Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days.
This intelligent indoor garden makes it possible to grow fresh, flavorful and nutrient-rich food year round, from inside your house. Grove Labs has already well exceed its Kickstarter goal of $100,000.
This turnable will transform your smartphone or GoPro into a 3D scanner. Smart3D is currently seeking $50,940 on Kickstarter.
This LEGO-compatible robotics toy lets kids play, code and innovate in various ways. Robotix is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.
OpenBCI Ganglion and the Ultracortex Mark IV
This new 3D-printed headset and Arduino-compatible, programmable board wants to make biosensing accessible to everyone. OpenBCI is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.
This Wi-Fi connected lamp and lighting system mimics sunlight to keep your body clock in sync and improve health. Ario has nearly doubled its initial Kickstarter goal of $50,000.
This DIY kit is built around an ATmega32U4-based board specifically designed for wearable projects, spanning from rudimentary circuits to more complex gadgetry. STEM Center USA is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.
Drone n Base
This multiplayer game allows you to race and battle drones, right at home. Anima Technika is currently seeking $70,000 on Indiegogo.
This Arduino-compatible, 8-bit MIDI synth enables you to create Nintendo, C64 and Amiga-style chiptune music. Arcano Systems is currently seeking $2,00 on Kickstarter.
This wearable purifier and quality tracker wants you to enjoy fresh air wherever you go. iBreathe is currently seeking $15,000 on Indiegogo.
Make Time Clock
This elegant device is designed to help encourage you to make time for your side projects and establish a balance in your life. Chap Ambrose is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.
This chair provides an immersive and responsive virtual reality experience through hands-free movement at the touch of a button. Joe Ryan is currently seeking $30,864 on Kickstarter.
This hub and app gives you a single point of control for all your smart home devices with unique privacy and flexibility. Philip Steele is currently seeking $38,591 on Kickstarter.
This first-of-its-kind equestrian sensor not only tracks a rider’s training session, but a horse’s well-being as well. Equisense has well surpassed its goal of $55,069 on Kickstarter.
This tiny disc discretely fits underneath any watch to make it smart. Trivoly is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.
This wireless system handles all of your streaming needs anytime, anywhere. 3Iware is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.
This desktop 3D printer can spit out objects using either carbon fiber resin or standard color filament. iBox Printers is currently seeking $200,000 on Kickstarter.
This pint-sized 3D printer can create objects in your hand and then get stored away in a shoebox. Baby 3D is currently seeking $40,000 on Kickstarter.
This innovative line of media players combine hi-res audio with UHD 4K video. Cyberdrive INC has achieved its $30,000 goal on Indiegogo.
This autonomous indoor garden offers the perfect growing conditions for any type of plant and guarantees a sizable harvest, all year round. Véritable is currently seeking $55,150 on Kickstarter.
This bicycle seat-shaped tracker is sat upon to help you perform Kegel exercises and monitor progress along the way via an accompanying app. Minna Life is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.
This small module sticks onto or sits right next to any infrared remote controlled electronic product, making it almost instantly controllable from your smartphone.
This next-generation unit is looking to replace the old-school mouse once and for all. LCI Tech is currently seeking $6,618 on Kickstarter.
This credit card-sized, smart warning gadget attaches to your wallet or purse to prevent pickpocketing. Antarit is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.
This smart messenger bag features a wireless power supply for your mobile gadgets along with rechargeable LEDs for nighttime visibility. WiTology is currently seeking $46,297 on Kickstarter.
This platform enables Makers to transform their Raspberry Pi into creative applications, ranging from retro game emulators to MIDI controllers to smart home hubs. Tingbot is currently seeking $61,746 on Kickstarter.
This modular, future-proof smartphone can be customized, upgraded and repaired based on your needs. PuzzlePhone is currently seeking $250,000 on Indiegogo.
This headband allows you to enjoy the present moment while capturing photos and videos for later with its HD camera. 3RDiTEK is currently seeking $250,000 on Indiegogo.
Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.
Turn yourself into a Sim by building your own Bluetooth-controlled, 3D-printed plumbob.
As many of you probably know, the plumbob has become the iconic symbol of the super successful The Sims franchise, typically used to denote a character being controlled and to convey its mood. If the Sim happens to be in a good mood, the plumbob will be a bright, deep green; whereas, if a Sim is on the grumpier side, it will become a shade of red. The intensity of the color varies based on how the extremity of their feelings.
Inspired by the life-simulating game, Maker Daniel Harari decided to devise a Sims plumbob of his own, which displays his happiness for the world to see. The accessory consists of a headband, an aluminum tube and a crystalline shape that was 3D-printed using translucent filament.
The Maker packed the 3D-printed enclosure with an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328), six RGB LEDs, a Bluetooth module for communication with an Android app, and a step-up converter so that the entire device can be powered by a pair of AAA batteries. At the moment, this battery pack is mounted along the side of the aluminum pipe. However, Harari notes that for his next iteration, he would probably install a rechargeable LiPo with a small switch and charging port instead.
Unfortunately, Harari reveals that he didn’t have time to write an Android app of his own, but was able to discover a free one on the Play Store that was able to satisfy his project’s needs. Beyond that, the Maker also used the Arduino Software Serial Library.
Harari reveals that in the future, he is thinking about modding the plumbob with an EEG reader, like the ATmega328P based OpenBCI platform, which would enable the LEDs to actually reflect the wearer’s mood.
Intrigued? Head over to the Maker’s project page here.
One group’s project is bringing a much more literal meaning to the term ‘mind game.’
First launched in 1946, Labyrinth is a skill game consisting of a box with a maze, holes, and a steel marble. The object of the game is to try to tilt the playfield to guide the marble to the end of the maze, without letting the ball fall into any of the holes. While versions of the game featured a suspended maze surface that rotates on two axes using a knob, other handheld versions have included an entirely closed transparent cover on top. However, none have ever been controlled by the human mind. That was, at least, until now.
As part of Autodesk’s neuroscience themed hackathon event, BrainiHack 2015, a team of Makers going by the name Blue GSD — Daniel Harari, Gal Weinstock, and Maxim Altshul — created their own iteration of the classic game, all powered through brainwaves. The contraption was entirely 3D-printed and based on the OpenBCI open-source platform (ATmega328P).
To start, the game’s movement was enabled through a pair of micro servo motors, each controlled with an Arduino Uno (ATmega328). Meanwhile, the mechanism was comprised of three nested frames that were anchored in various places to achieve two degrees of freedom – roll and pitch. Given the limited amount of time to complete the project, the motors and motor arms were all attached to the frame using zip ties, while some nuts and screws were employed to keep the frames in place.
For those who may not know, OpenBCI offers a GUI that lets users visualize and analyze data in a more efficient and easier manner. The interface provides time-domain and frequency-domain (FFT) graphs, as well as a map of the head with electrode activity. OpenBCI allowed the team to attach electrodes wherever they wanted, and carry out experiments with various methods and brain waves.
“Once the data is captured with OpenBCI, it is transferred to the computer for analysis, the computer runs a Processing program that computes the Fourier Transform of the signal over a defined interval of time, filters the spectrum to look at relevant frequencies and finds the most powerful frequency in the range,” the team writes. “If the peaked frequency is the one we are looking for, a command is sent to an Arduino board via serial port. The Arduino then controls the servos according to the command received.”
However, the problem with brain-reading technology is that it can be on the slower. Given the real-time nature of the Labyrinth game, any sort of delay can cause a lapse in judgement and the ball to fall through a hole. As a result, the team decided to simplify the game into a basic maze with two different signals to study — the left-right position toggle was controlled via Alpha waves, while up-down positioning driven by SSVEP. By combining both Alpha and SSVEP, the team was presented with two types of waves that were capable of control and anticipation, which provided them the ability to control the game with just one person.
As it turns out, the team who admits to having absolutely no background in neuroscience ended up winning the OpenBCI prize for the best project in the open-source category. Those interested can head over to its official page to read more. Meanwhile, the project’s files are available on Thingiverse so that Makers can download and create their own Labyrinth game.
This biotronic art installation creates a unique musical experience based on thoughts and emotion.
What if moving your eyes from left-to-right or up-and-down could trigger lights, play music and control other devices? That’s what digital artist Fèlix Vinyals has set out to accomplish with his latest project entitled Torval. Well sort of, at least. In collaboration with EEG and BCI researcher Oscar Portolés, the Maker has designed a hybrid brain computer machine interface (BCMI) installation that allows him to create music and control the lighting while on stage, all through the reading of the electric potential of his brain and visual stimuli.
The project combines two independent BCI systems. The first makes use of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) technique to enable the musician to switch on/off a set of music tracks from a MIDI sample. Meanwhile, the other determines the musician’s index of relaxation that is read through the alpha rhythm to alter the illumination of the installation. The communication between the BCMI, the MIDI sampler and the set of floodlights via DMX protocol is done with an Atmel based Arduino.
Beyond that, Torval is comprised of six main modules: the visual stimuli tool, the EEG signal acquisition unit, the signal processing algorithms for both BCI systems, the output control box (Bebop), the music sampler, and the illumination system.
“On one hand, the visual stimuli tool elicits a SSVEP in the user visual cortex when he gazes at one of the six flickering stimuli. Then, the signal-processing algorithm searches the EEG data in real time for a SSVEP. When a SSVEP is found at a frequency coincident with one of the flickering stimulus units, the outputs control box will send a MIDI command to switch on or off the musical loop associated with the particular flickering stimulus unit,” Vinyals explains.
“On the other hand, a signal-processing algorithm constantly monitors the level of relaxation of the artist – the power within the alpha rhythm of the occipital cortex. Continuously and smoothly, Bebop modifies the illumination of the stage through DMX protocol in correlation with the relaxation of the user; a shade from the color spectrum that ranges from red to blue is projected onto the stage. Therefore, the user can actively control the color of the stage. Yet, as he fully engages in the performance, he loses his ability to self-control his level of relaxation and mental load; turning the stage illumination into a genuine portrait of both physiological states.”
What’s unique about this project is that is relies only upon imagination and emotion, enabling a wearer to create a unique, irreproducible musical experience. As the video eludes to, there are eyes that speak and there are other eyes that can perform… Trust us, you’ll want to see this!
Mind = Blown.
When it comes to brain-controlled interfaces, advancements in the space have come a long way since its earliest days of research at UCLA in the 1970s. Under a grant from the National Science Foundation and followed by a contract from DARPA, the papers published following the study marked the first appearance of the expression BCI in scientific literature. Now fast forward nearly 40 years and Makers are inspiring a wide-range of possibilities, from EEG beanies that can read and change colors based on a wearer’s mood to amputees instructing a prosthesis to gain movement in their arms.
Writing for MAKE: Magazine, Nathan Hurst highlights a recent project from Cognitive Technology for their recent Make it Move interactive display in San Francisco. The device was simply plugged into a computer and screen, and into a two-jointed robotic arm.
To bring the exhibit to life, the team adapted an EEG board from OpenBCI. The ATmega328 based platform measures brain activity in both hemispheres, and records that data on eight channels. However, for it to work, it requires electrodes to be pasted onto the skull — something which wouldn’t work for a public exhibit. Subsequently, the Makers decided to use a soft neoprene cap with dry electrodes that was capable of sitting on the head with a velcro strap under the chin. It would then read and output brainwaves to the OpenBCI board.
“I think if this technology advances more, it will help a lot of disabled people who can’t move their arms,” Jisoo Kim tells MAKE. “Since everything is open-source, people can build it themselves, so I think it will advance a lot more.”
Maker Tomas Vega, who is a University of California student and Cog Tech member, shares that an EEG device can read that in the form of electrical signals on the scalp. Those signals are then processed, filtered and analyzed into more digestible form of feedback. Software interprets the information from the EEG and assists in processing the signals to create useful output. However, these signals can come in rather noisy, and as a result, the program must employ some machine learning to sort it out.
As MAKE points out, EEG interpretation faces a bit of skepticism from the academic community, and in the current exhibit’s setting, the team was faced with an additional barrier of teaching visitors to actually control the interface. While brain-controlled interfaces have been used primarily for science, the Cog Tech crew hopes that new tools will help spur further research and more importantly, address more practical problems including assisting those who are paralyzed.
For the exhibit, Cog Tech is harnessing the powers of BCI to command a robotic arm that Jon Ferran devised using an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) along with some parts from an old bartending arm. At the moment, motion is limited to waving left and right.
Kim explains to MAKE that after just a few hours of training, she could already feel herself getting better with controlling the arm — something that the team hopes others will one day have the chance to experience. “It was pretty difficult. The most difficult part was to think the way that can control the arm; imagining moving my left or right arm is different from moving it.”
While BCI boasts several possible applications in basic computer control, such as replacing mice and keyboards, some have a more personal goal as well. “I want to be a cyborg. That’s my long-term goal,” Vega concludes. “I’m going to work all my life to make this a reality. There’s nothing that makes my heart beat faster than this dream of being enhanced by technology. This dream of being augmented, and augmenting my capabilities as a human, and trying to push the boundary.”
Interested in learning more? You can read the entire feature in MAKE: Magazine here.
For those with amputated forearms, the prospect of having a responsive prosthetic hand and wrist is almost here.
As we’ve previously seen on Bits & Pieces, a number of Makers are increasing the accessibility of bionic devices and assisting amputees regain independence in their daily lives.
A team of Rutgers biomedical engineering seniors — comprised of Mohit Chaudhary, Chris Bargoud, Julian Hsu, James Wong and Rebecca Wenokor — recently sought out to devise what they call a “Brain-Controlled Dexterity Upper Extremity Prosthesis.” The idea of the project, which commenced last September, was to develop a prosthetic hand and wrist that could operate based on brain signals for a fellow classmate.
As one of its creators Chris Bargoud explained, the uniqueness of the project lies within the wrist. The goal was to give the wrist controllable movement that enables various motions, instead of being as static as a majority of wrists on the market today are. He shared, “[Wrists in the market] work like a pin [on the joint between hand and forearm]. You unlock it, rotate your wrist and then lock it. You can’t actually control what you want to do.”
In just a matter of months, the team has already seen tangible results even with a limited amount of time and a budget, thanks in part to the Maker Movement. Using a 3D printer, the students enhanced designs for the hand, constructed its parts, and ultimately, assembled the prosthesis.
The current prototype is attached by strings, along with servo motors in the palm area. By rotating and pulling the cables, the hand’s fingers can move and bend according to its wearer’s needs. The team has its mind set on achieving “three degree-of-freedom,” which are flexion and extension, medial and lateral deviation, and pronation and supination.
“We are focusing on the structure and how to motorize the structure right now. We’ll add on the thumb as well. After our hand is well implemented, we will add on the wrist,” Chaudhary added.
In an effort to have the prosthetic be as anthropomorphic as possible, an OpenBCI open-source device was employed to read a user’s brain and connect with a computer to process the signals. The team plans to program the functions into an Android phone, where Bargoud said the user can click and choose the kinds of motion he wants to perform. Meanwhile, BCI electrodes attached to the brain can pick up a “start this action” command and relay the signal along.
“Even though the name of our project says ‘brain-controlled’, it is more accurately brain initiated,” Julian Hsu suggested.
Both the BCI and the Android phone are connected to an Arduino — a commonality among many of today’s attempts at a next-gen bionic hand like the ATmega32U4 based Youbionic and the ATmega328 powered Bionico Project. The board receives both signals of when to move from BCI and what to do from the Android phone. From there, the Arduino processes the signals and commands the servos to rotate at a specific moment to a certain angle. The servos then drive the gears in the prosthetics to complete the action of the wrist or hand.
“When [the servo] rotates one way, it will pull the string, and when it goes back, we will have rubber bands attached to the back so it will snap it back with the tension,” Bargoud noted.
So what’s next for the team? The Makers plan to continue improving the design, and all agree that the ideal prosthetic hand would be stable, strong, easy to manufacture, user-friendly and as lightweight and realistic as possible.
“Stability is one of our biggest concerns right now… When it is not used at all, we want to make sure it is stable and still, not just flapping around,” Chaudhary concluded, “We also want to make it anthropomorphic, as close to real hand as possible.”
What’s cooler than controlling the world around you with your mind? Nothing! According to OpenBCI’s Conor Russomanno, this dream is now coming closer to reality with the help of Makers.
As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, brain-computer interfaces have made great progress as of late, thanks in part to companies like OpenBCI, whose co-founder recently shared his thoughts on the surging BCI movement with MAKE Magazine.
“Though BCI is in an embryonic state — with a definition that evolves by the day — it’s typically a system that enables direct communication between a brain and a computer, and one that will inevitably have a major impact on the future of humanity,” Russomanno writes.
The Maker notes devices from Emotiv, NueroSky, and Not Impossible Labs as being innovate yet he still has a strong desire to further utilize, “Brain-Computer Interface technology to create a comprehensive communication system for patients with ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders, which inhibit motor function and the ability to speak.”
BCIs entail a wide range of technologies which vary in terms of invasiveness, ease-of-use, functionality, cost, and real-world practicality. They include fMRI, cochlear implants, and EEG, Russomanno explains.
He holds a contained excitement for the future of BCI saying, “Each day it gets easier to leverage technology to expand the capabilities of that squishy thing inside our heads. Real-world BCI will be vital in reverse-engineering and further understanding the human brain.”
The OpenBCI co-founder was first introduced to the mind-controlling technology just two and half years ago and is astounded by the growth of the community in that time span. He specifies one catalyst to the prosperity of the movement – Makers! He believes, “While these devices have opened up BCI to innovators, there’s still a huge void waiting to be filled by those of us who like to explore the inner workings of our gadgets.”
Russomanno describes he and his partner Joel Murphy’s creation of OpenBCI as “a powerful, customizable tool that would enable innovators with varied backgrounds and skill levels to collaborate on the countless subchallenges of interfacing the brain and body.” The platform is based upon an Arduino shield prototype and sports an Atmel ATmega328 chip onboard. The design has even evolved to include the world’s first 3D-printed Electroencephalography (EEG) headset.
“In the next 5 to 10 years we will see more widespread use of BCIs, from thought-controlled keyboards and mice to wheelchairs to new-age, immersive video games that respond to biosignals.” the Maker predicts. While some products similar to these have already hit the market, he reveals, “They’re not ready; we still need makers, who’ll hack and build and experiment, to use them to change the world.”
Right on, Conor! The Maker community is always up for a good challenge.
Have you ever thought of controlling your own legion of robots with nothing but your mind? Chip Audette has made that fantasy a reality.
When he closes his eyes, the robot moves forward; when he focuses on specific flashing images, the robot to turn left or right. Generally, there are two images on a computer screen, each flashing at a different frequency. As the Maker stares at one image, the brainwave reader can assess how quickly the image is flashing and therefore determine which direction to turn.
As with many prototypical designs, there are some glitches, but the fact that Audette has created any sort of functionality for this low cost is impressive. The Maker used OpenBCI’s EEG electrodes and custom brain-signal-processing board, all connected to an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), which serves as the interface between the Hexbug and his computer.
“The PC processes the EEG data looking for the Alpha waves or the visually-entrained waves. If any are detected, it decides what commands to give the robot. The commands are conveyed back to the Arduino, which then drives the remote control, which the Hexbug receives over its usual IR link,” Audette noted in his blog.
Though the current system is limited by the simplicity of its technology, the Maker says, “Ideally, I’d just think the word ‘Fire!’ and the robot would respond. Unfortunately, those kinds of brain waves are too hard to detect.”
As Wired’s Robert McMillan writes, scientific-grade electroencephalography (EEG) monitors can cost thousands of dollars, but thanks to devices such as the Emotiv, there’s been a mini-boom in low cost brain-hacking gear. OpenBCI wants to be the open-source player in this space. Their kit comes with its own mini-computer and sensors that you jack into a black helmet-like device, called “Spider Claw 3000,” that you make on a 3D printer.
“What we really want to do is just provide the hardware to let people being learning,” explains Conor Russomanno, one of OpenBCI’s creators.
Brain-computer interfacing remains a relatively new field of science that offers a wide range of potential uses. For instance, medical grade BCIs are often used to help individuals with damaged cognitive or sensory-motor functions, while more affordable BCIs are being designed to address various neurotherapy applications.
Though these accessible technologies like OpenBCI are more focused upon education, rather than world domination, there is no telling what the future holds!
Kickstarter first opened its virtual doors on April 28, 2009. Since then, the wildly popular crowdfunding website has tracked over $1 billion in pledges from 5.9 million individuals who actively funded 59,000 creative projects.
Unsurprisingly, quite a number of Atmel-powered Kickstarter projects have been successfully funded over the past year, including:
MicroView is a chip-sized platform with a built-in OLED (64×48) display that allows Makers to see what the Atmel-based board is “thinking” without having to link with a PC.
The device, designed by the Geek Ammo crew, is built around Atmel’s versatile ATmega328P microcontroller (MCU).
Essentially, 1Sheeld connects to a mobile Android app that allows users to take advantage of various smartphone features including the display, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, GSM, Wi-Fi and GPS.
Designed by Pensa Labs, the DIWire transforms drawn curves into bent wire that can be assembled to make just about anything.
Primo can best be described as a playful physical programming interface that helps teach children programming logic without the need for literacy.
Robox is a 3D printing and micro-manufacturing platform designed byC Enterprise Ltd. (CEL).
Simply put, the EX¹ is helping to transform electronics and prototyping in the same way that conventional 3D printing revolutionized traditional manufacturing.
Touch Board: Interactivity Everywhere
The Touch Board can change the world around you by turning almost any material or surface into a sensor.
Protected from digital intruders by Atmel’s ATSHA204 which offers 256-bit AES hardware encryption, Flutter makes it easy for DIY Makers to build projects that communicate across a house, neighborhood and beyond.
Essentially, Hex imitates the movement of the smartphone or a tablet in the air. In addition, traditional throttle, elevator, aileron, rudder control systems can be used to operate your Hex.
Designed by Ben Escobedo, the open source ATtiny85 ISP! can probably best be described as a breakout prototyping board for Atmel’s ATtiny85/45/25 lineup.
The project’s goal? Allowing Makers to take advantage of the ATtiny85 chip’s potential, while using the familiar Arduino IDE and harnessing the super awesome support from the Arduino community.
The next-gen smartwatch offers brand-new technology, world-class developer tools, unparalleled battery life and Qi wireless charging.
Additional key specs include 32KB Flash memory, 2.5KB RAM, 1KB EEPROM, a micro USB connector for power and data, as well as an on-board micro switch for interactive applications.
Made of laser-cut leather, the Atmel-powered, Arduino-based Edge is a wearable light that snaps securely onto your clothing with the help of four strong neodymium magnets.
You can wear it discreetly by day or brightly at night with your winter coat, cardigan, hood, scarf, handbag, collar, pocket, belt, or wherever you’d like a touch of light.
When it went live on Kickstarter, the Open Engima successfully raised over $62,000, facilitating the implementation of several important stretch goals.
Skirmos: Open Source Laser Tag
Skirmos currently offers a trio of preset gametypes: basic, free-for-all and team slayer. However, the platform is ultimately expected to boast an almost unlimited number of gametypes.
OSCAR: Open Screen Adapter
The board is Arduino compatible ,which makes modifying the behavior easy, as all the software and hardware is open source.
The DigiX was designed to be a dev board ready for any project – with no compromises.
Reactor Core – Arduino/AVR Programmer, DIY Soldering Kit
The Reactor Core is a hardware programming platform for Arduino boards and stand-alone AVR-based microcontrollers (MCUs).
Designed by Frank Fox, the Reactor Core is powered by Atmel’s ATmega328P MCU and an FT232R for USB to serial communication.
King’s Assembly Mouse
Solid Art Labs recently debuted the King’s Assembly – a unique device that packs a high-precision laser mouse, full mechanical keyboard and an analog joystick into a single platform.
Atmel’s AT90USB128 MCU powers this three-in-one mouse. Key features include 30 keys for each hand, finger key rows angled for fast access and a two-axis analog joystick for each thumb.
According to STEM Center USA CEO Melissa Jawaharlal, the team designed the Pi-Bot from the ground up to optimize functionality and ensure affordability.
Game Frame: The Art of Pixels
As Williams notes, video game artists used to draw everything with a sheet of graph paper, a few colors and a couple of animation frames.
Robot Army Starter Kit
The Robot Army is a DIY Delta Robot kit powered by Atmel’s versatile ATmega328 microcontroller for the rapidly growing Maker community.
The kit includes all mechanical pieces in grey and neon yellow plastic (the yellow fluoresces under black light), spacers, brackets, ball bearings and hardware required for assembly. In addition, the kit is packed with electronic components, PCB and wire harnesses.
MicroSlice: Mini Laser Cutter & Engraver
The MicroSlice is a mini laser cutter and engraver.
The open source platform, powered by an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328), is currently being promoted as a kit that takes approximately 15 hours to build.
uARM: Miniature Industrial Robot
This four-axis parallel-mechanism desktop robot arm is modeled after the ABB industrial PalletPack robot and is built around Atmel’s ATmega328 MCU which powers a custom board.
The uARM platform is constructed with acrylic or wood parts and fitted with standard RC hobby servos.
Smart Nixie Tube
Designed by Tyler Nehowing, the platform is fully programmable using the unmodified Arduino IDE, as it appears as an Arduino Uno running at 16MHz/5V.
OpenBCI: An Open Source Brain-Computer Interface For Makers
OpenBCI – designed by Joel Murphy & Conor Russomanno – is a low-cost programmable open-source EEG platform that offers Makers easy access to their brainwaves. In addition to an ADS1299 IC, the OpenBCI is equipped with Atmel’s ATmega328 (+ Arduino’s latest bootloader).
The project’s vision? ”To realize the potential of the open-source movement to accelerate innovation in brain science through collaborative hardware and software development.”
White Bread Shield for Arduino
The Hauntbox is a prop controller and automation machine that is browser-configured and open source.
The ATmega2560-based platform allows Makers to easily automate inputs and outputs without the need for complex programming.
ControLeo – designed by two retired Silicon Valley engineers – can probably best be described as a quad relay controller enclosed in a professional box.
Aptly described as “electronic building blocks” by the GHI Electronics crew, the Fez Medusa is designed to keep soldering irons optional with a comprehensive ecosystem of mainboards, sensors and control modules.
Rapid IoT prototyping with SODAQ
The Atmel-based SODAQ (ATmega328P) is a LEGO-like, plug-in, rapid prototyping board.
Simply put, the multi-feature microprocessor board allows both Makers and engineers to easily connect a wide variety of sensors and devices to the Internet.
The device boasts all the trappings of a modern watch (time, calendar and alarm), along with all the features of the popular Xprotolab – oscilloscope, waveform generator, logic analyzer, protocol sniffer and frequency counter.
The Cookie’s compact form factor (available in two form factors, or shapes) makes it easy to carry, experiment with and expand.
Little Robot Friends
Little Robot Friends are both interactive and customizable, each with a unique and evolving personality.
According to Mark Argo of Aesthetec Studio, the Little ‘bot family is built around Atmel’s ATmega328P MCU. Each Little Robot is powered by two rechargeable AAA batteries and depending on the frequency of use, should last for weeks or months on a single charge.
According to project designer Richard Haberkern, 32 ultra-bright LEDs are positioned in a landscape array to provide bright, even and controllable lighting, drawing only 88 watts. Last, but certainly not least, a built in electronic dimmer makes the light intensity adjustable to fit just about any environment.
Delta Six Game Controller
The Delta Six mirrors the look of a modern military combat rifle, including real time aiming as well as a kickback sensation. The Atmel-powered, Arduino-based Delta Six was developed using IR sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes to provide unparalleled arcade experience.
The controller is compatible with Xbox 360, Play Station 3, and PC systems – and upgradeable for next-gen systems like Playstation 4.
Neko – A Color Field Oil Painter
The ‘bot is currently being primed with color data in an attempt to make him more creative.
Dubbed the Ambient Board, the Kit hardware comprises two printed-circuit boards – an interchangeable daughterboard or shield, and an Arduino-compatible data-processing board. As the name suggests, it is equipped with sensors to measure air composition (CO and NO2), temperature, light intensity, sound levels and humidity.
Sparki – The Easy Robot for Everyone
Although Sparki is simple enough for beginners, the ‘bot is packed with more than enough features to satisfy more experienced Makers.
OpenBCI – designed by Joel Murphy & Conor Russomanno – is a low-cost programmable open-source EEG platform that gives Makers easy access to their brainwaves.
“Our vision is to realize the potential of the open-source movement to accelerate innovation in brain science through collaborative hardware and software development,” the duo wrote in a recent Kickstarter post.
“Behind the many lines of code and circuit diagrams, OpenBCI has a growing community of scientists, engineers, designers, makers, and a whole bunch of other people who are interested in furthering our understanding of the brain.”
Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) is a relatively new field of science that offers a wide range of potential applications. For example, medical grade BCIs are often used to help individuals with damaged cognitive or sensory-motor functions. In addition, more affordable BCIs are being designed to address various neurotherapy applications.
“Both neurofeedback and biofeedback are starting to be used more frequently by artists, musicians, dancers, and other creative individuals who want to find new ways of connecting people with the world around them, making more immersive experiences,” the two explained. “There’s great potential for research in psychology and behavior studies with portable EEG devices that can record brain activity in real-world environments.”
In addition to an ADS1299 IC, the OpenBCI is equipped with Atmel’s ATmega328 (+ Arduino’s latest bootloader). Murphy and Russomanno have thoughtfully broken out all the Arduino pins, allowing Makers to blink lights or drive motors. In addition, Version 3 of the OpenBCI board uses bluetooth low energy (BTLE) for data transmission and programming of the ATMega controller.
On the software side, OpenBCI includes code examples written in Arduino, Processing, Python and openFramworks.
“We have no intention of reinventing the wheel, so we are actively working to make the hardware data accessible to all commonly used open-source EEG signal processing applications, such as BrainBay, OpenVibe and more,” Murphy and Russomanno added. “Because you have direct access to the data on the hardware side, making it portable to any existing EEG software is as easy as structuring the way the data is formatted and related.”
Interested in learning more about OpenBCI? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.