One of the many kinds of machines that we have never made before is a cocktail robot. But recently, after being invited to participate in Barbot 2010, we put together this little drink mixer. Cocktail robots are a funny breed. No two seem to work the same way and many (like ours) have few enough moving parts to barely count as robots at all. The granddaddy cocktail robotics event is Roboexotica (for which you can read about last years robots here, but we’re showing off our machine tonight and tomorrow night, much closer to home at the DNA lounge in San Francisco. Our machine is named “Drink Making Unit.” (Descriptive, isn’t it?) It has three fluid paths, and can produce cocktails with up to three components. It has an integrated 8×8 RGB LED matrix that it uses for data display, and an ice bucket to chill drinks as they go through the system.
Meggy Jr RGB is a new kit from the talented scientists at Evil Mad Scientists (who are actually quite nice and friendly) designed as a platform to develop handheld pixel games. It’s based around a fully addressable 8×8 RGB LED matrix display, and features six big fat buttons for comfy game play. The kit is driven by an ATmega168 microcontroller, and you can write your own games or otherwise control it through the Arduino development environment by simply plugging in an FTDI cable. Meggy Jr is fast, programmable, open source and hackable. And fun! Get one today!
I’ve got the MeggySynth synchronized with an Arduino Waveshield, which has been preloaded with some slices of the Amen break. The MeggySynth is communicating via serial port with the Waveshield, and is triggering samples to be played on the Waveshield. The pattern is stored on the Meggy itself, since the Waveshield is sorely lacking in free ROM/RAM. Synchronization is still a little wonky. But I kind of like the stuttering sound. Other samples (like simple kicks and snares) sound better, but less interesting.
Adding quality audio to an electronic project is surprisingly difficult. Here is a shield for Arduinos that solves this problem. It can play up to 22KHz, 12bit uncompressed audio files of any length. It’s low cost, available as an easy-to-make kit. It has an onboard DAC, filter and op-amp for high quality output. Audio files are read off of an SD/MMC card, which are available at nearly any store. Volume can be controlled with the onboard thumbwheel potentiometer.
This shield is a kit, and comes with all parts you need to build it. Arduino, SD card, tools, speaker and headphones are not included. It is fairly easy to construct and anyone with a successful soldering project under their belt should be able to build it.
The shield comes with an Arduino library for easy use; simply drag uncompressed wave files onto the SD card and plug it in. Then use the library to play audio when buttons are pressed, or when a sensor goes off, or when serial data is received, etc. Audio is played asynchronously as an interrupt, so the Arduino can perform tasks while the audio is playing.
Can play any uncompressed 22KHz, 16bit, mono Wave (.wav) files of any size. While it isnt CD quality, it is certainly good enough to play music, have spoken word, or audio effects. Check out the demo video/audio at the webpage
Output is mono, into L and R channels, standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a connection for a speaker that is switched on when the headphones are unplugged
Files are read off of a FAT16-formatted SD/MMC card
Included library and examples makes playing audio easy
Please note that the library is rather bulky, requiring 10K of flash and more than 1/2 K of RAM for buffering audio. It works fine using an ATmega168-based Arduino (or compatible) but for more complex projects I strongly recommend upgrading to an ATmega328!
More information, including design notes, schematics, library, examples, etc is at the Wave Shield webpage.
This cute handheld is a ultra-retro gamer with an Arduino core. The display can do full color and is great for basic 8×8 arcade displays. They sent me 20 boxes with kits, laser-cut handles (as shown) and printed out instructions. Its easy to make (the documentation is better than mine), perfect for someone with a little bit of programming experience such as with Arduino who wants to make little games. Check out their webpage for details/downloads & give one to your 8-bit loved ones for the holidays.