Researchers across several universities have developed a controller that provides tangible interaction for 3D augmented reality data spaces.
The device is comprised of three orthogonal arms, embodying X, Y, and Z axes which extend from a central point. These form an interactive space for 3D objects, with linear potentiometers and a rotary button on each axis as a user interface.
At the heart of it all is an Arduino Mega, which takes in data from the sliders to section a model. This enables users to peer inside of a representation with an AR headset, “slicing off” anything that gets in the way by defining a maximum and minimum view plane. The sliders are each motorized to allow them to move together and to provide force feedback.
As an enviable senior design project at Kennesaw State University, students Tyler Gragg, Kevin Kamperman, Cody Meier, and Omar Salazar Lima created their own autonomous pinball machine.
As seen in the videos below, the table is not only nicely finished with an interesting playfield, but works quite well without human interaction.
The machine’s IO system is actuated using an Arduino Mega, with higher-level controls handled by a computer running the Robot Operating System. While the game can be enjoyed manually, for automatic operation an overhead camera tracks the moving ball and calculates its position. When within tunable “flip zones,” the correct flipper is triggered, (hopefully) flinging the ball forward for more points and mayhem!
When working with Styrofoam, a conventional CNC machine like a router or laser cutter just won’t do. However, as shown in Michael Rechtin’s excellent video below, a hot wire can carve foam like butter, creating custom wings for RC aircraft or whatever else you can dream up.
Rechtin’s build uses a double gantry system to pull the wire in a horizontal and vertical directions. As each is mechanically independent of the other, they can move in tandem, or in a skewed orientation for cutting across both the horizontal and vertical planes.
Control is via an Arduino Mega running Grbl, with a RAMPS 1.4 shield.
As Niklas Roy puts it, “Currently, times are weird.” It’s hard to argue with his sentiment and in order to add a bit more positivity to the world, or at least the area near his Berlin workshop, he created an interactive pen plotter for his window.
The idea is that while he didn’t know exactly what to say, Roy’s project — aptly named “Please Leave a Message” — allows passersby to create their own uplifting comments for other pedestrians to see over WiFi.
The device repurposes the mechanical bits of an old but solidly built Aritma Colorgraf plotter, which is now controlled by an Arduino Mega and new driver hardware. People log into the installation’s simply web server through a separate ESP8266 module, which sends text to be printed to the Mega via a serial connection. There’s even an RTC that notes the precise time and date of when each message was written.
Vintage typewriters are truly amazing pieces of technology, but unlike modern keyboards, they are decidedly one-purpose machines. William Sun Petrus, however, had other ideas for his 1920s-era Remington Portable typewriter, augmenting hammers with wires as inputs to an Arduino Mega.
Input signals are produced when each key strikes a metallic “live plate” in the center, completing a circuit. This info is passed along as MIDI signals to a computer running Ableton digital audio software, allowing him to create the excellent beat seen in the video below.
Typewriter code is available on GitHub, where you’ll certainly notice the lines from Green Eggs and Ham that are output on an LCD screen at the base of the almost 100-year-old device.
Coffee tables generally sit between a couch and TV, providing a convenient place to set your cup, snack, or magazine. As proven by Redditor Procupine however, with the addition of an Arduino Mega and a “mere” 600 LEDs, this piece of furniture can be truly mesmerizing.
The woodworking portion of the project is made out of oak, while two mirrored surfaces are arranged on either side of three strips of WS2812B LEDs. Each strip is powered individually via a 5V adapter and the Arduino is used to create luminescent patterns that appear to bounce to infinity.
An LED rainbow effect along with a few more patterns — including a Matrix mode — are on display here.