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5 Back-to-school DIY projects that we really love | Cypress Semiconductor

5 Back-to-school DIY projects that we really love

With the back-to-school season in full swing, we thought we’d dig out a few DIY projects that could save you time, money, and reduce the number of Target runs for dorm décor. Plus, we think anyone who can pull off projects like these will definitely earn some well-deserved maker cred. We know these projects aren’t school-specific, but we are positive that with a little creativity and engineering these DIY projects will make your life on campus a lot more fun.

And the best part? These wonderfully creative gadgets leverage the power and flexibility of Cypress solutions. Our design kits and development environments offer a great starting point for any kind of maker. DIY’ers especially love the intuitive PSoC Creator development environment that makes it super easy to integrate and customize to your heart’s content, without being a black belt programmer or EE major.

Here are a few of our faves …

Personal printer
Forget those late-night runs to the library to print out the term paper you should have started months ago. Check out this personal printer project that uses our PSoC 4 BLE. Winston Fernandes apped into the power of PSoC Creator to develop the logic and firmware needed for a variety of things, like feed motor driving and strobe signals. OK, so his first incarnation may not be quite suited for your graduate-level thesis, but the power of CTRL + P never gets old!

LED lighting on a skateboard
Looking for a cool way to get around campus? Why not trick out your longboard with some lights and turn it into a portable party. This guy, Josh Hulbert, turned to PSoC4 and the Creator IDE to add LED sensor lights to his ride. He used Creator to write the code and was able to integrate power using a USB battery back and creating a funky sequence for the lighting.

Portable DJ kit
Back to school means back-to-school parties, and every good bash needs loud music. At RS Online we found the ultimate DIY portable DJ kit from Dave Ives. It’s made from a standard tool box and makes your favorite digital tunes sound as close to spinning vinyl as possible. The key to this music maker is the Nu Tube pre-amp that “operates exactly as a triode vacuum tube” and adds more depth and texture to the digital output than simply connecting your laptop or smartphone to a portable speaker — that’s so 2017, man.

Drink mixer
But what’s a party without a good cocktail? Step away from the kegger and take your bar game to a new level with a voice-activated drink mixer. We love the detail and thoroughness of Elvis Wolcott’s PSoC-enabled DIY project over on, demonstrating not just engineering skill, but real mixologists’ expertise. “Liquids are simultaneously pumped at different rates. For example, when asked to make ‘Tropical,’ orange juice would be pumped at full speed while pineapple and mango are pumped at 10 percent speed creating a 10:1:1 mixture of juices.” Warning: this is a graduate-level project for sure and Elvis even used a 3D printer (which he also made himself) in the somewhat complex assembly process. In other words, don’t try sampling the drinks you can whip up until after the project is complete.

Room cleaner
And after the party comes … the cleanup. While you’re looking for that oh-so-satisfying, day-after cheeseburger, let your smart housekeeper take care of the mess your roommates are complaining about. This puppy vacuums and washes floors with an integrated water cannon, and even includes a laser-equipped guidance system. It wins points for a creative design that includes a toy Jeep chassis. The maker added in 2 Opamps, 4 Analog Comparators, a 12-bit ADC, Cap Sense, IDAC, SPI/I2C/UART — all done using the UDB –based (Universal Digital Block) hardware of PSoC 4 … and no C code. Plus, we love the enthusiasm of Shahariar, the inventor: “This is why I love PSoC, because it ROCKS!” How’s that for school spirit?

We are always on the lookout for cool maker projects that create awesome solutions for complex problems. Have a project you want to share that uses Cypress technology? Tweet at us @CypressSemi or email us at


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