Growing algae with an Arduino

algae_grow

We’ve seen automated grow boxes of all shapes and sizes, but all were for growing plants. [Jared] over at Inventgeek wanted to do something similar for his algae. He started off with an Arduino-based solution that allows the controlled pulse of LEDs connected to his standard bioreactor as a prototype. Once he determined his proof of concept worked, he began work on a design based on the Arduino Pro Mini that has more advanced features such as temperature monitoring and algae culture density monitoring via some fancy IR voodoo. The code is open source and the hardware is easily obtainable, all that remains is the desire to grow algae.

The incredible breakfast machine

platform21-jamming

A lot of us skip breakfast in the morning, be it because we don’t have time to make something, don’t have the patience, or for some other reason. Yuri Suzuki and Masa Kimura are aiming to make your breakfast a little easier, a little quicker, and a lot more interesting. Their latest project is a Rube Goldberg-like machine that does everything from fry your eggs to brew your coffee. The coolest part about this project is it was built with the help of the public. The two designers put out an open invitation for people to come help in constructing the device at Platform21, a publicly accessible design forum in Amsterdam. Now if someone would tie this into an alarm clock, we could all wake up to the smell of toast and coffee instead of the super loud 140db alarm clock or the confusing (albeit effective) wake up machine.

Tweetidor, the tweeting humidor

tweetidor12-300x225

As cigar aficionados will tell you, cigars should be stored in climate controlled humidors to keep them in best condition for smoking. Most of the time a humidor is just a simple air-tight box with a hygrometer attached, which measures the relative humidity inside the box. Feeling as though he needed more control over the environment he kept his cigars in, [Justin] created the Tweetidor, a humidor that tweets its current temperature and humidity. Yes, you guessed it; the project is built around an Arduino. It’s a simple, useful project that is well documented and would be fun to recreate if you’re into cigars (and not tired of Twitter or Arduinos yet.) Combine this with the laser lighter and you’ve got a pretty nice setup.

Arduino command interpreter shell

F77LQEPFYTCLILR.MEDIUM

A lot of people like fancy GUIs and nice graphics, but some of us just feel more at home in a command prompt. [nevdull] is one of those people. Instead of just using the Arduino dev tools that are available for download, he wanted the ability to shell into his Arduino, so he created AVR Shell. AVR Shell is a UNIX-like shell that allows you to “log in” to your Arduino/AVR and see what’s really going on; letting you read registers, scale the CPU speed, create/edit/delete variables, and even set up timers. The shell is even user-customizable! Those of you interested in Arduino shells might also check out bitlash, another open source CLI. Someone ought to hook this up to the Internet enabled Furby and get Flite compiled on there, letting us shell into a Furby from miles away to make it talk.

[Thanks Leesam]

Classy hard drive speaker set

hdd_speakers

Hard drive speakers aren’t anything new, but they have yet to be done very professionally. Most hard drive speaker hacks are awesome, but aren’t meant to be a showpiece. [Oliver] took the opportunity to put together a set of 20GB drives and a custom-built acrylic case with a horizontal VU meter up front. The project is well-photographed and documented and can be recreated without the use of laser cutters or other expensive tools. The only thing it’s missing is an iPod dock!

Related: Giant bulb VU meter

Firefox master password recovery tool

firemaster

It’s great in this day and age that browsers can remember our passwords for us, allowing us cross-site security without the hassle of memorizing a million different random passwords. It’s great, that is, until we forget our master password. Fret not, though; there is a solution. The folks over at Lifehacker show us how to use FireMaster to recover forgotten or misplaced Firefox master passwords. Perhaps a better solution is to just store those tricky passwords where nobody will find them.

XMPP and home automation

xmpp_office_lights

[Matthias] from Intuity Media Lab put together a nice bit on controlling office lights with XMPP from his Android phone. In the article, he explains the components involved in the project, why he chose XMPP, and lists everything you need to replicate it. The project makes use of a wide variety of tools and libraries, weaving together code from multiple languages to achieve its goal. Overall, his project is a welcome change in a world full of Twitter-based solutions.