In this video, we show you how to make a smartphone-controlled, internet-connected deadbolt actuator powered by a Raspberry Pi that can be added onto your existing door lock without any modifications to the door. The door lock can be controlled by multiple smartphones, and even notify you whenever someone locks/unlocks the door.
You’ll need access to a 3D printer for some of the parts and, as a way to support their growing channel, the team provide printed parts for sale on eBay.
In this video we show you how to build a DIY motion tracking airsoft (or nerf gun) turret with a raspberry pi 3. The airsoft turret is autonomous so it moves and fires the gun when it detects motion. There is also an interactive mode so that you can control it manually from your keyboard.
And in celebration of hitting 50k subscribers, the team are giving away two Raspberry Pis! Just subscribe to their channel and tell them how you would use one in your own project to be in with a chance of winning.
If you have built your own Raspberry Pi-powered lock or security system, we’d love to see it. So go ahead and share it in the comments below, or post it across social media, remembering to tag us in the process.
The Hummingbird by BirdBrain Technologies is an Arduino AtHeart microcontroller designed to enable beginners to create robots from craft materials. Hummingbird kits include LEDs, motors, and sensors that connect directly to the board. This eliminates the need for soldering or breadboarding and ensures that users have the parts they need to build their first robots. All of the components are reusable, so the same kit can be used to build many different robots.
In addition, the Hummingbird supports a variety of programming options, making it appropriate for beginning programmers as well as those who are more advanced. Some programming languages, such as Scratch and Snap!, can only be used when the board is connected to the computer. We will concentrate here on programming alternatives that enable users to upload a program onto the board’s Arduino.
Classrooms all over the world have used the Hummingbird from elementary to high school for projects ranging from Shakespeare dioramas to the physics of amusement park rides. In the following project, the BirdBrain Technologies team will show how they used the Hummingbird to build an automatic cat treat dispenser and demonstrate how the Hummingbird can be utilized to construct robots from everyday materials.
Building with the Hummingbird
Beginners can easily get started building Hummingbird robots with cardboard and craft materials. Motors, sensors, and LEDs can be connected directly to the Hummingbird board, and these elements can be added to the robot with hot glue. Hot glue peels off the components so that they can later be reused.
The example project uses one servo motor, one single color LED, and a light sensor. The dispenser consists of a servo motor attached to craft sticks that block the bottom of a chute containing cat treats. The position of the servo motor can be changed in software to release treats.
To receive a treat, the cat must cover a light sensor in front of the chute. When the cat covers the sensor, the servo motor briefly moves to open the chute and dispense a treat. The LED was included to show our test cat the location of the light sensor.
Programming with the Hummingbird
One unique feature of the Hummingbird is that it supports three different programming options for producing an Arduino program. These options provide steps of increasing difficulty to support learners as they transition from programming novices to Arduino experts.
Beginners can start with the CREATE Lab Visual Programmer. This software option is based on storyboarding. Users can select the motors and LEDs that they are using on a schematic of the Hummingbird board. Then they can create expressions by using sliders to set the values of these outputs. The expression below sets a servo motor to 100°.
Expressions can be combined to create sequences. For example, the sequence below controls our automatic cat treat dispenser. This sequence is controlled by a sensor block. If the light level is low, the three expressions on the left are executed. If the light level is high, the three expressions on the right are executed. The user can then convert this sequence to an Arduino program by simply clicking the “Export Sequence” button (shown outlined in red). The Hummingbird can then be placed into Arduino mode and the program uploaded to the microcontroller.
Another option for beginners is ArduBlock, which provides a visual introduction to the Arduino language. The Hummingbird extension for ArduBlock includes a block for each Hummingbird component. A program in ArduBlock to control the treat dispenser is shown below. This program is equivalent to the CREATE Lab Visual Programmer sequence shown above.
The Arduino code generated by this ArduBlock program is shown below. Individuals moving from the CREATE Lab Visual Programmer or ArduBlock to Arduino can start by modifying the generated code. For example, in the video we modified the commands inside the else to make the LED blink to attract the cat’s attention.
Once individuals are comfortable with the Arduino programming language, they can create more complex programs in Arduino. For instance, the video shows how we modified our robot and our code to incorporate three lights and three sensors. To get a treat, the cat must cover the sensor when the corresponding light is on.
The cat treat dispenser is only one example of a Hummingbird robot using the power of the Arduino at its core. The parts can be used and reused to construct an unlimited number of robots with low-cost materials such as cardboard, pipe cleaners, recycled materials, and even paper mache!
Note: The elves at Pi Towers are all taking next week off to spend some time with their families, and this blog will be quiet for the week. We’ll be back at the start of January. Happy holidays!
Happy 25th of December, everybody!
If you’re one of the many who woke up this morning to find some Raspberry Pi goodies under your tree, congratulations.
Now you’ve unpacked the Pi, confirmed it to indeed be roughly the size of a credit card, and confused a less tech-savvy loved one by telling them “This is a computer!”, you may be wondering to do with it next…and that’s where we come in.
You’ll need to make sure you have the latest Raspbian operating system (OS) on your Pi. You may have been given an SD with Rasbian pre-installed but if not, head to our downloads page to get it.
2. Start me up
ALL THE POWER!
You’ll need to plug your Pi into a monitor (your TV will do), keyboard and mouse in order to get started. You’ll also need a good-quality power supply providing at least 2A.
We’ve some great instructions within our help pages to get you up and running. And if you’re still stuck, our forum has loads of information and is full of helpful people. Feel free to join and ask a question, and search previous topics for advice.
You’ll find more projects on our resources pages, along with some brilliant inspirational builds on our YouTube channel and blog. Or simply search for Raspberry Pi online. We’ve an amazing community of makers who share their code and builds for all to use, and now you’re one of us…WELCOME!
This robust DIN-rail mountable, Leonardo-compatible controller enables you to take your existing Arduino projects and swiftly transform them into permanent installations. The prototyping area and screw connectors allow you to install your own circuitry and reliably connect to accessories.
In the video below, Industruino co-founder Loic De Buck discusses these key features and more with Davide Gomba. (You can also find an extended version here.)
The team recently created an excellent tutorial showing how you to build an Arduino-based electricity consumption monitor with the Industruino PROTO platform. You can use it to measure AC power of your appliances, including a water cooker, TV, laptop charger, or anything else plugged into a wall socket. Alternatively, you can even use it in your electricity cabinet to evaluate the power consumption throughout your entire house (at least one phase).
The challenge is to measure an AC of a relatively high voltage (220-240V) with a direct current 5V Arduino MCU.
This may seem dangerous, but we will use a non-invasive Current Transformer (CT), so our Arduino remains galvanically isolated from the high voltage AC.
This prototype is based on the excellent open source project OpenEnergyMonitor. It uses parts of the its standard emonTx hardware and software to report the AC apparent power consumption, based on measurements of a Current Transformer as in the picture on the left. The original project also allows to measure 3 phase and/or real power, but for our prototype here we are only measuring the current of one phase, not its voltage which would require an AC/AC adaptor.
A few days ago, we launched the MKR2UNO Adapter, which enables you to easily turn an Arduino Uno form factor project into a MKR1000-based one. Simply mount your IoT board to the adapter, plug in any Uno shield and have a wireless device in no time.
Our newly-published tutorial provides a step-by-step overview of how to build a WiFi-controllable robot using the MKR2UNO Adapter with a MKR1000 and an Arduino Motor Shield.
This project combines the Arduino MKR1000’s web server and Arduino Motor Shield’s capabilities to drive a pair of different DC motors. A basic interface is hosted and hard-coded in the MKR1000, allowing the user to maneuver the robot up, down, left or right.
Starting a new project is always a fun yet effective way to hone your skills while exploring circuitry and programming. To help improve his engineering chops, Joop Brokking recently bought an inexpensive oscilloscope (a device for visualizing voltage over time in an x-y graph) and connected it to an Arduino Uno. He then shared his findings in a detailed tutorial on YouTube.
In the video below, Brokking is using a Hantek 6022BE 20MHz dual-channel oscilloscope and provides three examples to better understand what can go wrong when building a simple Arduino setup.