Here at Electromaker, we've got a thriving staff blog chock full of tutorials, reviews, news, and more. Additionally, our community projects are uploaded by awesome Electromakers like you. June 2020 saw a slew of neat do-it-yourself projects, from fun-filled creations to practical inventions. Check out the best Electromaker community projects, June 2020 edition!
Snake? Snake? Snaaaake!!! One of the most beloved video gaming franchises, Metal Gear Solid spanned multiple console generations, and combined several different genres including stealth and action-adventure. Its technology-laden universe features a steampunk vibe. And in Metal Gear Solid 4, the Sons of the Patriots (SOP) or the System, was introduced as an artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The AI system controlled combat weapons via nanomachines implanted in the bodies of soldiers. Maker, gamer, and pop culture buff Mike Darby created a super cool SOP Metal Gear Solid Nerf gun. Like the SOP weapons in MGS, this Nerf gun won't fire unless it's being used by certain individuals and in select areas. That's achieved via a slew of onboard hardware including a fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, Raspberry Pi W, and environmental sensors. You can remotely add news users or unlocked, and a side-mounted LCD gives an ammo counter. Nerf may want to offer an off-the-shelf version of this branded with Metal Gear Solid since this thing is cool enough to be an official video game tie-in prop.
"Gordon Freeman, I presume." Valve created one of the best video game series of all-time in Half-Life. While the long-awaited Half-Life 3 crumbled into nothingness, eager fans finally got a continuation of the Half-Life saga in 2020's Half-Life: Alyx. I even purchased a virtual reality (VR) headset, the excellent and comparatively affordable Samsung Odyssey+, mostly with the intention of playing Alyx. Protagonist Alyx Vance wears a pair of steampunk-looking gloves. Not only are the gloves well-designed, but they can pull objects towards Alyx or propel them which solves the challenge of exploring a large digital world in a limited physical space, a pain point in VR. Do-it-yourselfer (DIYer) Ephex whipped up Half-Life: Alyx inspired gloves powered by an Arduino Uno R3. Outfitted with various sensors including temperature, humidity, pressure, and light sensors as well as an onboard LCD display, the gloves are not only great for cosplay but pretty useful too.
A novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has taken the world by storm. And many clever makers sought to solve various new challenges introduced by the pandemic, ranging from face-touching deterrents to games to stay entertained while social distancing. Mukesh Sankhla, computer science student, electronics hobbyist, and coder extraordinaire made an awesome Arduino-powered DIY hand washing reminder. It reminds you to wash your hands every 20 minutes. Three color modes give different messages: Red indicates you need to wash your hands, green means your hands have been washed for 30 seconds, and a color fading mode flashes for 30 seconds as a handwashing timer. It's a fantastic and practical DIY wearable device.
No matter how old you are, you definitely need a nightlight. And with this space-themed rocket nightlight, you've got an out-of-this-world way to brighten even the darkest of nights. It's Raspberry Pi 4-powered and uses NeoPixel RGB LEDs. 8 Bits And A Byte used a re-purposed rocketship lamp from a thrift store. You could go the upcycling route, or probably 3D print your own either by scouring a 3D printables website for a rocket, or even finding a 3D printable lamp design that's easily modified. Regardless of how you go about it, you'll have a blast making your own rocket nightlight.
The Raspberry Pi high-quality (HQ) camera debuted and it's great for photography, timelapses, and...playing board games? Wayne over at Devscover put a Raspberry Pi HQ camera to good use as a Scrabble helper. With a Pi, Pi HQ camera, and a but of Python code, Wayne's Scrabble-playing partner can read the Scrabble tiles and show the top scoring words you can make. It's a smart project that could probably beat many humans. Perhaps I can adapt one to help me finally win a round of Bananagrams.
Electronics and beverages often don't mix, and often when they do a bag of rice is required in a feeble attempt to dry off soaked gadgets. But this cheap, portable cocktail-making barbot by seafoxc complete with app control quite literally finds electronics mixing drinks. It uses an Arduino Uno R3 as its foundation along with a slew of other components including resistors, breadboards, and DC mini immersible water pumps. What's more, there's an app for remote control. It's practical, inventive, and looks pretty sweet. Since the barbot features a wooden housing, there's the potential to customize with paint. I'll take an Arduin-old Fashioned.
Smart home control and automation is possible with a smart home hub and connected devices like smart lights and thermostats. While you can buy pre-built smart home hubs devices, you can always build your own. This LoRa gateway from Makerfabs is comprised of an ESP32 board and Micropython. In this instance, two LoRa nodes send out humidity and temperature data to the gateway, then upload that to the Internet via the gateway. From here, you can configure tons of smart home automations.
One easiest yet most functional maker projects you can cobble together is a Raspberry Pi network-attached storage (NAS) device. You can create a media server or streaming music server with a Pi and other single-board computers (SBCs). Volumio is a user-friendly platform for spinning up a dedicated Raspberry Pi NAS for music streaming. Electrouser313 decided to add Google Assistant which lends additional functionality. While the Google Assistant SDK lacks music playback and streaming capabilities, combining the Google SDK and Volumio gives you a nifty little Pi jukebox with voice control. It's a sort of DIY smart speaker and the closest you can get to a build-your-own Google Home.
Charis Cat created a rad Arduino-powered granular synthesizer. DIY instruments and music projects are pretty cool. This granular synth features Arduino code that generates two triangle waves with adjustable decay and frequency. These waves in turn combine to make noises with granular synthesis. Charis Cat provides CV controls to the circuit for a modular design. Built with off-the-shelf components and Arduino code snippets, it's a project you can easily replicate.
Calling all Whovians! Show off your fandom with a Dr. Who Tardis night light, brought to you by BlueHairedJon. With Google Assistant onboard, it's an eye-catching design that's Raspberry Pi-powered, utilizes a Google AIY Voice Kit for artificial intelligence, and looks so high-quality you'd easily mistake it for a store-bought product. The interior features LEDs for gorgeous lighting, and an ESP8266 microcontroller. There's even a DrWhoTardisLights.ino file you can use. And Google Assistant plus an onboard speaker and microphone makes this a nifty little smart speaker/lamp combo.
Best Electromaker Community Projects June 2020 Edition
June 2020 saw tons of awesome community projects, from DIY smart speakers to LoRa gateways, portable Arduino-powered cocktail makers, and more. Take a look at all of our community projects, browse the Electromaker staff blog plus tutorials, watch the Electromaker Show to catch up on the latest news updates, peruse our forums, or share your recent projects on Electromaker!