If you have even a passing familiarity with how to play a piano, you know that there are a bunch of long white keys, with a lesser number of black keys in a nearly-universal arrangement. On the other hand, like the standard and much lesser-known Dvorak keyboard for typing, there are alternatives. One such alternative is the Jankó keyboard, which Ben Bradley decided to reconstruct for the Moog Werkstatt using a capacitive touch sensor setup.
His new instrument, which as of his write-up only had 13 keys connected, was constructed for the 2017 Moog Hackathon at Georgia Tech. It uses an Arduino Mega for control along with four MPR121 capacitive touch breakout boards, and as seen in the video below, can be played quite well after only one day of practice!
What has eight legs, a tail, and is powered by an Arduino Mega? The ClearWalker, of course!
This Strandbeest-style walker employs two motors, controlled by individual H-bridge relay modules to traverse forwards, backwards, and slowly rotate to one side or another via a hesitating leg motion. You can see how the electronics (including a bunch of LEDs) were integrated into this build in the video below.
Depending on your point-of-view, you may see claw machines as an interesting device that can normally be ignored, or perhaps magnet for quarters that you must satisfy until you capture the stuffed animal that’s “so easy to get.” Maybe these gantry-crane gadgets would be a bit more fun if you could play them at home to your heart’s content. If that sounds appealing, then Ryan Bates of Retro Built Games has the perfect solution with his “Super Claw” machine.
This project, though on version four, is not currently for sale as a kit, but he is now selling his stepper driver board for the device, which links up to an Arduino Mega via an IDC cable. This takes advantage of the brick of I/O opposite the USB and power connector on the Mega to clean up wiring significantly.
Pets bring an untold amount of joy into our lives, but unfortunately they aren’t allowed to go everywhere that humans are. Of course this makes sense in many situations, but if you’d like to take your dog with you wherever you go, this means occasionally leaving poochie in the car. Along with leaving the sunroof and windows open, this project’s author also came up with a transmitter and receiver to monitor the temperature inside of the car with a series of LED pulses.
The car unit consists of an Arduino Mega, along with a temperature sensor and LoRa transciever. The receiver takes this wireless information, which can be reliably read at a range of 250 meters (820 feet) in an urban environment, and gives the user a series of blinks to assure Max’s (the dog) human that he’s not overheating!
When you’re away from your home, perhaps you’d like to know what is going on there. A camera system is one solution, but is fairly data-intensive and might not be the right method if you’d like to monitor information such as temperature and humidity in several zones. For this, Rod Gatehouse decided to build his own LoRa environment monitoring system using an Arduino Mega.
To keep an eye on things, Gatehouse (aka “RodNewHampshire” on Instructables) came up with an excellent LoRa IoT gateway that can be controlled via four push buttons and an LCD screen. This device can take input from remote stations wirelessly, and can put this data online or push it to a user as a text message.
The system enables a homeowner to monitor the home environment via an Internet accessible dashboard, receive periodic SMS environmental notifications, receive real-time SMS alerts when monitored environmental parameters exceed preset thresholds, and log environmental data to the cloud.
If you want to build a robot that moves across the ground, the normal options are wheels or legs of some kind. Maker “joesinstructables,” however, decided to do something a bit different. He created a versatile, slithering system, which he calls the “Lake Erie Mamba.”
He put a dozen Arduino Mega-controlled servos together in a reptile configuration to allow the robot to move via serpentine motion (like a normal snake), rectilinear motion (like a worm), or sidewinding (which snakes use in shifting terrain). It can also twist itself into a wheel and roll in this rather unnatural, though quite interesting way.
The Lake Erie Mamba contains 12 segments, each consisting of a servo motor, a C-bracket, a side bracket, a wire clip, and a set of LEGO wheels. The reconfigurable robot is not only controlled using a four-button key fob remote, but can move about autonomously via an IR sensor as well.