Tag Archives: Arduino Yún

This Arduino-powered plant wants to take a selfie

As part of their “Secret Life of Objects” class, a group of CIID students created a selfie-taking plant. 

Without question, 2014 will forever go down in history as the year of the selfie. You’ve seen them just about everywhere, whether it’s your Facebook news feed, Instagram stream or running rampant on Snapchat. The idea of taking a photo of oneself and sharing it has become ubiquitous, transcending well beyond just a fad and into a self portrait reimagined for the age of social media. Selfies are believed to make up nearly one-third of all pictures taken by people between the ages of 18 and 24, not to mention, over half of all men and women have snapped at least one at some point in their lives. Now what if plants could do the same?


That was the idea behind a recent project from students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. As a way to explore how the general public would react to the idea of nature interacting with their social lives, the group of Makers developed the aptly named Selfie Plant

“In recent times, the selfie culture has risen in popularity, but it has also raised a few questions,” the team explains. “Whether the selfie culture helps to build self-esteem or does it force us for self-obsession? Is it an expression for admiration or is it to achieve a sense of self, place and community? What if nature gets addicted to this selfie culture?”


The project expresses itself in the form of nice-looking selfies, which it captures based on its mood, weather and occasion. Impressively, the potted plant mimics human behavior by giving its best pose and adjusting the camera angle to take the ideal shot. And what would a selfie be without being shared online? The plant then goes on to post the images on Facebook.

The plant is powered by Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), which controls a set of servo motors and adjusts the position of the plant and camera stick. Meanwhile, a Python script communicates with the Facebook’s graph API to post the captured photos on the plant’s profile.


In an effort to further bridge the gap between mankind and its environment, the CIID students hope to one day make the plant autonomous. Until then, you can watch it in action below or read more about it on GitHub here.

This DIY quadcopter is built around an Arduino Yún

A group of Makers have designed an Arduino-based drone that can be wirelessly controlled from any device. 

Developed by Makers Simone Castellani, Giovanni Intorre and Andrea Toscano as a Master’s project at the Universita’ degli Studi of Milan, Comelicottero is a quadcopter driven by an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4) and wirelessly controlled from any PC or mobile device.


Aside from its on-board Arduino, Comelicottero is equipped with an accelerometer and gyroscope tasked with handling its stability through a PID-based command system.

From take off to landing and everything in between, the ground station communicates with the flying apparatus over Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, the user can manage and monitor all incoming data from their drone through a gamepad attached to the laptop running custom software. The Makers decided to swap out the Bridge library for an efficient Python script on OpenWRT-Yun in order to maximize the Yún’s capabilities.


Moving ahead, the Makers are looking to finalize their autonomous navigation system, which is currently undergoing testing due to magnetometer interferences with the motors’ magnetic field. As our friends at Arduino note, the sketch and all of its documentation will be made available on GitHub and released with GNU license in the near future. Until then, watch it in action below!

Connect your Philips Hue lights to real world data with Zymbit

Change the color of your office’s Philips Hue lights based on subscribed data streams.

In today’s constantly connected world, it seems like we’re notified of just about everything from emails and missed calls to social media updates and appointments. As a result, a growing number of innovators are seeking less obtrusive ways to provide you with your daily notifications. This will enable you to keep tabs on important information without constant interupttings and having to look up at a computer screen or down at a phone.


And so, Zymbit co-founder Roberto Aguilar has devised a slick system which connects his office’s Philips Hue lights to real world data through the use of Zymbit’s pub/sub framework. Rather than having to be alerted through irritating sounds or unnecessary vibrations, the Maker has created a much more natural, less distracting way of consuming content. Take for instance, the weather or mass transportation. A blue illuminated wall can indicate that it is freezing outside, while red illuminations can denote that the subway is quickly approaching. In his case, Aguilar has employed an Arduino Yún-powered LED device on his desk that he calls Zymbob. Essentially, the Arduino subscribes to the color data stream and controls the lights.

In order to bring this idea to life, the Maker began by coding a simple app for his friends to tweet a color to his LEDs. Whenever a color is mentioned in a tweet, it is published though Zymbit’s pub/sub. According to Aguilar, at first the app knew less than a dozen or so colors, and has since been extended to over 500. Meanwhile, another app running on a Raspberry Pi Model B+ subscribes to the color messages and adjusts the bulb’s Hue accordingly. Luckily, the app is small enough and can run on the Yún (ATmega32U4) to modify Zymbob’s lights.


As for its software, the project called upon the Tweepy Python package to connect to the Twitter API, the phue Python library to sync with the Philips Hue bridge, the Zymbit Python package to pair with the Zymbit itself, as well as the Zymbit pub/sub engine. Beyond that, Arduino sketches were completed within its IDE.

“All in all, the project was quite successful! The biggest problem is the way I listen to tweets; there can be pretty long delays between sending a tweet and having the lights change colors. There’s probably a better way to ‘listen’ for tweets than constantly polling,” Aguilar writes.


Moving ahead, the Maker hopes to subscribe to more data streams, thereby allowing him to command the Hue lights directly from his Raspberry Pi rather than having to piggyback the Hue bridge.

Seems cool, right? In case you’re unfamiliar with Zymbit, the end-to-end IoT platform enables Makers, engineers and developers to transform their smart ideas into real-world, connected products in blistering speed. On the hardware side, the solution gives users the ability to transition their Arduino or Raspberry Pi proof-of-concept to a professional-grade item using its modular Atmel | SMART-basedATECC108-protected devices. What’s more, the team has designed remote management software that will let users easily connect and control their gadget from anywhere, both securely and transparently — as seen in the Hue Data Channel project.

Intrigued? Head over to Zymbit’s official page to learn more.

Giving the elderly independence with Temboo and Arduino

Watch as the Temboo team explores how the IoT might allow older people to retain independence with a choice to keep family informed as needed.

As America’s population of retirees grows, as does the number of citizens over the age of 65 making decisions as to where to spend their retirement funds. Advances in healthy living have enabled people to remain active well into their senior years, and according to a recent AARP survey, 87% of retired adults would prefer to remain in their homes or communities as they age. In their latest episode of Deconstructing IoT video series, the Temboo team explores how the Internet of Things (IoT) can help our elders retain their independence, all while still keeping their families informed


To do so, the Temboo team built an application that employs an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), a microphone, and a motion sensor to monitor an independent retiree who is living alone, and then logs activity data to a Microsoft Power PI database using Temboo so that family members can make sure that nothing is amiss. Should something go wrong, Temboo’s PagerDuty and Nexmo Choreos allows for alerts to be immediately sent to loved ones.

How it works is as follows: The Yún streams movement data from the motion sensor to Power BI. If that data is anomalous, it will trigger a PagerDuty alert that can be transmitted to family members or caregivers. The Yún also monitors and listens for cries for help using its attached mic, and if triggered, will send dispatch an SMS alert using Nexmo.


For those who’ve lived through the late ‘80s and ‘90s, you have surely seen those Life Alert commercials with Mrs. Fletcher yelling, “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Since then, there have been numerous attempts to develop solutions geared towards providing the elderly real-time support in the event of an emergency, especially when they’re unable to reach a phone. As we enter an era of constant connectivity, applications like this one from Temboo can certainly play an integral role giving our seniors their independence while giving loved ones a peace of mind.

Watch the video below for a step-by-step breakdown of the project!

Building an IoT app for vertical farmers with Temboo

Watch as the Temboo team reveals how a smart architecture app can be used to improve urban agriculture. 

With urban populations expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future, this will lead to an increase in demand for access to nutritious food in cities. As recent Maker projects have demonstrated, not only does urban farming offer an ideal alternative to satisfy this demand, it has a number of additional benefits as well. For instance, growing food locally minimizes carbon footprint, serves as a source of income generation, and provides employment opportunities in the community.

TEmboo 3

Limited space, high pollution and variable access to light can make urban agriculture a challenge, however. In a recent episode of their Deconstructing IoT video series, the Temboo team created a smart architecture app to show how vertical farming could be integrated into the built landscape to overcome these obstacles. In doing so, they were able to control the delivery of natural and artificial light to their crops using the Nexmo API, and then base their decisions on UV and weather forecast information from EnviroFacts and Yahoo Weather.

In order to make this project possible, Temboo employed an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), a light or temperature sensor, two transistors, switchable glass, a little wiring, a breadboard, and some artificial light. How does the system work, you ask? As soon as the sensor detects suboptimal growing conditions around the plant, it triggers a phone call alert using the Nexmo Voice CaptureTextToSpeechPrompt Choreo. This notification can give a user the option of either turning on an artificial light source or shading their plant with switchable glass. In order to help make that decision, a call alert can also be configured to offer real-time UV and weather information, which is obtained using the EnviroFacts UVForecast HourlyUVByZipcode and Yahoo Weather GetWeatherByAddress Choreos. From there, they would simply have to press a number key to make the glass opaque and turn on the lights.

Temboo 2

What’s more, the app can extend its capabilities to include ideal growing conditions based on plant species, email notifications, real-time memos for ready-to-be-picked crops, and even mobile payments via Stripe. With spring officially here, the timing couldn’t be better to get started! You can watch the entire episode of Destructing IoT below for a step-by-step breakdown of the build, as well as find each of the aforementioned Choreos on the Temboo website.

Building an RFID cat tracker with Arduino and Zymbit

Keep tabs on those tabbies with this Arduino-based RFID monitoring system.

Getting a cat to use their litter box can sometimes be a daunting task, especially for pet owners like Maker T.J. Reed’s sister who owns more than one feline. In this case, vets typically suggest designating one litter box for each cat to “give them their own territory.” For many, this seems to be a suitable solution. For Reed’s sister, that wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, at least one of the cats continued to use various parts of the house as its bathroom.


In an effort to curb this problem, the Maker devised an RFID cat tracker that would help monitor the activity of the three boxes and determine which of the cats was causing a territorial issue by using them all.

The so-called CatFlap devices also allowed Reed to see which cats are inside the house — all from 200 miles away at his desk. Being that the litter boxes are in the garage, there’s always a chance that a cat will run out when the garage door is open. Since they live in a coyote-heavy area, this can cause some concern. By using an indicator, like a Philips Hue lightbulb, the Maker will be able to use the cats’ location-based data to assign each one a color, so that his sister could see if it was safe to open the door.


In order to make this project work, Reed used three Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), a SparkFun RFID evaluation shield, an RFID module, and a phototransistor, along with a Philips Hue starter kit. The Arduino code was written using the Arduino IDE, while the Maker employed the Zymbit Pub/Sub code to enable the system to interact with the cloud.

“The evaluation board uses pins 7 and 8 on the Yun to communicate with the RFID chip serially. Serial RX wouldn’t work over pin 7, so I used jumpers to do my communication over pin 10 and 11. I tried using a Leonardo to see if it was a Yun-specific issue, then I found documentation suggesting to not use triggers on pin 7,” he writes.


Zymbit was developed to serve as an end-to-end, open-source platform that would enable Makers, engineers and developers to transform their ideas into real-world, connected products in blistering speed. On the hardware side, the solution gives users the ability to transition their Arduino or Raspberry Pi proof-of-concept to a professional-grade item using its modular Atmel | SMART-basedATECC108-protected devices. What’s more, the team has designed remote management software that will let users easily connect and control their gadget from anywhere, both securely and transparently — as demonstrated with CatFlap.

While the initial prototype was a success, Reed hopes to build his own antennae to reduce the obstacles in the litter boxes’ pathways and to set up Twitter accounts for each pet that will detect and properly point out the culprit cat.

Intrigued? Head over to the project’s official page here.

Creating an Internet-connected ordering button with Parse for IoT

Parse uses the combination of an Arduino, a button, and its SDK to simulate ordering toilet paper when running low. 

Just the other day, Amazon announced their Dash button, a connected device that lets shoppers reorder frequently used household domestic products like laundry detergent and paper towels with a simple touch. Inspired by the recent system, the Parse team decided to create one of their own using an Arduino Yún, (ATmega32U4), a push button and the newly-revealed Parse for IoT SDK.


Much like the Amazon Dash Button, this DIY device simulates the process of ordering toilet paper when the roll begins to run low. This was accomplished by attaching a push button to the Arduino and using a small breadboard so that the button would sit neatly atop the board. These electronics were then housed inside the Arduino’s actual packaging, which was spray painted to make it a bit more aesthetically pleasing.


“Taking this example further, you could associate devices with user accounts, fully integrate with Shopify or another API (or build your own) and offer a premium push-button experience for people using your app,” the team adds.

Impressively, the entire application consists of less than 100 lines of code. Given the rise of the Internet of Things, you can expect to see many real-time systems like these begin to take shape, and surely Parse for IoT will help streamline the development process. Intrigued? Read more about the project on Parse’s official blog, or get started by heading over to its Github repository here.

25 dev boards to help you get started on your next IoT project

A closer look at some of today’s most popular development boards to help you get started on your next IoT design.

With billions of everyday objects expected to become Internet-enabled over the next couple of years, Makers are continually seeking new ways to add connectivity to their designs. As a result, hobbyists and engineers are turning to a wide range of IoT development boards and platforms to better accelerate and ease the process.

Being at the heart of the IoT and all, we’ve decided to compile a list of just some of today’s most popular, Atmel powered ones that will surely help as you embark on your next prototype or project. (Keep in mind, there are countless others, with new ones popping up on the daily!)

SAM R21 Xplained Pro


The Atmel | SMART SAM R21 Xplained Pro is a hardware platform to evaluate the ATSAMR21G18A microcontroller. Supported by the Atmel Studio integrated development platform, the kit provides easy access to the features of the Atmel ATSAMR21G18A and explains how to integrate the device in a custom design. The Xplained Pro MCU series evaluation kits include an on-board Embedded Debugger, and no external tools are necessary to program or debug the ATSAMR21G18A. A great option for those developing an 802.15.4/ZigBee design.

Arduino Uno


The Arduino Uno R3 is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328. It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which six can be used as PWM outputs), six analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. Simply connect it to a computer via a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.

Arduino Yún


The Arduino Yún is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32U4 and the Atheros AR9331. The board comes with built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi support, along with a USB-A port, microSD card slot, 20 digital input/output pins (of which seven can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, an ICSP header, and three reset buttons. What’s more, Facebook’s Parse recently unveiled a new line of SDKs for connected devices with the first Arduino SDK targeted for the Yún.

Arduino Pro Mini


Intended for semi-permanent installation in connected objects, the Arduino Pro Mini is based on the ATmega328. The board boasts 14 digital input/output pins (of which six can be used as PWM outputs), six analog inputs, an on-board resonator, a reset button, and holes for mounting pin headers. A six-pin header can be connected to an FTDI cable or Sparkfun breakout board to provide USB power and communications.

Arduino Nano


The Arduino Nano is a small, breadboard-friendly board based on the ATmega328. The microcontroller has more or less the same functionality of the Arduino Duemilanove, but in a different package. It lacks a DC power jack, and works with a Mini-B USB cable instead of a standard one.



With an Atmel ATmega256RFR2 at its core, Pinoccio is a wireless, web-ready MCU packed with Wi-Fi, LiPo battery and a built-in radio. Each unit can communicate with one another using a mesh network, making them 14 times more efficient than standard Wi-Fi devices.



The TinyCircuits TinyDuino is an Arduino-compatible, ATmega328P based board in an ultra-compact package that provides Makers with the full power of an Uno in a size that’s less than a quarter.



UDOO is a multi-development platform solution for Android, Linux, Arduino and Google ADK 2012. The board, which is built upon an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU, is designed to provide a flexible environment that lets Makers explore the new frontiers of the Internet of Things and switch between Linux and Android in a matter of seconds, simply by replacing the MicroSD card and rebooting the system.

Libelium Waspmote


Waspmote is an open-source, ATmega1281 based wireless sensor platform specially focused on the implementation of low consumption modes to enable the sensor nodes to be completely autonomous and battery powered, offering a variable lifetime between one and five years depending on the duty cycle and the radio used.

The AirBoard


The AirBoard is a thumb-sized, all-in-one MCU designed for ultra-fast prototyping on IoT projects. The open-source board is equipped with an ATmega328P and pre-loaded with the standard Arduino Fio bootloader. The wireless-friendly computer supports automatic over-the-air programming via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or XBee, and can be controlled by smartphone or the web.

Tessel 2


Tessel 2 is an affordable, accessible and robust development platform that lets Makers build connected hardware devices. The board packs built-in Wi-Fi, an Ethernet jack, a pair of USB ports, and a system that runs real Node.js/io.js. Meanwhile, it employs a processor/coprocessor architecture, combining an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Cortex M0+ MCU to control I/O and a Mediatek MT7260n Wi-Fi router SoC to run user code, host USB devices and handle the network connections.



panStamps are small wireless modules programmable within the Arduino IDE. Each module contains an Atmega328P MCU and an RF interface, providing the necessary connectivity and processing power to create autonomous low-power wireless motes.



Flutter is a $36 wireless Arduino with a half-mile range that lets users develop mesh networking protocols and connected devices in an efficient yet inexpensive manner. It’s perfect for robotics, consumer electronics, wireless sensor networks, and educational platforms. Flutter is packed with a powerful Atmel | SMART SAM3S Cortex-M3 processor, while an ATSHA204 crypto engine keeps it protected from digital intruders.



SODAQ is a LEGO-like rapid prototyping board driven by an ATmega328P that gives Makers and engineers the ability to easily connect a wide variety of sensors and devices to the Internet efficiently. With its solar powered data acquisition technology, data can be collected virtually anywhere and seamlessly transferred to the web.



Billed as the smallest Arduino Leonardo compatible clone, the IMUduino includes an ATmega32U4 at its core, as well as USB keyboard/mouse emulation, on-board Bluetooth LE, real-time orientation and motion sensing IMU, as well as a 10V max voltage regulator.

SparkFun RedBoard


The SparkFun RedBoard combines the simplicity of the Arduino Uno’s Optiboot bootloader, the stability of the FTDI and the R3 shield compatibility of the latest Arduino Uno. The ATmega328 based board can be programmed over a USB Mini-B cable using the Arduino IDE.



The XinoRF is an Arduino-compatible electronics development board with an onboard 2-way Ciseco SRF data radio, which supports over-the-air programming, features built-in wireless capabilities and is powered by an ATmega328P.

The Rascal


The Rascal is a small, AT91SAM9G20 powered computer that Makers can use to monitor and control their connected world remotely. In addition, it features its own web-based editor on-board, is compatible with most Arduino shields, and can be programmed in Python.



Microduino is a quarter-sized Arduino-like board with an ATmega328P at its heart. With a unique UPin-27 pinout, Microduino’s plug-and-play modules can be easily stacked together to add functionalities.



Nanode is an open-source, Arduino-like board that is equipped with built-in Internet connectivity and based on an ATmega328P. The low-cost, upgradeable board is ideal for those looking to bring their IoT ideas to life.

OpenKontrol Gateway


The OpenKontrol Gateway is an ATmega328 driven kit that enables communication between many common mediums and protocols. It is totally compatable with the Arduino IDE and supports Wi-Fi, low-power RF, Ethernet and Bluetooth. Beyond that, it can be configured with on-board SRAM, an SD card, a real-time clock, and a coin-cell battery and sports an FTDI programming port.

Arietta G25


Arietta G25 is an uber-mini system-on-module powered by a SAM9G25 ARM9 processor. The 20mm x 50mm board, which was developed with the Maker community in mind, is ideal for low-power, embedded gadgets and other DIY IoT devices.



WIOT is an open-source, rechargeable development board for the Internet of Things built around the ATmega32U4. WIOT also boasts integrated Wi-Fi capabilities through an on-board ESP8266 module.



SmartEverything is a dev board equipped with sensor options, communication interfaces and connection to the cloud for IoT designs. An Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M0+ based CPU USB host orchestrator chip manages traffic between peripherals, while an Atmel CryptoAuthentication device (ATSHA204) enables the implementation of a full security SHA-256 hash algorithm with message authentication code. The board utilizes the SIGFOX global network cellular connectivity solution to enable access to the IoT.



Apio is an open-source IoT platform, which lets Makers and designers create their own smart systems and connected objects in a matter of minutes. It is comprised of two USB devices, the General and Dongle, both of which are based on an ATmega256RFR2 and ATmega16U2, along with a custom operating system and SDK.

LightBlue Bean


The LightBlue Bean is a Bluetooth Low Energy, Arduino-compatible microcontroller. Using Bluetooth 4.0, it is wirelessly programmed, runs on a coin cell battery and is perfect for smartphone-controlled projects. Powered by an ATmega328P, the board features a three-axis accelerometer, a temperature sensor, an RGB LED, and includes iOS, OS X and Windows 8 support.

Arduino powers this DIY pet feeder

This automated system helps take care of your pet while you’re away.

For those of you with pets, you’ve all been there: Your bags are packed, you’re all set to head out on a weekend getaway, and then suddenly, your petsitter bails. Or, much more likely, your vacation is planned yet there’s no one around to care for Fido while away. Whichever the case, you’re in luck thanks to a new DIY project designed by Maker and cat lover “prnet:” the Croccolino Feeder


As its name would suggest, the device is an automated system that is capable of feeding a pet when an owner is outside of the house for an extended period of time. The contraption can be programmed to facilitate eight scheduled feedings (enough for a long weekend), choose a serving size for each meal, as well as maintain a constant water level.


The project is based on an Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), which with some coding, enables the device to be connected to Wi-Fi and controlled via the Internet. The feeder features an audio/recording module that lets users record their voice and call a pet when it’s time to eat. This sound, of course, is emitted through an amplified speaker. What’s more, a series of micro-buttons allow a user to adjust the time and select scheduling, while a functional display reveals current food and water levels.


In order to bring this idea to life, the Maker employed several other components including an internal clock, a microSD card to store the information, a pair of recycled scales, a weight sensor module, a 5V relay module, a 9V stepper motor and driver, a mini water pump, an amplifier module, and some spare cables.

In the future, prnet hopes to include a webcam and a soft ball launcher as well, which would make the Crocolino Feeder an all-on-one petsitting system. Have a furry friend at home? You can get started on one of your own by checking out its official Instructables page here.

Here are some unbelievable projects to help celebrate Arduino Day

With Arduino Day celebrations just about to kick off, let’s take a look at some cool ‘duino projects!

Atmel powers Arduino. Arduino enables Maker. Maker inspires the world. While there are countless creations all over the web, we’ve compiled just a few of the most dynamic and different ‘duino projects from the past couple of months to help celebrate March 28th.

As you can tell, the open-source platform has come a long way since its inception a decade ago. Today, the Arduino family has grown to include more than two dozen low-cost boards, a community with hundreds of thousands of tinkerers and over a million (and counting) Arduino units in the wild.

So without further ado, here’s some of our favorite projects to kickoff Arduino Day festivities!

Unlocking doors by saying ‘open sesame!’


MIT student Dheera Venkatraman has developed a new way for users to wirelessly unlock their doors with simple Google Now-like commands.

Wearing an Enigma machine


Designed by Maker “Asciimation” the Enigma wristwatch is a fully-functional wearable that replicates the original machine, which was used to cipher secret messages in the 20th century.

Changing the TV channel with your mind


Maker Daniel Davis — who runs the website “Tinkernut” — has developed a homemade mind-controlled TV remote using an old Star Wars Force Trainer game and Arduino.

A wearable that lets you bring your teacher anywhere


Like a hawk-eyed professor, this wearable device literally puts a teacher looking over your shoulder.

This book cover judges you instead


Amsterdam creative studio Moore has turned the tables on an old-school idiom using a book sleeve equipped with an integrated camera and facial-recognition technology that scans the face of whoever comes near. If someone conveys too much emotion – whether overexcitement or under-enthusiasm — the book will remain locked.

Stopping cheaters in online video games


To end cheating in online video game tournaments, software engineer David Titarenco developed what he calls Game:ref. Built around an Arduino Mega SDK, the device is capable of identifying mouse-based cheats that are typically seen in FPS, MOBA, RTS and other competitive games, ranging from auto-clicking to aimbots.

Catch ‘em all with help of Arduino


Pepijn de Vos has created a system that acts as a Game Boy, storing a single Pokémon in EEPROM. This enables a user to trade between first-generation games using only a single console, all by themselves.

Tapping out tweets with on an old telegraph


Maker Devon Elliot outfitted an old telegraph sounder seated in a wooden resonator with some modern-day electronics so that it could tap out tweets.

Detecting air pollution with a Steampunk helmet


The Jacobson’s Fabulous Olfactometer is a head-mounted contraption that offers sensory augmentation for the human olfactory system under extreme living conditions of polluted cities.

Controlling electronic devices using cords


Inspired by a water hose, MIT’s Tangible Media Group wants you to control your connected gadgets with their cords. Imagine if tightening a knot could dim a lamp, attaching a clip on a power cord could put a computer to sleep or kinking its wire could power it on/off.

The Internet of Ethical Things?


Created by Simone Rebaudengo and Matthieu Cherubini, Ethical Things is a project that explores the effects of autonomous systems of the future as they head increasingly towards complex algorithms aimed at solving situations requiring some form of moral reasoning.

A smart table that listens and records meetings


As its name implies, the Listening Table combines pervasive data collection and the Internet of Things into a new concept, one in which office furniture can listen and record your conversations, using an array of dynamic microphones. When a meeting concludes, participants can see a high-level summary digest showing all the topics discussed.

Now that’s doing-knit-yourself!


The duo of Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet recently debuted the open-source circular knitting machine Circular Knitic. Initially built for a program called DOERS, which was curated by Arduino co-founder David Cuartielles, the DIY device was constructed using a RepRap printer along with some digital fabrication, laser cutting and MakerBeam, and is powered by an Arduino Uno.

Teaching a pup to send selfies


One Maker proved that, by using the combination of an Arduino Yún, Twilio and a big red button, anyone can train their puppy to send selfies.

Visualize your city’s mood through tweets


Maker Chadwick Friedman has devised a 3D-printed Twitter Mood Lamp that, as its name would suggest, changes colors to match the attitude of the city. The project is controlled by an Arduino Yún, which causes the device to emit either red, green, or blue based on whether the mood of the city is perceived to be angry, happy, or sad, respectively.

Tracking activities in lower Earth orbit


Berlin studio Quadrature has developed a custom-built machine, called SATELLITEN, that is capable of keeping tabs on the number of satellite flyovers and plotting them in real-time on a paper map with ink.

Playing real-world Space Invaders with real-world lasers


Martin Raynsford — who happens to be one of the owners of UK-based laser cutter manufacturer Just Add Sharks — decided to bring the classic game of Space Invaders to life using the hardware of a modified Whitetooth A1 laser cutter along with a laptop keyboard to serve as its gamepad. An Arduino Nano was mounted to a custom 80W laser controller to enable side-to-side movement to help shoot the paper invaders, each clipped to a plate and driven by stepper motors.

Dispensing music with Juice-Box


For a school assignment, Maker Jae-Hwan Jung devised a soda dispenser-styled jukebox in a project he calls Juice-Box. Programmed with an assortment of musical flavors, users can “dispense” tunes in their own cup-shaped MP3 player. Each dispenser denotes a different genre, such as favorites, jazz, hip-hop or the blues.

Sending encrypted messages using social networks


Made by Jochen Maria Weber, Cuckoo is device that uses social media as a means of private communication, and encrypts messages into randomly generated words, meanings and noise in order to scatter them over multiple networks simultaneously.

Get ready for your own robotic sidekick


PLEN2 is a 3D-printable, humanoid robotic kit consisting of a control board, servo motors and other electronic accessories that let Makers of all levels put together themselves. Programmed to mirror its human counterpart, PLEN2 aspires to revolutionize the relationship between homo and robo sapiens.

Time traveling through augmented reality and smell


A researcher employed an Arduino, an Arduino Wi-Fi Shield, a cheap computer fan and Unity3D software to explore the use of augmented reality within archaeological practice. A mobile app reconstructs real-world images by changing in real-time as the user moves about their environment, while a fan emits scents to make it as if you traveled to another time.

This drone attachment can save your life


Launched on Kickstarter by a group of Connecticut high school students, Ryptide is an Arduino-powered drone accessory that can deliver an automatically-inflating life preserver to a swimmer in trouble in seconds.

Using your brain and visual stimuli to play music


In collaboration with researcher Oscar Portolés, digital artist Fèlix Vinyals has developed a hybrid brain computer machine interface installation that allows him to create music and control the lighting during a performance on stage, all through the reading of the electric potential of his brain and visual stimuli.

A Bellagio-like fountain recreated with strings


Replicating the likes of the Bellagio world-renowned display mixed with a 1950s synchronized swimming performance, Paolo Salvagione has whipped up a kinetic sculpture that uses propulsion to elevate a continuous piece of string into the air.

Art Vader?


Crafted by Christopher Connell, this ambient Darth Vader poster wirelessly reacts to music playing in a room with various LED color-changing effects.

Automating your Etch-A-Sketch to recreate famous paintings


Evan Long decided to mod his old Etch-A-Sketch using an Arduino Uno to enable the toy to draw famous pieces of art, including the Mona Lisa. The Maker added 3D-printed custom mounts to its knobs, which housed a pair of two stepper motors and ULN2803 to switch the 12V required for the steppers.

Turning twerking into music


The Booty Drum is a high-tech musical device that, unlike most instruments, isn’t operated by your hands, feet or head for that matter, but by your posterior. This idea is a collaboration between headphone brand AIAIAI, professional dancer Twerk Queen Louise, Branko from Portuguese electronic band Buraka Som Sistema and Dutch design company Owow.

A robot that shovels for you


The next time that you’re expecting 12” of snow, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a machine that could do the tedious task for you — without ever having to step foot outside? Well, a Maker by the name of Boris Landoni has devised just that: a remote-controlled snow plow robot powered by an Arduino Uno.

Right on pointé


Designed by Lesia Trubat, Electronic Traces (E-Traces for short) are a pair of embedded pointé shoes which allow ballerinas to recreate their movements into visual sensations using an accompanying mobile app.

Chameleon-like jacket


Designed by Oslo, Norway design firm Drap go Design, the Interacket is an ATmega328-powered jacket that lets a wearer interact with the objects around them by mimicking their color.

Click your heels three times and call an Uber ride


Designed by Maker DJ Saul, Dorothy is a physical trigger that can turn a dumb ol’ shoe smart. Adhering to the “if this, then that” principle, the Ruby is an Arduino-based device equipped with a Bluetooth chip, accelerometer and coin cell battery, while its housing is 3D-printed. The small gadget can be either slipped into or clipped onto any piece of footwear and connected to a smartphone app that will automatically call a cab or send a message.

This talking fridge can sell itself


In an attempt to provide shoppers with a less intrusive experience, Samsung equipped a number of its refrigerators with Arduino units that were capable of detecting customers and speaking to them in real-time. Whenever movement was sensed by any of the fridge’s interior compartments, the Arduino sensors activated a voice playback and explained the appliance’s features and benefits to the prospective buyer.

When ‘duino found Nemo


Dutch design group Studio Diip modded an existing tank with wheels and sensors that would allow its inhabitant to operate the vehicle by swimming in a specific direction. The project, dubbed Fish on Wheels, is an attempt to “liberate fish all over the world.”

Color-changing fabrics react to heat and sound


Judit Eszter Karpati, a Budapest-based textile designer, wanted to further blur the fading boundaries between the digital realm and physical world. To do so, the Maker created an e-textile that alters its patterns based on its surroundings, which is made possible by an Arduino board, a 12V power supply and nearly 20 custom PCBs.

An interactive fabric you’ll want to touch


The brainchild of Esteban de la Torre and Judit Eszter Karpati, OCHO TONOS is an audible textile interface for multi-sensorial interaction, involving both touch and sound. The objective of the project was to create a soundscape through sensor technology inviting audiophiles to perform and explore with reactive textile elements.

Re-imagining the radio interface


Audio broadcasting radios have been around since the 1920s. In fact, their control interface share many similarities — knobs, sliders and switches — with those designed by our ancestors nearly 100 years ago. Seeking to redefine the entire radio control experience, Carnegie Mellon University design student Yaakov Lyubetsky built a fully-functional prototype of an Experimental Form Radio using an Arduino Uno.

Wake up and smell the coffee


For a majority of us, mornings just aren’t complete without your daily cup ‘o joe. Now, what if your instant coffee literally woke you up? Nestlé teamed with Mexcio City-based agency Publicis Mexico and Los Angeles studio NOTlabs to debut the Alarm Cap — a limited-edition, 3D-printed lid powered by an Arduino. The unique design is comprised of seven distinct alarm sounds, including a bird song, that are played in tandem with a gently pulsing light. To switch off the alarm, the user opens the lid and is greeted with the invigorating smell of Nescafé coffee.

This washing machine orders detergent when you’re out


Cloudwash — designed by the folks at Berg — is a prototype washing machine (based on a standard Zanussi model) connected to a web platform. The team created the futuristic device to explore how the ever-growing Internet of Things would change the appliances most commonly found in our homes, and to discover what new, innovative features would be made possible.

A floating orb captures and replays ambient noise


Created by Francesco Tacchini, Julinka Ebhardt and Will Yates-Johnson, 

Space Replay is a giant ball that constantly records and replays the sounds of public spaces, creating a delayed echo of human activity. To make the floating orb, the Maker trio used a latex balloon filled with enough helium to be able to lift a battery-powered, an Arduino, an Adafruit Wave Shield and a small speaker.

Samsung is making your bike smarter


Designed by Italian frame-builder Giovanni Pelizzoli and student Alice Biotti, the Samsung Smart Bike is built around an aluminum frame that boasts curved tubes to soak up vibrations from riding on rough city streets. The frame is also equipped with a battery, an Arduino board, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules.

Designing your own pair of Google Glass


13-year-old Clay Haight designed something not many kids would have even imagined, particularly at that age: a Google Glass-inspired, intelligent pair of glasses. The young Maker used the sensors on the Arduino Esploraand an Arduino LCD screen, before piecing it all together on a 3D-printed frame.

This robot wants to add AI to everyday household objects


Sure, robotic concepts are dime a dozen these days. The question is, however, how close are we to an era of ubiquitous multi-function droids? According to Flower Robotics, soon. In an effort to lower the barriers for development and adoption of in-house robots, the Tokyo-based design studio launched a futuristic, Arduino-based device that they call Patin.

Saying ‘I Love You’ with the IoT


Israeli design student Daniel Sher has developed a trilogy of creations that can transmit silent gestures between loved ones. Using an Arduino for all three devices, the Maker utilized the Internet of Things to establish a new way for loved ones to communicate from afar. The Maker incorporated a series of sensors and wires that allowed various physical traits to be measured and relayed across long distances.

Free beer for your timesheet 


Let’s face it, no one enjoys filling out timesheets — yet they are imperative in order to get paid. That’s why Minneapolis ad agency Colle + McVoy has devised a new way to not only get employees to fill out their time cards, but to reward them with some draft beer. Dubbed TapServer, the multi-keg beer deployment system combines RFID tags and some custom-written software to seamlessly sync with the agency’s time-keeping application. On the hardware side, the program is comprised of several Arduino Uno boards, a Node-based server, solenoids and a Raspberry Pi.

A modern-day message in a bottle


Created by ECAL graduate David Colombini, Attachment is an Arduino Mega-powered poetic machine that enables you to send text, images or videos into the air using a biodegradable balloon with the intention of “rediscovering expectation, the random, and the unexpected” uncommonly found in current means of communication.

Backpack destroys personal data 


The backpack — which was originally designed as an Art Center College of Design project — intercepts data that’s about to go to the cloud and ‘vaporizes’ it at the same time, creating both a real and symbolic shield. The backpack includes an ‘inhaler’ device that attaches to your hand and triggers it either when someone gets too close to the inhaler’s proximity sensor or when you breathe into it.

Taste the music on the radio


Can music be translated from something we hear into something we can taste? A group of students believed so, and decided to find out. Beatballs is a project created by 54 students from the Interactive Art Director program at Hyper Island in Stockholm who developed a code that translates specific songs into different meatball recipes based on tempo, cadence, mood, key, and other tuneful attributes. The team also devised a prototype of a machine made with Arduino and recycled objects.

Turning air pollution into art


Media artist Dmitry Morozov — more commonly known as ::vtol:: — found a way to turn offensive pollution into enticing art through a portable, Bluetooth-connected device entitled Digioxide. In an attempt to raise public awareness of the environmental pollution by artistic means, the Maker’s wireless creation uses a set of sensors to measure the presence of gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and even dust in the air, which are translated into volts. An Arduino algorithmically then converts those volts into various shapes and colors.

Lamp changes color with your mood


The Mood Lamp is an Arduino-based project created by Italian developer Vittorio Cuculo. The hacked IKEA lamp adjusts its lighting output based on the facial expression of a user.

A shape-shifting, morphing table


MIT’s Tangible Media Group launched a shapeshifting display that lets users interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM is equipped with 900 individually actuated white polystyrene pins that make up the surface in an array of 30 x 30 pixels. The interactive piece can display 3D information in real-time and in a more accurate and interactive manner compared to the flat rendering often created by computer user interface.

A kinetic-audio installation


In collaboration with FutureEverything and Moscow’s Laboratoria Art & Science Space, media artist Dmitry Morozov has designed a kinetic audio installation that emits quantum entanglement-inspired sounds.

Putting a unique spin on political debates


This interactive installation by Maker Georgios Cherouvim features a real-life demonstration of a vocal debate between two characters. Instead of a productive dialogue promoting their ideas on a range of issues from voting and local government to war and taxes, the “politicians” share a constant yet indecipherable argument with one another, causing the viewers to lose interest in the conversation and politics all together.

This wireless iPhone charger is a work of art 


Developed as part of a diploma project by a University of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (ECAL) student, Spira is a magnetic docking station that wirelessly restores power to an iPhone while turning the device into a decorative wall clock. Utilizing a blend of wood, metal and plastic, the Maker sought to devise an ambient frame that would enable a magnetized iPhone case to hang decoratively on the wall thereby giving it a “place of honor in the home atmosphere.”

Etching graffiti for those in the distant future


As we look into the future, have you ever considered how you might communicate with your distant offspring — say 50,000 years from now? Well, German artist Lorenz Potthast has. The Maker has created what he calls a “positive vandalism machine,” for communicating with next generations. The Petroglyphomat is a portable, computer-operated milling cutter that can pass along messages by etching them into ancient monuments.

Long exposure photos reveal invisible motions in sports


Canadian photographer Stephen Orlando has introduced a new way to visualize action sports through the use of LED lights and an Arduino. The technique reveals beautiful light trails, which are not artificially created using applications like Photopshop, and represents the actual paths of familiar objects.

This lamp mimics thunderstorms


Richard Clarkson has created Cloud, an interactive lamp and speaker system out of an Arduino, fluffy cotton and cloth cord. According to the designer, the installation acts as both a semi-immersive lightning experience — or as a speaker with visual feedback — to mimic a thunderstorm in both appearance and entertainment.

Experiencing the Northern Lights with Arduino


Many travelers consider the Northern Lights to be a mysterious phenomenon that is nearly impossible to explain to someone unless they have experienced it as well. French graphic designer Bertrand Lanthiez wished to bring that indescribable occurrence to the masses.

Brightening the Japanese waterfront 


GwaGwa — a creative duo comprised of Makers Masamichi and Kozue Shimada — is known for a number of their innovative installation, hand drawing and stop motion animations. Most recently, the team was commissioned by Smart Illumination Yokohama 2014 to design “Colors of the Wind Way” along the Japanese city’s waterfront.

This talking foundation wants you to drink more H2O


The Drink Up Fountain, a collaborative project between YesYesNo Interactive Studio and Partnership for a Healthier America, dispenses entertaining greetings intended to encourage everyone to drink more water more often. While the Drink Up device may look like a regular fountain, it sure doesn’t sound like one. When a drinker’s lips touch the water, the Arduino Mega-powered fountain utters phrases like “Refreshing, isn’t it” and “Your feeding one trillion thirsty cells right now,” thereby completing a circuit and activating its built-in speakers. Once the drinker pulls his or her head away from the water, the circuit breaks and the fountain stops talking.

Drawing on glow-in-the-dark surfaces with lasers


An Instructables user named “ril3y” has devised a slick CNC single point projector that can draw on glow-in-the-dark surfaces with lasers, aptly named Laser Glow Writer. The gadget is driven by Arduino Due, which runs the TinyG CNC motion controller firmware. The SAM3X8E-based board then controls the two stepper motors (X and Y axes) in a coordinated fashion, while turning the small laser on/off. Currently, ril3y is converting SVG images to Gcode, and putting them up on some glow-in-the-dark vinyl.

Wearing your Wi-Fi signal


Whereas a vast majority of us are in search of Wi-Fi signals on a regular basis, not many have been on a quest to visualize the networks that keep us connected in order to gain a better understanding of these wireless systems. In an attempt to do just that, architect Luis Hernan put together a psychedelic Kirlian Device capable of picking up on Wi-Fi signals and translating them into colored lights. Built around an Arduino and LED lights, the project was tasked with translating Wi-Fi networks into colors — red indicating the strongest signal and blue, the weakest.

A night at the museum — with robots


For several nights back in August, four robots roamed around London’s Tate Britain, each streaming video to the masses. If it wasn’t cool enough to have bots navigate a museum in the dark, it got even cooler as people from all around the world were able to control their movements right from their computers. Built in collaboration with RAL Space, the nocturnal tour guides each featured an on-board Wi-Fi receiver, an Arduino, a Raspberry Pi unit, lights, sensors, a powerful electric motor, and of course, video streaming technology. The units maneuvered around the grounds using a sonar sensor and a custom 3D-printed enclosure.

Humanoid can drive its own car


Aldebaran Robotics teamed up with RobotsLab to unveil a NAO robot that was able to autonomously drive a miniature BMW Z4. The vehicle was equipped with an integrated laser range finder linked to an onboard Ardduino, which was responsible for analyzing its surroundings and then relaying steering inputs to the NAO unit in the driver’s seat.