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Page history last edited by nikki 10 years, 9 months ago

What sort of projects do people want to hack with at Howduino?  You're more than welcome to bring your current project along with you, but we expect lots of you will be looking for something to do.  Use this page to brainstorm ideas about what we could build.



There are loads of hardware hacking projects around on the Internet.  Add links to your favourite projects here to show the rest of us what's possible...


Beginners Projects

Ideas for projects that someone with little or no hardware or software experience could get up and running.  We'll probably run at least one of these projects in a workshop format to help people get started.

[word of caution: I've just started installing the arduino IDE on my computer and it is rather large - if you haven't already got it on your machine, make sure you leave plenty of time to get it unzipped and installed. Definitely something to do before you come to Howduino! nikki]

  • Basic toy hacking.  Bring along a simple electronic toy and make it respond to twitter like the one in my Alertuino talk [suggested by Adrian McEwen]
  • LED throwies.  If we can get hold of some of the strong magnets, these are a pretty simple but cool project [suggested by Adrian McEwen]
  • A Bristlebot
  • Camera Triggers - most decent cameras have a remote trigger function which is usually quite easy to wire up to an Arduino, then the camera can be triggered by a whole host of different kinds of sensors, or be triggered in sync with some other action
  • IR Control - many gizmo's, including some cameras, TV's, Toys ... have an Infrared remote control. If we can find what to send, an Arduino can drive the IR LEDs. It's 60p in parts, is not invasive, and can use sensors to control gizmo's. We've data for Nikon DSLRs. Look at TV-Be-Gone. Google for gizmo's IR.


Is it possible to...?

Got a rough idea of something you'd like to make real, but no idea of how to make it happen? Let us know what you're thinking and maybe someone can point you in the right direction


Comments (12)

Nicky said

at 6:00 pm on Nov 3, 2009

Just wonnering which one to do. The camera so far is my fave. :)

Helen said

at 10:46 am on Nov 6, 2009

camera trigger is my fave too.
Other ideas - I want to hack a moving toy so that if you shine a light on it it tries to move out of the light, but then if no light is shone on it for a while I want it to move towards the brightest light source, until its hide reflex is triggered again.
Or something similar with sound, if it detects a loud noise it tries to go away from the noise, yet if its somewhere quiet it will eventually start making a noise which gets louder until it triggers itself to hide again.
Bearing in mind I'm a complete beginner....

Helen said

at 10:53 am on Nov 6, 2009

I'd also like to make a plant into a theramin, any suggestions greatly appreciated. I saw the 'twittering plant' on the 40 arduino projects link above, that lets you know when it needs watering, but that's not really what I'm after. I want to make the plant into a musical instrument.

'GB' Bulmer said

at 11:30 am on Nov 6, 2009

Making something light sensitive is pretty straight forward. I'll do that in the beginners workshop.
To make something sensitive to light in a direction, will need more than one sensor. Think of a light sensor as something even simpler than an amoeba, it just knows if there is light falling on it. With more than one sensor, pointed in different directions, a controller, like an Arduino can decide where the brightest or dimmest light may be.

'GB' Bulmer said

at 11:39 am on Nov 6, 2009

I'm not sure how you want to 'play' your musical plant.

Simple techniques for 'measuring' a plant usually try to measure the plants electrical 'resistance' (which is relatively straightforward).

I haven't made it yet, but there is a 'proper' Theremin add-on for an Arduino described at: http://interface.khm.de/index.php/lab/experiments/theremin-as-a-capacitive-sensing-device/
It really does use the electrical capacitance of the body, and not resistance, so that may be a place to experiment. I could imagine the plant, and the pot, changes as moisture changes, but it should also change as people approach it.

'GB' Bulmer said

at 11:54 am on Nov 6, 2009

I use a nice circuit for detecting sound.

I extracted the circuit from this: http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html
The schematic is at: http://s3.amazonaws.com/jef.mindtouch.com/10033948/1160/0?AWSAccessKeyId=1TDEJCXAPFCDHW56MSG2&Signature=eY7oLCXboVlhW3%2bYvsZday57pwc%3d&Expires=1257508275

The useful trick it does is to 'hold' a loud noises (like a clap) for longer to make it easy to detect. It is pretty low-cost (well under £2) including microphone. I have a parts list somewhere, and could post that if it's useful.

'GB' Bulmer said

at 1:40 pm on Nov 6, 2009

For anyone with a Canon camera, I recommend you have a look at http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

It is an Open Source project to adds lots of facilities to many Canon camera models (camera's listed on the front page).
For those of a nervous disposition, you can add it by just put it on the memory card.

As well as a remote trigger, it supports 'bracketing' to improve your chances to get a good picture, and can even run a script on the camera to do even more complex things (I just use it for 'zebra' and bracketing so please don't ask me to write a script :-).

Ben O'Steen said

at 3:40 pm on Nov 10, 2009

While I'm not a massive fan of trainsets per se, the idea of hooking up a set to arduino controls seems like a really fun idea to me, perhaps even to hook the arduino up to the net (usb/ethshield). Put the controls up next to a ustream of the train online, and let the work play with it ;)

Ben O'Steen said

at 3:40 pm on Nov 10, 2009


Brendan O'Neill said

at 3:15 pm on Nov 13, 2009

My interest in attending is as a screenwriter who wants to write about some geeky kids for one project and a geek kidnapper/serial killer for another so I doubt if I'll be getting that hands on though I did do a degree in CDT education so I'm no stranger to breadboards and the like!

I will be looking for volunteers to help make things for the geek kidnapper/serial killer project i.e. someone good with remote control but I'm open to your ideas too.

'GB' Bulmer said

at 10:20 pm on Nov 16, 2009

Model Trains - Are you thinking of using n Arduino/Freeduino to control the power to a single model train, or using an Arduino/Freeduino to do DCC (Digital Command Control) and use model trains that understand it, or something else?

Chris said

at 2:55 am on Jul 3, 2010

had an idea for an IR project. a quasar laser set. each person would fire a different code. when each person is hit a light/sound goes off and the persons code is stored in eprom, at the end of the day each persons logs are uploaded and score table created. It may need some directional control for the leds but has very few parts.

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