Category Archives: Aggregated

An Arduino laser pinball machine

via Arduino Blog

Pinball machines may seem like a good Maker project, but the mechanical components are quite involved. “Joesinstructables,” however, decided to take on this project on using an Erector Set, solenoids, and an Arduino board. In order to get around the challenge of using a heavy steel ball, he instead used a much lighter ping pong ball, sensed in the game by laser tripwires.

A number of solenoids propel the ball around and sound a service desk bell whenever a target is hit–one to three times depending on the difficulty level. Once the ball comes to rest in a target, a laser tripwire automatically triggers a solenoid to eject the ball, putting it back in play.

You can see more info on this build here, or even check out an earlier version for more inspiration!

CTCSS fingerprinting: A method for transmitter identification

via Dangerous Prototypes

plot-lock

Oona Räisänen from Absorptions wrote an article about experimenting with CTCSS fingerprinting:

Identifying unknown radio transmitters by their signals is called radio fingerprinting. It is usually based on rise-time signatures, i.e. characteristic differences in how the transmitter frequency fluctuates at carrier power-up. Here, instead, I investigate the fingerprintability of another feature in hand-held FM transceivers, known as CTCSS or Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System.

More details at Absorptions site.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

via Dangerous Prototypes

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Brute force computation for cheap log digital potentiometer

via Dangerous Prototypes

motivation

Michael from Acidbourbon writes:

This article covers the attempt to build a digital logarithmic potentiometer out of two linear potentiometers. The benefits of this concept

  • Linear digital potentiometers can be easily procured and don’t cost much
  • There are IC packages with two or four modules inside anyway
  • The resulting logarithmic potentiometer is very flexible in terms of number of steps and steepness of the attenuation function

Full details at Acidbourbon homepage.

Friday Product Post: Modular Modulo Modules

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Hello, and welcome back to yet another Friday Product Post. This week we have five brand-new products (or revisions) to show off to you. Modulo is now available to purchase in two varieties: The Gizmo Kit and Invention Kit. Not only that but we also have a new Getting Started with Raspberry Pi book, as well as a new biometric board from BITalino. Without further ado, let’s dive in and see what we have!

Modulo of Perfection!

Modulo Gizmo Kit

KIT-14053
88.9500 $ 80.06

The Modulo Gizmo Kit is an entry-level kit focused on education and playful exploration. It’s a great way to get started with Modulo without breaking the bank.

The Gizmo Kit provides many useful components, including the base to hold and connect up to four Modulo modules, a powerful Arduino-compatible microcontroller, a knob module (rotation encoder, push button, bright RGB LED), an infrared remote transmitter/receiver, a micro servo motor (with included servo horns) and a microUSB cable. You can build all sorts of things with the Gizmo kit!

Modulo Invention Kit

KIT-14054
198.9500 $ 179.06

The Modulo Invention Kit is a massive upgrade from its little sibling, the Gizmo Kit. The Invention Kit includes everything the Gizmo offers, as well as additional components for getting started with robotics! This kit even provides you with a great starting point to begin experimenting with the Particle Photon!

BITalino (r)evolution Board Kit

DEV-14022
209.9500 $ 188.96

This is the BITalino ( r )evolution Board Kit, a (comparatively) low-cost biomedical data acquisition dev board that allows you to create projects using physiological sensors and tools. Each BITalino is presented in a “ProtoSnap style,” enabling it to be programmed as a whole board or snapped apart for use in future projects. This dev board also has no shortage of programming APIs, which include Arduino, Python, Java, Android, iOS and more.

Getting Started with Raspberry Pi - 3rd Edition

BOK-13840
19.9500 $ 17.96

What can you do with the Raspberry Pi, the affordable computer the size of a credit card? All sorts of things! If you’re learning how to program—or looking to build new electronic parts—Getting Started with Raspberry Pi will show you just how valuable that flexible little platform can be.

Updated to include coverage of the Raspberry Pi Models 2 and 3, Getting Started with Raspberry Pi takes you step-by-step through many fun and educational possibilities.

Motor Mount - E Style

ROB-14076
4.9900 $ 4.49

As an honorable mention this week, Actobotics has updated the old D Style Motor mount to this new E Style. The E Style Motor Mount features the ability to equip more modern motors with the same durability of the Actobotics product line!

That’s it for this week, folks. As always, we hope you were able to find something that you can use to start a new project or modify an existing one. Make sure to come back next Friday, as you’ll be sure to love the variety of products we have then, as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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Peeqo – The GIF Bot

via Raspberry Pi

Peeqo is a conversational UI that answers only in GIFs. For those who know me, it’s essentially the physical version of 90% of my text messages with friends and colleagues.

I’m sure that future historians will look back on 2016 (if they dare acknowledge its presence) as the year we returned to imagery as our main form of social interaction. Once upon a time, we communicated stories and emotions via drawings on cave walls and hieroglyphs etched into stone. Throw in a few thousand years of language evolution, and we’re right back to where we started, albeit with a few added frames of movement.

So whether you pronounce it GIF with a ‘Guh’ or GIF with a ‘Juh’, you’re sure to have come across one in your everyday life. After all, they make for a much better visual response than the boring old word format we’ve grown accustomed to.

So it’s no surprise that when programmer and developer Abhishek Singh introduced Reddit to Peeqo, he managed to peak-o* our GIF interest right away.

Peeqo was Singh’s thesis project at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. It was his attempt to merge the three things he loves: making things by hand, animated movies, and the GIF.

Some of you may be aware of Slack, a team messaging system used by businesses, groups, and charities (*ahem*) across the globe. One of Slack’s many features is the ability to pull GIFs from the popular GIF database GIPHY and display them in response to text conversation. Peeqo uses this same premise, searching keywords on the site to pull the correct response to your verbal communication with the bot.

(It’s a great lesson in making sure you use correct keywords when saving images to the web for public use, as some of the responses don’t always fit the mood. An example, which I will leave you to find, would be a specific Team America GIF that Liz has banned me from using in the Comms Team channel.)

Peeqo sits on your desk and uses the Google Speech API to detect the use of the wake word ‘Peeqo’ via one of four microphones, then it uses api.ai to search GIPHY for the correct response to your query. All of this runs with a Raspberry Pi at its heart, while two Arduinos work to control the LED notification ring atop its head and the servo motor that dictates the body’s movement. Peeqo also acts as a great bridge into home automation, controlling lights and other smart devices in your home or office, along with acting as a media player and new best friend work-based assistant.

I won’t go into the technical details of the build, but if you’re interested, an almost fully GIF-powered walkthrough of Peeqo is available here.

As is the case with so many of you lovely makers out there, Singh aims to make the entire project open-source; you can sign up for a notification as to when this will happen here.

Until then, here’s Abhishek explaining his project in more detail.

Abhishek Singh – PEEQO – YOUR DELIGHTFUL ROBOT ASSISTANT

Peeqo is a personal desktop robotic assistant who expresses himself through GIFs. Designed for people who spend long hours at their desks, this pint sized robot helps with essential work tasks and provides little moments of delight and entertainment often needed to get through the day. https://itp.nyu.edu/thesis2016/project/abhishek-singh http://peeqo.com

 

*Peak-o? Oh wow. Wow. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll get my coat.

 

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