Tag Archives: Featured

A Playmobil Wedding Band

via Arduino Blog

Two of Boris Werner’s friends, both musicians, were getting married, so for a unique gift he decided on a miniature stage setup with a Playmobil bride and groom as the guitarists.

After some research and ordering quite a few parts, he was able to construct an impressive festival-inspired stage, complete with guitars, lights, and some tunes.

In order to bring this diorama to life, he used an Arduino Uno board to play WAV files from a micro SD card, along with NeoPixel rings in the background, and MOSFET-driven LEDs for lighting. There’s even a tiny disco ball that spins via a stepper motor, propelling the tiny bride, groom, and their young son as the drummer into the limelight.

You can check it out in the video below, and see Werner’s series of posts on the construction here.

Be among the first to try the Arduino IDE 1.9 Beta

via Arduino Blog

Today we’re very excited (and a bit nervous) to announce the new development cycle of the Arduino IDE.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been continuously removing functionality from the Java package, and migrating them to a collection of external tools. We began this project by moving the build logic to arduino-builder, which now also powers the Arduino Create infrastructure.

We think that this split will keep the tools manageable, while giving a chance for third parties to integrate them into their products without the burden of a full-blown IDE.

Moreover, we are introducing another couple of tools:

One is arduino-cli, which we’ll uncover in the next few weeks as soon it comes out of pre-pre-alpha stage.

The other is arduino-preprocessor, which supersedes ctags in the sketch preprocessing phase. Moving to a different tool has been a necessary step for many reasons, the most important being the ctags’ limited parsing of complex C++ sketches.

arduino-preprocessor is based on libclang, statically compiled for zero dependencies execution; it uses clang’s superpowers to extract the prototypes we need, directly from the AST. As a (really nice) side effect, this engine can even be used for context-aware completion, probably the most required feature from the beginning of Arduino.

Since we’re unveiling such a big feature, it will surely impact the overall performance. To avoid keeping it out-of-tree for too long, we decided to open the beta branch.

This branch will be a playground for new ideas and implementations, including more collaborators with push powers. The branch has just been populated with all the IDE-related pull requests scheduled for the next release.

The beta branch is quite peculiar as well, because precompiled binaries generated from this branch will be available directly from the arduino.cc download page. We noticed that nightly (or hourly) builds are insufficient to spot a whole class of bugs, which may harm non-developers, users with non-latin charsets, and so on.

Being marked as experimental, the beta branch will not be ready for large-scale deployment (although it will probably be okay for everyday use); thus, we won’t provide a Windows exe or a signed OSX app. However, we hope that many people will test it and report bugs and impressions, so we can merge it safely into master in the near future.

A short curated list of the beta branch’s improvements over the latest 1.8.x IDE:

  • Initial support for autocompletion (activate it using CTRL+space)
    • Attention: Launching for the first time is quite slow and will freeze the UI. Don’t worry, simply wait for it to unstick.
  • Initial work on daemonized builder (using file watchers, will be able to spot if compilation can be avoided, partially or totally).
  • AVR core has been moved to its own repo.
  • Tabs are scrollable. 🙂
  • The serial monitor is html-aware and clickable (if steady).
  • Initial work on Library dependencies UI.
  • Initial work on Hi-DPI support on Linux.
  • Find/replace window is always on top of its own editor window.
  • Library/Board manager show buttons on mouseover.

An Arduino Mouse Wiggler!

via Arduino Blog

If, for whatever reason, you need your computer to stay awake without changing its settings, that’s easy—just remember to shake your mouse back and forth intermittently! If remembering to do that over and over seems like too much work, then here’s a simple solution: a device setup to optically wiggle your mouse using an Arduino Nano and a micro RC servo.

The 3D-printed unit sits underneath a mouse and rotates a printed grid left and right in order to trick it into thinking that you’re moving the mouse, and thus keeping the computer awake.

Place your mouse on top of the Mouse Wiggler and make sure the optical sensor on top of the wheel. Power the device up use a USB power adapter and you’re good to go.

There’s no software to install, which makes it easy to enable and disable as needed! You can find more details on the build on its Instructables page.

An Arduino Mouse Wiggler!

via Arduino Blog

If, for whatever reason, you need your computer to stay awake without changing its settings, that’s easy—just remember to shake your mouse back and forth intermittently! If remembering to do that over and over seems like too much work, then here’s a simple solution: a device setup to optically wiggle your mouse using an Arduino Nano and a micro RC servo.

The 3D-printed unit sits underneath a mouse and rotates a printed grid left and right in order to trick it into thinking that you’re moving the mouse, and thus keeping the computer awake.

Place your mouse on top of the Mouse Wiggler and make sure the optical sensor on top of the wheel. Power the device up use a USB power adapter and you’re good to go.

There’s no software to install, which makes it easy to enable and disable as needed! You can find more details on the build on its Instructables page.

Cutting electronic parts with Arduino-powered scissors

via Arduino Blog

When faced with the need to cut thousands of parts from reels in order to make them into kits, “Der Zerhacker” decided to automate the process.

For his robotic machine, an Arduino Pro Mini pulls strips of tape into position with a stepper motor, coloring them along the way with a marker. An infrared sensor is used to align the correct number of parts with a pair of scissors, which are then cut via a second motor and tumble into a basket.

If you’d like to build your own, 3D print files and Arduino code can be found on Thingiverse. As the author doesn’t have a ton of spare time, wiring and other project details will need to be figured out, but you can get a few clues from the video below…

Meet Moo-Bot, a robotic cow scarecrow

via Arduino Blog

With Halloween around the corner, hackers are gearing up for festivals and trick-or-treaters, hoping to spook visitors or simply impress others with their automation prowess. DIY bloggers Ash and Eileen are no different, and decided to enter a local scarecrow contest in the “Out of this World” category. Their entry? Moo-Bot, an Arduino-powered sheet metal cow that looks like it came straight off the set of a 1950s sci-fi flick.

Not that that is a bad thing; somehow this retro-futuristic bovine looks quite interesting. Making it even better is that the robotic cow’s eyes are made out of two OLED displays, and that it can interact with observers through an internal speaker.

When someone presses a button on its nose, the onboard Uno powers up and tells a pre-recorded series of cow jokes via an MP3 player module. Power is supplied by eight D batteries, which is enough to keep the Moo-Bot going for a few months.

You can read more about the project here, and see it in action below!