The YouTube team “Ty and Gig Builds” recently decided to make their coffee table a little more interesting, adding a chain of 96 addressable LEDs underneath its clear surface. This would have been neat enough by itself, but their project doesn’t just stop there and instead embeds 154 IR emitters and 154 IR receivers, allowing it to react to what’s on top. Beyond that, it’s able to display animations without using the sensors for a mesmerizing effect.
The setup, as you might imagine, required a lot of wiring along with custom shift register and multiplexer boards to accommodate its vast I/O needs. These discrete I/O are eventually funneled down to an Arduino Mega for control, creating a one-of-a-kind table that should make for a great conversation piece while holding coffee and other knickknacks.
Would you like your own industrial robot arm, but don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend? You could instead build Giovanni Lerda’s KAUDA, a five-axis device that uses under 800g of PLA, an Arduino Mega, and other off-the-shelf parts.
KAUDA utilizes servos to actuate the two wrist joints, along with a NEMA 17 motor for the elbow. A single stepper rotates the base in the horizontal direction, while dual steppers provide lifting force at this joint.
According to Michael Gardi, although you can find numerous stunning Turing machine implementations on the Internet, their complexity tends to detract from the simplicity of what a Turing machine actually does. In order to easily show how they work, he decided to create a demonstrator with the actual calculations handled by an Arduino Mega.
The console, dubbed TMD-1, displays a “tape” state on the top of the device using eight servo-controlled flip tiles that write 1s or 0s, while a series of lighted arrows indicate the program’s position. On the bottom surface, users can program instructions with magnetic tiles, and read the current machine state via LEDs.
Rubik’s cubes are traditionally 3x3x3, and have been solved by robotic systems in a variety of different ways. But what about a 4x4x4 variant? Such a device presents expanded solving challenges, which creators Thibault and Florent were able to address with their BallCuber contraption.
The BallCuber utilizes an independent camera unit to obtain the cube’s initial state, after which it’s placed in a spherical solving chamber ringed by nine NEMA 17 stepper motors.
Software running on a PC processes the scanned pattern and an algorithm works out the movements needed to complete the puzzle. Two Arduino Mega boards, each with a RAMPS 1.4 shield, and stepper drivers rotate the cube in the proper sequence.
The device can solve the colorful toy in around three minutes and 20 seconds, but Thibault and Florent hope to eventually rework it to beat the world record of 1:18! More details can be found on their page here.
The setup uses magnetic pieces, allowing it to pick up human moves via an array of 64 reed switches underneath, along with a couple shift registers. The Mega powers the robot arm accordingly, lifting the appropriate piece and placing it on the correct square.
You can get a look at the project, with gameplay demonstration, in Michalsky’s video below.
Having a pool can be a great way to relax during the summer, but keeping the water crystal clear and safe to swim in can be a challenge. To help, engineer Diego has developed the Arduino Mega-powered ARDUPOOL, which is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
This modular, open source device is capable of controlling up to four peristaltic pumps for dosing chlorine and other chemicals, as well as the filtration system. Programming is done via a simple LCD screen on the front, along with three buttons.
Depending on the setup, ARDUPOOL can either run the pool on a schedule, or be automated based on pH and chlorine sensors. Further functionality for lighting and app control is also in the works. Reward pledge levels vary from €149 (~$176 USD) for a Basic Kit to €399 (~$468 USD) for an assembled ARDUPOOL Super.