With all the hands-free dispenser designs cropping up out there, the maker world could potentially be headed for an Arduino shortage. We say that in jest, but it’s far too easy to use an Arduino to prototype a design and then just leave it there doing all the work, even if you know going in that it’s overkill.
[ASCAS] took up the challenge and built a cheap and simple dispenser that relies on recycled parts and essential electronics. It uses an IR proximity sensor module to detect dirty digits, and a small submersible pump to push isopropyl alcohol, sanitizer, or soap up to your hovering hand. The power comes from a sacrificial USB cable and is switched through a transistor, so it could be plugged into the wall or a portable power pack.
We admire the amount of reuse in this project, especially the nozzle-narrowing ballpoint pen piece. Be sure to check out the build video after the break.
Hopefully, you’re all still washing your hands for the prescribed 20 seconds. If you’re starting to slip, why not build a digital hourglass and watch the pixels disappear?
Continue reading “An Arduino-Free Automatic Alcohol Administrator”
We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty tired of singing two rounds of “Happy Birthday” or counting Mississippi to 20 each time we wash our hands. It’s difficult to do it without thinking about the reason why, and that’s not good for positivity. If you’d rather have your spirits lifted every time you hit the sink, you need a better soundtrack.
[Deeplocal] made a soap dispenser that gathers one of your top 20 tunes from Spotify and plays it for 20 seconds while you lather. The best part is that the songs don’t start at 0:00 — the code is written to use the preview clip of each one, so you get the algorithmically-determined best part.
Scrubber is a pretty simple build that uses a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a speaker bonnet powered by a LiPo, but we dig it just the same. The switch is adaptable to pretty much any soap dispenser — just stick two pieces of copper tape where they’ll make contact when the pump is pushed down, and solder wires to them. Check out the demo after the break.
We’ve often wondered how much more water we’re using with all the increased hand-washing out there. Adjusting to this apocalypse is arduous for all of us, but the environment is still a concern, so try to remember to turn the water off while you’re not using it. Is anyone out there working on an easy way to adapt home faucets to add motion or foot control? Because that would be awesome right about now.
The nice thing about Scrubber is that you can focus on washing your hands and doing so properly. If you’d rather watch a digital hourglass to pass the time, light up your lockdown lavatory lifestyle with LEDs.
Continue reading “Rock Out While You Knock Out Germs”
Due to social distancing, gym rats throughout the world are turning everyday objects into exercise equipment to keep up the routine without actually hitting the gym. A particularly pleasing version of this are these concrete dumbbells whipped up by the unfortunately named hacker [ShitnamiTidalWave].
If you happen to have half a bag of concrete — quick set or otherwise — out in the shed you can follow the lead on this one. But even if you’re not the kind of person who has “arm day” on your calendar (most of us here in the Hackaday bunker do not) this hack is still worth your time. Mold making is one of the uber-useful skills you should have in your hacker toolkit and [ShitnamiTidalWave] has done both an excellent job of building a mold, and of explaining the process.
Raw material for this one couldn’t be easier; each mold is made out of plywood, 2×4 stud, and nails, along with handles made of 3/4″ PVC pipe. The studs were ripped down and used to create the 45 degree chamfers at each edge. Mold-making veterans will tell you that release agent is a must and in this case rubbing the insides of the molds with wax made it a snap to pry the wooden forms off of the set concrete.
Concrete has a tendency to crack as it cures so if you’re casting large pieces like this touch-sensitive concrete countertop you might want to throw in some fiber reinforcement to the mix. If you’re keen on seeing some of the more impressive mold-making skills at work, check out how metal parts are cast from 3D-printed molds and how a master duplicates parts using silicone molds.
Mandalas are meditative objects that mean many things to myriad religions. Psychologist Carl Jung equated them with the concept of the Self as a whole, and put forth the notion that an urge to create mandalas signifies a period of intense personal growth.
[Sander van de Bor] took up the mandala challenge at the beginning of 2020 and decided to create several of them in free-form electronic style. If you’re looking for a healthy new way to deal, [Sander] has step-by-step instructions for making your own light-up tree of life by wrangling a wad of wires into a trunk and branches. Big bonus if you already find soldering to be soothing.
[Sander] starts by forming a circle from brass rod. This is the base for the rest of the build and will tie all the LED grounds together. The tree is twisted from a cluster of enameled copper wires that are eventually soldered together to distribute power from a coin cell out to the six SMT LEDs.
You could argue that the tree should be ground because it’s rooted to Earth, but you could also argue that the circle should be ground because the circle of life is a grounding force. Something to think about while you design and build your own, eh?
If electronic sculpture becomes your new thing, explore all the angles with the master manipulator, [Mohit Bhoite].
What’s the worst thing about winter? If you’re as indoorsy as we are, then static electricity is probably pretty high on the list. It can ruin your chips, true, but you always wear a wrist ground strap when you handle those, right? But away from the bench, every doorknob and light switch is lying in wait, ready to shock you. If you had an anti-static ring like [LaPuge], you could be watching a tiny neon bulb light up instead of the air between your poor finger and the discharge point.
The ring itself is printed in TPU 95A filament for comfort and flexibility. There isn’t a whole lot to the circuit, just a neon bulb, a 1MΩ resistor, and some copper tape, but this piece of functional jewelry has the potential to spark up plenty of charged conversations. Zap your way past the break to see it light up against a door handle.
If you want to light up neon bulbs all year long, build a field of them and wave them near your Tesla coil!
Continue reading “One Anti-Static Ring To Delight Them All”
A few years ago, a professor at the University of Delaware started a project called Go Baby Go. It’s designed to bring fun and affordable mobility to small children with disabilities. The idea is to modify Power Wheels cars to make them easier for disabled kids to operate, and to teach as many people as possible how to do it in the process. The [South Eugene Robotics Team] is taking this a step further by replacing the steering wheel with a joystick that controls two motors with an Arduino Nano.
In the first instance you replace the foot pedal with a push button. The plans also call for a PVC frame, a high-backed seat, and a seat belt to make it safer. The end result is a fun ride the kid can control themselves that functions a lot like a power wheelchair, but is much more affordable. It has the added bonus of being a fun conversation piece for the other kids instead of a weird scary thing.
They also replace the front wheels with 5″ casters, because being able to spin around in circles is awesome. Their project shows how to do the entire conversion in great detail, starting with a standard ride-on car that comes with some assembly required. Motor past the break to check out a short demo with an extremely happy child tooling around in a fire truck.
If these kids get too wild, they’re gonna need traction control for these things.
Continue reading “Converted Car Lets Toddlers Tool Around”
This talk will probably make you a bit angry. You might be upset with some of Mitch Altman’s views or his hyperbole in describing them. Or you might be upset because you totally agree with his views and feel the same disappointment he does with many (ab)uses of technology. Either way, the point of his talk, which was given at the 2019 Hackaday Superconference, is that we all should think deeply about what we choose to do with our time and our talents. Consider yourself challenged.
The video below is packed full of colorful ideas, along with some colorful language. Let’s take a look.
Continue reading “Mitch Altman Asks How You’re Using Your Life”