Author Archives: Arduino Team

Sababox is an easy-to-use remote for the elderly

via Arduino Blog

Modern television remote controls have a massive number of buttons compared to their more primitive predecessors, and because of this, seniors can struggle with knowing which button to press and when as well as having difficulties seeing the small text. This problem inspired Instructables user omerrv to create a device that he calls the Sababox, which contains just a few large, easily-pressable buttons for simple use.

The Sababox is equipped with an Arduino Nano at its core, which is connected to a grid of 14 momentary pushbutton switches. A separate circuit was also made from a Nano and IR receiver module that can read incoming infrared pulses from a remote and record them for later use. For instance, a volume up command contains a series of values which are then placed into the code for the Sababox’s Nano. When a user goes to press the larger “VOL +” button, that same command is relayed to the target device. One other nice feature of the Sababox is that it can be used to control more than one device, and omerrv currently has TV, radio, and air conditioner commands for his. 

After the electronic circuit and programming had been completed, the whole assembly was placed into a large 3D-printed enclosure along with the necessary buttons and labels.

After the electronic circuit and programming had been completed, the whole assembly was placed into a large 3D-printed enclosure along with the necessary buttons and labels. To read more about how the Sababox was built, you can view its write-up here on Instructables.

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An Arduino-powered underwater ROV made out of PVC pipe

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Exploring the vast underwater world is exciting, and personal breathing devices such as SCUBA allow for people to descend far further than usual. However, robots can be even better since they can operate much longer and more efficiently than a person. And because these underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) can be so expensive, Ranuga Amargasinghe wanted to construct his own DIY version that costs less. 

The chassis of the ROV was fashioned from a series of 50mm PVC tubes that vary in size from 70mm all the way up to 450mm in length. A rectangular base acts as a skid and helps prevent rough landings from injuring the robot. Above that is a small box which houses a 12V lead-acid battery, along with the electronics. Commands are sent from the surface control box via UART to the Arduino Nano within the ROV, which in turn activates a bank of relay modules that turns on both the vertical and horizontal thrusters for planar movements. 

Back on the surface, Amargasinghe built a small controller that has four buttons for adjusting the thrust vector of the robot by checking if certain combinations are pressed. There is also a central rocker switch for telling the robot to shutdown immediately if the user needs it to. Once the camera and a couple of white LEDs were attached to the front of the ROV, it was tested in a small pool of water and balanced based on the results of those tests. 

To read more about how this DIY underwater ROV was created, you can check out Amargasinghe’s write-up here on Instructables.

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AugLimb is the extra arm you didn’t know you needed

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As a maker, you probably have a third hand for your soldering station. They come in handy when you need to hold a component, PCB, solder, and soldering iron all at the same time. But an extra hand would be useful for a wide range of other everyday activities. That’s why this team of researchers created a compact robotic third arm called AugLimb.

While robotic augmentations aren’t a new idea, they aren’t often as usable as AugLimb. This robotic arm is lightweight and compact, making it comfortable to wear. It can’t lift much weight, but it is very dexterous thanks to seven degrees of freedom and an extendable gripper. It attaches to the wearer’s bicep and folds up when not in use. When it is time for action, AugLimb unfolds and reaches further than the user’s own arm.

An Arduino Mega board drives AugLimb’s various motors. Those include two shoulder servos, an elbow servo, two wrist servos, a scissor extension motor, and two gripper servos. The scissor extension increases reach by up to 250mm. At this time, a second human operator has to control AugLimb’s movement. But the team hopes to introduce control schemes that let the user operate the robotic limb on their own.

AugLimb is a prototype, but Haoran Xie, a member of the team behind the project, said “We believe that AugLimb will be as popular as smart watches in the near future, as anyone from an elder to a child can comfortably wear it for the whole day.”

Image: Haoran Xie / Zeyu Ding

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The First Arduino Education Inspiration Lab

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Arduino Education is delighted to announce its very first Inspiration Lab, in partnership with Technobel in Belgium.

What is an Arduino Education Inspiration Lab?

Inspiration Labs are an exciting new concept designed for students and educators to get hands-on experience. with the joy of making new discoveries. They’ll explore, design and learn electronics, coding, and programming with real-world connections. It’s all about enhancing future skills, having fun, and the joy of making new discoveries.

Technobel is a training and vocational center in Ciney, Belgium. Together we’ve created a dedicated space for teachers and students to learn with the full range of Arduino Education products in an engaging, exciting environment.

Arduino and Technobel Inspiration Lab

What can you do at the Inspiration Lab?

There’s something for everyone at the Inspiration Lab.

  • A dedicated space within Technobel, accessible to the public.
  • Teacher training with workshops on Arduino Education solutions; on demand, and on- or off-site.
  • Teacher coaching on how to create new lessons, with an emphasis on community sharing.
  • Specialized courses for 15 to 18-year-old students with official Arduino certification.

What Can You Learn at the Inspiration Lab?

As well as exploring, designing, discovering and learning electronics, coding and programming, the Inspiration Lab offers the following.

  • Promote a culture of technological innovation and development.
  • Create an advanced technology facility that supports product innovation and design.
  • Provide mentorship and certification programs for teachers and students.
  • Help develop design-focused thinking, product design and innovation skills through technical support and training.
  • Incubate product ideas to help realize them as real-world commercial products.
  • Prepare students to participate and compete in Arduino Technology challenges and competitions across the globe.

Find out more and to book your space, visit the website now.

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Arduino Nicla Sense ME Makes Sense of the World

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Arduino Nicla Sense ME

Nicla is Arduino Pro’s new family of modular, intelligent products that are easy to use, versatile and accessible – whether you are an advanced user working on industrial applications or a budding maker looking to prototype your first intelligent solution. No wonder it’s named after the Greek word for “victory of the people”! 

To herald the range, we have just released the Nicla Sense ME: a tiny but mighty board, co-developed with Bosch Sensortec to enable sensing and intelligence on the edge. With low-power sensors, a high-performance processor and small footprint, it offers a winning combination that can answer our community’s and clients’ needs and open up to opportunities for infinite new solutions.

What makes the Nicla Sense ME so special? Let’s dive into some details. 

Sense motion and the environment

At the Sense ME’s heart, you’ll find Bosch Sensortec’s BHI260AP AI sensor system with integrated motion sensor, BMM150 magnetometer, BPM390 pressure sensor, and the unique BME688 4-in-1 gas sensor with AI and integrated high-linearity, and high-accuracy pressure, humidity and temperature sensors. 

In short: it’s everything you need to monitor and interact with any type of motion and environment – hence, the “M” and “E” in the name.

Double the innovation

The Sense ME is the first product in Arduino Pro’s Nicla line, as well as the first product to introduce Bosch Sensortec’s new sensors on the market. So if you like innovation, you’ll love this little board.

Low power, high performance

The Sense ME’s Cortex-M4 nRF52832 CPU is capable of hosting intelligence on the edge, bringing AI and machine learning anywhere you need it – even off the grid, because it can be powered by battery as a completely standalone solution.

Made to fit in

The Nicla Sense ME is a mere 22.86×22.86 mm packed with features. The whole Nicla family is based on our smallest form factor to date, yet is compatible with both MKR and Portenta products – effectively leveraging the combined power of Arduino’s ecosystem. 

Ready now, ready for the future

Versatile, easy to configure, quick to set up: you can integrate the Nicla Sense ME in the solution you are designing or the one you already have in place. And because it’s designed with Bosch Sensortec’s industrial-grade, state-of-the-art components, it’s ready to explore any application in the emerging IIoT, AI and ML fields.

Arduino Pro Nicla Sense ME

Small, smart, and ready to deploy constant data monitoring and AI capabilities anywhere, for anyone.

Here are just a few examples of the applications we can already envision the Nicla Sense ME will enable.

  • Monitor environmental parameters, from humidity and CO2 in your home to toxic substances released by industrial processes such as dry washing. Monitor air quality and safeguard people’s health. 
  • Capture the information embedded in motion: from person-down systems and avalanche warnings that save lives, to fitness apps that check your posture to make sure your exercise routine gives you results as soon as possible. 
  • Let the different sensors in the Nicla ME bring together a variety of data for complex solutions: stabilize robots and rovers, ensure safety working with cobots, make your home more comfortable with automation, accelerate physical rehabilitation and much, much more.

What will you create, develop and deploy with the new Nicla Sense ME?

The Nicla Sense ME is available now for €59/US$70.

For more information and complete technical specs, please visit: https://www.arduino.cc/pro/hardware/product/nicla-sense-me

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This robotic bartender serves up drinks using a Nano RP2040 Connect and the Arduino Cloud

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Mixing up perfect, custom cocktails often requires months or even years of training, in addition to having to know a plethora of recipes. But Jithin Sanal wanted to pour his favorite drinks without spending the extra time and effort, so he concocted a robotic cocktail mixer to perform this task for him. It operates by using a series of ingredient reservoirs, pumps, an Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect, and a few relays to dispense a precise quantity of the desired ingredient into a container. Sanal also designed and fabricated his own circuit board to connect each component together in a circuit.

Rather than having a bunch of physical buttons on the front of the robotic cocktail mixer, Sanal instead opted to use the Arduino Cloud with five virtual ones that each correspond to a single drink. When a button is pressed, a function is executed on the Nano RP2040 Connect that activates the correct pumps in the specified order for a certain duration. By utilizing this method, users can be confident their drink is perfectly made every single time. More drinks can be added to the system simply by adding another button within the IoT Cloud and creating the associated function in the RP2040’s code. 

To see how Sanal brought this project to life in greater detail, you can view his write-up here or watch his video below.

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