Arduino Project Ideas
Projects I’d like to eventually work on with the Arduino:
- PC Remote Control Robot- Preferably Built with K’Nex, but that’s inner child talking. A simple, lightly mobile, robot that can be computer controlled. Preferably with video cam for a robots-eye-view of the world.
- Tilt RC Robot- An interesting idea probably from a video I watched- using an accelerometer and a psuedo-game-pad to provide tilt based control of the robot. True, at this point it’s little more then an RC car, but it would have a cool controller!
- Mapping Robot- A bit more complex; a bot that can try and map out the space it is located in; no doubt in constant communication with a PC workstation
- Motion Control Lighting- We use a set of lights on a timer as walkway lights; I’d like to change that to motion activated from two locations, in some overly complex scheme
- PT Camera Mount- A Pan/Tilt mount for a camera; possibly to be combined with motion tracking.
- LED Table- More specifically, I’ve seen a coffee table esque item with LED panels underlaid. I’d like to do something similar as a sole source of light for a room. And/or implement Game of Life on it
- Simple Web Server- Web Server Controlled… thing. I’m thinking something for outputting, say, two connected temperature sensors in a web clean format; but it’d also be nice to figure out an application for a stationary motor
- Wireless Sensor Network- A set of sensors, connected wirelessly, each re/broadcasting sensor information at timed intervals. Each node would have the most recent reading of every other node stored, such that you only needed to interface with one node to get an idea of what everything is doing. Could also be an application of adhoc network routing; given a sensor network, find a route to and from the furthest node.
- Solar Powered/Recharged Wireless Sensor- Either as part of a motion sensing network for controlling outdoor lights, or finding the temperature of the outdoor air. Attach a set of solar panels to recharge a battery powered Sensor Node.
- Persistence of Vision Odometer- A set of LEDs connected to a bike wheel with a Hall Effect Sensor, set to display interesting characteristics of the journey as the wheel turns- current speed, trip distance, overall distance, etc.
- LED Clock + Weather- Build a binary LED clock which includes a color coding for current and forecast weather- Blue in the hours column for rain in 12h, Red in Minutes for Heat Stroke right now, etc. Would need a method of getting the weather forecast, but I’m sure that’s in some way solvable. Would also allow me to have a binary clock with a date listing, and automatic 24h based clock. (One of the items I dislike about a ThinkGeek binary clock purchased ohh so long ago- on power loss it loses the ‘24h’ display configuration). Possibly to be combined with wireless sensor network above.
- RC Car GPS Control- Hook a GPS device to the Arduino, and combine that with a high performance RC car to see what happens. Akin to having a UAV fly waypoints.
- AutoMower!!!- An automated lawnmower. Basically a push mower with drive motors mounted, hopefully able to map out the yard, and not fall apart due to vibration, or go into a lake
- Bike Trip Logger- For a different project, I would like to figure out how to log bits of data about changes in elevation on a bike trip. It’s theoretically possible that a set of accelerometers could help solve the core problem I’m working with. This eventually evolves into a system for suggesting bike routes; but I need to get data collection first
- Auto-Pilot with Video Transmission- I’d like to combine an RC plane with waypoint following and Wireless Video Transmission. Technically, what I really want from this is to be able to fly an RC plane with a first person view; so not actually an Arduino project. But a project!… for much later in life.
- 3D Rotation Puzzle- A bit simple, but could be interesting. Use either a 3 axis accelerometer, or a set of 3 tilt switches, to build a puzzle that you play by rotating. Generate sequences of increasing length using a random number generator. Use a painful buzzer of shame on failure, cool LED’s of awesome on successful navigation of the puzzle. Alternative would be to use time trials on a puzzle with visual feed back on next turn to take. (The description will make more sense when it’s implemented)
- Knock Lock- An interesting use of Piezo Elements is detection of sudden changes in noise level; as one might expect with, say, knocking. You could reasonably extend this to opening locked doors, for keyless house entry. Alternatively, might be safer to use a keypad, but why go the boring route?
- Plywood Impact Location Sensor- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNZCS-coZjY FPS with real guns… or, you know, duck hunt. Whatever works for you. It also seems like, if this could detect soft enough motion, that you could then use said large surface as a simple input device.
- Kite Control- I’d like to get into Kite Photography. Or flying kites. Or both. One interesting aspect of this could be adding control surfaces to a kite, allowing for rudimentary wireless control… of a kite. (Side note: I am not an RC Plane Hobbyist, or Aeronautical Engineer)
- Air Soft Turret- Probably not technically Air Soft, but I’m not sure of the official name. Many moons ago, I and my brother got a set of small battery powered toy guns that fired reasonably painful yellow BB’s. I’d like to to strip the toy casing, and mount the parts onto a turret for remote controlled target practice… with co-workers. Would also probably go nicely with a robot mounting.
I think one of the more frustrating things about going from PC’s to microcontrollers is that while uC’s have the ‘interact with the physical world’ aspect to them, they have such limited processing power that for a lot of interesting applications they need constant contact with a PC. At least I suspect so. As an example, I’d like to play around with motion tracking cameras. Video Processing like that isn’t something that could be done on a 16 MHz processor. Granted, doing it real time would probably also be a strain on an average computer, but the point still stands. This is probably something better suited to embedded PC’s, which is another ball of wax I’ll need to play with sooner or later.