Tag Archives: Featured

Reviving an old CNC router with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

Makerspace i3Detroit was the recent recipient of a free yet non-functioning CNC router. While out of commission when received, the device’s mechanical components and motors appeared to be in operational condition, plus it had a large work surface. The decision was made to get the CNC up and running for now, with the eventual goal of turning it into a plasma cutter.

First, they booted up its (Windows 95) computer and replaced a power supply on the controller. An adapter board for the controller was then built using info from this Arduino Forum post, allowing the router to be controlled with an Arduino Mega running grbl firmware

Although there is still some work to do, it can be seen happily jogging along in the video below, and appears well on its way to becoming a usable machine!

Chirp brings data-over-sound capabilities your Arduino projects

via Arduino Blog

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Chirp, a London-based company on a mission to simplify connectivity using sound. Chirp’s machine-to-machine communications software enables any device with a loudspeaker or microphone to exchange data via inaudible sound waves. 

Starting today, our Chirp integration will allow Arduino-powered projects to send and receive data wirelessly over sound waves, using just microphones and loudspeakers. Thanks to some compatible libraries included in the official Arduino Library Manager and in the Arduino Create — as well as further comprehensive documentation, tutorials and technical support — it will be easy for anyone to add data-over-sound capabilities to their Arduino projects.

Our new Nano 33 BLE Sense board, with a DSP-optimised Arm Cortex-M4 processor, will be the first board in the Arduino range with the power to transmit and receive Chirp audio signals leveraging the board’s microphone as a receiver. From now on, the Chirp SDK for Arduino will support the following boards in send-only mode: Arduino MKR Zero, Arduino MKR Vidor 4000, Arduino MKR Fox 1200, Arduino MKR WAN 1300, Arduino MKR WiFi 1010, Arduino MKR GSM 1400, Arduino MKR NB 1500 and the Arduino Nano 33 IoT.

Creative applications of Arduino and Chirp include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • Triggering events from YouTube audio
  • Securely unlocking a smart lock with sound 
  • Sending Wi-Fi credentials to bring offline devices onto a Wi-Fi network
  • Having a remote control that only interacts with the gadgets in the same room as you

Connectivity is a fundamental asset for our users, as the demands of IoT uptake require devices to communicate information seamlessly and with minimal impact for the end user. Chirp’s data-over-sound solution equips our boards with robust data transmission, helping us to deliver enhanced user experiences whilst increasing the capabilities of our hardware at scale,” said Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder.  

“Sound is prevailing as a highly effective and versatile means of seamless data transmission, presenting developers with a simple to use, software-defined solution which can connect devices. Working with Arduino to extend the integration of data-over-sound across its impressive range of boards will not only increase the reach of Chirp’s technology, but provide many more developers with an accessible and easily integrated connectivity solution to help them drive their projects forward in all purposes and environments. We can’t wait to see what the Arduino community builds,” commented James Nesfield, Chirp CEO. 

To learn how to send data with sound with an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense and Chirp, check out this tutorial and visit Chirp website here


An Australian-style pedestrian traffic signal

via Arduino Blog

If you have ever thought what is missing in your life is a pedestrian traffic light, be sure to check out Ronald Diaz’s recent build.

The project uses a pair of lights that Diaz had in storage for the past decade, to which he’s finally added an Arduino controller that takes care of the walk/stop sequence.

The device is initiated by a pushbutton, which then cycles between a red light that implores pedestrians to wait, to a green signal that tells people to go, to a flashing red light and back to solid red. A piezo speaker was also included, which plays sounds based around actual Australian tones depending on the light state. 

Code can be found over on GitHub, and you can see it demonstrated in the video below.

Developing a photovoltaic solar tracker controller with a MKR Zero

via Arduino Blog

While energy consumption is an important concern in our modern world, you might have noticed that energy in the form of light shines down on us every day from the sun. Solar panels can be utilized to harvest this and turn it into useful electricity, and if your panels can track the sun throughout the day, you can see an efficiency bump of 15-40%.

In order to experiment with this concept, Frank Migge has, after several iterations, come up with a beautiful display called the “SunTracker2 Revision 2.

The device uses stored sun data fed to an Arduino MKR Zero via its SD card reader, and controls 32 LEDs that show the sun’s position, sunset/sunrise, and magnetic north. Automatic alignment is handled by an onboard magnetometer, and a stepper is even implemented to simulate future panel movement.

You can check out the demo below, and find more info over on GitHub.

Track made baskets with this Arduino/smartphone setup

via Arduino Blog

Marcelo Ávila de Oliveira likes to practice basketball, and while most of us would be content to shoot and hopefully improve, he actually tracks his workouts. While figuring out the number of made baskets, misses, times, etc. is useful, it’s also quite boring and difficult, so he came up with a real-time scoreboard system to take care of this for him. 

The device is mounted to an enclosure under the hoop, and uses an IR proximity sensor poking through Jerry West’s head to know when a ball has gone through. It also employs a vibration sensor to detect if the ball has hit the rim, and if the IR sensor isn’t triggered within three seconds, a miss is counted. 

The setup’s Arduino Mega communicates with a custom smartphone app over Bluetooth, and displays statistics on the practice session. It even plays notification sounds for scores and misses, as shown in the video below.

Arduino and industrial distance sensor communicate via RS-485

via Arduino Blog

After obtaining an industrial distance sensor, TUENHIDIY decided to use it as the basis for an interesting visual indicator.

The device communicates with an Arduino Uno via an RS-485 module, and outputs distance values in the form of a 9 x 14 pixel display made out of discreet LEDs soldered onto an LoL Shield.

As shown in the video be low, it does a good job of sensing how far an object is from it on a table, and the 126 LEDs provide a nice brilliant display. 

Code for the build can be found on GitHub if you’d like to make something similar. Seeing as though the sensor used here will set you back close to $1,000, you may want to also consider alternatives like an HC-SR04 ultrasonic module instead!