Modern television remote controls have a massive number of buttons compared to their more primitive predecessors, and because of this, seniors can struggle with knowing which button to press and when as well as having difficulties seeing the small text. This problem inspired Instructables user omerrv to create a device that he calls the Sababox, which contains just a few large, easily-pressable buttons for simple use.
The Sababox is equipped with an Arduino Nano at its core, which is connected to a grid of 14 momentary pushbutton switches. A separate circuit was also made from a Nano and IR receiver module that can read incoming infrared pulses from a remote and record them for later use. For instance, a volume up command contains a series of values which are then placed into the code for the Sababox’s Nano. When a user goes to press the larger “VOL +” button, that same command is relayed to the target device. One other nice feature of the Sababox is that it can be used to control more than one device, and omerrv currently has TV, radio, and air conditioner commands for his.
After the electronic circuit and programming had been completed, the whole assembly was placed into a large 3D-printed enclosure along with the necessary buttons and labels.
After the electronic circuit and programming had been completed, the whole assembly was placed into a large 3D-printed enclosure along with the necessary buttons and labels. To read more about how the Sababox was built, you can view its write-up here on Instructables.
Exploring the vast underwater world is exciting, and personal breathing devices such as SCUBA allow for people to descend far further than usual. However, robots can be even better since they can operate much longer and more efficiently than a person. And because these underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) can be so expensive, Ranuga Amargasinghe wanted to construct his own DIY version that costs less.
The chassis of the ROV was fashioned from a series of 50mm PVC tubes that vary in size from 70mm all the way up to 450mm in length. A rectangular base acts as a skid and helps prevent rough landings from injuring the robot. Above that is a small box which houses a 12V lead-acid battery, along with the electronics. Commands are sent from the surface control box via UART to the Arduino Nano within the ROV, which in turn activates a bank of relay modules that turns on both the vertical and horizontal thrusters for planar movements.
Back on the surface, Amargasinghe built a small controller that has four buttons for adjusting the thrust vector of the robot by checking if certain combinations are pressed. There is also a central rocker switch for telling the robot to shutdown immediately if the user needs it to. Once the camera and a couple of white LEDs were attached to the front of the ROV, it was tested in a small pool of water and balanced based on the results of those tests.
As a maker, you probably have a third hand for your soldering station. They come in handy when you need to hold a component, PCB, solder, and soldering iron all at the same time. But an extra hand would be useful for a wide range of other everyday activities. That’s why this team of researchers created a compact robotic third arm called AugLimb.
While robotic augmentations aren’t a new idea, they aren’t often as usable as AugLimb. This robotic arm is lightweight and compact, making it comfortable to wear. It can’t lift much weight, but it is very dexterous thanks to seven degrees of freedom and an extendable gripper. It attaches to the wearer’s bicep and folds up when not in use. When it is time for action, AugLimb unfolds and reaches further than the user’s own arm.
An Arduino Mega board drives AugLimb’s various motors. Those include two shoulder servos, an elbow servo, two wrist servos, a scissor extension motor, and two gripper servos. The scissor extension increases reach by up to 250mm. At this time, a second human operator has to control AugLimb’s movement. But the team hopes to introduce control schemes that let the user operate the robotic limb on their own.
AugLimb is a prototype, but Haoran Xie, a member of the team behind the project, said “We believe that AugLimb will be as popular as smart watches in the near future, as anyone from an elder to a child can comfortably wear it for the whole day.”
Mixing up perfect, custom cocktails often requires months or even years of training, in addition to having to know a plethora of recipes. But Jithin Sanal wanted to pour his favorite drinks without spending the extra time and effort, so he concocted a robotic cocktail mixer to perform this task for him. It operates by using a series of ingredient reservoirs, pumps, an Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect, and a few relays to dispense a precise quantity of the desired ingredient into a container. Sanal also designed and fabricated his own circuit board to connect each component together in a circuit.
Rather than having a bunch of physical buttons on the front of the robotic cocktail mixer, Sanal instead opted to use the Arduino Cloud with five virtual ones that each correspond to a single drink. When a button is pressed, a function is executed on the Nano RP2040 Connect that activates the correct pumps in the specified order for a certain duration. By utilizing this method, users can be confident their drink is perfectly made every single time. More drinks can be added to the system simply by adding another button within the IoT Cloud and creating the associated function in the RP2040’s code.
To see how Sanal brought this project to life in greater detail, you can view his write-up here or watch his video below.
Jackson Pollock was famous for his unique style of splattering large blobs of paint across a canvas, and it was this technique that JBV Creative was trying to imitate. But rather than working by hand to painstakingly dip a brush into paint and then flinging it many times over, he wanted to build a robot that could do this task for him while still creating art.
The main part of the Flingbot, the name JBV gave to his system, is comprised of a catapult arm that is capable of both rotating and adjusting how far it can throw paint. A servo motor at the back pulls an elastic band a certain amount based on the desired distance, and a second one releases a pin to perform the launching action. As another parameter for generating abstract art, the silicone scoop itself can bend to change its shape. Every servo motor is connected to a single SSC-32U servo controller board that receives commands from an Arduino Uno.
Paint gets dispensed from one of the 12 total reservoirs that each has a gravity-feeder out its base with a servo motor that controls how much paint is deposited into the scoop. Once all of the paint has been collected for a launch, the Uno adjusts the angle and tension of the arm and finally releases the paint.
To see how JBV Creative constructed this robot and a glimpse of the wildly unpredictable artwork it produced, check out his video below as well as his project write-up here.
Almost no one enjoys being suddenly awakened by a loud, blaring alarm clock, as the sudden rush of panic can contribute to grogginess and stress. To alleviate this problem, Norwegian makers Applied Procrastination wanted to created a lamp that simulates a sunrise to give users a calmer, more natural waking up experience. They came up with a design utilizing an old LCD panel that has had its internals replaced by a string of LED lights to give a pleasant and diffused glow when activated, which they call the “Zom-B-Gone!”
The hardware for this project was based around an Arduino Nano, which continually reads the current time from an onboard DS3231 real-time clock module and sends out a PWM signal on one of its GPIO pins when the target wakeup time has been reached. This signal is further amplified by a ULN2803 transistor array to a voltage that the LED strip can be driven by.
With the hardware completed, the duo designed and 3D-printed a whole host of parts that clip onto the sides of the LCD screen to form a nice, smooth surface. They also added a small foot on the bottom that acts as a stand. After some brief testing, one user found that he enjoyed being partially awakened by the device, as he felt less like a zombie throughout the day.
For more information on how the Zom-B-Gone! was built, you can check out Applied Procrastination’s video above and see the code and schematics here on Hackaday.io.