There are a lot of cool Arduino projects floating around Eugene Maker Space. Â You can do a lot in a hurry with an Arduino, and programming is so easy it almost feels like cheating! Â Here are a couple simple projects I’ve done.
I had less than a day to design and build this prototype from scratch and fly to California to demo it. Â Normally I would design and build up a custom board, program a micro in assembly, make a 3D model of the mechanical design, and machine a custom case. Â None of that was an option, so I rushed out and picked up an Arduino from Radio Shack and decent looking junction box from Home Depot. Â Even having never used an Arduino before, within a few hours I had a completed product. Â A few LED’s and an ink jet printed face plate and the result was remarkably professional. Â Unfortunately due to the commercial nature of this, I can’t show too much of the final result.
This application is a perfect fit for an Arduino. Â There are 4 LED’s that flash and fade to give user feedback. Â There is a button input, as well as a light sensor. Â An op amp and trim pot are used to amplify the output of the photocell. Â There is also a relay to switch a line voltage device. Â This is soldered together on a proto shield sitting on top of an Arduino Uno and powered by a 9 volt battery.
Here is another example project. Â This is an Arduino Mega 2560, which has a lot more I/O Â and memory than the Uno. Â Connected to it is an 16×2 LCD display from Adafruit. Â What is notable about this display is it has an RGB backlight, meaning you can change the color to anything you want, including fading from one color to another. Â This is also a ‘negative’ display, so the characters light up instead of the background.