Monthly Archives: November 2022

This health belt can provide early warning of heart failure

via Arduino Blog

Heart disease is the most common cause of death — not just in industrialized countries, but for the world as a whole. Many deaths caused by heart failure could be prevented if the patient received medical care sooner, but people are often unaware of impending heart failure until it actually occurs. However, there are physiological indicators that become detectable in advance of heart failure. This wearable “health belt” contains sensors that monitor for those indicators to give warning of imminent heart failure so patients can seek lifesaving medical attention.

This health belt has a variety of sensors to monitor key physiological indicators, including thoracic impedance, heart rate, electrocardiogram activity, and motion activity. None of those alone would reliably correspond to upcoming heart failure without many false positives and negatives, but together they provide a clear picture. The sensor array, which is wearable and resembles a cumberbund, communicates via Bluetooth with the user’s phone. When the signs of heart failure appear, their phone can either notify them to seek medical attention or notify a third party, like a family member or doctor.

The team used an Arduino Uno board to construct their prototype health belt. It connects to several sensors: a peripheral module interface (PMOD) Impedance Analyzer (IA), an AD8232 ECG (electrocardiogram) sensor, a MAX30105 heart rate sensor, and an ADXL362 accelerometer. Power comes from a 9V battery and an HC06 module handles the Bluetooth communication. 

More testing is needed to determine the health belt’s efficacy, as the research team wasn’t able to gather data from people actually experiencing heart failure. But early testing with a subject mimicking similar body movement and breathing was promising.

Image credit: Iqbal, S.M.A., Mahgoub, I., Du, E. et al. Development of a wearable belt with integrated sensors for measuring multiple physiological parameters related to heart failure. Sci Rep 12, 20264 (2022).

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Name that Ware November, 2022

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

The Ware for November 2022 is shown below.

A grounded guard ring is placed around some of the most sensitive analog traces; I would love it if someone could teach me why the soldermask is removed for these guard rings. I imagine there must be some motivation to retain this motif even into mass production, since the mask-less traces run between SMT pins, which I have to imagine incurs a potential yield impact, or at the very least it makes rework more challenging.

Also, yet another tamper-proof seal broken:

It was just a matter of time…such is the fate of any seal within my reach!

Winner, Name that Ware October 2022

via Hacking – bunnie's blog

The Ware for October 2022 is a Wavetek Model 21 signal generator. The winner is Marc! Congrats, email me for your prize!

Here’s some more photos of the system for context. It consists of a function generator (analog) board, and a digital control board, along with a third board (not shown) that manages the LCD and buttons.

768 teams of young people have entered Astro Pi Mission Space Lab 2022/23

via Raspberry Pi

This year, 768 teams made up of 3086 young people from 23 countries sent us their ideas for experiments to run on board the International Space Station (ISS) for Astro Pi Mission Space Lab.


Mission Space Lab is part of the European Astro Pi Challenge, an ESA Education programme run in collaboration with us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Mission Space Lab teams can choose between ‘Life on Earth’ and ‘Life in space’ for their experiment idea. As in previous years, ‘Life on Earth’ was the most popular experiment theme: three quarters of the teams chose to submit an idea with this theme, for experiments using one of the Astro Pi’s High Quality Cameras. Half of these experiments involved using the near-infrared sensitive camera to investigate topics such as deforestation. Across both themes, over 40% of teams expressed an interest in using machine learning in their experiment.

Mission Space Lab teams are now getting ready to write and test their code

A panel of 25 judges from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and ESA Education assessed the submitted ideas. We are restricted in how many teams we can accommodate, as time to run experiments on board the ISS is limited, especially for ‘Life on Earth’ experiments which need time in a nadir window. The standard of the submitted ideas was higher than ever, making this the toughest judging yet. We are delighted to announce that 486 teams will move on to Phase 2 of Mission Space Lab: writing the code for their experiments.

An Astro Pi unit at a window on board the International Space Station.
A Mark II Astro Pi in the NODE window on the ISS. Credit: ESA/NASA

If your experiment idea was unsuccessful this time, we understand that this will be disappointing news for your team. We encourage them to submit a new experiment idea in next year’s Mission Space Lab. We will let you know when Mission Space Lab 23/24 will be launching.

All the teams whose experiment ideas we’ve selected will receive a special Astro Pi hardware kit, customised to their idea, to help them write and test the Python programs to execute their experiments. Once the teams of young people have received their kits, they can familiarise themselves with the Astro Pi hardware and then create and test (and re-test!) their programs.

Young people’s Mission Space Lab code will run in space next year

The deadline for Mission Space Lab teams to submit the code for their experiments to us is Thursday 24 February 2023. Once their program code has been through our rigorous checks and tests, it will be ready to run on the Astro Pis on board the ISS during April/May 2023.

Astro Pi computers on the ISS.
The Mark I and Mark II Astro Pi computers on board the ISS earlier this year. Credit: ESA/NASA

Congratulations to the successful teams, and thank you to everyone who sent us their ideas for Mission Space Lab this year. And a special thank you to all the teachers, educators, club volunteers, and other wonderful people who are acting as mentors for Mission Space Lab teams. You are helping your young people do something remarkable that they will remember for the rest of their lives, and the Astro Pi Challenge would not happen without you.

Welcome back, Ed and Izzy! 

Every year since 2015, thanks to our annual Astro Pi Challenge, teams of young people have written computer programs to run scientific experiments on two Astro Pi computers on the ISS.

Mark I Astro Pi computers Ed and Izzy back on Earth on a desk, after 5 years on board the International Space Station.
Mark I Astro Pi computers Ed and Izzy back on Earth after five years on board the International Space Station. Credit: ESA

This is the second year that experiments will run on the Mark II Astro Pi computers, named after Nikola Tesla and Marie Curie, but lots of people have been wondering what would happen to their predecessors. After running over 50,000 young people’s computer programs, the Mark I Astro Pi computers, Ed and Izzy, have safely returned to Earth for a well-earned rest.

Young people can take part in Astro Pi Mission Zero

Astro Pi Mission Zero is a one-hour beginners’ programming activity. In Mission Zero, young people, in teams or as individuals, write a program to display an image or series of images of their own design on one of the Astro Pi computers, to remind the astronauts on the ISS of home.

In their Mission Zero programs, young people get to use a reading from the Astro Pi’s colour and luminosity sensor to set the colour of their image background. Young people up to age 19 from eligible countries can take part in Mission Zero 2022/23 until 17 March. Visit the Astro Pi website for more details.

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Fully automated desktop weaving machine controlled by Arduino

via Arduino Blog

Automated weaving machines are one of the most important (and underappreciated) advancements to come from the industrial revolution. Prior to their invention, most people only owned a few garments that were woven and maintained by the family. With the introduction of machines able to churn out textiles, affordable clothing suddenly became available. As an expert in the industry, Roger de Meester was able to construct a fully automated weaving machine controlled by Arduino boards.

Unlike the early weaving machines of the industrial revolution that could only produce patterns inherent to their construction, de Meester’s desktop weaving machine utilizes sophisticated computer control to produce a huge range of patterns on demand. A new pattern can be completely different from the preceding pattern and the machine can even adjust the pattern on-the-fly during the weaving process, meaning it can create rich tapestries. 

This machine is incredibly complex, as it doesn’t rely on any mechanical coupling. That means that every facet of the machine’s operation is adjustable via a stepper motor, DC motor, or servo motor. There are a lot of motors to drive, so de Meester needed multiple Arduino boards: an Arduino Mega 2560 and two Arduino Nanos. The mechanical components are 3D-printed (like the shuttles) or made from aluminum extrusion and wood (like the frame). 

None of our descriptions can give this project justice, so be sure to watch the video to see de Meester’s machine in action. 

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The new Arduino Cloud for Business will have you… on a cloud!

via Arduino Blog

While our philosophy is all about the democratization of technology, we are well aware that businesses and professional users have specific needs: that’s why our Pro business unit is entirely focused on catering to them, with dedicated solutions that meet the strictest requirements for performance and security.

And after growing our Arduino Pro hardware portfolio with over a dozen new components in the past few months, we are happy to announce a major software advancement in our ecosystem: the Arduino Cloud for Business offers unique benefits for companies and industrial clients wanting enhanced features in terms of device management, RBAC, fleet management, and safe remote access.

The Arduino Cloud for Business is based on a powerful and flexible data plane where you can gather real-time and historical data in one place, sending information securely over-the-air. Display everything you need on dashboards built simply by choosing from dozens of configurable widgets: easily connect your devices – as many as you want! – to the Cloud and build your own control center.

Join an Organization Space. Define and manage multiple Organization spaces in Arduino Cloud for Business. Set up role-based access control (RBAC) by assigning profiles and sharing with any number of users, and access all cloud projects and sketches – always in sync thanks to the Web Editor – at any time and from any device, thanks to wide cross compatibility (Windows, Mac, Linux or Chromebook) and the free IoT Remote app.

The Arduino Cloud for Business allows for device management with instant or programmed OTA updates, secure provisioning to connect boards leveraging their secure element, and easy verification of their status (connected, not connected) and maintenance.

And there’s more: its specific fleet management features enable you to filter your devices by status, create groups and tags to more efficiently manage campaigns, search between boards, and list and order them.

Multiple of 50 devices can be connected under the Enterprise Base Plan – and you can always contact our team for a tailored plan to accelerate your IoT solutions.

Sketching and coding run through the integrated Arduino Web Editor, allowing you to program your boards from any browser, update devices over-the-air, move all sketches and libraries to the Cloud, use the latest IDE features without having to install any software locally, share projects across your team, and customize your libraries online.

With Arduino Cloud for Business, you can create an unlimited number of dashboards. Push button, Switch, Scheduler, Map, Chart… These are just a few of the many widgets you can customize to visualize all your data or to remotely control your devices. Click here to learn more. 

Allow your team to view/edit your dashboards or share them with your customers in just a couple of clicks. Everyone you want can have the permission to access them, not only in the browser, but also on-the-go using the free IoT Remote app (available from Google Play and the App Store).

Whether your data is needed every day or every minute, Arduino Cloud infrastructure is optimized to receive, elaborate, and return tons of data each second across the globe.

And, with one year data retention by default, Arduino Cloud for Business provides companies a place to store and mine data for additional insights and analysis, like condition monitoring or predictive maintenance. If you need to store the data somewhere else, export your entire set of data locally for further evaluation or manipulation.

Use Arduino IoT Cloud back-end to control Things and devices via Arduino rest APIs in Javascript, Python, or Go. With Arduino rest APIs, you will be able to manage up to 50 requests per second, guaranteeing stable data sharing. Leveraging the APIs, you can interact with any element of the Cloud: data, devices, dashboards, and web properties. Add the power to script, to create complex scenarios, or to send and receive data from your custom service or mobile application.

Generate your secure API key in just one click and start interacting with third-party apps and services without friction. Do you want to learn more? Check our API documentation.

The Arduino Cloud for Business is compatible with the widest range of Arduino PRO devices in the Portenta and Nicla families, as well as with MKR and Nano components. 

To address additional needs, Arduino Cloud for Business can be customized with optional add-ons: 

  • Portenta X8 Manager: Securely maintain Portenta X8 Linux distribution with this dedicated add-on. Deploy and update all your applications packaged into containers and perform secure over the air differential updates to target Portenta X8 devices/fleets. Check Portenta X8 documentation to find out more. 
  • LoRaWAN Device Manager: Easily connect your LoRa devices to Arduino Cloud for Business with this integrated add-on. Build your own enterprise grade LoRaWAN network server without location constraints and directly visualize and manage data exchanged through LoRa protocol into your Cloud projects. Get started now. 
  • Machine Learning Tools Enterprise: Build and train professional grade predictive models with just few lines of code through this dedicated add-on. Deploy premade models out of the box to quickly develop your machine learning projects, starting from object detection, machine vision to audio segmentation. Click here to learn more.

So, why choose Arduino Cloud for Business for your next IIoT challenge? 

Here are a few reasons:

  • Remotely access all your data and dashboards from any device.
  • Securely update your applications over-the-air.
  • Use multiple connectivity options (e.g. WiFi, LoRa, Ethernet, cellular etc.).
  • Your data is always fully encrypted.
  • Securely provision your devices leveraging their secure elements.
  • Share and grant access to your projects to colleagues and customers in one click.
  • Export your Cloud data locally when needed.
  • Optional add-on covering all your needs.
  • Develop your projects including all your MKR, Nano, and Portenta devices.

Last but not least, the Arduino Cloud for Business offers the frictionless experience and extensive documentation and tutorials Arduino is known for: check out available plans and start building your Cloud workspace today! 

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