Web Controlled Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are one way to celebrate the holidays. If you want to take the tradition further, why not web-enable your your xmas lights and let the world watch, control, and interact via the Internet. A couple of ioBridge users did just that – they took their holiday lights to Griswold levels.

Nathan Kennedy of Pacific Lights and Kennedy Technology has created an interactive display of reindeer and Christmas Star stakes covered in Christmas lights. You can watch his display all the way from New Zealand and switch them on or off on his website. He uses the ioBridge IO-204 connected to an arduino to control the lights on his website. It’s lots of fun controlling someone else’s holiday display.

Christmas Lights Controlled via a Web Page

Christmas Lights Controlled via a Web Page

Noel Portugal of Oracle has created an interactive holiday lights display using a mix of technologies. The result is Christmas lights synchronized to songs that are selectable on a web page, www.xmas-box.com. Inside the box are solid-state relays to control the lights, an Adafruit Wave Shield for Arduino Kit, and of course, the ioBridge IO-204 module to add some interactivity to his website. Noel details the procedure to create your very own Christmas Light Controller Box on Instructables.com and on his blog. On a related note, Noel also won third-place for his Dropping Spider ioBridge project featured on Instructables this Halloween! His neighbors must love him!

The Xmas Lights Controller Box in Action

The Xmas Lights Controller Box in Action

Happy Holidays!

Halloween Project Round Up

A number of ioBridge users created some amazing ioBridge-based projects for this Halloween. We were impressed with the diversity and how they interacted with the IO-204. From using some new offline features of ioBridge to using social networks to poke fun at their Halloween prey.

We have a steam powered steampunk pumpkin that blows smoke out if it’s ears. We have a spider dropping on it’s victim and snapping a photo and posting to Twitter via TwitPic. We also have a motion sensing, talking skull that scares co-workers in the owner’s cubicle. Check them out!

Well done guys. Thanks for your creative ideas and sharing your projects with the ioBridge community. And, Happy Halloween!

RFID Enabled Phone Dialing, Alternative Telephone Control

Stephen Myers, the original ioBridge hacker, has created a really interesting project. As part of his research and projects at University of Florida, Stephen thinks of ways to enable technology for the elderly and stroke patients that have trouble with tremors which results in the difficulty of dialing a simple telephone. He developed an RFID enabled system that allows a user to swipe an RFID badge with a person’s picture. The system decodes the information on the RFID and relays the data through the ioBridge IO-204 to a web application that links the phone to GrandCentral (Google Voice). This process setups the call causing the phone to ring, on pickup the telephone connects to the other party. In Stephen’s demonstration he uses his iPhone, but it’s not limited to mobile devices. Ingenious! Good luck pushing this idea further in your research.

For more infomation visit Hack-a-Day or Stephen’s Cygnet Engineering blog.


RFID Reciever, Arduino, and ioBridge

RFID Receiver, Arduino, and ioBridge

Arduino + ioBridge = Automated Airsoft Range

Polymythic released another amazing project using his favorite microcontroller (the Arduino) and the ioBridge IO-204 driving the interface. The context for Steve’s latest project is “How do I get the Arduino and ioBridge to work together?” and “My friend wants to shot Airsoft targets in his house”.  When you combine those two thoughts you end up with an automated, in-house Airsoft target range. He loads up a target program using a web page (via his iPod Touch) which sends command via the IO-204 to the Arduino which in turn controls servos that have target faces on them. By the looks of the Wolfenstein perspective in the video, the system looks fun to play with. 

The interaction between the Arduino and the ioBridge IO-204 is done by using the PWM output of the ioBridge servo module to a PWM input on the Arduino. The interface is a web page of widgets that when clicked, sends a specific PWM output value. When you click a button, “800”, the ioBridge servo board sends “800” to the Arduino and the Arduino executes a function in a look up table. The Arduino also triggers an output pin that is sent back to the ioBridge module to tell the ioBridge module it’s ready for another command. Very clever.

Check out the “Arduino/ioBridge Airsoft Target Range” blog post on Steve’s Polymythic Blog for a full write up on the project, Arduino source code, and a full-length instructional video — the whole shooting match. You can also find a few posts on his blog about weaving and bow making and the original Serv O’Beer project.