Connect your Arduino to the cellular network with the new GSM shield

Control and communicate with your next project with your cell phone.

Arduino has just released their new GSM shield that allows your Arduino to make and receive calls and text messages. You can even control specific functions of your project by text. Light up a LED, turn on a motor, all via cell phone. This isn’t the first time someone has figured out how to Arduino to the cellular network, but now it’s easier than ever before. This is very nearly a plug-and-play device.
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The ultimate Arduino-based cat litter box

The litter box of kings.

This litter box was made by Greg Leisure with the help of an Arduino. It is quite possibly the most elaborate cat litter box ever built. Even calling it a litter box seems disrespectful. It’s more like a litter house. Or a litter condo. It has it all, all the bells and whistles a cat or cat owner could want. Lights with motion sensors? Check. Both sound and smell dampeners? Check. Automatically-triggered fans? Naturally. Automatic Lysol dispensers? Of course.
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The $250 Arduino-powered prosthetic hand made by a teen

Arduino, 3D printing, and clever engineering result in an affordable prosthesis.

Easton LaChappelle has made a series of continuously improving robotic hands. The first, which he made at age 14, won 3rd place at the Colorado state science fair, and the second, which we previously covered, won 2nd place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the top science fair in the USA. At the Colorado fair he met a little girl who wore an $80,000 prosthetic arm, and he was convinced he could do better.
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An air-powered robotic tentacle using Processing and Arduino

Soft robotics at home.

Matthew Borgatti of HAR.MS made this slightly disconcerting yet undeniably fascinating prototype of an air-powered robotic tentacle. The tentacle itself is made of silicone, and an Arudino and three solenoid valves control the flow of air that make the tentacle bend and twist. Borgatti also made a simple visual user interface with Processing to operate it.

“Soft robotics” like this have several potential advantages over the more traditional “hard” systems. A soft arm is more gentle with far fewer moving parts, and is, in some ways, more resistant to damage that a typical robotic arm.
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How to use an old Nokia to send text messages from an Arduino

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.

Via Arduino blog

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Making a bioprinter from an old inkjet

Welcome to the early days of DIY biofabbing.

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.
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3D print your own humanoid robot

It picks up objects, talks, and obeys your voice.

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.
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A 3D printed 4k resolution OLED TV is coming

3D printing hits mainstream manufacturing.

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.

Via TechCrunch

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Re: Sound Bottle remixes everything it hears

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.

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All-in-one controller board for making your own 3D printer

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.
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