64pixels are enough

64pixel

[Alex] put together this lovely minimal LED project. The square pixel matrix is soldered directly to the microcontroller in the same style as EMSL’s Micro-Readerboard. During the prototyping phase he used resistors to limit the current from the programming board. The final product doesn’t use resistors and manages the current draw by only turning on a single pixel line at a time. The illustrated assembly guide is very thorough and should help your create an equally compact device. Check out a video of it in motion below.

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Arduino MEGA

arduino_mega

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories spotted one of the first images of the Arduino MEGA. The board is based on the ATmega1280 microcontroller, which has 128KB of flash,4KB of RAM, and 4KB of EEPROM. We haven’t seen any official specs yet, but the silkscreen shows 12 PWM connections, 36 Digital I/O, and 16 analog inputs. The post mentions 4 hardware UARTs and an I2C bus as well. No release date yet, but we can assume it’s soon since the hardware was already demoed at ETech.

Related: We added an Arduino category.

Bristle bot controversy

bristle

When the Bristlebots were released back in 2007 by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, we all thought they were pretty cool. Apparently someone at Klutz did too. They have released a book, with the title “Invasion of the BristleBots”. The bots seem to be identical and the name is identical. There is no mention of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories anywhere in it. [Phillip Torrone] has attempted to contact Klutz and the book publisher Scholastic directly to find out more information.

[Windell] and [Lenore] from EMSL had this to say:

“This is the first that I’ve heard of it. Frankly, I am a bit offended. Klutz makes some nice things, and I’m surprised that they wouldn’t have contacted us, asked permission, or at least given us credit. (Locomotion by ratcheting bristles isn’t remotely new — it occurs in nature — but the name ‘Bristlebot’ is surely ours, and I don’t know of any prior implementation with a toothbrush.)”

You probably know EMSL from their other projects such as the Peggy and Meggy jr. How would you feel if a project you did was published without credit? Would you care or not?

TGIMBOEJ robot edition

robotjunk

Since we last reported about The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk, several of these boxes have begun circulating in different areas of the world. Team Hack-a-Day launched three themselves. Robots.net decided that there was a need for a specialized box just for those who hack robots, and have launched their own.

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Meggy Jr RGB portable game platform

meggy

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have just announced the release of the Meggy Jr RGB, a fully programmable handheld console with an 8×8 RGB LED matrix display. Like its big sisters Peggy and Peggy 2.0, the Meggy Jr is driven by an ATmega168 microcontroller and is made up of a bank of fully addressable LEDs. Unlike its siblings, the device boasts six buttons and the ability to be mounted inside of a custom case (or “handle set”) constructed from plastic or wood, drastically altering the look of the console. Using the popular open-souce Arduino environment, users are able to write custom software for the device. While it works great as a game console, of the many possible configurations and suggested uses, we think “disco floor for your Lego minifigurines” is the most amusing.

LED menorahs

4320_d

We’re barely past Halloween and people are already working on their next LED based holiday decorations. For Hanukkah, Gizmodo pointed out the PCB menorah pictured above. It uses a set of DIP switches to control which LEDs are lit. A couple years ago, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories put together a tutorial for building a more minimal LED menorah. Each of the nine LEDs are soldered directly to the legs of an ATtiny2313 microcontroller. Every time you power up the device an additional LED is lit. [Ori] liked the project and decided to take a slightly different approach. He used an LM3914 DIP18 LED bar driver. A potentiometer controls how many of the LEDs are illuminated.

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