Tag Archives: Maker Faire Rome

This smart recycling bin will sort the trash for you

RecycleBot is a smart appliance that makes recycling easy by automatically depositing waste into the correct bin.

We’ve all been there: You’re committed to helping save the environment by recycling, but find yourself contemplating which bin each piece of trash belongs. Wouldn’t it be much easier if there was automatic waste disposal machine that could streamline the process for you? That’s now a reality thanks to Maker Damiano Franco.


RecycleBot is an automated recycling system that will scan the package of whatever it is you’re throwing away and ensure that it is sorted into the right material category, alleviating the headache of having to decipher resin codes on your own. Based on an Arduino along with a Yun Shield, the DIY appliance is designed to fit below a kitchen countertop, and when installed, remains unnoticeable except for the insertion hole built directly into your granite.

Recently on display at Maker Faire Rome, the RecycleBot is fairly straightforward to use. Once your trash has been deposited, the device will scan the barcode of the box, can or carton being thrown away and then automatically check its web-based database for its material. If the piece of garbage doesn’t have a barcode, you can simply manually select the material as well. Or, should the item not be found on, you can update the list yourself for future use. From there, the bot places the item on a motorized tray to dispose of it properly into the right container. No more guessing, color-coded bins, or getting yelled at by your significant other for misplacement!

What’s more, the robotic contraption does more than just sort and store your trash. In fact, it can create weekly shopping lists, provide real-time data for recycling companies and be used to calculate waste collection tax breaks, where applicable. Looking ahead, its creators hope to integrate a compactor into their next iteration of RecycleBot to optimize garbage capacity, as well as as include special sensors that’ll automatically detect an item’s composition without having to scan a barcode. The machine will come in various shapes and sizes, and can even be employed in public places — something that may come in handy at future Maker Faires!

This robotic guitar can strum itself


For those of us who’ve always wanted to shred like Hendrix, B. B. King or John Mayer but lacked the necessary skill and know-how, Giuseppe Pilla has come up with the perfect solution. As seen on display at Maker Faire Rome, the Maker has built a fully-automated, acoustic guitar-playing robot.


Impressively, the music-making machine is capable of playing tracks ranging from Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry,” to Leonard Cohen’s “Allelujah,” to “Jessica” by the Allman Borthers. To get started, a user first selects a song on an Android smartphone. Commands from the device are transmitted over Bluetooth to an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560), where they are then decoded, processed and matched up to one of the tracks already stored in the robot’s memory. This provides the actuators (motor steppers and servo motors) with all of the necessary instructions to begin strumming.

The guitar itself is placed horizontally on a smooth and even surface where handcrafted supports keep the various actuators mounted in place. Each servo motor is equipped with a pick allowing it to pluck away with precision, while six stepper motors located near the handle are used to correspond to a note. The motors, drivers and switches are all powered by the Arduino.

As to why we didn’t come across this project any sooner, we have no clue. But boy, are we glad we stumbled upon this at Maker Faire Rome! See it in action for yourself below.

Flip & click is like Arduino’s two-sided cousin

This board is too flippin’ cool! 

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: modularity is king when it comes to the Maker Movement. Dating back to the earliest days of Tinkertoys and LEGO, DIYers have always loved piecing things together to construct new projects. Fast forward several decades and this passion, when combined with modern-day smart technology, has transcended well beyond just plastic and wood to encompass more exciting, next-generational building blocks like littleBits, Modulo, Microduino and even Genuino’s Eslov.


And that’s not all. While walking the grounds of Maker Faire Rome, we had the pleasure of spotting Flip & click, which upon first glance appeared to be Arduino’s two-sided cousin. While it may share many of the same attributes as the popular, open source platform including the 32-bit AT91SAM3X8E core of a Due, the pinout of an Uno and the ability to be programmed in the Arduino IDE via microUSB, what really sets this new dev board from MikroElektronika apart is when you turn it over.


Sure, it has Arduino-compatible headers on top. But on the other side, you’ll find four open mikroBUS sockets for what the company calls “click boards.” Essentially, these are add-on modules that resemble Arduino shields, but shrunken down so that you can fit a few at the same time on the Flip & click without any trouble. With more than 160 to choose from, Makers can prototype their next gizmo or gadget effortlessly by simply adding new functionality — ranging from OLED displays to relays to sensors — to their dev boards. As to what you can create with Flip & click, MikroElectronika lists various examples like a sous-vide controller, a bad breath detector and a weather reporting device, but the possibilities are endless.


Intrigued? Flip & click will most likely begin selling for less than $40 sometime in November. Until then, you can click here to flip over to its page.

A first look at Maker Faire Rome 2015

As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Makers do!” 

It seems like yesterday that we were at the New York Hall of Science preparing for what was surely an incredible World Maker Faire 2015. And now just a few weeks later, the Atmel crew has arrived in Rome, all set to kick things off at the Sapienza University campus.


Once again a Silver Sponsor of this year’s show, you’ll find several startups and Makers who’ve successfully demonstrated what it takes to go from “the MakerSpace to the MarketPlace.” In addition to big names like Bosch, those inside the Atmel booth will include:

Acme Systems


Acme Systems designs and manufactures Linux-embedded boards, namely the Arietta G25 system-on-module with an Atmel AT91SAM9G25 at its core. One project in particular that you’ll want to check out is the team’s open source LED panel that interacts with a smartphone over Wi-Fi.



A crowd favorite back at World Maker Faire, Arduboy is an open source, credit card-sized console that lets people play, create and share their favorite 8-bit games.



As seen on Indiegogo, Intoino‘s KITS provide a simple way for young Makers to learn coding and electronics while bringing their connected projects to life.



In case you missed them at Maker Faire Bay Area 20151Sheeld magically transforms your smartphone into one of 40 different reconfigurable Arduino shields.



Cosino is an open source platform comprised of flexible, easy to-use hardware and software components. The team will be showing off their latest projects based on the Cosino (SAM9G35) and Cosino Enigma (SAMA5D3) CPU modules along with their carrier boards and other GNU/Linux embedded systems.



Everyone’s favorite teenage CEO and whiz kid, Quin Etynre will once again be on hand with Qtechknow’s Arduino-compatible board, the Qduino Mini. But that’s not all, you’ll even be able to snap a black and white selfie in his thermal printer photo booth!



Heck, even major brands are tapping into the powers of the Maker Movement! Escaping dangerous dark or smoke-filled structures quickly is crucial for the firefighters who save thousands of lives on a daily basis. Tailored for those situations, Bosch will be demonstrating a prototype of their indoor navigation device that’s built around the mighty Arduino and BNO055.

Exploring the human-insect relationship with Arduino

The team at OFL Architecture recently devised an interactive piece of architecture dedicated to the human-insect relationship.


Inspired by a desire to explore the connection between both man and nature, a team comprised of a biologist, a sound engineer, a composer, and an architect built an installation entitled Wunderbugs. The convergence of architecture, art and engineering added a special dynamic to the construction of this piece, while the pavilion itself devised of wood using both traditional techniques and CNC machinery.


The designers created Wunderbugs’ distinctive design by hybridizing patterns from the Roman Baroque with the geometric shapes and hives typically made by insects. The result is a crown-like outdoor room comprising of 1,104 arc modules, 92 rhombuses and 198 knobs.

Upon entering the pavilion, visitors become mere spectators of the natural world. “By playing with technology, the architecture and pavilion’s geometry create an outdoor room equipped with an audio installation in which the music makes through combining nature and human an inseparable (and abstract) relationship with the world’s harmony,” the team writes.


Within the 323-square-foot circular structure, six spherical interactive ecosystems are equipped with [Atmel based] Arduino boards and sensors for motion, humidity, temperature and intensity of sunlight. This data, along with the information collected by a network of ultrasonic sensors that track the position of visitors, is used to create an interactive soundtrack in real-time.

The project was designed for Maker Faire Rome, where it was installed earlier this month.

A look back at Maker Faire Rome 2014

And just like that, another weekend of making has come to an end but not without its ‘Faire’ share of memories. The Atmel team spent the weekend of October 3-5th in Italy’s Renzo Piano Auditorium Parco della Musica for Maker Faire Rome. The European flagship event attracted a record-setting 80,000+ Makers, modders, hackers, hobbyists and veteran engineers from all across the continent.

Inside our jam-packed space, booth-goers had the chance to meet and mingle with a number of Makers and their Atmel powered projects.


13-year-old CEO Quin Etnyre hosted his “Qtechknow Olympics” robotic challenge and showed off his newly-developed Social Androids.


Atmel’s Wizard of Make Bob Martin demoed uToT Robots and his incredibly-popular hacked Hexbugs — which has become quite the fixture at Atmel Maker Faire booths.


Maker Mel Li, Ph.D. generated quite the buzz with her latest Atmel powered wings. 


Newcomer to the booth Monique Martin exhibited her latest Beehive Collapse project, which featured 3D-printed hexagons.


The SparkFun team, led by CTO Trevor Zylstra, allured over 1,300 attendees to our co-branded soldering workshops all weekend.


Lastly, visitors had the unique opportunity to witness firsthand the newly-unveiled, ATmega2560 powered Arduino Materia 101 3D printer.


Oh, and how could we forget? The Maker community’s favorite superhero AVR Man was in attendance.


Now, for a look back at some of the memorable moments from the show…

Weren’t able to join us in Rome, you can see all the photos from the amazing event here.

Atmel based smartwatch shines at Maker Faire Rome

Jonathan Cook’s Atmel based BLE smart watch has now not only been named the official winner of MAKE‘s Arduino Challenge, but has collected a “Maker of Merit” ribbon at Maker Faire — The European Edition recently held in Rome.

Powered by an ATmega644PA Microduino Core and an ATmega1284P microcontroller (MCU), the device features Bluetooth LE connectivity and in true Maker style, a 3D-printed case. As Cook notes, “The core of the watch consists of three small boards: A Microduino Core +, a Bluegiga BLE112 chip, and a voltage regulator.”


“The watch is the latest iteration of an ongoing BLE watch endeavor Cook has been exploring for the past nine months,” MAKE Magazine’s Mike Senese explained in a recent article.

In addition to the typical time and date functionality as seen in any watch, the Maker has sought out to develop an interface that any smartwatch wearer would want — email access, Facebook notification, Twitter updates, etc.

When he first started his project, Cook claimed that he had a series of goals in mind, such as building 100% Arduino-compatible hardware, insuring sufficient program memory, featuring at least one day’s worth of battery life, including BLE as both central and peripheral, and keeping it in a compact, convenient size.


Those interested in learning more about the 3D-printed smartwatch can access a detailed step-by-step breakdown of the build here.

Arduino and Adafruit unveil the Arduino Gemma

During his Maker Faire Rome presentation, Arduino Co-Founder Massimo Banzi offered attendees a preview of the company’s new collaboration with Adafruit — the Arduino Gemma, a tiny wearable MCU board packed in a 1-inch (27mm) diameter package.


Similar to the original Adafruit Gemma, the mini yet powerful wearable platform board is powered by the versatile ATtiny85. The board will be default-supported in the Arduino IDE, equipped with an on/off switch and a microUSB connector. Since it is programmable with the Arduino IDE over USB, all Makers will have the ability to easily create wearable projects with all the advantages of being part of the Arduino family.


“We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation,” Adafruit’s Limor Fried (aka LadyAda) explained in a blog post last September. “Gemma is perfect for when you don’t want to give up your Flora and aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design. It’s our lowest-cost sewable controller.”

Ideal for small and simple projects sewn with conductive thread, the [tinyAVR based] Arduino Gemma fits the needs of nearly every entry-level wearable creations — ranging from reading sensors to driving addressable LED pixels.

To better visualize just how small we are talking, look at this image from an earlier version of the Adafruit Gemma.


“The ATtiny85 is a great processor because despite being so small, it has 8K of flash and 5 I/O pins, including analog inputs and PWM ‘analog’ outputs. It was designed with a USB bootloader so you can plug it into any computer and reprogram it over a USB port (it uses 2 of the 5 I/O pins, leaving you with 3),” Arduino noted in its announcement.

In addition to ATtiny85 MCU, other key hardware specs include:

  • Operating Voltage: 3.3V
  • Input Voltage (recommended): 4-16V via battery port
  • Input Voltage (limits): 3-18V
  • Digital I/O Pins: 3
  • PWM Channels: 2
  • Analog Input Channels: 1
  • DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
  • DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 150 mA
  • Flash Memory: 8 KB (ATtiny85) of which 2.5 KB used by bootloader
  • SRAM: 0.5 KB (ATtiny85)
  • EEPROM: 0.5 KB (ATtiny85)
  • Clock Speed: 8 MHz
  • MicroUSB for USB Bootloader
  • JST 2-PH for external battery

For those seeking to use an Arduino Gemma in their next DIY wearable project, the board will be available for purchase on the Arduino Store and Adafruit Industries beginning late Fall 2014.

Preview: Maker Faire Rome

Just days after taking center stage at World Maker Faire in New York, Atmel is getting ready to kick off Maker Faire Rome 2014 at Renzo Piano’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, a Makers village of nearly 70,000-square meters. Once again a Silver Sponsor of the event, we will be shining the spotlight on the latest Arduino and Arduino-related projects.


As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Makers do.” That means, be sure to stop by our booth (FSP107), where we’ll be showcasing the latest in Atmel powered tech including:

Bob Martin, also known as Atmel’s Wizard of Make and Warp Drive Propulsion Engineer, will be demonstrating uToT Robots and hacking Hexbugs.


Maker Mel Li, Ph.D. will be wearing her latest Atmel powered wings. 

Monique Martin will be on hand to showcase an interactive display around the beehive colony collapse. 


Quin Etnyre, 13-year-old CEO of QTechknow, will be hosting his robotics challenge, “The Qtechknow Olympics.”

SparkFun will be joining us in our booth to run a number of soldering workshops, where participants will have the chance to solder new PTH SparkFun interactive badges!


And after his incredibly popular debut, AVR Man will return to the Atmel booth in Rome. Capture the moment by taking a snapshot with the Maker community’s favorite superhero…

Maker Faire Rome is set for October 3-5, 2014. Can’t make it to the Faire? You can always follow @Atmel live on Twitter for the latest updates, trends and happenings from the show. Tweet #AtmelMakes!

A braille printer, a retro robot, a marshmallow canon, or perhaps even a prototype of the next big IoT device? If you’re feeling inspired this weekend go and make something, don’t forget to submit your 8-bit idea for a chance to win $1,500 in cash, social stardom and of course, some Atmel swag.

While we wait for the weekend, let’s take a look back at last year’s event.


Arduino shares a sneak peek of its future 3D printer

Earlier today, Arduino gave the world a sneak peek of its own branded 3D printer, the Arduino Materia 101. First shared on the Arduino Twitter account and introduced by co-founder Massimo Banzi on Italian national television, the white and teal device will be presented next weekend at Maker Faire Rome.


Fellow Arduino co-founder David Cuartielles later confirmed the company’s latest innovation by tweeting…


Based on initial glance, it appears that the printer is equipped with an LCD screen, a control knob and a switch on the front plate, with a matching filament spool holder attached to its right side.


Writing for MAKE Magazine, Mike Senese notes that the machine is the largest piece of hardware that our friends over at Arduino have launched to date.

“It’s an interesting move for the company, but not an entirely disconnected element, as many of the printer developments in the 3D community have used [megaAVR powered] Arduino boards for control. Moreover, it further indicates how bigger companies are starting to release 3D printers,” he writes.

According to 3discover.it, the printer is a collaboration between Arduino and Italian 3D printer manufacturer Sharebot. Judging by the first images of Massimo Banzi’s announcement on the Italian TV channel RAI 3, the Arduino Materia will be based on Sharebot’s open source architecture and leverage the company’s familiarity with FFF technology.

For now, we’ll have to wait for its official debut at Maker Faire Rome…

This is just the latest piece of exciting news from Arduino in recent weeks. Just last weekend, Atmel and Arduino announced the launch of the Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101, a shield that enables rapid prototyping of Internet of Things (IoT) applications on the highly-popular open-source platform; while if you recall back in May, the team debuted the Arduino ZERO development board – a simple, elegant and powerful 32-bit extension of the platform originally established by the popular Uno.