Sensor deployment via unmanned aerial vehicles is an interesting concept. Up until now, you’ve had two options: use a drone that drops sensors onto the ground, or one with some kind of manipulator to stick them in particular place. However, researchers at Imperial College London have been studying a third approach, which shoots sensor pods from an aerial platform like darts.
The system utilizes a compressed spring, along with a shape-memory alloy (SMA) trigger to fling the sensor pods at a nearby surface, at up to a four-meter range. The actual sensor package used here is an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense, allowing for a variety of measurements without extra hardware in hazardous environments or inaccessible locations.
Several methods of attachment were proposed, including magnets and chemical bonding, but the experiment’s research paper focuses on dart-like wood attachment, since this would require the most force.
More details on the project can be found on IEEE Spectrum and in the video below.
Bike helmets can help minimize injuries in the event of an accident, but could a helmet also be used to help prevent a crash, or even enhance your riding experience? ESUB Tracks from WertelOberfell attempts to do both, featuring a variety of electronic enhancements which are powered by photovoltaic cells wrapped around its outer surface.
ESUB Tracks includes a lighting arrangement on the back for turn signaling, triggered using voice commands to the helmet’s piezoelectric microphone. Additionally, it has a sensor to detect rapidly approaching vehicles from behind, warning the wearer of this condition via haptic feedback. Bone-conductive speakers are provided for listening to Bluetooth audio, and if all of that wasn’t enough, it even tightens down the straps when the buckle is fastened.
Overall control is accomplished using an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense, and you can see more of this amazing device in the video below.
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.
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!
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:
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.”
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?