Omni wheels normally contain a number of rollers arranged on their circumference, allowing them to slide left and right and perform various tricks when combined with others. The rollers on UCLA researchers Junjie Shen and Dennis Hong’s OmBURo, however, are quite different in that they are actually powered, enabling a single wheel to accomplish some impressive feats on its own.
These powered rollers give OmBURo the ability to move in both longitudinal and lateral directions simultaneously, balancing as a dual-axis wheeled inverted pendulum.
Control is accomplished via an Arduino Mega along with an IMU and encoders for its two servo motors —one tasked with driving the wheel backwards and forwards, the second for actuating the rollers laterally via helical gears and a flexible shaft.
A mobility mechanism for robots to be used in tight spaces shared with people requires it to have a small footprint, to move omnidirectionally, as well as to be highly maneuverable. However, currently there exist few such mobility mechanisms that satisfy all these conditions well. Here we introduce Omnidirectional Balancing Unicycle Robot (OmBURo), a novel unicycle robot with active omnidirectional wheel. The effect is that the unicycle robot can drive in both longitudinal and lateral directions simultaneously. Thus, it can dynamically balance itself based on the principle of dual-axis wheeled inverted pendulum. This letter discloses the early development of this novel unicycle robot involving the overall design, modeling, and control, as well as presents some preliminary results including station keeping and path following. With its very compact structure and agile mobility, it might be the ideal locomotion mechanism for robots to be used in human environments in the future.
Modern woodworking tools are amazing, allowing you to make any number of useful or decorative objects from the comfort of your garage. Unfortunately, they also produce a lot of dust, so YouTuber “Atomic Dairy” came up with the idea to install an air purifier that can cleanse the shop air eight times per hour. This only works if turned on, so he automated its operation with an Arduino Uno and a solid-state relay (SSR).
The AudioBot system uses a microphone to listen for loud noise, indicating that a saw is on and thus dust creation. When detected, the Arduino then signals the SSR to run for two hours to literally clear the air.
There’s also a start button and RF control unit to trigger the fan for an hour or add an hour to the current run time, which is displayed on a small LCD screen. A stop button cuts off the filter immediately when needed.
Our Fanboy wood shop air filter is an overpowered air cleaner that we run whenever we are cutting or sanding wood projects in the shop, which is often. The AudioBot is an Arduino device that turns the Fanboy on whenever it hears us using a large tool like a table saw or miter saw. That’s right, it works by sound! This relieves us of the tedious task of plugging in the Fanboy when we work and remembering to unplug it a couple hours after we finish in the shop.
Could we just have bought a timer to use with the Fanboy? Yes. But it wouldn’t be sound activated and wouldn’t have all of the cool LEDs we have on the AudioBot. Plus the AudioBot only cost around $30 and it was REALLY fun to build. So in our shop the AudioBot is better than any commercial timer we could have gotten.
An important new feature is now available in the Arduino IoT Cloud — full support for LoRa® devices!
LoRa® is one of our favorite emerging technologies for IoT because it enables long-range and low power transmission of data without using cellular or WiFi connections. It’s a very powerful and promising technology but it comes with its own complexity. In our pursuit to make IoT easier, we’ve already released a few products that enable anyone to build a LoRa® device (or a fleet of LoRa® devices!). Thanks to the Arduino MKR WAN 1310 board, combined with the Arduino Pro Gateway you can create your own LoRaWAN network. But we have decided to do more than that, and it’s time to release one more important piece….
The Arduino IoT Cloud now provides an incredibly easy way to collect data sent by your LoRa® devices. With a few clicks, the IoT Cloud will generate a sketch template for the boards that you can adapt to read data from your sensors, pre-process it as you want, and then send it to the IoT Cloud. With a few more clicks (no coding required), you’ll be able to create a graphical dashboard that displays the collected data in real-time and lets users see their history through charts and other widgets. You will not need to worry about coding your own compression, serialization and queueing algorithm, as it will all be done under the hood in a smart way — you’ll be able to transmit multiple properties (more than five), pushing the boundary beyond the packet size limits of LoRaWAN!
This is our take on edge computing – you program the device to collect and prepare your data locally, and then we take care of shipping such data to a centralized place.
Such a simplified tool for data collection is already quite innovative, but we decided to take it an important step further. All the available solutions for LoRa® currently focus on collecting data, but they do not address it from the other way round i.e. sending data from a centralized application to the LoRa® device(s). Arduino IoT Cloud now lets you do this — you’ll be able to control actuators connected to your device by sending messages via LoRa®, with no coding needed.
Build and control your own LoRaWAN network with Arduino IoT Cloud, the Pro Gateway and the new improved MKR WAN 1310 board that features the latest low-power architecture to extend the battery life and enable the power consumption to go as low as 104uA.
Learning to play an an instrument well takes a lot of time, which many people don’t have. To address this, Franco Molina — who enjoys MIDI controllers and writing music, but describes himself as being terrible at playing the keyboard — created the Synthfonio.
Molina’s DIY device is vaguely reminiscent of a guitar, with a series of keys on the neck that indicate the chords and key signatures, and another set roughly positioned where you’d strum a guitar to play the notes.
The Synthfonio is assembled from laser-cut MDF sections, and utilizes a MKR WiFi 1010 to take care of I/O and MIDI functions. A second microcontroller in the form of an ATmega328 on a breadboard is used to produce actual synth sounds, though most Arduinos would be suitable either function.
The Synthfonio features 2 sets of keys, one to define chords and key signatures, and another one to actually play the notes. Whatever chord is pressed in the instruments neck keys, will define the pitch of the keys on the instrument handle. Similar to a guitar, violin, and other string instruments; with the added advance that the Synthfonio is a smart device that can deduce the chords being played from a single set of notes. This way, for example, the musician can use the handle keys to play chords, melodies, and arpeggios in the key of A, just by pressing the A key on the neck. In the same way, pressing the A key on the neck in conjunction with the C key (minor third of A) will activate an A minor tonality for the handle keys.
This can allow any player to execute a 4-chord melody, accompaniment, or even improvisation; with no more than one or two fingers in position.
Using 7-segment displays to make a clock is nothing new, but what if you combined 144 of them together to create an epic LED timepiece? That’s exactly how this project was made, allowing it to show surprisingly smooth mega-numbers and a colon set at an angle.
The build itself is controlled by an Arduino Nano, along with an RTC module for timekeeping and 18 MAX7219 drivers to activate over a thousand (1,008) individual segments.
One could see this used for a variety of purposes, perhaps as a scoreboard for sporting events, a scrolling display, or even as 36 little clocks, which can actually be seen below.