Monitoring three phase power usage with Arduino and keypad shield

This project is second iteration of DIY Life. Previously he has built a single phase power meter using similar technique. He wanted to keep things very simple, os he used only non-contact current measurement only by using Talema AC1030 current sensors on each phase line. They are capable of capturing 30A nominal and 75A maximum current. In order to measure power accurately a voltage measurements should be taken. But for sake of simplicity, voltage is only taken as 220V. The only focus is to measure current correctly which depends on burden resistor selection and measurement drop voltage through Arduino analog input. Input current then must be calibrated with known load. Rough estimate can be made with 100W light bulb. If you are considering building this three phase power meter, be … Continue reading

Arduino based high altitude balloon data logger

One of the more interesting experiments you can do above surface of earth is fly balloons in to stratosphere. Fun thing is that whole experiment isn’t very expensive and can give tons of fun. Probably most expensive thing here is balloon itself. The other parts can be used as you desire. Spaceshark have shared his experiment and build details on his instructable. He used Arduino Uno for logging various basic sensors detecting latitude, longitude, altitude, wind speed. He wanted to keep things simple and self contained, because at heights above 60000 ft some sensors start failing, e.g. GPS. Batteries are also another issue due to cold air above. He used authentic Arduino to make sure it works bellow -40 degrees Celsius. Fake ones can fail even at 0 degrees. Same … Continue reading

Safer self driving solution for autonomous tricycle

We constantly hear the news that self driving cars are trying to concur the roads. But something always goes wrong in various situations. This is no surprise, because self awareness require cutting edge technologies, high processing power and good AI. This is no doubt we will see a breakthrough in this area, but while we wait, why not going simpler with somewhat more accessible technology – bicycle. In fact tricycle because two wheels and AI would be too challenging. The crew from University of Washington with Professor Tyler Folsom in front has been developing a self driving tricycle. They’ve chosen an Arduino for prototyping the brain. This is because it is accessible everywhere and demonstrates that things doesn’t have to be complicated and powerful to achieve goals. The autonomous tricycle … Continue reading

Arduino based smart wristwatch that accepts gestures

Smart watches normally have small displays and so controlling them can be trickier than smart phones or other devices. There are also lots of situations, when you need to control the watch, but both of your hands are occupied. Darthmouth team has been looking for a solution to this problem and came out with WristWhirl smart watch prototype. They integrated smart control capability in to watch strap where they put 12 IR proximity sensors and piezo vibration sensor that would accept biomechanical gestures. The watch is equipped with 2’’ TFT display. Inside the watch an Arduino DUO is ticking. As a smart watch it can do lots of things including Google map navigation, music player where user can scroll through playlists with simple gestures. No watch would be great without … Continue reading

Affordable EEG biosensors to control physical things

It seems that biofeedback is a thing of future. By having brain activity feedback, you can train meditation, attention, improve sleep, control gadgets, artificial limbs, carts for impaired, and even computer I/O. Everything starts with proper biosensor and controller. Biological signals are very low voltage – microvolts. In order to distinguish them from noisy environment, a precision electronics is required. Brain activity signals are somewhat different from myograms or ECG, they can be analyzed as power spectrum that represent brain activity phases like Alpha, Beta, Theta. There has be a numerous modules developed to acquire brain signals. If you want low to develop sensors by yourself, you could grab a Neurosky platform which is a small size PCB with sensor and microcontroller interfaces. With it you can read raw EEG … Continue reading