Developing the Grillino in 24 Hours

grillino

[Mastro Gippo] hit Shenzhen back in April and organized a challenge for himself: could he develop an electronic device from idea to product in only 24 hours? The result is the Grillino, a simple clone of the Annoy-a-Tron: a small, concealable device that makes chirping sounds at random intervals. It’s name was derived from a mix of the Italian word for a cricket—”grillo”—and, of course, “Arduino.”

Shenzhen was the perfect setting for his experiment, especially because [Mastro Gippo] was in town for the Hacker Camp we mentioned a few months ago. The build is pretty simple, requiring only a microcontroller, a battery, and a piezo speaker. What follows is a detailed journey of dizzying speed through the production process, from bags stuffed full of components, to 3D-printing a test jig, to searching for a PCB manufacturer that could fulfill his order overnight. Video and more below.

In his haste to arrive at a finished product, [Mastro Gippo] chose a faint-sounding buzzer, which turned out not to be piezo buzzers at all, but small speakers. Though this and other problems prevented him from completing the final version in under 24 hours, we’re impressed with [Mastro Gippo’s] enthusiastic sprint through this build and with his stories of the Shenzhen environment. Check out his blog for the rest of the project details and some fond memories of his trip abroad.

13 thoughts on “Developing the Grillino in 24 Hours

  1. OK, so it’s not a circuit to help barbecuing.

    It would be nice if there was more creativity in naming Arduino compatible circuits. Everything -duino -ino is getting old.

    1. I’m inclined to agree… to my mind, you just have to produce a device with -duino in the name and it is by definition an Annoy-a-tron… Maybe the hackosphere should reserve the “duino” suffix for controllers based on the duino, rather than on any project that just happens to have a slight “duino” flavour…. or maybe I’m just turning in to a grumpy old fart…

        1. Indeed, as mastrogippo says, its name is a play of words linked to the current italian politics: “grillino” is the common name for a supporter of a certain italian political party. They are considered quite an… noisy ;-)

  2. This looks like what I did back 20 years ago with a 556, thermistor for changing tone, cds photocell for changing delay between tones, a few caps and resistors, a piezo speaker, and 4 AA batteries.

      1. I built something similar, probably equally long ago. Mine was a siren with a delay, (again using a couple of 556 timers), it ran off a PP3 you pressed the button to start it, tucked it above the ceiling tiles and many minutes later the siren went off. It was made from Vero (perf) board, and resistors and caps recovered from old TV tuners as I recall. This was back before the days of the mobile phone.

        These days people would just assume it was someones annoying ring tone, and ignore it :¬( …. actually… there is no doubt about it, I *am* turning in to a grumpy old fart.

  3. Fun Fact: in Italy “grillino” means “follower of mr. Grillo, head of the Movimento 5 Stelle party”.

  4. Finally, someone is making sound and not directly writing to the registers (although I plan to play very short chiptunes, because at 4am it sounds creepy)

  5. better to say 24h from idea to prototype, students generally do this kind of stuff in an afternoon. So not bad for a self taught beginner

    1. Well, it took less than 4 hours going from idea to a working prototype, including walking to the markets to buy components and having lunch… And I wouldn’t call myself a beginner, but thanks for your valuable opinion.

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