Tag Archives: sliders

Building a wormhole actualization machine

A wormhole, also known as an Einstein–Rosen bridge, is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that would fundamentally be a “shortcut” through spacetime.

As Wikipedia points out, a wormhole is much like a tunnel with two ends each in separate points in spacetime.

Various representations of wormholes have been depicted on sci-fi shows like Sliders and Stargate, although most of us are (presumably) still wondering what it is really like to travel at hypersonic speeds through a wormhole.

Enter the wormhole actualization machine – a rather impressive Arduino-based (ATmega2560) psychedelic spacetime visualizer built by Alan Watts.

WAM – which was recently featured on BoingBoing – boasts 120 LEDs, an infinity mirror and some old-school NASA-inspired hardware.

The Wormhole Actualization Machine is currently on display at Northern-Southern in Austin.

Interested in learning more? You can check out a detailed project breakdown here.

Reza Kazerounian talks IoT and MCUs (Part 2)

EEWeb recently conducted an interview with Reza Kazerounian, Senior VP and GM of the Microcontroller Business Unit at Atmel. In part one of our synopsis, we reviewed how Kazerounian defined the Internet of Things, detailed the company’s comprehensive IoT portfolio and discussed Atmel’s relationship with the rapidly growing DIY Maker Movement.

Kazerounian went on to confirm that Atmel is currently working with a number of customers to market various IoT applications.


“These customers range from smart metering, to industrial, consumer applications similar to Nest, [as well as] medical and white goods. Many of these customers have been working with Atmel for years and are in production with our technologies today,” he explained.

“With the dawn of the Internet of Things, these products are being categorized under a broader market—the IoT. An example includes connected thermostats in the home and building automation sector, [which] have [actually] been around for a while.”

However, says Kazerounian, it was not until recently that such devices were considered mainstream.

“It took mass adoption of smart tablets, smartphones and other smart consumer devices to enable more of these ‘connected’ devices to be easily accessible to the Internet and available at a cost-effective price point,” he added.

Indeed, “separate” technologies for IoT have been around for some time, but the requirements to seamlessly run numerous technologies simultaneously took longer to achieve.

“For example, connecting your smartphone at home to control your lighting is becoming a reality today. Another important factor for the IoT is wireless connectivity. These connectivity solutions operate on a number of different standards including Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, and others,” Reza continued.


“For IoT applications, it’s important to adopt the right wireless standard based on the application and consumer requirements. For example, if you want a device that is connected to a wireless network at home and can traffic the data with a high data rate, Wi-Fi is the most viable type of technology. For wearable devices, you would need a wireless connection with the lowest power consumption available since many of today’s wearable devices run on batteries.”

Kazerounian also noted that the IoT landscape is populated by applications with embedded processing and connectivity requirements that offer companies such as Atmel an advantage.

“[Indeed, we] made a recent investment in our connectivity portfolio over a year ago [by] acquiring Ozmo Devices, a Wi-Fi connectivity company. Adding to our broad wireless product portfolio, this strategic acquisition helped us enhance our Wi-Fi connectivity solutions, an important part of our strategy for targeting the IoT market,” he said.


“Atmel also has a broad portfolio of touch technologies, from capacitive touch buttons, sliders and wheels to touchscreens. As sensors and sensing nodes become an important part of the IoT ecosystem, our embedded processing solutions can combine input from multiple sensors to provide real-time direction, orientation and inclination data to bring visibly superior performance to gaming, navigation, augmented reality and more.”

Reza concluded his interview with EE Web by emphasizing that Atmel views microcontrollers (MCUs) as an essential building block for every PC, consumer device, industrial machine, home connectivity device and automobile. To be sure, MCUs are playing an increasingly critical role in the lucrative space.

“As the semiconductor industry has transitioned from PCs to mobile, IoT will now rise to become the predominant market,” Kazerounian explained. 

”This transition will favor ultra-low power and integration of microcontrollers, wireless connectivity, security, touch technologies and sensor management products. Atmel is uniquely positioned and fully committed to maintaining our leadership position in the microcontroller industry – and to do so requires winning in the IoT.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s AVR MCU portfolio here and our ARM lineup here.

Note: This is part two of a two-part series. Part one can be read here.

Video: Sprinkler 101 with Atmel’s Paul Rako

In the latest Atmel Edge episode, Analog Aficionado Paul Rako explains how digital buttons, sliders and wheels can be used to make popular sprinkler timers easier to use.

“We’re going to do a system-level redesign, going through this from block diagrams. Then come up with an alternate and then apply some technology that Atmel can help you with. Things like button, wheels and sliders, where you don’t need physical, discrete switches anymore,” said Rako

“I’m going start going through the programming. And that’s where I think, with a redesign and rethinking, and using some modern cool-person things like button sliders and wheels. There’s no physical button. It’s not expensive. You can put a thousand of these buttons on the same circuit board.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel offers market-proven technology for implementing nonmechanical buttons, sliders and wheels on any touch-sensitive device.

These integrated circuits (ICs) enhance the user experience with precision and reliability, while delivering optimized low-power characteristics, a critical requirement for today’s battery-powered handheld and mobile devices. 

The technology supports simple 1–10 button configurations as well as more complex scanned-matrix configurations of up to 48 buttons – at very low cost per button.

In addition to the application specific chips, Atmel offers the QTouch Suite for embedding buttons, sliders and wheels into AT91SAM and AVR micro controllers (MCUs).

Interested in leaning more about Atmel’s buttons, sliders and wheels? You can check out a full product breakdown here.

QTouch Capacitive Touch Controllers Receive UL Certification

Atmel has achieved certification for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 60730-1, a standard for automatic electrical controls for household and similar use, for the AT42QT1244/5 and AT42QT1481 capacitive touch controllers. With UL certification, household appliance OEMs can achieve system-level certification faster for products that include touch displays and controls developed with these devices.

Atmel is the first company to receive a functional safety certification for the Class B and C requirements related to control functions for ICs with capacitive touch capabilities for button, slider and wheel functionality. Our AT42QT1244/5 and AT42QT1481 controllers are ideal for appliances including stovetops, microwave ovens, coffee makers, washers and dryers.