Arduino Day 2016: Build three fun projects

3 cool projects to celebrate Arduino Day

Celebrate Arduino Day with 3 cool projects
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DustyDingo via Wikimedia Commons. Modified by Opensource.com. CC BY-SA 4.0.

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The Arduino is a truly powerful piece of electronics. Small, low power, flexible, and completely open source. Lots of makers and hackers have already figured out that giving their project an Arduino-brain ensures a simple, yet powerful and reliable core. There are more and more Arduino libraries and shields being released every day, so there's a good chance you won't even have to write a lot of code to use one.

In celebration of Arduino Day tomorrow—April 2, 2016—here are three Arduino-powered projects that I like lately. And, if you're new to Arduino, here are three projects to get you started. Remember fellow makers and tinkerers, the Internet of Things is just a fancy way of saying, "I can hack an Arduino into that."

Lego Nuclear Reactor

Okay, so this project isn't a real nuclear reactor (you can stop buying smoke detectors in bulk now), just a Python-coded simulator. The upstream has included instructions for how to build a Lego model powered by an Arduino, which illustrates (via LEDs) how much power is being generated, and has moving control rods. It seems like a clever (and safe) way to teach K-12 students about nuclear engineering.

3D-printed Crab Robot

I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but I'm betting that there will be crab robots in World War VI. This project includes the STL files to 3D print your own crab, the Java code to power it, and the Arduino to be its crabby brain. If you don't have a 3D printer, you can just run the java code on a PC and see it in a simulator. See it in action.

DIY Thermocam

Who hasn't wanted to build their own thermal-imager? Finding animals at night, checking for heat leaks in buildings, detecting interdimension cross rips! All of these things (well, most of them anyways) could soon be realized thanks to this project. You can buy it as a kit, source the components on your own, or even 3D print and laser cut your way to glory.

About the author

Tom Callaway - Red Hat employee since 2001. Co-author of "Raspberry Pi Hacks" (O'Reilly, 2014). Currently leading the Education Outreach team at Red Hat to promote FOSS in schools. Maintains or co-maintains a large number of Packages in Fedora (350+), and is responsible for managing Fedora's Legal issues. Frequently represents Fedora and Free Software at conferences around the world, and tries his best not to make too big of a fool of himself. When not working, Tom enjoys geocaching, ice hockey, gaming,...