Anime Arduino (Read 308 times)

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So yeah I'm a pretty huge nerd and totally down with tech projects but I'm really not the greatest with software development so I got an Arduino board to teach myself how to program microcontrollers. Games and PC UI software don't interest me in the slightest so I'm looking for some cool projects to put my brain to work on this summer and learn more programming in the process before I make my grand re-entrance to school.

Has anyone here ever played with these things before? so far the only project that has caught my attention is the Arduinome which is basically a Monome clone(peep dis), so maybe I'll do that, but do any of you have any experience or ideas on what I can do with this thing???
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Doing something with sound would be nice anyhow since it's something that makes a lot of sense to have an external interface for. I would think that something with an AI would be a fun endeavor as well. Or something strange, like a Pong game in which you move the paddles by shining a laser pen at it.

One thing you might want to do is document your process as you go along, it would be interesting to see how you would go about building something like that. I'm a software guy who has pretty much no knowhow of the hardware side of things, and I'd like to eventually put in some serious effort to learn more about it.
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These definitely seem to make things a lot easier than typical microcontrollers. I have a more obscure development board an electrical engineer I know had left over from his work and I lost the circuit diagram so I need to get a multimeter before I can write any programs for it, hahaha. My flatmate has an Arduino though and it seems pretty good. I think he's currently trying to hook it up to this black and grey lcd he bought.

I think that the NorthPaw is the most interesting Arduino project I've seen recently. It's an anklet that can sense the direction of north and uses vibrations to constantly notify the wearer of it. Supposedly after wearing it for long enough, it becomes like a sixth sense (providing you're wearing the anklet, obviously.)

Technical docs: http://sensebridge.net/projects/northpaw/northpaw-downloads/
Info: http://sensebridge.net/projects/northpaw/

I assume that when you build it, it's actually small/comfortable enough to fit under your clothes. Otherwise you'd have an awkward 'having built a sensory enhancement device' vs 'having everyone know you built a sensory enhancement device' trade-off.
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I've made an LED cube that blinks in a pattern, a motion-sensor doorbell like at gas stations, and a scrolling marquee so far. These things are really awesome as a learning tool! Having some kind of practical application makes abstract stuff like programming a lot easier.