DIY Farm & Garden Automation with Arduino and APDuino Project

APDuino_System_Overview

You would like to start to grow your own vegetables but you don’t really have enough place and/or time to take care of your garden. No problem! Just go vertical and automate your garden with an Arduino Mega, an Ethernet shield, and lots sensors and valves. That’s basically what Rik Kretzinger, who grew up on a Christmas tree farm, and has a major in horticulture, has done at his home. This whole system use a farming technique called aquaponics, mixing aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water), and except planting and harvest, is mostly automatized. The hard part is to set it up. The firmware is based on APduino “Internet-of-growing” open source project that runs on Arduino Mega to gather data from sensors (humidity, temperature, pH, light…) and control the valve. Rik’s system also upload data automatically to Xively cloud so that he can monitor his […]

Google’s Project Tango Phone Prototype Generates Real-time 3D Maps

Google ATAP (Advanced Technology and Products), the team who is currently working on Project Ara for Google, and recently moved from Motorola following the acquisition by Lenovo, has also been busy on another project called Tango, which centers around a phone equipped with cameras and sensors capturing 250,000 data points per second to track motion and generate 3D maps in real-time. The prototype is 5” phone with hardware and software customization designed to simultaneously track the 3D motion of the device, and creating a 3D map of the environment. The device runs Android and includes development APIs to provide position, orientation, and depth data to standard Java, C/C++ Android. This is still early development, but the team imagine the technology could be used to easily create a 3D map of your home, facilitating furniture shopping. Other usa cses include indoor navigations, visually-impaired aid, and product location in a store. Augmented reality […]

U-BRAIN MicroSmart is a Tiny “15-Axis” Sensor Module with Bluetooth or Zigbee Connectivity

Usuda Research Institute & Systems Corporation has just announced U-BRAIN MicroSmart, a tiny and lightweight 3D modules module with a “15-axis” sensor, 5 GPIOS, as well as optional Zigbee and Bluetooth connectivity allowing up to 100 meter range. The module targets wearable devices used for fitness and health applications. U-BRAIN MicroSmart (UBN-MS8) Specifications: Processor –  MCU + DSP Sensors – 6-axis position sensors, 3-axis posture sensor, 3-axis direction sensor, 1 temperature sensor, 1 audio sensor, and 1 light sensor. Connectivity – Optional? Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR or ZigBee with up to 100 meter range. GPIO – 5 GPIOS, TTL. Power Consumption – 10 mA max during use, 100 uA max in sleep mode Power – Via microUSB port Dimensions – 20 x 19 x 3.8 mm Weight – 2g to 5g depending on presence and selection of communication module The module will support Windows XP/Vista/7/9.0/8.1, Android 2.3 and greater, iOS, […]

ICMe Cuffless Finger Blood Pressure Monitor Sends Results to your Smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0

Nihon University have developed a tiny blood pressure monitor, which you can just touch with your finger, in order to get maximum and minimum (systolic and diastolic) blood pressures,  both average and real-time values, as well as pulse rate and pulse waveform displayed on your smartphone. ICMe uses photo transistors to detect LED light reflected on a finger, and then converts pulse wave data obtained from the light to a blood pressure value. Phase Shift Method-based data processing and algorithm is used for the conversion to a blood pressure value, and results are transmitted to the phone via Bluetooth 4.0 (LE?). The device is composed of a custom main chip, LEDs, photo transistors, and a Bluetooth 4.0 module. Tech-on reports an early much larger model was exhibited last year at Medica 2013, and the new miniaturized model is currently showcased at Medica 2013, which runs from Nov 20 to 23, […]

Almost Anything Can Be A Touch Input with The Touch Board and Electric Paint

Bare Conductive, a British startup, has designed an Arduino Leonardo compatible board with 12 capacitive touch sensors called the Touch Board. You can basically use any conductive material as a touch sensor, but the company’s existing “electric paint” really makes the board come to life, and you can just draw circuit anywhere, be it on paper, your wall, cardboard, and create fun and useful applications. Touch Board specifications: MCU – Atmel ATMega32U4 Microprocessor @ 16 MHz with 32 KB of Flash Memory of which 4 KB is used for bootloader. External storage – MicroSD card slot I/Os: 20 digital I/O pins (3 used for Touch IC and 5 for MP3 IC – can be disabled) 7 PWM channels 12 analog input channels 12 Touch electrodes of which 8 can be configured as extra digital inputs or outputs with PWM capability. (via Freescale MPR121) Audio – Playback and MIDI support via […]

The VERVE Connects Sensors Your Computer for Gaming, Monitoring, and More

The VERVE is a little box that connects to one of the USB port of your Windows or Mac OS X computer (Linux support coming in 2014), and supports up to 7 sensors. It is available as part of a kit for $99 on Kickstarter. The kit includes the VERVE, a mini USB to USB cable, seven “sensors” (A force sensor, a push button, a light sensor, a potentiometer, a motion sensor, a magnet sensor, and a touch sensor), two banana clips for the touch sensor, seven cables to connect the sensors to the VERVE unit, and 5 extension blocks. Once the VERVE unit is connected to your computer, and the needed sensors are connected to the VERVE, you can launch the VERVE application to visualize the sensors data in real-time, and assign a mouse or keyboard action based on the sensor’s data level as shown below. There’s also an […]

Google Announces LG Nexus 5 Smartphone with Android 4.4 KitKat

Google has partnered with LG and Nestle to bring to market the latest Nexus 5 smartphone featuring Android 4.4 “Kitkat”, the latest, and brand new, release of Android. Let’s first have a look at the device, and then we’ll go through the new features and improvement brought by Android 4.4. LG Nexus 5 Nexus 5 has the following technical specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 @ 2.26GHz with Adreno 330 GPU @ 450MHz System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage – 16 to 32 GB flash, but no microSD slot Display – 4.95″ touchscreen display with 1920×1080 resolution, Gorilla Glass 3 Connectivity – Dual band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi (2.4G/5G), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and GPS Celullar Networks – 2G/3G/4G LTE. GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, and LTE in North America, and GSM, WCDMA, and LTE for the rest of the world. Camera – 8MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and 1.3MP front camera […]

Scanadu Scout Medical Tricorder for Android and iOS

Low cost personal medical tricorders have the potential to dramatically bring down the cost of health care, and avoid unnecessarily wasted time in hospitals, which is probably the XPRIZE Foundation has launched a competition for  medical tricorders, where the winners will get 10 millions US dollars in funding. Scanadu Scout is one of the entry, and they currently have an indiegogo campaign, already oversubscribed, for their medical grade tricorder which gather data by placing it on your forehead for 10 seconds, and display medical data transferred via Bluetopoth Low Energy (Bluetooth SMART) on your iOS and smartphone. The company did not disclose full specifications, but they still revealed the device runs 32-bit Micrium RTOS, which is already FDA approved (pre-market 510K notification and PMA approval), it supports Bluetooth 4.0 SMART, and a micro USB port is included to recharge the battery. I fired up few Google image searches to look […]