Noise Box Synth Lays Down Some Beats

arduino_noise_box_synth

[Tim] sent us his Noise Box Synth. The box is a sixteen step synthesizer that can generate sine, square, triangle, and sawtooth waves as well as a collection of sound effects (video after the break). The hardware is simple; an Arduino, four potentiometers, four buttons, a switch, a speaker, and some LEDs. This was a gift for a three-year-old but we’d be just as happy unwrapping it ourselves. We didn’t find a schematic but all of the connections and hardware can be extrapolated from the source code.

Arduino sometimes gets a bad name around here. This project, [Tim’s] first that uses Arduino, proves that the accessibility of the platform makes it possible to jump directly into the deep end. Catch the video after the break. Continue reading “Noise Box Synth Lays Down Some Beats”

Connect A PS/2 Keyboard To A Microcontroller

The guys at Nerdkits have put together this tutorial on connecting a PS/2 keyboard to a microcontroller. Though this tutorial is written for one of the kits they sell, you should be able to apply this to pretty much any microcontroller. It is also a lesson in using interrupts instead of polling. They have several pre built examples ready to download as well as source code for the basic setup.

[via HackedGadgets]

Make An Arduino Talk To You

arduino_speech_synthesis

One of the highlights from the Music Hack Day in Berlin was the Arduino singing “Daisy Bell”. If you don’t know, this is an homage to the HAL 9000 in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey; an artificial intelligence that was taught the song in its first steps toward self awareness culminating in an attempt to kill its masters.

It’s unlikely an Arduino will every make it to the point of attempted homicide but with the available code you can find out. Sample code and an explanation of human synthesis is now available through the Cantarino project. The project facilitates the use of phonemes from the SAM Apple II synthesizer to build wave forms that make up recognizable speech on the Arduino platform. The code illustrates how to select and link together speech sounds from the library. Check out the video after the break and then get to work on your own speech synthesis. We’re waiting for someone to put together the theme song from the 1980’s Transformers cartoon. Good luck! Continue reading “Make An Arduino Talk To You”

Ball Catching Bot

Who needs a robot that can catch a tennis ball? We do. What would we do with it? Probably just throw tennis balls at it, that’s the only use we can think of. The work of University students in Kunzelsau and Vienna, it is actually a prototype for new transport systems for industrial robots. Though they don’t list any specific instances where this is a practical method of transport, we think maybe a tennis ball factory would be a good place to start. We can also envision a robot baseball league between this bot and the extremely dexterous ones we’ve covered before.

[via BotJunkie]

Touchscreen Picture Frame

touchscreen_picture_frame

Circuit Ideas Design has posted a digital picture frame project based on their 240×320 16-bit color QVGA display. We made our own digital frame from a smaller screen a while back and this is pretty much the same implementation except with a larger screen and built around the AVR family of microcontrollers rather than PIC controllers.

The thing that piqued our curiosity was the five icons silk screened on one end of the display. That’s right, this is a touch screen. The board also has a built in SD slot and a bit of flexibility for connecting to a microcontroller. It can be controlled from a 40-pin header, or from headers that are designed to work as an Arduino shield. We’d love to get our hands on one but we were unable to figure out what currency the list price was in. Has anyone used this board yet?

Add IR Control To Your WiFi Router

wrt54g_ir_receiver

[Craig] wanted to use Boxee on his TV but his computer was in a different room. He rigged up a rather dubious method of delivering the A/V signal (this is a hack in the most guttural sense). More interesting to us is his solution for a remote control interface. We’re familiar with building USB connected infrared receivers but [Craig] decided to patch one into the serial connection on his Linksys WRT54G router. Continue reading “Add IR Control To Your WiFi Router”

PSP Go Gets Butchered (teardown)

Dx1CSXo13YF3NYBa

Not due to be released until the beginning of October, a PSP Go demo unit (shipped to G4TV) has already earned itself a teardown from [iFixit]. Among what was discovered:

– Once a few screws are removed, the battery is user replaceable (as-in: no soldering iron required)

– Wireless connectivity is only supplied through a 802.11b chip (no update to ‘n’, or even ‘g’, by Sony)

– Almost all chips are EMI-shielded (making them a bit more annoying to get to)

With a cheaper version of the PS3 ready to hit shelves, one can only wonder whether the relatively high price tag on this new PSP is worth it.

Update: It seems as though no party involved wanted the info leaked this early, which explains why the video and picture gallaries (up courtesy of Google) have been removed.

Update 2: The article (linked above) and video are now available. An explanation on why Sony had them remove the items for quite some time (plus some repair manuals) was posted by iFixit.