Automatic guitar strumming with Arduino Uno and chopsticks

If you like to make music, but don’t consider yourself particularly talented, YouTuber Make It And Fake It has come up with an innovative solution.

Her device uses an Arduino Uno, along with a hobby servo motor to move a pair of chopsticks that holds the pick. This means that the guitar can literally strum itself, and thanks to a small control box, she can even select from one of three rhythm patterns.

If you’re wondering what this could be used for, the answer comes at 1:40 in the demonstration video, where Make It And Fake It is shown drinking tea, playing another instrument, and even texting her mom while still producing music from the guitar. Code for the build can be found on GitHub.

Arduino Blog

Root of Trust-based automatic registration to the AWS cloud

Going to important conferences tends to concentrate the mind on what you want to talk about and what you want to demonstrate. This was definitely the case with the recent ARM TechCon in sunny Santa Clara. My team has been very busy working with our IoT products during 2017, and we were really excited when we managed to finalise a really exciting demo just in time to show it at the conference.

The cool thing about this demo was that we showed how to use our well-proven Root of Trust (RoT) injection, that we’ve repeated well over a billion times in smart phones, in a new environment: the micro controller space. Using this RoT, we have an established trust anchor in the device which can be used to sign things, says Chris Loreskar of Trustonic.

At any later date, this can then be attested by a remote entity… and this is what underpins the demo that we showed. Our demo showed a secure thermometer enrolling with its OEM cloud for the first time and then pushing sensor data to it, with the services being hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Before I describe the demo, it is worth emphasising that the RoT is typically generated in a factory, although for this demo, that step was merely simulated. The demo begins with the device being powered on for the first time and it creates a Certificate Signing Request (CSR), which the device subsequently signs with the RoT key it possesses. The CSR is needed because AWS uses MQTT for communication with edge nodes and requires that the edge devices are enrolled with the AWS X.509 PKI. For this reason, the device needs a client certificate for the TLS communication.

The signed CSR is then transmitted to AWS for an enrolment request with the fictional OEM’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). The OEM’s VPC forwards this signed statement to a Trustonic VPC (which hosts records [public statements] of all created devices), for device attestation purposes. The Trustonic VPC validates the RoT-signed CSR and returns this verdict to the caller, which subsequently asks for the device to become enrolled. Once this has happened, the certificate is created and returned to the device, where it is stored and used for subsequent secured communication of the sensor data.

Of course, this was simply a way to demonstrate the possibilities of a secured endpoint pushing sensor data to the cloud and could equally have been a fitness tracker or similar device. The fact that the device had an injected RoT enables OEMs to be sure that devices requesting to enrol with their services are actually genuine and not emulators or counterfeit.

However, having a RoT is usually not enough. Because a legitimate OEM and a counterfeit one, both using chips from the same SiP would equally pass our device attestation checks, but fear not! We solve this using our patent pending solution we call digital holograms. Read more about it here.

And for those of you who really want to know how we did this: we used […]

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Automatic trash can optimized for battery life

If you have a trash can with a lid, you’ve probably accepted the small inconvenience of opening it with your hand and foot. YouTube hacker MadGyver, however, came up with a different solution using an Arduino Nano and a micro servo to open the lid whenever someone places a hand near the unit’s ultrasonic sensor.

In order to run the device on batteries, MadGyver modified the Nano for efficiency, shedding the power LED, along with the voltage regulator. He also used a transistor to turn off power to the servo when in standby mode, and added a capacitor to accommodate for the power surge experienced when the servo starts moving.

After these mods, his trash can should theoretically function for over three years with the correct batteries! Check it out in the video below!

Arduino Blog

Here’s an automatic parking service that can park your car driverlessly


Valeo and Cisco recently announced a cooperation agreement for strategic innovation in smart mobility services at the Viva Technology conference in Paris. Their proposed product is Valeo Park4U, a connected platform and app that enables cars to park by themselves in connected car parks.

See also: How do you make parking smarter?

Here’s how it works — the driver gets out of his or her vehicle at the parking lot entrance and activates the automatic parking system using a smartphone. The vehicle then continues its journey in automatic mode until it has finished parking. With just a few clicks, it can be set in motion again to meet the driver at the designated pick-up point in the parking lot.

The vehicle drives itself inside the parking lot by combining the power of automatic parking technologies — Valeo onboard telematics and secure key systems (Valeo InBlue) and Cisco Parking Controller technologies, which equip car parks with Wi-Fi, video sensors, and artificial intelligence-based solutions.

Knowing its environment

The vehicle’s sensors, along with the information provided by the equipment installed in the car park, allow the vehicle to perceive its environment with an extremely high level of accuracy and anticipate and calculate its journey at any time up to the completion of the parking maneuver. The vehicle is able to navigate complex parking facilities in total safety, even multi-story garages, by processing all of the necessary information with the help of an integrated GPS service and the vehicle’s own sensors.

The ability of more recent cars to self-park is not new per se. More significant is the ability of the cars to drop off and pick up the owner at the entrance to the parking garage, with the car effectively acting as a driverless valet. The service is currently being introduced at a connected car park in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, owned by urban mobility company Indigo. With their parking network of over 750 cities and 16 countries, any future roll-out could be substantial.

Robert Vassoyan, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco France, said:

“With the innovative Cyber Valet Services project, we can currently connect millions of parking spaces in total safety. We are pleased and proud to combine our expertise, technological solutions, and resources with those of Valeo to together provide cities and their residents with new digital services. Partnering with a major French company further illustrates our desire to work in collaboration with the entire ecosystem and our ability to co-innovate as we pursue our commitment to accelerating the digital transformation.”

The post Here’s an automatic parking service that can park your car driverlessly appeared first on ReadWrite.


Zen and the art of automatic car maintenance

How safe are our cars, really? While we may be excellent drivers, that means nothing if the car itself is suffering from mechanical faults. Cars over a certain age are obliged to undergo MOT certification every year, but during the 12 months between checks, there’s actually no legal need to undergo regular maintenance. That’s an […]

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