Arduino Planet

January 14, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Mech Racing

via The Verge

It’s 2018, and you know what that means: mech racing isn’t the sport of the future anymore, it’s the sport of the present. A company called Furrion brought “Prosthesis,” its first exo-bionic racing mech, to CES this year. It looks bonkers. Prosthesis is 15 feet tall and weighs over 8,000 pounds. It’s an exoskeleton, not a robot, meaning it doesn’t operate automatically, it’s completely controlled by the human trapped inside. Like how it works in Power Rangers.

Prosthesis can run up to 20 mph, step over obstacles, and run for up to an hour on a battery charge. It also has a very tiny cockpit, and I was told repeatedly that I am too large a human to fit inside. This makes me sad. I am very sad now.

But Furrion isn’t happy just with one racing mech, it wants to start a whole league. It just announced the X1 Mech Racing League, and it hopes Prosthesis is just the first in a new genre. I would definitely watch mech racing on Twitch. Let’s make this happen. Just please make a larger version for larger people. Thank you.

See more!

by Zay at January 14, 2018 08:09 AM

Bayou With Loves Partners with Dell to make Jewelry from E-Waste

NewImage

From Dell.com/gold:

We believe one reason recycling rates for e-waste are so low is that people do not recognize how valuable their electronics still are even if they don’t work. Through a collaboration with actress, activist and entrepreneur Nikki Reed, Dell hopes to bring greater visibility to the value within technology and encourage people to recycle responsibly. Nikki and Dell have a shared interest in sustainability and we are partnering with her latest venture, Bayou with Love, to create an upcycled jewelry collection made entirely from recycled gold recovered from Dell’s technology recycling programs.

Nikki co-founded Bayou with Love with Morgan Mogle to provide conscious products that consider the planet and those on it. Inspired by the Louisiana Bayou, all of their products are made in the US of sustainably sourced and recycled materials. The line made with the gold from technology is circular in nature and reflects the beautiful world in which we continuously reuse resources and strive for zero waste.

Read more from Dell and from Bayou With Love

by Stephanie at January 14, 2018 07:00 AM

A 1922 Science Fiction Novel About Grafting Monkey Glands #SciFiSunday

Gland stealers

Great piece from The Paris Review.

The history of our quest for eternal youth is a history of fools’ errands. It’s also, if your glass is half full, a buoyant tribute to the human imagination—or at least to the spirit of determination. We want so badly to stay young. We’ve sought to bathe in the Fountain of Youth, to imbibe the Elixir of Life, and to—well, to do whatever it is one does with the Philosopher’s Stone. (Grind it up and snort it?) But few solutions to the problem of aging are as risible or as tragic as that of Serge Voronoff, who essayed to stave off death by replacing old men’s testicles with those of healthy young monkeys.

Let’s skip the inevitable fall from grace and concentrate instead on Voronoff’s appropriately robust cultural legacy. He was the basis for a scalpel-happy, gland-obsessed Professor Preobrazhensky, in Bulgakov’s Heart of the Dog; E. E. Cummings gave him a line (“famous doctor who inserts monkeyglands in millionaires”) and the Marx Brothers a song (“If you’re too old for dancing / Get yourself a monkey gland”). But the strangest tribute is The Gland Stealers, a 1922 science-fiction novel by Bertram Gayton. I’ve just finished it so you don’t have to.

Read more.

by Kelly at January 14, 2018 06:00 AM

January 12, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

by DP at January 12, 2018 10:25 PM

Arduino Blog

Automatically open doors with Arduino!

Tired of doing the mundane task of opening your door? This hack from Sieuwe Elferink takes care of that for you, using an Arduino Uno for control.

When someone comes within 50 cm of an ultrasonic sensor attached to the door, the Arduino uses an H-bridge relay to power a windshield wiper motor, which opens and closes it via a linkage setup. Another sensor is implemented on the opposite side of the door, allowing hands-free travel both ways!

Want to build your own? You can find instructions here, while code is available on GitHub.

by Arduino Team at January 12, 2018 10:08 PM

Dangerous Prototypes

FPGA-based disk controller for Apple II

yellowstone-in-600

Steve Chamberlin over at Big Mess o’Wires has been working on an FPGA-based disk controller for Apple II, which he call Yellowstone:

Apple II disk controller cards are weird, there are a crazy number of different types, and many are rare and expensive. Can an FPGA-based solution save the day for retro collectors? You bet! Nearly all the existing disk controllers connect the same 8-bit bus to the same 19-pin disk interface, so a universal clone is merely a question of replacing the vintage 80s guts of the card with a modern reprogrammable FPGA. This hypothetical universal controller card could connect to almost any Apple II disk drive, or a Floppy Emu. Here’s my first attempt.

More details at Big Mess o’ Wires homepage.

by DP at January 12, 2018 09:55 PM

Arduino Blog

Create an Arduino Mega-powered, cable-cutting machine

What do you do when faced with measuring and cutting a bunch of cables? If you’re Edward Carlson, you “simply” build a machine to do it for you!

While it may not save time on this run, at least on the next occasion that he needs a few cables cut, he can just program his device to snip everything to size!

His setup uses an Arduino Mega with an LCD/button shield to tell the machine how long to snip each wire, then employs a stepper motor to move the cable between two rollers to the correct length. When in position, a high-torque servo actuates a (normally) manual pair of clippers to cut it to size.

Be sure to check out the project explanation in the video seen here, or skip to around 5:30 to see it in action!

by Arduino Team at January 12, 2018 03:24 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

15th Anniversary Sale

Hello! In lieu of your standard Friday Product Post we’re having a sale to celebrate our Crystal Anniversary. Below you’ll find an assortment of 15 popular products that originated over a decade and a half at SparkFun. We’re offering discounts on these products to celebrate our anniversary!

Unfortunately we couldn’t dig up any old portable rotary phones to sell, but you can still make one if you like. Now on to the good stuff!

Crystal Anniversary Sale

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz

DEV-11113
$9.95 $7.50
120
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 3.3V/8MHz

DEV-11114
$9.95 $7.50
43
SparkFun XBee Explorer Dongle

SparkFun XBee Explorer Dongle

WRL-11697
$24.95 $21.21
22
SparkFun Solder-able Breadboard

SparkFun Solder-able Breadboard

PRT-12070
$4.95 $3.45
12
Pro Micro - 3.3V/8MHz

Pro Micro - 3.3V/8MHz

DEV-12587
$19.95 $15.00
13
Pro Micro - 5V/16MHz

Pro Micro - 5V/16MHz

DEV-12640
$19.95 $15.00
60
SparkFun Inventor's Kit for RedBot

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for RedBot

ROB-12649
$119.95 $104.95
22
SparkFun MicroView - OLED Arduino Module

SparkFun MicroView - OLED Arduino Module

DEV-12923
$39.95 $24.95
41
SparkFun ESP8266 Thing

SparkFun ESP8266 Thing

WRL-13231
$15.95 $13.56
40
SparkFun Soil Moisture Sensor

SparkFun Soil Moisture Sensor

SEN-13322
$4.95 $3.45
11
WAV Trigger

WAV Trigger

WIG-13660
$49.95 $34.95
17
SparkFun ESP32 Thing

SparkFun ESP32 Thing

DEV-13907
$19.95 $15.00
52
SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

DEV-13975
$19.95 $15.00
18
SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.0

SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.0

KIT-14265
$99.95 $84.95
6
SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Uno - v4.0

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Uno - v4.0

KIT-14418
$109.95 $94.95

Don't wait for 30 years; grab these deals today!

Rules: This sale is for customer and guest accounts only. While supplies last; no rain checks. Sale runs from 12:01 a.m. on 1/12/2018 to 11:59 p.m. on 1/15/2018.

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by SparkFun Electronics at January 12, 2018 07:00 AM

January 11, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

ESP32lights

ESP32lights

Luca Dentella published a new build:

Today’s project, ESP32lights, is a smart device based on the esp32 chip.
Thanks to ESP32lights you can turn a load on and off (I used it for my christmas lights)

  • manually
  • based on daily schedules
  • based on the light intensity

ESP32lights connects to your wifi network, can be configured and operated via a web browser and it’s optimized for mobile devices (responsive web interface based on jQuery Mobile).

Full description on his blog. More tutorials about the ESP32 chip here.

Check out the video after the break.

by DP at January 11, 2018 11:48 PM

Arduino Blog

The Edgytokei is a nunchucks-inspired edge clock

Just when you thought you’d seen every possible hacked clock design, creator Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi has come up with something new: a faceless clock that is able to tell time with two hands that never make a full rotation.

Instead, an Arduino Nano powers a novel mechanical gear assembly via a pair of motors, which causes the two hands to physically switch positions between the second arm being mounted on the base and on the tip of the first arm. This strange representation of time changes form every fifteen minutes.

The Edgytokei which literally means edge clock is inspired from the Japanese nunchucks. Just like the nunchucks the clock is just a pair of two arms displaying time by balancing themselves on the edge. The clock consists of two arms and the base on which the arms are anchored. Both the arms are of equal length as the role of the arms changes with different hours of the day.

The fulcrum of the clock flips from the center to the left or right of the clock every quarter hour so that the clock can stand on the edge to represent the time between quarter past and quarter to hour. This flipping of the arms keeps the clock dancing on the edge throughout the day. The base which contains the electronics of the clock provides a anchor for the clock and prevents the arms from falling over.

If that sounds unique, then wait until you see it in action below. More details on the build can be found via this write-up.

by Arduino Team at January 11, 2018 03:01 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Enginursday: Troubleshooting a Simple Problem

Hearing about frigid temperatures in the Northeast recently got me thinking about how I used to have to troubleshoot static problems in a previous job when the weather was consistently cold and dry. Most of the time the problems were quick to identify, and easy to fix. But there was one time where it was a simple problem to fix, but hard to spot.

Backstory

My first job out of college was as a Junior Engineer for a large printer manufacturing company. The department I was in focused on the specialized sensors used in the printers. The sensors ranged in complexity from simple off-the-shelf temperature and humidity sensors, to custom imaging modules that were built in-house (similar to the imaging sensor used in a scanner). The imaging module we were investigating is similar to a competing imaging array made by Mitsubishi, shown below.

Contact Image Sensor

Contact Image Sensor courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric

As a Junior Engineer, I mostly worked with a Principle Scientist who had been with the company for 30+ years. His background was the same as mine (B.S. in Electrical Engineering), but he specialized in electrostatics (static electricity). Most of the year we focused on the Xerography of the printers — moving toner from the cartridge or bottle to the paper using static electricity. But every year on the coldest, and driest, days of winter, we would get calls about static causing problems on a machine. Most of the time the problem could be fixed by installing an antistatic brush in the paper path before where the problem was noticed, and it would go away.

Antistatic Brush

Passive static eliminator image courtesy of KOTI

One time, though, we were left scratching our heads for a couple of days. The printer we were dealing with wasn’t a personal desktop printer, but an industrial printer that is almost 7ft tall, and a little under 20ft long — printing on a continuous sheet of paper up to 500ft per minute. The paper is unrolled on one side, printed, flipped and printed on a second printer before being rolled back up, or folded and cut to size. Thankfully, to get from the front of the machine to the back you didn’t need to walk all the way around the printers; the box that flipped the paper was made of steel and allowed you to safely step over the paper to the other side of the machine.

Machine Setup

(Not at all to scale, but you get the idea)

The Problem

The reason we were called in was that, after a period of time, the imaging sensor that my group was responsible for would reset itself and cause the machine to stop. We stopped by and asked the operator of the machine to describe the problem and try to replicate it. We were quickly able to figure out that the problem was static-related and told the machine’s operator to install the antistatic brushes in the paper path both before the sensor as well as after, and the problem should go away. Spoiler: it didn’t.

The next day were back at the machine making sure the brushes were installed correctly (which, of course, they were) and did even more head scratching. We started to look at the second machine to see if somehow the static was building up on that machine and getting to the first. But before we ventured too far down that rabbit hole, we wanted to check the steel box that flipped that paper over, just to do our due diligence and eliminate it as a factor. We noticed two things odd with the box. First, there was an ethernet cable connected to the problematic machine on one end and tossed under the box on the other. The second problem was that the steel box should have had a grounding wire on it to prevent static buildup on the paper as it passed from one machine to the other, but it didn’t.

As we moved onto the second machine, we asked if the cable needed to be connected to the first machine, and to remove the tripping hazard if it didn’t. For the sake of thoroughness, we asked to install a grounding kit to the box to avoid potential future static problems on the second machine. We continued with our testing but couldn’t replicate the problem anymore. As it turns out, the problem was that, as the paper moved on the rollers in the box, it was acting like a Van de Graaff generator until it arced over to the ethernet cable. The static charge was large enough that it interfered with the image module, causing a fault, which was recovered by a reset of the module. In a more humid environment any other time of the year, the problem never would have presented itself. But as it was, the problem managed to take multiple engineers multiple days to figure out.

In a complex system like a printer, sometimes it’s the simplest of reasons that cause the largest headaches. What problems have you had to troubleshoot that took you longer than you’d like to admit to figure out? Let us know in the comments!

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by SparkFun Electronics at January 11, 2018 02:30 PM

January 10, 2018

SparkFun Electronics News

Adventures in Science: Level Up Your Arduino Code with Registers

If you’re looking to learn more about how your Arduino works, create more advanced projects using things like interrupts or optimize your code for speed and size, then you’ll need to work with registers.

Registers are nothing more than storage containers for data inside a processor or microcontroller, and for many microcontrollers (like the ATmega328P), they share the same space with SRAM. A large portion of registers are simply “general purpose registers,” which are just places that the program can use to store results from calculations. However, many microcontrollers have a set of “special function registers” that have hardware connections built into the die for setting up timers, toggling the voltage on pins, reading analog voltages, and so on.

In this “Adventures in Science,” we describe registers, how to interact with them in Arduino, and how to control hardware using them.

Special function registers are really what make the magic behind microcontrollers. Knowing how to use them allows you to control hardware connected to the microcontroller. The Arduino framework provides a level of abstraction so you don’t need to worry about working with registers, which is a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, you don’t have to dig through a datasheet and learn all the register names for that microcontroller. If you were to move to a different architecture (say, stop using the 328P and start using the ESP32), you’d need to find a new datasheet and learn new register names. The abstraction is perfect if you want to make a project or prototype (i.e., you just need something to work).

On the other hand, if you are making a product and need your code to be as small and fast as possible, ditching the Arduino framework is often the way to go. If you can reduce the size of your program so that it fits on a cheaper microcontroller, you might save a few cents for each unit produced (which can add up). Additionally, if you make your program run more efficiently, that may mean less power used and more battery time!

What other reasons are there for using registers directly? How would you describe a register to someone just learning about microcontrollers? Let us know in the comments below.

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by SparkFun Electronics at January 10, 2018 02:30 PM

January 09, 2018

mightyOhm

January 07, 2018

NYC Resistor

Get laser-certified on Jan 13th

Our next laser cutting class is coming up on January 13th. Learn to use our Epilog 60W laser cutter and get laser-certified so you can come back and use it at our public Craft Nights.

Laser-cut wooden boxes, with random organic-looking cutouts.

Our laser can cut and etch materials like wood, acrylic, paper, and even pie.

A merengue-topped pie sitting in the laser cutter bed. The pi symbol is etched onto the pie.

Tickets available now.

by Bonnie Eisenman at January 07, 2018 06:05 PM

January 04, 2018

NYC Resistor

No Craft-night for January 4th 2018

NYC is blanketed in snow, travel is hard, the air is cold.

We have no craft-night tonight. Stay warm!

Grizzly bear playing a guitar in the snow.

by zellio at January 04, 2018 07:48 PM

January 03, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

AxiDraw, JavaScript, and Generative Art

Matt DesLauriers published a two-part blog post, Pen Plotter Art & Algorithms exploring his JavaScript workflow with AxiDraw and generative art.

Unlike a typical printer, a plotter produces prints with a strangely human quality: occasional imperfections arise as the pen catches an edge or momentarily dries up, and the quality of the ink has the subtle texture and emboss that you normally only see in an original drawing.

He has also posted his source code on github for the articles.

Part 1 covers getting started and explores Delaunay triangulation. Part 2 delves deeper into developing algorithms.

by Lenore Edman at January 03, 2018 06:36 PM

January 02, 2018

adafruit industries blog

TOAZ (Transformative Orientation-Aware Zootype) is a 4-Legged Quadrupedal Robot | #robots

Check out the video below to see TOAZ in action – that’s a pretty neat maneuver how it can lay flat and then upright itself, and those ‘spider dance’ moves are pretty wild! The project is available here on GitHub with full parts list here.

TOAZ [ Transformative Orientation-Aware Zootype ] is the world first Open-Source Carbon Fiber Transformable 4-Legs Robot. It is build based on Adafruit Feather Development Platform.

Thanks Iok for sending this in!



by nicknormal at January 02, 2018 04:38 PM

January 01, 2018

NYC Resistor

No Craft Night for Jan 1

We partied ourselves out last night. No Craft Night today.

Happy New Year’s everyone!

by Bonnie Eisenman at January 01, 2018 08:23 PM

December 29, 2017

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

December 22, 2017

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

Smart Camera Gimbal Bot – scanlime:027

In this episode, we’re building the Tuco Flyer bot itself, and giving it the power of computer vision so it can look around and follow my cat.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon so I can keep making these vids!
https://www.patreon.com/scanlime

I’m also trying out Liberapay as an alternative to Patreon, if you’d like to check that out instead:
https://liberapay.com/scanlime

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop:
https://www.redbubble.com/people/scanlime/shop

You can find all of the source code and CAD models for this project on GitHub,
https://github.com/TucoFlyer

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhbhmdpDp9xF5LdSzsH1WJoOYdtZv-CC-

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams, sometimes dozens of them. These streams are also archived, and you can watch them here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhbhmdpDp9xFvxH7lYiD0mnCrw4dqgasJ

Subscribe to YouTube notifications or follow https://twitter.com/scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

If you’d like a transcript of this episode, you can get it here:
https://pastebin.com/eTM8Py5F

Background music is my own original garbage, leave me alone copyright bots! Track list:
2016-08-metal-pirhana.aif
Revolute.aif
intro517.aif
20140304-yyzsfo.aif
reprise517.aif
progression-01.aif
foresty.aif
tucohunt.aif

by Micah Scott at December 22, 2017 05:36 PM

December 19, 2017

adafruit industries blog

8-Bit “Rickrolling” Jingle Strikes Cornell Campus | #prank

You can see the battery (likely a CR2032) and speaker unit in the image above – but there’s no word on the brain of the device. The Cornell Daily Sun reports on someone pranking fellow students with a jingle that we all know and appreciate:

For more than a week, students and staff in at least four campus buildings heard a five-second tune, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was coming from.

Some ignored it. Others questioned if they might be imagining things after one too many all-nighters. Many wondered where the noises, which began around Halloween, were coming from and what was producing them.

“It was driving me crazy all week,” said Fred Cederstrom, a student manager at Temple of Zeus in Klarman Hall.

“Every day, you just got madder and madder,” Patty Dennison ’18 said, recalling that she and others finally became accustomed to the noise that permeated the Statler Hall lounge every 30-or-so minutes.

The eight-bit tune (click here to listen) is a sample of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and hundreds of students in at least four buildings — Statler, Duffield, Klarman and Gates halls — have been repeatedly “Rickrolled” for more than a week by devices they suspect were placed by a prankster or pranksters.

As soon as Cederstrom recognized the song, he thought, “Oh no. I get it now.”

Read more.

by nicknormal at December 19, 2017 06:37 PM

December 13, 2017

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Plotter Portraits

Plotter art portrait drawn by Jojo the robot

A couple of creative artists, Makio&Floz, are offering custom plotted portraits, drawn by their AxiDraw, playfully named Jojo the robot.

Makio&Floz is a duo working on digital based projects. Without limiting themselves to a virtual space or a physical one, their goal is to explore design and generative art using code as a pencil.

You can upload a photo, preview the “Plottrait”, and order your own custom generative art piece.

Plotter portrait in progress

by Lenore Edman at December 13, 2017 05:32 PM

December 11, 2017

uC Hobby

Bad Desk Lamp + 3D Printing = Cool Camera Mount + Useful hand Magnifier

I recently purchased a hot-air gun + soldering iron station from X-Tronic which came with a desk lamp magnifier.  The desk lamp was not functional so I took it apart to fix.  It was made so poorly, I considered it too dangerous to use.  It went on the scrap pile. Today, I decided to make […]

by uCHobby at December 11, 2017 08:02 AM

December 08, 2017

adafruit industries blog

GEMMA and CircuitPython: Moar guide updates! MOAR!

Adafruit’s new GEMMA M0 wearable microcontroller comes with CircuitPython support fresh from the factory. Plug it into USB and use any text editor to open and edit the “.py” file…it’s just that simple, no IDE to install!

We’re updating most of our “classic” GEMMA guides on the Adafruit Learning System to provide example CircuitPython code for the new board along with the original Arduino sketches, and bringing the latter up-to-date where needed. GEMMA M0 can run either one.

With something like 160 GEMMA-related guides in the Adafruit Learning System, watch for updates in small batches. Here are the latest:


NeoPixel Ring Bangle Bracelet — Wear a bangle of light! Build a charming bracelet from four NeoPixel rings and GEMMA, Adafruit’s tiny wearable electronics platform.


Larson Scanner Shades — A simple cyberpunk/Tronpunk fashion project!


3D Printed NeoPixel Ring Hair Dress — Here’s an elegant wearables project for those really special occasions. A 3D Printed LED Hair Dress, powered by an NeoPixel ring and Gemma, Adafruit’s tiny yet powerful wearables micro-controller.

Logan’s Run Hand Jewel LED — In this guide, you’ll learn how to build a bright glowing light that can be used for cosplay elements, decor and wearables. The circuit and components are fully contained in a 3D printed cylindrical enclosure.

Kaleidoscope Eyes (Trinket-Powered NeoPixel LED Ring Goggles) — Fashion headwear for cyberpunks, steampunks and Daft Punks.

by PhilB at December 08, 2017 11:10 PM

November 24, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – All Things micro:bit

For our final installment of 2017 development board Gift Guides we’re profiling the BBC micro:bit! It’s impossible to not get excited by – and slightly adore – the size and capabilities of the micro:bit. It packs a lot of really useful features into a really interesting form factor. And it really is a wonderful learning tool. We recommend Lesson #0 for simply becoming familiar with this novel board, and when you’re ready for something a bit more challenging check out our Puppet “Text Message” System project. Also be sure to check out our micro:bit category on the blog for all our :bit-related news in one spot!


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.


by nicknormal at November 24, 2017 05:30 AM

November 23, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Friends of CircuitPython

OK so you’ve worked with our Gemma, Circuit Playground Classic, Trinkets, or Metro boards – mostly because of your past familiarity with the Arduino IDE. But you’ve heard really interesting things about CircuitPython, or MakeCode and the sheer simplicity of coding using drag-and-drop blocks. If only you had some options to dabble between them all, while maintaining consistency with the same form factor you’re accustomed to for your project needs. If only! Welcome to our made-for-CircuitPython line of boards, most of which are also compatible with the Arduino IDE you’re comfortable and familiar with.

That’s right we have flavors of the Gemma, Circuit Playground (Express), Trinket, and Metro all made compatible for use with CircuitPython. “No compiler, linker or IDE required!”


The Circuit Playground Express takes the Classic and ramps it up a notch – including additional sensors, and the previously mentioned CircuitPython and MakeCode support. One of my all-time favorite Circuit Playground projects is this How Tall Is It? project that turns the development board into an inclinometer – for measuring the height of objects from a distance! (This project is also compatible with the Circuit Playground Classic.)
Check it out:


There’s a version of the full-size Metro that carries the ‘M0’ name as well – because at its core is the ATSAMD21G18 chip, an ARM Cortex M0+ processor. To explain all the differences in form and function of this Metro from the ATmega version, check out the Learn Guide Adafruit Metro M0 Express – Designed for CircuitPython.


The Gemma M0 extends our wearables options in ‘express’ territory. Make a classic theremin on a breadboard, hoop earrings, or challenge yourself to learning CircuitPython with our Sheikah Pendant or Clockwork Goggles


Last but not least from the Adafruit family of products, the Trinket M0 brings ARM power to the Trinket form factor! This brings 32x as much flash, 64x as much RAM, and 6x the speed as the ATtiny85-based Trinkets. This lets you perform some pretty amazing feats such as these Charlieplexed LED matrices that you can program some beautiful animations onto using CircuitPython:

Learn more about this project here.


Outside of our own options is the MicroPython pyboard. Read this Learn Guide to learn all about MicroPython specifically – along with our range of MicroPython-compatible Learn Guides for making everything from tachometers to holiday lights, and more!

The pyboard is a compact and powerful electronics development board that runs MicroPython. It connects to your PC over USB, giving you a USB flash drive to save your Python scripts, and a serial Python prompt (a REPL) for instant programming. Requires a micro USB cable, and will work with Windows, Mac and Linux.


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.





by nicknormal at November 23, 2017 05:30 AM

November 22, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Commute with the Adafruit Metro!

Today we’re profiling our own Metro boards – the full-size and ‘mini’ versions. First up the full-size Metro may look somewhat familiar, at least in terms of form-factor-ness:


 
The size and shape of the Metro is derivative of the Arduino UNO R3, with a few of our own bells and whistles thrown in. Notably those 4 indicator LEDs on the edge of the board between the DC power jack and USB receptacle. Also the device can operate at 3.3V or 5V logic with a simple jumper, and the DC jack even includes a micro on/off switch next to it for easily powering down your project when needed without physically disconnecting the power supply.

The full-size Metro is fully compatible with all our Arduino shields as well. (The version shown above has headers pre-soldered to the board, but we sell a header-less version as well.)

To show what that could possibly translate into, here’s an example from Collin Cunningham upgrading a decades-old 2X-L ‘bot with a Metro, Wave shield, and proto shield to accommodate a LM386 amplifier circuit to give his Echo Dot a new look and feel:


 
Next up is also the Metro, but in Mini form factor!

The Metro Mini comes as a fully assembled and tested board, with bootloader burned in and also a stick of 0.1″ header. Some light soldering is required if you’d like to plug it into a breadboard, or you can solder wires or header directly to the breakout pads. Once headers are installed they can be fitted into 0.6″ wide sockets.

Similar in function but in a different size package is the Metro Mini – at only 18mm x 44mm x 4mm the Mini is truly that, while providing all the power and punch you expect out of the ATmega328 brain. The board can easily be configured for plugging into a breadboard, allowing for rapid prototyping prior to designing your own Metro shield or standalone PCB. The small form factor has a unique look, for example in this Metro Minimalist Clock:


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.


by nicknormal at November 22, 2017 05:30 AM

November 21, 2017

mightyOhm

Place your holiday orders by November 30th!

News flash –

As I mentioned on The Amp Hour, I’ll be traveling abroad for most of December. If you’d like to order a Geiger Counter or HV Rescue Shield, make sure to place your order by next Thursday, November 30th. I’ll update the shipping status page to reflect this.

If you are interested in purchasing a Geiger counter kit and miss the deadline, no worries! You can also purchase one from Adafruit.

Happy Holidays!
Jeff

by Jeff at November 21, 2017 08:50 PM

November 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Biohacking: Learning to See with Sound

There is a software package that has been available since 1992 called “the vOICe“. It allows for sensory substitution creating an audio landscape based on camera images. The primary application for this software is to assist the blind with navigation. However, I can see from a biohacking perspective that “the vOICe” might just fall under the brushing with magic category.  Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote comes to mind “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Yes, seeing people blind folded that can successful find a table, pick up a fork and serve themselves might just seem like magic to on lookers.

Early home-made setup for The vOICE. Smaller cameras, phones and Raspberry Pi support are making things less awkward.

Here is a summary of the Hardware options to start experimenting with “the vOICe” today:

The above image has a WAV file associated with it so you can hear what the sine wave and block shapes sound like.

Learning the navigation queues:

The good news is that there is an excellent manual with step by step exercises such as picking up blocks on a table while blind folded. The bad news is that this process of hearing where things are needs to be done in baby steps. Just picking up brightly colored blocks from a dark table has a recommended two week training period with 30 minutes a day block practice. Full soundscape navigation fluency is expected to take up to a year.

The voice works in a very predictable way “scans the view from left to right, while associating height with pitch and brightness with loudness. Another way of describing the mapping is that each view is scanned in thin vertical slices, starting with a vertical slice sounding on your left side and ending with a vertical slice sounding on your right side.”

Reading through the manual and attempting to navigate my home with the Droid app required I make some adjustments:

  • Lower the volume – the soundscapes being played are intense and even irritating depending on what is in the current frame. Lower volume helps a lot with absorbing the sounds.
  • Practice Blindfolded
  • Move quickly (when safe to do so) or at least naturally. Moving slow is different experience that has too much thinking involved. The goal is to stop analyzing and become fluent.

by Mikey Sklar at November 20, 2017 09:00 PM

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Flora, Gemma, and Circuit Playground Classic

All this week we’ll be featuring microcontrollers and development boards as part of our ongoing 2017 Gift Guides!

If you’re looking to get someone interested in a wearables-centric Arduino-compatible platform, Flora is a great place to start. The board is currently in version 3 and is compatible with a smörgåsbord of breakout sensors and modules – including GPS, accelerometer, light sensor, and even a UV index sensor, and more! If you’re curious to see more about those sensors check out the video below and accompanying Flora Sensors Learn Guide for more pictures and descriptions. The Flora book pack is currently out of stock but the standalone book is available so you could still build your own Flora ‘book pack’ for that special someone interested in wearables.


If you’re looking for a wearable solution that’s a bit more discreet, or maybe you only need a few (as in 3) GPIOs, look no further than the Gemma, a small but highly capable device (described in detail – both operationally and with example uses – at this Learn Guide). Measuring only 1″ in diameter, the unit is powered by an ATtiny85 with 8K of flash. Power can be delivered via external battery or USB – and it now even has a micro on/off switch (not shown in following video). Check it out:


Breakout Moment!

Okay so you’re interested in the Flora, but the Gemma is just so darn cute! (And you’ve heard fun things about ATtiny85.) But which one is really for you? Thankfully there’s a video for that! Watch:


OK both the Flora and Gemma look very capable. (Because they are!) But maybe you’re looking for something with just a bit more…zazz! Perhaps a light sensor on-board, oh and a microphone would be swell! And what are the chances of having a small board (I like that round form factor too) with an accelerometer, thermistor, and a bevy of NeoPixels already installed for feedback display or just aesthetics? There’s a board for that! And it looks great too:


 
It’s the Circuit Playground Classic and it contains all the sensors and LEDs previously mentioned and even more! Including pushbuttons, a miniature speaker, and capacitive-capable inputs. At 2″ round, this board packs a punch and is even cheaper than a standard Arduino – WOW!

To give you an example of the touch-and-sound capabilities of the Circuit Playground Classic check out this Star Trek combadge; and to see an example of the feedback from NeoPixels check out this electronic D6 dice project (that uses the accelerometer to detect a ‘roll’).


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Tune into the Adafruit Blog for six weeks of hand picked Adafruit Holiday Gift Guides featuring Adafruit products, projects and more starting Monday November 13.

Still not sure if you’re on the right gift giving track? Gift Certificates are the perfect cyber-present for the electronics geek in your life and are available at any time. When in doubt contact us!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of October 9th, 2017 12:00 PM ET we are offering a number of free products for orders starting at $99 or more!

For orders of $99 or more – a free Adafruit Perma-proto half-size breadboard

For orders of $149 or more – a free Adafruit Trinket M0

For orders of $200 or more – free UPS ground shipping (*Continental USA only)

For orders of $249 or more – a free Adafruit Gemma M0

For orders of $299 or more – a free Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

If you love CircuitPython, then you’ll love this promotion! The Trinket M0, GEMMA M0, and Circuit Playground Express are all great boards for getting going with CircuitPython.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2017

Here are your 2017 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control. Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for DHL, UPS or USPS.

Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, Christmas, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, no DHL, UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Domestic Orders

UPS Ground: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

UPS 3 Day: Place orders by Thursday 11 am ET – December 14, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

UPS 2 Day: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 15, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017

UPS Next Day: Place orders by Monday 11 am ET – December 18, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS First Class and USPS Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 8, 2017 – Arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First Class Mail International: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2017. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/22/2017.

USPS Express Mail International: Place orders by Friday – December 1, 2017. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/22/2017 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.

DHL EXPRESS WORLDWIDE: Place orders by Friday 11 am ET – December 8, 2017 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 22, 2017.



by nicknormal at November 20, 2017 05:30 AM

November 14, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Make Robot Puppy, Not Robot Enemy: Boston Dynamics’ Latest Robot Dog

via The Verge

Robot maker Boston Dynamics, now owned by Japanese telecom and tech giant SoftBank, just published a short YouTube clip featuring a new, more advanced version of its SpotMini robot. SpotMini, first unveiled in June 2016, started out as a giraffe-looking chore bot that was pretty terrible at performing tasks around the house, and, in one short clip, hilariously ate it on a cluster of banana peels like a character straight out of a slapstick cartoon.

The new SpotMini looks much more polished and less grotesque, like a real-life cross between a Pixar animation and a robot out of a Neill Blomkamp vision of the future, thanks in part to series of bright yellow plates covering its legs and body. The new bot’s movement also looks incredibly fluid. It shows just how much progress Boston Dynamics is making on its goal of life-like, animal-inspired robots that can move and respond to the forces in the real world.

See more!

by Zay at November 14, 2017 08:00 AM

October 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Animated ‘Snake Eyes’ Embedded in Day of the Dead Print | #ElectronicHalloween #RaspberryPi #piday

Thanks to educator Kristoffer for sending us images – and video! below – of his snake eyes bonnet with accompanying displays attached to a Raspberry Pi 3, displaying two eyes embedded inside a Day of the Dead print, itself inside a coffin-shaped frame. What a clever way to embed some moving eyes!


Adafruit electronic halloween dark HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Every weekday this month we’ll be bringing you ideas and projects for an Electronic Halloween! Expect wearables, hacks & mods, costumes and more here on the Adafruit blog! Working on a project for Halloween this year? Share it with us on Google+, in the comments below, the Adafruit forums, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter— we’d love to see what you’re up to and share it with the world (tag your posts #ElectronicHalloween). You can also send us a blog tip! Tune in to our live shows, 3D hangouts with Noe and Pedro and Ask an Engineer, featuring store discount codes, ideas for projects, costumes, decorations, and more!

by nicknormal at October 20, 2017 03:18 PM

September 27, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Seen at #MakerFaire: ‘Some Cool Stuff!’ – Specifically a DIY Kaleidoscope – by Randy Sarafan

Instructables Design Studio founder Randy Sarafan had a few projects on display at the recent World Maker Faire. He was showing some of his well-known robotics projects but the one that really caught my eye was his homemade kaleidoscope with a clamping mechanism for holding your cameraphone steady after you position the camera’s lens against the viewing receptacle (shown below) of the kaleidoscope:

A small motor could turn the kaleidoscope, or alternatively you could point it at something which itself is moving (such as images on a screen). The clamping mechanism allows you to record video or take stills of kaleidoscopic images like so:

See more of Randy’s projects here on his website.

by nicknormal at September 27, 2017 11:24 AM

September 13, 2017

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

Winch Bot – scanlime:026

Finally some locomotion for the flying camera system, it’s a 3D printed 1-dimensional robot that knows how to hang out on a network and pull rope.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon so I can keep making these vids!
https://www.patreon.com/scanlime

Subscribe to YouTube notifications or follow https://twitter.com/scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah at September 13, 2017 06:33 AM

August 18, 2017

mightyOhm

July 28, 2017

todbot blog

ILOVELAMP: my Supplyframe DesignLab residency project

For four months this year I had a residency at the Supplyframe DesignLab.  I worked on “ILOVELAMP“, a project experimenting with creating lamps with configurable light emitting surfaces using addressable LED strips. Check out the project: https://hackaday.io/project/20121-i-love-lamp

by todbot at July 28, 2017 05:55 PM

July 22, 2017

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

bigclive’s LED Tree – scanlime:025

Join me in assembling a surprise LED lighting kit from bigclive himself!

Check out his channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/bigclivedotcom

Subscribe to YouTube notifications or follow https://twitter.com/scanlimelive for live streaming announcements. I’m also streaming on Twitch now, at https://twitch.tv/scanlime

Please consider supporting me on Patreon so I can keep making these vids!
https://www.patreon.com/scanlime

by Micah Scott at July 22, 2017 11:55 PM

July 09, 2017

todbot blog

Replacing the battery in a Macbook Pro Retina (late 2013)

I really like the generation previous to the current Macbook Pros. You know the ones. They had all the useful ports like USB-A, HDMI, an SD Card slot, and MagSafe!  And it had a long-lived battery in a thin case. That is my Macbook Pro. And it’s wonderful. But now 3.5 years on, the once [...]

by todbot at July 09, 2017 02:31 AM

May 23, 2017

DorkbotPDX

Monolith Synth

Monolith Synth paul Tue, 2017-05-23 12:06

Over the last several weeks I collaborated with Ben Davis, Darcy Neal and Ross Fish on this Monolith Synth interactive sculpture we took to Tested and Maker Faire.

This was a pretty typical usage scene at Maker Faire:

A post shared by Darcy Neal (@drc3p0) on

This crazy adventure started with Kickstarter reached out to me, only 6 weeks before Maker Faire, looking to showcase 4 successful projects in their booth. They wanted to show "creative tools" and how people used them. So I reached out to a few synthesizer folks I've met and who've used Teensy. They also suggested bringing it to Tested to make a video. So it began...

From the beginning I had a step sequencer using illuminated arcade buttons in mind. So I quickly designed this little I/O expander board and sent it off to OSH Park's Super-Swift service.

The whole project came together over just 4 weeks. Our first meetup was just to discuss what to build, followed a week later by our first build night. By then the I/O expander boards had arrived. We made not the final Monolith, but 3 breadboard prototypes, so the software development side could begin!

Another meetup focused only on software. Almost all the software was developed on these prototype panels.

In this picture you can also see the panel layout sketches on the notepad on the right side, and a blue tape model underneath on the table, which we made to get an idea of the overall size.

Ross and Darcy had synthesis plans that needed a signal-controlled PWM waveform and improvements to the envelope feature, so I worked on improvements to the Teensy Audio Library while they wrote the Arduino sketch code.

The day before our next meetup, I started turning those sketches into a design for the laser cutting. I made this 1/4 scale model of the front and side pieces. At this point, none of the back side or interior ribs (for strength) had been designed, and you can see the model lacks the many holes for screws & brackets which joined everything.

Only 2 weeks before Maker Faire we had an epic 13-hour build day where all the final parts were laser cut and assembled. Here's a photo of Darcy & Ben putting the panels together on my kitchen counter!

All the clear acrylic plastic parts were completely drawn, with all mounting holes, and made that day.

Here's the complete layout of all parts (mk2017_design):

Here's a large high-res copy of this image, and a big ZIP file with all the original Corel Draw files for anyone who wishes to try making their own.

While the laser did most fabrication work, other steps like countersinking for the potentiometers were needed. It was indeed an epic 13 hour day of making.

A couple days later, I spent a whole day completing the wiring we couldn't get done in those 13 hours. Erin Murphy (the "Soldering Goddess" at PJRC) put in a few hours on aesthetic improvements to the messy tangle of wires from so many buttons.

Just a few days later we had our last "build" session, to get the 3 separately written Arduino sketches merged and working together as one integrated project. Even though everything has been designed to go together, this session went very late. Ben did much of the heavy lifting to merge the 3 programs.

This is the final audio DSP system settled upon that late night.

Here's a large high-res copy of this image.

This was the first actual usage of the Monolith, well past 1am when we finally had it all up and running.

The next day I took it all apart and packed all the pieces and spare parts into these 2 big boxes, weighing in at 55 and 40 pounds!

This is the first time I've ever shipped a project to Maker Faire, rather than driving a truck or hauling cases of checked baggage on a plane. So much easier, and it allowed time to work on a nice handout card. After some back and forth with the others and last-minute proof reading by Robin, who caught what would have been embarrassing typos and grammatical errors, we sent this card off to be fast-turn printed.


Here is a printable PDF file for the front side.


Here is a printable PDF file for the back side.

Darcy and I flew to San Francisco early and spent the day with Tested, putting it back together while they shot that awesome video. Sometime I hope to have even 1/10th that sort of video production skill.

Since it was already put together, we had little to do setup-wise. Friday morning Ben, Ross and Darcy did some adjustments of the sound levels which really made it come to life in the space. For anyone who wishes to dig deeper into the technical details, thecomplete source code is available on Github.

All weekend long people really enjoyed playing with it. There were many really awesome moments, like this one:

Here is Kickstarter's coverage of the event. Scroll down a bit to the part about Teensy. :)

During the 3 days of Maker Faire, things went very well. We did experience a couple minor issues. Massive electrical noise from so many other projects played havoc with the capacitive touch sensing. Saturday evening I rewrote the code to look for changes from an average rather than just an increase from a threshold, which allowed it to usually work well enough. The other tech issue was a bass. When turned up louder, the bass notes would shake all the plastic panels, rattling screws and even some of the connectors loose at time. Easy to fix.

Towards the end of Sunday, the Maker Faire folks came around and gave up an award. At first I shrugged it off, since they've done the same for other stuff I've brought in prior years. But those were the blue ribbons. Apparently the only hand out one of these red one each in "zone". They said it's a big deal...

Really, the best thing about this year was working with a great team. Ross, Darcy and Ben really stepped up and did a great job on so many parts.

by paul at May 23, 2017 06:06 PM

May 22, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Circuit Playground Bike Glove Light and Custom FLORA PCB with Compass

Thanks Lim for participating in last week’s Show-and-Tell and also for sending in these higher resolution stills and video showing off his projects!

Here’s a video showing the shake-n-glow activation of the bike glove – one shake to turn it on, another to switch off the LEDs:

Very cool!

And here’s a close-up of Lim’s custom FLORA-based PCB with compass in lieu of the WS2812 LED:

Here’s Lim’s original broadcast on last week’s Show-and-Tell:


Featured Adafruit Products!

NewImage

Circuit Playground – Developer Edition: Circuit Playground features an ATmega32u4 processor, just like our popular Flora. The board’s also round and has alligator-clip pads around it so you don’t have to solder or sew to make it work. You can power it from USB, a AAA battery pack, or with a Lipoly battery (for advanced users). Just program your code into the board then take it on the go! Read more.

NewImage

FLORA – Wearable electronic platform: Arduino-compatible – v3: FLORA is Adafruit’s fully-featured wearable electronics platform. It’s a round, sewable, Arduino-compatible microcontroller designed to empower amazing wearables projects.FLORA comes with Adafruit’s support, tutorials and projects. Check out dozens of FLORA tutorials on the Adafruit Learning System, with more added all the time! Read more.

by nicknormal at May 22, 2017 05:37 PM

May 08, 2017

DorkbotPDX

DOBOHEBOCON RESULTS

DOBOHEBOCON RESULTS skinny Mon, 2017-05-08 14:56

The first DorkbotPDX Hebocon had some fierce competitors.  Check below for video and results!

DorkbotPDX DOBOHEBOCON 2017 from Brian Richardson on Vimeo.

Results:

Champion: Popcorn by Gary and Daniel

Gary and Daniel

Their bot has an actual piece of Popcorn in it.

Popcorn in bot!

Technically Poorest: Spring Thing by Drew

Spring Thing

This might be my favorite.  No electricity, just a spring.  

Fastest Fail: Lithium by Bill

Lithium

Lithium was a pro looking bot!

Poorest Quality: Spitter Bot by Mathew

Spitter Bot

Spitter Bot spit 3d printing filament at its foes!

Loudest: Just One Bugfix by Brian

Just One Bugfix

Just One Bugfix played an intimidating scream as it competed.

by skinny at May 08, 2017 08:56 PM

April 19, 2017

DorkbotPDX

DOBOHEBOCON

DOBOHEBOCON skinny Tue, 2017-04-18 21:41

Working rules link here

by skinny at April 19, 2017 03:41 AM

April 17, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Pictures from the 10th Anniversary ‘OptoSonic Tea’ in NYC

Last week marked the 10th anniversary (wow has it really been 10 years – yes, yes it has) in NYC for OptoSonic Tea – think tea, like steeped, or immersion in, with opto like ocular and sonic like aural envelopes of experience (that said at non-anniversary events conversations usually take place around servings of green tea). Projections and light-based works were more obvious: this image is coming from that lens, with mixing or multi-layered visuals being common. Audio was immersive, and random; speakers were scattered throughout the multi-thousand square foot Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and sometimes (if not most times) the person you could closest find doing audio mixing wasn’t producing the sounds you were necessarily hearing at any moment. Their sound might be elsewhere, or even delayed.

More than three dozen artists and makers participated, and here are some shots from the celebratory evening:


The main hall of Pioneer Works



Co-organizer Katherine Liberovskaya tends to her mixing station; projection seen above on the architecture of the space.




These rad projectors are housed in unique flip-lid cases; the maker was using analog 35mm slides mixed through some digital software (seen above).


Great sounds from this homemade slide guitar instrument – give a listen:


Old school! The heat coming off this bellows-based projector was intense!



This guy had some sort of kaleidoscopic laser gun – seen on the wall. His left hand went into some sort of ‘pouch’ that somehow controlled elements of the projection:


Stay Puft everyone!


Also here’s a nice timelapse of the work by Chris Jordan that I managed to not get a photo of. However this video shows the work even better than I could have documented and also timelapses the amazing effort artists put into their installations:


And here’s the complete list of participating artists from the OptoSonic Tea: 10th Anniversary event:

Gill Arno
Miah Artola
Bob Bellerue
Causings
CHIKA
Tom Chiu
Seth Cluett
Thomas Dexter
Jeff Donaldson
Luke DuBois
Bradley Eros
Michael Evans
David First
Kit Fitzgerald
Richard Garet
Shelley Hirsch
Chris Jordan
Antonia Kuo
Andrew Lampert
Katherine Liberovskaya
Al Margolis
Anthony Martin
Miya Masaoka
Brock Monroe
Charlie Morrow
Dafna Naphtali
Bradford Reed
Ursula Scherrer
Joel Schlemowitz
Lary 7
Lily Sheng
Jeremy Slater
George Stadnik
Hans Tammen
Ben Vida
Stephen Vitiello
Philip White
Amnon Slater
Sonia Yuditskaya

by nicknormal at April 17, 2017 05:37 PM

April 13, 2017

adafruit industries blog

‘Bionic Handling Assistant’ by Festo Inspired by Nature | @roboweek #NationalRoboticsWeek #RoboWeek

Festo have been working on some 21st century production robot arms, inspired by nature. Specifically elephant trunks, and fish tail fins. Festo have additional information, videos, and photos of the unit here on their website, and you can watch the video below here on PBS Learning Media where David Pogue gets a unique look at the labs working on this new tech.


 

Learn how one company took inspiration from nature to reinvent the robotic arm in this video excerpted from NOVA: “Making Stuff Wilder.” Host and technology columnist David Pogue meets with engineer Heinrich Frontzek to find out about the Bionic Handling Assistant—a machine modeled after an elephant’s trunk. A traditional robotic arm is rigid and unable to work closely with humans, but this new design is more flexible and less dangerous. The company has also developed a new kind of adaptive gripper, inspired by fish fins, that is flexible and able to securely grasp even fragile objects, like eggs.

Read more here and here.

by nicknormal at April 13, 2017 04:30 AM

March 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

NEW GUIDE: Toy Car Speed Timer #AdafruitLearningSystem #3DPrinting

Find out how fast your toy car is.

Use two pairs of IR break beam sensors and some 3D-printing skill to build a Toy Car Speed Timer block to adjoin to your 1/64 scale toy race car track! A Feather M0 Basic calculates the difference in time between the two breaks in the pairs of IR sensors and displays the value on an OLED display. The unit is battery powered so it can be switched on and off quickly without running a main power line to the circuit for use in your track design.

See the full guide here!


 
Here’s a sample of the code:

See the full guide here!

by nicknormal at March 20, 2017 06:29 PM

March 03, 2017

Arduino Blog

Need desk lighting? How about 1,200+ LEDs?

After he’d just finished a project using RGB LEDs, Imgur user nolobot’s brother mentioned he needed a new computer desk. Most people would probably just let their brother buy one, others would make something out of wood, but nolobot instead decided to create something truly amazing using more than 1,200 WS2812 RGB LED modules, an Arduino Mega, aluminum extrusion, and translucent polycarbonate.

The Mega controls these LEDs with the FastLED library, which are sandwiched between a base piece of plywood and a strip of polycarbonate using custom spacers. This diffuses the light nicely, allowing for beautiful light animations directly on the desk’s surface.

You can find more on this awesome build on the project’s Imgur page!

by Arduino Team at March 03, 2017 04:33 PM

February 24, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Demo for Slung Load Controller Using #RaspberryPi + naze32 | #piday

After showing what is possible with drone position controlling, Aldo Vargas is back with another drone project, demonstrating compensation for underslung loads. Think of Chinook helicopters transporting Humvees or helicopters carrying sand or water for dousing forest fires. Those maneuvers come with great degree of skill, and learning – operated by humans with years of training, performing moves not typical for commercial drone applications. Which is only to say someone then will figure it out, for drones! The comparison photos, GIF, and video below show what is possible with this controller software.

Multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (MRUAV) have become an increasingly interesting area of study in the past decade, becoming tools that allow for positive changes in today’s world. Not having an on-board pilot means that the MRUAV must contain advanced on- board autonomous capabilities and operate with varying degrees of autonomy. One of the most common applications for this type of aircraft is the transport of goods. Such applications require low-altitude flights with hovering and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities.

Similar as before in this project we use the AltaX Flight Stack which is compromised by a Raspberry Pi 3 as companion computer and a naze32 as flight controller.

The slung load controller and the machine learning estimator is running on the RPI3, although of course the training of the recurrent neural network was done offline in a big desktop computer. The RPI calculates the next vehicle position based on the estimation of the position of the slung load, everything is running using our framework DronePilot and guess what? its open source ;). Keep reading for more details.

The results? Pretty remarkable. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of an underslung loaded drone without and with the controller running:

And here are timelapse photos showing the drone without the load controller:

And here’s that same load while compensated using the load controller:

Wow! That is a difference!

Vargas walks through the setup in the video below, and you can read a bit more here on his blog:


 
Read more.

by nicknormal at February 24, 2017 02:37 PM

February 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

‘Variant: Limits’ is Like Myst for Calculus Students – Explore a 3D World, Solve Puzzles with Calculus! | @Triseum

This. Looks. Amazing!

Triseum have announced a “third-person exploration game based on calculus” called Variant. While the gameplay is clearly different from Myst (3rd person perspective, rotational 3D world), the trailer (below) does remind me of moments from that breakthrough game, solving puzzles to advance through a curious world – how did this architecture get here? Who built this place? Who maintains these grounds? And yeah, you get to learn calculus along the way!

 
Watch the complete trailer:

Triseum are accepting applications from “selected institutions and educators” for “a sponsored pilot in spring 2017 to bring the ultimate in game-based learning experiences to your calculus students.” If you’re interested you can read more and apply for the pilot here – and I do hope this gets released to the general public, and I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in re-learning calculus knowledge through immersive gameplay!

by nicknormal at February 20, 2017 02:11 PM

February 07, 2017

todbot blog

Learning Fusion 360 via 3d-printed iPhone tripod mounts

Here’s how I taught myself Fusion360 by updating a 3d-printable iPhone tripod mount I found on Thingiverse, and put the update back on Thingiverse. Several years ago, I needed a tripod mount for my iPhone, so like anyone with a 3d printer at the time, I headed to Thingiverse and found this awesome tripod mount [...]

by todbot at February 07, 2017 11:58 PM

January 20, 2017

adafruit industries blog

Little Tike Cozy Coupe Upgraded with Arduino Uno, Wave Shield for Custom Sound Interactions

Brentmore Labs took to upgrading his BMW-hooded Little Tike Cozy Coupe with some custom electronics, adding sound effects and replacing some elements along the way and even doing some custom 3D-printing where replacing plastic parts was required. In short, AMAZING! Check out the video below to hear one of the sound effects, and read more about – including looking at the code running this project – here.

The Little Tike Cozy Coupe, a children’s classic made of soft hollow plastic (LPDE), is a blank canvas for tinkering and customization. While the car comes with some entertainment options, such a squeaker in the horn, I think that my client deserves something a little more realistic and, of course, high-tech.

This wasn’t a particularly difficult project, but it did take a bit of time to set up. The overall concept is to create a media controller which plays different sounds depending on the button pressed. I figured I could replace the toy key with a giant button and also fill the blank space on the left with some buttons to select the music.


 
Read more here.


Featured Adafruit Products!

NewImage

Rugged Metal Pushbutton with Blue LED Ring – 16mm Blue Momentary: These chrome-plated metal buttons are rugged and look real good while doing it! Simply drill a 16mm hole into any material up to 1/2″ thick and you can fit these in place, there’s even a rubber gasket to keep water out of the enclosure. On the front of the button is a flat metal actuator, surrounded by a blue plastic LED ring. Read more.

by nicknormal at January 20, 2017 02:11 PM

January 12, 2017

SparkFun Electronics News

Enginursday: Voltage Regulator Temperature Mobile App

When a design needs an inexpensive, simple and low-ripple voltage supply, a great choice is a linear regulator. These benefits come mostly at the cost of efficiency, which is lost in the form of heat. How does one know if a simple linear regulator can safely operate in a system, how much power is wasted, or how much heat needs to be managed? We’ve created a simple tool that calculates this information for you.

Model of a Linear Voltage Regulator

High level model of linear regulator

Figure 1: High-level model of linear regulator

Figure 1 shows a high-level model of a linear regulator. It consists of a resistive pass element that is controlled by some logic to keep the output voltage at the desired value. At this level only three values are really needed to feed the model and get values for power lost and heat generated: the input supply voltage, the desired output voltage and the current being drawn by the load. That’s all that is required to determine values to necessary precision.

In reality, the pass element isn’t normally a potentiometer as shown, and the control logic is more than a magic box.

More Detailed Conceptual Model

Figure 2: More detailed conceptual model (Courtesy of Linear Technology)

A possible actual implementation uses an error amplifier to sense the output voltage of a voltage divider. The error is the difference between the scaled voltage and a precision reference. The error feeds the base of a bipolar or gate of a field effect transistor in their linear regions. The current through the divider and into the amplifier is known and can be accounted for.

The model used by this application assumes that the power used by the control logic is negligible. In reality, I’ve seen values as low as 1.5µA. Other regulators use on the order of 10’s of µAs. A low quiescent current of 10µA is only 1 percent error when drawing a single mA. Typical use cases are often in the multiple mA range and up. Since the power used by the logic is negligible, the current in is equal to the current out and only needs to be set once. The extra voltage is lost in the form of heat in the power transistor.

Regulator Specifications

The app comes with some typical values for a generic linear regulator already set. This is great for playing around and estimating, but for real applications the actual manufacturer specifications should be used. These may be tricky to find, but the best place to look is in the manufacturer’s datasheet for the part.

Example regulator specifications

Figure 3: Example regulator specifications from datasheet (Courtesy of Maxim Integrated)

The key specs to look for are the maximum junction temperature and the thermal resistance. The resistance varies from package to package and the thermal mass of whatever the regulator is touching. For this example we will take a common use case of a regulator without forced cooling and without a heat sink attached to a four-layer PCB. The datasheet shows this thermal resistance (θJA) between the junction to ambient to be 42°CW.

There are at least three values listed for maximum temperature. The part is rated to operate over the -40°C to +125°C automotive temperature range. That’s not relevant to this math. The maximum junction temperature is spec’d to be +150°C. We can verify that this is a good value since later in the datasheet it is stated that the device will go into thermal shutdown at +165°C. That’s a state to definitely avoid, so there is a little margin.

Using the Application

Example regulator specifications set

Figure 4: Setting example specs

Maximum current allowed example

Figure 5: Determining maximum current allowed

At the top of the app is the familiar hamburger menu that slides the settings out from the left side. Figure 4 shows the thermal resistance of 42°CW and the max junction temperature of +150°C entered. This example uses the default ambient temperature of +25°C. Swiping the settings back to the left hides them. The input voltage was arbitrarily chosen to be 12V, and the output to be 5V. The current slider was wiggled until it was right around the point where JUNCTION TEMP: XY.Z°C label turned red (@ 150°C) and fine-tuned with the steppers to the maximum point where the label wasn’t red. This turns out to be 0.425A, which is wasting nearly 3W of power.

Tips

If you live in ‘Murica you are probably more comfortable with temperature units of degrees Fahrenheit. There is a setting to change the units to °F. Touch the gray Fahrenheit (°F) label. It should turn green, indicating the change has been made. Only the thermal resistance will remain in the units most of the world use (°CW) since we aren’t sure where to find those values in other units (°F·sft·lbf?).

The default ranges of the sliders cover a fairly large range that should work for many cases. If the parameters for a project are outside of these ranges, then the bottom section of the settings is provided as a way to fix that. There might be cases where one wants a clean 200A supply of 24V. Feeding up to ~24.021739V into a magic LDO, that range can be set. Many designs may lie in a narrow range. The parameter ranges can be tightened up to make finer tuning easier. The range of the slider is discretized because there are only so many pixels on a screen. If a value cannot be set with the slider, narrow the range or use the steppers next to the sliders to fine-tune the value.

For back-of-the-envelope type calculations, wiggle the slider near the desired value. If nothing turns red, then the application is nice and safe.

Advanced Use and Hacks

The first hack allows typing in the desired voltages and/or current to great precision. The trick is to set the desired value as the min or max for a slider setting. After that, simply swipe all the way to that extreme, and the exact value is set.

Example regulator specifications set

Figure 6: Setting exact values as slider extremes

Maximum current allowed example

Figure 7: Using those typed-in values

The precision of the inputs on the UI is limited to 10mV and 1mA steps, but the math isn’t. To come up with eight significant digits in the last section, a minute or two was spent using this hack to get that value (which is likely poor using only a simple linear model with the used assumptions).

alt text

Figure 8: Excessive precision

Another ‘hack’ is too use ‘fake’ values for the thermal resistance to model heat sinks and other configurations. Sum the thermal resistances of the regulator, the junction between it and a heat sink, and that of the heat sink.

Where to Score

Want your own copy? It’s free in the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store.

Hate something about the app? Go fork yourself a copy and change it!

Have an idea for another app? No promises, but feel free to share your idea in the comments below.

Bonus

For those who have never put a mobile app into one of the marketplaces, here is an interesting clip. The following is Google’s automated testing getting an older build to crash. Interesting use of the app, but it worked to find a flaw! Both Apple and Google run tests like these when a new version is uploaded.

Fun clip of Android version crashing during development

comments | comment feed

by SparkFun Electronics at January 12, 2017 03:30 PM

December 18, 2016

uC Hobby

AA Battery Pack to 3.3V for IoT Projects

I tweeted about my experiments with the AAT1217 switching supply controller a few days ago.  I found the chip in a product design I was evaluating. It looked like a great answer to the power problem in an IoT project I’m working on.  I ordered a few from Mouser and some breakout boards to try.  […]

by uCHobby at December 18, 2016 12:32 AM

December 08, 2016

adafruit industries blog

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2016: BeagleBone Black Products & Projects

unnamed

The BeagleBone Black is a lil’ Linux-powered single-board computer whose curved corners allow it to fit snugly inside a mint tin 😉 The ‘Bone has a capable array of GPIOs, PWMs, analog inputs, along with I2C, SPI, and the highly-reliable low-latency PRUs (Programmable Real-time Units, powered by two 32-bit 200MHz built-in microcontrollers!), among other features and capabilities. Below we’ve rounded up everything from getting started with to peripherals to some projects that use the ‘Bone:


The Essentials

5V 2A (2000mA) switching power supply – UL Listed

276-00

OK first things first and with the BeagleBone Black that means a dedicated power supply. This wall wart supply of 2000mAh is sufficient if not ideal. Long-story short you don’t want to power the BeagleBone Black over USB if you plan on conducting any WiFi activity (see adapter, below) or driving any project where the power draw might spike. Get a good power supply, and you’ll be good too! This wart is relatively small for the punch it packs with plugs in the orientation I prefer for most of my project installs.


USB WiFi (802.11b/g/n) Module with Antenna

1030-03

Not as discreet as other WiFi modules on the market – but personally I dig the articulating antenna that I can somewhat point in the optimal direction (and yes things like this do actually matter, like, a lot) for my installation.


From Prototype to Project

Adafruit Proto Plate for Beagle Bone & Beagle Bone Black

702-00

For any board, you’ll likely want to begin with a breadboard setup, and proto plates are not only a great way to house a breadboard alongside whatever board you’re working with but allow easy pickup-and-go transport of the prototyping to any new location.


Adafruit Proto Cape Kit for Beagle Bone & Beagle Bone Black

572-00

When you’re ready to make your prototyping layout a little more permanent – and perhaps reclaim your breadboard – consider migrating everything to this Beagle Bone Proto. It doesn’t contain as much prototyping real estate as a breadboard, and will require a nominal amount of soldering, but it looks great and will make nice and tidy your custom through-hole component circuit for your BeagleBone Black.


Anidees BeagleBoneBlack Case – Silver Aluminum with Crystal Top

2628-00

And when you’re ready to go full-enclosure, for install either at your workstation or in an environment where the ‘Bone can be placed and left alone, this aluminum-finished enclosure looks fantastic. There’s room inside to house your Beagle Bone Proto as well – although not necessarily the components on top, that all depends on your design and layout. The clear top allows easy viewing of the board or any display or indicator LEDs you might have installed.

And of course if you like this sleek case but want it a bit more stealth-looking, check out this black version. 😉


Projects

Blinking an LED with BeagleBone Black

‘LED blink’ is basically the ‘hello world‘ of any single-board computer project – and this 15-minute project will have you going ‘Aha!’ when you’re done with how easy and intuitive the ‘Bone can be. After this you’ll no doubt want to explore other simple how-tos like measuring temperature or measuring light values – then you’ll be ready for more sophisticated motor control or capsense projects.


LedGames – a BeagleBone Black 64×64 LED Game

Not exactly a simple project, this build will test your fabrication, soldering, and software skillz. But the result is a fantastic-looking 64×64 retro gaming station LedGames!


Dirty Dish Detector

 
My own little claim to fame is this ‘Bone- and OpenCV-powered project I built alongside Jason Kridner called the Dirty Dish Detector. The hardware is relatively plug-n-play, however it will involve some navigation of the command line, as well as Cloud9 which is a brilliant built-in cloud development solution for ‘Bone builds!

Does your makerspace have a sink that is always full of dirty dishes? Or do you yourself require better discipline around the home to stay on top of your chores? To automate your home, office, or workshop, one of the first things you’ll require is some kind of vision system to detect motion or objects. A small computer capable of running OpenCV could be just the tool you need.

The Dirty Dish Detector combines a BeagleBone Black & Logitech webcam – along with plenty of open-source software – to tackle the annoying activity of tracking when dishes get left in the sink.


Footer

We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit, and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Stay tuned into the blog where you will find new, handpicked gift guides five days a week from November 7 through December 23rd, 2016 alongside holiday themed tutorials and builds!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us.

As of November 21st, 2016 1:00 PM ET we are currently offering:

ONE FREE LIMITED EDITION ENAMEL PIN for orders $99 or more. Some restrictions apply. There are currently three unique pins available as free items. While we cannot control which pin you’ll receive with your order, if you order using your Adafruit account we’ll send you a pin you haven’t gotten yet. Once you collect them all, we might have to send you repeats. Each pin is limited edition – so once we’ve given them all away, we won’t have any more. Act fast to collect them all!

ONE FREE ADAFRUIT FEATHER 32U4 BASIC PRO for orders $150 or more. Some restrictions apply and while supplies last!

FREE UPS ground (Continental USA) for orders $200 or more. Some restrictions apply.

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2016

Here are your 2016 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016, Christmas, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service.

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2016, New Year’s Day, no UPS or USPS pickup or delivery service

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!

Domestic Orders

UPS ground: Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 9, 2016 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 23.

UPS 3-day: Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 15, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016.

UPS 2-day: Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 16, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016.

UPS overnight: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 19, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority: Place orders by Friday– December 9, 2016 – Arrive by 12/23/2016 or sooner.

International Orders

USPS First class mail international: Place orders by Friday – November 18, 2016. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/23/2016 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/23/2016.

USPS Express mail international: Place orders by Friday – December 2, 2016. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/23/2016 or sooner.

UPS WORLDWIDE EXPRESS, UPS WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED and UPS EXPRESS SAVER (UPS International orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 9, 2016 – There is no guarantee that international packages will arrive by December 23 2016.

by nicknormal at December 08, 2016 05:30 AM

November 07, 2016

adafruit industries blog

‘Zooids’ are Open-Source, Open-Hardware ‘Bots for ‘Swarm User Interfaces’

I admit, they’re cute. But I can’t help but think this is the beginning of the creation of those swarm bots that derail the path of Destiny in Stargate: Universe; I’m strictly talking in parallel-universe dimensionality of course, because we all know those drone-bots are not currently anywhere near our solar system – let’s keep it that way okay!

This paper introduces swarm user interfaces, a new class of human-computer interfaces comprised of many autonomous robots that handle both display and interaction. We describe the design of Zooids, an open-source open-hardware platform for developing tabletop swarm interfaces. The platform consists of a collection of custom-designed wheeled micro robots each 2.6 cm in diameter, a radio base-station, a high-speed DLP structured light projector for optical tracking, and a software framework for application development and control. We illustrate the potential of tabletop swarm user interfaces through a set of application scenarios developed with Zooids, and discuss general design considerations unique to swarm user interfaces.

by nicknormal at November 07, 2016 04:29 PM

October 28, 2016

adafruit industries blog

Father Turns Son into a Transforming Optimus Prime

It’s apparently the year for especially fantastic homemade Halloween costumes. We’ve seen one parent craft a cute and furry tauntaun costume for their toddler, and now Redditor Renz2LK has made an Optimus Prime costume for his son. It’s not just any Optimus Prime cosplay — it actually transforms. I’m mesmerized by the above video.

Renz2LK spend about six hours over two days crafting the Optimus Prime costume. He used scrap EVA foam from his workshop to build the vehicle shell. He painted it using spray paint and added acrylics for weathering. Regarding using EVA foam, he said:

As for my son’s costume, it was basic geometric shapes, so it was pretty easy to just custom size each piece to fit him. As for the transforming part, I had seen him pretending to transform while playing in costume. I just created the cab portion of the truck to cover him and found that it was easy to flip it open when he stood up.

And another look at the transforming action:

via Reddit

by Amy Ratcliffe at October 28, 2016 01:00 PM

October 04, 2016

adafruit industries blog

‘The Jolly Julep,’ Handmade and Hand-Powered Paddle Boat #WMF16

‘The Jolly Julep’ was a fun handmade paddle boat designed by The Fulton Mules, on display at World Maker Faire this past weekend. It uses a simple slide mechanism to translate human push-power into spinning paddle speed (see video below!). And as things go in NYC you can’t exactly park this in your apartment (some apartments are smaller than this boat!), so the whole thing was designed to quickly break down and re-assemble; the team built it the day before in a few hours (in the rain no less!). The boat was a recent participant at the Battle for Mau Mau Island, itself a project of some of the Swimming Cities crew, who I wrangled many years ago to display their fish-boat at the inaugural 2010 World Maker Faire – so it was good to see boat culture alive and well at a Maker Faire!

img_20161001_151331

The wooden fin-waves on the side were a nice touch!

img_20161001_151247

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img_20161001_151229

Watch it in action – play the video below! (Now of course air is a lot less resistant than water, but this shows you how fast this thing can go with human-powered effort!)

by nicknormal at October 04, 2016 07:31 PM

‘MindTIME’ will Make You Question Your Perception of the Passage of Time #WMF16

‘MindTIME V2’ was a fun interactive sculpture made by Kritwalee Seneetantikul, seen at World Maker Faire this past weekend. Consisting of three panels of multiple spinning dials, users would initiate their spinning by touching a conductive pad on the table; the stepper motor-controlled dials would then spin for an unknown amount of time. The challenge to the user was to guess how long the dials spun. Do more dials make more time appear to go by? Do fewer dials slow down our perception of time when in fact more goes by? Users could fill out a survey card of sorts, then compare their answer/s.

The frames were really well designed and the stepper motors mounted nicely on the back:

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MindTime is a series of interactive sculptures that encourage participants to explore their own perception of time. The installation consists of three sculpture sets, each running a different speed. The visitor is encouraged to concentrate on each sculpture and predict how much time has passed. This is analogous to our own lives where time passes too quickly when there are many tasks to complete but moves too slowly when we are waiting for something or seemingly have nothing to do. The experience for each visitor will vary, being either fast or slow according to the way the individual perceives time. I invite visitors to share their results in this paper and compare their different time perception experiences with each other.

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Featured Adafruit Products!

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Adafruit Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield for Arduino v2 Kit – v2.3: The original Adafruit Motorshield kit is one of our most beloved kits, which is why we decided to make something even better. We have upgraded the shield kit to make the bestest, easiest way to drive DC and Stepper motors. This shield will make quick work of your next robotics project! We kept the ability to drive up to 4 DC motors or 2 stepper motors, but added many improvements: Read more.

by nicknormal at October 04, 2016 04:11 PM

October 02, 2016

adafruit industries blog

Seen at World #MakerFaire: Play ‘Currency,’ a Bitcoin-Based ASCII Game Hacked into a Burroughs Adding Machine

A game that constantly fluctuates with the current market value of Bitcoin – thus the ethernet shield attached to the Arduino core, constantly checking the value of the cryptocurrency:

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This kid was not only really into the game – obviously! – but went on to win it with about 30 more lever pulls!


 
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With the rise in prominence of the crypto-currency Bitcoin financial markets and governments are scrambling to see how to adjust to this new insurgent monetary form. As an insurgent, Bitcoin becomes the foil in an ASCII generated 8 BIT game who’s controller is a hacked Burrough’s adding machine with receipt printer as the play field. Mirroring the mechanics of 8 BIT Atari games like Defenders or Caverns of Mars the game scrapes data off a Bitcoin trading site to control speed and difficulty of game play. Players attempt to pull the two columns of ASCII symbols together while either being aided or impeded by the current exchange rate of Bitcoins to U.S. Dollars. Because of the twenty four hour nature of this unofficial market each time a player enters the game world scraped data will be different making for new game play, changes may be subtle minute to minute or drastic depending on the fluctuation that day. The Burroughs machine with its intricate mechanisms give the player a tactile portal into the complex systems that control the movement of Bitcoin’s through the web. The printed field, referencing ticker tape of the early stock exchange, this also give the player a record of their game play allowing them to collect and share their success or failures. Players navigate and are faced with the complicated quandaries and pitfalls that come with an unregulated non-central monetary system and the obvious questions this kind of economic system raises. The risk reward of competing in this volatile market is reflected in the risk reward of the game where players can see if luck will be on their side.


 
This project is located on the mezzanine inside Zone 1, the main building of the NY Hall of Science at World Maker Faire.

by nicknormal at October 02, 2016 01:11 PM

‘Megachordotron’ is a Simple MIDI Controller Built with Teensy, First Seen at World #MakerFaire #WMF16

Will Ware (actual last name!) built this … ware, a MIDI controller assembled around a simple wood-and-hardware interface, using Teensy 3.1 or 3.2, “organized around chords, designed for people too clumsy to play a guitar.” And it sounds pretty cool too!

 
And the best part is the project’s build notes are completely open-sourced and available here on GitHub!

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Here’s a more sound-balanced video of Will demoing his instrument with some explanation:

 
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by nicknormal at October 02, 2016 08:15 AM

September 28, 2016

adafruit industries blog

Diving into the Homestead Crater Wearing a Glowing SCUBA Suit #Utah #WearableWednesday

This is cool. Recently the bridge over the Homestead Crater in Utah was removed and some swimmers were allowed to dive into it, including a member of the USA Cliff Diving team who donned a glowing (likely EL wire, although the article calls it an “LED light suit.”). And thanks to Elizabeth for sending this in!

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On a dark night, four people recently dove from a height of five stories into Midway’s Homestead Crater.

One of the divers was Andy Jones, a member of the USA Cliff Diving team who is on the Red Bull cliff diving circuit and grew up in Sandy. He donned an LED light suit for the event, which was hosted by Nu Skin.

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by nicknormal at September 28, 2016 11:29 AM