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2022 Product Release of the Seed Eco-Home 2

via Open Source Ecology

Development work always takes longer than one thinks – and only now we’re finishing off the product release of Seed Eco-Home 2. You can see about a 1000 pictures of the process taken over the last year. Now we’re finalizing the full digital model of the Seed Eco-Home 2 mechanical-electrical-plumbing in FreeCAD to finish off the complete CAD model.

This is at a level of detail rarely found in design documents – but critical for us as we open source the complete design. We aim to do a photo shoot as we finish the house soon so we can get the house product on our website. From then, it’s getting land somewhere in the local Kansas City area, and submitting design documents to the building department for approval. This will be the first house build to test the financial model – as we begin our first builds for customers. Ideas are good, but success boils down to effective production and real customers.

We aim to build several houses for customers this year, and to start version 2 of our apprenticeship program based on lessons from last summer – so we can deliver homes to customers at a rate of 1 house every 2 weeks. Our goal is to develop a skilled crew of 24 people as our base unit of Swarm Build operation – such that each house takes 5 days to build. Once we achieve this, we intend to train 10 such crews to operate out of our headquarters in the Kansas City area within the next couple years. This would allow us to build about 500 houses per year. And it means investing significantly in our infrastructure towards a full educational campus.
Our immersion education will include a construction management and enterprise track so that we can replicate operations to other locations worldwide. You can read more assumptions about the revenue model here. The link is not light reading – it is consistent with the immersion training as our latest thinking on how to build a team of trained super-cooperators with the mindset and skill set necessary to do the work that we do. Together with the financial model, there are literally thousands of pages of design documents that you can peruse in your ample spare time.

The current thinking is that production revenue bootstrap funds the completion of the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) by 2028 – a promise I made to the world back in 2018 and time is running out. The idea is that as soon as a cohort of 24 apprentices is up and running, we can diversify to other supporting projects – such as product release of the tractor for construction, development of the Compressed Earth Block (CEB) version of the house, development of large-scale plastic recycling for 3D printing construction materials… And much more – such as solar concrete and solar steel – materials that we produce on site using solar energy. Unheard of.

We estimate that realistically, the 50 technologies of the GVCS will take approximately $1M – each – to enterprise release. For comparison, our budget over the last decade was $3M – total. When I say ‘enterprise release’ – I mean releasing not only the open source blueprints for the product – but also the blueprints for the enterprise including how to train workers. And in the current times – who knows – we may end up building in Ukraine to help in recovery.

The post 2022 Product Release of the Seed Eco-Home 2 appeared first on Open Source Ecology.

Back to Compressed Earth Blocks

via Open Source Ecology

It is an interesting convergence – lumber prices shooting through the roof – and Compressed Earth Block being some of the most robust building material known to humankind. After all, the Smithsonian did claim that sophisticated buildings will be made of mud. As such, we’re returning to CEB construction as part of the Seed Eco-Home project – AND building an industrial grade sawmill this summer. The CEB press and the sawmill are 2 important machines in the Global Village Construction Set. Making construction materials is necessary for cost control as we deploy our 1000 square foot house that can be built for $50k in materials. Our goal is to reduce this cost to 1/5 of this with 3D printing of construction materials from waste plastic – by developing open source plasic recycling as part of’ the ambitious Summer of Extreme Design-Build 2021.

If you want to order a CEB press, we can produce a fully automated version that makes at least 6 block per minute for $10k, or you can build one yourself for about half that in materials cost. This machine requires a hydraulic power unit to run, such as a tractor or our Power Cube. We sell Power Cubes for $4k (2500 PSI, 10 gpm). To order our Compressed Earth Block press – see more information on our wiki and email us at info at opensourceecology dot org to order one.

The post Back to Compressed Earth Blocks appeared first on Open Source Ecology.

Top 10 Creative Projects from Arduino Day Community Challenge

via Arduino Blog

With over 170 creative projects sent in from around the world, choosing just 10 winners for the Arduino Day Community Challenge was almost impossible.

Hopefully you were with us on Arduino Day, and saw the winning projects being unveiled during the livestream. But we also wanted to send out another big congratulations to the inventive Arduino lovers who won.

So let’s take another look at the 10 projects that won a big box of Arduino goodies for their creative contraptions.

Fingerprint Door-Lock

Anvesh Pathak

Using an Arduino Uno with a fingerprint sensor module, Anvesh created a smart, keyless door lock. A great project that has very clear, and desirable, applications. It doesn’t necessarily have to be for an external door either. This would work just as well on a cupboard, garage or even a locked box.

Anvesh went a step further in creating a great demo by incorporating a servo motor into his model house.

Arduino Fingerprint Door-Lock projects

Project Seismon

Swara Kadam

It’s always exciting to see an Arduino project that can have a very real impact on the world around us. Swara’s device is designed to help schools detect and respond to earthquakes, warnings and preparatory drills.

Packed up inside a superb robotic design, it’s easy to imagine seeing Seismon on the store shelves one day.

Seismon Arduino project

Smart Pull-Up Bar

Nikolas Babetas

Sometimes the most inspiring thing about an Arduino project is when you see the ingenious, yet simple solutions people come up with. For example, the way Nikolas solved the detection method for beginning his workout.

A laser light mounted on the pull-up bar is broken when he grips it, kicking the Tic-Tac Motivational Distribution System into action. And yes, that’s Ah-Ha’s Take On Me bleeping away in the background.

Smart Pull-Up Bar Arduino project

Elevator Project

Federico Magnelli

Federico chose an elevator to demonstrate his project, but what’s especially creative is that it has unlimited applications. He’s put together a system that lets him send remote commands via Telegram to an Arduino.

His example project shows how text messages can be used to remotely control lights, motors, audio and more. Anything you connect to a board, really.

Telegram controlled Arduino projects

Fidget Muse

Indigo Knecht

A great multifunction device inspired by the fidget cube, Indigo’s project is as educational as it is creative.

It’s all about inputs and outputs. This is a great example that anyone could use to easily learn about the multiple outputs that are possible from all kinds of Arduino Nano controls.

Fidget muse Arduino project


Johan Halmen

An Arduino MKR1010 along with 61 servos have been used to renovate and automate an organ that was built in 1902. And if that’s not impressive enough, wait until you hear Johan’s song (and the new Arduino anthem), “The Arduino Nerd”.

Sing along, nerds!

Orguino Arduino project

Gear Machine Project

James Clarke

Some of the most impressive Arduino projects out there are the ones that teach you about more than just electronics. James’s modular Gear Machine is powered by an Arduino Micro, and gives you a great way to learn about the mechanics of gears, as well as how to drive them.

Gear machine Arduino project

IoT High Tech Mini Greenhouse

Maciej Gala

We love to see practical projects that also look amazing. The lighting system that Maciej has built into his IoT greenhouse is both effective and attractive. It’s also easy to see how the features of his project could easily be scaled up to any size of gardening application.

IoT greenhouse Arduino projects

Smart Trash Can

Carmen Cheung

As simple as Carmen’s Smart Trash Can is, it’s still one of the best examples of a creative, innovative, problem solving project we’ve seen. Especially with things the way they’ve been during 2020 and 2021, a remote, contactless trash can lid is just a brilliant, practical idea.

Smart trash can Arduino project

Chess Board Puzzle

Anastasis Malakozis

This is an inspired way to keep your valuables safe. Anastasis has rigged up an ingenious door lock that wouldn’t look out of place in the Wayne mansion as a sneaky way to get into the Bat Cave. Put the chess pieces in just the right place, and the lock opens.

Chessboard puzzle Arduino projects

Congratulation again to all the Arduino Day Community Challenge winners, and thanks to every who sent us their projects. You can find a lot more Arduino projects over at the Project Hub, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the Arduino Day livestream if you missed it on the day.

The post Top 10 Creative Projects from Arduino Day Community Challenge appeared first on Arduino Blog.

3D-printed mobile robot platform based on the Arduino Due

via Arduino Blog

Although an Arduino can be a great way to provide computing power for a mobile robot platform, you’ll need a variety of other electronics and mechanical components to get it going. In his write-up, computer science student Niels Post outlines how he constructed a robot that travels via two stepper motors, along with casters to keep it upright. The round chassis is 3D-printed and runs on three rechargeable 18650 batteries.

The platform is based on an Arduino Due, with stepper drivers and a custom PCB to take care of the wiring. The robot has no sensors or navigation aids onboard, but instead relies on an nRF24L01+ module to communicate with a Raspberry Pi that hosts the web interface for control and livestream viewing. This setup employs a webcam to sense and direct the robot through its environment using printed markers.

More details on Post’s project can be found in his Instructables tutorial.

Upload your sketch over-the-air with the Arduino IoT Cloud!

via Arduino Blog

Over-the-air (or OTA) programming is a very useful feature in all those cases where your devices are located in places that are not easily accessible. For example, you built a weather station using the Oplá IoT Kit, situated it on your rooftop, and started monitoring the weather from an IoT Cloud dashboard. That’s great until you find a bug or want to modify something and have to climb on your roof with a laptop to do so. Here’s where OTA becomes handy. 

If you have connected an Arduino Nano 33 IoT or a MKR WiFi 1010 to the Arduino IoT Cloud, you can now update the sketch using a wireless connection from the web.

How it works

To use OTA, you need to do two things: enable a device and create a Thing.

To enable a device, you need to connect a board to the IoT Cloud and update the firmware. Just plug the device into the USB, go to the Device tab, and click Add Device. A wizard will guide you through the process — at the end, your board will be available as a target for the upload over-the-air and you will be able to update the sketch remotely!

A Thing is a component that manages the dialogue between the cloud and the physical device thanks to a dedicated library (the Arduino Connection Handler), and stores the data into the cloud. Creating a Thing is simple: just select the voice from the IoT Cloud’s main menu, configure the variables that you want to exchange with the device, and pair the board that you have just enabled.

If you are new to the IoT Cloud, here is an in-depth tutorial on how to build an IoT project with Arduino Create. Once you have configured a Thing, you will be able to perform OTA updates. 

Devices that can be updated via OTA will appear in the dropdown list of all updatable devices in the online editors of Create — the full Web Editor and the new Sketch Editor have been introduced in the Thing configuration page to make minor changes to the code.

This Sketch Editor is one of the innovations that we have introduced in the IoT Cloud with two objectives in mind: 

1. Help those who are learning to program with Arduino follow the tutorials of IoT projects, such as those included in the Oplà IoT Kit.

2. Allow users to quickly make small changes to the sketch, which do not require access to libraries or more sophisticated editing functions.

More resources

If you want to know more about OTA and the redesign of the IoT Cloud, we have prepared a couple of detailed tutorials that will walk you through the exploration of the new features. 

Uploading sketches over-the-air (OTA)

Getting started with the Arduino IoT Cloud

New to Arduino Create? It’s a platform that helps you develop and manage connected projects with Arduino, featuring tools to code, monitor, and control devices from the Internet and your smartphones. Sign up for free now!

Don’t miss any updates and receive amazing projects from Arduino in your inbox! 

Mesmerize your holiday guests with these motor-driven rheoscopic fluid ornaments

via Arduino Blog

We’ve all see Christmas ornaments shaped like a ball – interesting, but a bit passive. Will Donaldson, however, has created an amazing enhancement for these “orbaments,” adding a rheoscopic fluid inside that shows turbulent swirling patterns as it moves.

The fluid is simply tap water and food coloring, plus the special rheoscopic concentrate that contains an array of light reflecting particles. To maintain a state or turbulence, Donaldson affixed a small drone-style motor to the hanger assembly on top of each orb using hot glue.

Motors were inserted with propellers attached, which were bent to fit inside. To vary the speed of the turbulence, Donaldson added an Arduino Nano, along with an L293 driver, using the analogWrite() function for PWM control.