Desperate times call for desperate measures, and while making your own medical equipment isn’t normally advisable, Johnny Lee’e project explores how to turn a CPAP machine into a ventilator.
The idea is that since these machines are basically just blowers controlled by a brushless DC motor, an Arduino Nano equipped with an electonic speed controller could allow it to act as a one.
Such a setup has been shown to provide more than enough pressure for a ventilator used on COVID-19 patients. This device has in no way been evaluated or approved for medical use, but it does provide a starting point for experimentation.
Music and synchronized lighting can be a beautiful combination, evident by panGenerator’s recent installation that was commissioned by the M?skie Granie concert tour in Poland.
The interactive sculpture was comprised of 15 drums that trigger waves of light traveling toward a huge helium-filled sphere floating above the area, appearing to charge it with sound and light energy as the instruments are played.
“The audience was invited to drum collectively and together create an audio-visual spectacle – intensity of which depended on the speed and intensity of the drumming. That fulfilled the main goal of creating interactive art experience in which the audience can actively participate in the event rather than just passively enjoy the music, gathering and playing together.”
The project incorporated 200 meters of addressable RGB LEDs and measured in at roughly 300 square meters, making it likely the biggest such build ever seen there. According to the designers, each of the drums featured a custom PCB equipped with an Arduino Nano and microphone, and used an MCP2515-based CAN setup for communication.
All of this was assembled and taken down seven times over two months in cities around the country. Be sure to check out this dazzling display in action in the video below!
Nixie tubes are, of course, an elegant display method from a more civilized age, but actually powering and controlling them can be a challenge. This can mean a great project and learning opportunity, but if you’d rather just skip ahead to programming these amazing lights, then Marcin Saj’s IN-2 binary Nixie clock is definitely worth a look.
This retro-style unit features a 6 x 3 array of small IN-2 tubes, which are turned to “1” or “0” depending on the time. Reading the results takes a bit of binary math, but it would be good practice for those that would like to improve their skills.
Although you might not be able to build or house your own SpaceX Starship, YouTuber “Embrace Racing” has created a levitating lamp model that will be much more attainable for non-multi-billionaires.
The lamp’s landing pad features an Arduino Nano inside, which is used with WS2812 LEDs to simulate the smoke plume of the rocket through a 3D-printed “clear” PLA diffuser.
The base also contains a levitating module capable of supporting up to 400g to suspend the spacecraft in midair. While its height would tend to make it unstable, the onboard levitating magnet lowers the center of gravity, along with a battery and three LEDS that provide light from the bottom of the rocket itself.
Small wood lathes don’t typically come with an RPM readout, so after obtaining such a machine several months ago, engineer Zach — also known as ‘byte sized’ — decided to build his own custom display.
The device uses a Nano for control, along with a Hall effect sensor to pick up on four magnets attached to the spinning handwheel.
RPM values are shown on a series of four 7-segment displays, and everything is enclosed in a nicely 3D-printed housing. LEDs shine through a sanded acrylic window that acts as a diffuser. Power for the lathe is still provided by a single cable, with a transformer module used to convert the AC input into 5V DC for the Arduino and other electronics.
Using 7-segment displays to make a clock is nothing new, but what if you combined 144 of them together to create an epic LED timepiece? That’s exactly how this project was made, allowing it to show surprisingly smooth mega-numbers and a colon set at an angle.
The build itself is controlled by an Arduino Nano, along with an RTC module for timekeeping and 18 MAX7219 drivers to activate over a thousand (1,008) individual segments.
One could see this used for a variety of purposes, perhaps as a scoreboard for sporting events, a scrolling display, or even as 36 little clocks, which can actually be seen below.