The open-source hardware and software project known as Arduino has really captured imaginations since the first version was released in 2005. To this day, you would be hard-pressed to find a better way of creating amazing devices that use sensors and actuators to interact in various ways with their surroundings.
Unsurprisingly, then, some seriously impressive projects have been made possible down the years with a little help from Arduino - the below being just three of those from around the web that recently caught our eye.
- Twitter mood light
Do you feel a bit jetlagged at times with the frenzied world of social media? Wouldn't it be nice at times to just have a general indicator of the current prevailing mood of humanity-at-large? Well, in that case, what you need is a Twitter mood light that through simple colour, gives a sense of how people across the globe are presently feeling on the basis of their social media feeds.
Using nothing more than an Arduino, Twitter.com, a WiFly wireless module, an RGB LED and a 9v battery, this 'World Mood in a Box' project uses different colours to signify the current international mood, with red indicating anger, yellow happy, pink love and so on. White, meanwhile, suggests fear, so if you see that one, it may just be your cue to dive under your desk in readiness for the impending World War III.
- Mind-controlled Nerf gun
While beginners can easily undertake certain Arduino projects that you will find online, this is not one of them. With maker Chris Meyer admitting to having cultivated "a perhaps unhealthy obsession with cybernetics" during his youth, it perhaps shouldn't be a surprise that he, of all people, would create a mind-controlled Nerf gun.
It certainly looks like a fun thing for blasting various misbehaving members of your family at the barbecue, and as Meyer explains, it can be created with an Arduino, modified Nerf Stampede and pricey NeuroSky Mindset headband.
- Chess-playing robot
As much as many of us love to play chess, sometimes, human players just aren't tough enough opponents. That's where the thought of building your very own chess-playing robot surely comes in.
It'll cost you about $350 (£240) to get together all of the parts and materials for this one, including - but not restricted to - a couple of Arduinos and a large chess board with pieces. The likes of a mux (multiplexer) shield, large neodymium magnet and two pairs of 24" drawer bearings will all also be handy for creating this little masterpiece, with the magnet being raised and lowered to move the pieces on the chess board.If the above ideas have caught your imagination and you would like to start toying with the many possibilities of an Arduino for yourself, you only need to check out the comprehensive range of Arduino products offered at Makersify. We are an official Arduino UK reseller, so don't look anywhere else when looking to make all manner of incredible Arduino-powered projects a reality.