Tag Archives: inspiration

The kitchen becomes OPEN during Milan’s design week!

via Arduino Blog

Kitchen Open Valcucine

Valcucine is making an open-call to select 10 individuals to participate in the 6-day event  during Salone del Mobile titled: The kitchen becomes OPEN! Scheduled from 6 to 11 April 2014 at Valcucine showroom in the heart of Milan, the workshop sees the participation of 10 designers selected following a call for ideas directed to planners, designers, makers, developers and programmers working in the field of design, as well as to students and enthusiasts at which time they will develop suggestions and new interactions in which to enhance the philosophies that have been employed in the realization of the Meccanica kitchen framework.


They will work alongside the dotdotdot design studio and team of experts. A set of meetings and debates are planned during the week which will be open to the public and to which important guests will be invited to share their knowledge, skill and experience: Massimo Menichinelli (open design facilitator), Enrico bassi (Fablab Torino coordinator, Stefano Maffei (professor at Politecnico Milano), Giulio Iacchetti (designer), Dario Buzzini (IDEO new york) and Zoe Romano (Digital Strategy and Wearables at Arduino).

The executable files of the project will be released in the open source mode, under the Creative Commons CC by–nc–sa license, with the permission to distribute, modify and create projects based on the original, except for business purposes, recognising the author’s paternity of the project.

The resulting projects will be exhibited from the evening of friday, April 11th at 6PM to sunday, April 13th, 2014.

Deadline call: 19 march 2014 - All the information regarding the competition and the workshop: demode.it/openkitchen


Call for ideas

Arduino driven floating black ball is the creepiest/coolest thing around

via Arduino Blog

SPace Replay

Space Replay is a project by Francesco Tacchini, a Royal College of Art grad student, and Julinka Ebhardt and Will Yates-Johnson of Design Products:

A hovering object that explores and manipulates transitional public spaces with particular acoustic properties. By constantly recording and replaying these ambient sounds, the levitating sphere produces a delayed echo of human activity.


It’s equipped with a battery-powered Arduino — an Adafruit Wave Shield  in order to record and playback audio on-the-fly through  a small speaker. In the video below you can see how it moves around:

It actually reminds me of Rover, the large white inflatable balloon protagonist  of  the 60s sci-fi series the Prisoner! What do you think?

Arduino Cofounder Has Some Advice For You, Hacker – FastcoLabs

via Arduino Blog


Massimo Banzi shares things he wishes he knew when he was younger – By Ciara Byrne on FastcoLabs

The cofounder of the open source microcontroller Arduino, Massimo Banzi, doesn’t mince words. “Italy is the kind of a country where if you are young, you don’t exist,” he says. “It’s a country run by old farts.” Banzi decided not to accept the status quo.
Arduino was designed in Italy, by virtue of a foolish young Banzi on a quest for love. Today, Arduino is an enormously popular single-board microcontroller used to develop interactive objects.

The Power Of Love

Banzi’s career hasn’t followed a conventional path. “I was always interested in technology but I started using the Internet because I met this American girl when I was like 18,” he says. ”I wanted to write to her and the post would take three weeks. So I started using the Internet because I could email her. There wasn’t even a browser. And that became my career for several years. So every time I get a passion about something I try to do it on the side and it turns into my job. It’s also a curse also because you can never have a hobby.”
Banzi trained as a electrical engineer, but always had an interest in design. Ten years ago he was teaching interaction design at the now defunct Design Institute in Ivrea. Arduino started out as a tool to allow Banzi’s design students, most of whom has no technical background, to use technology in their projects.What do you think?

 The Arduino Legacy

Arduinos take inputs from a variety of switches and sensors and can control lights, motors, and other physical outputs.
Microcontrollers are used in all kinds of hacker projects: Musician Imogen Heap’s musical glove and fish on wheels. Banzi estimates that there are now 1.5 million Arduinos in the wild matched by a similar number of clones and variations on the original microcontroller.
Banzi, and therefore ultimately Arduino, was influenced by designers like Germany’s Dieter Rams and Italian Achille Castiglioni. “First of all (Castiglioni) said a designer should never take themselves too seriously so you should just really laugh. A lot of designers, they take themselves very seriously but their output is not as relevant as Castiglioni, who was always laughing and making jokes.” Arduino was actually named after a bar Banzi frequented.

Advice For Young Technologists

Banzi’s favorite Arduino projects these days come largely from the fashion industry. ”For us wearable is a lot about fashion,” he explains. “An Italian fashion designer made a corset that actually teaches you how to breathe properly. It measures the way you breathe with sensors and then kind of pushes you in different paths. Somebody else made clothing that can adjust your posture when you are using the computer.”

I asked Banzi what advice he would give to his 20-year old self. “Well, it would be mostly about self-confidence,” he said. “Arduino started off because I worked on a number of projects but I never had the will to just go ahead and run with something. I stopped caring about what other people thought or did and I just did my own thing. A number of people in the technology world they sort of insulted me and told me that I was an idiot and I thought ‘Okay, I might be onto something because of all these people telling me that I’m wrong.’“
Banzi is a big believer in following your own path. “When I was was 20 I was much more focused on having a career and following a path and staying with a sort of a system. At some point I stopped caring about that. I changed jobs. I had different experiences. In the end I started doing whatever felt good to me. There’s a friend of mine on Facebook from when I was 15, who is like one year old than me, and he’s followed this very corporate-type path and then I looked at a picture and he looks like he’s 60. So I think at least I kept a little bit younger than him. At least I did whatever I wanted. ”

A favorite of Banzi’s among the current generation of Arduino entrepreneurs is Josef Prusa. “Josef Prusa is a 22-year-old guy from the Czech Republic who is actually the designer of one of the most well-known open source 3-D printers,” he says. “He started off a teenager playing with Arduino and then he started to make a 3-D printer, started to make his own designs. No background in technology. He studied economics. So he dropped out of university because he was not matching what he was doing and he built up this little company and designed these 3-D printers.”
It’s clear that Banzi sees a little of himself in Prusa. “The biggest advice is that if you have to make a huge mistake do it because you decided so,” he concludes, “and not because you followed somebody else’s path. When I made big mistakes like everyone does, at least it was all my fault.”What do you think?

Originally posted on FastcoLabs

Delicate tumbles and robotic panels meet dance music with Arduino

via Arduino Blog


Creative Applications featured Timo Maas video showing a custom MIDI-controlled machine built by a creative team  including Daito Manabe:

‘Tantra’ is the new single from Timo Maas, taken from his latest artist album, ‘Lifer’. The video for the single, created by Daito Manabe, Motoi Ishibashi, Muryo Homma and Youichi Sakamoto (rhizomatiks) includes a machine that uses Arduino controlled ball dispensers, motorised rotating steel plates and LED lights to create a nexus between electronic music and a sound responsive mechanical object.


The interactive veil expressing emotions with Lilypad

via Arduino Blog


Leyla is an interactive Niqab that reveals facials expressions on textile recreating the movement of facial muscles involved in smile and frown. The project was created by Patrizia Sciglitano and sent to us through our blog submission form. We got in touch with her to know more about it.

How come you started working at this project?

I started my BA graduation project in February 2012. I’m not Muslim but I’ve always lived in environment influenced by Islamic culture and I’ve been fascinated by it. Some months ago I participated to  a workshop in Prato about Wearable Technology with Riccardo Marchesi of Plug&Wear and I started to understand this new technology and to have real answers to my questions.

Leyla - schema circuito

How does it work?
Leyla’s circuit is composed by two facial-muscle sensors detecting micro-facial movements. The Arduino Lilypad receives data from them and sends the processed information to the Nitinol wires (muscle wires)  that are sewn into the fabric,  creating curls of the expressions hidden under the veil.

Leyla - inside

Have you got yet any reactions from girls wearing the veil?

I kept working on my research project while attending an association for non-EU women in my city, organized by a Muslim friend of mine since childhood. I met several women there, both young and old who’ve helped me understanding better their culture.  I explained the project to them and from the very first concept ideas I received a positive feedback.
Not very often designers create accessories suited for their necessities and thorough this object they could gain more “emotional communication” capabilities while maintaining their decency and this new opportunity  made them very happy.
They were both intrigued by the new technology I showed them (muscle Wires), and on how I was materializing my new idea of communication. Muslim women thought that my idea was very cool. It was a chance to give voice to a new way of communicating their emotions without needing to “undress”.

Until now I haven’t had the chance to test “Leyla” in Saudi Arabia, although I would love to do it in the future. Thanks to a friend of mine, however, I had the chance to show “Leyla” to some women wearing the Niqab staying in Istanbul for Erasmus program: they even asked me if I was selling it!


In the video and picture below you can see  the result, from left to right: Relaxed muscle – Contracted muscle: smile – Relaxed muscle – Contracted muscle: anger.

Leyla - expressions

An etch-a-sketch on dope

via Arduino Blog


Arduino Facebook  page is a great source of inspiration  with plenty of people posting everyday about projects and experiments. Some days ago a user shared this interesting video about Magnetography, an alternative drawing toy using ferrofluid, a liquid which becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field.

Magnetography, by Christian Robach, is built out of old DC-Motors, a frame filled with water and ferrofluids.  The “pen” can be controlled by using the W-A-S-D letters on the keyboard allowing the users to play with the liquid metal without getting their hands dirty.
The commands are sent to the serial Port via Processing then Arduino UNO, with an Adafruit Motor Shield extension, reacts by powering the motors and moving the magnet according to the coordinates. Enjoy the video below:

Interactive table turns eating into a videogame

via Arduino Blog


Pixelate is a Guitar-Hero-style eating game in which players compete in a one-minute showdown to see who can eat the most food in the correct order.

PIxelate interactive table

It was exhibited at Henry Moore Gallery, Royal College of Art in London:

A digital interface built into a custom dining table shows players which foods to eat and when, while the game detects whether they’ve eaten the correct food by measuring the food’s resistance on the fork. Potential applications for Pixelate include encouraging children to eat more healthy foods, helping to manage portions, and educating children and adults about nutrition. Built using Arduino and openFrameworks, Pixelate gamefies the act of eating, challenging players to consider whether they think before they eat, or eat before they think.

A poem for Arduino community and more about our social presence on G+

via Arduino Blog

poem Arduino


Some days ago David Watts posted an unexpected but very welcome video on Arduino G+ Community, a poem dedicated to the Arduino community itself and commenting with these words:

Sort of a thank you to all the people who helped me learn about electronics and specifically Arduino. I really enjoy making projects and sharing them I and many other people would not be able to do it without such a fantastic community.

Here’s the video of the poem:


This nice contribution gives us the chance to finally announce  that next to our official Arduino Page on G+, with more than 212.000 [+1] and  almost 120.000 people adding us in their circles, now we have an official Arduino G+ Community you can join.

Arduino community on G+ Thanks to the collaboration of  Gary Rudd and Heath Naylor,  who created a passionate and active  unofficial community and accepted the proposal to make it official, recently we’ve just  updated the logo and joined them in the moderation. If you are on G+ we invite you to take part with your  enthusiasm and projects!


This is one of the channels you can choose to be active on Arduino online community, in the following days I’m going to bring some highlights from our  Facebook page aswell!



Fake bathroom window using Arduino

via Arduino Blog

Virtual bathroom window

Are you a student living in a closed dorm? Ever wished for a window on a blank wall but maybe the house owners would not allow you to build? All of you would have seen tutorial about moodlamp with RGB LED strips and Arduino. This seems to be the perfect application for it.

For this tutorial the maker used Superlight LEDs and an Arduino  which provides an effect directly corresponding to the preset daytime light outside.

Arduino time library is the core of the project.

For a very detailed tutorial on how to make it by yourself at home, head here!

Meet the Maker: Jody Culkin

via Arduino Blog

Jody Culkin

Imagine being an artist with an insane desire to learn the tools that would set your art apart, that would inspire you to create something closest to your imagination. Imagine a burning desire improve the lives of others with all the skills that you have. Imagine, being Jody Culkin.

Jody started her career with Technical Photography at the Medical Department of New York University, an art form that is long lost in today’s world of Instagram and digital photography. A course taken on Physical Computing in 1998 at the age of 45 at ITP, NYU to learn electronics and coding, pushed her to be the maker that she is today. She is currently teaching a course in a Community college in New York. She is also an avid sculptor, an artist, a comics maker, a welder and many more things that marks a true maker. An exclusive interview with her here would take you closer to the world of makers.

Priya: What is your oldest memory as a geek and a maker? Also what were the first experiments that got you started in electronics?

Jody: I remember my junior high school days when we were taught about computers yet never got to work on one. Me and my friend used to exchange notes in ASCII art with pencil on paper. Also I had been making small functional objects like a table and lamps.

The first circuits were really simple with a play of many switches. I loved to use switches for so many different things.

Priya: How was the transition from being an artist to an electronics maker? Which, according to you, is the better way to go?
Jody: I think ideas need to be more clearer than only electronics, for that you need to be a designer. Otherwise I see a lot of designers getting help for electronics in the art world.

Priya: I am a huge fan of the Arduino comic strip that you did years back for arduino. What inspired you to do that? Are you working on more such comics?

Jody: Back in 2009, during a summer camp at ITP, I wanted to express whatever I had understood very clearly. So I decided to document it using a comic strip for others too. What you might observe in the comic, is that there is a central character telling the story, it is not only electronics and wires, which is an essential part to make it appealing in any comic.

Yes, I did some work for a breadboard workshop organized by Make. I would also like to do some work on CSS and JavaScript.

Priya: Wait wait.. You code JavaScript?

Jody: Yes, I started with Code Academy, they have some really great lessons to get you started with.

Priya: Impressive! What are the tools, might you suggest to be the essentials for any designer aspiring to add electronics to the art?

Jody: The tools I would suggest are Arduino, Processing, JS, also I liked MAXmsp interface, other random stuff like Digital multimeter, screw driver, basic sensors etc.

Priya: As an artist what are your most commonly used sensors? Also do you have to use general purpose PCBs or get it custom made?

Jody: I use photocells a lot. I also like IR sensors and Force sensitive Resistors, as they are pretty easy to interface. Regarding PCBs, I have always used breadboards. For some reason, they have always held up pretty strong.

Priya: What drives you? And what advice do you have to make it big in the world of Interactive Designs?

Jody: Curiosity drives me. I love putting different stuff together and observing the final results. Like one of my installations is a self turning-pages book, an added functionality of turning the pages via web was interesting.

To be a designer, one should learn to express things in a simple way. A majority of time should be spent working. Apart from that, networking is a must. Try to hang out with the designers whose work you get inspired by. People like to see works of different designers under the same roof. So try to improve your work to get in the grove with them.

Priya: Very insightful. What are your latest works that you would like to talk about these days?

Jody: There was a show at Florida, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art – I had some displays on fashion there. Also had a presentation on the way comics can be used to explain technology. I was working on a Lasersaur build with Eric Hagan, which is an open source laser cutter project started by Nortd labs at ITP at NYU.

Priya: Lastly, how does it feel to be a woman in tech doing electronics and art together? How did it feel back at the university? What is your current passion?

Jody: It feels great and empowering. T, The strength in the university was 50-50 for men and women. However, I observed that the men were putting in more efforts to learn in Physical Computing, whereas the women were more into web development. I wished women participated more. Tom, really supported and guided me well.

Currently, my passion is to teach the diverse students attending the Community College. Yes, some are very well prepared, some are not, but then, that is where a teacher’s true test of creativity lies.

Thank you for your time Jody!

(All of her work has been documented here.)

Something is rotten in Denmark (Bio-Hacks)

via Arduino Blog

Labitat, 3/2013

Massimo and I had the chance to visit a Labitat makerspace in Copenhagen. I have to thank Martin Markus to let us in on a non-visit day and move underground, where the lab is.

The main reason of our visit was getting in touch with the Bio-Hackers and Maker Community meeting there, get them involved in the Call of Makers for the upcoming European Maker Faire in Rome. We had a good time in talking with them about the strange situation we are witnessing here in Europe: many languages, many nations, one big movement of people tinkering around stuff. Get everybody to know about this event and the chance to meet and talk to each other is a massive task. But we are going to overcome it!

Labitat, 3/2013

The place is just super. I’ve been involved in the making of a makespaces in the last three years of my life, but I have no words in describing the feelings I had in witnessing the massive amount of contents that basement kept. No joke.

I tried my best in recovering those objects, those feelings and this odd XXIst century knowledge in a pool set of Flickr, where I tried to describe and follow the different projects I’ve seen.


Why visiting makerspaces is to me just like standing on giants shoulders? Basically because I know the problems and I see better, streamlined solutions answering (better than ours in Fablab Torino. You guys feel free to comment and make me feel naiv about the Fridge,  Bio Hacks, the communication billboards, and the AtMEGA 16u2 hack from Dennis.


Tinkering and coding with teens for a future of digital making

via Arduino Blog

one day digital Pic by Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk

At the beginning of march Christopher Martin, researcher in applied computer,  wrote us an email to tell us that he got involved in an ambitious plan taking place:  100 school pupils, 5 different digital-maker themes in 1 day for 4 subsequent weeks across Scotland.

The event called “One Day Digital” started on the 2nd of March at the Dundee University, where he is based,  and is organized by Nesta, supported by the Nominet Trust, O2 Think Big and the Scottish Government which created it as part of a wider programme called “Digital Makers” . It is especially aimed at:

encourage and enable a generation of young people to create, rather than simply consume, technology. Working closely with a consortium of partners, we are launching a campaign to highlight the benefits of learning digital skills and encourage innovation in digital education to equip young people with the skills they need to thrive in the digital world.

one day digital Pic by Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk

Chris  was running the Arduino session supporting  12 students (age 13/14) on their first steps with C programming and some bread boarding with Arduino UNO.  He wrote on his blog:

After a fairly intense 2 hours or so lights had flashed, dials had been turned and various coding techniques learned. It was really interesting to see how quickly the loose association of school pupils came together as a team, eagerly helping each other when they could. After a well earned lunch we moved on to some more output modes and looked at writing functions to control an RGB LED and used a bunch of variable resistors to make a colour mixer. I think the highlight was the getting the speaker to play different tones, controlling the pitch with one variable resistor and the timing with the other. Quite eerily the air was full of monotonic blips and beeps like a room of R2D2s.

The format of the Arduino session worked like this: a morning of coding and breadboarding and then an afternoon busy on building some “physicalApp” to make something they care about. The term physicalApp is a cool concept coined by Jon Rogers  and pulls together a multitude of physical computing project hackery.
one day digital - Pic Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk.
One of the neat app ideas that came up was a drawing machine based on what a knitting needle is doing: the prototype is just using random servo position (rather than accelerometer data) and you need to feed paper under it by hand.
one day digital Pic by Alan Richardson Dundee, Pix-AR.co.uk

It’s great to see teens getting involved and inspired by tinkering and coding. If you are interested in attending one of their two upcoming events (23rd and 30th of March) click here,  or keep receiving info about ongoing activities  from Facebook.


one day digital


Let’s go creative with lighting on a DIY laser device

via Arduino Blog

blaus lasershow

Last year MediaInteractiveDesign and PlayModes , two interactive design and creative technology studios based in Catalonia, collaborated to develop a system to control DIY Laser robot.

They created a new shield  to control Dinamyxel servomotors  to work with PWM laser drivers. The shield works using Arduino Ethernet programmed with a specific firmware to control laser and motor using Open Sound Control.

The project involved a team of 3 people (Eloi Maduell, Alex Posada and Santi Vilanova) coming from the field of audiovisual creativity, hardware engineering and software development.

To show us the way this system can be used, they sent us two of their projects. Enjoy!

Radial is a fully immersive audiovisual experience driven by cutting edge DIY technologies. Composed by a set of 8 moving blue laser heads and a kinetic light sculpture, it drives the audience into an abstract synaesthesic trip.
While laying down on the center of the installation, you let yourself be surrounded of synchronized three dimensional light compositions, multichannel sound and the intricate moving color patterns of the Particle.

Here’s the technical schematic of Radial, some pics, and below the video:

Technical Schematic



Blaus is an immersive space where light and sound relate intimately to impact on the visitor.  It can be a cube or a blossoming flower, a grid or a jellyfish; a mutant entity of reflecting lights which submerge the audience into a symbolical universe, driven by hidden forces of the architecture. Movement and reflections of light, sound and laser beams generates a kinetic atmosphere that transforms the architecture into the main character of a geometric play.


And here you can see some pics and the video about how they made it:



Last but not least for the implementation of the system they used and want to thank: