Robotic playing card dealer made with cardboard

Ruben, aka “Ruubz0r,” a mechanical engineering student, was tasked with building a smart object. As he enjoys card games, he decided to make a playing card distributor.

The resulting device uses a single servo to slide cards off of a deck, along with a stepper motor and ultrasonic sensor to aim it at the human recipient. An Arduino Uno provides the brains of the operation.

The system is made out of wood and cardboard, and while it may not be ready for casino use, it’s a great example of what can be done with readily available materials. Check it out in action in the video seen here!

Arduino Blog

RFID-controlled dry cleaner machine displays glowing leaves

While you may not give dry cleaning conveyors much thought, Andrew Quitmeyer and Madeline Schwartzman’s “Replantment” exhibition at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery uses them in an entirely new way, along with glowing silicone molds of leaves from all over the world.

The machine detects when an RFID tag attached to a laundry ticket is nearby, then moves over a lighting arrangement to display the multitude of glowing leaves.

An Arduino and a SparkFun Simultaneous RFID Reader are used for control, with relays taking the place of a foot switch to start and stop the conveyor motors.

You can check it out in action below, or if you are in the New York area, you can see the artwork in person until February 17th.

Arduino Blog

Light up the elements with this periodic table display

If you took chemistry at any point in your life, you were exposed to the periodic table, which organizes different atomic structures by their atomic number. It’s an amazing chart, demonstrating just how much “stuff” our world is made up of!

To show off the element collection he shares with his girlfriend, elemental hacker “Maclsk” built a light-up periodic table display with square cubes where each sample could be stored.

What makes this really amazing is that the display uses WS2812B LEDs to light each cube individually. This allows it to produce fun color effects and even categorize the collection by different aspects, like element group, discovery year, or their state at certain temperatures.

Modes are selected via a Bluetooth phone app. Be sure to see it in action in the video below!

Arduino Blog

Automatically open doors with Arduino!

Tired of doing the mundane task of opening your door? This hack from Sieuwe Elferink takes care of that for you, using an Arduino Uno for control.

When someone comes within 50 cm of an ultrasonic sensor attached to the door, the Arduino uses an H-bridge relay to power a windshield wiper motor, which opens and closes it via a linkage setup. Another sensor is implemented on the opposite side of the door, allowing hands-free travel both ways!

Want to build your own? You can find instructions here, while code is available on GitHub.

Arduino Blog

Create an Arduino Mega-powered, cable-cutting machine

What do you do when faced with measuring and cutting a bunch of cables? If you’re Edward Carlson, you “simply” build a machine to do it for you!

While it may not save time on this run, at least on the next occasion that he needs a few cables cut, he can just program his device to snip everything to size!

His setup uses an Arduino Mega with an LCD/button shield to tell the machine how long to snip each wire, then employs a stepper motor to move the cable between two rollers to the correct length. When in position, a high-torque servo actuates a (normally) manual pair of clippers to cut it to size.

Be sure to check out the project explanation in the video seen here, or skip to around 5:30 to see it in action!

Arduino Blog