Tag Archives: ATmega328 MCU

This Chameleon-like jacket changes colors based on its environment

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.

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The garment uses a built-in sensor on its sleeve to detect nearby objects, adjusting the color of its LED strips to blend in to its surroundings like a chameleon. According to the firm, the jacket is just one of a many new products inspired by animal powers.

“Many animals got cool ‘powers’ but few of these can be translated directly to humans. We are not be able to use a sonar the way the bat does and we can’t see all the colors the shrimp does, it is physically impossible for our eyes to see more then the colors we already do,” the Makers noted on their Hackaday page.

“Our goal was not to replicate the powers of the animals as exact as we could. We wanted to give the users the idea and the concept of the interaction animals have. We would abstract interactions and change input and output based on how we best could interpret powers from the animals and give it to the users.”

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In order to enable these interactions, the Interacket is equipped with a pair of Arduino Uno (ATmega328), Adafruit NeoPixel LED strips and Adafruit color sensors, all of which powered by a single 9V battery. The jacket itself is comprised of reflective foil and diffusive fabric to enable the piece of clothing to prominently display the colors picked up by the sensors.

While the Interacket prototype may have limited real-world potential, the next version of this hue-morphing jacket (which is currently in the works) will change that.

Although it may not be effective as camouflage like its lizard inspiration, potential applications could range from enhanced safety during nighttime activities such as biking or walking to a pretty vibrant outfit for the club scene.

The Drap go Design creation can be found on Hackaday, while those interested in having color-changing powers may also take a look at the Makerrific piece of outerwear in the video below.

Keeping time with a modded Etch-a-Sketch



Dodgey99 had never used stepper motors or real-time clocks before, but that didn’t stop this Maker from creating a really cool Etch-A-Sketch clock.

According to HackADay’s Kristina Panos, Dodgey99 originally employed two 5V stepper motors with ULN2003 drivers, but ultimately decided to upgrade to faster Nema17 motors driven by an ATmega328 powered kit.

“These [original] motors are mounted on the back and rotate the knobs via pulleys,” Panos explained.

“They are kind of slow; it takes about 2 1/2 minutes to draw the time, but the point of the hack is to watch the Etch-A-Sketch.”

Dodgey99 has already written three sketches for the clock: one to configure the RTC, a test hardware run to sample the look of the digits and the main code to replace the very first test sketch.

“The icing on this timekeeping cake is the acrylic base and mounting he’s fashioned,” said Panos.

“During his mounting trials, he learned a valuable lesson about drilling holes into an Etch-A-Sketch. You can’t shake an Etch-A-Sketch programmatically, so he rotates it with a Nema 17.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

Ardubracelet lets you play Tetris on your wrist

Earlier this year, Kevin Bates developed an uber-mini handheld game console using an Atmel ATmega328 microcontroller (MCU). Having already graced the Maker community with his business card-sized Arduboy, he has now has taken that innovation to the next level with a wearable version of his Tetris-playing gadget. Meet the Ardubracelet!

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Equipped with the same chip as his previous creation, the Ardubracelet is powered by the high-performance ATmega328P. The tiny wrist-mounted unit features three bright OLED screens affixed to a flexible circuit board, as well as capacitive strips and a rechargeable battery.

… and you thought that calculator watch was cool!

In terms of battery life, the device can last up to 10 hours and can be easily recharged for those marathon gaming sessions. While you may not think the 0.66” screen makes manipulating shapes all that easy, the responsive touchscreen interface makes matching blocks a simple task.

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Though the bracelet itself is only a prototype and may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other wearable devices, Bates aspires to enhance his original design and form factor with a 3D-printed model in the near future.

Those interested in learning more about the Ardubracelet can head over to the project’s official blog here.

Dude, there’s your car! A GPS tracking device for your ride

There is no feeling that rivals the hopelessness you possess when returning to where your car was parked and it is nowhere to be found. The crew over at Cooking Hacks has developed their own tracking device to prevent this dire situation from ever happening again using an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).

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Using a cleverly concealed Arduino, a GPRS+GPS SIM908 Quadband Module and a GPS antenna, the team has devised a way to track a vehicle in real-time, no matter who is in the driver’s seat. Quite similar to the Atmel based bicycle lock recently featured on Bits & Pieces, the device’s GPS communication capabilities will transmit coordinates to a paired smartphone whenever a theft occurs.

“It’s very simple: a GPS module to get position data and the 3G module that sends the HTTP request with the coordinates of the car. It starts to send the HTTP request every few seconds with data of the position,” the Cooking Hacks team explains.

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“First of all you have to call the police of course, but you can help them a lot. If your car is not parked where do you think, something is wrong… Call immediately to your Arduino, hidden in your car, and it will send you an SMS with the location, longitude and latitude at the moment, and it also sends GPS data to a web server with the real-time position (Google Maps).”

The GPS+GPRS shield is programmed to only recognize the user’s number and only will relay the whereabouts when correct. Along with their communication program, the team suggests various spaces within a car to hide this tracker from potential thieves — these include the trunk, glove compartment or even spare tire area.

Writing for MAKE Magazine, Cabe Atwell notes that the device is powered by a 9V alkaline battery, making it quite small yet not small enough to plant on someone’s body undetected. “But, perhaps you are aware – keeping track of the kids for example. The device is great for those living in high-crime areas where vehicle theft is rampant as well as keeping tabs on your significant other. Jealous boyfriends are already placing orders…”

If you are worried about your own car’s security or simply want to bolster your ride’s protection, head over to Cooking Hacks for a step-by-step tutorial.

Bar Mixvah is a DIY robot bartender



Yu Jiang Tham recently debuted a DIY drink mixing robot aptly dubbed the “Bar Mixvah.”

The platform is built around an Atmel based Arduino Nano (ATmega328 MCU) paired with five 12V peristaltic pumps. On the software side, Yu Jiang employs the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js) and jQuery for the frontend and backend, respectively.

Additional key hardware specs include:

  • 11x 5/16″ steel square 12″ rods
  • Clear tubing
  • 5x TIP120 w/diodes
  • 400-point breadboard and jumper wire
  • 5x 2.2kOhm resistor
  • 4x #6-32 2″ machine screws
  • 12V power supply rated at (or greater than) 1.5A – or you can use an old laptop power supply (as long as it’s 12V DC).
  • 5.5mm x 2.1mm coaxial power connector (female) – or if you’re using a laptop power supply, 5.5mm x 2.5mm
  • Male pin connectors
  • Female housing for the male pin connectors

“Bar Mixvah is designed to use a system of 5 peristaltic pumps that are switched by 5 bipolar junction transistors (TIP120), all controlled by an Arduino, which itself is controlled by the Johnny-Five package on the node.js/express web server that is running on your laptop/Windows tablet,” Yu Jiang explained in a recent blog post.

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“Having it on a web server allows users to order from any device, be it a phone, tablet, or other laptop that can connect to your WiFi access point’s internal network. Practicality-wise, maybe it’s not necessary. However, in my experience, people seem to enjoy ordering from a tablet that they’re holding in their hands more than a stationary screen attached to the robot.”

Interested in learning how to build your own DIY Bar Mixvah? You can check out the project’s official page here.

Building an all-in-one remote with the Uno

An electronic engineering student with the handle “Victor8o5” has designed an all-in-one remote control using a number of basic hardware components, including an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (Atmel ATmega328 MCU), LCD keypad shield, infrared LED and infrared sensor.

Victor8o5 kicked off his AiO project by gathering the codes of the various remotes around the house using the infrared sensor.

“Once the code has been uploaded and the sensor connected we go to ‘Tools’ and we click on ‘Serial Monitor’ [in the sketch]. You will see a message that says ‘Ready to decode IR!’ now, by pressing any key of the remote while facing the sensor, we will be able to obtain the code,” he explained in a recent Instructables post.

“Once you’ve finished with the code it should be able to work, make sure you place the infrared LED from digital pin 3 to ground, pin 3 is a PWM pin, other pins won’t work. Left and right buttons control the menus, up and down control the submenus, select sends the code attached to the corresponding submenu inside the menu.”

As Victor8o5 notes, several LEDs and a transistor can be used to boost power and range.

“This is because the power supplied by a digital pin is limited to 40mA, enough to light one or two LED’s but not enough to light an array of 5 LED’s for example,” he added.

“The resistor value for the base (middle pin of the transistor) should be around 1-2k. Due the high frequency switching a resistor may not be needed since the LED’s will handle the power. I’ve tried this myself with a standard IR LED and a 5V supply from the digital pin 3 with no problems.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s Instructables page here.

Ai.Frame is an open source robot

The open source Ai.Frame – which recently surfaced on Kickstarter – is a versatile miniature robot powered by an Atmel-based Arduino Mini (ATmega328 MCU) paired with infrared and ultrasonic sensors.

“The robot’s sophisticated structure is designed to make motion both precise and versatile,” an Ai.Frame rep explained in a recent post.

“The Apollo [model offers] 16 degrees of freedom, while the Rex has 9. Operated by an efficient controlling system, the Ai.Frame executes your commands almost instantly.”

AI.Frame can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet, gamepad or even a wearable harness that accurately captures upper torso movements.

“As experienced engineers, we have a thorough understand of robot configuration and construction, [so] we incorporated rich body details into the Ai.Frame to simulate the structure of the human body,” said the rep.

“The Ai.Frame Apollo’s skeleton contains 109 pieces and its outer shell contains 12, while the Ai.Frame Rex consists of 98 pieces. We also made made a concerted effort to optimize the molding and screws for the strongest possible structure. Nonetheless, you can choose to either build an Ai.Frame from scratch or to have us assemble it for you.”

Additional advanced key features include:

  • Roadblock avoidance
  • Voice recognition capabilities
  • Auto standing

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.