If you think Furbies have become extinct, think again, as musical hacker “Look Mum No Computer” has decided to revive a number of them to create his own Furby Organ.
To make this horrifying yet awesome instrument, he placed 44—yes, 44—of these strange creatures on top of an organ frame with a keyboard and several dials, along with a switch labeled ominously as “collective awakening.”
Each individual Furby is controlled by two Arduino Nano boards, and as you might imagine, the whole project took a massive amount of work to wire things together. You can see the incredible results in the first video below, while the second gives a bit more background on the device’s origin.
While he opted to construct it in a 1:2 scale, it’s still an impressive physical build, looking comically large, but not entirely unwieldy as a full-sized 8-foot blaster would have been.
Inside, sound and lighting effects are controlled by an Arduino, which plays clips from the show and flashes in different patterns via an Adafruit sound board and RGB LED strip.
I wanted the blaster to play sounds and have lights come out of the barrel so I rigged up an Arduino Nano with an Adafruit sound board and amp that would cycle blaster sounds and lights when a button was pressed. And because there’s always more than meets the eye, I had a separate button that played just Transformers sound clips. To defuse the LED strip when the lights fired, I printed a semi-translucent disc that would stand-off from the sides so that sound could still escape, but the light would be diffused. I decided to mount all of the audio components in the barrel so that the cannon could be taken apart to charge the battery back.
The spindle was set up with a single reflective surface, enabling it to sense one pulse per revolution that is sent to the Arduino at up to up to 30,000 RPM. To ensure accurate measurement, the device was programmed using an interrupt, meaning that if another process is running, it will temporarily drop what it’s doing and count the incoming pulse.
RPM is displayed on a tiny OLED screen, which shows both an RPM number as well as a dial indicator for quick reference.
Build an optical RPM indicator for your CNC router with an Arduino Nano, an IR LED/IR photodiode sensor and an OLED display for less than $30. I was inspired by eletro18’s Measure RPM – Optical Tachometer Instructable and wanted to add a tachometer to my CNC router. I simplified the sensor circuit, designed a custom 3D-printed bracket for my Sienci CNC router. Then I wrote an Arduino sketch to display both a digital and analog dial on an OLED display.
While some fall asleep nearly immediately with no assistance, others need the drone of a fan or a dedicated noisemaker to help them relax. The Fall Asleep Device, also known as “FADing,” by Youz takes a different approach. FADing shines an LED onto the ceiling out via a piece of acrylic, so that you can use it whether you like to sleep on your back or side.
An Arduino Nano controls the nicely-shaped wooden unit, and causes light to fade in and out at a pace that decreases from 11 to 6 pulses per minute, prompting you to regulate and relax your breathing accordingly.
Instead, an Arduino Nano powers a novel mechanical gear assembly via two motors, which causes the two hands to physically switch positions between the second arm being mounted on the base and on the tip of the first arm. This strange representation of time changes form every fifteen minutes.
The Edgytokei which literally means edge clock is inspired from the Japanese nunchucks. Just like the nunchucks the clock is just a pair of two arms displaying time by balancing themselves on the edge. The clock consists of two arms and the base on which the arms are anchored. Both the arms are of equal length as the role of the arms changes with different hours of the day.
The fulcrum of the clock flips from the center to the left or right of the clock every quarter hour so that the clock can stand on the edge to represent the time between quarter past and quarter to hour. This flipping of the arms keeps the clock dancing on the edge throughout the day. The base which contains the electronics of the clock provides a anchor for the clock and prevents the arms from falling over.
The display was prototyped on a huge breadboard assembly, along with an Arduino Mega, then finished using a custom PCB and Arduino Nano.
3D-printed parts are used to form the housing, in addition to a variety of electronics. These include an actual GPS unit, along with a custom three-segment LED assemblies to display “+” and “-” as needed.
Be sure to check it out in the video seen here, showing off its interface, as well as an MP3 unit that plays back a 1962 JFK speech about going to the moon.