As part of his ongoing PorscheKart project, YouTuber Wesley Kagan wanted a better way to steer his V12 custom-built race car, as the previous wheel was simply a mechanical linkage to the front steering. Instead, this new version would closely mimic the layout and functionality of an actual Formula 1 wheel, complete with all of the buttons, dials, switches, and the central screen.
The base of the wheel was formed from a laser-cut sheet of aluminum while the surrounding grips were painstakingly 3D-printed out of TPU filament. For the electronics, Kagan decided to use a pair of Arduino Micros, which were split between handling button inputs and driving the display, while an Arduino Mega 2560 gathers sensor data and sends it as a string to the two boards. Because of the limited number of pins, he wired each of the three rotary switches’ output pins to a differently valued resistor, thereby letting the analog input on the Micro know which position is selected by the incoming voltage.
The final steps of building this upgraded steering included connecting the 3.5” LCD screen to one of the Arduino Micro boards and wiring everything together with the help of a couple harnesses to minimize the mess. However, creating the graphics program proved to be a challenge due to the limited space in ROM for storing all of the draw function calls, which is why Kagan plans on eventually swapping it out for a static image that has the values filled-in. To see more about the project, you can watch his build log video below and read this blog post.
Whether granting access to public transit or restricting unauthorized personnel in buildings, NFC card readers can be extremely useful. Although most might not consider how they work – and simply happy getting through a turnstile – there’s lot going on behind the scenes.
In his video, Daniel Raines shows off a pair of prototype access control units (ACUs) that he’s constructed. The two networked devices are each based on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 along with an Arduino Micro that controls six relays to allow or deny entry, provide feedback, fire, and lock up.
More details on the project can be found in Raines’ clip below.
Most joysticks sit on your desktop, allowing you to control flight sims and other such games with a bit more realism than a keyboard and mouse. YouTuber Tom Stanton, however, decided to take things to the next level by creating one that pivots from the floor out of aluminum extrusion and 3D-printed parts.
The device’s main control stick attaches the base via a ball bearing pivot system, using Hall effect sensors to detect its relatively limited rotational distance. Foot pedals are also implemented with a Hall effect sensor setup, and a throttle/switch/button interface is presented to the user by another extrusion section. The build interfaces with a computer using an Arduino Micro and the Arduino Joystick Library.
Air hockey is normally a two-player affair, but not for this student-built robot. The table features a designated human goal with a touchscreen GUI for settings and control. The second goal is guarded by an autonomous striker, attached to a pair of steppers using a drive belt arrangement.
The robotic device analyzes the puck position with an overhead camera and a Raspberry Pi, which passes commands to an Arduino Micro over serial. The Arduino then controls the stepper movements via driver modules, as well as a solenoid to pop the puck out of the robot’s goal on the rare occasion it misses a block.
You can see more on the build in the two videos below!
If you want a virtual reality headset for your computer, but don’t want to dig deep into your pockets, this project by “jamesvdberg” (AKA Killer Robotics) presents a low-cost alternative.
Although it won’t pack the capabilities of an Oculus or HTC Vive, jamesvdberg’s VR rig can be replicated for just $80 using a Google cardboard-compatible shell, along with a 5” Raspberry Pi 800×480 LCD screen and an Arduino Micro for control.
The DIY device tracks head movements using an MPU6050 IMU, sending data to a PC system as a mouse input via the Micro. Game visuals are fed back to the screen over HDMI, split into discreet images for each eye, creating a side-by-side 3D effect.