Monthly Archives: October 2020

This Inspector Gadget hat actually responds to voice commands

via Arduino Blog

If you ever watched the 1980s Inspector Gadget cartoon, you undoubtedly wanted a hat like his, which can pop out all kinds of useful tools under voice control. Although it won’t allow you to fly off after saying “go go gadget ‘copter,” DJ Harrigan’s replica does produce a spinning propeller and an emergency light with 16 RGB LEDs.

Underneath this 3D-printed hat is a pair of micro servos, with linkage systems that open the top flaps. A standard servo extends the actual gadget. Controlling the device is a MKR1000, and voice commands are registered via a MikroElektronika SpeakUp click board.

While many characters sparked DJ’s imagination for invention and quest for technical skills, one of the earliest was everyone’s favorite 1980’s cyborg policeman: RoboCop, er uh Inspector Gadget! While Inspector Gadget’s gadgets certainly obeyed the laws of cartoon physics rather than real physics, they’re just beyond the edge of plausibility. So in a year long preparation for Halloween 2021, DJ is setting out to make a voice activated hat that can summon real gadgets from his head. No plastic surgery necessary. Some assembly required. 

Arduino joins the Open Source Security Foundation

via Arduino Blog

As an open-source project, Arduino has always considered security a top priority: making tools and products easy to use for our community has consistently been as important as making them secure. 

Today, we are excited to announce that Arduino has joined the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSFF), the collaborative cross-industry effort to secure the open-source ecosystem.

Hosted at the Linux Foundation, the OpenSFF brings together the efforts of the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) and GitHub’s Open Source Security Coalition and is committed to working both upstream and with existing communities to advance the security of open-source software. The foundation will initially include technical initiatives and working groups that will address vulnerability disclosures, security tooling, security best practices, and the identification of security threats to the open-source project. 

Arduino is proud to become a member of the OpenSFF alongside GitHub, Google, IBM, Facebook, Red Hat, Facebook, Huawei Technologies, and Samsung. Arduino’s membership to the OpenSFF is also part of the Arduino Donation Program, our philanthropic initiative to fund projects and institutions that can make the difference for the worldwide open-source community.

Our aim is to make complex technologies simple to use for everyday people and security out of the box is part of the user experience we strive for. We believe that working with skilled security experts and industries across the globe is crucial in identifying security weaknesses and vulnerabilities, “said Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi. “We are excited to join the Open Source Security Foundation and we look forward to collaborating with other members to improve the security of any open-source ecosystem.”

This machine dispenses labels, making it easier to peel them off

via Arduino Blog

Labels are easy enough to take off of a roll, but doing so repeatedly while trying to keep count, could perhaps change one’s mind. If you find yourself having to apply label after label… after label, then an Arduino-based dispenser like Mr Innovative’s could be just the thing you need to streamline the process.

The automated machine uses a stepper motor to pull labels past a series of rods, separating the sticky-backed “FRAGILE” sign upon encountering an especially abrupt change in direction. An IR sensor beneath detects the presence of the label, keeping the device from advancing further until it’s removed.

An Arduino Nano on a custom PCB, along with an A4988 driver control the rig. User input consists of a rotary knob and push button, and a 16×2 LCD display shows the number of labels dispensed as well as the label length during setup.

Transform a pile of clothing into the robot of your nightmares

via Arduino Blog

While whatever you heard bump in the night was probably nothing to be concerned about, if you see a suspicious blob of clothing on the floor, you might give it another look. Although not particularly dangerous, YouTuber “Sciencish” has come up with a robot that causes a pile of clothes to turn and face, then travel towards the light source you used to check it out.

The device features four photoresistors, along with an Arduino Uno and two steppers on a robotic chassis for movement. It also accommodates a filament or wire frame on which clothing can rest. When a light is shined at it, the LDRs pick up this “signal” through the clothes. The robot then waits until the lights are off, pauses a bit more, and then rotates to face the person and incrementally advances.

It’s a terrifying idea, and something that could be implemented in many forms, such as the Minecraft spider disguise Sciencish made for it out of cardboard — perfect for some Halloween fun!

Say hello to the new Arduino Oplà IoT Kit: Experience the Internet of Things in your hands!

via Arduino Blog

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Arduino Oplà Kit, the first open programmable IoT platform that allows you to add smart connectivity to the devices around your home or workplace and build custom IoT devices. 

The Oplà IoT Kit contains all the hardware necessary to create eight connected applications, access to an online platform with assembly instructions, and a 12-month subscription to the Arduino Create Maker Plan. This kit is perfect for beginners with basic DIY experience, while more advanced users can leverage it to customize and hack their smart applications and devices, with full control of their data and processes. 

Eight out-of-the-box projects to connect your home or workplace

The projects included in the Oplà IoT Kit enable users to turn everyday appliances into smart appliances, which can be controlled remotely on a mobile phone: 

  • Remote Controlled Lights — Change color, light modes, and switch on/off
  • Personal Weather Station — Record and monitor local weather conditions
  • Home Security Alarm — Detect motion and trigger warnings
  • Solar System Tracker — Retrieve data from planets and moons in the solar system
  • Inventory Control — Track goods in and out
  • Smart Garden — Monitor and manage the environment for your plants
  • Thermostat Control — Smart control for heating and cooling systems
  • Thinking About You — Send messages between the kit and the Arduino IoT Cloud

Create, connect, control. The Internet of Things has never been so easy! 

No soldering is required with the Oplà IoT Kit, which is based on a MKR IoT carrier with an OLED color display, on-board environmental sensors and capacitive touch buttons. The kit also includes a MKR WiFi 1010 board, a circular plastic enclosure and supporting accessories, such as two cables, a motion sensor, a moisture sensor, and a USB cable. 

To build applications, users can rely on the Oplà online platform. Each project includes goals, an intro to the components, step-by-step instructions with illustrations and videos to guide you through assembling the product and building the code. 

Finally, the kit acts as the physical interface of the Arduino IoT Cloud and comes with a 12-month subscription to the Arduino Create Maker Plan, offering unlimited compilation time and extended access to all the features of the Arduino IoT Cloud. 

When creating the Oplà IoT Kit, we wanted to design a platform that would allow anyone to gain a complete experience of what the Internet of Things has to offer around the home or workplace and I really believe we have achieved this. It is a great kit for users to build custom devices and enjoy being creative, no matter your level of experience,” says Arduino CEO Fabio Violante. “With this launch, we take yet another step towards lowering the barrier to entry for IoT development and cannot wait to see the projects created by users embracing connected devices both in their homes and at work.” 

The Oplà IoT Kit is available on the Arduino online store.

Driving a mini RC bumper car with a Nintendo Wii Balance Board

via Arduino Blog

Taking inspiration from Colin Furze’s 600cc bumper car constructed a few years ago, Henry Forsyth decided to build his own RC miniature version. His device features a 3D-printed and nicely-painted body, along with a laser-cut chassis that holds the electrical components.

The vehicle is driven by a single gearmotor and a pair of 3D-printed wheels, with another caster-style wheel that’s turned left and right by a servo steering. An Arduino Uno and Bluetooth shield are used for overall control with a motor driver.

The Bluetooth functionality allows for user interface via a PS4 controller, or even (after a bit of programming) a Wii Balance Board. In the end, the PS4 remote seems to be the better control option, but who knows where else this type of balance technique could be employed?