Author Archives: Arduino Team

Slide the “time clock” into position with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

Years ago, if you wanted to track employee hours, you needed to have them punch a time card. Saunders Machine Works, however, uses a facial recognition system running on an iPad for this purpose, meaning they had to figure out how to sense employees of different heights. What they came up with is a fixture that automatically raises and lowers the tablet, using a stepper motor and linear rails.

The project employs a Lidar sensor on the bottom of the device to detect employee presence, and another above the iPad’s mounting hardware to sense when it’s at the correct height, moving until the top sensor is clear. Control is provided by a pair of Arduino Nanos.

Be sure to check it out in the video below!

3D-printed miniature roller coaster powered by Arduino Mega

via Arduino Blog

While many enjoy roller coasters, few can claim the same dedication of engineer Matt Schmotzer, who 3D-printed a 1/25th scale replica of Invertigo, a boomerang coaster at Kings Island in Ohio.

As reported on 3D Printer Chat, the CAD model took only a week to complete, but 3D printing this 4’ x 8’ creation took an incredible 450 hours. This doesn’t include the countless hours spent assembling and debugging it.

The coaster runs on an Arduino Mega, using 42 of the 54 available IO pins. This allows it to not only lift and drop the coaster, but also feature details like actuated gates and restraints to keep the tiny imaginary passengers safe.

Be sure to check it out in the video below!

This DIY machine mixes your favorite three-ingredient cocktail

via Arduino Blog

Do you and your friends have a favorite cocktail? If so—and if it has three ingredients—then this Arduino-based cocktail machine from YouTuber “GreatScott!” may be worth checking out.

The device is capable of mixing three liquids, which in GreatScott’s case consist of vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice (also known as a Sea Breeze), in a drink size selected via a rotary encoder and LCD screen.

An Arduino Nano provides the brains for this operation, and each component is poured using a series of three peristaltic pumps. Meanwhile, a load cell underneath the glass holder ensures that the correct amount of liquid is dispensed.

The same setup could be used to make different three-ingredient drinks with a little programming work, or it could be expanded into a multi-drink unit with the addition of a few more pumps. You can see it in action below!

Create a beat by nodding your head

via Arduino Blog

If you are really enjoying a song, you may start to bob your head to the tunes, but what if you could instead create actual music with this subtle movement? That’s exactly what Andrew Lee’s “Nod Bang” system accomplishes.

An accelerometer mounted to a pair of headphones senses nods in order to dictate the beat, while four 3D-printed arcade buttons are used to select which sounds will be played. An Arduino takes these inputs and passes them to a computer via a MIDI USB interface. The board also controls lights on the buttons for visual feedback.

Be sure to check it out in action below and read Lee’s entire write-up here.

Santa’s Shop is an animated storytelling installation

via Arduino Blog

Santa’s Shop is an amazing Christmas display consisting of trains, animated figurines, a rotating tree, and several other interesting holiday-themed gadgets.

The decoration features hundreds of 3D-printed parts and many handmade characters, controlled by 46 servos and a total of 12 Arduino boards. Bringing the installation to life was no small task, requiring over 2,000 hours of labor for creators Mike and Annelle Rigsby.

More details on the project can be found in this write-up. You can also see it in action in the video below, or on display live in the window of the Brightway Insurance Agency in Gainesville, Florida this month.

The Imperializer makes quick work of metric conversions

via Arduino Blog

When you work in a machine shop, you often need to convert numbers from metric to imperial. As long as you have to do this on a regular basis, why not make a tool to do so easily?

Instead of pulling out a phone or taping a calculator to their CNC machinery, NYC CNC came up with an Arduino Nano-based device that does this conversion in style. “The Imperializer” features a beautifully milled enclosure that magnetically sticks onto a machine, a backlit LCD, and a toggle switch to flip between metric and imperial units.

The Imperializer is a desktop or machine mountable device that does one thing: converts inches to millimeters (and millimeters to inches)!  It uses an Arduino Nano and is powered by a Lithium battery that can be recharged with a Micro-B USB cable!

If you’d like to have your own for your shop, the bill of materials and Arduino code can be found on the project page. The housing, and even a fully-assembled version, can be purchased here.