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What is Arduino? 
Posted: 13 May 2008 10:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Introduction:

<div style="padding:15px; background-color:#EEEEEE; border:1px solid #C3C3C3; padding-top:0px">
Arduino is a physical computing platform based on a simple I/O board and a development environment that implements the Processing/Wiring language. Arduino can be used to develop stand-alone interactive objects or can be connected to software running on a computer (e.g., Macromedia Flash, Processing, Max/MSP, Pure Data, SuperCollider). Currently shipping versions can be purchased pre-assembled; hardware design information is available for those who would like to assemble an Arduino by hand.</div>

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Posted: 14 May 2008 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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A bit like Phidgets, is’nt it?

http://www.phidgets.com

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Posted: 14 May 2008 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Phidgets are more easy to use, pre built solutions, and expensive and need a PC connected to run.  Arduinos are cheaper but will still require some knowledge of electronics to get them working as they supply an interfeace between a circuit and a PC (or programmed chip)

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Posted: 30 May 2008 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Basically they are programable controllers that allow you to make an LED flash to home automation.  The device needs to be connected to a computer in order to download the programs you create.  The languages I have seen are like Basic Stamp, C+, and others that are simular.  The other aspect of the controller is the physical wiring from the controller to the various sensors, chips, diodes, devices, etc.  Buying one can be in the form of a finshed circuit board ready for you to program and connect your input/output wires, or you could just buy the chip and solder your own board together or place it on a breadboard but you will have to still wire it not only to your inputs and outputs but also to your power, memory, crystal, etc.  Not only are there Arduino boards and chips but there are also Parallax (propeller), Atmel (AVR), Microchip (PIC), and Analog Devices (ARM) and various others.  It’s been a while since I have dealt with my proto-board since I have bricked it accidentally setting the security bits wrong.

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Posted: 31 May 2008 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Arduino is a really great environment for playing with the combination of hardware and software.
In almost every project in my apartment I use a Arduino or similar device. I love it, and the way it can be programmed: USB, RS232 or even Blue-Tooth. Relatively simple to program and a lot of “options” for it.

If my FTIR table is working good, then the first thing I gonna do is add a Arduino to it to make some nice home control integrations smile

Regards,

Atmoz

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Posted: 01 June 2008 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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great NUIman to launch this Arduino thread ,
(i ‘ve been overviewing your unbelievable sensor list )

@ Atmoz,
what kind of nice home control integrations are you thinking about ?

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Posted: 02 June 2008 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well, there are tons of options to integrate a MT-table in a home control environment.

But for now, I don’t wanna tell much about it because I’m busy with such a project with my company.

If there is progress in this project I maybe put schematics and sourcecode on the forum.

You can think of controlling your lamps and other stuff in house with a 3D view of the room(s)

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Posted: 06 June 2008 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The make Controller is also pretty cool to use as well.. It’s almost right in the middle between the simplicity of the Phidgets kits and the Arduino.

http://makingthings.com/

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chris szadkowski
interactive design + technology + creative direction

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Posted: 06 June 2008 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Here’s a video of my Arduio driven autonomous robot! Only one of many many things to do with an Arduino.
The Arduino board is mounted inside the head, and it has two ultrasonic sensors and a “bump” switch to navigate with. The code is C++ and it was pretty east stuff. It’s just an IF/ELSE loop.

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Posted: 12 June 2008 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Tinkerman… that robot is great!!! smile

Once it grows up it will drive you and cat around town rasberry

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Posted: 14 June 2008 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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nuiman - 12 June 2008 01:28 AM

Tinkerman… that robot is great!!! smile

Once it grows up it will drive you and cat around town rasberry

Hey I’m working on that! Have you been peeking in my backyard? :

That’s actually the cool thing about an Arduino. You can control nearly anything with it!

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Posted: 13 August 2008 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Cool robot Tinkerman! Although as with all non-industrial robotics i fail to see the usefulness of such things just yet.

On the strength of all your comments I’ve just gone and bought one smile I’m quite looking forward to experimenting with it. I’ve also gone and bought an rfid reader/writer too so i’ll have to give that a go too.

Actually with my arduino I have this crazy idea of trying to create some kind of portable / wearable timing device that’ll just give me a small prod/shock every single minute, or several small sensations to determine the time of day.  The basic idea is to give my brain a physical sense of time to see if it would change my behavior in any noticable way (besides being slightly annoying). Then i started to wonder if you could actually translate other information into haptic sensations, such as when you receive an email or perhaps every time a sensor is triggered. Could a device actually communicate with the brain through a new form of sensation based language? It can’t be much different from learning something like semaphore, sign language or morse code.

Perhaps something like the Lillypad and a few haptic sensors would be enough to test this out.
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardLilyPad

All this stuff may seem a bit far fetched but actually, if you could work out a way to easily convert this information in a physical form without invasive surgery, it’d be really cool to be always on and to have extra information being sent to you.

So err yeah...I guess arduino looks like fun for crazy inventive types smile

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Posted: 13 August 2008 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Right, sorry to get a little off track here but I’ve been thinking a little more about the brain and communication. It just occurred to me that actually the brain is extrmeley capable at communicating, and in partiulcar with associating muscle movements with letters.  Anyone who’s been using computers as long as I have will know that it is quite easy to write long paragraphs of text with absolutely no visual feedback. In fact to prove a point I’ve written this entire reply with my eyes closed looking away from the screen. What this shows is that my brain is able to very reliably and quickly communicate through language by converting what i want to say into a series of fine motor actions.  On the face of it, this doesn’t sound suprising, in fact we seem to take it quite for granted. But if you move away from your computer, you find that it is still just possible to touch type in thin air using only your memory of the key positions. Think about that for a second… your brain is actually communicating through fine muscle movements. What’s interesting though is the fact that the movements which have been associated with each letter of the english language are based on the random layout of a qwerty keyboard and that touch typing is a skill that can be learned at almost any age. So within a relatively short amount of time, your brain has mapped letters of a language to an arbitrary set of fine muscle movements.

It follows therefore that if you could some how monitor and record those movements, or create an entirely new language of fine movements which is capable of being captured by hardware sensors, then your brain can in theory communicate with the device. We do this already with blind touch typing, only the sensors happen to be the keys on a keyboard. But what if the sensors and language were based on something which you could easily wear, such as an armband or wrist watch. You could send emails, write twitter posts and communicate online quite easily and quickly with minimal hardware. However, communication is a two way process, which is where this gets interesting… What if a simple piece of small portable hardware could pass information to you at any time of day without using visual or audio signals.  I guess what I’m getting to is, is it possible to create a wearable device and haptic language which allows a computer to comunicate information directly to the user without the use of audio or video. I’m convinced that this is quite possible and that actually, the technology to do it is highly available and probably quite cheap.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this idea or should I just take some more of those special pills the doctor gave me?

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Posted: 13 August 2008 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Nade - 13 August 2008 10:58 PM

Right, sorry to get a little off track here but I’ve been thinking a little more about the brain and communication. It just occurred to me that actually the brain is extrmeley capable at communicating, and in partiulcar with associating muscle movements with letters.  Anyone who’s been using computers as long as I have will know that it is quite easy to write long paragraphs of text with absolutely no visual feedback. In fact to prove a point I’ve written this entire reply with my eyes closed looking away from the screen. What this shows is that my brain is able to very reliably and quickly communicate through language by converting what i want to say into a series of fine motor actions.  On the face of it, this doesn’t sound suprising, in fact we seem to take it quite for granted. But if you move away from your computer, you find that it is still just possible to touch type in thin air using only your memory of the key positions. Think about that for a second… your brain is actually communicating through fine muscle movements. What’s interesting though is the fact that the movements which have been associated with each letter of the english language are based on the random layout of a qwerty keyboard and that touch typing is a skill that can be learned at almost any age. So within a relatively short amount of time, your brain has mapped letters of a language to an arbitrary set of fine muscle movements.

It follows therefore that if you could some how monitor and record those movements, or create an entirely new language of fine movements which is capable of being captured by hardware sensors, then your brain can in theory communicate with the device. We do this already with blind touch typing, only the sensors happen to be the keys on a keyboard. But what if the sensors and language were based on something which you could easily wear, such as an armband or wrist watch. You could send emails, write twitter posts and communicate online quite easily and quickly with minimal hardware. However, communication is a two way process, which is where this gets interesting… What if a simple piece of small portable hardware could pass information to you at any time of day without using visual or audio signals.  I guess what I’m getting to is, is it possible to create a wearable device and haptic language which allows a computer to comunicate information directly to the user without the use of audio or video. I’m convinced that this is quite possible and that actually, the technology to do it is highly available and probably quite cheap.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this idea or should I just take some more of those special pills the doctor gave me?

..sure how much time ya got? lol

You could indeed bypass eyes, ears, etc. ( it’s been done ) but the process of cognition still happens in the brain.

I can see a benefit to humans with missing or disabled senses. As far as something wearable to communicate with the environment, just use the 5 senses you have unless they’re broken! smile

Here’s an interesting article on a prosthetic arm that responds to nerve impulses:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071111182522.htm

It would take a lot more than the humble Arduino to tap the noodle in this manner, but you could certainly have some fun experimenting on yourself with that timed stimulus idea. You could probably get a write up in WIRED mag!

Geek stimulates self on the hour every hour for one year using micro-controller. Now like a walking clock of nervous tics!

RFID tags are fun too. Put one on a bracelet, necklace or your keychain, connect the sensors throughout the house to the Arduino, write some code and have every controllable device around you respond to your presense in whatever way you decide as if you were the emperor of all you survey!!!

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Posted: 14 August 2008 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Nade - 13 August 2008 09:11 PM

Cool robot Tinkerman! Although as with all non-industrial robotics i fail to see the usefulness of such things just yet.

On the strength of all your comments I’ve just gone and bought one smile I’m quite looking forward to experimenting with it. I’ve also gone and bought an rfid reader/writer too so i’ll have to give that a go too.

Actually with my arduino I have this crazy idea of trying to create some kind of portable / wearable timing device that’ll just give me a small prod/shock every single minute, or several small sensations to determine the time of day.  The basic idea is to give my brain a physical sense of time to see if it would change my behavior in any noticable way (besides being slightly annoying). Then i started to wonder if you could actually translate other information into haptic sensations, such as when you receive an email or perhaps every time a sensor is triggered. Could a device actually communicate with the brain through a new form of sensation based language? It can’t be much different from learning something like semaphore, sign language or morse code.

Perhaps something like the Lillypad and a few haptic sensors would be enough to test this out.
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardLilyPad

All this stuff may seem a bit far fetched but actually, if you could work out a way to easily convert this information in a physical form without invasive surgery, it’d be really cool to be always on and to have extra information being sent to you.

So err yeah...I guess arduino looks like fun for crazy inventive types smile

Perhaps you’ve seen this, but it’s a great example of the ‘sensation based language’ you mention.

http://www.k2.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/perception/HapticRadar/index-e.html

As for using shocks to give your brain a sense of the time of day, that seems a little extreme! I think your brain already does have a physical sense of time. That’s why you wake up 5 minutes before your alarm goes off (at least I do) and why you fall asleep at night!

On a much simpler level I would love a patch I could wear against my skin (under my watch for example) that would vibrate when someone called or text my phone. Quite often it’s not suitable to have the ringer turned on and I also don’t want to have to carry my phone in my pocket all the time. But if I have my phone on silent and it’s not in my pocket then I have no idea who might have called etc Even with it in my pocket I sometimes don’t feel it vibrate.

I’m sure it would be easy to have a small sensor (perhaps it would work in a similar way to those mobile phone holders that light up when you are about to receive a call) that would detect activity from you phone, whether it be as a paired device or work purely on proximity, that would do this for me. It wouldn’t have to do much, just a particular type of vibration for a call, and another for a text. I know it’s not exactly world changing but it would mean I wouldn’t need to miss a call if I was hiking for example and had my phone in my backpack.

Of course, you could have different vibration patterns for different people in your phonebook, and even have text converted into morse code and THEN you’d be using a much richer ‘sensation based language’…

Is this possible with Arduino? I just might make myself one!

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Posted: 18 August 2008 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I’ll admit the general idea seems a bit far fetched but I still think it might have some value. Of course have have eyes and ears which are wonderful tools for communication, but the problem is that you have to wear some clunky glasses to be able to receive information from a computer and there’s still no way of commanding the computer without a traditional keyboard interface or poor voice recognition. The same goes for ear pieces, yes they’d work but they’d be uncomfortable to wear all the time. What’s missing therefore is a small wearable computer which can communicate with the user without the use of sight or sound.

I see this device as something like a thin arm band which can be comfortably worn under clothing. It’s always on and it’s always connected to the internet. The device comes with an array of feedback devices which can be computer controlled to provide a rich haptic language for communication. When each feedback device is turned on, the device will stimulate the nerves in the region of the skin through a small electric current or perhaps a tiny vibration or prod. Everytime the computer wants to send a letter to the user, it’ll activate the feedback devices which correspond to the letter or message, giving the user a small series of sensations which with a bit of patience and practice the user will soon be able to fully comprehend. Once the user is able to comprehend this new language, the device can be programmed to send you messages whenever you want.  In addition, you could also add a method of communicating back with the computer, which would allow for two way communication.

For example, you could connect it to a service like twitter, facebook or msn so that you can receive messages no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Or you could connect it to your email box or phone sms, to alert you when you have a new message and to have that message read to you. Or perhaps going back to the crazy time idea you can just have it keep you updated on the current time, or to buzz you before your favorite tv show starts. Or you could have it tell you the current value of shares on the stock market, or have it tell you that you’re amazing every minute of the day if you so desired.  Basically, you would have a device which can always communicate with you and send you useful information while you’re wearing it. 

I think we should try to take advantage of our amazing brains a bit more, and that we should start by experimenting with new ways which would allow us to communicate more naturally. So I think a good starting point would be an arduino, a laptop and some simple feedback devices which could be used to create a simple method of alerting you to certain events,e.g. to alert you 5mins before a tv program starts or when you receive an email or text. Then if that works reasonably well, try and scale it up, add more feedback devices and see if you can get a much richer language. It might keep you busy for a weekend or two anyway smile

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