Is an LED bow tie ironic or awesome?

led-bowtie

We’re not exactly trend setters when it comes to wardrobe. And so the recent revival of the bow tie as an accepted dress item confounds us. We’re even more confused by [Arichter's] LED bow tie. Sure, the hobby electronics part of it is a win… but when it comes to fashion is he making fun of the bow tie wearers, or setting a new standard?

The tie is made of three PCBs, which lets the wings sit on a bit different plane than the center. He populated the boards with about 100 RGB LED modules which he desoldered from a couple of meters of LED strip. They draw a lot of juice and to supply that he uses a boost converter. A standard Arduino UNO board controls the lights.

If you’re still sold on the bow tie form factor we’d like to direct your attention to this long-tie version. It doesn’t just show patterns, but plays a wicked game of Tetris with you as the game board.

[via Reddit]

chipKIT Uno32: first impressions and benchmarks

Following Maker Faire, we’ve had a few days to poke around with Digilent’s 32-bit Arduino-compatible chipKIT boards and compiler. We have some initial performance figures to report, along with impressions of the hardware and software.

[Read more...]

KiwiDrive HouseBot

Forskningsavdelningen, a Swedish hackerspace, had a hackathon last weekend and the KiwiDrive HouseBot is one of the items that resulted from the group effort. They set a goal to use standard, easy to obtain parts, so that the robotic platform would be accessible for reproduction by individuals or at other hackerspaces. The three-limbed device rolls around on a triad of omni-directional wheels -which are probably the hardest part to source but you can always print your own. An Arduino Uno was used as the hardware interface, driving the three stepper motors for locomotion.

It’s not pictured above, but the fourth generation of the little guy also includes a webcam. The camera rides in the center of the body and is mounted on a servo. This makes it possible to turn the camera, meaning there’s no real front or back to this design. Future plans include adding an on-board computer (this is larger than it appears) and implementing emoticons on an 8×8 LED matrix, presumably so you can tell how the bot is feeling today.

[Thanks KiwiRay]

Next generation Arduino manufacturing problems?

[The Moogle] just got his new Arduino Uno; wow, that was fast. What should have been a happy unboxing turned sour when he took a close look at the board. It seems that it exhibits several examples of sloppy fabrication. The the lower-left image shows unclean board routing, a discolored edge, and a sharp tooth sticking out from the corner. The shield header shown in the upper left is not flush with the board, resulting in a weaker physical union and a crooked connection. There are vias that look like they’re not be centered in the solder mask, and areas where raw copper is exposed.

It saddens us to see this because the original Arduino boards were so well manufactured. Keep in mind that this may be an isolated case, and as of yet the company hasn’t been given the chance to swap out the board for one that has passed a more rigorous quality control inspection. But if you’ve already ordered one of your own, take a close look and make sure you’re satisfied with it upon arrival.

Not sure what we mean by next generation Arduino? Take a look at the new hardware that was recently unveiled.

Update: Here’s a direct response from the Arduino blog.

Update #2: [Massimo Banzi], one of the founders of Arduino, took the time to comment on this post. It details the organization’s willingness to remedy situations like [The Moogle] encountered and also links to the recent Arduino blog post.

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