The Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg, at work on a novella in New York while attached to electrodes. The cap, the novella and the technician were all part of Mr. Grunberg’s latest project, a literary stunt turned lab experiment that combines the rigor of academic neuroscience with the self-obsessive spirit of the “quantified self” movement, which has inspired people to track (and broadcast) the minutiae of their lives, down to the last step taken, penny spent and milligram of caffeine ingested.
NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit 10-DOF IMU Breakout – L3GD20 + LSM303 + BMP180. This inertial-measurement-unit combines 3 of the best quality sensors available on the market to give you 11 axes of data: 3 axes of accelerometer data, 3 axes gyroscopic, 3 axes magnetic (compass), barometric pressure/altitude and temperature. We tested many different ‘combination’ sensors and found these were the best value, with stable and reliable readings.
The L3DG20 gyroscope + LSM303DLHC accelerometer compass + BMP180 barometric/temperature sensors are all on one breakout here, to save you space and money. Since all of them use I2C, you can communicate with all of them using only two wires. Most will be pretty happy with just the plain I2C interfacing, but we also break out the ‘data ready’ and ‘interrupt’ pins, so advanced users can interface with if they choose. A 3V regulator with reverse-polarity protection means you don’t have to worry about frying the boards by accident. There’s level shifting circuitry so the IMU can be used with 3 or 5V logic boards. And check out those mounting holes! You can securely attach this board to your rocket, robot, art project.
Each order comes with one assembled and tested 10DOF breakout board and a small piece of header.
Since this is a combination of 3 different breakouts, we suggest visiting those pages for much more information: L3GD20, LSM303, BMP180 but here are some quick stats:
L3GD20 3-axis gyroscope: ±250, ±500, or ±2000 degree-per-second scale
LSM303 3-axis compass: ±1.3 to ±8.1 gauss magnetic field scale
NEW PRODUCT – BMP180 Barometric Pressure/Temperature/Altitude Sensor- 5V ready – This precision sensor from Bosch is the best low-cost sensing solution for measuring barometric pressure and temperature. Because pressure changes with altitude you can also use it as an altimeter! The sensor is soldered onto a PCB with a 3.3V regulator, I2C level shifter and pull-up resistors on the I2C pins.
The BMP180 is the next-generation of sensors from Bosch, and replaces the BMP085. The good news is that it is completely identical to the BMP085 in terms of firmware/software/interfacing – you can use our BMP085 tutorial and any example code/libraries as a drop-in replacement.
This board is 5V compliant – a 3.3V regulator and a i2c level shifter circuit is included so you can use this sensor safely with 5V logic and power.
NEW PRODUCT – Resistive Touch Screen Controller – STMPE610. Getting touchy performance with your screen’s touch screen? Resistive touch screens are incredibly popular as overlays to TFT and LCD displays. Only problem is they require a bunch of analog pins and you have to keep polling them since the overlays themselves are basically just big potentiometers. If your microcontroller doesn’t have analog inputs, or maybe you want just a way more elegant controller, the STMPE610 is a nice way to solve that problem.
This breakout board features the STMPE610, which has both I2C and SPI interfaces available. There is also an interrupt pin that you can use to indicate when a touch has been detected to your microcontroller or microcomputer. We wrapped up the chip with a 3V voltage regulator and level shifting so it’s safe to use with 3V or 5V logic. Its a nicely designed chip, and has very stable precise readings. We found its also a lot faster than trying to do all the readings on an Arduino.
For the screens that have 1mm pitch FPC cables, you can plug the cable right into the connector. The majority of medium/large touchscreens have that kind of connector. If you have another kind of touch screen, the four X/Y contacts are available on 0.1″ pitch breakouts so you can hand-solder or wire them.
NEW PRODUCT – IR Distance Sensor – Includes Cable (100cm-500cm) [GP2Y0A710K0F]. This extra-long-range SHARP distance sensor bounces IR off objects to determine how far away they are. It returns an analog voltage that can be used to determine how close the nearest object is. Comes with 6″ long 6-JST interface wire. These sensors are good for detection between 100cm-500cm (1-5 meters / 3-15 feet). The long range makes them a good alternative to sonar sensors.
Please note: the wire colorings are not intuitive! Watch out before wiring! The datasheet has wiring details as well. Connect the blue & red wire to ground, the black & yellow wires to 5VDC and read the analog signal from the green wire. The analog voltage out will range from 3V when an object is about 100cm away away and 1.4V when the object is 500cm away. For a full graph, showing the distance to analog range, check the datasheet below.
These sensors tend to be a little noisy, we suggest soldering/connecting the included 220uF capacitor to the same place you connect the wires, to provide some filtering on the power supply.
As the spookiest day of the year approaches, we here at littleBits have been cooking up some supernatural projects to trick out your Halloween. The interactions in both of the following projects are surprisingly haunting and would be a great addition to any haunted house or, if you are the Adam’s Family, a permanent wall fixture.
Great Uncle Edward
This portrait may just look like a normal photograph, but take a step closer and you will notice something very strange. The eyes in this portrait physically move, and not only that, they follow you wherever you go! We used an old frame, a photograph, motion triggers, a servo, and a series of logic Bits to achieve this unnerving interaction. This is one of our most complex circuits yet! Learn more here.
‘Come with us’, two small ghostly figures beckon. As you draw closer you hear a rattling sound. The figures suddenly quadruple in size and appear very close to you. Run away!!! The Ghost Projector uses a motion trigger and an inverter to switch between two ghostly images printed out on transparency paper and projected on the wall with bright leds. The images are angled in such a way that they appear in the same frame and alternate depending on whether or not you are detected by the motion trigger. More information about this spooky light trick here.
Stay tuned for more Halloween project ideas next week!
NEW PRODUCTS – 16mm Panel Mount Momentary Pushbuttons – OK, this item is pretty simple – it’s a panel mount pushbutton. It’s not that exciting, no LEDs, no bells & whistles. But we really like it anways, look at that lovely rounded shape, that elegant bevel. If you’re going to go with a momentary pushbutton, let it be this one!
The button is a normally-open micro-switch. When pressed, the contacts short closed and Bob’s your uncle!
PhD student, Kevin Marinelli has developed these “Data Gloves”. Based on an Adafruit 32U4 breakout board and using XBee modules for wireless communication, these gloves allow the user to visually manipulate data representations of complex structures such as protein chains in multi-dimensional space.
Conductive fabric patches on each fingertip and the palm of the glove allow the user to create a multiple unique combinations of finger codes which can be combined with the on-glove motion sensors to manipulate components of the data objects in different ways.
Adafruit is covering World Maker Faire New York 2013, September 21 and 22 at the New York Hall of Science! This two-day family-friendly festival celebrating making of all kinds returns to NYC for its fourth year. We’d love to see what fun you’re up to onsite– share your pictures with us on Twitter and <a href="https://plus.google
I wanted to share with everyone a project I worked on for a recent sci-fi/comic convention. I have always been a fan of fantasy, sci-fi and comics. A few months ago I started working on an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST) costume and weapon.
I wanted to make the sword something that would literally make folks stop in their tracks and take notice at a convention. For this I turned to the Arduino Microprocessor and some of the accessories developed at Adafruit.
The body is a black plastic with the LED built inside. There are two contacts for the button and two contacts for the LED, one marked + and one -. The forward voltage of the LED is about 3V so connect a 220 to 1000 ohm resistor in series just as you would with any other LED to your 3V or higher power supply.
This particular button has a blue body and LED and is momentary, normally open. The two switch contacts are not connected normally. When you push the button they will temporarily connect until the button is released. The LED is separated from the button, so you can make it light up when pressed, light up when not pressed, always lit, etc. Also available in white.
This button has a white body and LED and is latching on/off. The two switch contacts are either connected or disconnected. When you push the button they will switch from one to the other, like an on-off switch. The LED is separated from the button, so you can make it light up when on, light up when off, always lit, etc. Also available in blue.
The ADXL335 , ADXL326 and ADXL377 are low-power, 3-axis MEMS accelerometer modules with ratiometric analog voltage outputs. The Adafruit Breakout boards for these modules feature on-board 3.3v voltage regulation which makes them simple to interface with 5v microcontrollers such as the Arduino.