Boing Boing 

Arduino starter kit and course bundle

This Arduino kit ($85) from Seeed Studios includes an Arduino and a bunch of components, plus a 25 hour course on basic Arduino concepts.

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New component adds cellular networking to DIY projects

electron

The Spark Electron is a small component that enables devices to connect to the Internet where there is no WiFi or Bluetooth.

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Teen makes Arduino compatible with rechargeable battery

Quin Etnyre is one of the coolest kids I know. He saved my butt a few years ago when he was my "assistant" at an Arduino workshop I gave.

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The best introductory Arduino book just got better

arduino-book

Arduino is on open-source electronics prototyping platform that lets you make interactive stuff without having a degree in electrical engineering. For about $25 you can buy a credit card sized circuit board that has input connections (for buttons, knobs, light sensors, microphones, humidity sensors, fart detectors, Internet signals, etc) and output connections (for servo motors, LEDs, buzzers, speakers, stepper motors, vibrators, etc). You write programs on your computer to tell the Arduino how to process the input signals and how to activate the output components. This program is uploaded to the Arduino's microprocessor, making it self-contained.

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Click your Bluetooth heels three times to call an Uber

iStrategy Labs' Dorothy is a mobile app and Bluetooth-based switch (called the Ruby) that slips into your shoe. Click your heels together three times and it triggers an action on your smartphone like calling an Uber.

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Kickstarting Tinyscreen: thumbsized color screen from the Tinyduino people


Ken writes, "We're a small hardware company based out of Akron, OH in the US in the US that make tiny electronics and have a popular platform called the TinyDuino (a small Arduino compatible board)."

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Desklamp comes alive with Arduino

Add a few servomotors and an Arduino to a desklamp to make an appliance that seems to be alive.

Pinokio is an exploration into the expressive and behavioural potentials of robotic computing. Customized computer code and electronic circuit design imbues Pinokio with the ability to be aware of its environment, especially people, and to expresses a dynamic range of behaviour. As it negotiates its world, we the human audience can see that Lamp shares many traits possessed by animals, generating a range of emotional sympathies. In the end we may ask: Is Pinokio only a lamp? – a useful machine? Perhaps we should put the book aside and meet a new friend.

Pinokio

Arduino for Beginners, by John Baichtal

John Baichtal is a contributor to MAKE online, and is good at explaining complex things to newbies. He's put this talent to use in his new book, Arduino for Beginners, which assumes nothing from the reader except for a willingness to learn. (Arduino is a inexpensive electronic prototyping platform.)

The Arduino projects in the book are presented in full color: a laser/infrared trip beam to protect your home from intruders, a Bluetooth doorbell, an LED strip coffee table, a plant-watering robot, an ultrasonic cat toy, a bubble-blowing robot, and more.

The book goes far beyond teaching you how to make cool things with Arduino. His chapter on maker tools (hand tools, power tools, laser cutters, 3D printers, design software, etc.) alone is worth the price of the book.

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Arduboy: tiny Arduino-based video game player

Kevin Bates made this credit card sized video game player using a Barebones Arduino and a tiny OLED screen. It's just 1.6mm thick.

Arduboy: The Interactive Digital Business Card

Tekken Piano

Mc Cool hooked up a MIDI-capable piano to the control inputs of classic fighting game Tekken, thereby synchronizing the on-screen action and musical performance. Then he recorded video of him doing online battle. He won!
This is the final product of my project for interaction design. Took the whole semester, to get this to work but it was worth it. How it works: The piano sends a Midi-Signal, which is transferred to an arduino. According to the signals, the arduino triggers transistors, which then trigger inputs on a paewang PCB (This is the PCB of an arcadestick). The paewang is connected to an Xbox360 (you can also use it on PS3).
The TekkenPiano [Vimeo]

Make a drawer that opens with your secret knock

A couple of years ago inventor Steve Hoefer wrote a how-to project for MAKE called the Secret Knock Gumball Machine. You record a special knock pattern by rapping your knuckles against the case. After that, only people who enter the correct knock pattern get a gumball.

Recently Steve made a Secret Knock Drawer Lock and wrote a tutorial for Adafrut’s learning site.

Steve remarks, "I’ve built this project a dozen times and every single time I finish it, it makes me incredibly happy to see it work. Even though I know every detail of it, it still feels a little bit magical." Indeed!

Below, a video of the lock in action.

3D printed, trainable robot arm with Arduino controller

Joly sez, "Maker navic09 demos a prototype trainable robotic arm, made from 3d printed parts, an Arduino, and Adafruit analog feedback servos. Inspired by the Baxter robot, this arm can be trained to move with your own hands. Once the train button is pressed, you move the arm and gripper as needed while the Arduino stores the positions in EEPROM. After that the arm will replay the motion as needed."

The gripper and arm are on Thingiverse.

Trainable Robotic Arm 1 (Thanks, Joly!)

AutoDesk announces free electronic circuit design app

DC Denison of MAKE says:

Autodesk today expanded its suite of free 3D tools by partnering with Circuits.io to launch an electronics design tool: 123D Circuits.

The program allows users to create virtual breadboard-based designs to build and experiment with circuits. A virtual Arduino board can be added to the design, and the code can be edited in a browser window and simulated. The code can also be edited collaboratively (“a Google Doc for electronics” Autodesk claims).

The program also provides hooks that allow users to have the virtual boards professionally manufactured.

Autodesk Partners with Circuits.io to Create Free Electronics Design Tool

Arduino Workshop: A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects

The Arduino is a low cost microcontroller that was made for artists and designers to add interactivity to their projects. If you are interested the Arduino microcontroller but have no experience with it, buy an Arduino and a copy of Getting Starting with Arduino. If you know a little about Arduino and are looking for project ideas, get Arduino Workshop: A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects. You'll learn how to use the Arduino to control motors, interface with GPS an IR remote control, and connect to the Internet.

Sample projects:

  • A digital thermometer that charts temperature changes on an LCD
  • A GPS logger that records data from your travels, which can be displayed on Google Maps
  • A handy tester that lets you check the voltage of any single-cell battery
  • A keypad-controlled lock that requires a secret code to open
  • An electronic version of the classic six-sided die
  • A binary quiz game that challenges your number conversion skills
  • A motorized remote control tank with collision detection to keep it from crashing

Arduino Workshop: A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects

Arduino-controlled pelvic-floor strength-tester, with light-up penis

Last September, Doctor Kristen Stubbs -- a roboticist who makes sex-gadgets for her Toymaker Project -- released a video (NSFW) demonstrating her prototype pelvic-floor strength-tester, called "The Hammer." The Hammer has a bulb that is internally inserted, containing a squeeze-sensor, and a penis-shaped, light-up readout that protrudes between the wearer's legs. The harder the wearer squeezes, the more the readout lights up.

Right now The Hammer has two modes: the test-your-strength game, where the more you squeeze, the more it lights up; and a demo mode which cycles through all of the colors of the LEDs.  Soon I hope to connect the Arduino to my Android phone, and then I’ll be able to do even more cool things!

I’ll be following up on this with more technical details over the next few weeks. (Update, 10/11/12: If you would like to hear me talk about how I made The Hammer, you can see some excerpts and my slides from my technical talk at Arse Elektronika 2012.) My plan is for The Hammer to become an Open Hardware project.  This is still very much a prototype, but I would be thrilled if anyone else wanted to build their own.

The Hammer: A Muscle-Controlled, Light-Up Dildo (via JWZ)