Put one of those old cellphones lying around to good use.
Most people have at least one or two old cellphones sitting in a drawer somewhere. Now you can use one for your next Arduino project. Alex of insideGadgets has kindly posted a detailed tutorial showing how to hack and old Nokia 6110 (or any derivative) to send text messages from an Arduino. Even if you don’t have one of these sitting around, old technology (aka project materials) can be bought at absurdly low prices.
Instructables user Patrik has put together a guide for making a simple bioprinter out of and old inkjet print and a couple old CD drives. He has successfully printed bioluminescent E. coli in the form of readable text (image after the jump). Bioprinting is still largely in the research stages for medical and industrial purposes, but DIY enthusiasts are close behind. (more…)
An open source, 3D printable humanoid robot is in development and available for download from Thingiverse. Right now only the arms can be downloaded, but the head and torso are promised as soon as the design has been refined.
InMoov is a project by Gael Langevin, a French sculptor (Thingiverse user hairygael). Langevin has been working on InMoov since early 2012 and has gone through numerous design iterations and discarded 3D prints since that time. The progress is nothing short of outstanding. As you can see in the video below, this is a fully articulated humanoid robot, a rarity outside the research labs of corporations and universities. (more…)
Panasonic has unveiled a new television manufactured with the help of 3D printing. It’s not clear exactly what portion of it was 3D printed; it’s likely the body was 3D printed while the screen and internal components were manufactured traditionally. Regardless, it’s a major step forward to see 3D printing being used in mainstream manufacturing.
First 3D printing was used by major companies to make prototypes, then makers and small companies started using it to produce niche products, and now it seems that the technology has advanced sufficiently for a major corporation to use it for direct manufacturing.
The new 56-inch OLED television measures in at a shockingly thin half-inch thick, weighing a small fraction of equivalent LED TVs. It also boasts a 4k resolution, which is roughly equivalent to putting four full HD screens together.
Arduino audio processor packed in to a bottle full of beats
Everyday sounds become dynamic, ever-changing musical tracks with this student concept by Jun Fujiwara from Tama Art University in Japan.
The Re: Sound Bottle hides some complex electronics behind that sleek outer shell, in order to process and pump out some rockin’ beats.
The bottle begins recording as soon as you pop the cork, and it stores these audio samples to then remix them on demand in a cool rhythmic track. Here’s how Jun describes this mini DJ-in-a-jar:
“I felt something missing in the habitual use of music reproduction media, so I thought to create an interactive music medium that changes. By using everyday voices as sources of music, the sounds that are heard all the time every day carry infinite possibilities and help us reaffirm the enjoyment of music. I hope people can experience their own music.”
Click through to see a perky clip of the Re: Sound Bottle doing it’s thing, and you’ll understand why it was a deserving prize winner at the Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards in 2012.
New grassroots hardware from the Pacific Northwest.
The BrainWave board by Metrix Create:Space and Matthew Wilson is an all-in-one controller specifically designed for DIY 3D printers. It includes support for 4 stepper motors, a heated extruder, and a heated print bed. It’s also open source. And did I mention it was fabricated, assembled, and tested in the Pacific Northwest? The components are from overseas, but that’s nearly impossible to avoid these days.
Unfortunately, it’s not widely available quite yet; it is currently being beta tested to work out the bugs. Once launched, the BrainWave will sell for the very reasonable price of $100. (more…)
Web series uses puppets to inspire the next generation of inventors
Adafruit continues in their quest to make DIY electronics easy for all ages with Circuit Playground, a children’s web series that teaches electronics in a quirky and fun way.
“We’ll have each component have a story, a song and something to do”
From Cappy the Capacitor to Hans the 555 Timer Chip, this light-hearted approach will enable enquiring youngsters to immerse themselves in technology as they gain valuable real-world knowledge.
Supporting the show there are additional fun low-tech teaching aids including a colouring book and a set of plush dolls that will bring the characters to life. Combine this with the Circuit Playground iOS app and you’ve got plenty to not only keep the kids entertained and engaged with the learning process, but also maintain the underlying goal of inspiring the next generation of engineers.
“We want to celebrate the fun and good parts of making things, and even tackle complex subjects like what’s ‘good’ to make”
Circuit Playground is scheduled to air in March on Google+ and Ustream.
Nick Thatcher built this self-balancing unicycle using an Arduino UNO, a IMU (gyroscope) from Sparkfun, a 24v 350w geared motor, a wheelbarrow wheel, and a handful of other basic parts.
The IMU senses when the unicycle tilts too far forward or backward, the Arduino does some calculations, and then the motor compensates. The rider still has to put a little effort into maintaining balance (and not falling sideways), but it wouldn’t be much fun if the Arduino did all the work.
Carbomorph, the new, experimental material for 3D printed touch sensors.
3D printed electronics has been the subject of experiments and speculation for awhile now, but it usually involves highly specialized 3D printers. Carbomorph, a new, experimental plastic and carbon composite, could allow touch sensors, like buttons, to be integrated into objects 3D printed with fairly basic plastic extrusion printers. (more…)
Learn about microcontrollers without using breadboards
The Arduino system has done much to help introduce makers both young and old to the world of DIY electronics. Much lauded for its remarkable versatility and ease of use, all it takes are a few components and you’re on your way to new and exciting programming pleasures.
For those just starting out who find breadboards and wires a little daunting, the Arduino Esplora is a hand-held unit already fitted with a number of sensors, controllers and connections all ready to go right out of the box.
“…a ready-to-use, easy-to-hold controller that lets you explore the infinite possibilities you have in the world of Arduino, without having to deal with breadboards or soldering. Shaped like a game controller, it’s designed to be used out of the box without extra parts since it comes with many sensors and actuators already on it.”
Built around the same core as the popular Arduino Leonardo, the Esplora boasts an accelerometer, microphone, analog joystick, button array, light sensor, temperature sensor, linear potentiometer and audio buzzer. Although it lacks the facility to connect extra components like we are used to seeing with Arduino shields, there are two TinkerKit inputs and outputs that will enable further expansion.
Additional modules such as LCD displays are in the works, and knowing the Arduino community, it won’t be long before there is a whole host of enhancements available. Eager beavers can get their hands on an Arduino Esplora right now for under €42.