When it comes to awesome electronics, most of us simply wait for companies to create cool things and then decide whether or not a gadget is worth our hard earned cash. But thanks to open source platforms like Arduino, absolutely anyone can build some of the coolest gizmos from scratch, and even customize them to our liking. These are 10 of the most amazing homemade toys, appliances, and gadgets that you can build in your own living room.
1. ArduPilot Will Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings
Project Homepage: DIY Drones
The military has thrust the idea of robotic aerial drones into the public consciousness, so it shouldn’t be surprising that many home gadget gurus want one of their very own. The ArduPilot is the perfect kit for such a project, and for a relatively meager price you can turn virtually any radio-controlled plane into a surveillance tool — or simply shoot some amazing high-altitude video.
2. Build Your Own Electronic Pong Game
Project Homepage: Arduino Pong
Pong is one of the most beloved and classic video games of all time, but chances are you’ve never built your own version. Arduino Pong lets you create a custom version of Pong which you can plug right into your television and enjoy for yourself. The game is very basic, but if you’ve ever played Pong, you know exactly what to expect. Now if only we could build our own version of Super Mario Bros…
3. Mind-controlled Nerf Gun Lets You Shoot When You Think
Project Homepage: Mindbullets
I think everyone can agree than Nerf guns are awesome. But what could possibly make them even more awesome? Being able to fire the brightly-colored darts and bullets just by thinking it. The Mindbullets project lets you do exactly that, and it’s just as amazing as it sounds. By combining the brainwave-sensing NeuroSky headset and some Arduino hardware, your run of the mill Nerf gun will be turned into an unstoppable, foam-dart-shooting machine.
4. Make Your Houseplant Tweet its Desires
Project Homepage: Botanicalls
Ever wish you could actively communicate with your houseplants? This Arduino kit by Botanicalls not only lets your plants speak to you, but also to the world at large. Using probes that can sense the level of moisture within a plant’s pot, the hardware can send tweets letting you know the plant needs watering. If the plant gets particularly dry, a more urgent tweet will also be sent. It can even sense if the plant is being overwatered, ensuring that you’re keeping your green thumb in check.