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.

photo-original

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.

6890c54727031d29e6ecc4ae28f5e67e_original

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.

6e8e7321d1b0e1b2de8376d07a63e5c7_original

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.

230e85642918cd61c4424c7dd7471543_original

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.

95a95ec9111ae7db741482cdf998bdaa_original

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.

Bike2

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.

Bike

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.

3b

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.

7c63af0d07e1c3a20d81e74545c8049a_original

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.

3712684f50fa710933d3c28bd1007a2d_original

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.

avvfemz2axi4wq5chfbr

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.

Before

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.

oajcfzz6xtvxrjshunbi

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.

fm7y8cdxyljimydg3oa3

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.”

Sensor-DIY-types

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.

photo-main

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.

sl4wsurfyu4ikbp3ia1d

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.

ARM

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.

s7u0qzngnysfula7yyyo

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.

DrumPants-How-To-Wear_kcugga

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.

eghrujypjp7khjnthdlm

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.

Diagnositc

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.