Tilt sensor toy is simple and mesmerizing

[Eiki] found himself in need of a project for his “simple machines” class. Another project had brought him in contact with some relatively cheap MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes.  He had the idea to create a simple tilt sensor based circuit that would light whatever LED was at the bottom.

He’s using an Analog Devices ADXL202E accelerometer chip to sense tilt and an  LM3914 bar-graph driver to light the displays. He’s taking the voltage-proportional-to-accelleration output of the accelerometer, filtering it through a capacitor, then feeding it to the bar-graph driver. It may not be the most technically difficult project, but the result is mesmerizing and elegant.

3 axis Accelerometer with LED bar displays

[Viktor] doesn’t remember why he started this project. He doesn’t know what he had in mind in the beginning, nor what the intended use was.He knows he wanted something interactive with blue LEDs.  What he ended up with, was a 3 axis Accelerometer with a pretty cool display that sits on his desk to amuse visitors.

Constructed using a PIC16F887 for the brains and a Freescale MM7361 3 axis  accelerometer, you can pull the schematics from his site. The code is available on demand as well.

[via HackedGadgets]

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Gesture controlled robotic hand

Inspired by the control system for the AMP suits in the movie Avatar, [Feelpavan] built this gesture controlled robotic hand. So far there is functionality for the wrists to rotate and bend, as well as for the fingers to flex (but not individually). This is accomplished by three servo motors on the hand assembly. The instructions for the hand are gathered from your own hand, through the use of an accelerometer and an Arduino that he built himself. Check it out after the break.

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WiiMote + iPhone

Yo dawg, we heard you liked accelerometers… Apparently people have been wanting this for a while. We’re not completely sure why, so we’ll wait and see what gets done with it. [Ubiq_01] has connected a WiiMote to his iPhone and is using it to control and OpenGL application. He has released a tutorial (which seems to be down currently) if you want to try to reproduce it yourself.

[via Makezine]

PhonePoint Pen

Some grad students at Duke University have been working on a new tool for cell phones equipped with accellerometers. The software called  Phonepoint Pen, allows you to write with your phone in the air. Though we don’t find the applications they mention very practical, we could see this being very nice for application navigation. If you could program a 3 dimentional gesture to load certain apps, that would be nice.

Magic wands for Disney


[NRP] sent us a few of his projects. The most notable of the bunch was a school project funded by Disney. They were to make some kind of interactive entertainment for people waiting in line for rides. They decided on a wand style interface. Each wand has an accelerometer, an IR LED for tracking, an XBee unit, and a few buttons for interaction. They wrote some custom games and a multi person white board to test it all out.  You can see those in action, along with a space themed pong game in the video after the break. Even though this was funded by Disney, you can still find all the source code and schematics, available for free.

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Segway and input filtering


[Kerry] is building a segway type vehicle for a senior project. Though it doesn’t appear to be done yet, there is some good work finished. As with any balancing bot, it relies heavily on input from a gyroscope, and at least in this case, an accelerometer. That data can be very messy. The sensitivity of the sensor means that people often end up with vibrating or drifting in their projects. [Kerry] has put some work into finding a method of smoothing that results in fast, accurate, but smooth reaction. You can see a video of some comparisons between methods after the break.

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