Author Archives: Arduino Team

Scare your friends with a 3D-printed animatronic eyeball

via Arduino Blog

With October still six months away, you may not be thinking about Halloween decorations just yet. However, this Arduino-based ocular assembly could make for a spooky yet simple prop!

There are few things more unnerving than an eyeball or three looking at you from some concealed position—such as under clothing as in the project’s video. If you’d like to scare friends, family, or random visitors, Maker Will Cogley has the perfect solution with his 3D-printed animatronic eye and eyelid mechanism.

A joystick moves the eyeball around, while a small push-to-make switch blinks the eye and another potentiometer adjusts how wide open the eyelids are by default. The device itself, which can be controlled with any Arduino board capable of supporting four servos, took him a day to design and build, and should take much less time using his instructions, code, and STL files.

Want to create your own? You can find more details over on Cogley’s Instructables page here.

Teenage Maker builds his own Arduino drone

via Arduino Blog

When most people decide they’re going to build a quadcopter, they likely go to their favorite online retailer or hobby shop, and get the correct parts to connect together.

17-year-old Maker Nikodem Bartnik instead decided to customize things further, programming an Arduino to act as his flight controller, and constructing a transmitter (or “pilot” as he refers to it) from scratch. Finally, he attempted to 3D print the frame, but after some difficulty chose to just buy one.

The rest of the electronics consisted of four motors, four ESCs, some propellers, two nRF24L01 radio modules, an MPU-6050, a LiPo battery, and a bunch of other small components. You can see more of Bartnik’s project over on Instructables, as well as check out “Ludwik” (named partially as a nod to Nikodem’s friend “lukmar”) flying quite nicely in the video below.

A robotic dancing teapot

via Arduino Blog

You may have seen robots that wobble around, such as BOB, OTTO and ZOWI. Though their locomotion style of shifting the unit’s weight on huge feet is clever, they all share a rather similar look. French computer scientist Paul-Louis Ageneau decided to do something about this and created his own biped in the form of a dancing teapot a la Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

To accomplish this, he attached four servos to the robot’s hips and ankles, which were connected to an Arduino Pro Mini and powered by a 9V alkaline battery. All the electronics are housed inside the 3D-printed teapot. It’s a neat build in itself, and in a separate post he goes over how to play music on an Arduino, which should make this little guy even more entertaining!

You can find Ageneau’s original blog here, as well as the Disney-like bot’s code on GitHub.

An Arduino Final Countdown Timer

via Arduino Blog

While playing a game called slither.io, Nathan Ramanathan was asked by his father to turn on a wet grinder for “exactly 45 minutes.” As explained, this device uses stones to grind rice into dough, producing material for delicious-looking Dosa cakes.

Deliciousness aside, Ramanathan would rather have the grinder stop automatically than wait around for it, and came up with his own Arduino Uno-based outlet timer controlled via smartphone over Bluetooth. As a bonus, it plays “The Final Countdown” by Europe when only a few seconds remain. 

His write-up includes some discussion about multitasking and the perils of using the delay() function, so be sure to check that out if you’d like more information. Also, when dealing with outlet/mains power, use extreme caution and get help from someone qualified if needed.

DIY panoramic thermal imaging

via Arduino Blog

Using an Arduino Nano and two rotary stages, this Maker hacked together a panoramic thermal imaging camera.

After ordering and finally receiving a thermopile (infrared thermometer) in the mail, the author of this project set to work to construct his own scanning thermometer. This type of setup acts like an IR camera, but instead of taking one instantaneous picture, it stores thermal data points that are then resolved into a coherent image.

Though the panoramic results can be fantastic, since the thermometer has to be rotated to each point individually via stepper motors on the rotary stages, a single image capture can take over an hour.

You can find more details of the build here.

Introducing the Arduino MKRFOX1200

via Arduino Blog

On Arduino Day, we announced the latest member of the Arduino MKR family: the MKRFOX1200. This powerful IoT development board offers a practical and cost effective solution for Makers looking to add Sigfox connectivity to their projects with minimal previous networking experience.  

The MKRFOX1200 shares several similarities with other MKR products, like the MKR1000 and MKRZero, including a compact form factor (67 x 25mm) and a Microchip SAM D21 32-bit Cortex-M0+ microcontroller at its core. The recently unveiled board also features an ATA8520 module for long-range, low-energy consumption, and is capable of running for over six months on two standard AA 1.5V batteries.

Designed for Makers ready to take their IoT projects into the real world, the MKRFOX1200 comes with a GSM antenna that can be attached to the board and a two-year subscription to the Sigfox network. This provides users with full access to Sigfox’s efficient messaging system (up to 140 messages per day), cloud platform, webhooks, APIs, as well as the new Spot’it geolocation service.

MKRFOX1200 can be used in a wide variety of settings, from agriculture (livestock management, smart irrigation and weather stations), to smart cities (dumpster monitoring, air quality networks, street lighting or parking lot tracking), to utility metering and other industrial applications.

“Sigfox loves Makers,” says Nicolas Lesconnec, Head of Developer Relations at Sigfox. “Sigfox aims to empowers billions of new IoT solutions. We’re proud to partner with Arduino, the leading open-source electronics platform, to offer the simplest way to connect anything.”

Sigfox currently operates in over 30 countries, with more to follow in the next few years. (Use this map to see whether it has been deployed or is rolling out in your area.) The first version of the MKRFOX1200 is compatible with Sigfox Radio Configuration Zone 1 (868MHz, 14dBm), meaning it is only supported in network-covered regions of Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa.

The board is now available on Arduino’s European online store!