Arduino Planet

August 17, 2018

Dangerous Prototypes

Open source RISC – Eclipse with RISC-V on the SiFive HiFive1 board

sifive-hifive1-board

Erich Styger writes:

Open Source software has been around for decades. But open source on hardware especially microcontroller is not much a reality these days. But there is something which might change this: RISC-V is a free and open RISC instruction set architecture and for me it has the potential to replace some of the proprietary architectures currently used. RISC-V is not new, but it gets more and more traction in Academia (no surprise). Not only because it is open: Think about all the recent security issues with proprietary architectures: Spectre, Meltdown, and Foreshadow just be the most recent one.
I wanted to play with RISC-V for over a year, but finally a week ago I did one of these “hey, let’s buy that board” thing again. Sometimes these boards get on a pile to wait a few weeks or longer to get used, but that one I had to try out immediately :-).

More details on MCU on Eclipse site.

by DP at August 17, 2018 11:40 PM

adafruit industries blog

MakeCode Minute: Light Meter @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit @MSMakeCode

On this week’s MakeCode Minute, John Park shows how to use the built-in light sensor and NeoPixel ring on the Circuit Playground Express as a light meter!

To learn more about MakeCode, check out this guide.

by John Park at August 17, 2018 09:59 PM

Dangerous Prototypes

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

BP

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

Some stuff:

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

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

by DP at August 17, 2018 09:49 PM

adafruit industries blog

NEW GUIDE: John Park’s Adabot Operation Game @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit


Your turn to operate! Perform surgery on Adabot, but be careful not to touch the sides or the buzzer will sound!!! This new guide in the Adafruit Learn System will show you how to build your own classic board game.

It uses the capacitive touch pads on the Circuit Playground Express connected to copper tape around the holes to detect unsteady hands — and then buzz the buzzer and light up the lights in red!!

You can program it with CircuitPython or MakeCode.

Here’s a clip from the long lost TV commercial from the original release of the game in 1981:

by John Park at August 17, 2018 08:31 PM

NYC Water Trail Association Provides Interactive Data Maps of Local Water Quality

With the help of some local volunteers and community scientists, the New York City Water Trail Association is providing interactive maps and databases that show water quality parameters in the various waterways that surround New York City.  By engaging the public, testing for harmful pathogens, and making the information publicly available, New York City Water Trail Association hopes that this data will help recreational water-goers of NYC to better understand and make decisions regarding their local water quality, its safety, and their usage.  From New York City Water Trail Association:

For 20 weeks starting May 24, volunteers from local boathouses and community groups will be collecting weekly water samples at boat launches and docks from Yonkers to Jamaica Bay. Using EPA-approved kits from IDEXX laboratories, community scientists at The River Project and our nine other partner labs (see list below) will test the samples for microbes of the genus Enterococcus (“Entero”). Enterococci are commonly found in the feces of humans and other warm-blooded animals; their presence in the water is an indication of fecal pollution and the possible presence of pathogens that could be harmful to human health.

We publish test results here every Friday evening throughout the boating season. The idea of our program is to create a baseline of data that, when correlated with rain and tide information, can help better inform boaters and other recreational users of the harbor of likely water quality at their preferred access points and launch sites. We include basic tide and rainfall information, but leave the specific interpretation and decision­-making to boaters, boating groups and other recreational water-users.

Read more.

by Yarrow Maurer at August 17, 2018 06:53 PM

Arduino Blog

Build a 4-button arcade game out of LEGO

If your kids (or you) have somehow gotten tired of playing with LEGO bricks, Lenka Design Workshop has a great way for you to breathe new life into this unused pile. 

Their game enclosure consists of a 32×32 LEGO baseplate, along with walls made of blocks to support a clear acrylic cover. This in turn holds four large arcade buttons for gameplay control. Five games are currently implemented to run on the game’s Arduino, with light and sound feedback.

We decided to recycle the unwanted Lego bricks and created an arcade game.

The code has been written in such a way that it doesn’t have dependencies and will compile on any Arduino board. And of course the games have been intensively tested by our kids. 🙂

How is this game different from many others that have been published before?

First of all, there are 5 games built into it:

  • Memory Game (“Simon-Says”-like, similar to Touch Me game)
  • Reaction game (similar to Whack-a-Mole game)
  • Contest/Competition game (for 2-4 players)
  • Melody Game (Push and Play free mode for toddlers and smaller ones)
  • War game (for 2-4 adults)

Secondly, it has a great design (from our perspective) and can be easily repeated.

And thirdly, it is earth-friendly because it allows you to recycle the plastic.

You can see a short demo of the system in the video below, or check out the project write-up for more info. 

by Arduino Team at August 17, 2018 02:58 PM

Dangerous Prototypes

Teardown of an MEDA PLM-100 AC Magnetometer

PLM100

Kerry Wong did teardown of an MEDA PLM-100 AC magnetometer:

I did a teardown a while ago on a cheap eBay electromagnetic radiation detector, and if you recall the performance of that meter was mediocre at the best. This time around though, I’ve got a MEDA PLM-100 AC magnetometer. Since MEDA (Macintyre Electronic Design Associates) specializes in fluxgate and search coil magnetometers, this PLM-100 magnetometer is a piece of professional test equipment. In this blog post, you will see some teardown pictures and for those who want to see some real world actions you can take a look at the video included towards the end.

See the full post on his blog here.

Check out the video after the break.

by DP at August 17, 2018 01:02 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Friday Product Post: Power up your Pi!

Hello there everyone! This Friday we have a new Raspberry Pi HAT that allows your Pi to be powered without a tether, three new solar panels sold in singles and packs, and a knob for our small and medium slide potentiometers.

As a reminder, our Liquidation Sale is currently in full force! We’ve slashed the prices on these items to their lowest ever. Take a look and see if you can find a bit of treasure; the sale runs until 8/31!

Now let’s take a closer look at our new products!

Prime Pi Power!

PiJuice HAT - Raspberry Pi Portable Power Platform

PiJuice HAT - Raspberry Pi Portable Power Platform

PRT-14803
$64.95

As one of the smallest systems around, there are so many amazing things you could do with the Raspberry Pi if it was self-powered and portable. That’s exactly where the PiJuice comes it! A fully un-interruptible power supply HAT that will always keep your Raspberry Pi powered.

The revolutionary PiAnywhere technology contained in every PiJuice HAT is the best way to take your Pi off the grid! The on-board real time clock (RTC) will let your Pi know what time it is even with no power input or internet connection. Alongside this is an integrated microcontroller (MCU) chip which will manage soft shut down functionality and a true low power deep sleep state and intelligent startup.


They’re flexible, powered by the sun, and now available!

Powerfilm Solar Panel - 10.5mA@7.2V

Powerfilm Solar Panel - 10.5mA@7.2V

PRT-14795
$4.95
PowerFilm Solar Panel - 10.5mA@7.2V (10 Pack)

PowerFilm Solar Panel - 10.5mA@7.2V (10 Pack)

PRT-14796
$39.95

Did you know you have a practically unlimited source of energy fully available to power your project? This PowerFilm Solar Panel is a lightweight, paper thin and flexible power solution that can be easily integrated with your electronics to provide you with solar recharging or direct powering methods! Even while bending and manipulating this solar panel, you will still be able to pull your full allotment of power from it.

These specific panels are capable of 10.5mA at 7.2V, which equates to about 0.07W of power. They also come in packs of 10 as well!


PowerFilm Solar Panel - 50mA@4.8V w/PSA & Kynar

PowerFilm Solar Panel - 50mA@4.8V w/PSA & Kynar

PRT-14799
$5.95
PowerFilm Solar Panel - 50mA@4.8V w/PSA & Kynar (5 Pack)

PowerFilm Solar Panel - 50mA@4.8V w/PSA & Kynar (5 Pack)

PRT-14800
$29.95

If you need something a little more durable and a little less flexible, then definitely try these solar panels instead! Protected by a layer of PSA and Kynar polymer and capable of 50mA at 4.8V, you will have a protected solar array at your fingertips. If you need more than one, that’s alright too – they also come in packs of five!


PowerFilm Solar Panel - 200mA@15.4V

PowerFilm Solar Panel - 200mA@15.4V

PRT-14797
$89.95
PowerFilm Solar Panel - 200mA@15.4V (5 Pack)

PowerFilm Solar Panel - 200mA@15.4V (5 Pack)

PRT-14798
$399.95

Go big or go home. These large solar panels are flexible, capable of 200mA at 15.4V, and have solder tabs ready for use. If you really need to flex your power, they also come in packs of five as well!


Slide Potentiometer Knob - Small and Medium

Slide Potentiometer Knob - Small and Medium

COM-14889
$0.95

This is a simple knob that connects to the small and medium linear slide potentiometers. Each knob uses friction to secure itself to fit onto the slide pot.


Alrighty, everyone, that’s it for this week! As always, we can’t wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

We’ll be back next week with even more fantastic new products!

comments | comment feed

by Chris McCarty at August 17, 2018 12:00 PM

Keith’s Electronics Blog

Chewing ABS to Make New Filament

Like many other 3D printer owners, I’ve long dreamed of processing post-consumer plastic into new filament for printing. I’ve now taken a couple of steps in that direction.

ABS plastic pelletized with sheet-metal nibbler tool

It should come as no surprise that at times I’ve had a surplus of CRT monitors (surplus of CRTs is redundant, I guess?), many not working. I pulled their PCBs and salvaged their components, put out the metal for recycling, and … cut up the ABS cases into flat chunks and stored them. Did the same with dead inkjet printers people kept giving me — I think they must come in the bottom of cereal boxes.

In tangentially-related news, I’m doing some OpenSCAD design work and a friend is printing the parts for me, as my CupCake has not rehabilitated itself yet. The parts are supposed to friction fit and he has only PLA and I think it’s too brittle for a good fit — if the parts fit at all, they slide too easily. I think they need a little give to slide together, stick in place, and slide apart, so I want to try ABS. I have 3-mm ABS filament but his printer of course uses 1.75-mm filament. I could buy some 1.75-mm ABS filament, but I have all this bulk ABS sitting around …

kitty litter bins of post-consumer ABS plastic

So last night I dug out my bins and color-matched my project to the medium grey ABS and scrubbed it in the kitchen sink with soapy water and let it dry.

washing post-consumer plastic in the kitchen sink

Still hadn’t figured out how I was going to chew it up into pellets. There are plastic shredders, even DIY ones, but they seem frightfully expensive especially once you include the motive power.

I pondered misusing all my different power tools, bearing in mind that my goal was to get pellets somewhere in the size range of rice to peas. ABS dust would probably be fine for re-forming into filament — but much more difficult to capture/collect without impurities like wood dust from other use of the power tools. Tablesaw, sander — dust. Bandsaw, rotary rasp — coarse dust. Drill press — interesting idea but would probably produce spirals that would have to be re-cut; plus any type of bit would be prone to grabbing the plastic and having to clamp it down in each position would take time.

Router table with router set to lowest speed and taking shallow passes — very promising, and very finger-scary. Jointer — definitely the right size chips, and more finger-scary. Lathe — hilarious!

And remembered my hand-operated sheet-metal nibbler.

This morning I produced a good tablespoon of pellets (shown at top) in ten minutes of hand-work as a proof of concept and today I ordered a Filastruder.

I’m still pondering … but I do have a pneumatic nibbler somewhere and I’m thinking about a table design whereby I could feed the plastic to the nibbler. That should be pretty safe, as the nibbler’s up/down action won’t be nearly as prone to grabbing the workpiece and sucking in my fingers.

Although I am going to want some red ABS for this project …

by Keith Neufeld at August 17, 2018 01:38 AM

August 16, 2018

Arduino Blog

Make your own soda fountain out of cardboard

If you’re ever wanted to make something awesome, but thought that you just didn’t have the right tools to do so, this soda fountain by “The Wrench” could provide the needed inspiration. 

The project uses an Arduino Nano to control a small air pump via a relay, which turns on when a glass is the correct dispensing position. This pushes air into a sealed soda bottle, and soda is pushed out of another tube to equalize the pressure.

It’s a certainly a neat trick. Given its frame made out of cardboard stuck together with hot glue, the raw materials are very easy to obtain and dispose of when needed. The build process is explained in the video below, while the circuit diagram and Arduino code can be found here.

by Arduino Team at August 16, 2018 09:10 PM

An Arduino-controlled turntable for 3D scanning

Many DSLR cameras can be operated with a simple infrared signal, making them perfect targets for Arduino control. Travis Antoniello took advantage of this with his brilliantly simple 3D scanning rig.

Electronics are handled by an Arduino Uno, which commands a stepper motor to rotate a scanning platform 10 degrees per photo. After rotation, it stops for a set amount of time to let scanned objects settle, and triggers the camera, a Nikon D3200, via an infrared LED. It then repeats this process over and over until a full set of photos is taken. 

Code for the build can be found on GitHub, and the device’s 3D-printed components are available on Thingiverse. The project video seen here gives a good overview of how it works, and the scanned object on display just after 2:30 looks absolutely brilliant.

by Arduino Team at August 16, 2018 04:34 PM

SparkFun Electronics News

Enginursday: A Glowing Guitar for Decadon

It’s not every day you get handed a guitar that has only two others of its kind in the world, and it’s an even rarer occasion when the owner trusts you to cover it in LEDs. In order to maintain this trust, I wanted to figure out some way to add the lighting effects that I wanted without affecting the structural integrity of the guitar whatsoever. I didn’t want to drill into or glue onto the guitar due to the lack of an available second chance, so I came up with a plan to sandwich the guitar in between two layers and support my various lighting mechanisms through that.

Slicing the bread

If my guitar is a sandwich, then the bread is the guitar-shaped plexiglass cutouts on either side. To start mocking the shape up, I traced the guitar on a dry erase board with a marker, and measured the rough dimensions of the guitar. I then snapped a picture of this outline and dragged it into Illustrator. Tracing the outline of the guitar didn’t yield perfect results; I probably sliced about 30 “guitars,” moving a line here, nudging a hole there, before I got that wacky shape figured out.

Laser Cutting the Guitar Shape

Laser-cutting the guitar shape

Once I had that sorted, I had to figure out a way to get that bread stuck together. To do this, I added tabs along the outside (in strategic points, which I’ll talk about later). Once I had these tabs attached I was able to sandwich the guitar in between my “slices of bread” and get things attached to the guitar.

It’s not just a screen, right?

I wanted some aspect of this guitar to be new and novel, so I figured I’d add some fiber optic around the edge of the instrument to give it that unique extra touch. Remember how earlier I mentioned that the tabs had been strategically placed? I placed the tabs at inflection points on the guitar, as I’d have to mount the fiber optic to these tabs, and mounting at those inflection points (where a line changes its curvature) will keep the fiber as close as possible to the body of the guitar.

I also wanted an unbroken line of light around the edge of the guitar. To create this effect, I used a double stranded twist of fiber optic along with a clever mounting solution. The issue with lighting fiber optic via LED is that you have to relight the fiber every foot or two depending on the amount of bend and desired brightness. This usually means that every time you relight the fiber optic, you have a dark spot in your line where the lighting module sits. To combat this, I have a double stranded twist of fiber optic; each lighting module sits on a tab in between the “slices of bread” and pumps light into just one strand of the twist, while the other strand passes unbroken over the top. This setup allows me to keep the whole edge lit with seemingly no interruptions.

Now you may notice that the fiber optic runs down the neck of the guitar and you might be thinking, “Hey Andy, I can’t play guitar with that in the way!” and to that I say yeah, you know what, you’re probably right. Due to that this little feature might not be on the final product, but I’m gonna test it with the artist and see if it’s playable, and if not, hey it looks pretty sweet for now.

Mocking up a pixel layout

I didn’t want to over- or under-order my pixels, and I also wanted to have an idea of how I would transmit data to the array, so I wanted to mock up the array before laying pixels down. To do this, I created a mock-up of an SK6812 skinny pixel strip, printed a whole bunch out, then carefully cut and laid them down on a cardboard cutout of the guitar shape. I then numbered the pixels and decided how I’d send all the data (I eventually settled on three strips of LEDs).

Skinny LED RGB Strip - Addressable, 1m, 144LEDs (SK6812)

Skinny LED RGB Strip - Addressable, 1m, 144LEDs (SK6812)

COM-14732
$29.95

Once I had my rough mock-up completed I ordered around 1600 SK6812 LEDs and set about cutting and soldering the strips onto one of the plexiglass “slices of bread.” Note that power does not need to necessarily follow a particular direction; you can connect the power/ground of any strip to the power/ground on any other part of the next strip. This is unlike data, which must zig-zag down the array so data reaches every pixel.

Ground first! Make sure to connect the ground of your LEDs before hooking up any other connections.

Help me, my pixels are flickering

That’s not enough info, you’re gonna need to tell me a little bit more. Flickering is usually caused by a loose connection – you can usually tell which connection is loose upon visual inspection of your flicker.

  • Pixels only glow a dull red, and change with the rest of the pattern - Inspect your ground connections; your circuit is powered but not complete.
  • Pixels intermittently change with the pattern - Inspect your data connections; you probably have a loose data line.
  • Pixels just go berserk - Your circuit is probably grounded, but not grounded well to the microcontroller or some of the strips near it.
  • Intermittent white flash every 5-10 seconds - Are you using 3.3V logic? Either convert it up to 5V logic or you can (cheat) turn the supply of your LEDs down to around 4.3V, which will put 3.3V within the logic levels accepted by the LEDs.

That’s a lot of LEDs, mind elaborating on all that wattage in the cottage?

This project is a pretty large one, involving a TON of SK6812 LEDs. In fact, at full white, I could hypothetically be yanking nearly 500W. This being said, these LEDs are actually a little painful to look at when you make them vomit as many photons as possible, so for a screen application, it’s good to bring them down to about 25 percent brightness (I did all my debugging at 12.5 percent to avoid blindness) to allow for a sane amount of light to enter the retinas of your audience. However, the LEDs in the fiber optic should run at full brightness as the fiber diffuses the bare LED quite well.

Mean Well Switching Power Supply - 5VDC, 20A

Mean Well Switching Power Supply - 5VDC, 20A

TOL-14098
$25.95

Speaking of diffusion, nobody likes looking at bare LEDs right? Right. In order to add a little bit of diffusion and also clean up the look of the project, I snagged this neat, heat-activated fabric called Wonderflex and formed it over my custom screen once I made sure all of my solder joints were properly done. This step was quite a lot easier than I thought it would be, just 180°C from my heat gun and bend. The finished product looks a bit better than bare LEDs.

This test code looks like Juicy Fruit

I got a little bit sick of staring at the rainbow, so I figured I’d try and generate some other good-looking gradients. Inspired by Felipe Pantone’s artwork in which he stacks color waves on top of one another, I decided to take a similar approach. What I did first was create a sine wave for red, green and blue, then I randomized the amplitude and frequency of each wave and stacked them on top of each other. I reshuffled my frequencies and amplitudes once all combinations of the waves had been displayed. The result is quite stunning and generates a bunch of natural-looking gradients that I would never have come up with on my own. Pipe this code into your own LED strips and let me know what you think!

#define FASTLED_ALLOW_INTERRUPTS 0
#include "FastLED.h"

// How many leds in your strip?
#define NUM_LEDS_LOWER 315
#define NUM_LEDS_NECK 600
#define NUM_LEDS_PLATE 672
#define NUM_LEDS_RIM 24
#define TOTAL_LEDS  NUM_LEDS_LOWER + NUM_LEDS_PLATE + NUM_LEDS_NECK

#define DATA_PIN 23
#define DATA_PIN_2 18
#define DATA_PIN_3 13

// Define the array of leds
CRGB ledsLower[NUM_LEDS_LOWER];
CRGB ledsNeck[NUM_LEDS_NECK];
CRGB ledsPlate[NUM_LEDS_PLATE];

uint8_t rotation = 0;
uint8_t offset;
float newRedAmplitude = 3;
float newGreenAmplitude = 4;
float newBlueAmplitude = 5;
float oldRedAmplitude = 3;
float oldGreenAmplitude = 4;
float oldBlueAmplitude = 5;
int newRedFrequency = 3;
int newGreenFrequency = 4;
int newBlueFrequency = 5;
int oldRedFrequency = 3;
int oldGreenFrequency = 4;
int oldBlueFrequency = 5;

void setup() { 
  Serial.begin(115200);
  Serial.println("resetting");
  pinMode(DATA_PIN, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(DATA_PIN_2, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(DATA_PIN_3, OUTPUT);
  LEDS.addLeds<WS2812,DATA_PIN,GRB>(ledsLower, NUM_LEDS_LOWER);
  LEDS.addLeds<WS2812,DATA_PIN_2,GRB>(ledsNeck, NUM_LEDS_NECK);
  LEDS.addLeds<WS2812,DATA_PIN_3,GRB>(ledsPlate, NUM_LEDS_PLATE);
  FastLED.setBrightness(64);
  randomSeed(analogRead(4));
}

void stackSines ()
{
  for (int strip = 0; strip < 3; strip++)
  {
    uint16_t NUM_LEDS;
    switch (strip)
    {
      case 0:
      NUM_LEDS = NUM_LEDS_LOWER;
      break;
      case 1:
      NUM_LEDS = NUM_LEDS_NECK;
      break;
      case 2:
      NUM_LEDS = NUM_LEDS_PLATE;
      break;
    }
    for (uint16_t ledPosition = 0; ledPosition < NUM_LEDS; ledPosition++)
    {
      offset = (ledPosition / 4) + rotation;
      uint8_t redFrequency = cubicwave8(offset * newRedFrequency);
      uint8_t greenFrequency = cubicwave8(offset * newGreenFrequency);
      uint8_t blueFrequency = cubicwave8(offset * newBlueFrequency);
      switch (strip)
      {
        case 0:
        ledsLower[ledPosition] = CRGB(newRedAmplitude * redFrequency, newGreenAmplitude * greenFrequency, newBlueAmplitude * blueFrequency);
        break;
        case 1:
        ledsNeck[ledPosition] = CRGB(newRedAmplitude * redFrequency, newGreenAmplitude * greenFrequency, newBlueAmplitude * blueFrequency);
        break;
        case 2:
        ledsPlate[ledPosition] = CRGB(newRedAmplitude * redFrequency, newGreenAmplitude * greenFrequency,           newBlueAmplitude * blueFrequency);
        break;
      }
      if (offset == 0 && ledPosition == 0)
      {
        frequencyShuffler();
      }
    }
  }
  FastLED.show();
  rotation++;
  delay(10);
}

void frequencyShuffler()
{
  uint16_t shift = 0;
  float newAmplitudeVal;
  int newFrequencyVal;
  for (int i = 0; i < 3; i++)
  {
    newAmplitudeVal = random(0, 255) / 255.0;
    newFrequencyVal = random(2, 14);
    switch (i)
      {
      case 0:
      newRedAmplitude = newAmplitudeVal;
      newRedFrequency = newFrequencyVal;
      break;
      case 1:
      newGreenAmplitude = newAmplitudeVal;
      newGreenFrequency = newFrequencyVal;
      break;
      case 2:
      newBlueAmplitude = newAmplitudeVal;
      newBlueFrequency = newFrequencyVal;
      break;
    }
  }
}

Going further

Any project always has room for improvement, and with this one there are a couple things I’d like to see. The first thing would be a tighter pixel density for the face of the guitar. The second would be to continuously shuffle the frequencies and amplitudes such that the waves are constantly shifting their shapes and sizes. The next effect I was going to add was varying speeds and directions on each of the waves to allow even more variability. Getting all of these things implemented would make a seriously good-looking effect for LED strips. If you have suggestions for wacky color patterns or functions you like to run on your LEDs let me know in the comments below.

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by Andrew England at August 16, 2018 03:23 PM

August 15, 2018

SparkFun Electronics News

Ask Questions For Today's AVC Interview with Nate and Pete!

Welcome! Today we have an interview with Nate Seidle and Pete Dokter to talk about the last 10 years of the Autonomous Vehicle Competition. Yes, it really has been a decade!

If that’s not enough AVC for one day, check out a little recap video of our AVC history.

Don’t forget we’ll be livestreaming the entire AVC event this year on Saturday, September 8th! Bookmark the AVC page and check out all the robot-fighting, autonomous-driving shenanigans!

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by Adam Swetlik at August 15, 2018 03:06 PM

August 14, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime040 – Test Jig Quick Look

I found these two test jigs for sale at a local business that was relocating. They would have been used as part of the quality assurance procedure for smart bike lights. Later we might go into more detail on the firmware, or repurpose the formidable hunks of metal for another project!

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon, where recurring donations make this content possible.

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop.

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist.

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams which you can hang out with on the companion scanlime-in-progress channel.

Follow @scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah Scott at August 14, 2018 09:47 PM

August 11, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime039 – Unboxing Cameras and LEDs, USB 3 and pre-UNIX

In my live streams I’ve been inviting you to send me new reverse engineering projects at my P.O. box. In these videos, I’ll introduce a few of the items I’ve been receiving, with a bit of the mystery preserved!

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon, where recurring donations make this content possible.

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop.

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist.

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams which you can hang out with on the companion scanlime-in-progress channel.

Follow @scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah Scott at August 11, 2018 10:00 PM

August 10, 2018

code, circuits, & construction

HTML Interface For a Digital Multimeter

It’s been a long time since my last post on this site. Time to update it a bit. Introduction Recently, some colleagues of mine and I were looking for a digital multimeter that could be used by people with low … Continue reading

by tigoe at August 10, 2018 05:18 PM

August 09, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Two New Accessories for AxiDraw

We’ve just added two new accessories for the AxiDraw V3.

XL Pen Clip

The first of them, shown above, is the XL Pen Clip — something that we’ve had a number of requests for. The pen holder on the AxiDraw normally fits pens and other instruments up to 5/8″ (16 mm) in diameter. However, this new XL pen clip can hold instruments up to 1″ (25.4 mm) in diameter.

That is to say, it can hold things like this freaking huge marker:

huge pen

The second new accessory is a little more subtle: an Italic Pen Adapter that gives the AxiDraw a “right handed” grip on pens.

Italic Pen Adapter Italic Pen Adapter
Italic Pen Adapter Italic Pen Adapter

It’s a little bracket of anodized aluminum, with captured screws and threaded inserts, which rotates the AxiDraw pen clip 45° out from the X-axis of the AxiDraw. This angle can give a slightly more “natural” look to certain types of handwriting-like plotting.

Italic Pen Adapter

And of course, it’s ideal for use with various types of blunt-tipped pens, including chisel-point felt tip pens as well as pens with stub and italic nibs.

Both the XL Pen Clip and the Italic Pen Adapter are in stock at the Evil Mad Scientist shop. They join the Rigid End Effector and Tripod Mount on our AxiDraw Accessories page.

by Windell Oskay at August 09, 2018 06:39 PM

August 06, 2018

NYC Resistor

EAGLE Weekend Photos

Thanks to all who came out for our Autodesk EAGLE meetup and classes this past weekend! It was a whirlwind of PCB design fun. Read on for more photos.


We ate pizza Friday night while dipping a toe into what the weekend had in store.

The Saturday intro class used Tinkercad Circuits to ease the transition from breadboard to schematic.

Here’s TA Sophi Kravitz with her flashy new mousepad…

Special thanks to instructor Matt Berggren and EAGLE teammates Edwin and Aish for traveling to be with us. We hope you’ll come back soon!

by Becky Stern at August 06, 2018 07:46 PM

August 04, 2018

adafruit industries blog

NYTimes on the ‘Evolution’ of Robotic Hands | #robots #ArtificialIntelligence

The New York Times take an interesting look at How Robot Hands Are Evolving to Do What Ours Can. They broke down the hands they looked at to Spinner, Gripper, Picker, Bed Maker, Pusher, and finally take a look at the future of it all. (Unfortunately things like soft robotics aren’t really examined at all. But the article does contain a bunch of neat quick video clips like those below.)

Robotic hands could only do what vast teams of engineers programmed them to do. Now they can learn more complex tasks on their own.

A robotic hand? Four autonomous fingers and a thumb that can do anything your own flesh and blood can do? That is still the stuff of fantasy.

But inside the world’s top artificial intelligence labs, researchers are getting closer to creating robotic hands that can mimic the real thing.


 

by nicknormal at August 04, 2018 12:17 PM

August 03, 2018

one girl's diary of improvisational engineering

scanlime038 – Unboxing Bitcoin, Buttons, and ADB

In my live streams I’ve been inviting you to send me new reverse engineering projects at my P.O. box. In these videos, I’ll introduce a few of the items I’ve been receiving, with a bit of the mystery preserved!

Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing my videos. And a special thanks to my supporters on Patreon, where recurring donations make this content possible.

If you’d like some of those cool scanlime stickers or Servo AF stream gear, check out the shop.

For previous episodes, check out the full scanlime playlist.

Each episode is compiled together from many livestreams which you can hang out with on the companion scanlime-in-progress channel.

Follow @scanlimelive for live streaming announcements.

by Micah Scott at August 03, 2018 07:00 PM

August 02, 2018

NYC Resistor

Intro to Soldering Workshop: Make an LED Tile on Aug 12

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

Soldering is one of the most important skills you’ll need for working with electronics. Come join us for an introductory through-hole soldering workshop. Soldering enables you to create sturdy connections between electrical components.



In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to use a soldering iron safely and effectively, and get plenty of practice with both soldering and desoldering techniques. We’ll be soldering up some Game of Life kits – LED tiles that generate nifty animations.



No previous experience is required, making this introductory workshop a great choice for anyone who’s curious about getting started with hardware tinkering! All materials will be provided.


This class will be taught by Resistor members David Huerta and Eric Beug.



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 August 02, 2018 05:00 PM

July 29, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Linkdump: July 2018

SMT LED sitting on mirror to show directional marking on component underside

by Windell Oskay at July 29, 2018 06:31 PM

July 26, 2018

NYC Resistor

Building Professional Electronics Hardware with Autodesk EAGLE on Aug 05

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

Are you an electronics hobbyist looking to create a product? Leap from newcomer to pro with this all-day class on designing your own schematics and printed circuit boards with Autodesk EAGLE. Lunch included.


Sign up for this PCB design class and we’ll teach you everything you ever wanted to know about the awesome, free EAGLE PCB design program (Mac/PC/Linux). You’ll learn how to draw schematics, find the right footprint, lay out a circuit board, route the circuit board, and finally prepare the board for production.  We’ll even show you where you can go to have your boards made. This comprehensive class will also cover other advanced topics such as wireless design. Bring your questions!


Make sure you bring a laptop to participate during class and design your own circuit! Please download and install EAGLE from https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/free-download prior to the class.


class Instructor: Matt Berggren, Director, Fusion Electrical at Autodesk


class TA: NYC Resistor member Sophi Kravitz

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

by Classes at July 26, 2018 02:00 PM

July 19, 2018

mightyOhm

Ten years of MightyOhm

On this day in 2008 I created my first post on a brand new website. The site looked a lot different back then, and it wasn’t until the following year that I shipped my first electronic kit, the HV Rescue Shield! Today marks ten years of MightyOhm.

by Jeff at July 19, 2018 01:33 AM

July 15, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Adobe redesigned the Terminator’s iconic interfaces for today

Via FastCompany

The Terminator franchise is remembered for its incredible direction, strange moments of robotic perspective, and landmark special effects. Take the liquid metal T-1000 robot that was able to melt its way through gaps in bars or holes in windows. It was one of the first uses of computer-generated graphics on film, and yet it was so artfully executed that it will still give you shivers when rewatching the film today.

The movie’s interfaces, in particular, are some of the most iconic in film history. So, when Adobe was searching for a project to advertise the capabilities of Adobe XD, its free UX/UI prototyping software, the company quickly honed in on the idea of redesigning a few of the 1991 film’s on-screen interfaces. Specifically, Adobe wanted to update Terminator 2′s first-person HUD, or heads-up display, which is used by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, with a more contemporary aesthetic as a way of showing off the power of XD. To stack the deck in its favor, Adobe hired Territory Studios, known for designing UIs in sci-fi films like Avengers: Infinity War and Blade Runner 2049, to collaborate on the project.

Adobe licensed two specific frames to redesign, each of which features the red-tinted point of view of a killer robot attempting to make sense of the world around it. If you remember Terminator 2, the T-800 lands naked in the modern day and begins scanning for clothing and a sick ride. Nonsense numbers fill one corner of the Terminator’s screen, while the interface outlines shapes of objects for identification. This classic footage is really a beautiful play to signal computer vision to the audience, and not all that different from the bounding boxes that companies use to train vision AIs of today.

“The originals we saw as defined by the outline. We didn’t want to lose that outline,” says Marti Romances, creative director and cofounder of Territory Studios. “There’s some stuff on the sides [of the interface] we added as what if we could have more info than just the model. Fuel, things like this. It was just trying to give it a modern take of what they did on the original film.”

See more!

by Jessie Mae at July 15, 2018 08:00 AM

uC Hobby

Crash course in Electronics and PCB Design @ Udemy

Nurve Networks has just opened a Crash course in Electronics and PCB Design. The course features Arduino and CircuitMaker. The course covers basic electronics through advanced concepts like Microcontrollers.  You learn how to do schematics, and PCB design by making two electronic game projects. The Instructor is Andre’ LaMoth.  A great friend and a super engineer.  […]

by uCHobby at July 15, 2018 12:02 AM

July 13, 2018

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

New Book: 10 LED Projects for Geeks

We just got our author copies of 10 LED Projects for Geeks! Our friend John Baichtal shepherded this book into the world as its editor, getting contributions from a great set of folks.

The book, published by No Starch Press, turned out beautifully. It has good pictures, clear drawings, and bright colors.

It brings a few of our classic projects onto the printed page, including LED-lit Sea Urchins, Electric Origami, the Dark Detecting LED, and Edge-lit Cards. Thank you, John, for letting us be a part of this!

by Lenore Edman at July 13, 2018 09:12 PM

July 10, 2018

Keith’s Electronics Blog

Booting the MakerBot CupCake after Five Years Part 3: Heated Build Platform and First Print

Friday evening I left off with the extruder working again. Saturday I focused on the heated build platform.

I’ve always had astoundingly good luck with kapton tape since nophead’s serendipitous discovery, probably because I (still) prefer to print in ABS. When the build platform is warm, my prints stick to it absolutely with no raft or mouse ears and once it has cooled, they release easily. That’s a pretty compelling combination.

kapton tape for MakerBot CupCake heated build platform

So my first step was replacing the scraped-up kapton that I gouged the last time the printer was on. I bought a 4″ roll way back when and I keep a strip of unsticky tucked under the end so I don’t have to peel it up with fingernails and get fingerprints on the stickum.

In the past I’ve always replaced the tape by sticking down the end and using a credit card to “squeegee” it onto the surface, and it can be tough to avoid getting bubbles. Yesterday I unrolled enough tape to cover the platform and when I had it stretched out, it was easy to align the front edge of the tape with the front edge of the platform, at which point I squeegeed it down with my thumb with no bubbles at all. Huh, well, I guess I’ll remember that.

I heat my build platform with the rackmount laboratory-grade power supply the CupCake is sitting on. From my 2010 blog post about making the heated build platform (gosh, this blog thing is handy), I see that I ran the power supply around 24V to heat the build platform to the neighborhood of 180-200C, then backed it off to 12V. This is a definite opportunity to control via software in the future; but for now, I’ll keep doing it with a manual control the way the pilgrims did.

Setting Nozzle Height by Extruding Onto the Platform

I’ve never got the Z-axis endstops integrated into my build process — if someone knows how to implement that (some G-code preface), I’d love to hear about it — and getting the right nozzle height has always been one of my biggest recurring challenges with this machine. So I decided to take a different approach and set the extruder to run while jogging the build platform under numerical control and lowering the nozzle until the extrusions stuck well but didn’t flatten badly.

freehand extrusion on MakerBot CupCake heated build platform

I got a blob every time it stopped between jog steps, but the process worked pretty well — I got the height tuned to stick the extrusion down to the build platform without squishing it badly out of shape.

freehand extrusion from 3D printer heated build platform

Removed from the printer, you can see that the ABS was starting to scorch. I’d been running the nozzle at 228C based on my 2012 post; but somewhere I found that I’d backed down to 220C, and that does seem to work better.

First Print (from Saved Gcode)

I don’t have my machine’s calibration parameters loaded into Skeinforge yet, in part because I can’t find Skeinforge (which is supposed to be integrated into ReplicatorG, but I don’t find that to be the case); so I can’t slice and print an STL file. But I have G-code files that I’d generated for this printer, and it should work to print those.

plastic clip made on 3D printer

This clip didn’t turn out so well. The G-code was generated to print at 228C and the printer stopped extruding partway through, I think because the ABS was overheated. I could update the G-code to run at 220C instead; but I’m going to want to get Skeinforge running to slice new models anyway. So this was a fine proof of concept.

Thermistor Is Calibrated

I found (and subsequently remembered) that a few settings are saved in the printer’s NVRAM, including the thermistor coefficients. They’re accessible in the Machine / Toolhead Onboard Preferences... dialog:

So it really was running at 228C when it said it was.

Remaining Issues

  • After positioning the nozzle at the build platform’s origin, I raised it high out of the way. When I told it to return to home, the Z action paused about once a second on the way down and stopped about 13 mm above the build platform instead of running smoothly back to its original position. For goodness sake, you should be able to get the basics right.

    I haven’t checked whether the motherboard was signaling the stepper driver and it was skipping steps (doubt it) or whether the motherboard was malfunctioning, so I should do that yet.

    I’ll never be able to automate nozzle positioning if the CupCake can’t reliably move the nozzle into position.
  • Skeinforge doesn’t seem to be integrated. I can install it separately, but I wonder why it’s not there.
  • I need to recover all of my calibration settings from the hard drives of my crashed computer and put them into Skeinforge that doesn’t exist. And then add that location to my backup system.
  • ReplicatorG shows the preview of the STL when I’m clicking on a file to open but doesn’t have a preview window after loading where one can rotate and reposition the object. I thought that was available even before the Skeinforge integration, but I could be misremembering.

by Keith Neufeld at July 10, 2018 12:51 AM

July 09, 2018

adafruit industries blog

‘Make Software More Accessible’ – Andreas Stefik Talks ‘Accessibility for the Visually Impaired’

The Software Engineering Radio site is a trove of great podcasts spanning ~12 years discussing everything from DevOps to IoT and in this case visual impairment as it relates to software development – something greatly overlooked in both training and application of softwares. It’s a cool talk with UNLV CS Associate Professor Andreas Stefik – there’s lots to absorb and think about:

Andreas Stefik talks with SE Radio’s Felienne about how blind and visually impaired people use the computer, most commonly with a screen reader. They discuss how screen readers work and what programmers can do to make software more accessible for this group of users. The episode starts with the basics, like adding alt tags, giving links meaningful names, not storing information in images, and validating websites with accessibility checkers. The conversation builds up to frameworks and libraries that can be used to create more accessible interfaces, as well as different accessibility architectures for different programming languages, and how to cater for broad diversity in visual impairments. They also examine programming while blind and how to create accessible APIs, programming tools, and programming languages.

The podcast page also includes lots of accessibility related links:

by nicknormal at July 09, 2018 05:37 PM

July 07, 2018

Keith’s Electronics Blog

Booting the MakerBot CupCake after Five Years Part 2: Installing Software

The next step in running the CupCake 3D printer is reinstalling the software and connecting to the machine.

ReplicatorG 0026 main screen

It went surprisingly well, with the only real snag being my misremembering the installation process, leaving me stuck in NotConnectedLand for a while.

What Software

A lot has happened in the world of hobbyist 3D printing since the last time I had the CupCake powered up and both new firmware and new driver software are available. I’m interested in upgrading both as I have time; but for a first boot, I want to change as few variables as possible. That means leaving the firmware that’s on the CupCake and matching a legacy version of ReplicatorG to what’s on it. And I had no idea what was on it.

Fortunately I have a blog and on that blog I write some things.

I went to my own blog’s MakerBot CupCake blog category and quickly found the January 2012 post on rebuilding the heater in which I had written:

… I upgraded ReplicatorG from 0024 to 0029r2, and let it upgrade my firmware from v2.4 (I think) to v3.0, and lo! lost communication between ReplicatorG and the CupCake…

This is apparently a known problem …

Anyway, downgrading ReplicatorG to 0026 restored my connectivity …

So there you have it: I need ReplicatorG version 0026 to connect to the 3.0 firmware currently on my CupCake.

Happily, the ReplicatorG web site is still online in spite of MakerBot’s acquisition by Stratasys (though I note there have been no code updates since the acquisition). The download page has dowload links for only the last version (0040) but also has links to the Google Code archive, which on p3 has that 0026 for the Mac that I’m looking for.

Running ReplicatorG

I downloaded ReplicatorG 0026 and tried running it from the disk image before actually installing it on my laptop. I got the standard security warning:

OS X security warning about ReplicatorG

and had to look up to right-click and Open rather than double-click and change security preferences. After much playing around yesterday, I see that OS X Sierra does not remember approval I’ve given to run software on a disk image but does remember approval I’ve given to run software once it’s installed.

Once I got past that, I got a Java version error:

ReplicatorG 0026 needs Java SE6

Shockingly, clicking More Info... in that dialog does something useful — it takes me to Apple’s JRE download page for that version. After regaining consciousness, I installed that software and ReplicatorG starts up like a champ.

Can’t Connect to the CupCake (Because I Installed ReplicatorG Wrong)

It doesn’t appear to see the CupCake, though,

ReplicatorG no machineNode found

giving the error:

Could not load machine 'null' no machineNode found
could not load machine 'null' please check Driver-> <Machine Name>

It does see my FTDI USB-serial cable under Machine / Serial Port. It does not have anything listed under Machine / Driver and it does not bring up anything when I select Machine / Machine Information…

I don’t find much online about this. A Thingiverse Sailfish firmware comment sounds as though I simply have the wrong machine type selected, but I can’t even select a machine type. The tail end of a ReplicatorG comment thread sounds as though it can’t see USB-serial ports on current OS X versions, but it does see it. A much older MakerBot forum post mentions success after reseating the FTDI cable; but I don’t even know whether that’s the same issue and reseating mine didn’t help.

Installing ReplicatorG Correctly

It seemed obviously wrong that I couldn’t bring up the Machine Information… dialog, and I hunched that something was wrong there. Researching about the machine type, I saw that the ReplicatorG machine configuration page mentions a machines.xml file, which I didn’t have. But that sparked a memory — the ReplicatorG disk image had a machines folder in it and … oh, yeah.

The ReplicatorG Mac installation page clearly says to create a ReplicatorG folder under Applications and drag the entire contents of the ReplicatorG disk image into it. Which I hadn’t. I’d just dragged the app because in spite of remembering and knowing better, I’d just dragged the app.

I deleted the app from Applications, created the folder, dragged the contents, started ReplicatorG by right-clicking and choosing Open, and boom. Connected to the CupCake.

First Extrusion

I went back to my same blog post and found the nozzle temperature that works well for my CupCake, then set that and ran the extruder:

ReplicatorG 0026 extruder control panel

I don’t have any of my CupCake’s calibration settings loaded in yet, in particular my thermistor coefficients, so this temperature is only an estimate; but it worked well enough.

MakerBot CupCake test extrusion

First squeeze! Software installed; connected to and controlling the machine.

A Brief Aside About the FTDI USB-Serial Driver

When first I ran the ReplicatorG software, I wondered whether I had the FTDI USB-Serial driver already loaded on my MacBook from working with Arduino or whether the driver was missing and was the cause of the problem. ReplicatorG did find a USB-Serial under the Serial Port list, but I still questioned.

A bit of research shows that the driver’s presence or absence can be seen by running System Information and looking under Software / Installations. I didn’t see it there and I found that it can also be checked by running pkgutil --pkgs | grep -i ftdi . Didn’t see it there either.

The FTDI driver version supplied with ReplicatorG was of course quite old and I didn’t know how well it’d work on a newer OS X release. I went to FTDI’s Virtual Com Port (VCP) driver page, downloaded and installed version 2.4.2, and found that it made no changes to what I was experiencing. I’m wondering whether the FTDI driver is by now supplied as part of OS X or whether it silently installed when I installed the Arduino software on this MacBook.

by Keith Neufeld at July 07, 2018 03:18 PM

July 04, 2018

code, circuits, & construction

Datalogging with Arduino

There are several ways to save data from a sensor attached to an Arduino. If you’re connected to a personal computer, you can simply send the data from the Arduino to the personal computer serially, and save it to a … Continue reading

by tigoe at July 04, 2018 04:34 PM

Serial to Browser using node.js

Updated 28 July 2015 This is a brief introduction to using node.js and websockets to connect a serial device, like an Arduino microcontroller, to a browser. To make this happen you’ll need: An Arduino, and the Arduino IDE an HTML5-capable browser. … Continue reading

by tigoe at July 04, 2018 04:19 PM

July 02, 2018

adafruit industries blog

NEW GUIDE: A NeoPixel Pomodoro Timer #AdafruitLearningSystem

 

Many people get value from a simple tool called the Pomodoro Technique.

It’s a time management technique used to break work into periods of activity separated by short breaks. Each activity period is called a pomodoro. Why “pomodoro”? The technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo, who named the technique “pomodoro” as a nod to the tomato kitchen timer he initially used.

This guide goes through all the steps for you to build your own Pomodoro Timer using the Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express programmed in CircuitPython.

ItsyBitsy M0 Express

See the full build details for the timer project here on the Adafruit Learning System!

Have you created a cool timer project? Maybe an ItsyBitsy project? Let us know in the comments below!

by Mike Barela at July 02, 2018 06:19 PM

June 29, 2018

adafruit industries blog

A Look at that @Drake ‘Mechanical Puppet’ from @Sprite’s 2010 ‏’Spark’ Commercial | #puppets #drizzy #robot

AKA Make Robot Drake, Not Robot Enemy

I was delving a bit deeper into my own blog about an interview with Mike Elizalde from Spectral Motion, whose interview at v-e-n-u-e included this awesome shot:

Mechanical puppet of Drake from a Sprite commercial. Scott Millenbaugh and Jurgen Heimann of Spectral Motion are seen here making mechanical adjustments.

(Note the incredible dog / bear / animal head on the cabinet seen over Scott Millenbaugh’s right shoulder – what is that thing!?)

I was really curious about that… puppet / mech / animatronic / bot mannequin, and wanted to know more. The caption references a commercial for the lemon-lime flavored fizzy drink Sprite. But I haven’t had television since shortly after 9/11 – so a 2010-era commercial was way down on my list of anything I could recall or have a familiarity with seeing. So I looked it up:

Even having watched the commercial, you’d think everything was done in computer graphics – I certainly did. But, there was that picture above of a real-world “mechanical puppet.” I couldn’t reconcile the two, so I dove a little deeper!


 
The commercial is the product of agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty‘s NYC office, the puppet was created by Spectral Motion and then completed by Montreal’s The Workshop, who write,

The process included creating both 3D generated and live action and the seamless integration of the two. It began with a complete body scan of Drake. We then created a 3D model of him and cut him into the pieces we wanted to move. The model was then sent to the effects house and they created an animatronic puppet of Drake. On set we used a motion control camera and perfectly aligned Drake’s last position to match the robot clone of him. Using the same camera movements we shot the puppet exploding. In post, we regenerated the footage of Drake to align with the movement of the robotic puppet and created the 3D liquid simulation of the water moving through him.

Even the ‘splash’ effects were real-world (at least for reference, for the CG operators), as captured by numerous clips at reelfx.com:


 
I’m fascinated that so much work went into a 1-minute ad spot, and involved real-world film, animatronics and mechanical parts, photogrammetry, 3d-modeling, audio composition, and more. Also Drake has a new album out today, so this seems serendipitous!

by nicknormal at June 29, 2018 01:55 PM

June 28, 2018

mightyOhm

June 26, 2018

adafruit industries blog

American River People are Coming to NYC – on a DIY Shantyboat of Course! | @WModes #ArtTuesday


the Secret History of American River People project have embarked on their cross-country tour from California to upstate NY, where they will subsequently be floating through the Hudson Valley towards the mouth of the river at Upper New York Bay, but stopping at White Box in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and at the Waterfront Barge Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn, for exhibitions to conclude their journey. I’ve been following the Secret History project for some time now so really looking forward to seeing this boat and its community and art. You can see more of the creation of this shantyboat here and learn more about supporting the project here. Their Secret History of American River People blog is a trove of wonderful tales.

 
From building the actual boat to wiring up its flux capacitor and more, maker skills are essential for ambitious art projects like this:

by nicknormal at June 26, 2018 07:22 PM

Playing Video on the Handheld Pokitto Game Device @Pokitto #Gaming

POKITTO is a do-it-yourself gaming gadget you assemble and program yourself. With Pokitto, you can learn programming & building electronics in a fun way.

Over on spinalcode.co.uk, they recently managed to get full screen video streaming on the Pokitto!

They extracted the individual frames from a movie file using ffmpeg. A windows batch file first evaluates the video and creates a 256 colour table, this is part of the secret. Only 256 colours are used for the whole video which helps get it playing on the device.

ffmpeg

To see the whole process, read the whole blog post.

Do you like pushing the boundaries of small handheld electronics? Let us know in the comments!

by Mike Barela at June 26, 2018 02:33 PM

June 11, 2018

NYC Resistor

LED Dress at the Interactive Show 6/16

 

Michael Seri will exhibit his LED neon light dress Lock Her&Him Up at the Interactive show this Saturday 6/16! The chain mail dress is fitted with neon-esque LED tube and powered with batteries. Michael writes: “This dress will be worn by a model in different locations in NYC as a means of social justice and expression on the issues that are on the forefront of society.”

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 11, 2018 06:12 PM

VR experiences Shadowbox & Computer Beach at the Interactive Show 6/16

 

Andrew Katsikas’ Shadowbox is “a Virtual Reality experience inside a box where the walls are made up of shadows that are ever-changing. Shadows are derived from movement/patterns observed in the natural world and distilled down to their essence. Shadows pulse in and out, reacting live to the music that is playing.”

Andrew Katsikas will also exhibit Computer Beach:

Computer Beach challenges and elevates the medium of 360 video by rejecting realism and emphasizing escapism. By combining the aesthetic of VHS-style “glitch” art, Vaporwave/Psychedelic culture and looping footage of a gorgeous beach in Martha’s Vineyard, we cultivate a hypnotic and transformative experience and make it available to everyone.

Come check them out at the Interactive Show this Saturday 6/16!

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 11, 2018 01:42 PM

June 09, 2018

NYC Resistor

Dat Phan’s Photon Molecule Interactive Origami LED Light Sculpture at the Interactive Show 6/16

Dat Phan will present his origami LED sculpture Photon Molecule at the upcoming Interactive Show on Saturday, July 16.

Photon Molecule is a modular origami piece laced with programmable LEDs. Viewers can interact with the sculpture via a Leap Motion hand-tracking sensor. There’s no meaning behind it; it is just meant to be pretty and fun.

Dat Phan is a recent transplant from San Francisco. While there, he was involved in and drew a lot of influence from the local Art+Tech and Burning Man communities. Although he studied software in school, he loves making tangible work-physical objects that take up space and are part of the environment alongside us. Having developed a love of light via photography, he combines his programming skills and crafting skills to create animated light sculptures. He takes a lot of inspiration from physics and nature and aims to push the aesthetic boundaries of physical lighting effects.

 

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 09, 2018 03:09 PM

June 04, 2018

NYC Resistor

Psychedelic Selfie Maker at The Interactive Show 6/16

 

Randy Sarafan will be exhibiting his Psychedelic Selfie Maker at the upcoming Interactive Show on 6/16. Get more info and pick up your tickets! Randy writes:

The Psychedelic Selfie Maker was initially built to test the sad theory that people would take selfies of themselves taking fractured infinite selfies of themselves. This setup creates infinite video feedback as seen through a teleidoscope. When you stand between the teleidoscope and the rear projection screen, you become part of the infinite feedback and the video gets weird. All of the effects are optical. No special effects processing is done on any of the video.

The 9th Annual Interactive Show: Self Driving Carbs

NYC Resistor’s Interactive Show returns for its 9th incarnation. Our annual party and fundraiser invites hackers from around the region to show off their cool interactive projects with free beats and beers provided. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

This year’s theme is Self-Driving Carbs. Biscuit swarms! A giant edible house! Posters you can chomp on! More projects to be announced soon. Keep checking the Resistor Blog for previews! And don’t worry there will be a gluten-free dance zone.

Grab your tickets now and get ready for a delicious evening of tech and tastiness!

by Becky Stern at June 04, 2018 03:46 PM

May 18, 2018

adafruit industries blog

NEW GUIDE: PiGlass, a DIY wearable computer #AdafruitLearningSystem

PiGlass is a DIY wearable computer!

PiGlass can be used to take HD pictures and videos, those files get automatically uploaded to Dropbox via a Wi-Fi connection.. You can stream music from your phone to PiGlass with Bluetooth as well as stream YouTube audio with mps-youtube. A bone conduction transducer can be added to be used instead of headphones. YouTube videos can be streamed to PiGlass using the RaspiCast app for Android, the camera on PiGlass can be livestreamed to YouTube.

You can control PiGlass, once assembled, via your phone via SSH over Wi-Fi.

piglass wearable computer

The step-by-step guide walks you through the design and implementation using a Raspberry Pi Zero.

Check out the full guide on the Adafruit Learning System here!

 

by Mike Barela at May 18, 2018 01:39 PM

April 11, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Custom Connector for 1980s-Era Canon X-07 Serial Port | #retrocomputing #3Dprinting

Amazing post from Ketturi electronics designing a custom adapter for a 35-year-old retro computer:

Canon X-07 is great little handheld retro computer. But being Canon, nothin is standard. Canon has always insisted using weird proprietary connector for devices, and usually it is impossible to find connectors that would fit them. This is also a case with X-07. It uses weird connectors for serial- and parallel ports. They look bit like a normal D-sub connector, and D-sub connector almost fits into them, but it is not a good fit. I wanted to make new connector that matches X-07’s serial port perfectly, so I took my callipers and 3D cad and started to work.

Read more here.


 

I soldered cable on contacts. Printed partes were not installed during soldering, and white acrylic pin holder did not melt like printed parts would have been. I also installed small strain relief rubber jacket over cable. Other end is just terminated with normal pin-header style connector, so that I can plug it into USB -> TTL serial port adapter. X-07 uses ~5V logic in the serial port, and it cannot be connected to normal RS232 port without level converter circuitry. There is also 4.6V output from batteries in one pin, that could power level converter, IR transmitter or maybe even bluetooth serial adapter. Connector also has software switchable 38,4kHz signal for infrared transmission modulation.

Read more.

by nicknormal at April 11, 2018 11:41 AM

March 14, 2018

adafruit industries blog

Researchers from University of Tokyo & Dai Nippon Printing Develop Wearable E-Skin Sensors and Displays Using Micro LEDs | #WearableWednesday

A new ultrathin, elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system – called “skin electronics” – can transmit biometric data to the cloud.

This latest research by a Japanese academic-industrial collaboration, led by Professor Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering, is slated for a news briefing and talk at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas on February 17th.

Thanks to advances in semiconductor technology, wearable devices can now monitor health by first measuring vital signs or taking an electrocardiogram, and then transmitting the data wirelessly to a smartphone. The readings or electrocardiogram waveforms can be displayed on the screen in real time, or sent to either the cloud or a memory device where the information is stored.


 
Read more here, h/t engadget for the story.


Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

by nicknormal at March 14, 2018 03:35 PM

February 26, 2018

mightyOhm

Mike and Key ARC Flea Market, Sat. Mar 10, Puyallup, WA

The 37th annual Mike and Key ARC Electronics Show and Flea Market is just under two weeks away.

I have no affiliation with Mike and Key, but in my opinion this is the best electronics swap meet in the greater Seattle area. I go every year. (If you know of others, post in the comments!)

The Mike and Key flea market will take place on Saturday, March 10th at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup. Doors open at 9AM (earlier for sellers). I’m looking forward to meeting other PNW electronics and ham radio folks there. I have a seller table again this year so I should be pretty easy to find. I’ll be selling a few kits along with ham radio gear and miscellaneous electronics.

Mike and Key hosts ham radio exams during the swap meet, so if you’re interested in getting a ham radio license this is one opportunity. More details on the event flyer.

More info.

by Jeff at February 26, 2018 07:09 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 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 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 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’).


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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

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