Arduino

DIY Whereabouts Clock tracks family with Twitter [Video]

DIY Whereabouts Clock tracks family with Twitter [Video]

Not being a Harry Potter fan the "wearabouts clock" has passed me by, but this DIY location-indicating replica is impressive enough even without the back story.  The concept is that rather than display the time, the clock's numerous hands show whereabouts each family member is, according to various locations (or situations, such as "mortal peril") around the clock face.  As for the magic inside, our old friend the Arduino and a hacked Linksys router monitor Twitter for location updates.

The first generation of the system attempts to recognize the first few words in the tweet - it monitors a different Twitter stream for each hand - and then shuffles the indicators around to the appropriate point.  If the message can't be interpreted that way, it points to "read me".

Video demo after the cut

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Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Electronic versions of the classic Etch-a-Sketch aren't particularly unusual, but so far this is the first time we've seen Arduino-controlled knobs with physical resistance and a proper shake-to-clear integrated into such a project.  The Hack-a-Sketch takes a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop and adds the usual two Etch-a-Sketch rotary knobs; this time, though, they're hooked up to two potentiometers which control the onscreen drawing.

Video demo after the cut

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Arduino-enabled didgeridoo makes for bizarre music manipulation [Video]

Arduino-enabled didgeridoo makes for bizarre music manipulation [Video]

Ah, Arduino - is there anything you can't do?  Didgeridoo enthusiast Kyle Evans decided to take his instrument of choice into the wireless age, by coupling it with a Bluetooth-capable Arduino microprocessor and custom-built externally-mounted sound modules that allow the player to manipulate the sound and control various software instruments (that, again, have been custom created).  The end result looks like it should fire rockets and sounds like nothing on Earth.

Video demo after the cut

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Reverse Geocache Puzzle doles out presents depending on location

Reverse Geocache Puzzle doles out presents depending on location

Weddings are reasonably good fun for those attending, but being expected to provide an often-expensive gift can sometimes irk.  So how about giving a present that demands a little more than simply scribbling a thank-you card; that's just what Mikal did for the friend who introduced him to Arduino tinkering.  He constructed the Reverse Geocache Puzzle, a wooden box that would only be unlocked when within 2km of a location Mikal preprogrammed into it.

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Robot fish reads your tweets; new mbed microcontroller [Video]

Robot fish reads your tweets; new mbed microcontroller [Video]

Is there any better hack than making a robot fish read out Twitter messages?  If there is, don't tell Dan Ros about it: he's spent his spare time hooking up a Big Mouth Billy Bass "novelty" fish to an mbed microcontroller.  Initially the fish merely repeated .wav files from an SD card, but then they used the mbed's HTTPClient library to pull in tweets instead.

Video demo after the cut

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Arduino DAC gets case made from old hard-drive

Arduino DAC gets case made from old hard-drive

Hard-drive based media players aren't anything new, but hifi equipment actually built from old drives are somewhat rarer.  At Hifiduino they're using an Arduino microprocessor to construct a DIY preamp, and they've salvaged a deceased hard-drive to form the base and the top.

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Airpiano: flail, and the music flails with you [Video]

Airpiano: flail, and the music flails with you [Video]

We can't all be Jean Michel Jarre, but thanks to the Arduino microprocessor we can flail our arms around and make music.  Omer Yosher's "Airpiano" is a long strip of motion sensors treated as, via the Arduino, midi keys and faders; moving your hands over and through the sensors control notes or samples, as well as volume.

Video demo after the cut

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BakerTweet: @thehungry, the donuts are fresh

BakerTweet: @thehungry, the donuts are fresh

There's little as pleasant in life as freshly-baked donuts.  Or chocolate cake, or perhaps cup cakes or sourdough bread.  That's why more bakeries should consider investing in a BakerTweet: designed by Poke London, it's an easy way for bakeries to send out messages - via Twitter - that more things are fresh out of the oven.

Video demo after the cut

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NewsAlarm: smoke alarm meets NYT

NewsAlarm: smoke alarm meets NYT

For many people the sound of a smoke alarm is so unpleasant that they'll take the batteries out just to avoid it; for Jer Thorp, it's a useful notifier whenever a key news story hits the wire.  Jer rigged up a smoke alarm to sound when a keyword-identified article appears, creating the incredibly annoying NewsAlarm.

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Arduino-controlled magnetic levitation

Arduino-controlled magnetic levitation

Every week I seem to be writing about how someone has used an Arduino to fashion an interesting gadget, and today's - while not as obviously useful as, say a Pong-playing wristwatch - is still impressive.  Using an Arduino, a Hall effect sensor and an electromagnet, the microprocessor board can keep a floating magnet perfectly positioned.

Video demos after the cut

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Arduino wristwatch plays Pong

Arduino wristwatch plays Pong

One of the reasons the Arduino is so successful is because of its flexibility - there's plenty of very complex ways you can implement the microprocessor board into a project - but that doesn't mean it can't do simple tasks just as well.  Psycholinguist Franklin Chang used his Arduino to make a fetchingly homespun wristwatch.

Video overview of the Arduino watch after the cut

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Twitter Burglar Alarm tweets to let you know your TV is being stolen

Twitter Burglar Alarm tweets to let you know your TV is being stolen

I'm more used to Twitter trying to steal my time and concentration, but this latest Arduino project turns it into a protector of law and order instead.  The Arduino is used to monitor a home burglar alarm and send out status messages should anything unexpected happen; that could include when the alarm was activated or shut off, error messages regarding dodgy sensors, or just when the alarm actually sounds.

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