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.

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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!

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Recreating the Apollo Guidance Computer Display and Keyboard with Arduino

Nearly 50 years ago, mankind made the giant leap of being able to travel to the moon. To celebrate, ST-Geotronics has come of with a replica of the Apollo Guidance Computer Display/Keyboard, or AGC DSKY as it’s abbreviated.

The display was prototyped on a huge breadboard assembly, along with an Arduino Mega, then finished using a custom PCB and Arduino Nano.

3D-printed parts are used to form the housing, in addition to a variety of electronics. These include an actual GPS unit, along with a custom three-segment LED assemblies to display “+” and “-” as needed.

Be sure to check it out in the video seen here, showing off its interface, as well as an MP3 unit that plays back a 1962 JFK speech about going to the moon.

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Build a block balancing game with Arduino and servos

If you’re tired of classic tower building games like Jenga or stacking cards and would like a new challenge, “mr_fid” has come up with a game where you balance blocks on a tree assembly. The nicely crafted device then moves around to throw the blocks off using three servos and push rods.

Everything is controlled by an Arduino Nano that randomly selects the intensity of the movement and which color of block to be stacked, displayed on a circular arrangement of programmable LEDs.

Once a block has been added, a button in the middle of the LEDs is pushed and tree movement starts, potentially destabilizing the player’s work.

Nice Arduino project. Featuring an Arduino Nano controlling 3 servos to move the tree. Firstly the “Roll” button is pressed to give you a colour and amplitude once the correct bit has been placed on the tree the “Shake” button is pressed and the tree moves around. Any bits which fall off are given to the person whos go it was! the idea of the game is to get rid of all your bits first. If when you press the “Roll” button you don’t have the correct colour OR the strength is to high then if you wish you can miss your go.

You can check the game out in the first video below, or see the second video for information on how to avoid jittery servos in this type of setup.

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Add colorful effects to your 1980s boombox with Arduino and LEDs

While ’80s-style boomboxes have their own unique character, per hacker “Dancorp’s” excellent mod, it’s clear that they could be improved dramatically with programmable LEDs.

This build uses a capacitive filtering arrangement to feed line out signals from the boombox into an Arduino Uno, which then controls three LED strips.

Two of these strips are arranged around the speaker cones, emitting beautiful LED effects to go along with the music playing, while the third can be used to light up the built-in VU meters.

A schematic along with Arduino code are available on Dancorp’s write-up. It looks like a fairly accessible project, especially given the extra space available in electronics from that era.

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