Tag Archives: Featured

Standbeest-inspired ClearCrawler robot clomps around on 8 legs

via Arduino Blog

When you want to build a walking robot, the normal route is to individually control each leg with a number of servos or other actuators. Maker Jeremy S. Cook, however, took a different approach with his ‘ClearCrawler,’ using only a pair of motors to power eight legs. These legs are divided up into sets of four on either side of the bot, allowing for differential control similar to a tank.

The leg linkage design is based on Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest mechanism, and a clear head is also implemented with a pair of 8×8 MAX7219 LED matrix eyes. Onboard control is handled by an Arduino Nano and an L298N driver board, while an Uno with a joystick shield serves as the user interface. Radio transmission is via two nRF24L01 modules.

Code for both the transmitter and receiver can be found on GitHub.

Shower monitor helps you save water and money

via Arduino Blog

You (hopefully) take regular showers or baths, but how much water do you use each time you step into your facilities? If you don’t know the answer, then this monitor by LiamOSM could be just what you need.

The device uses a flow sensor plumbed inline with a shower head, which transmits pulses to an Arduino Nano setup. This Nano, which resides in a nicely 3D-printed enclosure, measures these pulses and outputs the amount of water you’ve used to a 16×2 LCD screen, along with its cost calculated according to your particular utility rates. 

Using such a monitor would likely be an eye-opening experience, and the inexpensive flow sensor used here could be a great tool for other projects as well.

Which uses more water – a bath or a shower?

I was recently thinking about this question, and I realized that I don’t actually know how much water is used when I shower. I know when I’m in the shower sometimes my mind wanders, thinking about a cool new projects idea or trying to decide what to have for breakfast, while water is just gushing down the drain. It would be a lot easier to reduce my water consumption if I actually knew how many litres I was using each time!

I did a bit of research, and found that different shower heads can use anywhere from 9.5 litres (2.5 gallons) per minute to less than 6 litres (1.6 gallons) per minute, if you have a flow restrictor installed. A very old shower could use even more water. 

I decided to design and build a device that would display the total volume of water used per shower, the cost of the water, and the flow rate. I’ve had this device installed for a few weeks, and it’s really handy to have a live readout of the amount of water being used.

Zeus is a humanoid that can hold a conversation

via Arduino Blog

As seen in the videos below, Zeus is a metallic humanoid robot capable of moving its head and arms around, featuring a pair of hand grippers that should be quite useful when the time comes. For now, creator Luis appears to be focusing on its vocal skills, with plans to eventually teach it how to walk.

The robot can engage in conversation with its companion, whether it’s answering questions like “What’s your name?” with“My name is Zeus,” or “What’s your favorite movie?” with “I wasn’t that impressed with the special effects, also the plot was not deep.” Zeus even lets Luis know when he “has no idea what to say.”

Zeus’ communication and movement are accomplished through a variety of hardware, including an Arduino Mega and an AAEON UP board, as well as an Intel RealSense Camera SR300 for vision. Luis is also using CMUSphinx for voice recognition, eSpeak for text-to-speech and AIML chatbot for interactive responses.

Perhaps we’ll see this ~1/2-sized humanoid traipsing around on its own in the future, though hopefully its comment about “taking over the world” was just a joke!

This machine bends brass wire with precision

via Arduino Blog

Jiri Praus enjoys using brass wire for his freeform sculptures, but isn’t a fan of making the same bends over again. To solve this problem, he designed a CNC machine to handle that task for him.

His device features a series of rollers to straighten out the wire, with a servo-driven puller that utilizes a roller normally used with a welding machine. A second servo then precisely bends the wire into shape, creating squares, hexagons and even springs under the control of an Arduino/CNC shield. 

You can see the project in action in the videos below, and if you want to build your own, the STL files for this mostly 3D-printed setup are up on GitHub.

Upcycle an old coffee pot into an IoT ramen maker

via Arduino Blog

Ramen noodles can be a quick snack or meal, but per this IoT ramen maker by Clem Mayer, you don’t even have to run to the microwave to prepare them. 

His project used a vintage electric filter coffee machine to heat and dribble water into the waiting brick-o-food, then a stepper-driven pusher adds flavor powder. More seasoning can be dispensed via a servo-actuated syringe, and another stepper is used to stir everything.

The setup is controlled by a MKR WiFi 1010 board, giving Mayer the ability to start meals/mix in hot sauce from the convenience of his phone via a simple web app. Results are… edible-ish, but if you want to build your own, files and more info can be found here.

Become a certified member of the Arduino community

via Arduino Blog

As recently announced, the Arduino Certification Program: Arduino Fundamentals is a structured way for you to enhance and validate your Arduino skills. Although the exam has been available in the U.S. since May, we’re excited to roll it out to the EU and rest of the world (except Brazil).

Arduino Fundamentals provides you with the opportunity to gain official recognition for your knowledge in Arduino-related electronics, programming, and physical computing. If you pass the test, you will be rewarded with an Arduino Fundamentals certificate in your name containing a unique QR code to ensure authenticity. 

If you think you can answer 36 questions in 75 minutes, then you can become a fully certified member of the Arduino community and enhance your resume for just $30.

A free demo can be found online to help give you an idea of the types of queries you will be challenged with. Feeling confident in your Arduino abilities? Go ahead and give it a try!