Simple Computer Gesture Control with Arduino and Python

As outlined in this Circuit Digest write-up, with the right hardware, you can now control your computer using hand gestures. While interesting, this kind of technology can be a little expensive. But if you’d like to augment your notebook or laptop via simple gesture capabilities without breaking the bank, B. Aswinth Raj has your answer in the form of an Arduino Uno and two ultrasonic sensors.

His system places the two sensors at the top of a screen, which are read by the Uno. This data is then passed on to a Python program running on the host computer that allows for actions such as play/pause, fast-forward, and volume control while watching videos.

Given the nature of the setup, there’s no reason why more sensors or programming couldn’t be added for further control, perhaps as shortcut “keys” for your favorite design software package! You can read more about the project here, and see a demo of it below.

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Use all your old-school game controllers with the turn of a dial

IT professional (and Arduino cap fan) John Milner had a minor problem. While his retro gaming setup could emulate a wide variety of systems and games, it was still missing the tactile feedback of the original controllers. Rather than “submit” to playing with only an Xbox 360 controller, he developed the Multijoy Retro Gaming System that can change gamepads with the turn of a knob using an Arduino Micro.

The resulting system lets him not only choose the original controller for each game, but if you want to mix things up and see how Super Mario Bros. would feel on a PlayStation 1, or even a Genesis controller, you can do that too! It also features shortcut buttons on the new console.

The Arduino presents itself as two joypads with native plug-and-play support for Microsoft Windows 7+ and Linux/RetroPie. The selector is simply a ring of LEDs with a potentiometer in the center, using the knob will move the lit LED to the desired controller pictured in that position, a simple system with an unexpected bonus of being a little retro in its appearance.

You can check it out in the video below, and see more of the project on his blog and on GitHub.

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ASPIR is a full-size, Arduino-powered humanoid robot

Building robots can be difficult, and if you want to construct something humanoid, designing the mechanics alone can be a significant task. ASPIR, which stands just over four feet tall, looks like a great place to start.

John Choi’s 3D-printed robot can move its arms, legs, and head via 33 servo motors, all controlled by an Arduino Mega, along with a servo shield.

The documentation found here is excellent; however, it comes with a warning that this is a very advanced project, taking several months to build along with $ 2,500 in parts. Even if you’re not willing to make that commitment, it’s worth checking out for inspiration, perhaps parts of the ASPIR could be adapted to your own design!

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Linux support comes to Arduino Create

We’re excited to announce a new update to the Arduino Create web platform, which will enable fast and easy development and deployment of IoT applications with integrated cloud services on Linux-based devices.

What this means is that users will be able to program their Linux boards as if they were regular Arduinos. Multiple Arduino programs can run simultaneously on a Linux board and programs can communicate with each other leveraging the capabilities of the new open source Arduino Connector. 

Arduino Create Cloud now allows users to manage individual IoT devices, and configure them remotely and independently from where they are located. To further simplify the user journey, we’ve also developed a novel “out of the box” experience that will let anyone set up a new device from scratch via the cloud without any previous knowledge by following an intuitive web-based wizard

The initial release has been sponsored by Intel® and supports X86/X86_64 boards. As a reference implementation, a simplified user experience has been designed for the AAEON® UP² board, although other platforms are already supported by the Arduino Create Cloud platform, such as the Intel® NUC, Dell Wyse®, Gigabyte™ GB-BXT.

In the coming months, we plan to expand support for Linuxbased IoT devices running on other hardware architectures. Until then, you can find more information here and follow the tutorials below to help get you going:

 

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This Arduino-controlled LED glove can ‘stop’ moving objects

While you might not be able to actually manipulate time, this glove by YouTuber “MadGyver” certainly makes it appear that way. His glove, shown in the video below, uses a gigantic LED controlled by an Arduino Nano to allow objects such as a fan, water falling from a shower, and a spinning top to stop, slow down, and even reverse.

The trick is that when the LED’s frequency is aligned with that of the observed moving subject, it lights it up in the same position over and over, making it appear to pause. Frequency is adjusted by rolling one’s hand via an accelerometer, or a potentiometer mounted in the base of the glove can also be used.

If you want to build your own, instructions can be found here and the Arduino code and schematics are available on GitHub.

Arduino Blog