As YouTuber Evan Kale puts it, his set is was kind of boring. He decided to spruce things up by turning his ordinary door into an “alien portal,” lining it with a strip of RGB LEDs. Though this may not be the first time you’ve seen this type of lighting in action, he directs our attention to a few interesting details about using them in typical Kale style.
One interesting note comes around the 4:50 mark, where he points out his portal is controlled using Hue Saturation Lightness (HSL) via a potentiometer instead of RGB. This keeps the glowing effect consistent, while allowing color adjustment.
For this project, he employed an Arduino Nano, which looks like a great choice since it needs a limited amount of I/O. Using this tiny board, the entire control package can fit into his small 3D-printed enclosure.
Using a keyboard and mouse usually gets the job done, but if you want to navigate around a website or video, the process could be a little more efficient. It may not be a big deal to reach over and use your mouse and scroll wheel, but if you had this control on your keyboard, that tiny bit of time savings could add up over the thousands of times you do this.
For this purpose, Imgur user “Electricrelay” added a motorized force feedback slider to his keyboard using an Arduino Nano for control. This easily customizable device can scroll through pages, or switch between open browser tabs or programs. It can also act as a mechanical display, shaking for notifications, or sliding with keystrokes like an old-school typewriter. The Maker even created a plugin for timeline scrubbing in Adobe Premiere.
Using an Arduino Nano and two rotary stages, this Maker hacked together a panoramic thermal imaging camera.
After ordering and finally receiving a thermopile (infrared thermometer) in the mail, the author of this project set to work to construct his own scanning thermometer. This type of setup acts like an IR camera, but instead of taking one instantaneous picture, it stores thermal data points that are then resolved into a coherent image.
Though the panoramic results can be fantastic, since the thermometer has to be rotated to each point individually via stepper motors on the rotary stages, a single image capture can take over an hour.
Electronic interfaces have advanced from plugging things in, to keyboards, touchscreens, VR environments, and perhaps soon temporary tattoos. Led by Martin Weigel, researchers at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany have come up with a way to turn your skin blemishes and wrinkles into touch-sensitive controls for devices like smartphones and computers.
“SkinMarks” can be transferred onto the skin using water and last a couple of days before rubbing off. As seen in the video below, these e-tattoos can take the form of buttons, sliders and visual displays, and even sense when a joint is bent. For example, knuckles on a hand made into a fist could act as buttons and then become a slider when the fingers are straightened.
Another type of SkinMark is electroluminescent, meaning that an image printed on your skin could light up to signal a phone call or other important notifications.
These tattoos are connected to a wrist-mounted Arduino Nano and an Adafruit MPR121 capacitive touch shield via wires and copper tape; though if the system can be shrunk down even further, this could open up many different possibilities!
Modding vehicles to do something different and unique has been a pastime of “motorheads” almost since cars began to replace horses. Many modifications involve speed, but some like these fancy turn signals by Shravan Lal, simply supplement the looks of his ride.
An Arduino Nano was used as the brains of this hack in order to control strips of WS2812B LEDs acting as blinkers (similar to those on the new Audi A6) in the video below. In addition to signaling a right or left turn, Lal’s build also has a neat startup animation, and can act as a set of hazard lights if needed.
As Maker Alex Gyver points out in his video, Chinese bike computers are quite cheap, but “why not?” It’s a great question, and one that motivates many of the hacks seen here, including his mountain bike speedometer.
Although he could have simply used a numerical display to show how fast his bike was going, he instead employed a small servo to point to the speed like an analog gauge. The custom speedometer is based on an Arduino Nano, and wheel revolutions are measured by a magnetic and Hall effect sensor.