The Data Monster by Lucas Ainsworth is a robot arm that can move in any direction, actuated by servo motors. As he puts it: „Datamonsters are creatures that respond to you. They can see you and respond to your presence and movement. In addition to responding to immediate interactions, they can also be influenced by events happening in the world outside.“
Lucas’ Intel Galileo code for the Arduino IDE to get you started can be found on GitHub. With the code you can calibrate and control the monster and get basic reactions to objects.
A video from Lucas’ first test with the Data Monster.
To make it way easier to attach the required components easily onto the Intel Galileo board we now created a Galileo shield for it and produced it with our Fritzing Fab service. We used the new Galileo shield template that is part of Fritzing.
Another great use of shields for creative electronics especially for offices and shared flats is the toilet hack that we created during an internal hackathon event at the office.
Well, it most certainly is very useful: who doesn’t know the situation when you really need the toilet only to find that it is – occupied. Again. But those times are over now. Your mobile phone becomes even more useful and indispensable as the toilet hack app enables you at any given time to see right from your seat if the toilet is occupied or not. If your workmate is taking too long, just use the app and the toilet hack knocks the door for you.
What is needed to bring it to life? Use the Spark Core Microcontroller and the according shield made by us. Further ingredients are: some cables, a tilt sensor, a little solenoid motor and something to hold the motor.
Attach the tilt sensor to the shield where it says lock and the motor where it says knock. Then just get creative and build something to hold the motor in place to knock at the door; we used a styrofoam block for it, made a hole for the motor and just taped it to the door.
You can now very easily add touch and gesture control to your electronic projects! How? With Hover!
Hover is a development kit that lets you control your Arduino projects in a whole new way. Wave goodbye to physical buttons. Hover detects hand movements in the air for touch-less interaction. It also features five touch-sensitive regions for even more options.
The little capacitive touch sensitive PCB fits a standard breadboard. The gesture detection range is up to 5 inches / 13 cm and it needs a 3.3V power supply. For $39 you can order it here.
Hey hackers, engineers and designers! Your chance to WIN A TRIP TO SPACE!
The DIY page Hackaday.io offers a maker competition where you can actually win a trip to space (or take the cash option of nearly $200,000 instead)! Even if you don’t win the Grand Prize, to be left with a milling machine, 3D printer, a flight to Japan or or or is not too bad either.
But what do you actually have to do? The hackaday guys wondered about that too: „We’ve been vague up to this point on purpose, because spouting specific categorization stifles creativity. We want you to Build the Future — not fit inside of a tiny box made of disqualifying restraints.“ So your official task is to build the next evolution of hardware.
Yet another very interesting project is up on Kickstarter: The Printoo project consists of various modules with connections to join them together in order to “give intelligence to everyday objects”. Nothing new so far, but: the circuit boards are made of a very thin, flexible and therefore bendable, low power plastic plate with all the wiring printed on it with conductive ink. This now enables us to use Arduino & co in new areas that were not possible before. You can acquire an Atmel Atmega328 module, very thin sensors, batteries and internet modules… basically everything you need to bring your 3D objects to life.
For 8 years now South Korea is the number 1 of the OECD nations – concerning the suicide rate. Alone 1090 suicides were committed by jumping off the Mapo Bridge in Seoul.
The company Cheil wanted to put a stop to all those deaths and came up with a concept: “Our idea was to light up the railing by installing lights that react to a persons movement.” Using LED lights and ultrasonic sensors messages like “Where have you been?” or “What is troubling you?” as well as pictures of happy people appear and follow the person along his or her way on the bridge, keeping company – and as it seems also effectively keeping people from jumping off the bridge. After the opening of the installation in September 2012 the average suicide rate fell by 77%.
The Bridge of Death has become the Bridge of Life.
Ever needed to print out that one document very urgently but a printer was nowhere near to be seen? No more hectically running around to find the closest copy shop because here it is: a tiny mobile print robot! Yay! Finally.
Unsurprisingly it is not (yet) as fast as your average giant home printer and the resolution of 96 x 192 dpi has still room for improvement but this is a promising start.
To use it, you simply place it on a sheet of paper with the tip pointing at the spot where it should start the printing process. It will then roll over the paper by the help of a wheel system.
Even without mobile use I’d be happy to call that little printer my own – who wants those big and ugly printers anymore, filling up our rooms, constantly getting clogged with dust far too quickly and going haywire way too soon and too often? And those cables!
“Make everyone an inventor” was littleBits mission, when they started their project in 2011. For far too long have only large companies, programmers and engineers been able to use technology in a creative way and whereas 3D printing and software development have made a big step forward in the last years, tools to build complex electronics weren’t as quick to come by. For two years littleBits worked on their attempt to “democratize electronics” and enable makers, artists, students and designers to build their own gadgets easily.
So far they have developed several, colorful modular kits to tinker with; let yourself get inspired by the project ideas on their website. They created for example the Synth Kit, an analog synthesizer with different modules that you can simply stick together like Legos.
This week they announced the release of the Cloud Module for later this year which will be, as they say, “the easiest and fastest way to create internet-connected devices” and also to connect them amongst each other (keyword here is of course the Internet of Things) without any soldering or programming. Sounds yummi, right?