Jonathan Odom, a full-time designer at Instructables who goes by the name “JON-A-TRON,” decided to make a clock illustrating time’s linearity. What he came up with was a beautifully crafted (robotically manufactured at the Pier 9 workshop, that is) clock that uses two rack and pinion assemblies to move a line of numbers for hours on top of another line signifying minutes.
The minute “hand” is divided up into five-minute intervals, which seems to him to feel less neurotic than being precise down to the exact minute. Magnifying glasses are used to magnify an hour and minute number, reminding onlookers to focus on the present.
The clock is actuated using an Arduino Uno with a motor driver, controlling a stepper motor for each “hand.” It’s an incredible build, and nicely illustrated. Whether or not you have access to the tools needed to recreate this exact clock, perhaps this concept will inspire something similar!
Silencing a smartphone at night isn’t difficult, but if you have a landline, Arduino can help!
Before computer hacking/modding became accessible, the next best thing was to creatively explore the phone system via custom electronics. Though this pursuit, known as “phone phreaking,” has largely gone away, some people still have landlines. As “MolecularD” shows in this Instructables writeup, with a few components you can creatively trick your phone into not ringing on your end, while appearing to the caller to simply ring and ring as if no one is home.
In order to make it much more useful, MolecularD hooked up an Arduino Mega with a real-time clock module to turn the device on and off depending on the time of day. Now calls from phone solicitors, or “IRS agents” at 4 in the morning can be eliminated automatically. As noted, this may or may not be legal where you live, so attempt it at your own risk!
Using a stepper motor, an Arduino Micro, and various mechanical bits, “Max Maker” shows us how to motorize a camera slider.
According to his video below, “There are many cheap sliders available, but none that are motorized.” On the other hand, in this project he demonstrates that with a little bit of work, and an excellent attention to detail, you can make the conversion yourself.
Even if you’re not interested in this kind of application, the video reveals some interesting tricks, such as transferring a hole pattern using tape at 0:30, and using nail polish/recessed lettering to label switches at 3:55. The slider can be set to slide down the rail between 10 seconds and 8 hours depending on your video or photography needs. Video results, seen around 5:00 in, are really amazing!
If you need to quickly launch certain apps on your MacBook Pro, Carl Gordon has your solution using an Arduino Nano.
Although the TV ads for your notebook computer would perhaps have you believe that everyone who uses it is a DJ, artist, or rock climber, chances are you just use it for a handful of programs and folders over and over. If this sounds like you, you can at least speed up access to them using Gordon’s “Laptop Control Box.”
As seen below, the box acts as a grid of shortcuts to your favorite applications, with a button to select sets of programs and an embedded RGB LED module to show you which set is active without having to look at the screen. Control on the computer side is accomplished with Processing, and though it might look like its window needs to be active in the video, it can work in the background as well.
This version currently gives me to access 24 different functions which are divided into six categories of four functions for ease of use, these categories include: tools, media, browser, utilities, social and lifestyle. Categories can be navigated through using the small button on the side and each category is visualized with a unique color by an RGB LED within the device, illuminating the plastic buttons from underneath.
Using an Arduino Uno, Nano, and two Bluetooth modules, engineering student “Roboro” can now remotely control his sumo robot.
Like many hackers, Roboro had an old gaming controller that he wasn’t using, in this case an Xbox steering wheel and pedals. Naturally, he converted it into a controller for his sumo robot, which can now be driven manually. This involved wiring the wheel controls into an Uno; the smaller Nano was used onboard the bot.
Rewiring a controller is nothing new, but what is also quite interesting from a hack point of view is that the Arduinos communicate over Bluetooth. When initiated, the controller connects itself to the robot, which can then be driven around (as long as it doesn’t get stuck in the hardwood).
The reason I was thinking of a DVD pick-up is that it houses a laser and a lens capable of projecting a spot of visible laser light small enough to “see” a bit on a DVD. And those bits are very small (320nm)! Furthermore it houses coils to steere the lens (sideways and up and down) and a detection part. This steering is necessary to be able of following the microscopic narrow tracks on a CD or DVD while spinning (sideways moving of the lens) and follow height differences while spinning (up and douwn movement of the lens). You can imagine that folowing the track must be very precise considdering the turning speed and the bit size! These characteristics are exactly what we need!