Aug 19

arduino projects :DIYourfaceoff.com’s top ten arduino projects


I’ve several times found myself looking fora  good list of top arduino projects .  After all sometimes I’m interested in a project but don’t quite have one in mind.  Not only do i often find inspiration in looking at other pojects sometimes I even find something that I NEED to build.  Keep in mind…obviously I haven’t seen every project and we may not have the same tastes in projects but these ten projects are my favorites from this past year

Everyone else does them in reverse order…..but I’m going to start with my favorites at the top probably not the best idea when it comes to trying to get people to spend more time on my site but…..I want to hit you with the good stuff first.

1. Kegbot

I remember checking on this project a while back but recently some serious improvements have been made.  This project is a kegerator for beer geeks with flow measurement, android interface, and the ability to post stats to the web and even post to twitter and all about beer making it one of my favorite arduino projects.  Kegbot.org sells PCB’s for their arduino shield which features and RFID reader for user accounts that keep track of how much each user has consumed etc.

Check out the Kegbot.org site and forums and maybe even contribute something to the project

2. Makerbot

3D printers aren’t new, but they are fairly new to the DIY community and every year they get closer and closer to the commercial units.  While there is still a fairly large gap between commercial 3D printer offerings and DIY 3D printers both in print quality and price the makerbot replicator having the ability to print in several different colors with 2 different print heads gets one step closer.  So how does this fall into the category of arduino projects ?Makerbot’s control system is based on an arduino micro-controller, part of the reason it can be made available at such an affordable price as it uses open source electronics for its control system.

Here is an example of a two color print showing off the print quality of the makerbot replicator

3. Aeroquad

Quadcopters have been another largely popular DIY project.  With projects ranging in complexity from simple quadcopters to advanced squadrons of quadcopters like those at GRASP labs.  Aeroquad is a open sourced, arduino based quadcopter.  The site features a number of user build logs, a forum and many other useful resources including information on first person view or FPV setups for this project.  The Aeroquad site sells kits and individual components needed to build your very own quadcopter rig.  This is probably a more advanced arduino project but it is still very doable.

view the site at www.aeroquad.com for project information

4. Arduino PID Temp Controller

This is one of my favorite arduino projects because it has a number of different uses.  A PID temp controller, or proportional-integral-derivative controller for those without any controls background, is a feedback loop control mechanism that works by calculating an error value between the set point and measured value and works to minimize that variable.  Essentially you have a thermocouple to measure temperature, a set point which you set, and then a heating or cooling device plugged into an outlet that is controlled by a relay activated by the controller itself.  A common application for this is cooking sous vide, a method of cooking foods for long periods of time at a low, accurately controlled temperature.  A typical setup for this would involve a crockpot plugged into a pid temp controller which modulates the internal temperature based on temperature readings from a thermocouple placed inside of the crockpot.  These controllers are also useful for converting chest freezers into high efficiency refrigerators for use as kegerators or for normal refrigeration and to create controlled temperature environments for fermentation.

There are several arduino based PID controllers available.  Mike Sklar’s ATMEGA based YATC2 is a popular kit which can be purchased from his site with everything needed to be up and running with PID temperature control including a temperature probe for $60.00.  Recently an open sourced PID controller has even popped up on kickstarter


But since this is an arduino top ten list I am specifically mentioning this project at fermentation riot which is complete with a web interface so that you an monitor the temperature of your device at any point.

Fermentation Riot Web Interface

5. Bluetooth Mame Arcade Controller

MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) allows you to play all of your old arcade favorites, and with most laptops having an HDMI out its easy to have fun playing games on a large screen, or even a dedicated Mame Cabinet.  It is somewhat lame without arcade controls.  Street fighter 2 and Raiden, just aren’t the same without a joystick and some HAPP arcade buttons.  This project allows you to use an arduino and a bluetooth shield to interface your arcade buttons to your computer.  This is one of more several arduino projects on this list I am planning on building within the next several months.

Click on the picture to go to the wayne and layne site and check out more about the project

6. Spoke POV

I know this project isn’t really new, it is one of many arduino projects that has been available at adafruit.com for a while  but, its cool and as an avid cyclist quite frankly its a cool project.  I’m still waiting for the day when I see someone on the street who is actually riding around with some of these


POV stands for persistence of vision and the kit is available at adafruit.com’s store with everything you need to build it along with some very high quality tutorials, an adafruit staple.  My first experience with arduino is from adafruit tutorials and I have built several of their kits….expect nothing but great things from dealing with them.

7. Arduino Garage Door Opener

This project is  one of the simpler arduino projects on this list which is why I like it.  Its great to be able to work on some arduino projects that can help make every day easier.  Home automation projects are very popular in the arduino world for this very reason.  Who doesn’t want the smart house of “the future” with cheap relay control boards and cheap low power computers like rasberry pi’s available to act as a web server web control and monitoring of the home is relatively easy to setup.

Schematic from site

Explodertorium has a great arduino garage door opener using bluetooth so that you can open the garage with a cell phone or other bluetooth enable device.  This is a simple task as garage doors nearly always utilize a button inside the garage that activates the door by momentary contact between two wires.  All that is needed to activate this via arduino is a 5v relay which can be programmed using digitalWrite commands used in the most elementary of arduino sketches “blink”

8. Paintball Sentry Gun

This is a fun concept, and from the looks of the video it works quite well.  The idea of a DIY sentry gun has been thrown around the web for a while.  I have seen several nerf sentry guns built for office warfare.  This project takes it to the next level with a paintball sentry.

Check out the site here for more info on this project

9. Fart Chair

I know what you’re thinking, this isn’t a real game changer, after all its farts, but its one of the more fun arduino projects i’ve seen.  This guy (instructables user randofo) has made an arduino  based chair that detects farts and sends out a tweet when one is detected.

check out the full instructables build here

10. The Reverse Geocache Puzzle

This is one of several Arduino projects that was suggested by a twitter follower.  After looking it up I knew it had to be included in this list.  This project was originally built as a wedding gift for the creators friend, a friend that happened to be the person who introduced him to arduino in the first place.  This box is a puzzle that will not open until the user is in a certain location.  The device uses gps and an arduino to do so.

Check out the full write-up and build here