Automation is a wonderful thing, and in some instances adding technology to a simple background task can be simple and a labour-saver. One example of this is typical window blinds... we might open them in the morning and close them at night - but leave them unattended when not present.
This can cause extra heating or cooling expenses, so enthusiast Nicholas Zibin has demonstratde how to retro-fit an automated system to blinds to allow them to automatically open or close depending on the amount of light in a room or measured at a particular point. The blinds are turned via an Arduino-controlled stepper motor - which has a 3D-printed sprocket to easily engage with the ball-chain used to move the blinds. With the addition of a light sensor or two, the system can operate as required, and is shown in the following demonstration video:
A very useful and achievable project, so visit the project Instructable page for complete details. And for more, we're on facebook, Google+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you're looking into starting with Arduino and robotics, such as controlling a stepper motor (or DC motors) from your Arduino or compatible, check out our new HBRIDGE: DC/stepper motor shield. Based around the powerful Allegro A4954 H-bridge driver IC you can control two DC motors with complete ease, or one bipolar stepper motor. With connections for external power management, a complete beginners' guide and documentation - motor control couldn't be any easier. For more information and to order, visit the HBRIDGE: page.