Tag Archives: ARM Cortex-M3

Ario is a smart lamp that mimics natural lighting


Ario learns your habits, syncs to your body clock, and keeps you healthy through natural lighting patterns.


While the idea of a smart bulb waking you up in the morning is nothing new, one Bay Area startup has decided to take that concept one step further to help get you through the day and then ease into sleep at night. Ario is an intelligent lamp that not only mimics natural sunlight by changing its color as the day goes on, but its direction as well, to keep your body clock in sync and improve health.

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The lamp itself is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and boasts LEDs that generate bright blue light in the morning, followed by warmer amber light in the later hours. Ario can be controlled using its accompanying mobile app, on-device buttons, a wall switch, and is even fully capable of functioning autonomously.

To get started, you simply plug Ario into the wall, link it to your Wi-Fi network and then sit back and let it do the work. The lamp will then determine where you are and comes up with a lighting schedule that evolves with you over time. Even better, Ario works automatically. So if you unplug your lamp for days or weeks and then plug it back in, Ario knows what to do, even when the Wi-Fi is down. It is equipped with a battery-backed real-time clock and program storage, and intelligently calculates the appropriate variations in light depending on the lamp’s geographical location, the time of day, seasonal and local weather patterns, and your daily schedule. Ario is rated to produce 2400 lumens.

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Is there a need for such a lighting system? You bet! According to its creators, the vast majority of Americans spend more than  eight hours a day under unnatural light, which can throw off the body’s internal clock by as much as three hours and prevent it from performing at optimum levels. Instead, Ario will help improve your circadian rhythm, sleep habits and general health.

“Today’s indoor lighting is static, as if the sun were fixed in the sky. This is unnatural and has major implications on our sleep, mood, immune system, weight, and overall well-being,” the team writes.

Previous studies show that staring into bright, blue-white computer digital screens at night can disrupt your ability to catch some Zs. What’s nice is that this smart lamp can be programmed to automatically dim by a certain time each night. And what’s more, Ario integrates with other Wi-Fi smart home appliances to make your life easier.

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In terms of hardware, the unit is built around an ARM Cortex-M3 core along with two light engines, a highly-integrated LED controller and a Particle P1 Wi-Fi module, which together provide Ario’s lighting power and control.

Are you ready to make long, dark days a thing of the past? Then head over to Ario’s Kickstarter campaign, where its team has already garnered well over its asking goal of $50,000. Delivery is expected to get underway in September 2016.

Readybox may be the world’s fastest consumer 3D printer


This desktop 3D printer can extrude six times faster than existing 3D printers without any risk of clogging.


Readybox is a super speedy 3D printer reportedly capable of spitting out objects six times faster than other leading consumer 3D printers.

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The brainchild of University of Maryland engineering student Brett Potter, the ReadyBox was born out of his own frustrations with the lack of quality in most user-friendly devices. He discovered that although many of these printers are affordable, they aren’t always so reliable. Constant malfunctioning leads to ongoing maintenance and new parts, none of which are cheap. Making matters worse, the speeds associated with such 3D printers generally run on the slow side of the spectrum — not great for when time is of the essence. So as any Maker would do, Potter decided to build a unit of his own that fully satisfied his appetite and met each of his demands.

“Our dream is to push the 3D printing industry forward to the point where 3D printing is a truly household technology. In order for this to happen, consumer 3D printers need to be as fast and as reliable as the industrial printers currently on the market. Readybox is designed to be the next step in achieving this goal,” Potter shares.

As the Maker explains, a majority of 3D printer movement systems max out at around 200-250mm/second, often restricted by friction and the heaviness of its own components. Not to mention, even if a printer can overcome these obstacles and its speed, it is then limited by extrusion as most extruder motors can only apply a certain amount of force to plastic filament before the filament breaks or the motor stalls.

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Thanks to Potter’s patent-pending extrusion system, Readybox is able to avoid these constant hurdles and to apply significantly more force to the plastic. This eliminates clogging and enables the filament to flow faster than previously thought possible. This means that, although Readybox uses a larger 0.6mm nozzle, it can move at speeds much faster than existing machines on the market — we’re talking up 400mm/seconds and layers between 50 and 450 microns thick. To put things into perspective, models that would normally require upwards of 20 hours on other gadgets takes less than three hours on ReadyBox.

And not only can it produce objects with incredibly great detail, its impressive build volume allows it to take full advantage of its high speed. Designed to provide users with a professional-grade service on their desktop, Readybox will automatically calibrate itself, level its heated build plate and clean its nozzle before going on to the next job, thereby ensuring that every print is as accurate as the first. These features, coupled with the clog-free extrusion system, eradicate the most commonly experienced problems seen with other consumer printers.

In terms of electronics, ReadyBox boasts a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 core and an easy-to-use LCD screen with SD card support so that it can print by itself, even when a PC isn’t present. Additional specs include:

  • Printer size: 550cm by 55cm by 56cm (21.5” x 21.5” x 22”)
  • Print area: 33cm x 33cm x 33cm (13” x 13” x 13”)
  • Layer thickness: 0.05mm (50 microns) to 0.4mm (400 microns)
  • Top print speed: 400mm/second at 0.05mm layer thickness
  • Travel speed: up to 700mm/second
  • Nozzle: 0.6mm
  • Filament: PLA (2.85mm or 3mm)

Ready for faster prints without sacrificing quality? Head over to Readybox’s Kickstarter campaign, where Potter and his team are currently seeking $12,500. Delivery is projected for next spring.

Bikiros is a smart guardian for your child’s bike


Bikiros is a smart bicycle accessory and app that ensures children are safe while learning proper riding skills.


Learning to ride a bike is one of the biggest milestones and challenges in your child’s life. But the question is, how can you teach your kid to bike while having a peace of mind? With cycling attributed as the top cause of children’s injuries, parents need a device that helps with safety awareness and teaches their children how to maneuver their bikes without getting hurt. This is a problem that one Hong Kong startup is looking to solve. Bikiros monitors, evaluates and educates children on biking safety.

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The accessory uses four key features to teach children to be better cyclists: keeping an eye on risky biking behaviors, predicting immediate threats in the area, warning when risks are detected, and incentivizing through rewards and games. Risky biking behaviors could include late braking, tailgating, handling obstacles, high-speed cornering and more. After sensing dangerous behavior, Bikiros will then warn the biker by alerting them. After evaluating the rider’s weaknesses, its accompanying app will educate through games, comics and cartoons to teach the child better skills and ways to respond to risks while riding.

There are three components to the safety riding accessory: a rear, wheel and front module. The rear module is packed with an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU, supersonic sensors, a six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, a warning LED, GSM and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS and a 6000mAh battery. The wheel module is equipped with a six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope speedometer. Lastly, the front boasts another ARM-based MCU and three supersonic sensors, along with a horn and buzzer, a photoresistor, and a temperature and humidity sensor.

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The sensor-laden device is able to perceive all kinds of behaviors and match them according to the current biking environment to best determine if there is a potential risk that requires looking into. Through a proprietary algorithm and the embedded supersonic sensors, Bikiros can accurately pinpoint objects that may pose threats to the biker and take the necessary actions. And should impact be detected, it will trigger followup procedures to ensure help is on its way.

Tomy Chan, CEO of Bikiros, founded the company to provide others with second chances. He stated, “Last year, I was paralyzed and hospitalized for 11 hours due to thyrotoxic periodic paralysis. I felt like I was given a second chance and inspired to do what I believe in, technology could help to protect lives. And safety awareness is most important as bad choices leads to accidents and regrets.”

Want to keep your children safe? Head over to Bikiros’ Indiegogo campaign, where the startup is raising $45,000. Their estimated delivery date is set for March 2016.

Oval is the world’s first digital handpan


Oval is a new electronic instrument that allows you to play, learn and perform music using any sound you can imagine.


The brainchild of one Barcelona startup, Oval is a Bluetooth-enabled and MIDI-compliant USB device with multi-sensing pads and LEDs that helps users learn, play and create music. The electronic device, which doubles as an open source music controller, pairs to a smartphone, tablet and computer to allow musicians of any level to develop new sounds and share their compositions using its accompanying app.

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Inspired by the handpan family of acoustic instruments (which resembles the classic steel drums of Trinidad and Tobago), Oval offers total freedom to make various notes and piece them together to perform an entire tune. This is accomplished through its Android and OS-friendly mobile app, as well as any MIDI-compatible software. Like a mini four track sequencer, the app lets users upload their own sounds and play them in different scales, add effects, adjust the sensitivity of its touchpads, download other songs, and pretty much anything else a percussionist would ever require.

“There are other ways to enjoy music besides listening. You are never too old or too young to experience the awesome feeling of playing an instrument and creating music. We believe that learning music should be fun and instruments have to be made to be ready to play right away. The Oval speeds up your music learning curve by leveraging the power of technology, gaming and sharing with others,” the team writes.

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The Oval takes the design, ergonomics and musical qualities of handpans to create an electronic instrument that can be as simple for a beginner to start exploring music as a means of expression, and as complex as a professional musician needs it to be for layering samples and real-time looping. Its durable yet lightweight case is comprised of all natural materials like bauxite, marble and quartz, and comes in three colors: white, red and grey.

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Designed with portability in mind, the unit itself only measures about 16” x 16″ x 5” in size and weighs roughly seven pounds. Oval is equipped with pressure-sensitive pads which illuminate to provide visual cues for tutorials, metronome mode and music-driven games. Meanwhile, housed inside its shell lies an Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E Cortex-M3 MCU for its brains, a Bluetooth Low Energy module for connectivity, and a lithium battery for recharging via USB. What’s more, the instrument comes with a jack that can be used to input pedals or an external controllers.

Whether you’re a pro musician looking for a new tool or just someone who misses the steel drum sounds of the Caribbean, head over to Oval’s Kickstarter page today. The team is currently seeking $109,492 and hopes to begin shipping units out by spring of next year.

DrumPants will turn you into a walking one-man band


This open-source, Arduino-compatible wearable controller lets you make music and play games from your body.


Admit it, you’re the best darn drummer that your morning carpool has ever seen. The only problem is that, as you thump your thigh to the beat of your favorite song, the world can’t enjoy the awesomeness that resonates from your leg. Well, thanks to the latest Indiegogo campaign from Bay Area-based startup Tappur, now they can.

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DrumPants 2.0 is exactly what you think it is: a wearable musical kit that magically turns your clothing into a full band with over 100 built-in sounds. If this seems familiar, that’s because you may have come across the team back in 2013 when they successfully introduced their first prototype on Kickstarter. Initially conceived by Tappur co-founder Tyler Freeman as a prank to play on his drummer friends, the concept eventually transcended well beyond a simple stunt and into a master’s project, an educational tool used to teach teenagers about programming and music production, and finally what it has become today: an industrial, production-ready wearable music kit.

DrumPants is comprised of two wearable sensor strips and a control box, that when attached to any item of clothing, enable a wearer to play a beat by simply tapping their body. The pair of sensors can easily be removed as well, making it the ultimate portable instrument. Its control box — which is based on an Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M3 MCU — is equipped with an ultra-low latency Bluetooth 4.0 chip, an embedded sound engine for a 1/8″ headphone jack, 128 instrument sample banks and a micro-USB for connecting to a laptop or PC. Meanwhile, its sensors can be placed anywhere on the body, whether that’s a snare drum on an upper thigh or a cymbal on a knee. Want a kick drum or a looping pedal, too? Wearers can bring that functionality right inside their shoe through a set of footpads.

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After the successful completion of its crowdfunding campaign, the latest iteration of DrumPants features dramatically improved software and firmware upgrades, along with support of Apple’s Bluetooth over MIDI protocol. What’s more, the team says it will be unveiling their hardware designs to the open-source community, as well as Arduino libraries and sketches for making high-performance wireless instruments.

“We will also release the firmwares needed to run the hardware: an Arduino Due library+sketch for converting sensor data into individual hits and MIDI messages, the UI (LED control and knob/buttons), and EEPROM memory/storage management. It will also include a patch to the Arduino project source code for a class-compliant USB MIDI implementation on the Arduino Due ARM processor (SAM3X8E),” the team writes.

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Every musician — whether recreationally jamming out in the car or professionally putting together some tunes in the studio — can use DrumPants’ wearable controllers to play 150-plus sounds, and record, loop and edit their melodies with more than 300 music apps in the Apple store, not to mention any MIDI/OSC apps. This lets users rock out with all four limbs and create music in ways not possible with an MPC or tabletop MIDI controller. There’s also a built-in metronome for those looking to hone that rock steady tempo while on the go — whether that’s on the bus, on a coffee break, or at home waiting for a YouTube video to buffer.

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Users can either play the DrumPants with headphones, or an external speaker for those confident enough to share with others. Though DrumPants were originally designed with the music industry in mind, the sensors actually provide a number of additional uses. As billions upon billions of connected objects emerge, this system will prove to be a prime example of a creative, alternative way to control those smart devices. In fact, the kit can be programmed to perform additional actions with a tap, whether that’s silencing a phone, browsing a website, switching slides during a PowerPoint presentation, interacting with virtual reality games, or assisting those with disabilities to command in-home appliances. No buttons or new gestures required.

“It’s 2015. Wireless instruments are the future of performance and electronic musicianship. A completely portable one will help you make music easily. Now, you can invent a beat or melody, and tap it out on your body—just like you already do,” its creators add. “We hope it will provide an educational base for many Bluetooth musical instruments to come: as a solid codebase to make your own DIY instruments, and as a reference for other musical instrument manufacturers to implement MIDI over Bluetooth LE.”

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Geared towards the Maker crowd, DrumPants is Arduino-compatible and allows tinkerers to devise their own sensors and upload their sketches for maximum hackability. This opens up a plethora of possibilities, ranging from using it as the brain for a piezo drum trigger or plugging in any kind of resistive sensor to send MIDI CC data with bend sensors, photoresistive light detectors and ribbon sliders.

Want a set of DrumPants of your own? Head over to its Indiegogo page, where Tappur is currently seeking $35,000. Shipment is expected to begin in September 2015.

Not just for the music crowd, here’s a look at some other cool things these wearable sensors can do.

DrumPants puts an entire band in your pocket


This kit lets you play music right from your body using 100+ sounds and 300+ music applications.


Ever catch yourself drumming on your pant leg? Your table? Your desk? Your steering wheel? Well good news, starting a one-man band is now as simple as wearing DrumPants. Dubbed by its creators Tyler Freeman and Lei Yu as “the world’s industrial quality wearable musical instrument,” the kit magically transforms your outfit into a full ensemble with 100+ high-quality sounds.

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As previously reported on Bits & Pieces and recently seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, DrumPants is comprised of two wearable sensor strips and a control box, that when attached to any item of clothing, enable a wearer to play a beat by simply tapping their body. The pair of sensors can easily be removed as well, making it the ideal portable instrument.

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Though DrumPants were originally designed with the music industry in mind, the sensors actually provide a number of additional uses. In fact, each strip can be reprogrammed to trigger actions within a wide variety of apps, ranging from answering their phone, to controlling a streaming video, to playing a game. The software can also take output data from certain Atmel based Arduino boards and manipulate it in real-time, in case any industrious Makers wish to utilize the sensor strips to drive another gadget entirely.

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Its control box — which is based on an Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M3 MCU — is equipped with an ultra-low latency Bluetooth 4.0 chip, an embedded sound engine for a 1/8″ headphone jack, 128 instrument sample banks and a Micro-USB for connecting to a laptop or PC. Meanwhile, its sensors can be placed anywhere on the body, whether that’s a snare drum on an upper thigh or a cymbal on a knee. Want a kick drum or a looping pedal, too? Wearers can bring that functionality right inside their shoe through a set of footpads.

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DrumPants comes with its own apps — DrumPants PRO and Neil Peart — allowing users to easily adjust the tone and pitch of each sound and to upload their own customized effects. What’s more, the kit is compatible with all MIDI or OSC apps, including Loopy, Ableton Live, Reason, Animoog and Pandora to name just a few. This lets users record, loop and edit their own musical masterpieces, or even map taps to keystrokes for games. And for those wishing to extend their system’s capabilities, an Expander Kit offers users with six additional sensors.

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Co-founder Tyler Freeman first developed DrumPants as a prank to play on his drummer friends, but went on to modify the innovation into an industrial, production-ready wearable music kit. Since its successful launch on Kickstarter, its creators have gone on to make numerous event appearances and modify a few of its features, some of which were stretch goals during the crowdfunding campaign. These include a built-in metronome for those looking to hone that rock steady tempo while on the go — whether that’s on the bus, on a coffee break, or just at home waiting for your videos to buffer. Beyond that, the device now boasts a volume range of audio samples, customizable MIDI note duration, more robust firmware, and improved pedal algorithms.

Interested? Check out Tappur’s official project page here, and watch it in action below. Heading to Maker Faire Bay Area? Get ready to rock out with the team inside our booth!

Akolyt is a smart sensor that doubles as a personal driving assistant


“It’s not your car getting connected, it’s you becoming a better driver.”


As smart devices continue to infiltrate our daily lives from the house to the workplace, it won’t be long before they enter our vehicles as well with  approximately 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020. And, while a number of manufacturers have already begun embedding next-gen technology into our automobiles, new solutions are emerging that can make older ones smart, too. Good news for anyone with a ride that dates back to 2001.

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Among the latest startups to take aim on this market is Drust. The Paris-based startup has developed Akolyt, a smart sensor that plugs directly a car’s OBD connector and gathers data on all things under the hood, such as brake patterns, gear changes, and speed. That data is then transmitted via Bluetooth to the user’s smartphone and is displayed in easy-to-digest bits of real-time data. Almost as if it were your personal driving assistant, the sensor can enhance driver efficiency, increase the reliability of the car, and reduce up to 30% fuel consumption.

In the event that something is wrong — and after all, with older vehicles it’s bound to happen — a light will immediately appear on the dashboard, indicating the problem. This means no more sifting through the glove box clutter to locate the the owner’s manual, just to learn that the you still have no idea what the vague light means. Instead, Akolyt explains clearly the origin of any problem so you can handle the situation properly — and better yet, not be ripped off by mechanics! Additionally, the sensor will examine your car before each trip to ensure that everything is indeed okay as you head off to work, class or the grocery store.

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The accompanying app also keeps tabs on a driver’s daily route, maintenance schedules, appointments, and a number of other key reminders. More importantly, the device is equipped with an emergency assistance feature as well. If in a fender bender, Akolyt will immediately verify that you’re okay, and when help is necessary, will automatically notify authorities of the incident.

At the end of each journey, the mobile app collects on-the-road data and generates statistics based on performance, updating your “driving score.” This is certainly something that can come in handy for parents with teenage drivers or bantering with friends over who’s the better driver.

Based on an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU, the plug-in device is packed with Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate with its companion app, a long-range module to connect to the Internet, Flash memory so trip data can be stored, and a built-in accelerometer to track information precisely.

Those wishing to become more intelligent, well-informed drivers can head over to the project’s official Indiegogo page where the team is currently seeking €30,000. What’s more, Drust has a few stretch goals as well — one of which includes adding support for American-made cars. If all goes to plan, initial tests will begin in April 2015 with production slated for August 2015.

Rewind: 14 pocket-sized projects of 2014

And who said big things can’t come in small packages?


A CD-sized printer you can take anywhere

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Think printing is boring? Tedious? Annoying? You may want to check those thoughts at the door after checking out this portable, handheld printer from a team of students from Lev, the Jerusalem College of Technology. The young Makers — who together launched ZUta Labs — have debuted a revolutionary little gadget. The appropriately named Pocket Printer is an untethered robot comparable in size to a CD case that features a set of omni wheels and a printer cartridge tethered to an [Atmel based] Arduino board. Once placed down, the device begins to run along the paper, using its aforementioned wheels and a high-res optical sensor to move around, distributing ink wherever it’s needed. For multi-paged documents, simply pick up the printer and put it onto the the next blank sheet of paper.


A drone that can fold up into your front pocket

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Developed by Maker Jason Lam along with his team at San-Francisco based AeriCam, the Anura is a flying quadcopter that can be folded into approximately the size of an iPhone 6. The portable drone connects with iOS and Android smartphones via Wi-Fi. Equipped with a built-in microcamera, Anura offers a live aerial view on the screen of the connected smartphone, which also serves as its remote control. In addition, the flying apparatus can soar within a range of 80-feet with a flight time of around 10 minutes per charge and a top speed of 25 MPH. The pocket-sized UAV hopes to pack some other functionalities as well, including auto take-off, auto land, return home and follow phone.


An entire band in your pants

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Ever catch yourself drumming on your thighs? Your table? Your desk? Your steering wheel? Now, starting a one-man band is as simple as wearing this musical kit. As seen on Kickstarter and ABC’s Shark Tank, DrumPants transform one’s trousers into a full ensemble with 100+ built-in high-quality sounds. Though the DrumPants were designed with music in mind, the sensors do provide additional uses — they can reprogrammed to trigger actions within a wide variety of apps, ranging from answering their phone, to playing a streaming video, to controlling a game. In addition, its control box is powered by an Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M3-based MCU and features an ultra-low latency Bluetooth 4.0 chip, an embedded sound engine for 1/8-inch headphone jack, 128 instrument sample banks and a Micro-USB for connection to a laptop or PC.


A Tetris-playing business card



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Safe to say, you’ve never seen a business card like this before. Created by Maker Kevin Bates, Arduboy is an uber-mini handheld game console powered by an ATmega328P. The device, which is roughly a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs nearly 10 hours of battery life, is equipped with a 1.3″ OLED display, capacitive touch buttons and a piezo-electric speaker. In essence, it is a digital business card which features a built-in Tetris (and Pokemon) game and several control buttons.


An open-source offline password keeper

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In the wake of recent breaches, the need for two-factor authentication is more apparent than ever before. And, while log-ins and passwords are critical elements required to access the sites and services we use on a daily basis, remembering complex credentials can be quite difficult. So, in an effort to minimize the number of ways a password could be compromised, the Hackaday community recently devised an offline password keeper called Mooltipass. The crew selected an ATmega32U4 MCU to power the device, which also boasts an easy-to-read OLED screen, a read-protected smart card (AT88SC102) and Flash memory to store encrypted passwords.


A portable breathalyzer that has your BAC

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Developed by the team at Edge Tech Labs, DrinkMate is a lipstick-sized breathalyzer that plugs directly into your smartphone. The project recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, where it garnered well over its original $40,000 goal. Unlike those of the past, the world’s smallest breathalyzer — which measures 1.8″ long x 0.62″ in diameter — works in conjunction with the Android phone’s app and displays his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) results instantly with no calibration, no mouthpiece and no battery. A user simply inserts one end of Atmel based DrinkMate into a phone’s microUSB port, while blowing into the other end. BAC results are then displayed instantly.


A Polaroid printer for your smartphone

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Have you ever browsed through your smartphone pics and wished you could print copies in a moment’s notice? A new device, aptly named SnapJet, is now making that a reality. The open-source, instant-film printer uses Polaroid technology to let users wirelessly print their photos directly from a smartphone. Impressively, the SnapJet doesn’t require any mobile app, wires, or other connections, such as Wi-Fi, NFC or even Bluetooth. Driven by an AT90USB1286, the SnapJet also features an OLED display and other connectivity options — like USB and BLE — just in case you feel the need retouch a few pics, or for those Makers out there, the urge to reprogram or hack the open-source device.


A handheld air quality monitor

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Designed by the Brooklyn-based HabitatMap team, AirBeam is a portable, palm-sized system for mapping, graphing and crowdsourcing air pollution in real-time as you make your way around city streets. While the wearable instrument may not purify the air, it does enable you to monitor what you are breathing in, thereby increasing your awareness of the budding issue. As its creators note, pollution is among the leading causes of chronic illnesses as well as contributor to a number of terminal illnesses. In an effort to share and improve the atmosphere, the ATmega32U4 based AirBeam uses a light scattering method to take regular measurements of fine particular matter (also known as PM2.5), convert the data into a more digestible form and relay it to its companion smartphone app via Bluetooth. The Android app then maps and logs the data in real-time.


A tracker for your environment

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Wearables? More like air-ables! While a majority of the wearable tech space has been focused on tracking what’s inside our bodies such as activity and stress levels, a new kind of device is emerging, one in which monitors what’s going on outside of us — specifically in our environment. Similar to the aforementioned AirBeam handset, TZOA is capable of measuring air pollution and UV exposure in one’s immediate environment using advanced sensor technology. The tiny, round tracker is equipped with optical laser sensors that keep tabs on air quality, UV light, humidity, and temperature — all of which transmit data to a companion smartphone app via Bluetooth to quantify the environment around the wearer. Using this information, the wearer can determine whether they need to open a window, step outside to catch a few rays, or simply take a different route on their way to the office.


An all-in-one prototyping gadget

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Fresh of a successful crowdfunding campaign, Makers Pamungkas Prawisuda Sumasta and Ralf Smit have created the first all-in-one Arduino-compatible prototyping gadget. While its form-factor is rather convenient, its hackability and wide-range of applications is where the so-called Phoenard truly sets itself apart. The gadget, which is powered by an ATmega2560, not only sits perfectly in your hand but can slide quite easily into your pocket. The 11.8 x 6.1 x 1.1 cm device boasts a full-color touchscreen display and an on-board battery, and is even equipped with its own operating environment. Given its incredible versatility, the self-programmed Phoenard is bound to make every true Maker’s dream a reality. As its creators note, the prototyping platform can be used as the ‘brain’ of any DIY Project. Unlike an Arduino, Phoenard encompasses several features built entirely into a single unit, which can also serve as your daily mobile device. Sure, you can buy a smartphone, but wouldn’t it be even more awesome to devise your own?


A gaming console that’s smaller than your credit card

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Developed by National Engineering School of Saint-Etienne student Aurélien Rodot, Gamebuino is a retro-inspired, pocket-sized game console built around an ATmega328. No larger than a credit card, the successfully crowdfunded device gives a whole new meaning to portable gaming. With its metallic and vintage appearance, it will surely spark up some technostalgia of the Gameboy Advance of the early 2000s. According to its creators, Gamebuino is a true turnkey solution that enables Makers of all ages to begin creating their own 8-bit games — even those with very little programming knowledge. Advanced users will take comfort in knowing that the device is open-source, hackable and expandable.


Another open-source 8-bit gaming console you’ll love

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In honor of Game Boy’s 25th birthday, the Microduino Studio team debuted the Microduino-Joypad, an 8-bit multi-functional game console capable of playing all-time classics ranging from Tetris to Snake. The open-source gadget allows Makers to relive some of their greatest childhood memories of clicking away at those giant buttons on a vintage Nintendo handheld. Based on both ATmega328P and ATmega644PA MCUs, the Joypad can be used for everything, from controlling a quadcopter to playing a few levels of the latest Angry Birds installment.


An interactive near-eye display

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A group of researchers from Nokia and a number of universities have come together to design a gadget that has the same benefits of Google Glass, while eradicating the need to wear them around one’s face. The device, which is tethered to an Epson Android computer and an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega168), provides an eye-level display for quick, discreet access. Named after the small magnification tool commonly used by jewelers, Loupe is described by its creators as a novel interactive device with a near-eye virtual display similar to head-up display glasses. With its cylindrical shape, the chapstick-sized gadget can be held up to one’s eye when a user wants to check their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and such. When not in use, the device can easily be stowed away in a pocket or worn like a pendant necklace.


An open-source radiation detector

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Developed by AeroSplice, the APOC Pro is an advanced open-source Gamma particle and X-ray radiation detector powered by an ATmega328. The device logs data onto a microSD card in a readable format, which is later analyzed using a custom web application and displayed to other users located throughout the world.

Elemental is the world’s first pressure controlled 3D printer

Designed by the crew at Australia-based startup Hardcotton, Elemental is the world’s first pressure controlled stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer.

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Powered by an Atmel | SMART ATSAM3X8E Cortex-M3 MCU, Elemental is destined to become one of the latest and greatest innovations in the consumer space thanks to its unique spin on 3D printing. The machine uses a patent-pending pressurization system to present a dynamic approach to once-traditional desktop SLA printing.

Whereas a vast majority of traditional devices rely upon a mechanical process to move a build platform away from the source of print production after each layer is printed, Elemental increases the volume of resin above the build platform. Once only found in low-end FDM machines, Makers will now be able to affordably create parts of complex geometries and intricate details necessary for professional grade design.

“We thought about what you need from a 3D printer before we thought about what we would develop,” a company rep writes.

By utilizing its pressure control technology, Elemental’s laser system can cure a layer of resin in a more accurate, efficient and quiet manner. According to Hardcotton, the first layer is cured onto the surface of the removable build platform in the center of the vat. The pressure control system enables the flow of material from one of the control chambers into the build chamber, thereby increasing the level of the resin by a certain, precise and extremely fine amount. The laser system then sets the next layer of resin to further create the object. This process is repeated until the object is completed.

“Pressure control provides an extremely high level of accuracy in printing layer upon layer during the print process,” the team explains. Impressively, 3DPrint.com notes that the entire process is extremely silent with no Z-axis movement, with no additional support needed, as the resin surrounding the printed object provides all the support required.

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The Elemental features a build area of up to 200mm x 200mm x 200mm, Z control accurate to 1 micron, 24-bit XY control resolution (variable through software), a 405nm laser, along with a stand-alone SDcard and Bluetooth functionality.

Hardcotton CEO Scott Pobihun says the Elemental fills the gap between low-end hobbyist machines with limited resolution and expensive high-end printers.

“There are many low-end 3D printers on the market that don’t have the capability to truly produce the high quality prints you’re looking to achieve. And those high-end printers that are able to produce high resolution prints are complex to configure and use, as well as being expensive.”

Interested in learning more about this ATSAM3X8E based device? Head on over to its official page here.

Sintratec unveils the world’s first desktop laser sintering 3D printer

Swiss startup Sintratec has officially taken to Indiegogo to unveil its new desktop SLS 3D printer, the world’s first of its kind.

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Earlier this year, Sintratec had announced that they were developing a new SLS 3D printer that would be priced in the ballpark of $5,000. Now, the startup has launched a crowdfunding initiative around their new device, whose early bird model will set you back just $4,000 — an amazing price when compared to similar printers. With the Sintratec 3D printer campaign up and running, the team hopes to sell about 60 ready-to-assemble units.

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Based on an Atmel ATSAM3X8E, the SLS 3D printer will feature a build volume of 130x130x130mm, along with a 500W optical heater, a 2300mW, a 1200W heating coil and a chamber temperature of 150°C. In addition to the 32-bit Atmel | SMART MCU that comes packed with the startup’s own custom firmware, the Sintratec electronics will enable a wide-range of functionality including the ability to:

  • Drive each of the motors necessary for printing, as well as the scanner system and the laser.
  • Control the powder surface temperature using an optical heating system with infrared sensor feedback.
  • Command the chamber temperature using the heating coil with thermistor feedback
  • Run a composite-device mode via USB for communication with the Sintratec software. (At the same time, an SD-card on the electronics board is accessible to users as a mass storage device. For instance, you can store print-jobs on the SDcard for later use with different computers. Not to mention, once you have started a print, you can disconnect the USB.)

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For those unfamiliar with selective laser sintering (SLS), this form of 3D printing uses a laser as the power source to solidify and bind a powdered material (typically metal) together by aiming the laser automatically at points in space defined by the required 3D model a user would like to create. In addition, unlike common 3D printers, this method does not require support structures.

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As a result, Sintratec uses unsintered powder to build new layers on top of one another, which enables a Maker to print overhands, stacked objects, undercuts, hollow shapes and more — all with no additional support.

The desktop unit will print objects in a nylon called PA12 and can produce both functional prototypes and end products, including designs with moving parts.

Even better, the team writes, they are “actually printing with the same quality powder used by machines which cost over $200,000. It is extremely durable, strong and at the same time flexible enough to prevent brittleness. Because the powder is sintered together, the final parts have a high mechanical load capacity in all directions and are not suffering from the weak bond between layers as is the case with filament printed parts.”

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Testament to the tremendous demand for the innovative machine, the team has garnered a number of awards such as 1st place (among 250 startups) at this year’s Swiss UpStart Challenge as well as an honorary mention by MAKE: Magazine as a printer to watch in 2015.

Those interested in learning more or backing this incredibly unique printer can head over to its official Indiegogo page here. With weeks remaining in the campaign, and having already attained 65% of its pledge goal, let’s just say we are quite optimistic! If all goes to plan, the team expects to begin shipping the first batch of machines mid-summer 2015.