future!

Cube

The world’s tiniest RGB LED cube


This 4x4x4 cube measures only 2cm on each side.


If you read Atmel’s blog, chances are that you’ve seen a programmable LED cube. Given the amount of soldering involved, adequate space between each light would seem like a necessity. Hari Wiguna, however, decided that he could make a 4x4x4 cube measuring only 2cm on each side. In other words, as seen in the first video below, it would roughly fit on a quarter.

This build took Wiguna “months to build, but it’s finally done,” and, unless he hears differently, it is the smallest 4x4x4 LED cube in existence. Soldering, as shown in the second video, seems that it was quite a nightmare, but at least he had a custom PCB on which to set his LED stacks once they were assembled. For work that small, he needed a fine-tip soldering iron, but had to actually build his own set of jigs to assemble everything correctly.

The circuit, seen in the third video uses an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) to control the 64 RGB LEDs used. It’s a very clever setup, modeled after the Charliecube design found here. The four stacked LEDs are each rotated 90 degrees to each other, allowing its diode property to separate out each light’s signal.

The resulting animations are quite impressive — amazing for something this size! Check out the three clips below for even more background on this tiny wonder.

Dirt

This Roomba sucks up dirt to the Jaws theme song


Maker Marcel Varallo doesn’t just vacuum, he goes to war against the dust mite.


Lucky for those who hate sweeping and vacuuming floors, there are robotic devices that can take care of these tedious tasks for us. And although Roombas do a fairly decent job in cleaning our homes, like with most things, it could do better. This is why Marcel Varallo decided to upgrade his iRobot 530 Series into a dust mite-battling vehicle that he calls Doomba.

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Ever since the Roomba made its debut, hackers have loved getting their hands on the bots and modifying them to suit other purposes. Initially, Varallo simply wanted to “jazz up the default speed” of his roving gadget, but why stop there? He proceeded to make a few more modifications, such as mounting a webcam to the front and adding a UE Boombox that emits the iconic Jaws theme and the Flight of the Valkyries as it sucks up its prey.

A Raspberry Pi with Wi-Fi enables webcam hosting, remote triggering of tasks and schedule management, while wireless control is handled through a PS2 receiver dongle and an Arduino Nano (ATmega328). Varallo even included a capacitor bank to prevent brownouts from the Doomba’s SPI port.

“By the end of all this it had blown out to something much bigger than I intended and was more work than I would have liked,” the Maker admits. Those wishing to mod their own robotic vacuum should check out Varallo’s detailed project page.

 

 

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Automate your curtains with Arduino


Hate getting up to close the curtains? This Maker has developed a Bluetooth-controlled solution for the lazy.


Curtains are quite useful for privacy and blocking excessive sun, but who has the time or energy to get off of the couch and close them? Certainly not engineer Jordan Tallent, who decided to instead design and build his own wireless curtain controller using an Arduino Nano with a Bluetooth module.

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Tallent soldered the Nano (ATmega328) a stepper driver and the Bluetooth module onto a printed circuit board. Though he says that the results were a little messier than he would have liked, he wanted it to have a small footprint, which he seems to have accomplished.

The motor is physically attached to the wall below the curtain rod, along with a free pulley on the other side of the window. To pull the curtains, a piece of fishing line is wrapped around a pulley mounted to the stepper motor as well as the free pulley on the other side. Resourcefully, binder clips were tied to this fishing line and clipped to the curtains on opposite sides of the “string circuit,” allowing both to open or close depending on the motor’s direction.

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Tallent intends to eventually write an Android app for his phone and implement clock functionality via a real-time clock chip. For now he’s using a communication program called Bluetooth spp tools pro to communicate with his device. This enables him to type “o” to open the curtains and “c” to close them, which seems to work nicely in the demonstration video below.

Chi

This machine can chop veggies like a pro


Simone Giertz is back — this time with a machine that can chop broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and just about anything.


Already equipped with several quirky machines that take care of most of her morning routine (from getting out of bed to brushing her teeth to feeding her breakfast), the innovative and always hilarious Simone Giertz has taken her ingenuity to the next part of the day: lunch.

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That’s because the Maker, who happens to be a lifelong vegetarian, has developed a terrifyingly awesome Chopping Machine. And like her other inventions, the gadget was designed to automate a particular task that would otherwise require spending time and effort.

Why, you ask? “Because I’m lazy (?),” Giertz says. “I’ve spent a significant amount of time chopping, mincing and dicing all varieties of vegetables. Eating healthy is boring enough in itself, why does preparing healthy food have to be such a tedium?”

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The Chopping Machine is exactly what it sounds like: a mechanism that can literally chop veggies. It consists of an Actobotics system, two knives and a pair of servo motors, all driven by an Arduino Nano (ATmega328).

The device itself is relatively simple, yet pretty dangerous nevertheless. (Translation: don’t try this at home!) Two servo motors lift the knife up and a spring at the bottom pulls it right back down. With it, Giertz can now slice broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and pretty much anything else… even the board itself.

Intrigued? Terrified? Fascinated? See it for yourself below!