Phil from Adafruit writes, "For a limited time, whenever you buy a Circuit Playground Express the regular price of $24.95 here, on this page, Adafruit will automatically donate one to Black Girls CODE. Black Girls CODE's goal is to empower young women of color ages 7-17 to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders + creators.
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There's a detailed guide to building the LED Matrix Sand Toy at Adafruit:
These LEDs interact with motion and looks like they’re affect by gravity. An Adafruit LED matrix displays the LEDs as little grains of sand which are driven by sampling an accelerometer with Raspberry Pi Zero!
The 3D Printed handles make it easy to hold the 64x64 LED Matrix and the two buttons make it easy to switch modes or reset simulations!
The code, written by Phillip Burgess, simulates physics by calculating collisions and terminal velocity.
It looks particularly beautiful in the dark:
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Phil Torrone from Adafruit writes, "Why roam around with a boring pumpkin bucket when you collect delicious candy with a robotic Xenomorph head
? This robotic candy bucket shoots out a small receptacle to retrieve candy and bring it back into the bucket. Some 3D printing is required to create the linear actuator. Two servo motors controlled by a Circuit Playground Express, coded with MakeCode, power this project." Read the rest
Phil Torrone from Adafruit told us about Consumers Should Immediately...: "This uses a live data feed from The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) to randomly display thousands of products recalled for reasons such as fire, electrocution, entrapment, choking and a variety of other unintended dangers. Every two minutes the embedded screen lists the name of the product, the identified danger, the product manufacturer, and the original recall date. The electronics are enclosed in an actual recalled children’s unicorn boot, along with an embedded rechargeable battery, allowing for an uninterrupted stream of recalled products in any location."
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Phil Torrone from Adafruit writes, "A million internet years ago in 2008 when I was Senior Editor at MAKE Magazine, Ladyada and I went to DC Comics to meet the MAD Magazine folks for a collaboration issue with MAKE and MAD, it was the Spy vs Spy issue, volume 16 cover by Sam Viviano. Spy vs. Spy is a wordless black and white comic strip that has been published in Mad magazine since 1961. It was created by Antonio Prohias, a Cuban national who fled to the United States in 1960 days before Fidel Castro took over the Cuban free press."
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In the latest Adafruit video (previously) the proprietors, Limor "ladyada" Friend and Phil Torrone, explain the basics of machine learning, with particular emphasis on the difference between computing a model (hard) and implementing the model (easy and simple enough to run on relatively low-powered hardware), and then they install and run Tensorflow Light on a small, open-source handheld and teach it to distinguish between someone saying "No" and someone saying "Yes," in just a few minutes. It's an interesting demonstration of the theory that machine learning may be most useful in tiny, embedded, offline processors. (via Beyond the Beyond)
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John Park says: "I made this Keanu GIF player using an Adafruit PyGamer and SD card. It autoplays each GIF for 10 seconds before moving on to the next one. You can also use the L/R thumbstick controls to advance or go back."
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MakeCode Arcade is a Scratch-like programming language for writing retro-style games. In this video, John Park shows how to make arpeggio music using MakeCode arcade. In the early days of video games, the existing technology didn't allow for chords, so arpeggios were a way to get the feel for a chord by playing all the individual notes in a chord as quickly as possible.
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AdaFruit recently announced the PyBadge and the PyBadge LC (Low Cost), a single board computer with a 1.8" 160x128 color display, buzzer-speaker, and 8 silicone-top buttons arrange for handheld gaming. The video above shows the PyBadge in a 3D printed case designed by Pedro Ruiz. Read the rest
Lucian's SPUDwriter (Single Purpose User Device) was designed to help him focus on creative writing after a long day of staring at a screen in his engineering job: it uses an e-ink screen and a keyboard, and only outputs via SD card or thermal printer.
As a person who does all of their engineering work on or adjacent to a computer, the idea of coming home and spending even MORE time on the computer for creative writing isn’t super appealing. So I made an e-paper typewriter – no browser, no games, just you and your word count. It has a character LCD at the bottom for the current line you’re typing, to make up for how slow E-paper updates, and when you’re finished you can save your file to an SD card or print it all out with the internal thermal receipt printer for redline editing. I call it the SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device), hopefully the first of a couple of SPUDs. It’s built on MBED and the STM32F401 Cortex M4.
The SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device) for creating writing made with E-paper, MBED, and STM32F401 Cortex M4 [Adafruit]
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Ingo Dwelling designed a Braille D20 die and uploaded the model to Thingiverse. Here's a time-lapse of it being 3D printed by the folks at Adafruit. Read the rest
Week Eleven for The Bureau
has you returning back to the office. The HR Video Terminal has a few exit questions, as this will be your last day. While you're completing that, be sure to plug on a Brain Machine and get the Gysin DM spinning.
Adafruit Industries has created a tutorial to upgrade an ordinary trampoline by adding fun, interactive NeoPixel LEDs.
This is a really fun project that lights up when you jump on it! These trampolines are meant for exercising and jumping on this thing for just a few minutes feels like a working out so perfect for tiring out kids, just be sure to supervise them. It works really well and looks amazing at night, especially around a fire pit with a fog machine.
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Inspired by the $6,000 Alexa-controlled toilet at CES, Jonathan Gleich hacked together his own one-tenth the cost. The base of this smart throne is the Brondell Swash 1400 Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat, available for $650 from Amazon. The other components are a $46 auto flusher, $23 infrared link, and $17 Adafruit Feather HUZZAH microcontroller.
Gleich posted directions to make your own over at Instructables: "Alexa Controlled Toilet"
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