You may have seen surveyors (or maths students) running around with measuring wheels, counting the clicks to measure distances. [AGBarber]’s digital measuring wheel works in much the same way, but with the convenience of a measurement you can read off a screen.
The design is simple, and relies on the outer wheel of the device turning a mouse encoder wheel. This is read by anArduino Pro Mini which runs the show and records the requisite measurements. It then drives an SSD1306 OLED display which shows the measurements to the user. It’s all wrapped up in a 3D printed housing that makes it easy to roll around the small handheld device.
The wheel’s maximum measuring length is 9999.99 cm, or just under 100 meters. Given the size of the device, that’s probably more than enough, but you could always build a bigger version if you wanted to measure longer distances.
Measuring wheels make it easy to measure along curves, and are just generally fun to play with as well. You could certainly use one to determine whether flat tyres are making your speedometer lie to you. Or, you could dive into this great talk on measurement from [Adam Savage].