This pocket-sized gadget helps build positive habits

Want to read more, remember to take your vitamins, or even take out the trash? With the “Dory” Arduino-based tracking device from YouTuber YellowRobot.XYZ, now you can!

Dory–which comes in both a circular and smaller square version–uses an NFC reader to sense tags attached near the object that needs work. When you complete a positive action, you simply tap the nearby tag and the small gadget will light up its corresponding LEDs via an Arduino Pro Mini.

If you’d like to know where you are on your habit count, this is displayed with a button in the middle, and can be reset by holding it down. Beside from tracking habits, Dory is a great reminder of what can be done with NFC tags!

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Make a vintage-style video poker box with Arduino

When you’re the best man at a wedding, you could get the groom a nice knife, shaving kit, or some other sentimental and/or useful item. If, however, you’re Imgurian “msx80,” you make a video poker machine with an Arduino!

The game itself is controlled using five switches to hold or change cards, along with a deal and bet button. The play field is shown on a small LCD screen via I2C, which uses custom characters to reveal the different card suits.

Everything is housed in a nicely decorated wooden box, giving it a retro, almost steampunk feel. As you can see from the Imgur photos, it’s certainly a unique display piece and looks like something that would be fun to play. And yes, the groom was happy with the gift as well!

Arduino Blog

Controlling a TV with head movements

While most of us take being able to remotely control a television or other appliance for granted, for the millions of people with some form of disability, this can present a challenge. In order to help those with limited mobility, Cassio Batista along with Erick Campos have come up with a system that translates head movements into infrared (IR) control signals.

In the project’s video seen below, Batista shows off how he can move his head to turn a TV on and off, as well as control channel selection and volume. A webcam captures these gestures, which are passed on to a Linux-based C.H.I.P. board that translates the movements using OpenCV. Finally, an Arduino Uno receives these commands over Bluetooth and signals the TV as needed via IR.

In addition to television, this system could easily be applied to other IR-based appliances, making lives easier, or perhaps simply eliminating a physical remote altogether.

Arduino Blog

World Maker Faire New York: Call for Volunteers!

Planning on attending Maker Faire New York this month? We’re looking for volunteers to join the Arduino team for the weekend—staffing tables and displays, assisting with one-on-one demos, and providing technical assistance when necessary.

Those who help us out will receive a day pass so you can explore and enjoy everything happening around the faire grounds. Water, snacks, and a t-shirt will be provided, and we’ve even prepared a small gift to show our appreciation at the end of the your shift.

If interested, please fill out this questionnaire and we’ll get back to you soon! We also have a paid position available for a NYC-based photographer, who will be responsible for taking pictures of our booth, Arduino projects, and talks. Sound like you or someone you know? Send us a note at events@arduino.cc

Arduino Blog

SKELLY the Skeleton Robot

While it might seem like a long time away to most people, if you’re looking to make an amazing automated display for Halloween, it’s time to start planning! One idea would be an automated skeleton robot like SKELLY.

This particular robot was built using an Arduino Mega, a Cytron PS2 Shield, a modified sensor shield, and a wireless PS2 controller. SKELLY is equipped with a total of eight servos: six for bending his shoulders, elbows and wrists, one for running his mouth, and another for turning his head. There is also a pair of LEDs for eyes, and a small motor in his head with a counterweight that allows him to shake.

SKELLY is programmed using the Visuino visual programming environment. As seen in the videos below, the robot–which is the author’s first–is quite nimble, waving and moving along with an automatic piano!

Arduino Blog