January 19, 2017

Robotic Cat Laser

Does your pet cat love chasing around a laser light? For the cost of a couple of servo motors, an Arduino and a laser light you can provide your cat with endless entertainment.  The automated cat laser uses servo motors to constantly move the laser and entertain the cat, with no effort on your behalf! To find out how you can build your own cat laser robot checkout the instructable from joe at the following link.

Cat Bot

 If you are looking for a servo motor to use in your own robotics project why not checkout our standard servo. The standard hobby servo rotates approximately 180 degrees and comes with a variety of horns, mounting screws and rubber mounting bushes. To find out more check out the product page.

Servo Motor

Found this project interesting? Working on own of your own projects you would like us to feature? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.  

January 17, 2017

Teach Your Arduino to Switch Itself Off!

Have you ever been frustrated that the only way you could turn off your Arduino was to physically unplug the device? With this instructable from PeterH310 you can learn how to "self power off" your Arduino. Although some projects require an Arduino to be always on, for projects that don’t require the Arduino to be consistently on, this trick can be a great for added convenience and power saving. To find out more check out the following link.

Auto Off Arduino

If you are looking for a very straight forward way to get started with Arduino our Thinker Shield is a great option.  The shield is ideal for beginners and includes a number of buttons, a buzzer, LEDs and more so that you can get started making all sorts of cool projects! Not only this, but you can find a fantastic project guide on our website! Checkout the product page to find out more.

ThinkerShield

Inspired by this project? Working on a cool project of your own? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.  

January 15, 2017

Skill Sunday: PCB Surface Finishes

When it comes to having your own PCBs (printed circuit boards) produced, there are a huge number of manufacturing options to consider. One of the most important options is which surface finish is best for your board. We have put together a guide explaining the pros and cons of various surface finishes to help you make an informed decision next time you manufacture PCBs. You can find the full guide at the following link.

PCB

If you are thinking about getting started with electronics, but don’t know where to get started, our Experimenter’s Kit is a great way to learn the basics.

Experimenter's Kit

The kit includes a wide range of parts including a servo, sensors, lights, buttons, a sound module and more. Importantly, a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to ensure that the kit contains everything you need to get started with electronics. All these great parts would be useless without some form of instructions which is why we have developed a comprehensive project and instruction booklet to get you started. Check out the product page to find out more.

Have and idea for next weeks Skill Sunday? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.  

January 14, 2017

Robotic Fish

Although typically electronics and water do not mix, “sneel” the robotic fish is certainly an exception. The robotic fish is designed to emulate the motion of a real water snake, and is perfect for underwater exploration. A number of Arduino Uno controlled servo motors undulate the robot to propel it through the water.

sneel

The applications of such a underwater drone are endless including collecting data about water quality or exploring confined underwater areas such as pipelines! If you want to learn how you can make your own “sneel” checkout the following link.

 If you are looking for a very straight forward way to get started with Arduino our Thinker Shield is a great option.  The shield is ideal for beginners and includes a number of buttons, a buzzer, LEDs and more so that you can get started making all sorts of cool projects! Not only this, but you can find a fantastic project guide on our website! Checkout the product page to find out more.

Thinker Shield

Inspired by this project? Working on a cool project of your own? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.  

January 14, 2017

Order processing delays during the 2017 linux.conf.au conference

The big annual Open Source conference here in Australia is linux.conf.au, which takes place in a different city every year. This year the conference will be in Hobart, Tasmania, for the week of January 16th through to January 20th.

For one week each year, our world revolves around the conference. Expect plenty of social media updates with news of presentations and events taking place at the conference, particularly the Open Hardware Miniconf which will take place on Tuesday.

Orders will still be packed and shipped during the week of the conference, but things may happen a little more slowly than usual. Please be understanding if we don't manage to get orders out right away.

Thankyou, and please watch the blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates from the conference. 

January 12, 2017

Arduino Eye Tracking

With this awesome project from thesystemis you can draw using only the movement of your eyes! Surprisingly this project can be made quite cheaply using the brainpower of an Arduino Uno which talks to the open source eye tracking software - “EyeWriter” running on a computer.  If you want to find out more check out the following link.

Eye Tracker

If you are thinking about getting started with Arduino, but don’t know where to get started, our Experimenter’s Kit is a great way to learn the basics.

Experimenter's Kit

The kit includes a wide range of parts including a servo, sensors, lights, buttons, a sound module and more. Importantly, a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to ensure that the kit contains everything you need to get started with Arduino. All these great parts would be useless without some form of instructions which is why we have developed a comprehensive project and instruction booklet to get you started. Check out the product page to find out more.

Working on a cool project you think we should know about? Inspired to start making your own Arduino eye tracking device? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.  

January 10, 2017

Arduino Fridge Thermostat

Often the thermostat on a fridge can break rendering the entire fridge useless without costly repair. Fortunately, like most problems, this can be solved using Arduino! Asynkronix has put together a great guide on how you can use an Arduino to cheaply replace a broken thermostat in your fridge. The fix works by reading the temperature inside the fridge and using the Arduino to switch on and off the cooling compressor as needed using a relay. To find out more about how you can fix your own fridge checkout the following link.  

Arduino Fridge

Looking for a temperature sensor to use in this project? Why not check out the Freetronics Humidity and Temperature Sensor Module?

Temperature Sensor

The module only requires three wires: GND, power and data. This means that it is very easy to get started recording temperature and humidity data! The find out more visit the product page.  

Working on a cool project you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

January 08, 2017

Skill Sunday: Arduino Bluetooth Pairing

If you have been working on an Arduino project which requires Bluetooth then this week’s Skill Sunday is perfect for you.  One of the challenges of working with Bluetooth can be working through the intricacies of pairing your Arduino project with the computer of phone you are wanting to communicate with. Fortunately we have put together a great guide of how you can pair the Freetronics Bluetooth Shield or Module to Mac, Windows or Linux devices. To get started checkout the following link.  

Bluetooth

If you are looking for an easy way to add Bluetooth to your Arduino project checkout the Freetronics Bluetooth Shield. Our Bluetooth Shield plugs right in to your Arduino and lets you send and receive data and commands from your sketches. You don't even need to do anything fancy in your sketches, because the Bluetooth link acts as a serial port: you just pair it with your computer, then you can simply use "Serial.read()" and "Serial.write()" as normal! The bluetooth shield can operate as a Bluetooth master or slave and is packed full of useful features. To find out more check out the Freetronics Bluetooth Shield product page.

Bluetooth Shield


What did you think of this weeks Skill Sunday? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.  

January 07, 2017

Dot Matrix Display MQTT Message Client

The Freetronics dot matrix displays are very versatile. Toby Robb has put together a great video showing how he has set up the display to read messages from MQTT.

 

If you are looking for an LED dot matrix display why not check out our range of displays. They are simple to use, yet very bright for indoor and outdoor situations. Available in various colours, the 32 x 16 LED matrix can display text and graphics easily, and can be daisy-chained together for extended displays. For more information, see our range of Dot Matrix Displays here.

DMD

Working on a project you would like us to feature on this blog? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

January 06, 2017

Wireless Animatronics Hand

Who has not wanted build a robotic hand at some point in their life? Well this is exactly what instructables member njkl44 has done! Not only does this animatronics hand look totally awesome, it actually emulates the movements of the hand that is inside the “control glove”, making a spectacular effect.

Animatronic Hand

The control glove uses a number of flex sensors to determine the position of each finger and sends this information to the animatronic hand. If this sounds like the kind of project you would love to make you can find out more at the following link or in the video below.

 If you are looking to get started making your own custom Arduino projects, why not check out our own ProtoShield for Arduino. The ProtoShield is an excellent tool to turn your temporary, breadboarded project into something more permanent. ProtoShield fits directly onto an Arduino board and has a large general purpose area in the middle where you can solder on your own parts to create a durable, long lasting project! The ProtoShield is a high quality, corrosion resistant gold plated PCB and represents great value at only $3!

ProtoShield

To find out more about our fantastic ProtoShield’s check out the product page. Planning on building your own animatronics hand? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.