chipKIT Sketch: Mini Polyphonic Sampling Synth

In our hands-on review of the Digilent chipKIT Uno32, we posed the question of what the lasting appeal might be for a 32-bit Arduino work-alike. We felt it needed some novel applications exploiting its special features…not just the same old Arduino sketches with MOAR BITS. After the fractal demo, we’ve hit upon something unique and fun…

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Rebecca Black running accessory also promotes running for everyone within earshot

Last Friday, Friday we caught wind of [gvillenave]‘s running accessory inspired by Rebecca Black, and we we we so excited, we so excited to bring this to you on Saturday, which comes after Friday.

[gvillenave] came up with the idea of using a song on the annoyance level of “Friday” to encourage a runner into keeping up a good pace. The concept is simple: if the wearer is running fast, the song will speed up. If the wearer is slowing down, the song will slow down and extend the agony.

The build uses an Arduino and [ladyada]‘s wave shield coupled to an accelerometer. [gvillenave] included the code, and also wired up some LEDs to a pair of sunglasses that blink more often as the runner’s speed increases. The wave shield has a 3.5mm jack for headphones, but [gvillenave] graciously wired a speaker in, “so that you can annoy people around you, and not just yourself.” All this is packaged in a very nice 3D printed enclosure making for a great looking project.

There’s no word on the effectiveness of the negative reinforcement aspect of [gvillenave]‘s build, but we suspect it will help her get down to the bus stop a little faster every morning.

Portal turret plushie is cute and harmless

turret_plushie

As many of you are probably aware, Portal 2 was released last week, and gamers have been going crazy over it. Over the years, people have constructed replicas of their favorite in-game items and “characters”, including portal guns, companion cubes, and turrets.

After playing Portal 2 for a bit, [Jonathan] wanted a turret of his own quite badly. Rather than construct it from hard plastics and resins however, he decided he wanted to construct a cuddly turret that talked.

With the assistance of his friend [Leigh Nunan], he is now the proud owner of a plushie turret. It’s a bit smaller than you might expect, but it is packed full of turret personality. The plushie plays audio from the game, can sense motion near its face, detect if it has been tipped over, and also knows when it has been picked up. [Jonathan] added all of these features by stuffing an Arduino inside the turret, along with a wave shield for playing sounds. Proximity and motion sensing are provided via a trio of different sensors, enabling the turret to behave in the same way its in-game brethren do (minus the machine guns).

It really is a neat little toy, one we would no doubt be glad to have around. Keep reading to see a short video of his plushie turret in action.

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Motion Sensing Minecraft Creeper Will Scare the Pickaxe Offa’ya

[Chris] Writes in to tell us about his motion sensing, Arduino powered Creeper.  As if these buggers were not frightening enough in game, [Chris] had to go and make the closest (legal) real world facsimile.  The Creeper utilizes an Arduino Uno with a wave shield to playback creeper noises, PIR sensor to detect victims, and an RC car as a motorized cart. The creeper sits and waits for a signal from the PIR detector, when it sees motion the RC remote is triggered, Creeper noises played and (we assume) panic ensues.

We might have forgone the entire RC part of the toy car and found the H-bridge motor controller, but using the RC remote has potential. The whole triggering mechanism can be placed remotely allowing the Creeper to jump out from some kind of cover.

Not enough Minecraft? Check out some our other Minecraft projects if you are interested in more tree-punching goodness.

A video of the creeper in action is available after the jump!

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Motorcycle Sound Effects

[Winfred] was thinking one day, of how the world would be a different place if everything we owned had little start up and shut down sounds like our computers. Historically computers would just beep after passing their power on self test, and many PC’s still do, but in the 1980′s as machines became more powerful and home users wanted more flexibility in their hardware, startup chimes started to creep into our lives. And why not extend that little moment of joy to other objects, like adding Windows XP startup and shutdown sounds to your motorcycle.

Electronically the bill of materials looks like hobby shop catalog, featuring a Freeduino (Arduino variant), Adafruit wave shield, marine speakers, and a cheap-o mp3 amplifier from ebay. While admittedly not the cheapest way to play an audio clip [Winfred] offers a few suggestions to help drop the 100$ price tag, including just skipping it all together and mimicking the sounds with your voice.

Its a fun idea, its sure to earn some odd looks from his neighbors, and it will probably make you chuckle a little too.

Add explosive power to your hi-five

It’s been a while since there was any advances made in the field if celebratory high-five-ing. [Eli Skipp] just finished her contribution, moving the art forward by adding the sound of explosions to her high-fives. Ignore the audio sync problems in the video after the break to see her Arduino and Wave Shield based offering. It uses a flex sensor to detect a high-five and has a bit of software filtering to avoid misfires when moving your hand or setting it down on a flat surface. It may look a bit ridiculous right now because of the bulk, but we could see a sleeker, cheaper version hitting toy and novelty stores everywhere.

Less useful than a sign-language translating glove, but easier to code and some would say more fun too. [Read more...]

Laser harp

[Jared] had a bunch of lasers left over from a previous project that he put to use by producing this laser harp. The look of it reminds us of a very small Koto or perhaps an Autoharp (although the chords can’t be changed on this model).

We’re so glad that [Jared] spent the time to produce such a fine looking body for the instrument. The strings that would traditionally produce the sound on a harp have been replaced with laser diodes shining at Cadmium Sulfide photo resistors. When a beam of light is broken, an Arduino detects the change via the CdS cell and plays a sound through an Altec Lansing speaker inside of the case.

Unfortunately there’s no video available but we’re pretty sure it makes a “pew-pew” sound. There is a link to download the source code but it points to the overview page instead of downloadable code. From the fritzing diagram the CdS cells are part of a voltage divider which provides digital logic to the Arduino. That should be pretty easy to replicate even without seeing [Jared's] code and we’re sure you can source other Arduino instrument projects for tips on wave shield or midi functionality.

[Thanks The Cheap Vegetable Gardener]