Read the time and play games on this Arduino-based word clock

If you’ve been interested in creating a word clock for your home, then perhaps this neat build by “oliverb” will be the perfect place to start.

The clock, powered by an Arduino Nano along with a RTC module, is capable of displaying the time by spelling it out as you expect, or can use the letters as a matrix in order to show the time in digital format. These letter-dots can even be configured to form an “analog” clock if you prefer.

But that’s not all. The device can reveal the temperature and humidity, as well as play games like Tetris. Be sure to see it in action below!

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The BecDot is an Arduino-based Braille teaching tool for children

While instruments are available for those with visual impairment to read electronic media, they can be quite expensive, costing over $ 1,000. This is good for adults, but something more kid-friendly (and possibly replaceable) is needed to open up this world to those just learning.

For this purpose, Jacob Lacourse, whose daughter Rebecca was born with Usher Syndrome, developed the BecDot educational toy.

The device–which is now in a prototype form–senses when a plastic object (a letter block, a plastic animal, etc.) is placed in the reader via preprogrammed NFC tags, then raises the corresponding dots on four Braille pads. The prototype uses an Arduino Uno for control, and a system that he developed to raise the Braille dots as needed.

I incorporated an NFC reader (Adafruit PN532) into the device.  The idea was that the reader would read a preprogrammed tag that a parent, caregiver or educator could place on a toy such as a letter block, a plastic dog, cow, goat, etc. When the child places the toy in the reader the device will display the braille equivalent of the object on the four cells.  Of course lights and sounds would also come later in the development of the device.

Lacourse hopes to one day bring the BecDot to market for under $ 100. Until then, you can check it out in the video below and read more about this amazing project here!

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An Arduino-based doorbell/messaging system for your lab

If you work in a lab, the last thing you want is someone barging in when you’re about to complete your latest experiment or build, disturbing all of your hard work. You could use a paper note, or perhaps lock the doors, but if you’d like to inform potential disruptors of what you’re doing and give them a way to signal you, this system looks very useful.

The device, which is installed in a psychology lab’s door, uses an Arduino Uno to display an LED for “Experiment In Progress” or “Clear,” and has a backlit LCD screen below for more explanation. The screen’s backlight powers up via a sonar sensor if someone approaches, and messages can be updated over Bluetooth.

Finally, if you’d like to get the person inside’s attention, it even a doorbell feature that blinks a light and optionally beeps. For more info on the project, check out its creator’s Imgur set or Reddit post.

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