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Showing posts from 2014

From sketch to reality

Sid the garden protector
This project is a part of my university's prototype course. Please read my earlier posts about the topic:
Project plan: the garden protector and Building the prototype.

The components:
Piezo speaker, alligator clips, PIR motion sensor, servo, Arduino UNO, breadboard, 2 x yellow leds-
I built this project step by step. At first I wanted to make sure that all the components work individually before putting them work together. 

Why there is just one wing you may ask. The answer simple - I have hunting dogs who love feathers and they got poor Sid in their mouth. The wings were destroyed and so was the other Servo... Sid also lost half of his feathers. But at least he survived.
The circuit
The code Originally I had a problem to get all these three actions to work at the same time (blinking of LED lights, alarm sound, flapping of wings.) The solution was rather simple though, I just changed the values of the delay codes and got it work smoothly.

This code is base…

Building the prototype

This prototype project grew up to be extreme personal to me. Rather than using a pre-made model or a plush I wanted to build it from scratch.
And what are little owls made of? Plastic, glue, tape and feathers!

First things first. The garden protector (named Sid) needs it's shape. I started by cutting the bottom away from a white bucket and glued the shreds of dog's e-collar all around it. Then I started to bend them together to reach the roundness of the crow and used tape to keep it together.

When the form was finished it was time to think about the position of the eyes and wings. I made the holes with the help of a drilling machine and scissors. At this point I needed to take some measurements so the servos could easily move the wings.
Almost done! But the owl is not really complete without a nice layer or feathers or two. The black beak is made of plastic.
After 4 hours the shell was done. It would be time to power up my gear and wake him up...
Notifications and improvemen…

Project plan: The Garden protector

The idea

I wanted to make something funny but useful as my project in our prototype course; so it came up with the idea of a "garden protector."

The basic idea is to keep all the birds and animals (and people) away from your harvest. When the garden protector detects these unauthorized persons it starts to flap it's mighty wings, sounds a fierce voice and it's large eyes will blink red. If this is not enough to shoo the intruders away I am not sure what is!

I will build this prototype (Snowy the Owl) mostly from old plastic candy boxes. The feathers will be also plastic, or real feathers, or the combination of both. I could enlarge this owl-serie with different kind of owl species.

The components

Arduino UNOBreadboardJumper wiresLEDsResistors2 x ServoMotion sensorPiezo SpeakerBattery

Based on the prototype course by Tero Karvinen ( and the book - Karvinen 2011: Make Arduino Bots and Gadgets

Building Love-O-Meter by using a temperature sensor

This "Love-O-Meter" is based on the tutorial by Arduino and it comes with the starter kit. It uses a temperature sensor to measure the warmth of your skin and then starts to turn on (or off) the LEDs  indicated by the temperature.

The components Arduino UNOBreadboardJumper wiresLEDs220 ohm resistorsTMP36 temperature sensor

Building the Circuit
At first I ran the "Hello World" for Arduino to make sure the environment would work as expected. Now I could start to connect the jumper wires between Arduino UNO and the breadboard.

As usually I connected the breadboard to power (5V) and to the ground (GND). I inserted the TMP36 on the breadboard so the rounded part of the sensor would face away from Arduino.

I attached 3 LED lights and the resistors and connected them with Arduino. The lights should react to the heat of the finger and if the temperature would get hot enough all the lights would be on and would also tell you if you are a hot lover or not...

The result and the …

Using a button to control the LED light

This time my project was to configure how to build a button that would turn on and off depending if the user is pushing it or not. While holding the button down the LED should stay on until removing the finger.

For this assignment I used the fallowing components:
Arduino UNO and USBJumper wiresLED lightBreadboardButton10k ohm resistor
At first I run the "Hello World" for Arduino and made sure that the LED I was using worked properly (read my previous post).

I attached the button in the middle of the breadboard so the legs were touching the both "sides" of it.

Now I started to connect the jumper wires between the Arduino UNO and the breadboard. In order to get it working like in the sample code (Ardoino > Examples > 02.Digital > Button)
I linked the wires with Arduino's 5V (red wire, positive) and ground (black wire, negative) to the equal holes on the very corner of the breadboard (+ and -). I put the white jumper wire to connect the positive circuit to t…

Getting known with Arduino

This year started with an interesting new course that is all about building a prototype. I have always found robots fascinating and now I have an opportunity to build something with my own hands.

The very first project - traffic light controller

Our first assignment was to build a small project from the following components: Arduino (UNO) and USBJumper wiresLed lightsBreadboard
1. Hello world, can you hear me?
I downloaded the programming environment for Arduino from (My operation system is Windows 8.1). 

Once the software is installed it is necessary to test if the Arduino is responding to it by blinking a light, in other words this is Arduino's way to say "Hello World". Connect Arduino to your computer with USB and open the programming environment. Choose File > Examples > 01.Basics and run it. If everything is fine Arduino will now blink it's led. Just to be sure I changed the running loop's delay times to see the resort…