Tag Archives: SAM D20

Pixelio is a 3D scanning turntable for your phone


Goodbye, shaky hand effect! Pixelio lets you create high-quality 3D scans and 360-degree photos with nothing more than your phone. 


Having noticed a void in the market for a high quality yet affordable 3D scanning device, Smart 3D set out to fill this gap. In doing so, the UK-based startup created Pixelio a simple, clever and user-friendly scanner that only requires a smartphone or GoPro to function. How great is that?

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With hopes of introducing users to a whole new dimension in 3D photography, the system is built around a turntable, an accompanying app and a mobile device’s camera that enables you to shoot 360-degre images and time-lapse videos. Given is compact and super portable size, Pixelio lets you bring a mini 3D scanning lab and photo studio wherever you want to go.

Smart3D suggests that Pixelio is a perfect solution for anyone who needs panoramic views of objects, whether that’s a Maker for his 3D printer, an architect, an engineer, a graphic designer, bloggers, real estate developers, tourists, or anyone who’s looking to sell things on sites like eBay.

Pixelio works in tandem with Autodesk 123D’s Catch software running on the smartphone. Combined with the turntable setup, users can scan any object that can fit on the platform in 3D. One of, if not, its greatest advantages is that the device will strap your smartphone into place so that you can maintain a steady shot, unlike handheld scanners where detail can be compromised due to the changing positions. According to its creators, the holder is compatible with just about any phone on the market today.

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Pixelio boasts several other innovative features as well, which will provide you with a seamless experience. It has a built-in powerbank and wireless phone charging option, an adjustable rotation speed, a tripod mount, and an integrated timer that can be useful when setting shutter speeds for time-lapses. What’s more, images and videos that are captured through Pixelio can be saved to either MP4 or GIF formats, while anything scanned will be saved as a 3D file.

In terms of hardware, Pixelio is equipped with an ultra-low power nRF51822 CPU and an Atmel | SMART SAM D20 MCU core. Aside from that, the unit includes an OLED display, capacitive touch buttons, an RGB LED backlight, Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi connectivity, USB ports and a 5200mAh battery. Additionally, the startup’s patented “Virtual Finger” technology is designed to replicate the touch of a human finger as the phone moves around an object, ensuring that scans or images don’t blur. Virtual Finger is used to activate the shutter release button in applications that aren’t Bluetooth compatible or in smartphones that lack BLE support.

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Ready to say goodbye the shaky hand effect? Head over to Pixelio’s Kickstarter campaign, where Smart3D is currently seeking $50,000. Delivery is slated for sometime next spring.

Light up the night with this LED Burberry skirt


Maker Guido Burger hacked a Burberry skirt with pico-Platinchen to give it a NeoPixels makeover.


A while back, Guido Burger introduced us to his board, the pico-Platinchen. The super small (only 20mm in diameter), Arduino-compatible button features a built-in BNO055 sensor (SAM D20) along with an ATmega328P at its core. Since then, the Maker has found several new and innovative implementations of the technology, particularly around wearables. Remember this ring? How about these smart socks? Adding to that list of projects is his recent hack of a Burberry skirt for Maker Faire Berlin.

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For this endeavor, Burger’s goal was to make the electronics easily removable, washable and expandable, while also dramatically reducing the necessary power to run 200 LEDs. He began the process with a CAD design of a fabric frame that would hold the NeoPixel strips in place. In the final project, the skirt’s top layer of fabric was comprised of a laser-cut repeating circle pattern, which allowed just enough light from the LEDs to seep through, giving it a nice blur effect.

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The pico-Platinchen enabled the high-end skirt to react to motion with its 9DOF sensor. Aside from that, the Maker decided to add a last-minute BLE module to sense whenever a smartphone or beacon was in close proximity — surely a colorful way to keep an eye on those around you during a night on the town! Normally Berger would operate the controller with a coin-cell battery, but for this wearable chose to go with a pair of AAA batteries instead. This provided the necessary 3V, along with an estimated runtime of four to five hours.

Intrigued? Check it out!

This smart system wants to make rehabilitation more enjoyable


These Makers are looking to revolutionize rehabilitation with their new system. 


As many of us know all too well, injuries to the hand and wrist are fairly common among children. Making matters worse, rehabilitation exercises tend to be just as demotivating as they are monotonous. So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a much easier, more efficient and engaging way to help propel young patients to achieve full recovery? This is a problem that a team of German Makers set out to solve.

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Their solution? An interactive system that they call Cynteract. It consists of a smart glove, an Oculus Rift headset and some self-developed software, which together create an immersive experience for kids and teens as they perform their rehab activities.

The unique design of the rehabilitation glove enables a wearer to track the positions of each finger individually. Combined with the Bosch BNO055 (Atmel | SMART SAM D20), the Makers were able to precisely reconstruct the movements of the real hand in their virtual environment while providing haptic and visual feedback back to the user. Aside from that, the wearable is equipped with a Bluetooth module for wireless operation, a LiPo battery for power and a microUSB port.

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Additionally, the Makers employed an ATmega32U4 MCU to drive the equipment as well as transmit the measurement between the glove and the computer. In terms of software, Cynteract features a multi-player VR game that lets two patients compete against one another. Little do they know that, as they control the game with their hands, they are actually carrying out the once-monotonous rehabilitation movements.

“The demonstration game is similar to Connect Four or Tic-Tac-Toe. When the player closes his hand, thus performing the essential human fist grip, he will automatically grab a disc. By moving his hand, the patient chooses the desired column. The disc falls straight down and occupies the next available space, when he releases his grip. The actions of both users are synchronized over a network,” the team explains.

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And we can’t forget to mention that Cynteract was also completed with the help of 3D printing, which allows for perfectly-fitting, personalized gloves with complex designs for each user. Interested? Head over to the project’s page here.

BMF055 is a 9-axis sensor with an ARM Cortex-M0+ core


The BMF055 is programmable 9-axis motion sensor with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer and an Atmel | SAM D20 MCU.


Bosch Sensortec has just unveiled a compact 9-axis motion sensor, which incorporates an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a magnetometer along with an Atmel | SMART SAM D20 ARM Cortex M0+ core.

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The BMF055 is the perfect match for those looking to develop advanced application-specific sensor fusion algorithms, add sophisticated motion sensing capabilities, and replace multiple discrete components with a single package. Boasting a tiny 5.2mm x 3.8mm x 1.1mm footprint, the latest board from Bosch Sensortec’s Application-Specific Sensor Node (ASSN) family easily integrates with a wide range of projects from robotics and drones, to gaming and navigation, to augmented reality and human interface devices for the IoT — all of which require a customized SiP solution.

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On top of that, Bosch Sensortec provides an additional SDK featuring a precompiled BSX Lite fusion library with integration guidelines and API source files for individual sensors, as well as example projects as a plugin for Atmel Studio. Intrigued? Head over to BMF055’s page here.

The O Watch is an Arduino-based smartwatch for kids


Eight-year-old Maker Omkar Govil-Nair has created a smartwatch kit for kids to learn coding and 3D printing.


Do you recall what you were doing back in the summer of fourth grade? Chances are you weren’t creating a programmable, Arduino-based smartwatch like eight-year-old Maker Omkar Govil-Nair, let alone starting your own business.

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The O Watch is built around an Arduino Zero (Atmel | SMART SAM D21) module and packs quite the punch when it comes to portable computing. Not only can it tell time, the wearable device can run a wide range of games and applications. For instance, the smartwatch can calculate the value of Pi, play a recognizable version of “Flappy Bird,” “Pac-Man” and “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” and collect measurements in science experiments, among many other things.

Now live on Kickstarter, the O Watch will come in two different models: a base kit and a smartwatch kit. The first is comprised of a SAMD21G18A based programmer board along with a mini color OLED screen, a LiPo battery, a 3D-printed case, and a paracord available in four colors (orange, yellow, pink and blue). Meanwhile, the latter features all of that plus a sensor board equipped with a Honeywell three-axis compass, a Silicon Labs temperature and humidity sensor, and a Bosch barometric pressure sensor.

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To bring his idea to life, Govil-Nair has partnered with TinyCircuits for the design and manufacture of the watch’s electronic parts. Helping to reduce the gadget’s inner workings and thickness, TinyCircuits developed a new Arduino module with a color OLED screen, microUSB programmer and charger, all rolled into one board. The O Watch is driven by the highly-popular TinyDuino platform, while its integrated microUSB port is used for both charging and uploading programs.

“Since it’s a fully Arduino-compatible product in a tiny package, you can do a lot more – pretty much anything that is possible using a regular Arduino board and a color screen,” he explains.

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What’s truly exciting about this project is that its programmability opens the door for young Makers to explore their imagination, enabling Arduino lovers of all ages to devise games and apps of their own that can be worn around the wrist.

Interestingly enough, Govil-Nair was inspired “to make his own product” after meeting our good friend and fellow whiz-kid Quin Etnyre at Maker Faire two years ago. And it looks like he’s well on his way to following in the footsteps of Etnyre with a successful crowdfunding campaign of his own. The O Watch is currently seeking $15,000 on Kickstarter and expected to begin shipping in February 2016.

We can’t wait to see the wearable on display at the World Maker Faire in New York next month. Until then, ‘watch’ it in action below!

This smart candle lets you connect with loved ones


The Lovlit Candle is a new way for people to keep in touch with loved ones, without having to pick up the phone. 


Wouldn’t it be nice if a loved one could send a quick gesture letting you know that they’re thinking of you? Or, if you had an easy way to communicate without having to make long distance calls while away on business in a different country? That’s the idea behind engineer Joshua Jameson’s latest device.

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When the 26-year-old Georgia Tech grad was given an assignment to design a product that conveyed a human emotion, he decided he wanted to create a technology that not only could relay one’s affection without having to pick up the phone, but could still establish a sense of closeness in spite of the distance. The result? An Internet-enabled, flameless candle called Lovlit that can light up whenever held — even if that means being separated by thousands of miles. A single Lovlit can also be illuminated remotely using its accompanying mobile app.

Ultimately, Lovlit Candles are intended to act as a symbol of love for those who are away from those they care about the most, whether they’re studying at school, traveling on vacation, serving in the military or recuperating in the hospital. After a few seconds of being held, it will slowly begin to emit a warm white light. As it remains in one’s hands, it will fully illuminate and start flickering like a candle. The longer the gadget is held, the longer both your candle and the one it is connected to will stay lit.

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“When you know a loved one is going through a tough time and you’re not able to be there with them, it can be hard to let them know you care. Words escape us, flowers die, cards don’t always capture our true feelings. But the warm glow of candlelight from the gentle touch of caring hands could quite literally light up their day,” Jameson explains.

If you need to “put out” the candle, you can simply place your hand over the top of it, causing it to fade within a few seconds. However, if you lift your hand off the candle before it is fully extinguished, the Lovlit will spring back to life, as bright as it was before. It should be noted that extinguishing yours does not turn off the other paired candles.

Designed with people of all ages in mind, the Lovlit is super easy to set up and even easier to use. To configure, all you need to do is access your Wi-Fi router and download the companion app on your smartphone. From their, the app will walk you through the process, such as entering your credentials and selecting the friends and family members you want to connect with via the candle.

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At the heart of each palm-sized unit lies an Atmel | SMART SAM D Cortex-M0+ MCU along with a WINC1500 Wi-Fi module. On top of that, the Lovlit Candle is packed with a rechargeable battery, an underglow ring-of-light, as well as sensors to detect one’s touch.

Sound like a device you’d like to have to stay connected with family and friends? Head over to the Lovlit Candle’s Kickstarter campaign, where Jameson and his team are currently seeking $75,000. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is expected to get underway in February 2016.

Tektyte launches real-time circuit testers for USB and PoE-powered devices


Have you always wanted to diagnose your device while it was connected to a PC and transferring data? 


Thanks to the Melbourne-based team of Tektyte, you can. Their LogIT specialized circuit testers — which recently made their Kickstarter debut — provide a simple connection to the device being tested, while enabling data to pass through without interruption.

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The idea for the LogIT came about after observing that in many cases a modern MCU-based system, like a phone or an Arduino, are powered by USB while connected to a PC that is also relaying information. To rectify that issue, the LogIT devices are specifically designed to measure the low positive voltages of USB and Power over Ethernet (PoE) connected equipment with high accuracy. The time between individual measurement data samples, obtained inside the LogIT, can be measured at either standard or custom intervals ranging from a millisecond to hours.

The series of devices is comprised of two unique circuit measurement tools, both displaying accurate readings of voltage, current, and power while also simultaneously logging all measurement data to a MicroSD card and/or PC. At the heart of the LogIT is a 32-bit Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller, which consumes tiny amounts of power while still managing to synchronize numerous simultaneous interactions between peripherals such as the SD card, display, serial data port, and sensing system. At the moment, the team has embedded a SAM D20 in the USB version, with plans of implementing the SAM D21 for DMA firmware features.

“Using a gutsy little processor has enabled the LogIT to support the writing of standard CSV formatted data to SD card with files sizes only limited by the SD card capacity. If you wish to log over 2GB of power, voltage, and current data in a single recording, potentially stretching for weeks, then a LogIT will help you achieve this.”

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“We have worked diligently to create a device which not only connects to a PC, but can also be operated as a standalone logger with a battery life of up to a week for fast recording rates and continuous measurement display. This is achieved by incorporating a large lithium polymer battery and one of the latest high speed/low power display technologies called Memory LCD,” a company rep explains.

Equipped with a 96 x 96 pixel dot-matrix display, the LogIT allows for the measurements to be represented in both numerical and graphical format simultaneously. Meanwhile, each device is packed with a real-time clock, ensuring that all the collected data is accurately time stamped. The time can be synchronized to the connected PC, or manually set. According to the team, both devices sport a number of additional features including:

  • Full isolation between the measurement ports and the test data USB/Serial ports
  • An open protocol for serial data streaming in both event and continuous modes
  • Screw terminals so that you can wire the LogIT directly into a circuit and test a wider range of voltages
  • Visual and audible buzzer alarm capabilities for indication of events set as thresholds by the user for current, voltage, or power
  • A low voltage serial port connector for direct connection to a DIY embedded devices such as an Arduino or Raspberry Pi

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Additionally, users can download its free desktop application, which is coded in Java so that both Mac and PC users can connect, graph, and download data from the LogIT devices. Interested in learning more? Head on over to the project’s official Kickstarter page here, where the team has already exceeded its initial $7,500 pledge goal.