Scribble is an Arduino-controlled haptic drawing robot

As part of his master’s studies at Eindhoven University, Felix Ros created a haptic drawing interface that uses a five-bar linkage system to not only take input from one’s finger, but also act as a feedback device via a pair of rotary outputs.

“Scribble” uses an Arduino Due to communicate with a computer, running software written in OpenFrameworks.

For over a century we have been driving cars, enabling us to roam our surroundings with little effort. Now with the introduction of automated driving, machines will become our chauffeurs. But how about getting us around a road construction, or finding a friend in a crowded area? Or what if you just want to explore and find new places, will these cars be able to handle such situations and how can you show your intentions?

Currently there is no middle ground between the car taking the wheel or its driver, this is where Scribble comes in: a haptic interface that lets you draw your way through traffic. You draw a path and the car will follow, not letting you drive but pilot the car. Scribble lets you help your car when in need, and wander your surroundings once again.

You can learn more about Ros’ design in his write-up here, including the code needed to calculate and output forward kinematics to set the X/Y position, and inverse kinematics to sense user input.

Be sure to check it out in the video below piloting a virtual car through traffic with ease!

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Effective IoT security must begin at the drawing board

Thomas Fischer, global security advocate at Digital Guardian, assesses the role security will play in the IoT and argues that manufacturers must return to the drawing board to find a sustainable, long-term solution.

For a while now, the issue of IoT security has been a growing problem that few want to face up to. The technology industry is renowned for its fast pace and the advantages of being first to market can often be significant, so it’s no surprise to see new IoT products being released at a furious rate. Unfortunately, this rush to market can often result in products and devices that are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

For manufacturers, the IoT is a particularly difficult nut to crack. In addition to time pressures, the demand for user friendliness – combined with highly stringent cost controls – means that, even if the will is there, finding a fast, cost-efficient security solution can be a challenge.

One major problem is that many IoT devices still use extremely cheap processing units akin to something that would have been used several decades ago, only on a much smaller scale. These kinds of processors lack both the memory capacity and input mechanisms required to conduct the regular security updates and patches that would normally take place on PCs and mobile phones.

With the lifespan of some IoT devices now expected to exceed ten years, the security issue this presents is a growing cause for alarm. The threat landscape is a highly dynamic environment and devices that can’t be patched are vulnerable not only to the threats that are out there today but also to all threats that emerge after the device has gone to market.

A new approach to IoT security is needed

Fortunately, organisations are starting to take note. The IoT Security Foundation is driving the creation of new standards and enlisting companies to work together to improve the overall security of IoT devices from the ground up. Elsewhere, the GSM Association (GSMA) has recently produced a set of major guidelines around IoT security best practice.

But in order for businesses to make meaningful security improvements, changes must take place at the design phase, not as an afterthought prior to launch. Security must also be considered from a variety of different angles including software, hardware and the network if it is to be effective.

1) Secure software: Building new devices on a foundation of robust and secure software is critical. Best practice encompasses a variety design considerations including:

Proper and secure authentication for each individual device, so organisations can quickly confirm that any individual device is the one it claims to be
The use of secure coding practices, focusing on QA and vulnerability identification as part of the development lifecycle in order to streamline security and mitigate risks
Industry standard encryption of all data flowing between the IoT device and backend servers, meaning that even if the data is intercepted, it is meaningless without the correct encryption key
Making provision for the deployment of new firmware on the device over time. Moving to more advanced and versatile processing units will allow device software to be […]

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Build an Arduino-powered magnetic drawing machine

As touched on in this video by Charlotte Dann (aka “Charbytes”), she has magnets in her fingers.

This may or may not seem like a small detail, but either way it allows her to draw interesting shapes by passing them over a magnetometer mounted to an Arduino Uno. Dann’s sensor/Arduino package passes serial data to a computer, which does the “heavy lifting,” turning the input into beautiful colors on a computer screen.

It’s an interesting project, and the build process is nicely narrated in her video. A few highlights include a problem with “plastic weld” at 4:00, and a few electrical issues around 7:30 that she eventually solves. You can see more details on this project on its GitHub page, as well as check out Dann’s Twitter account to see what else she’s up to!

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