An ISP dongle is a very common piece of equipment on a maker’s bench. However, its potential as a hackable device is generally overlooked. The USBASP has an ATmeg8L at its heart and [Robson] decided that this humble USB device could be used as an interface between his PC and a SNES Joypad.
A SNES controller required three pins to communicate with a host: clock, data and latch. In his hack, [Robson] connects the controller to the ISP interface using a small DIY adaptor and programs the AVR using the V-USB library. V-USB is a software USB library for small microcontrollers and comes in pretty handy in this instance.
[Robson] does a pretty good job of documenting the entire process of creating the interface which includes the USB HID code as well as the SNES joypad serial protocol. His hack works on both Windows and Linux alike and the code is available on GitHub for download.
Simple implementation like this project are a great starting point for anyone looking to dip their toes in the DIY USB device pool. Veterans may find a complete DIY joystick more up their alley and will be inspired by some plastic techniques as well.
Fidget spinners are currently very popular, and if you get one you’ll certainly want to spin and spin, maybe thinking you’ll never put it down. Unfortunately, like Nikodem Bartnik, you’ll eventually get bored with this device. Perhaps setting it aside forever. However, as Bartnik puts it, “Spinner has to be spinned,” so he came up with a robotic device to do this for him.
The resulting robot consists of two small servos, along with two 3D-printed linkages, attached to a piece of wood. A spinner is also affixed to the same piece of wood with a bolt, which is spun by the servos under Arduino Uno control.
When you see a plastic ruler, you wouldn’t normally assume it was destined to become part of a CNC plotter. Maker “lingib,” however, realized their potential to be combined to form plotter arms, in this case actuated by two stepper motors.
The resulting build can expand and contract the resulting shape, allowing a pen at the end point of the two sets of rulers to move back and forth across a piece of paper. Necessary spaces in the plot are provided by a micro servo that can lift the pen/ruler off of the writing surface.
The device is powered by an Arduino Uno, which controls the two NEMA 17 stepper motors via a pair of EasyDriver Modules. You can find more details about how to create one of these, including code and how the geometry behind it works, on its Instructables page.
Computer vision has traditionally relied on an assortment of rather involved components. On the other hand, everything you need to do this complicated task is readily available on an Android phone. The clever setup seen in the video here uses a smartphone to capture and process images, then send out a signal over Bluetooth to tell which way the device needs to be adjusted in order to focus on a nearby face.
An HC-05 Bluetooth module receives this signal and passes it to two servo motors via an Arduino Nano, moving the phone left/right and up/down.
If you need a logger with a cheap durable housing, it’s still hard to beat the Dupont-jumper build released in 2016. But sometimes I need more of a bare-bones unit for bookshelf test runs while I shake down a new sensor. I can whip up a breadboard combo in about twenty minutes, but they can stop working if I bump one of the wires by accident. I’ve lost SD cards from this half way through a long term test, and I’ve also run into issues with noise & resistance from those tiny breadboard contact points.
To address this problem I’ve come up with a new configuration that uses a screw-terminal expansion shield originally intended for the Arduino Nano. This requires a modest bit of soldering, and after some practice, between 1-1.5 hours to finish depending on how many “extras” you embed.
Though time may be relative, unless you’re planning on doing a lot of space travel, slowing things down in real life is “notoriously” difficult. On the other hand, with carefully-coordinated vibrations and lighting, the “sLOMO” device is able to make objects such as a feather or plant appear to move in slow motion with the naked eye.
Inspired by Jeff Lieberman’s Slow Dance Frame, this project is made out of a readily available IKEA Ribba frame, and the object inside vibrates using an electromagnet. An Arduino Nano controls this magnet and pulses a double-row LED strip, in order to make the item appear to slow down, or even distort itself into multiple overlapping images.