Tag Archives: sensors

Monitor your Bonsai with the help of Arduino Uno

via Arduino Blog

BonsaiWatchdog

Bonsai trees are not like other plants. There’s no single watering schedule that can be applied to a bonsai and the best way to tell if the bonsai needs water is to touch the soil. Experienced growers know when a tree needs to be watered by observing the foliage or just by the weight of the pot. If you are not used to taking care of this type of tree, Bonsai Watchdog could be the perfect project for you. It runs on Arduino and Genuino Uno and makes it really easy to monitor the moisture level in the soil.

BonsaiWatchdogDisplay

Thomas Baum, created it and shared it some days ago on the Arduino Community on G+ :

Two pencil leads, an Arduino and a 12864 (ST7565) LCD watches out my little bonsai. The filling level shows how often the sapling need to be watered.
source and discription (in german) you can find here:
http://tiny.systems/categorie/lcdProjekt/BonsaiWatchdog.html

 

INA219 current sensor DIY Breakout board

via Dangerous Prototypes

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INA219 current sensor DIY Breakout board project from Juan Ignacio:

Another small board, this time for a INA219. The INA219 is a high-side current shunt and power monitor with an I2C interface.
For testing I used Rei VILO library with a MSP430G2553 and Energia, and I measured the power consumption for this simple circuit.

Project info at ssihla homepage.

You Can Build Arduino multi-device Networks with Temboo

via Arduino Blog

tembooM2M

Is there a cool Internet of Things idea that you’ve wanted to try out with your Arduino, but just haven’t had time for?  Building a network that integrates multiple sensors and boards into one cohesive application can be time-consuming and difficult.  To make it a bit easier, Temboo just introduced new Machine-to-Machine programming that lets you connect Arduino and Genuino boards running locally in a multi-device network to the Internet.  Now, you can bring all the power and flexibility of Internet connectivity to Arduino applications without giving up the benefits of using low power, local devices.

temboo-line

Our friends at Temboo now support three M2M communication protocols for Arduino boards: MQTT, CoAP, and HTTP. You can choose which to use based on the needs of your application and, once you’ve made your choice, automatically generate all the code you need to connect your Arduinos to any web service. You can also save the network configurations that you specify, making it easy to add and subtract devices or update their behavior remotely.

With Temboo M2M, you can program flexible distributed device applications in minutes. From monitoring air quality and noise levels in cities to controlling water usage in agricultural settings, networked sensors and devices enable all sorts of powerful IoT applications. You can see it all in action in the video below, which shows how they built an M2M network that monitors and controls different machines working together on a production line.

Just imagine your ears were like wings

via Arduino Blog

wings

Wing is an interactive installation created by Dmitry Morozov  and commissioned by the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, special for GLOBALE: Exo-Evolution exhibition, 2015. It’s a 2,5-meter wing that can be flapped by visitors thanks to compact dermal myLeaographic sensors (sensors measuring the electrical potential of muscles) installed  behind their ears and connected to an Arduino Uno:

The main idea of the project is an ironical and at the same time serious research on the topic of development of new instruments and prostheses as “extensions” of human body and accordingly its possibilities and potentials, which are being revealed by new technologies. At the same time, it’s an attempt to stimulate people to perceive and train the body in a different way, expanding the limits of self-control and self-organisation in order to adapt to the new conditions. At the same time, just like many spiritual practices aiming at the elevation of human soul through deep relaxation and control over seemingly uncontrollable muscles, this project uses the metaphor of flying as a reward for the ability to direct your mind to solving of non-standard tasks.

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DIY Connected objects for happy connected people

via Arduino Blog

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What happens when a creative technologist wants his family to know he’s thinking about them? He creates a project with Arduino Yún! IMissYou is a simple project transforming a picture in a connected object thanks to a capacitive layer made with Bareconductive Paint and inserted behind the photo. The ‘touch’ is detected by the Arduino through the glass of the frame by a spike in the values (with a basic Capsense library), sent to the internet via wi-fi and delivered to a phone with Pushover.

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Martin Hollywood, the Arduino user who made  the project, wrote us:

Looking at the photograph of my family that I have on my desk one day, I missed them and wanted to be home. I touched the photo and realised that somewhere between those was the germ of the idea…

I wanted my family to know I was thinking of them, but I didn’t want to create two products; think GoodNight Lamp – I do love that project. In any case, there was no guarantee they would even notice a ‘blinking’ photo frame responding to my signal. Making the Receive a PUSH notification seemed like a no brainer, but the last time I developed for mobile was iOS 1! There are a number of service apps out there: Pusher, Pushingbox but I decided on Pushover. It had a 7 day trial period and good API support (I’ve since bought a license).

Take a look at his blog for more details and if you want to give him some tips to make it a real product.

Buy the Sense HAT – as seen in space*!

via Raspberry Pi

*Not actually in space yet. Wait till December.

Today we have a new product launch: the Sense HAT is now available from the Swag Store, and through our partners RS Components and Premier Farnell/CPC. Here’s a video from Matt Timmons-Brown, freshly released from GCSE exam hell, to show you around.

The Sense HAT was originally developed around James Adams’ idea to make a cool toy-style board that showed off just how much you could do with your average modern MEMS gyroscope, 64 RGB LEDs and some Atmel microcontroller hackery.

Somewhere between prototype and production, it seems to have attracted extra features like a pressure sensor, a humidity/temperature sensor and a teeny joystick. It also seems to have been comandeered and made an integral part of the Astro Pi mission, which will see two Raspberry Pis, two Sense HATs and a lot of code written by UK schoolkids hosted on the International Space Station – I guess I’m to blame for that.

Astro Pi sense HAT LED

The board forms the basis for many of the experiment sequences that will be run on the ISS – many of the schools competition winners’ entries made good use of the HAT’s sensors to gather their experimental data. The LED matrix also provides a feedback mechanism and interactivity for Major Tim Peake when he’s tasked with deploying the Astro-Pi board on the ISS (he’ll be setting it up on-orbit to run the experiment sequences). One of the winning entries – Reaction Games – programmed a whole suite of joypad-operated games played via the LED matrix. Snake is hilarious on an 8×8 screen.

The board itself has a suite of sensors, a “D-pad” style 5-button joystick and an 8×8 RGB LED matrix driven by a combination of an LED driver chip and an Atmel AVR microcontroller – an ATTiny88.

For the terminally curious, here are the schematics of the board.

The Sense HAT and its Pi tucked snugly in the Astro Pi flight case

The Sense HAT and its Pi tucked snugly into the Astro Pi flight case

Here’s the hardware run-down:

Sensing elements:

Pressure / Temperature
ST Micro LPS25H
– 24-bit pressure measurement resolution (260hPa to 1260hPa)
– 16-bit temperature measurement resolution (0-125°C)
Datasheet

Humidity / Temperature
ST Micro HTS221
– 16-bit humidity measurement resolution (0-100% relative humidity)
– 16-bit temperature measurement resolution (0-60°C)
Datasheet

Acceleration/Gyroscope/Magnetic field
ST Micro LSM9DS1
– 9 degrees of freedom (X, Y, Z independent axes for all sensors)
– ±16 g acceleration measurement range
– ±16 gauss magnetometer measurement range
– ±2000 dps (degrees per second) gyroscope measurement range
Each of these measurement channels has 16 bits of resolution.
Datasheet

All of these sensors have features for periodic sampling of sensor values – complete with internal FIFO storage. The LPS25H and HTS221 have maximum sample rates of 25 per second, the LSM9DS1 has a maximum sample rate of 952Hz – we are already imagining the birth of a million Pi-controlled stunt quadcopters.

LED Matrix
The LED matrix is driven by a combination of a constant-current LED driver and an Atmel ATTiny88 running a custom firmware that delivers an 8×8 display with 15-bit resolution RGB colour. If you want to get into the gory details, the AVR firmware is available on Github.

Joystick
The Atmel is responsible for sampling the joystick. We didn’t have enough pins left on the Atmel to dedicate the five that we needed to sample the joystick axes independently, so they’ve been spliced into the LED matrix row selects. The joystick gets updated at approximately 80Hz, which is the scan rate of the LED matrix.

All of the sensors (and the base firmware for the Atmel) are accessible from the Pi over I2C. As a fun bonus mode, the SPI peripheral on the Atmel has been hooked up to the Pi’s SPI interface – you can reprogram your HAT in the field! We use this method to get the firmware into the Atmel during production test – and we leave it unprotected so you can substitute the stock firmware to get it to do whatever you want. Seriously. First person to turn this sensor HAT into a quadcopter controller HAT wins a cookie from me.

Software
If you’re not assembly-language inclined, you can always use the HAT’s sensors from our shipped Python library – standard function calls return sensor values, give you joystick key events and allow you to display things on the LED matrix. The Sense API is available through the Raspbian APT repositories.

To access the magic, simply enter:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sense-hat
sudo pip-3.2 install pillow

into a terminal window. Note you will have to reboot for the Sense HAT to be recognised.

The API is well-documented (and tested extensively by schoolchildren as part of Astro-Pi) – get reading here.

The LED matrix appears as a Linux framebuffer device – for fun you can compare the results of

cat /dev/urandom > /dev/fb0

and

cat /dev/urandom > /dev/fb1

to fill either your attached monitor or the LED matrix with random noise. The joypad appears as a standard input device – the “keys” map to Up/Down/Left/Right and Enter.

The baseline price (excluding spacers and screws, and local taxes) is $30. You’ll be able to buy from all the usual suspects – the Swag Store (which is bundling spacers and screws for free), RS Components/Allied, Premier Farnell/Newark and all their subsidiaries have stock today. Secondary suppliers may take a couple of days to get their hands on stock.

So, what are you waiting for? Get sensor hacking!

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