Maker Shed Arduino Giveaway: The Envelope, Please…


We could not be more pleased with your response to our recent Projects Pack for Arduino giveaway. The contest opened for entries last Friday, and closed last night, and during those five days the comments on the landing page logged more than 600 entries. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to tell us about either the coolest thing they’ve ever built with a microcontroller, or the coolest thing they dream of building, someday. We’re still collating all the fantastic projects and project ideas, but here are a few our faves:

I’ve already made a LEGO robotic K9 from Doctor Who, and I want to give him a voice. “Affirmative, master!” “Maximum defense mode!” — Colleen Johnson

My cat has FIV, and hence isn’t allowed outside. For the sake of giving him some exercise and brighten up his day, I’ve always wanted to build a motorised feeding bowl, that I can hide in a corner somewhere, and will then try and run away from the cat once he finds it. The bowl is covered to begin with. Navigation can be ultrasonics – it doesn’t need to know where it’s going, just move quickly. Once the cat catched up with it and gives it a good smack on top with his paw, it’ll stop and open the cover. — Tom Cryer

I always leave the garage door open so I recently built a garage door sensor with an arduino and ethernet shield. It uses a reed switch to determine if the garage door is open and it sends my wife and I a text message if it is open after 8PM. I also hooked it into the garage door opener so I can reply via text message to actually close the garage door. I can also query the current status (open or closed) via text message. It’s been working great and saved my butt a few times. — powdernine

I dream of building a salt water reef heaven, for many kinds of corals and fish. It will include pumps controlled by a microcontroller to simulate waves. Not only that but it will have an array of leds lighting the tank. The microcontroller will control each individual led to simulate day, night, dawn, and dusk lighting patterns. It will also control a moonlight which will follow the real time moon cycle. I would like to program to controller to simulate cloudy days and clouds passing by, and full blown simulated thunderstorms with intensified wave patterns produced by the power heads… There will be an automated feeding system, along with automated water changes, automated dosing of trace elements. Also temperature, ph, and salinity control through various probes attached to the microcontroller. — Eddie Groshev

Created a light-up Bustier for a community theater show. The actress could use pressure sensitive sensors inside the tips of her glove thumbs to control which sets of LED’s lit up and how bright. Press both down really hard to set off an animated pattern of heart shaped groups of colored LED’s. Built for the song ‘Gotta Have a Gimmick’ for the review ‘And the World Goes Round’. Arduino, flexiforce sensors, Lots of LED’s, and some lingerie. — JR Lewis

And on and on!

But we know you’re impatient to hear who actually won. So, without further ado, the winner, chosen by random lot, is Kelly Cooke. Kelly says:

I’ve been wanting to start working with Arduino. I’d really like to figure out an automatic system for watering and/or feeding my cat on. I’d also like to use it to figure out a way to keep said cat off of my countertops.

Congratulations, Kelly! And thanks again to everyone who entered!

For more microcontroller goodness, visit our Make: Arduino page.

8 thoughts on “Maker Shed Arduino Giveaway: The Envelope, Please…

  1. Todd Ferguson says:

    Grats Kelly!

  2. karthik says:


  3. Gregg says:

    Yes indeed. Of all of them that one is the best. K9 never said that as far as I know, but good luck anyway. I do know your cat won’t be thrilled……

  4. A.Mac says:

    Is the project pack going to be coming back into stock in the Maker Shed soon for those of us who didn’t win the contest?

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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