• More Open Garden real project photosAugust 21, 2014

    We are very happy to show you more pics of our Open Garden projects. As you may know, Open Garden is an Open Source hardware alternative to commercial home automation to remotely control your indoor, outdoor and hydroponic plants. We strongly believe it has huge potential due to its flexibility: its made of many separate sensors and actuators - it's a very modular and flexible environment.

    As you surely remember, you can find three different Open Garden kits: indoor, outdoor and hydroponics. These kits will help you to use the solution in greenhouses or houses, external gardens or fields, or even plants in water installations, respectively.

    In the photos you can see a three node Open Garden indoor installation:

    1.- One street monitoring node - no pics, it's allocated in the balcony - which monitors temperature, humidity and external light.

    2.- A second node controlling the soil moisture of a big plant in the dining room. If you look closely at the pictures, you could appreciate the sensor: is the black wire in the left side of the Gateway, it gets into the ground on the left of the plant.

    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr
    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr

    3.- A third node is also controlling the soil moisture of a third space, composed by a tomatoe plant, a mint plant and a basil one. This third node is also monitoring air temperature and humidity and ground temperature. You can notice the gateway by his side - it's connected to the water pump for drip irrigation. You can see the droppers in the last of the photos.

    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr
    More Open Garden Pics in Flickr

    Open Garden Droppers

    In this case, we are not using the Open Garden and XBee shields, or the Wifi module.

    Bonus tip: the gateway is connected to a RaspBerry Pi (USB Connection). We are stablishing an UART communication to save all the data in a database.

    We hope you have enjoyed the photos, and we encourage you to develop your own Open Garden projects following our step-by-step tutorial. We will be very happy to receive your project photos, and to share them in Twitter or Instagram, or RT your posts around Open Garden.

    You can also purchase the kits here:

  • Where is my car? Use Arduino for realtime GPS+GPRS tracking of vehiclesJuly 29, 2014

    If you have ever been victim of a car burglary and lost your car forever, you will be happy to know that Cooking Hacks has the solution for you: using geolocation tracking we will teach you how to prepare an useful gadget that will send you a SMS with your car location - and even will mark it in Google Maps - in case you get your car stolen.

    How does it work?

    This works as follows: you just call to the gadget, hidden previously in your car (in the trunk, the glove compartment or under your spare tyre, for example), and it will get the position data and send the realtime position to a web server. You can track your stolen car in realtime or even locate it in Google Maps.

    Use Arduino for realtime GPS+GPRS tracking of vehicles

    The heart of the gadget: the GPRS + GPS Quadband Module (SIM908)

    What is required to prepare this cool gadget is a Geolocation Tracker (GPRS + GPS) with SIM908, an external GPRS-GSM Antenna, an external GPS Antenna, a 9V Alkaline Battery, a 2300mA/h Rechargeable Battery and a Barrel Jack Adapter. With this materials, you can follow now our complete step-by-step tutorial that will guide you through the assembly and coding process.

    We will be happy to hear how this gadget have helped you recovering your stolen car. And use your imagination: we are sure you can use this gadget or a similar one to track other moving objects.

    Start now preparing your own realtime GPS+GPRS Tracking of Vehicles Gadget using Arduino with our complete tutorial.

  • Becoming a Maker - The 12 Maker Hacks ChallengeJune 27, 2014

    The Question

    This morning in Cooking Hacks office, Luis and Jorge were discussing if anyone following our Project Hacks and Tutorials could be able to become a Maker. The question was:

    Could a newbie - somebody with no electronic knowledge, starting from scratch - become a good Maker following 12 easy step by step Maker Hacks Tutorials?

    The 12 Maker Hacks Challenge!

    After googling for a while they found this Instructables Tutorial explaining How to Become a Maker and this other 4 Steps to Becoming A Maker, but instead or explaining what should include the normal Maker Workshop or which are the skills a Maker should have, they decided to prepare 12 detailed and useful practical examples (some kind of mini projects) that a newbie could try...

    After deciding that, they started to think who can be the ideal candidate to test it! Jorge had a cool idea...

    The Candidate

    The 12 Maker Hacks Challenge

    From now on...

    Javier, our Digital Marketing Manager, will be following Luis and Jorge's tutorials, and posting regular updates about his experience becoming a Maker.

    First of all, Javier will get used to Arduino IDE and environment, and will know the main components you can find in complete Arduino Starter Kit.

    Stay tuned and follow the Challenge!!

  • First complete Open Garden projects photos May 27, 2014

    We are pretty excited to show you some photos of our Open Garden projects we have taken. This project has huge potential and its appeal lies in the fact that it is made up of many separate sensors and actuators: it's a very modular and flexible project.

    As you may know, the Open Garden platform consist of three different kits: indoor, outdoor and hydroponics. These three kits will allow you to use it in houses and greenhouses, or gardens and fields, or even plants in water installations, respectively. We have tried with these kits to cover all possible growing plant scenarios.

    In the first photos (check below) you can see an Open Garden indoor installation. We are monitoring a cactus. Check in the left pic the bare soil moisture and the temperature & humidity sensors. As can be noted in the picture, the Open Garden Shield is accompanied by an XBee Shield and a Wifi module that sends data to the web application. The Open Garden Gateway is composed of the Arduino UNO board (of course), the Open Garden and XBee shields, and the Wifi module. You can see the web app in detail in the right pic. You can check the parameters measured by the sensors remotely: the app stores the information gathered in a data base and let you visualize it from an iPhone or Android device. In this case, there's no actuators implemented in the cactus.

    Indoor Open Garden installation

    In the next pair of photos you can see an Hydroponics installation and an entirely enclosured Outdoor kit. In the left pic you can see in detail the pH water sensor being allocated in the installation. If you look closely at the picture, you could appreciate the water temperature sensor: is the black wire in the right side of the Gateway, it gets into the water on the left of the box. In the right picture you can see an enclosured outdoor kit. In the left side of the shoot you can see an outdoor node. It can be fixed to the garden soil and send the data to the gateway via RF. The node also includes a solar energy supply system, and RF bidirectional communication (node - gateway) via transceivers. Note the enclosure, both gateway and nodes, prevents the entire system to be damaged by adverse environment conditions.

    Hydroponics installation and an entirely enclosured outdoor kit

    In the last photo you can see VĂ­ctor, one of our teammates, preparing the system in an outdoor garden, next to our office.

    We hope you enjoy the photos, and we encourage you to develop your own projects following our step-by-step tutorial. We will be happy to receive your photos, and to share them in our social networks, or RT your posts around Open Garden.

    You can purchase the kits here:

  • Take the most of the Galileo board by using on it the shields and modules designed by Cooking HacksMay 15, 2014

    We are happy to announce we have just released step-by-step tutorials that show how to connect Arduino and Raspberry Pi shields and modules to the Intel Galileo development board. Unlock the full potential of the Intel board - Galileo - using our shields, boards and modules designed for Arduino and Raspberry Pi!

    You can connect digital and analog sensors, and integrate different communication protocols, using the same pinout of Arduino but with the power and capabilities of Intel core. Galileo comes with a single-core 32-bit, 400MHz Quark SoC X1000 processor, supports 3.3 or 5 volt shields and has an Ethernet and USB port. Don't forget the software of Galileo includes support for the Arduino shield ecosystem. You will be able to connect any Arduino Wireless module (WiFi, GPRS, 3G), sensor or actuator which works over i2C, SPI or UART.

    Take the most of the Galileo board

    We have created a full pool of examples! You can read how to get started with the board and the processor features in our complete tutorial. Don't forget to check the complete list of modules and shields available for Intel Galileo.

    In detail, you can read about each of them:

    Don't miss our complete Galileo tutorial where you will find how to connect any Arduino Wireless module (RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Pro, Wifi, GPRS,3G), any sensor or actuator, specific shields or any electronic modules or actuators which works over i2C, SPI, UART...

  • e-Health complete kit comes back in stock with all sensors available, including SPO2November 4, 2013

    After several weeks, we have the e-Health Complete Kit ready to ship. When we launched our last release, e-Health Sensor Shield, we had to do a hard research to get our SPO2 sensor compatible with it.  Due to the high demand of them, it forced us to work hard on this, getting it ready to work with our shield.  Now the e-Health Complete Kit has come in stock and it is ready to be used with Arduino and the sensors which are integrated in it.

    From its release, we have received several awards and we have been in the media like Wired or Postscapes. And now, we are waiting for getting the last information about the Dyson Awards.

    Don't forget to read our full guide if you need more information about e-Health Sensor Platform. Learn how to use all sensors and our apps for iPhone and Android to monitor the patient easily.

  • Vintage radio hacked into a docking stationJune 18, 2013


    Mr. Oyvind from Oslo sent us a cool hack of a 75-years-old radio into an iPhone dock using an Arduino.
    On his website you can read the complete tutorial or download the code and below you can have more details on the way he used the board:
    the Arduino is used to read the state of the dual potentiometer that controls the volume and then translate this value into a certain number of LEDs being lit on the volume indicator.
    I am using a Duemilanove. The code for the project is very simple and can be found here: http://www.build-electronic-circuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/radio_ino.zip

    Via: Arduino Blog, Source: Build Electronic Circuits

  • A scary project: diy animatronic eyes using ArduinoJune 17, 2013


    Thanks to Lance who created a project on Instructables, you’ll be able to create remote-controlled eyes using:

    - Arduino Uno,
    - 2x servos,
    - some plexiglass
    - a couple of doll’s eyes.

    If you like animatronics, watch the video: the result is pretty scary!

    Via: Arduino Blog, Source: Instructables

  • A painting machine sensing your touchJune 12, 2013


    Kris Temmerman, a freelance creative developer based in Belgium, just published a nice report on how he built a painting machine running on an Arduino Due and an Android tablet.

    I was always interested to remove the perfection from computer graphics. So thought it would be fun to try to make the most obvious thing first. A machine that uses a paint brush to print a drawing.

    As you can see from the video, Kris was able to translate the pen pressure on the tablet into specific brush strokes on the paper.

    Via: Arduino Blog, Source: GitHub

  • A DIY magnetic levitation vehicle using ArduinoJune 10, 2013


    Next to our Arduino booth at Makerfaire Bay Area we had a cool project created by Antipodes, a girls robotics team headquartered in Pacifica, California, USA. It’s a Do It Yourself (DIY) remote controlled (RC) model maglev with electromagnetic propulsion, or shortly called maglev.

    A maglev is just like a conventional train but instead of wheels it has magnets and it levitates!

    The team did a great job not only for the results achieved but especially in sharing the project’s documentation, detailed with all the steps for the construction through videos and pictures so that others can more easily follow in their footsteps.

    The maglev, which won the Maker Faire Editor’s Choice blue ribbon, contains Arduino UNO, Arduino Wireless Protoshield, plus many other components you can explore in their videos below and in the project page.

    Via: Arduino Blog, Source: The one Robot

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