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

An Arduino keeps this motorized unicycle balanced

Riding a unicycle without the faceplant.

Nick Thatcher built this self-balancing unicycle using an Arduino UNO, a IMU (gyroscope) from Sparkfun, a 24v 350w geared motor, a wheelbarrow wheel, and a handful of other basic parts.

The IMU senses when the unicycle tilts too far forward or backward, the Arduino does some calculations, and then the motor compensates. The rider still has to put a little effort into maintaining balance (and not falling sideways), but it wouldn’t be much fun if the Arduino did all the work.

Via Hack a Day

Arduino for beginners

Learn about microcontrollers without using breadboards

The Arduino system has done much to help introduce makers both young and old to the world of DIY electronics. Much lauded for its remarkable versatility and ease of use, all it takes are a few components and you’re on your way to new and exciting programming pleasures.

For those just starting out who find breadboards and wires a little daunting, the Arduino Esplora is a hand-held unit already fitted with a number of sensors, controllers and connections all ready to go right out of the box.

“…a ready-to-use, easy-to-hold controller that lets you explore the infinite possibilities you have in the world of Arduino, without having to deal with breadboards or soldering. Shaped like a game controller, it’s designed to be used out of the box without extra parts since it comes with many sensors and actuators already on it.”

Built around the same core as the popular Arduino Leonardo, the Esplora boasts an accelerometer, microphone, analog joystick, button array, light sensor, temperature sensor, linear potentiometer and audio buzzer. Although it lacks the facility to connect extra components like we are used to seeing with Arduino shields, there are two TinkerKit inputs and outputs that will enable further expansion.

Additional modules such as LCD displays are in the works, and knowing the Arduino community, it won’t be long before there is a whole host of enhancements available. Eager beavers can get their hands on an Arduino Esplora right now for under €42.

Arduino Esplora via Engadget

3D printable folding Arduino lab

A versatile case to keep your next Arduino project protected and organized.

This folding Arduino case was designed by Jason Welsh. It holds an Arduino and a breadboard, and it has two drawers for all the parts you need for your project. When you finish your project, just fold it up and use it as a project box to protect your hard work. Last but not least, the box is fully 3D printable, with the small exception of the hardware.

The files are available on Thingiverse so you can make your own.

Via Makerbot

Hummingbird is a ‘pre-Arduino’ for kids

Making it even easier to get into electronics

We all know and love Arduino, and what it has done for the rapidly growing world of DIY electronics. Yet the complexities of Arduino can be a bit much for young makers, and education enthusiast Tom Lauwers just may have the answer to harness that creativity while it is still fresh.

Heralded as a kind of “pre-Arduino”, the Hummingbird kit from Birdbrain consists of a custom controller that connects to a range of motors, sensors and lights that allow kids to build their own functional robots and more.

“…the Hummingbird controller is designed for kids who have never touched electronics or programming before.”

It’s really easy to get started making fully functional electronic devices, but don’t take our word for it. Click through to the source where Tom talks it all through in a neat clip featuring an animatronic cardboard dragon made by some 10 year old kids. Now that’s seriously fun.

Hummingbird via Engadget

DIY DNA with Arduino

PCR thermal cycler using off-the-shelf parts

This is another one of those projects that makes me think “who cares what it does, it looks awesome and I want one.” In this case it turns out to be far awesomer than I could have imagined: it’s an $85 DIY Arduino-powered DNA-sequencing device. Complete with comprehensive build instructions so you too can sequence your own genome. Amazing!

Ponoko sponsored Arduino project educates kids on DIY electronics

Arduino fun for kids at Swannanoa school

Nice guy Mark Beckett (contributor to the wonderful Shed magazine) got so hooked on Arduino that he decided to pass on his contagious enthusiasm to a group of 10-12 year old school children.  Swannanoa school was all too happy to accept his time and the donated Arduino controllers, and the pupils were all too happy to play with electronics that let them create sparks of magic.

Mark approached Ponoko for the design and laser cutting of the board for mounting the controllers.  The engraved names of sponsors aren’t purely for a feel good factor; the idea is to direct students to their sites for further learning about technology related topics.

Pupils were given task sheets with instructions that had them experiment with various controllers, such as One Wire temperature sensors, photo resistors, opto-isolators, I2C communicators and others.  To encourage further learning during this school holiday project the students were even given Arduino homework – now that’s dedication not to be sneered at.

The course was a success: no one fell asleep in class, most of the students decided to buy Arduino kits for home, and there is demand to have the project repeated next year.   Judging by the smiles on the kids’ faces, they didn’t mind spending their holiday time in the classroom.  No doubt, there were some rather relieved parents who didn’t have to worry about entertaining their offspring over the break.

Ah, it’s always nice to be involved in a positive shaping of young minds.

TED: Massimo Banzi talks Arduino

How Arduino is Open Source Imagination

Arduino has arguably done more to change the DIY electronic landscape than any other open source device. We’ve often encountered this modular hardware wonder, popping up as an integral component in many 3D printers as well as being at the core of some of our favourite DIY projects.

In the trademark affable manner that he is famous for, Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi talks through the ever-widening scope of this versatile system.

“(Arduino is) …the equivalent of sketching on paper, done with electronics”

From the humble beginnings in an Italian cafe to an incredible diversity of projects being run by all kinds of hackers, makers, enthusiasts and professionals… whether it’s the pre-teen kids tinkering in their bedrooms, high-school students sending satellites into orbit or multi-million dollar global corporations pushing the boundaries of scientific discoveries; Arduino can be found at the heart of a new revolution.

Watch this neat 15 minute TED talk overview from Massimo Banzi, on Arduino’s role in the new paradigm of Open Source Imagination.

via TED

Arduino controlled automatic pot stirrer

Ben Heck lets loose in the kitchen

If there’s anything Ben Heckendorn is known for, it’s his unique approach to stirring the technology pot. In a recent DIY frenzy, Ben does this quite literally as he tackles the onerous task of preparing the perfect noodle.

No longer a slave to the stove, Ben can now sit back and… relax? (well, whatever it is that Ben’s head does to unwind) while his laser-cut contraption rhythmically stirs those bubbling noodles.

Heights are fully adjustable to fit various pots and cooking utensils. There are also some neat little 3D printed pulleys that keep the stirring mechanism moving, and even a temperature probe so you can keep track of just how hot things are getting. Monitoring temperatures and controlling the movement happens via an Android app that Ben’s programming buddy Jesse put together, which communicates via Bluetooth to the Arduino-equipped pot stirrer.

Click through for Ben’s signature excitable run-down of yet another DIY technological marvel you never knew you needed.


A beautiful necklace made with LilyPad Arduino

Making Arduino look beautiful.

Many amazing projects have been made with Arduino, but “beautiful” is usually not the first word that springs to mind. Even when electronics are used in a fashion-specific context, the aesthetics tends towards a high-tech Star Trek kind of feel, so it particularly impressive to see someone achieve a completely different, more traditionally feminine, aesthetic.

The Crystal Necklace by Sylvia Yang uses a LilyPad Arduino, which is specifically designed for integration with textiles, along with LEDs and a variety of traditional jewelry components.