Arduino (OHS)

The Arduino Team was present at the conference and gave an awesome talk. It was enlighting and humorous.

The Arduino team includes Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe, Gianluca Martino and David Mellis. They mention the addition of a lady to their team (I’ll get her name later).

They told the history of Arduino as well as shared what they learned.

It has a lot in common with my Squirrel project. For instance, the Arduino project started much before they turned it into a business.  They said that this made it very challenging to get the business stuff taken care of. With Squirrel, the value of having it out on the internet long before I turned it to a business permitted it to propagate virally and gain acceptance. It allowed me lots of time to contemplate and make the right choices with the design. It also allowed a lot of feedback and I learned a lot from early adopters. Some gave me inspiration to continue the project.

So this extra challenge of conversion to a business is well worth it because this incubation period allows the project to gel properly and for you master the domain expertise necessary.

Their talk was also very validating since I am already very subscribed to all the ideas they put forth as their lessons learned.

Drawbot rewire

I just rewired Baby Drawbot so that the controller is more portable.

Interestingly the steppers I have are wired A+ B+ B- A-. Seems you could then revers them by reversing the connector.

But the easy drivers are A+ A- B+ B- which is more logical for your brain. So I crossed over my connectors so I could do a straight plugin instead of the crazy conversion wiring you see in the picture.

Seems to run okay now.

Portable Lab


I am going to start doing more work down at ArtEngine so I made up a portable lab. Then I could tote stuff around to different locations (and ArtEngine) to work on them.

This might be helpful for not just problem solving but for creativity.

I had this briefcase style tackle box thing so I decided I’d give it a try.

Also, I figured that my arduino projects would be good candidates to be more portable.

Pyroelectric Infrared Body Motion Sensor PIR Detector

I received this motion detector.

I’ll give it a try and report back.

Module For Arduino / MCU / PIC

* Great ! With this sensor module, Any one in its Detector range will not be missed . It is easy to control with your Arduino , MCU , PIC controller.

infrared sensor with control circuit boards
Detector range: 0 – 7m
Detector angle: 110°
Power Voltage: 4.5 — 20V DC
Level Output: 0 – 3.3V(2.7V-5V customizable)
Level Holding Time: 0.3-18 seconds adjustable
Trigger method: L unrepeatable trigger; H repeatable trigger
Quiescent current: 50uA
Environment temprature: -20℃—+50℃
PCB Dimension: 32*24mm
* Test Code :

int ledPin = 13;
int switchPin = 2;
int value = 0;
void setup() {
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(switchPin, INPUT);
void loop() {
value = digitalRead(switchPin);
if (HIGH == value) {
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
} else {
digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);

Drawbot V2: Community Edition.


Okay I’m making another draw bot so we can have one floating around at ArtEngine.

I have a pair of steppers (much like the ones on my current drawbot). So I’ll use those.

For this one, the motor mounts will be removable from the main drawing space sheet. So they can be mounted individually or like the V1. So it will be possible to make large drawings. Perhaps I’ll just convert both to this system.

This will be a “community edition”. I will invite people to try it.

Anybody have any extra steppers? Let me know and I’ll make them into a drawbot for you. 🙂


Dweaming Arduino

arduino drawbot

I think an arduino drawbot is a total blast. I want to make more of them and am looking at the different ways of controlling steppers with the arduino.

Stepper Drivers

Easydriver is one mechanism. They are about 15.00 each at Robotshop. So that comes out to 30.00 which isn’t too terrible. You can even run three of these if you want to do cnc. That comes out to 75.00 to run a three axis CNC including the Arduino. Not too bad for a small hobby project. But for drawbot that’s a bit steep.

The Adafruit motor shield is a better deal for a drawbot. It’s only 20.00 and it can run two servos and either two steppers or four DC motors. Way more bang for the buck.

What are good ways to get the price down even further?

Cheap Stepper Motors

I have some steppers that were given to me and were pulled out of printers. What’s a good motor (perhaps with gearbox) that’s affordable?


3 Axis Accelerometer


Just received this!

Since the arduino workshop here in Ottawa, I’ve had arduino on the brain and I’ve ordered lots of goodies to experiment with.

But Post Canada storage was kind enough to keep all my stuff so I’m only getting it now.

It has 8 pins.
GND Vin G2 G1

Here’s the product description:

Triple Axis Accelerometer MMA7260 Module Arduino PIC MCU DSP ARM Compatible

This action is For one pcs Triple Axis Accelerometer MMA7260 Module . It can measure the accelerations in X Y and Z axis with range +-1.5 g to 6 g.( software selectable sensitivity )


Voltage : 5V/3.3V
Selectable sensitivity : ±1.5g/2g/4g/6g
Low power:500μA @ measurement mode,3μA @standby ;
High sensivity: 800 mV/g @ 1.5g;

Boad size: 2.4 (cm) x1.2 (cm)
Weight: 5 gram

1 X Triple Axis Accelerometer MMA7260 Module
Email AVR Sample code (Download link will be provided after you receive the hardware)



Not the sort of thing I’m into but I can be coaxed with the right project.


Check out these knitted computer usage systems.

Imagine the advantages of this!





I found this on SternLab Web site.

So I started to think about knitting since I have lots of friends who knit.

Check out this Spectral Line Scarf!

The one shown is Silicon!

Now that’s fashion.

I think enlightened messaging, function and fashion can be merged.

What about integration between Arduino and crocheting?

Found that in these pictures.



Shopping for vision

I would like to make a rooster that has a head that can turn to look at you. I’m looking for lots of ideas on how to do this as I like this sort of interaction.

Obviously a motion detector is probably enough. Perhaps more than one so that we can get a take on the actual location of the person.

A more generalized solution might be to look at an arduino, a camera and processing.

Teddy Bear Vision — Arduino Experiment from Amanda Tasse on Vimeo.

Here’s a cool one I got from MIcheal of

Here’s one I found in google:

Here’s another cool vision project from Micheal

Ottawa Robotics

I joined the Ottawa Robotics group to learn more about robotics, automation, computer control and such. They’re a friendly group that meets about once per month at Algonquin College. We usually go for a brew at Chances-R or Darcy’s pub. This is a great way to meet other robot heads and not only get lots of help from new friends but to cheer on other projects.

Here’s a video to get a feel for the meetup. You can see a cool model helicopter, some mini-sumo robots. People usually bring in a robot project to show off and talk about.

Here are a few pictures from the last meetup. We were offered a tour of some of the CNC robotics at the college.