With Amazon’s general release of the Echo home automation controller, it may be time to take a second look at the home automation market. I first took the plunge into commercial home automation several years ago with X10-compatible hardware (http://www.x10.com).
Back in 2008, Nuts & Volts sponsored the $100 Workbench Challenge. It was a great success and we had plenty of readers enjoy participating in the contest and showing off their carefully crafted work spaces. With the changes in available tools and technology, we decided to bring the challenge back, but this time even bigger and with a lot more prizes! Our new two-part contest is a combination of straight-up workbench design and a bit of "show and tell." So, let’s get down to details. What exactly is the Workbench Challenge 2015? Check out the details...
Like a Segway, Sideway uses a lean angle to control speed. It uses a wireless Wii Nunchuk controller to manuover the two wheeled skateboard. The Sideway uses the Parallax Propeller with custom software for the IMU and control. There are two 280W, 24V electric scooter motors, one on each wheel, both driven by a Sabertooth 2x32A motor controller. It'll run for about 40 minutes +/- on a single charge.
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Of all the articles I have written, it seems that the most popular one was the December 2014 Christmas Earrings project. I received a ton of emails asking me to make other types. I thought it was interesting that the version designed using a microprocessor and surface-mount (SMT) components was far more popular than the simple one using through hole parts.