Arduino Planet

February 25, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

App note: Advanced LED rework procedure for video wall and signage applications

an_osram_LED_rework

App note from OSRAM about LED rework on signages and their demand for more sophosticated tools. Link here (PDF)

SMT LEDs have became more and more popular in video wall and signage applications, replacing radial LEDs. This leads to more difficulties during the repair or replacement of failed LEDs on PCBs, especially for QFN (Quad Flat No-lead) packages, as there is no exposed lead. This application note provides basic information on how to rework the SMT LEDs in video wall and signage applications. To describe the rework process the DISPLIX Oval LED was chosen an example, as the rework of this LED is more challenging due to the lack of exposed lead and the oval lens on top. However, the procedure is also suitable for other LEDs. In this application note details on the materials used, examples of suitable equipment and the process are presented and described. Finally, the test results of the LED after the rework process are presented, showing that in this case the rework procedure did not cause any damage to the LED itself.

by DP at February 25, 2018 05:00 PM

App note: Matrix LED and where they are used

an_issi_matrixLED

White paper about matrix LED usage from Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI). Link here (PDF)

People today come in contact with a wide range of consumer electronics (CE) devices in their daily lives. CE devices have become increasingly complex with added functionality enabled by MCU’s which provide the intelligence for automating functions. Control panels used in appliances and other equipment leverage MCUs and several integrated circuits to enable functions, such as sensing, process control and user interface (UI).

The user interface consists of input controls, visual and audio feedback used to configure the product to perform complex tasks. An aesthetically pleasing UI is a major differentiating feature for home appliances such as ovens, washing machines and refrigerators. Home appliance UIs commonly use capacitive or inductive touch sensing to provide an easy to clean interface unmatched by mechanical buttons. In addition to touch sensing, a UI has to provide audio and visual feedback in response to the user selection. The UI may not be the most important factor in determining the commercial success of CE devices. However, once parity is established on the major functions such as washing capacity, energy efficiency, etc, the UI becomes a key differentiator. Today, parity has been established on most of the important factors making the UI a product differentiating factor.

As the trend continues to move away from purely mechanical switches to a fully electronic interface expect to see demand for LEDs and drivers to continue increasing.

by DP at February 25, 2018 01:00 PM

adafruit industries blog

How to upgrade an iPod for 2018 with flash memory and a new battery

How to upgrade an iPod for 2018 with flash memory and a new battery The Verge

The Verge‘s Circuit Breakers walks through the process of upgrading and old iPod. It is surprisingly simple to take a 30 GB iPod and make it a 250 GB iPod with a new battery!

If you’re interested in building your own upgraded iPod for yourself, here’s what you’ll need:

An old iPod (a fifth-generation iPod Video works best, and it has the added bonus of offering a Wolfson DAC, which is considered to be the best ever shipped on an iPod)

An iFlash adapter, which houses your SD cards, Compact Flash drives, or SATA drives and connects where your old hard drive used to go (available on eBay)
Some flash memory (either SD, microSD, Compact Flash, or SATA, depending on your personal preference)
A new battery (iFixit is a good place to get reliable ones)
An opening tool to pry open the iPod (again, iFixit has them)
Then, it’s as simple as cracking open the iPod, carefully removing the power and headphone cables, swapping the battery, swapping the hard drive, reattaching all the wiring, and snapping things back together. One quick iTunes restore later, and you’ll be good to go!

If all that seems a little confusing, feel free to follow along with our live run-through in this week’s episode.

You can jump to 18:56 in the Circuit Breaker video to watch the upgrade:

Learn more!

by Ben at February 25, 2018 11:00 AM

Adafruit Feather Bluetooth controlled R2D2!

Chris Lydgate shared his bluetooth controlled R2D2 project with us on the adafruit forums! See the video on Youtube!

A droid malfunctions and sits unused for 12 years. Can our basement robotics crew bring him back to life?

The original droid was “autonomous,” ie included no remote control. For the rebuild, we decided to allow remote control from a cellphone using bluetooth.

Hardware for this project included:
Adafruit Feather M0 Bluefruit LE microcontroller
Feather Wing Motorshield
Feather Wing VS1053 sound board
PAM 8302 Mono 2.5W Class D Audio Amplifier
Sharp GP2Y0D810Z0F Distance Sensor with Pololu Carrier

We were able to reuse original motors, speaker, and battery stack.

Getting the bluetooth link up and running was actually the easiest part of this project. We downloaded an app from Adafruit app that links a cell phone to the M0 board.

Next we connected the motors to the motorshield and the motorshield to the microcontroller. also fairly straightfoward (tho it took a while to get the motors going in the “right” direction.)

Wiring up the sound was definitely the hardest part. The sound board is kinda fussy about voltage spikes and needed some capacitors. I also had to build a little amplifier circuit and a special voltage regulator for the amp. It was a challenge to make this all fit inside R2’s chest cavity.

We also added some basic obstacle detection in the form of a distance sensor. This prevents an overenthusiastic operator from smashing R2 straight into an obstacle.

The coding was also a challenge for me. The soundboard requires frequent updates (like every 20 ms) so you have to be very careful using delay() or making calls that might timeout. In the end the code was 500 lines, tho to be fair many of these were comments.

SPECIAL THANKS to the folks at Adafruit (hi, Mike!) for all their help on this project.

See more!


Featured Adafruit Products!

2995 01

Adafruit Feather M0 Bluefruit LE; Feather is the new development board from Adafruit, and like its namesake it is thin, light, and lets you fly! We designed Feather to be a new standard for portable microcontroller cores.

This is the Adafruit Feather M0 Bluefruit LE – our take on an ‘all-in-one’ Arduino-compatible + Bluetooth Low Energy with built in USB and battery charging. It’s an Adafruit Feather M0 with a BTLE module, ready to rock! Read more!


by Jessie Mae at February 25, 2018 09:00 AM

Make Giant Crawling Snakeskin Robot, Not Robot Enemy

via The Verge

The world is getting flooded with tiny (creepy) robots that can crawl all over the place, including your clothes. The latest one, created by scientists at Harvard University, uses artificial scaly skins to move forward — kind of like a snake.

The soft robot is just a silicone rubber tube. But what’s special about it is its skin — a thin, stretchable plastic sheet that’s been cut with a laser. The cuts, in the shape of triangles or circles, resemble the scales on the skin of snakes. When air is pumped into the tube, the robot expands and contracts, allowing the scales to pop up, anchor against the surface, and pull the robot forward. In a study published today in Science Robotics, scientists showed that the artificial snakeskins work against rough surfaces like asphalt and concrete. In the future, these robots could be scaled down and used to deliver drugs inside arteries, or in disaster situations where bots need to crawl inside narrow spaces.

Nature has inspired all kinds of robots before. Octopi have served as squishy muses many times, either because of their amazing camouflage or their wiggly shapes. Plants and salamanders have also played their part. The inspiration for today’s bots comes from snakes, which use scales on their skin to propel themselves. To mimic the snakeskin, Ahmad Rafsanjani, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, resorted to the Japanese art of paper cutting, called kirigami. He used lasers to make cuts in thin plastic sheets in the shape of lines, triangles, circles, or trapezoids. The skins were then wrapped around silicone rubber tubes powered by air. (The air was either pumped through tubes, or thanks to a small control unit with onboard pump, battery, and sensors.)

See and read more!

by Zay at February 25, 2018 08:00 AM

February 24, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

Philips Hue – control anything hack

b22_closeup

Fred writes:

To be honest, my recent simple relay hack wasn’t really all that great. It just used the high power constant current output to drive a SSR. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. I decided that it was worth the effort to track down some more useful outputs and properly detect the desired state of the bulb.
All it took was a little bit of poking around and probing the pins of the SAM R21 microcontroller with an oscilloscope. It wasn’t actually that hard. On the B22 bayonet fitting version of the bulb I found some.

More details on his blog here, 0xFRED.

by DP at February 24, 2018 02:46 PM

February 23, 2018

Arduino Blog

Create a coffee notification system for your office

Hacker “wesgood,” apparently not satisfied with randomly checking the office coffee pot to see if a fresh brew was available, decided to make his own notification system.

His device uses a current sensor to monitor power usage of the coffee pot, and after some observation, he was able to pick out its brewing pattern—7A at 10 minutes, then quick cycling to keep the pot warm.

The system features an Arduino Yún for brew tracking and sends an alert via his office communication tool to let everyone know that a fresh pot is ready. As with many projects, the first iteration started life on a breadboard, but now exists on a manufactured PCB as a shield. It even has a second channel that is slated for use with the office kettle.

Once the Arduino side of the Yún detects the brew cycle is complete, it triggers a shell script under Linux that sends a notification to our office communication tool Hipchat. It also records the data about date and cycle stage so that Hipchat can query the database (on a webserver) and request things like what stage the brew cycle is on and when it brewed last.

You can find additional build details on Imgur.

by Arduino Team at February 23, 2018 03:13 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Friday Product Post: Get a Load of This!

Well hello there, everyone, and welcome back to another thrilling installment of the SparkFun Friday Product Post! This week we have six brand-new products just waiting for you to take home and begin using. Leading the pack today we have the SparkFun Variable Load Kit and LED Neon Flex Rope. Rounding out this Friday we also have three LED Strip Pigtail Connectors in two-, three- and four-pin variations, as well as cheaper PLA filament that doesn’t skimp on quality. Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s get started!

Variety is the Spice of Life!

SparkFun Variable Load Kit

SparkFun Variable Load Kit

KIT-14449
$39.95

The SparkFun Variable Load Kit is a quick-to-assemble board designed to allow users to draw a specific amount of current from a voltage input. This kit can be used to test stability of the power supply under various loads, battery lifetime, safety cutoffs and other design elements. The Variable Load Kit can test supplies of up to 30V at currents ranging from a few mA all the way up to 4A.


Who said, ‘Let there be light’? N-E one?

LED Neon Flex Rope

LED Neon Flex Rope

COM-14555
$39.95

This Neon Flex Rope is a 2m long (~6.5 feet), nonaddressable LED strip that simulates the neon effects you see in storefronts at night. Each rope is packed with sixty 5050 RGB LEDs (30 LEDs/m). Though this flexible LED rope does not actually utilize any neon gas, the waterproof (IP65) silicon housing provides a diffused glow similar to those “Open” signs.


LED Strip Pigtail Connector (2-pin)

LED Strip Pigtail Connector (2-pin)

CAB-14574
$0.75

These 2-pin JST-SM pigtail connectors mate perfectly with LED strips and other applications that require only two lines and an option for quick connection and disconnection. Even if you don’t have a specific use for these pigtail connectors now, it’s good to have them handy when you need them! Each connector pack comes with one male and one female connector.


LED Strip Pigtail Connector (3-pin)

LED Strip Pigtail Connector (3-pin)

CAB-14575
$0.95

We also carry them with 3 pins


LED Strip Pigtail Connector (4-pin)

LED Strip Pigtail Connector (4-pin)

CAB-14576
$1.25

And 4 pins!


PLA Filament 2.85mm - 1kg (Black)

PLA Filament 2.85mm - 1kg (Black)

TOL-14584
$25.00

Finally today, this is a 1kg (2.2lb) reel of 2.85mm black PLA (polylactic acid) plastic filament for 3D printing. PLA is a bioplastic and makes for a great general-purpose filament with smooth surface finish. This filament is very easy to print and is even biodegradable! PLA has minimal warping and shrinking compared with other materials, which makes it ideal for printing objects featuring flat surfaces and hard angles, or requiring tight tolerances for fit.


That’s all we have today, folks! It was a pretty big week for new products, and next week will be similar, so make sure to check back next Friday! As always, we can’t wait to see what you make with these products! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

Thanks for stopping by. We’ll see you next week with even more fantastic new products!

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by Chris McCarty at February 23, 2018 12:30 PM

February 22, 2018

Arduino Blog

Strange vocal interactions with ‘you, me and all these machines’

Moscow-based artist ::vtol:: is back again with an interesting interactive exhibit entitled “you, me and all these machines.” His latest work, a collaboration with Lovozero, allows two participants to produce otherworldly vocals together.

One participant wears the device, which points a directional microphone under the control of the other participant at her mouth using a servo motor. An array of LEDs signal the vocalist in a manner agreed upon before the performance.

The head-mounted system is controlled by an Arduino Uno, and is meant to display the subtle interaction between two participating artists, as they must work together to produce the desired output.

“You, me and all these machines” is a performance for voice and electronic devices. The vocalist puts on his or her head a specially designed wearable interface tool to interact with the voice and display a visual score. Technically, the device consists of several elements: a narrowly directional microphone driven by a motor; an LED strip that shows the vocalist score; remote control with a joystick used by the second participant to control the interface.

Shifting the microphone against the mouth makes it possible to achieve interesting sound effects, and makes it easier to manipulate the vocalist’s voice. The LED line consisting of 10 diodes is a very primitive, but effective and convenient way of interacting with the vocalist, and the way of interpreting the values is predetermined before each performance. During the performance, a sound canvas is formed, thereby changing the dynamics, consisting of a set of looped fragments created within voice and interface processing elements, without using other methods to generate sounds.

Check out “you, me and all these machines” in the video below!

by Arduino Team at February 22, 2018 04:23 PM

Designing an Arduino-powered split-flap display

If you’d like a split-flap display with numbers and letters, options tend to be quite expensive. This though was no problem for hacker “scottbez1” who reports that after “only” two-plus years of work, he has produced a split-flap assembly that plugs into an Arduino Uno as a sort of external shield.

The device employs inexpensive stepper motors to click through letters, numbers, and even some punctuation, using cutout PVC ID display stock to show the characters. Cleverly, the PCB he designed for it can function as a motor driver or be split in two to function as a sensor board.

I’ve always loved these electro-mechanical displays, but you can’t buy them for a reasonable price, so I figured I’d try making them myself (plus it’s more fun that way!). Ultimately I wanted to design a split-flap display that can be built at home in small/single quantities and can be customized and put together by an intermediate hobbyist for not too much money.

The design I settled on uses PVC ID badge cards for the flaps, store-bought vinyl stickers for the letters, and is driven by a cheap 28BYJ-48 stepper motor. The enclosure and moving parts are all made from laser-cut MDF, which can be easily ordered online. To control them, I designed a driver board that can be hand-soldered and plugs into an Arduino like a shield.

The entire build story can be found here and more details including Arduino code are available on GitHub. If you’d just like to see and hear it flapping away, check out the video below!

by Arduino Team at February 22, 2018 04:14 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Enginursday: BLE MIDI for the Tsunami!

The Tsunami as a Looper

Jamie Robertson over at robertsonics.com has been whipping up some new firmware for the Tsunami Super WAV Trigger. The new firmware allows looping of files in weird ways, and it can be controlled through MIDI. But it doesn’t stop there; he’s written an app that sends MIDI control messages to run the whole thing!


The new app from robertsonics.com can control a wave-looping application for the Tsunami through MIDI.

The Tsunami can play up to eight loops at the same time, and each loop can be altered in real time. Right now, here’s what can be effected:

  • Volume
  • Panning
  • Sample Rate
  • Loop Start Position
  • Loop End Position

Jamie has plans to implement pitch shifting without affecting loop length soon. Here’s his blog where he’ll post updates to the project.

I’ve experimented with the setup and have gotten everything to work seamlessly on a MacBook Air over BLE. The Windows app should work too, but only for wired MIDI connections…using internal loopbacks to patch the wired to BLE caused some problems.

To try out the system, get the materials from Jamie’s blog:

  • Load the hex file to the card and flash the firmware (don’t worry; you can go back later)
  • Toss some mono 44.1kHz 16-bit WAVs on the card — use the demo files from his post.
  • Connect the Tsunami to a computer with MIDI — your choice
  • Run the app!

I found that recording myself counting “1, 2, 3, 4” on a track helped me to understand the controls.

Let him know what you think!

MIDI Over BLE

While Jamie has been hard at work developing the firmware and app, I’ve been focused on building a MIDI BLE converter that’s compatible, and have learned enough to kick out a tutorial on working with MIDI BLE peripherals.

Check out the new MIDI BLE Tutorial

When Jamie approached me, he was working with a BLE Adapter from Yamaha. It works great, but is kind of bulky when added to the Tsunami. Also, it’s not programmable. What if I want to filter messages? Or redirect MIDI channels? Or build some wacky feature in??? I’m crazy enough to do it.

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The BLE device I used instead is our very own nRF52832, and through the perversion of modern technology I was able to graft it to a MIDI shield with the R3 board shape.

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MIDI Shield and nRF52832

Here are the connections I made (from the BLE MIDI Tutorial):

nRF Pin
MIDI Shield Pin
GND GND
3.3V
5V
26(RX)
RX
27(TX)
TX
11 7 (Red LED)
12
6 (Green LED)

Basically, the MIDI shield is run from 3.3V rather than 5V, and I’ve wired in the status indicators so I can have something to help debug with. The rest is code, and you can check out the tutorial for more info. It’s only a few hundred lines.

“Hey, that’s more bulky than the Yamaha adapter!” — You

So what can we do about it? Well, if the MIDI cable can be removed and the output of the nRF52832 can be connected directly to the Tsunami, the MIDI shield isn’t necessary at all.

The Tsunami has an opto-isolator onboard, but no jack. I’ve got a TTL UART output on the nRF52832. To get the inversions and voltages straight, I hooked it up as follows.

alt text

Connecting the TTL Serial output to a MIDI input, the signal is rail referenced rather than ground referenced.

Regular UARTs idle high, but the MIDI port idles low (or, zero current). To wire the two together, one end of the MIDI input is pulled to the same voltage as the UART output, and the UART is connected to the other. This way no current flows during idle, and current flows when the output is driven low.

The Tsunami also offers a regulated 3.3V output pin, so power can get to the MIDI input as well as the nRF52832 Breakout. Let’s see if they’ve become friends.

alt text

Tsunami and nRF52832 breakout together at last

A perfect match! This also offers a unique feature. The Tsunami’s processor can be reset by a button press and the nRF52832 retains power. While swapping cards and playing around, the BLE connection stays linked!

The Tsunami as a MIDI Instrument

Don’t forget, MIDI isn’t a new feature for the Tsunami. As shipped, you can load files onto the SD card and play them when the keys are pressed.

To do it:

  • Convert your files to 44.1kHz 16-bit format
  • Name them such as 0001_S1your_name.wav for key ‘1’, single play, channel 1. 0002_S1your_name.wav for key 2, etc.

That’s it! You can even name them such that banks can be selected through the MIDI interface — check out the Tsunami Users Guide for more information.


Happy Bluetoothing,
Marshall

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by Marshall Taylor at February 22, 2018 02:30 PM

February 21, 2018

NYC Resistor

Introduction to 3D Computer Modeling with Rhino3D on March 3rd

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

This class is limited to twelve students, reserve your spot now!
Three-dimensional models are used for concept design, prototyping on a 3D printer, making furniture on a CNC, creating realistically rendered images, making animations or games, and much more. In this class, you’ll learn how to navigate 3D software and create models from scratch using Rhino3D. The software is easy to learn and a great starting point for working in three-dimensions no matter what you want to create. You’ll learn the fundamentals of working with various viewports, creating and editing basic and advanced geometry as well as how to tailor your project for various outputs such as exporting a file for laser cutting or 3D printing.
Everone will create their own 3D model and finish the class with a rendered view that can be shared with your friends as well as file for 3D printing or laser cutting. Learning how to operate the laser cutter and 3D printer are separate classes available at NYCresistor. Multiple sources of beautiful product design inspiration will be provided so that nobody is stuck for ideas.
Every student should download a 90-day free trial of Rhino3D before the class. The trial software is available on both Apple and Windows operating systems. To maximize the length of your trial, don’t install your software until the morning of this class. Download trial Apple / Windows.
This class will be taught by James McBennett who trained in architecture and specialized in advanced geometry. These are two examples of projects he worked on using Rhino 3D, Holmenkollen / This Stool Rocks. James will be available for Q&A by email after the class assuring everyone achieves their goal. As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/. Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

 

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

by Classes at February 21, 2018 06:00 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Shades of Gray in the 3D Printing Marketplace

A few weeks back, our very own graphic designer Pete Holm ordered a nifty little moon lamp — a small, round object with a texture matching the moon and a light source inside. This little lamp has been popping up all over the internet lately, and we were all pretty stoked to see it in person.

alt text

Image Courtesy of Moon Lamp

When the product arrived, we immediately noticed that it was a 3D print, something Pete was not anticipating. The product photos definitely do not look like 3D prints.

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To be fair, the product page clearly discloses the materiality of the product: “INNOVATIVE 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY.” Nonetheless, Pete didn’t read that when he ordered it, and when he got it there was some air of disappointment. In his own words, “For some people, getting a 3D printed product might be like OMG cool! It’s a 3D print! But for makers, I’m like oh, I could have just made it myself.” Pete uses the 3D printer a lot and is comfortable with electronics, which of course brings up the age-old question, “Why buy when you can DIY?!”

In a very SparkFun move, we were on Thingiverse no less than 30 seconds later looking for some moon files. And we found them. In fact, we found a lot, in many different sizes, with plenty of design files available online under the Creative Commons license. It's available for download for free. Pete may have been kicking himself, but I was stoked to DIY a very cool product with very little effort. This is going to make an incredible last-minute gift!

I downloaded two sizes, the 140mm and the 60mm.

alt text

The moon print is broken up into two pieces so that you can place your light source inside before gluing it shut. All in all, the larger 140mm moon took about 17 or 18 hours to print, and the 60mm took about four hours. I debated a lot regarding which light source to use, but I ended up going with our fairy lights. I used these because of their material nature and because I had a lot of them sitting around in different colors. The wire in the fairy lights makes it so they truly fill up the area inside the moon, allowing for an even inner glow. Plus, some of the LEDs push against the edge, which creates a really lovely visual effect.

Once the fairy lights were threaded through the small hole in the center of the moon’s cap, I used a drop of hot glue to secure the lights in place.

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Then I started putting them inside the moon’s cavity, and simply glued the top to the bottom with E6000 glue.

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The two pieces don’t line up exactly, but I did my best to find a good fit. Where there was a light leak, I used a touch of white puff paint to seal it.

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The result? JUST AS GOOD AS THE PURCHASED PRODUCT! I didn’t even sand it, guys, and it looks AWESOME. Sanding around the glued seal is definitely recommended if you have the time, but in any case, my printed moon lamp looks dope.

alt text

Ok, so this was stupid easy to make. No modeling or electronics skills required. Just hit print, wait awhile, thread some LEDs, stuff them in a cavity, and glue it all together. I checked back on the product page, and while the lamp is currently on sale for $29.99 (which is already pricey for what you get), it usually sells for $49.99! I don’t know if it’s just me, but that feels a little bit outrageous. I could sell these for $10 and make a decent profit off of them. I have to say, from where I was sitting, the for-sale moon started to seem like a real rip-off. A cheaply made product with an insanely high price tag.

The truth is, a lot of people are selling a version of this 3D printed lamp, and in a lot of cases for less than $50, but still for like $20–$30. Based on my experience making this thing, that’s too much money.

Listen, I know many individuals do not have access to a 3D printer. I know a lot of folks are interested in purchasing 3D prints. Just because I think i’s a rip-off doesn’t mean all other consumers feel the same. I’m not a huge fan of the look of 3D printed plastic, but I’m sure some people are really into it. I know I might be jaded because for the past few years I have been able to print whatever the heck I want off Thingiverse for free with printers at school or at work. I know there are specific rules about what is allowed with regard to selling these products under the Creative Commons license. I don’t pretend to know what is legal and what is not, and I’m certainly not proposing that these objects not be for sale.

That being said, I started thinking about seller/buyer responsibility in the 3D printing field, especially when a for-sale product is all over the internet to download for free. I have been asking myself if there are any moral or community responsibilities on the seller to link to the design file. Or is it up to the buyer to find out exactly how this object is made and do a little research to see if it can be made at home? These are not questions of legality but more opinion based.

For a lot of us makers, there are things we purchase that we know we could have made. Sometimes buying things makes more sense than making them because the effort and time outweighs the cost. But in the case of the moon lamp at the price of $20–$50, I believe that the cost of time/effort/materials is decidedly less, and I know that if Pete had found that lamp and then seen a link to the STL, he would have 100 percent made this lamp himself.

To build your own moon lamp, you will need the following items:

TAZ 6 3D Printer

TAZ 6 3D Printer

TOL-13880
$2,499.95
2
Fairy Lights - Cool White (2.5m)

Fairy Lights - Cool White (2.5m)

PRT-14502
$4.95
Bridge Filament 3mm - 0.45kg (Clear)

Bridge Filament 3mm - 0.45kg (Clear)

TOL-13937
$17.95

You will also need hot glue, E6000 glue and white puff paint.

White ABS filament like the kind I used can be ordered directly from LulzBot. Don’t have a 3D printer and not sure how to access one? Check out this very helpful Maker Map to find a makerspace near you!

Let us know your thoughts on the 3D printing marketplace in the comments below!

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by Melissa Felderman at February 21, 2018 03:30 PM

February 20, 2018

NYC Resistor

Learn to use a 3D Printer on Sunday

We’ve still got room in Sunday’s 3D Printing class! You’ll learn how to use our Makerbot printers, how to design your own 3D models and use others’ models, and what to worry about when buying your own 3D printer. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

A 3d printer is printing an irregularly-shaped green object

Your instructor will take you through key concepts of 3D printing, demo the technology on our printers, and lead the class through the design process of creating a model and preparing it to print. We’ll talk about creating functional objects, creative objects, available materials, print reliability, and compare various printer models and features. Get tickets while there’s still room!

by Bonnie Eisenman at February 20, 2018 05:50 PM

February 19, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Presidents Day @ The Tech

On Monday, February 19, we’ll be celebrating Presidents Day at The Tech Museum in San Jose.

Spend your Presidents Day with us! We’re bringing you even more hands-on science fun than usual. You’ll build straw rockets and design colorful climbing robots. We’re also teaming up with Kickstarter to give you a sneak peek at some new tech.

The hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and we’ll be bringing the MOnSter 6502 and demonstrating how microprocessors work with our giant version of the classic MOS 6502.

by Lenore Edman at February 19, 2018 03:40 AM

February 16, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Spaceship Cockpit with a Larson Scanner

Larson Scanner in panel with lights going back and forth

Lee at Sawdust and Solder is building a kids spaceship cockpit and used a Larson Scanner for one panel.

I wanted to spread out the LEDs over a large arc to simulate the sweep of a radar screen. The idea was to make it a scanner to look for other ships, class-M planets, or whatever is required. So I decided to mount the LEDs on the acrylic panel and wire them back to the board. I also decided to use my own switches mounted to the panel rather than the ones supplied with the kit. I used my Shapeoko CNC to cut out the acrylic panel.

Back of panel assembled with Kitt

After I painted and weathered the acrylic panel, I engraved the text (again, with the CNC and a v-carving bit) and then assembled everything.

CNC carved and weathered panel

There’s a ton of documentation and some good tips in the post. Check out the other parts of the cockpit project Lee has posted, too!

by Lenore Edman at February 16, 2018 03:05 AM

February 15, 2018

NYC Resistor

Intro to 3D Printing and 3D Design on Feb 25th

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

A class for 3D newcomers who want to learn the basics of creating 3D models and printing them. Your instructor will take you through key concepts of 3D printing, demo the technology on our printers, and lead the class through the design process of creating a model and preparing it to print. We’ll talk about creating functional objects, creative objects, available materials, print reliability, and compare various printer models and features.
Please bring a laptop with working WiFi and a mouse with a scroll wheel. (You can technically get by without the mouse but it’s STRONGLY recommended.) We’ll be using free-to-use Autodesk software in the design portion of the class. To speed things along, please sign up for an Autodesk account at https://www.tinkercad.com/ It would also smooth things along if you download and install the latest version of Meshmixer in advance of the class. https://www.meshmixer.com/
This class will be taught by AJ McGuire. As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/.
Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

by Classes at February 15, 2018 05:00 PM

February 08, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2018

2018 valentines

Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our sixth year, and sixth set of cards: The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards, and the 2015 set included love, hearts, and arrows. The 2016 set featured Pluto’s cold heart, and the perfect card for your robotic expression of love, and last year’s set featured atomic orbitals, exponential growth, and an epsilon delta declaration of love.

This year’s set features parallel lines, friction, and activation energy:

My love for you is at a stable equilibrium and therefore resistant to external perturbations

What could be more romantic than telling someone that the second derivative of your potential energy is at its minimum when you’re around them?

I'll Never be NP Complete Without You

The perfect card to give to any computer scientist when you want them to both (A) appreciate being given a valentine and (B) secretly wonder whether you don’t quite understand what np completeness means, or whether you do but thought it was funny.

Parallel lines never meet. But we should.

Parallel lines never meet. But we should.

It takes a special person to overcome my activation energy to send this card to you and ask if you will be my  valentine.

For when you have chemistry with someone.

Let's  measure our coefficient of kinetic friction

Why measure? Because it’s generally considered impolite to ask someone what their normal force is.


2018 valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 36 designs from all six years (a 1.6 MB PDF document).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, personalize, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.

by Windell Oskay at February 08, 2018 07:08 PM

January 29, 2018

mightyOhm

Schrödinger’s Martini: Geiger Counter as mixologist

Photo: Lenore Edman

Josh Meyer and Jonathan Foote created this scintillating cocktail robot for Barbot 2013. They also exhibited it at the DNA Lounge Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge last July.

A MightyOhm Geiger Counter samples radioactive decay from a martini glass that contains a small amount of uranium. If the number of clicks in a set period is even, the robot dispenses vermouth into the glass. If the count is odd, it dispenses gin, therefore creating a wet or dry martini based on the random process of radioactive decay.

by Jeff at January 29, 2018 06:43 PM

January 22, 2018

uC Hobby

$5.00 Buck/Boost Power Supply Module from China

A quick look at a power supply module I recently picked up from China via eBay.  Listed as: “DC-DC Step Up Down Boost buck Voltage Converter Module LM2577S LM2596S Power N2” at a price of $3.20+$1.85 shipping.  Input 4-35V, Output Adjustable from 1.25 to 25V. Current adjustable 0 to 2Amps.  There are three 10-turn adjustments for […]

by uCHobby at January 22, 2018 07:00 AM

January 19, 2018

NYC Resistor

Fireflies: camera-based musical instruments

camera-based instrument in concert

We asked Adelle and Matt about their camera-based musical instruments. Here’s what they said.

What’s a camera-based musical instrument?  Basically, it’s two cameras facing upwards, about a foot below a player’s hands.  When they move their hand, it’s converted into different types of notes, sound effects and volumes, to create an expressive performance.

Three fireflies under construction

We made 3 of these.  The form was shaped like a musical soundwave: we prototyped it on the laser cutter, and eventually got it CNC milled.

This is part of the CES Intel Keynote pre-show performance. It was the opening of the show, to show off the instruments’ nuance and control before the concert gets too big. The middle instrument was piano sounds; the one on the right was synths and electronics; the one on the left was chords and atmosphere. The show opened dark: the performer, Kevin Doucette, used his hands to bring up the lights on the instrument as well as the synthesisers, then waved his hands to switch keys on a virtual keyboard.   Kevin played the Killers’ “Are we human or are we dancers?”.

In this instance, the performer is wearing gloves with sensors in them, and is using finger bends to trigger notes.  Yes, it looks like a theramin – but it’s way cooler and has blinkenlights.  But seriously, the LEDs are there to show the musician where they are on the instrument and the types of notes that they’re playing (ed: but they’re still cool).

We built this instrument to use the cameras (they’re good at doing fast hand tracking and depth); we added the LEDs because if you have an invisible instrument you don’t know where you are, and the LEDs give feedback to train your hand in space.

Firefly generations

Here’s the lasercut and CNC versions side by side: here, we’re doing LED tests.

(insides of the camera-based instrument)

Here are the insides: the frame, the LED controller and the acrylic housing around them.  The cameras are Realsense.  There are two programs (developed by Nerdmatics) running on linux in the back end, and TouchDesigner to control the lighting.

Firefly guts

Here are the guts of the instrument

Realsense cameras

Here are the cameras

Camera teardown

And the camera teardown

Come talk to us about this project!

by SJ Terp at January 19, 2018 01:00 PM

January 09, 2018

mightyOhm

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

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 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

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).

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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

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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.

Read more.


Featured Adafruit Products!

NewImage

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