Monthly Archives: July 2019

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

via Dangerous Prototypes

BP

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter 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.

Standbeest-inspired ClearCrawler robot clomps around on 8 legs

via Arduino Blog

When you want to build a walking robot, the normal route is to individually control each leg with a number of servos or other actuators. Maker Jeremy S. Cook, however, took a different approach with his ‘ClearCrawler,’ using only a pair of motors to power eight legs. These legs are divided up into sets of four on either side of the bot, allowing for differential control similar to a tank.

The leg linkage design is based on Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest mechanism, and a clear head is also implemented with a pair of 8×8 MAX7219 LED matrix eyes. Onboard control is handled by an Arduino Nano and an L298N driver board, while an Uno with a joystick shield serves as the user interface. Radio transmission is via two nRF24L01 modules.

Code for both the transmitter and receiver can be found on GitHub.

rePalm

via Dangerous Prototypes

IMG_20190318_143406

rePalm project from Dmitry.GR

As I mentioned, none of the native API of PalmOS 5.x was ever documented. There was a small number of people who figured out some parts of it, but nobody really got it all, or even close to it. To start with, because large parts are not useful to an app developer, and thus attracted no interest. This is a problem, however, if one wants to make a new device. So I had to actually do a lot of reverse engineering for this project – a lot of boring reverse engineering of very boring APIs that I still had to implement. Oh, and I needed a kernel, and actual hardware to run on.

Shower monitor helps you save water and money

via Arduino Blog

You (hopefully) take regular showers or baths, but how much water do you use each time you step into your facilities? If you don’t know the answer, then this monitor by LiamOSM could be just what you need.

The device uses a flow sensor plumbed inline with a shower head, which transmits pulses to an Arduino Nano setup. This Nano, which resides in a nicely 3D-printed enclosure, measures these pulses and outputs the amount of water you’ve used to a 16×2 LCD screen, along with its cost calculated according to your particular utility rates. 

Using such a monitor would likely be an eye-opening experience, and the inexpensive flow sensor used here could be a great tool for other projects as well.

Which uses more water – a bath or a shower?

I was recently thinking about this question, and I realized that I don’t actually know how much water is used when I shower. I know when I’m in the shower sometimes my mind wanders, thinking about a cool new projects idea or trying to decide what to have for breakfast, while water is just gushing down the drain. It would be a lot easier to reduce my water consumption if I actually knew how many litres I was using each time!

I did a bit of research, and found that different shower heads can use anywhere from 9.5 litres (2.5 gallons) per minute to less than 6 litres (1.6 gallons) per minute, if you have a flow restrictor installed. A very old shower could use even more water. 

I decided to design and build a device that would display the total volume of water used per shower, the cost of the water, and the flow rate. I’ve had this device installed for a few weeks, and it’s really handy to have a live readout of the amount of water being used.

A New Artemis Guide is Here

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

We affectionately refer to the BlackBoard Artemis ATP as the "All The Pins!" board, since it breaks out every single one of the SparkFun Artemis Module's 48 GPIO pins into a familiar, Mega-like form factor. On top of the BlackBoard's improved power conditioning and USB-to-serial, we've added a slew of features to help you take full advantage of the Artemis module's unique features.

Now there is a new guide for the SparkFun Artemis ATP board! Read about it here!

New!

Hookup Guide for the BlackBoard Artemis ATP

July 15, 2019

Get started with the BlackBoard Artemis ATP - all the functionality of the SparkFun Artemis module wrapped in the Mega Arduino Footprint


You can check out all these features in our newsletter. Feel free to poke at the code as well! We've included examples for all the features of the Artemis in our Arduino Core.

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Zeus is a humanoid that can hold a conversation

via Arduino Blog

As seen in the videos below, Zeus is a metallic humanoid robot capable of moving its head and arms around, featuring a pair of hand grippers that should be quite useful when the time comes. For now, creator Luis appears to be focusing on its vocal skills, with plans to eventually teach it how to walk.

The robot can engage in conversation with its companion, whether it’s answering questions like “What’s your name?” with“My name is Zeus,” or “What’s your favorite movie?” with “I wasn’t that impressed with the special effects, also the plot was not deep.” Zeus even lets Luis know when he “has no idea what to say.”

Zeus’ communication and movement are accomplished through a variety of hardware, including an Arduino Mega and an AAEON UP board, as well as an Intel RealSense Camera SR300 for vision. Luis is also using CMUSphinx for voice recognition, eSpeak for text-to-speech and AIML chatbot for interactive responses.

Perhaps we’ll see this ~1/2-sized humanoid traipsing around on its own in the future, though hopefully its comment about “taking over the world” was just a joke!