ESUB Tracks is a smart bicycle helmet with built-in electronics for enhanced safety

via Arduino Blog

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.

SparkFun Simple Sketches

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Working at a fancy tech company can be great, but often it's difficult to describe what I do in my Job at SparkFun to friends and family members who aren't super tech-savvy. A conversation with my dad prompted me to think about how we could use short-form content to clearly and simply demonstrate the functionality of SparkFun's various microcontrollers and breakout boards. "I have to admit," he said to me, "I've tried to figure out what you guys do and it's just way over my head." A lot of my friends have a similar response when I try to explain what SparkFun does. So, over the past several weeks we've put together some simple sketches to show off the various features and ease of use of some of our Qwiic-enabled products, and we want to know how to make them better for everyone!

Keep in mind that we have filmed these videos for our social media channels so they will be in portrait mode rather than landscape.


Learn how to read the state of the Qwiic Button as it illuminates the button’s built-in LED while the button is pressed, and displays “Pressed!” on a Micro OLED display. Find the code and parts list in this GitHub Repo.


This sketch reads the temperature from the Qwiic Environmental Combo Breakout and displays it on the Micro OLED Display. Find the code and parts list in this GitHub Repo.


Illuminate the RGB LED of the Qwiic Twist and change its color as you twist the knob while displaying the name of the color on a Micro OLED display. Find the code and parts list in this GitHub Repo.


Use the SparkFun MP3 Trigger to play an audio file that corresponds with the direction that the Qwiic Joystick has been tilted. Find the code and parts list in this GitHub Repo.


With user input from the SparkFun Capacitive Touch Slider you can illuminate a bar of pixels on the Micro OLED Display to correspond with the activated touch pad. Find the code and parts list in this GitHub Repo.


If you'd like to see these videos as they release make sure to follow us @sparkfun on Twitter, on Instagram or on Facebook.

Do you have any specific products or features you want to see demonstrated before you buy? Let us know what you want to see! We really hope to show off how easily even a novice can get up and running with Qwiic, not to mention all the awesome features you can add to your project with each breakout or microcontroller. Leave a comment and let us know what you want to see, and if you haven't seen the videos yet, check them out!

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This machine dispenses labels, making it easier to peel them off

via Arduino Blog

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.

Take part in the PA Raspberry Pi Competition for UK schools

via Raspberry Pi

Every year, we support the PA Raspberry Pi Competition for UK schools, run by PA Consulting. In this free competition, teams of students from schools all over the UK imagine, design, and create Raspberry Pi–powered inventions.

Female engineer with Raspberry Pi device. Copyright © University of Southampton
Let’s inspire young people to take up a career in STEM!
© University of Southampton

The PA Raspberry Pi Competition aims to inspire young people aged 8 to 18 to learn STEM skills, teamwork, and creativity, and to move toward a career in STEM.

We invite all UK teachers to register if you have students at your school who would love to take part!

For the first 100 teams to complete registration and submit their entry form, PA Consulting provides a free Raspberry Pi Starter Kit to create their invention.

This year’s competition theme: Innovating for a better world

The theme is deliberately broad so that teams can show off their creativity and ingenuity.

  • All learners aged 8 to 18 can take part, and projects are judged in four age groups
  • The judging categories include team passion; simplicity and clarity of build instructions; world benefit; and commercial potential
  • The proposed budget for a team’s invention is around £100
  • The projects can be part of your students’ coursework
  • Entries must be submitted by Monday 22 March 2021
  • You’ll find more details and inspiration on the PA Raspberry Pi Competition webpage

Among all the entries, judges from the tech sector and the Raspberry Pi Foundation choose the finalists with the most outstanding inventions in their age group.

The Dynamix team, finalists in last round’s Y4–6 group, built a project called SmartRoad+

The final teams get to take part in an exciting awards event to present their creations so that the final winners can be selected. This round’s PA Raspberry Pi Awards Ceremony takes place on Wednesday 28 April 2021, and PA Consulting are currently considering whether this will be a physical or virtual event.

All teams that participate in the competition will be rewarded with certificates, and there’s of course the chance to win trophies and prizes too!

You can prepare with our free online courses

If you would like to boost your skills so you can better support your team, then sign up to one of our free online courses designed for educators:

Take inspiration from the winners of the previous round

All entries are welcome, no matter what your students’ experience is! Here are the outstanding projects from last year’s competition:

A look inside the air quality-monitoring project by Team Tempest, last round’s winners in the Y7–9 group

Find out more at the PA Raspberry Pi Competition webinar!

To support teachers in guiding their teams through the competition, PA Consulting will hold a webinar on 12 November 2020 at 4.30–5.30pm. Sign up to hear first-hand what’s involved in taking part in the PA Raspberry Pi Competition, and use the opportunity to ask questions!

The post Take part in the PA Raspberry Pi Competition for UK schools appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Transform a pile of clothing into the robot of your nightmares

via Arduino Blog

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!