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

Microcotroller based LED UV meter build

UV meters has been used to indicate sound level on various audio devices. You can probably find a special IC that takes care of accepting sound signal and control several outputs with comparator function. Popular chips has been LM3914/3915. But you might find that they are harder to find as more complex electronics is taking place. Danny suggests using microcontroller based UV meter instead of searching for specialized chips. He points out what requirements for microcotrollers are need in order to assemble working example. Main of those are: ADC, I/O ports, timer and interrupts. All these functions are available in any modern microcotroller. So he put together MCU based VU meter around PIC16F690. His working example incorporates 12 LEDs, but it can be easily extended with up to 24 ad … 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

Chronio – an arduino smart watch that looks great

There are many attempts to build custom smart watches. Many of them have nice characteristics, but lack the finished look. If you are going to wear it, then design and feel is very important factor. Max.K introduced his 3D printed watch version. His design called Chronio is an Arduino based custom built watch featuring Atmega328p microcontroller, Real time clock DS3231, 96×96 pixel Sharp Memory display and is powered by CR2025 160mAh battery. The watch has overcome several revisions and already has a bunch of useful features that include efficient power saving that leads to 20uA power consumption, 3 button interface (no touch screen functionality), displays time, date, temperature and battery information on main screen. Other apps include stopwatch, experimental Flappy bird game. And additionally to that case fits standard 22mm … Continue reading