Author Archives: R-B

An IoT monitor for your laundry room

Arduino IoT monitor for laundry rooms

An IoT-enabled monitoring device for laundry rooms to provide an alarm and phone feedback when a water leakage is detected. It also monitors dryer vent for over temperature conditions and also notifies about the washer and dryer cycle completion. It uses Arduino, Ethernet shield, Blynk app and bunch of sensors.

Arduino IoT monitor for laundry rooms

Arduino IoT monitor for laundry rooms

 

This started as a quick project to provide an alarm and phone notification when a water leak was detected in our second floor laundry room. A couple of years ago the drain hose from the washer somehow came out of the drain and the water made a bit of a mess in the living room below. In a classic case of scope creep (and a reluctance to dedicate an Arduino to just this one task) it ended up as a more comprehensive laundry room monitor that:

  • Does the leak detection and notification
  • Monitors the dryer vent for an over temperature condition
  • Monitors power consumption (and thereby cost) of washer and dryer operation (for each cycle and on a running total basis)
  • Provides notification of washer and dryer cycle completion
  • Provides detailed information on washer and dryer cycle progress
  • Provides a system to notify and record the need to replenish detergent and dryer sheet supplies

Playing Tic Tac Toe against Arduino

Arduino Tic Tac Toe

Nick Koumaris of educ8s.tv has come up with another cool video tutorial showing how to build an Arduino powered Tic Tac Toe game. The gaming interface consists of a colorful LCD touchscreen that allows the user to play this fun game against Arduino.

Arduino Tic Tac Toe

Arduino Tic Tac Toe

Let’s take a quick look at the code of the project. We need three libraries in order the code to compile. You can find links for the all the libraries in the description below. As you can see, even a simple game like this, require more than 600 lines of code. The code is complex, so I won’t try to explain it in a 5 minute video. I will show you the implementation of the algorithm for the Arduino moves though.

Check out the video tutorial below:

PolaPi: A Pi Zero based instant point, shoot, and print camera

PolaPi Zero: A Raspberry Pi Zero powered instant camera

Even in today’s age of smartphones, polaroid cameras are still very popular because it not only allows you to capture the moments instantly, but also let you hold the printed picture immediately after taking the shot. Muth’s PolaPi is a Raspberry Pi Zero powered DIY instant camera that can point, shoot, and print the pictures on thermal papers. It uses a Sharp memory LCD for ‘live-view’ (and for review after taking shots) and the Nano thermal printer from Adafruit for printing monochrome images.

PolaPi Zero: A Raspberry Pi Zero powered instant camera

PolaPi Zero: A Raspberry Pi Zero powered instant camera

Camera demo is shown in the following video.

Arduino powered mini conveyor belt for training purpose

Arduino powered mini conveyor belt

Belt conveyors are key components of industrial automation systems. This modular mini conveyor belt is designed to replicate a miniature version of an industrial automation process that can be used in educational environments for industrial automation illustration using microcontrollers. It consists of a speed controller to drive a stepper motor with up to 2 Amps, and an Arduino board for automating tasks. The speed can be varied from 0 to 300 RPM, and is displayed on a 3-digit seven segment display module.

Arduino powered mini conveyor belt

Arduino powered mini conveyor belt

The design was conceived to have the least amount of complex mechanical elements as possible, however, two special non trivial steps are required: cut and joint the timing belt that transfers rotation from the motor to the axle, and make the conveyor belt.

Video showing the conveyor belt in action.

Automatic candy sorter

Arduino candy sorter

Built by Willem Pennings from the Netherlands, this color candy sorting machine is robust and beautifully designed. It uses an Arduino controller, stepper motors, an RGB color sensor and several 3D-printed parts to perform sorting of colorful candies like M&M and Skittles. It can sort a 300 gram bag of mixed M&M in approximately 2-3 minutes.

Arduino candy sorter

Arduino candy sorter

Posted below is a video showing the machine in action.

The machine is able to sort M&M’s and Skittles by colour by performing optical measurements using the RGB sensor. It can be modified to sort any type of coloured object, as long as the individual pieces have a regular shape with even dimensions. It takes approximately 2-3 minutes to sort a 300 g bag of Skittles / M&M’s and sorts about 2 pieces per second. The machine is 250 mm in diameter and approximately 300 mm in height.

While in the hopper, candy pieces are constantly mixed to prevent clogging at the inlet of the upper scanner tube. The scanner consists of a small wheel with four slots which are 90 degrees apart. After a piece enters a slot, the wheel, which is powered by a stepper motor, rotates 90 degrees so a measurement can be performed. The RGB sensor takes three consecutive measurements, which take 30 milliseconds each. The Arduino controller then determines the item colour (based on reference data) and positions the exit tube (also using a stepper motor) to guide the piece to the correct container. Just before the exit tube reaches its target position, the wheel turns another 90 degrees to drop the piece. The process is then repeated. During the process, visual feedback is provided using the LED strip that encircles the machine.

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