Arduino-ish Flashlight

first thought: sort of lame.

... but... reconsidering... actually ... pretty cool. i like the idea. :-)

I wonder if it has enough energy in the infrared range to work as a TV-B-Gone.

It doesn't seem to have any inputs when not connected to USB (that I can see in the description). So when unplugged it's an embedded system with 1 output and 0 inputs. I definitely think it needs more inputs :)

-- The Rugged Motor Driver: two H-bridges, more power than an L298, fully protected

I realize it isn't much and I could easily be wrong but I think the on/off button also serves to change the "mode".

Ah...good point: the button. But there are so many more possibilities. Temperature sensor and RGB output to act like a "mood ring". Magnetic compass module to act as a direction finder and/or North locator. Even a cheap accelerometer can be used as an input device to play with the modes or modulate them somehow ("gesture based" computing). It might also be cool to have an auto-off mode if the flashlight is pointing down towards the ground. Lift it up to point to the horizon and it automatically turns on. That could even get rid of the on/off button altogether. The accelerometer senses no motion in X seconds and turns the light off; new motion turns it on.

Then again they've raised nearly $200k for a 1-input 1-output embedded system so maybe they know what they're doing.

-- The Ruggeduino: compatible with Arduino UNO, 24V operation, all I/O's fused and protected

thats what I didnt like about it at first... it seemed like an awfully simplistic device.

but then... I am just used to having x amount of inputs and outputs. so you can look at this, as a really simplistic to the state of boring one input one output device.

oooor ... its a really cool flashlight. if they add a graphical programming environment, then basically anyone can use it to create their own light. I dont really think is aimed at the hardcore DIY community - more towards people who think its amazing that they can plug something into their computer and then manipulate it.

I like the idea because of its simplicity and robustness. Can it be programmed with Arduino IDE?

More buttons would make the device less intuitive (Apple mouses only have one button too) but that should not be biggest issue.

  • Think an SOS mode would be a nice sketch for it
  • a light sensor so it adapts its output to surroundings (to be not to bright)
  • brighten/dim until keypress mode

Very nice idea, and a very good kickstart btw!

robtillaart: (Apple mouses only have one button too)

... and apple mouses are well known for their superior design and quality?


Apple is well known for their user-centric design and usability labs. They are not technically the most afvanced or best but imho they provide the best user-experience.

And no they didn’t invent the mouse, that was the group of Douglas Engelbart - -
In part 2 he shows an editor with line numbering [mind you 1968, Apollo 8 was hot news, 20 years before windows]

Windows came from Xerox Parc - -

RuggedCircuits: Ah...good point: the button. But there are so many more possibilities.

That's typical for most high-end lights. If you're all über tactical, you don't want a fancy interface. A long press is on/off, and momentary presses switch modes. Some lights also use a rotating bezel for extra options. I don't really go nuts for flashlights, but I wouldn't mind having something like the NightOps Gladius. Surefire certainly kicked off a revolution in the flashlight world.

I found a thread at candlepower forums about the HexBright.

robtillaart: I like the idea because of its simplicity and robustness. Can it be programmed with Arduino IDE?

Well, (from the CPF thread):

3) The tools used to program will be completely open source. Most likely the Atmel Atmega/Attiny tools such as WinAVR for windows and AVR-GCC for linux/mac.

I like the idea, but for now, I'm just going to stick with my Fenix lights.

robtillaart: Windows came from Xerox Parc

Yep - The Xerox Star was an amazing system for its day:

...but they couldn't sell it - they couldn't hit the price point. Other things happened - and, well, history...

Have you ever seen the demo of their "Pads, Tabs, and Boards"? I wish that were standard in offices today! Actually, all the tech exists to do it now - it's just that some of it is fairly expensive (the Boards), some of it is fairly cheap (Pads), and some of it isn't really a product yet (Tabs - RFID security badges come close, though). None of it is seamlessly combined.