Mechanical typewriters are, for the most part, a thing of the past. Though the tactile feedback of these machines is interesting, as is the ability to directly mark on a piece of paper, they lack the important ability to input instructions into a modern computer. Konstantin Schauwecker, not satisfied with this analog-only output, decided to retrofit a German Olympia Monica typewriter as a unique digital user input device.
To accomplish this, he created a PCB with phototransistors that sense when the linkages for each key are pushed down. The result is a keyboard that functions perfectly well as a manual typewriter, and pushes this data to a computer using an Arduino Leonardo.
I modified a vintage type writer to function as a USB keyboard using an Arduino and 50 phototransistors. The typewriter is a German Olympia Monica that I bought at a local flea market. For this project I created a simple PCB that carries the phototransistors and several multiplexers and decoders. The PCB is connected to the Arduino through a ribbon cable. I used an Arduino Leonardo, which can function as a USB input device.
RubberArms is an experimental rubber band game, created by Robin Baumgarten at the Global Game Jam 2017 in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.
The controller uses a conductive rubber cord from Adafruit that changes resistance as it’s stretched. This resistance is measured by an Arduino Micro/Leonardo (or a Teensy 3.2), which acts as a USB joystick sending signals to Unity3D. (The game is coded in Unity3D using Spring Joints and Line Renderers.)
Alex of the YouTube channel “Super Make Something” is a huge fan of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), and still has to play the game whenever he steps foot into an arcade. However, with the number of arcades slowly declining, the Maker has decided to bring that experience into his living room with a USB DDR dance pad.
And yes, you could always buy a metal dance pad but rather than spend $300, why not build your own? That is exactly what Alex has done using some easy-to-find materials: a 35″ x 35” slab of plywood for the base, four 1” x 35” pieces of wood for the border, five 11” x 11” pieces of MDF for the stationary panels, four 9″ x 9” pieces of cardboard for the riser panels, 12 metal button contacts out of aluminum, four 11” x 11” MDF button pads, acrylic sheets for the dance surface, and plenty of paint and graphics for the finishing touch.
The dance pad itself is based on pull-up resistors and an Arduino Leonardo, which is housed inside a 3D-printed enclosure. The Arduino includes an ATmega32U4 chip that can be programmed to act as a USB input device. The working principle here is that the MCU sends out a keystroke every time a button panel is stepped on. Alex provides a more in-depth breakdown of how it works in the video below! Meanwhile, the Arduino code can be downloaded here.
The Interaction Awards published the shortlisted projects for 2016 and up to five finalists in each category will be announced during the event on Friday evening, March 4, 2016. In the Expressing category, showcasing projects enabling self expression and/or creativity there is a project called Step representing an innovative and engaging way of approaching music production for children between 6 and 100 years old.
To prototype the user experience we’ve used an Arduino Leonardo connected to a processing sketch that handle the recording and playback features. Using a Mux Shield 2 we managed connecting 25 IR sensors, 16 LEDs, 1 knob and a button to a single Arduino board. We needed a quick and effective way to test the experience and by using Arduino we managed to design and build the whole product in three weeks.
Most of the music toys on the market are trying to fake the sounds and the experience of real instruments. Step has a different approach as it’s designed to give children the opportunity to create real loops and beats using whatever sounds they like from objects of everyday life.
Players can record any sounds and match them with coloured tags, and then create melodies, loops and and beats by placing tags on the track and by adjusting the tempo!
Industruino’s mission is to offer industrial automation components that have the simplicity of Arduino at its core. It’s created by Loic & Ainura, two product designers originally from Belgium and now based in Shenzhen, with a mission to help people make their own products, by creating an accessible platform.
Today they are officially joining the Arduino AtHeart program with Industruino Proto, a Leonardo compatible industrial controller housed in a DIN-rail enclosure, with screw connector terminals to robustly connect to sensors and actuators.
Industruino allows makers and professionals to take a breadboarded solution and make it into an enclosed finished looking product, ready for permanent installation. Watch Loics’ introduction:
With Industruino everyone can combine the strengths of Arduino with the specific requirements of industry:
We are now at the dawn of a new industrial revolution, one in which the key elements will be automation, robotics and interconnected devices. In this revolution the Arduino platform is growing to be a real contender.
We are very excited to become part of the At Heart family! It is our way to show that we are very much interlinked with the Arduino community. We are looking forward to further develop the use of Arduino in industrial applications whilst contributing back to the Arduino platform.
When you open the enclosure you will find a prototyping area to add your own components, and re-routable jumper connections, letting you connect any point to either the microcontroller’s pins or the external screw connectors. The onboard graphic LCD and membrane button panel facilitate quick UI development to visualise and input your application’s data.