Today we are releasing IDE 1.8.10 and you should try it because it’s awesome! With the support of our incredible community, we’ve been improving a lot of (small and not so small) things.
Besides taking a look at the complete changelog, we’d like to point out one outstanding contribution that we received during this dev cycle.
Our friend Joe Wegner from APH reached out to us with a very clear plan on how to improve the IDE’s accessibility with some very convenient patches. With the help of co-founder Tom Igoe and ITP alumnus and research resident Jim Schmitz, we’ve started targeting some of the most problematic components that used to interact badly with screen readers (popups, links, lists not entirely navigable by keyboard) while also adding a plethora of accessibility descriptions to components that were basically hidden for blind and visually impaired users.
To keep things clean, Wegner added a checkbox under Preference panel to enable some particular optimizations for screen readers (like transforming links into buttons so they can be reached using the TAB key).
We hope it is the start of a lasting collaboration to make Arduino truly available for everyone willing to learn and hack with us.
The holidays are over and we’re back at work, so it’s time to clean up the house. To get ready for autumn, our amazing dev team has decided to devote an entire week to resolve as many of the open issues on the Arduino IDE repository and related projects (cores, libraries, etc.) as possible.
Starting this Monday, the dev team will be going through the open issue log — analyzing requests, fixing them where immediately possible, and in some cases, reaching out to the original submitter to establish if they are still seeing an issue or if it can be closed out. If you do receive such a notification in your GitHub account (with a subject starting with [arduino/Arduino] …), please help us help you by responding accordingly.
Big thanks to all of you who’ve contributed in the past and continue to submit the issues you find within the Arduino IDE for resolution. We appreciate your support and acknowledge your patience while waiting for them to be fixed.
Let’s watch that open issue counter fall by the day!
What has a dozen servos, a WiFi camera, and an Arduino Mega for a brain? Nevon Projects’ snake-bot, of course!
This impressive robot uses a total of 12 servos for locomotion and can travel across a variety of surfaces under the control of Android app, or autonomously via a sensor mounted to a smaller servo on the head.
The snake’s electronics are split up between a head section that houses batteries and the sensor, and a tail bearing electronics including the Arduino.
The project is available as a kit, or could certainly provide inspiration for your own project if you want to start from scratch. Check it out oscillating across the ground on tiny rollers in the video below, along with a surprising transformation into a square shape at just before the 1:45 mark.
To help a patient in his country with a congenital limb deficiency, Buzi Nguyen has designed a 3D-printed transhumeral—above the elbow—prosthesis prototype. The device features 10 degrees of freedom, including independent control of four fingers and a thumb, along with movement capabilities for the wrist and forearm.
The prosthesis is powered by a number of Arduino boards and a Raspberry Pi, and equipped with computer vision to track and choose grip patterns for object handling. It can also potentially be operated via brain-computer interface and electromyography.
A demonstrate of all the currently supported features can be seen in the video below.
As described in this project’s write-up, “The brachistochrone curve is a classic physics problem, that derives the fastest path between two points A and B which are at different elevations.” In other words, if you have a ramp leading down to another point, what’s the quickest route?
Intuitively—and incorrectly—you might think this is a straight line, and while you could work out the solution mathematically, this rig releases three marbles at a time, letting them cruise down to the Arduino Uno-based timing mechanism to see which path is fastest.
The ramps are made out of laser-cut acrylic, and the marbles each strike a microswitch to indicate they’ve finished the race. The build looks like a great way to cement a classic physics problem in students’ minds, and learn even more while constructing the contraption!
Learning about how computers work and coding skills will be important for future generations, and if you’d like to get your kids started on this task—potentially before they can even read—the Ifs present an exciting new option.
The Ifs are a series of four character blocks each with their own abilities, such as reproducing sound, movement, or sensitivity to light and darkness.
Children can program the blocks to accomplish tasks based on instructions that snap onto the top of each using magnets, and the whole “family” can communicate and work together to accomplish more advanced actions as a team.
As outlined in more detail on this project page, the devices were developed using Arduino technology, and you can sign up here to be notified when they’re ready for crowdfunding.
The Ifs are full of sensors and actuators but they need some instructions in order to function.
Programming is as simple as placing physical blocks in their heads with the help of magnets. No screens are involved. Each block has a different image serving as an intuitive symbol to represent an instruction. This makes the game suitable for children from the age of three, even before learning to read or write.
We only need different color pieces that are placed on their heads. The different color pieces are instructions that are combined as if it were a code, from being able to light them when it’s dark to making them communicate with each other. This allows kids to play with loops, statements, algorithms while also inventing their own stories. Their imagination is the only limit.