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Ben Gray and Ben Pirt Join Forces for Mime Industries

Gareth Halfacree

Ben Gray and Ben Pirt Join Forces for Mime Industries

Our good friend Ben Gray, fellow maker and UK Maker Belter, has been busy over the last few months - and now we know why: he's partnered with another Ben to launch Mime Industries, a new company dedicated to do-it-yourself robotics and electronics for education. Ben Gray's partnership, which has been in the works for some time, is with open-hardware turtle-style robot kit Microbot creator Ben Pirt. We've covered Ben P's homebrew manufacturing tools in the past, and got to see the Mirobots in action at Maker Faire UK 2016 earlier this year. Frankly, they're fantastic: laser-cut bodies powered by...

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Take Your Arduino Off-Grid with Embedded Lab's Solar Power Project

Gareth Halfacree

Take Your Arduino Off-Grid with Embedded Lab's Solar Power Project

With various low-cost and - in some cases - extremely long-range - radio modules available, it's natural to turn to the Arduino when planning a remote sensor project. While you may have sorted communications, though, you're left with one thorny problem: power. If there's nowhere to run a serial cable, there's likely no handy socket - so what can you do to keep your sensors ticking over? Raj Bhatt over at Embedded Lab has at least one answer: low-cost, two-component solar power. Using a 6W solar panel and an ultra-low-cost 5V buck converter module, Raj has been able to successfully...

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Simon Sörensen's Servo-Based Electric Screwdriver Build

Gareth Halfacree

Simon Sörensen's Servo-Based Electric Screwdriver Build

Sometimes, a maker builds a tool rather than buying it because doing saves a fortune. A homebrew pick-and-place machine costs a fraction of an off-the-shelf industrial model, as do automated ROM flashing machines and PCB drills. Other times, though, a maker builds a tool rather than buying it simply for the challenge. Simon Sörensen's latest project is exactly one of these times: building an electric screwdriver out of a battery and hobby servo, following the untimely death of his commercial screwdriver. Based around a cheap hobby servo - though Simon recommends switching the plastic-gear servo he had lying around for...

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Konstantin Dimitrov's Arduino Pro Mini NeoPixel Pixie Watch

Gareth Halfacree

Konstantin Dimitrov's Arduino Pro Mini NeoPixel Pixie Watch

Smartwatches are all the rage these days, with wrists the world over more adorned than they've been since the digital watch heydays of the 1970s and 1980s. Most, though, are far from cheap - which is where Konstantin Dimitrov's Pixie watch comes in. Based around an Arduino Pro Mini board connected to a 12-LED NeoPixel ring, Konstantin - who was behind the DIY non-contact thermometer we covered earlier this year - designed the watch as a do-it-yourself project rather than as a fashion accessory. This is particularly visible in the cardboard casing and thick hook-and-loop strap, but the finished article...

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B. Aswinth Raj's Arduino-Powered Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Gareth Halfacree

B. Aswinth Raj's Arduino-Powered Robot Vacuum Cleaner

The Arduino platform is a fantastic starting point for learning robotics. Even the smaller and cheaper models are perfectly suited to driving simple wheeled vehicles, and an Arduino Uno coupled with a Bluetooth module is plenty powerful enough for a smartphone-controlled design. Circuit Digest's B. Aswinth Raj has a great example of the Arduino's flexibility in this area in the form of his latest published project: a smart vacuum cleaner based on the same principles as iRobot's popular Roomba range. Where the Roomba is an expensive piece of bespoke equipment, though, Raj's creation is made from plywood, cheap motors, and...

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