Wifi Bot Control is an Android app that allows you to remotely control a robot (or other device) via WiFi. You can also (optional) view a video stream from an IP camera mounted to the robot. WiFi Bot Control also provides up to 8 additional customizable command buttons that allow you to perform additional tasks on your robot / device. You could use these commands to initiate other activities such as enabling/disabling sensors, moving other servos / arms / picking something up, turning a LED on/off etc. With the provided sample sketch, you can customize the robot to do what you want. WiFi Bot Control can be downloaded on Google Play and is compatible with most versions of Android and most device sizes from phones to tablets.
Glow Control is an Android app that couples to an Arduino-based controller over Bluetooth allowing for control of various tasks including Landscape / Patio LED lights. You can either schedule the zones to turn on / off within a time range, or use a light sensor to trigger them when it gets dark. It also offers up to 4 additional customizable buttons that allow you to add functionality. You could use it to control garage doors, sprinklers, etc. The sky’s the limit since you can customize the controller and Arduino sketch to your needs. Under the hood Glow Control simply sends commands over Bluetooth to an Arduino controller. If you are a maker, then you can use this app to control pretty much anything you can imagine. For my project, I am using it to control 2 LED zones on my new patio.
**Note – Glo Control is no longer available in Google Play.
I’d say that LEDs have been one of the fastest spreading new technologies in the last 10 years. Consider now that most cars are being manufactured with LED lighting for all the turn/marker/brake/DRL lights. They have even made an impact with home lighting – even though people are being gouged with inflated pricing (IMHO) from places like Home Depot, Rona, Lowes etc.. This will change as LEDs become mainstream… Just wish I had invested in those companies who first got on the bandwagon!
Anyway, I decided to go away from the typical LED strip and try something new. The Avago ASMT-LW60’s are classified as LED strips, but I am not sure I agree. They are unique in that they use fibre optics to provide the illumination while a tiny SMD LED is buried inside each end of the light unit.
Lately, I’ve been toying around with different LED strips for my projects. I’ve had the chance to use a variety of LED strips (both RGB, and single colour types). They come in many flavours – water proof, 3m-backed, silcone encased, sealed, non-sealed, exposed etc. All have their advantages / disadvantages.
This mod can be especially useful this time of year up here on the 49th parallel since we are pretty much in darkness @ 5PM during November. All to often I drop something down near my feet and have to go looking for it. The light that casts from the map lights does not reach the areas down near the front driver/passenger foot wells, so I decided to add a few tiny LEDs to shed some love in the area when needed. In addition to this, the Juke comes with a MASSIVE glove box and no light. So, it was natural to throw a small LED strip in there as well. Both sets of LEDs are hooked up to a custom controller that uses an ATTiny85 and touch sensitive pins to control on/off states (I’m not one to go with status-quo, so the standard on/off switch would not cut it for me).
The switching unit (below) has 2 pairs of pins and 1 switch. The switch is used to control the rear passenger LED and is discussed here. Each pin pair make up a galvanic touch sensor that use the conductive abilities of skin to bridge the connection (reads – won’t work with gloves). Touch them once and the LEDs ramp up (on), touch them again to power them off. The top pair control the foot well LEDs, the bottom controls the glove box LED.
I’m a sucker for not conforming to status quo when it comes to my toys.. This includes my new Nissan (2012) Juke. In this mod, I added a set of LED light strips to the tail lights with a twist – I wanted to also monitor and react to braking to enhance the effect. I decided to go with an ATTiny85 using the Arduino core. It only needed 1 input from the 12V brake power and 1 PWM output to control a MOSFET which in turn powered the LED light strip @ 12V. I built one controller per tail light. Check out the video to see it in action:
I’ve been involved in microcontrollers for some time – but of the LEGO Mindstorms flavour (and BASIC Stamp to a lesser extent). Lately, I’ve jumped on the Arduino bandwagon. I’ve always had the natural nack to fix pretty much anything that has batteries or a plug running out of it. As the Arduino revolution has picked up dramatically over the past few years, so to has my desire to do DIY projects around the house. At some point in the future, we plan a kitchen reno. Part of that reno will the addition of under-cabinet LED lighting. Since that is far off, but I also had the need for better lighting in my office, I figured this would be a great time to proto something for the kitchen upgrade, while making something functional for the office. So, here it is..