Tic-tac-toe is normally played with a pen and paper, or perhaps with a physical marker, but maker “techiesms” has put a new spin on this classic pastime.
His build, as seen here, takes the form of a wooden box that mounts onto the wall with nine square sections arranged in a grid pattern. Players take turns, activating a square by moving their hand near an IR proximity sensor inside each one.
The squares then light up green or red depending on the player, and when a line is made, the system beeps and blinks on and off to signify a winner. Everything is controlled via an Arduino Mega, along with a custom PCB for wiring.
Electronics for the build — including an Arduino Mega that runs the show — are hidden inside of a 3D-printed, property-themed enclosure that resembles those found outside of any Disney theme park. This would potentially preserve a sense of wonder at the device, and diffuses the LEDs nicely.
Continuum robots — which look like a tentacle or perhaps an elephant’s trunk — use a series of linkage sections and internal tendons to move both horizontally and vertically. While they may seem quite exotic, in the video below element14 Presents’ DJ Harrigan breaks down how he built one with an Arduino Mega and a fairly simple list of parts.
The robotic mechanism hangs down from a support structure, with universal joints allowing each section to bend, but not twist, with respect to the next one. These 10 sections are pulled in different directions using two servos and Kevlar cord, with user interface provided by two potentiometers. A third pot actuates another motor attached to the tentacle, acting as a gripper for tools, or whatever else Harrigan needs at the time!
While that plastic cup, bag, dish, or other item may have served its purpose, more than likely it could be formed into something new. With this in mind, the SOTOP-Recycling team of Manuel Maeder, Benjamin Krause, and Nadina Maeder developed an automated injection molding machine that can be built at home and is small enough to allow you to run your own recycling operation!
The “Smart Injector” receives shredded pieces of plastic in a small hopper, then transports them down an extrusion pipe where heat is applied. This material is clamped together via a pair of stepper motors, with screws and timing belts implemented to apply sufficient pressure. Everything is controlled by an Arduino Mega.
As shown in the video, the plastic waste is converted into phone covers in just minutes, though other things could also be made depending on the form tooling used.
Ground penetrating radar systems, which can be used to sense the density of objects under the Earth, are normally seen as a fairly exotic piece of equipment. Naturally, such devices cost thousands of dollars. Mirel Paun’s “GPRino” prototype, though, aims to accomplish this viewing task for the comparatively paltry sum of $300.
The GPRino uses antipodal Vivaldi antennas to see into the ground, under control of an Arduino Mega. Onboard visualization is handled by an LCD shield, and collected data can also be transmitted to a PC for further analysis.
More information homemade GPR can be found in Paun’s project write-up. You can see a demo of it scanning in the first video below, while a quick clip of its wheel switch (a simple cam setup) is shown in the second.
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.