Tag Archives: ATmega328

Coolest dorm room of all-time?


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


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

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

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

Add a touchscreen to your oscilloscope


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


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

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

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

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

This coat is heated by an Arduino


Odisseo is the winter jacket you wish you had…


A blast of bitter cold arctic air has brought the coldest temperatures in decades to some cities throughout the Northeast. As wind chills dip well below 0°F and bundling up in layers won’t do the trick, how great would it be to have a stylish jacket with a built-in heating unit to keep you warm?

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This is exactly what an Italian team of of physical computing students did back in 2014. Dubbed Odisseo, the Italian name for Odysseus, the coat is powered by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and comes with a complete set of IKEA-like instructions pinned to the inside flap.

The zipper activates a heating unit located inside the collar, while capacitive sensors detect when a wearer places his or her hands into their pockets to initiate additional warming.

CowTech Ciclop is a $100 3D laser scanner


Makers can produce high-quality scans for a fraction of the cost of other machines.


Those who’ve ever wanted to copy a three-dimensional object without shelling out an arm and a leg for a professional-grade machine are in luck. That’s because Maker Jason Smith has developed an open source, RepRap 3D scanner. The best part? It’ll cost you less than $100.

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According to its creator, the CowTech Ciclop boasts “a large scan volume, a simple yet elegant design, and a disruptive price point that blows any other laser scanner out of the water.” Inspired by the BQ Ciclop, this unit’s frame is comprised of sleek laser-cut acrylic and plastic components that users can easily fabricate themselves. Smith has also shrunken down the scanner’s footprint so it can be reproduced on even the smallest of printers.

“We wanted to make sure our product was usable for anyone who owns a 3D printer, so we meticulously designed our parts for a print bed volume of only 115mm x 110mm x 65mm (4.5 x 4.3 x 2.6in) so they can be produced on even the smallest of printers,” Smith adds.

Unlike some other DIY gadgets available today, the CowTech Ciclop is a scanner that employs two red line lasers, a camera and a rotating turntable. Not only can Makers create the CowTech Ciclop’s parts on their own 3D printer in any color and resolution, they can assemble the device in under 30 minutes. Once constructed, they can then take any item they wish to replicate, set it on the 200mm laser cut acrylic turntable, and begin the scanning process.

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At this time, two redline lasers flash on the object as the turntable makes a complete revolution. A camera detects the location of each of the lines and stores them as points in the 3D space. A cloud of points is generated after the scan is complete, replicating the surface of the object with up to 0.5mm precision. That point cloud could then be utilized as a standalone or converted into a program like Meshlab and Cloudcompare.

As you would expect, the low-cost CowTech Ciclop kit has an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) for its brain, an Arduino shield for controlling a NEMA 17 stepper motor, a USB cord and a 1.5A power supply.

Sound like the DIY scanner you’ve been looking for? Head over to the CowTech Ciclop’s Kickstarter campaign, where the team is currently seeking $10,000. Delivery is slated for April 2016.

 

The world’s tiniest RGB LED cube


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


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

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

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

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

Maker gives his dad remote-controlled eyebrows


This project will raise some brows…


When you have a pair of formidable eyebrows like Alec Smecher’s father, it can probably get a bit tiring always having to raise them by yourself. What if there was a remote-control feature that could take of that for you? Well, this is exactly what the Maker decided to do as a birthday gift for his dad.

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The simple circuit consists of an ATmega328 that runs a few 6V motors in response to IR signals, an L293D quad H-bridge for the power switching to the motor and a VS838 infrared receiver, all mounted to an old Petzl headlamp. Smecher then attached sewing bobbins to the motor spindles, and wound some thread around them.

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“The eyebrows are attached by taping the thread to the skin just underneath — right above the eyelids — using a piece of band-aid adhesive. A little piece of toothpick tied to the end of the string helps prevent it from slipping out of the band-aid,” Smecher explains.

Okay, that’s enough writing. You gotta see the ‘brows in action below!

This Arduino-powered machine turns tweets into cocktails


Who knew you could get drunk on data? 


You’ve most likely read a tweet, you’ve probably even heard a tweet aloud, but chances are you’ve never tasted a tweet. But that may all soon change, because Clément Gault and Koi Koi Design have developed Data Cocktail, an Arduino-powered machine that whips up cocktails based on, you guessed it, Twitter activity.

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Data Cocktail works by scouring the web for the five latest posts mentioning keywords that are linked to available ingredients, represented by differently colored bulbs. (The system will accept either words, hashtags and mentions.) These messages are then used to define the composition of the drink and fill the glass accordingly. The result is an original, crowdsourced concoction whose recipe can be printed out.

“If you’re wondering whether a tweet about Santa Claus in Winnipeg, Canada can take part in generating a cocktail in Nantes, we say yes! Data Cocktail is a machine but it doesn’t exclude a minimum of politeness,” its creators reveal. “Once the cocktail mix is realized, Data Cocktail will thank the tweeters who have, without knowing it, helped at realizing it.”

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Its creators reveal that they can easily change the keywords, ingredients and proportions to suit specific events. Meaning, the robotic bartender can make drinks based on everything from election coverage (whether you’re experiencing a Trumpertantrum or feeling the Bern) to what’s trending at any particular moment.

In terms of software, Data Cocktail uses the Processing and Arduino programming languages. A first application, developed in Processing, pilots the device. The requests are performed using the Twitter4J library, while the app processes the data and commands the robotic gadget.

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As for its electronics, Data Cocktail is comprised of a robot, solenoid valves and LEDs. The robot is built around a modified Pololu Zumo chassis with a motor shield, a Bluetooth module and an Arduino Pro (ATmega328). Meanwhile, the valves and lights are controlled by an Arduino Due (SAM3X8E) connected via USB.

Intrigued? Head over to the project’s page here, or watch it in action below.

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