IRduino is an open source and programmable USB infrared receiver that gives new life to old remote controls.
For decades, consumer electronics have relied upon infrared remote controls for operation. However, recent advancements in technology, like Bluetooth connectivity, motion sensors and voice recognition, have led to piles of obsolete remotes collecting dust in closets and storage bins throughout the world. But what if you were able to bring these antiquated gadgets back to life and put them to work in creative, more productive ways? Enter the IRduino.
The brainchild of Longan Lab, IRduino is a peripheral device that enables just about any IR signal to be translated into commands. Based on an ATmega32U4, the board is equipped with an SMD IR receiver and on-board USB interface. It operates by default at 5V with a clock speed of 16MHz, not to mention packs 32KB of Flash, 2.5KB of SRAM, 1KB of EEPROM and a remote distance of over 16 feet.
And unlike many products on the market, the pocket-sized IRduino (just 0.7” x 1.3”) is thick enough to sit snugly inside a USB port. To keep the device humanized, its creators have even screen printed a little robot on its reverse side with a pair of programmable LEDs for eyes.
Beyond that, IRduino comes with the Arduino Leonardo bootloader pre-installed, which makes it fully compatible with the incredibly popular Arduino IDE for programming. According to the Longan Lab team, the board features an open source library that will work with nearly 95% of infrared remotes on the market, such as air conditioner units, TVs, DVD players and household appliances, among a number of other machines.
As for its applications, Makers will find IRduino to be both practical and entertaining. Since it’s compatible with many platforms, ranging from Raspberry Pi to Mac, the possibilities are truly endless. For instance, it can serve as an interface for a single-board media center, a controller for simple games, a remote for PowerPoint presentations, as well as a quick way to reboot a laptop with the push of a button.
Are you ready to give your old remote controls a new lease on life? Then head over to IRduino’s crowdfunding campaign on CrowdSupply, where the team is currently seeking $2,000. Delivery is expected to get underway in September 2015.