Arduino Day 2014 celebrated at Makers Asylum

Arduino Day 2014 celebrated at Makers Asylum

March 29, 2014 was the 10th anniversary of every Maker’s favorite micro-controller prototyping platform, ARDUINO ( Arduino Day was planned as a worldwide event bringing together Arduino people and projects and getting them to share the experience!

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We had just about set up Makers Asylum at our new location, and Arduino Day seemed like a good opportunity to get a community together and share and learn from each other’s experiences. We decided to go ahead and host the event just a few days before the 29th, so it was too late to register officially at the Arduino Day website ( Nevertheless, 60 guests RSVP’ed on our facebook events page ( and it looked like we would end up with standing room only. Luckily, attendance was limited to about 25-30 people through the day, which was perfect. Since we never had enough time to plan out the event in advance, we thought it best to run it as an “un-conference” format like a BarCamp.

We planned to start off the day at 11:00am, but had to hold up a bit since some folks had trouble finding us. The planned sessions consisted of Talks, Demos and Show-n-Tells.

After a brief round of introductions, we started off with the first talk of the day by Shreeyash Salunke. Shreeyash talked about “Serial Oscilloscope”. A windows based, open source program that can connect to external signals via the USB port, and display real time plots. So, hooking up an Arduino to it, and plotting/measuring signals becomes pretty simple. A simple piece of software, but mighty useful if you’re trying to monitor or debug your Arduino project.

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Next up was Kaustubh Shivdikar, who talked and demo’ed his Smart Back Pack called as E-Bag v2. He’s managed to squeeze in a mini-refrigerator, a mobile phone charger, smart wallet to track his cash, a display to monitor all the functions, a 230V inverter outlet, and more. The young kids at the Asylum were so engrossed in talking and discussing the E-Bag, it made all the elders feel left out.

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Well, so what do they do – have a fight. We have a couple of Nerf Guns at the Asylum, and a gun fight started out in earnest. Well, there was total insanity and mayhem.

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The workout made everyone hungry, and we all went out looking for grub. Bandra West Hill Road is a pretty swanky location, with lots of eating options. But this was a Saturday afternoon, and every place was full to the rafters. We walked over to Hearsch Bakery which offered a nice outdoor sit out for us to munch and talk.

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Back at the Asylum, we had Arjun Jindam waiting for us. He demo’ed his awesome tweet-a-target Nerf Gun – a project that he did for a client at a Shopping Mall, where shoppers were asked to tweet a hashtag, and the gun would try to hit a moving target. People who hit the bulls eye got some free stuff. The Arduino was used to trigger the Nerf Gun via a Relay.


Abhishek Sawarkar walked in with what looked like a tricked out Skate Board. He had a pressure sensor connected at the front of the skateboard. This was hooked up to an ATMega which was controlling a pair of drivers. The drivers were PWM’ing the DC motors connected to the rear wheels using a set of gears and bicycle chain. Frankly, it looked like a tank. The power source was a hefty lead acid battery which he claimed ran the skateboard for around 4-5 hours. It was an awesome project, said everyone who tried it out.

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Siji Sunny from the Mumbai Linux Users Group gave a talk on his experience using various open source development platforms like the Arduino, Raspberry-Pi, Beagle Bone series, Cubie Board etc.

Next up, I gave a talk on the Arduino eco-system, explaining the hardware, the software, shields, programming and applications for this wonderful platform. That was as good a time as any for me to also open up my box of goodies and show off all the various Arduino projects that I have been doing with my team at WyoLum (

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There was a lot more Nerf Gun action.

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Kaustubh demoed how the Arduino IDE works, and walked through some simple examples like how to blink a LED and how to move a servo etc. For some of the folks who were still new to Arduino, it looked simple and easy, and I could sense we had a few more Arduino converts.

All the heavy fighting action got one of the Nerf Guns jammed, so Vaibhav, Harshad and a couple of others did what happens best at a MakerSpace – open it up, fault find and repair it.

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Before we all knew, it was already 6:00 in the evening and time to go. It was a great day where everyone who attended enjoyed, had fun and learned a lot of new stuff. Next up at the Asylum, lots more Arduino action in the future, so keep an eye out.

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