FARMBOT Open-source CNC Farming Machine


FarmBot is an open-source CNC farming machine designed for small-scale precision food production. Similar to any CNC milling machine, FarmBot hardware employs linear guides in the X, Y and Z directions for tooling. FarmBot tools include: seeder, watering nozzle, camera, weeder and soil sensor.


FarmBot is powered by a Raspberry Pi 3, Arduino Mega 2560 and RAMPS 1.4 shield. All of FarmBot’s plastic components are designed to be 3D printed. FarmBot team have made a very detailed step-by-step assembly instructions, bill of materials and technical specifications for every part.

FarmBot is controlled and configured using the FarmBot web application, which looks like a game!.





Mumai – Control Anything Using your Muscles

Alvaro Villoslada designed an open-source muscle-machine to control any kind of electronic device through the myoelectric (EMG) signals. The name of this project is Mumai and it is published on


“The Professional EMG systems are very expensive, cumbersome and complex” Alvaro said. And that is the problem which Alvaro tries to solve in this project. He aims to develop an affordable and open-source wearable wireless network of EMG sensors, that can be placed on any muscle to control devices, ranging from computers or smartphones to robots, using EMG signals.


Alvaro wants to equip each EMG sensor with an ESP8266 module to get the digitized signals and to send them wirelessly, forming what he called a Mumai node.

You can get all source files from github repository, including the PCB and schematic files. Alvaro uploaded an Arduino sketch file of an application for his project, which is a bruxism detector.

Finally, for more in depth information, “The EMG sensor used in this project is based on my MSc thesis, where more information regarding the design and operation of the circuit can be found” Alvaro said.

[Project Page]

Simple two-transistor circuit lights LEDs


Barry Tigner @ has a design idea on how to power a LED from a 1.5V battery using two easily available transistors.

A previous Design Idea describes a circuit that uses an astable multivibrator to drive an LED (Reference 1). The circuit in Figure 1 uses a simpler alternative approach. The circuit uses a 2N3904 NPN transistor and a 2N3906 PNP transistor, which operate as a high-gain amplifier.

Simple two-transistor circuit lights LEDs – [Link]


Google’s quantum computer just accurately simulated a molecule for the first time


Google’s engineers just achieved a milestone in quantum computing: they’ve produced the first completely scalable quantum simulation of a hydrogen molecule. by DAVID NIELD @

Researchers working with the Google team were able to accurately simulate the energy of hydrogen H2 molecules, and if we can repeat the trick for other molecules, we could see the benefits in everything from solar cells to medicines.

These types of predictions are often impossible for ‘classical’ computers or take an extremely long time – working out the energy of something like a propane (C3H8) molecule would take a supercomputer in the region of 10 days.

Google’s quantum computer just accurately simulated a molecule for the first time – [Link]

Measure Weights Using OpenScale from Sparkfun

Sparkfun has a simple-to-use and open source solution for measuring weight and temperature. All you need is a load cell hooked up with OpenScale.


OpenScale uses HX711, a 24-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) specifically designed for weighing scales. It’s connected with an Atmega328P through a serial data line to get the reads from HX711. Atmega328P is running Arduino and an extensive pre-loaded configuration firmware to create an off-the-shelf solution for load cell reading.


You can get the output using the on board FT231 through USB terminal or directly get UART signals through the serial out connector. Also, Openscale uses TMP102, as on board temperature sensor. You can also connect an external one.


To get more details, you can refer to the detailed OpenScale guide.

[Product Page]

Arduino Proximity Alarm


Lucas Reed @ has build a proximity alarm using Arduino and an ultrasonic sensor from Parallax. If a nearby object is approaching then the alarm will sound and an RGB LED will light up. He writes:

An ultrasonic rangefinder and Arduino microcontroller will check for nearby objects and if need be, alert you with a piezo-buzzer and RGB LED. Learn about these components using electronics lab simulations and eventually design, code, simulate, and build the proximity alarm itself! This is great if you are looking for a quick project to learn about digital electronics.

Arduino Proximity Alarm – [Link]


Neopixel Night Light using ATtiny85


joshua.brooks @ describes how he build a night light using an Adafruit NeoPixel, ATtiny85 microcontroller, TSSP4038 IR receiver and some other easy available components.

I’m giving some workshops in electronics in a few weeks, centered around an inexpensive, but useful real-world project. When trying to come up with a thing to make, I wanted it to involve a microcontroller, NeoPixel LEDs (because, they’re awesome), be remotely controllable, and allow for different build options. It also had to be fully simulatable in Autodesk Circuits. This is the project that evolved.

Neopixel Night Light using ATtiny85 – [Link]

A1367 – Field programmable linear Hall-effect sensor IC


Allegro MicroSystems Europe has added a field programmable precision linear Hall-effect current sensor IC with features including a 240 kHz bandwidth, integrated voltage regulator, reverse battery protection, user-selectable ratiometry, and uni- or bi-directional output options. By Graham Prophet

The user can configure the sensitivity and quiescent (zero field) output voltage through programming on the VCC and output pins, to optimise performance in the end application. The quiescent output voltage is user-adjustable, around 50% (bidirectional configuration) or 10% (unidirectional configuration) of the supply voltage, VCC, and the output sensitivity is adjustable within the range of 0.6 to 6.4 mV/G (Gauss).

A1367 – Field programmable linear Hall-effect sensor IC – [Link]

Controlling Bus Pirate with Python


Scott Harden show us how to control the Bus Pirate with python and give us example code.

After using the AVR-ISP mkII for years (actually the cheap eBay knock-offs) to program ATMEL AVR microcontrollers, today I gave the Bus Pirate a shot. Far more than just a microcontroller programmer, this little board is basically a serial interface to basic microcontroller peripherals.

Controlling Bus Pirate with Python – [Link]

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary)

Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen

We examine the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west. The film looks at how the evolution of “Shanzhai” – or copycat manufacturing – has transformed traditional models of business, distribution and innovation, and asks what the rest of the world can learn from this so-called “Silicon Valley of hardware”.

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) – [Link]