Wouldn't it be nice to be able to develop quick prototypes of projects with simple and integrated hardware without having to worrig about constructing an I/O platform or tying in code with hardware? Meet Arduino.

Arduino Projects


Thanks to some down-time set aside for development with the Arduino platform in Eric's Embedded Systems class, me and my pal Eddie Bertot decided that we should take the liberty of getting to know this microcontroller-beast and its awesome capabilities. By the way, if you are interested in trying out any of these examples that we've shown, feel free to check out our code repository linked below. It should have the exact code used to produce these demos. All of the projects listed below are very simple implementations of the Arduino board and 1-2 basic controllers. These projects took no more then about 30 minutes to construct.

Lights, MIDI, Noises!

One of the most appealing aspects of working with an Arduino is the multitude of available open-source projects that are documented online. Our first task with these boards was appropriately geared towards utilizing existing code to merge three functions of an Arduino board together: tone generation, MIDI interfacing, and light sequencing. Below is a demo of the Frankensteined result.

The first bit of code that was borrowed helped us produce tones from the Arduino. Mapping the value of a knob to the pitch produced gave us tone-sweeping abilities, which we then took and used to control the speed of some sequenced LEDs which would alternate green and red. Crazy!

More on the assignment

Tri-Ax Synth Stick

For our next experiment, an Accelerometer was thrown into the mix. Triggering LEDs and rotational acceleration values via Serial Output can only be so exciting, but controlling 3 different pitches with X, Y and Z acceleration? Eat your heart out, Future Man!

The two knobs shown on the breadboard control volume of the output, and duration of each of the 3 notes being played. The Arduino cycles through 3 pitches, the ranges of which are all pseudo-harmonically ranges of frequencies between 400 Hz and 5000 Hz. Despite the misleadingly awesome title of this video/project, I think this sort of shenanigans has some definite potential for interactive music generation.


Thanks to Spectra Symbol, our Arduino kit of the day included a flexible 'SoftPot' Linear Potentiometer, which is really just fancy-talk for a flexy strip which sends out variable resistance based on where you touch it. Some of that, plus a little Arduino love... and:

Sam Drazin © 2018

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