This book will show you how to use your Arduino to control a variety of different robots, while providing step-by-step instructions on the entire robot building process. You’ll learn Arduino basics as well as the characteristics of different types of motors used in robotics. You also discover controller methods and failsafe methods, and learn how to apply them to your project. The book starts with basic robots and moves into more complex projects, including a GPS-enabled robot, a robotic lawn mower, a fighting bot, and even a DIY Segway-clone.
- Introduction to the Arduino and other components needed for robotics
- Learn how to build motor controllers
- Build bots from simple line-following and bump-sensor bots to more complex robots that can mow your lawn, do battle, or even take you for a ride
Book: Arduino Robotics - [Link]
These days, smartphones do just about everything, but what about opening your front door? On this week’s episode of element14’s “The Ben Heck Show,” Ben transforms everyday household products into time-saving and convenient solutions, including an automated door buzzer he controls from his smartphone. Ben also transforms a manual thermostat into an automated system that adjusts to pre-set temperatures at pre-programmed times. Check out the full episode at element14 when you have the chance, and see home automation at its finest.
In addition, show fans are invited to join the discussion online at element14 to engage with community members, submit project ideas for a future episode and enter for a chance to win one of Ben’s builds featured on the show, including his Xbox 360™ CD disc changer and portable 3D printer.
Modder master Ben Heck morphs his apartment into a “smart home” - [Link]
The TPS84620EVM-692 is a fully assembled and tested circuit for evaluating the TPS84620 4.5-V to 14.5-V Input, 6-A Synchronous Buck, Integrated Power Solution. The TPS84620EVM-692 incorporates a DC/DC converter with output voltage and frequency that are adjustable using jumpers.
- Complete Integrated Power Solution Allows Small Footprint, Low-Profile Design
- Efficiencies Up To 96%
- Wide-Output Voltage Adjust (1.2 V to 5.5 V) with 1% Reference Accuracy
- Optional Split Power Rail allows input voltage down to 1.6 V
- Adjustable Switching Frequency (480 kHz to 780 kHz)
- Synchronizes to an External Clock
- Adjustable Slow-Start
- Output Voltage Sequencing / Tracking
- Power Good Output
Synchronous Buck Integrated Power Solution: TPS84620EVM-692 - [Link]
A few folks (including us) have iPhone 3Gs units that sometimes say ‘Charging is not supported with this accessory’ – it appears to be a wonky dock connector… jsappo writes -
Hey everybody! I just encountered this same problem and fixed it! It’s a wonky dock connector straight up. I have outlined the entire process for fixing it.. Hit me up with any questions.
iPhone 3gs FIX! – ‘Charging is not supported with this accessory’ - [Link]
Circuitbee: Sharing Electronic schematics online [via] .. Ben Delarre shared his story with Make about the origins and future of Circuitbee, a service that allows you to embed schematics on websites…
Have you ever designed an electronic schematic then wanted to share it on your blog? Or wanted help improving your circuit on a forum? Ever peered at a tiny/massive image of a circuit on a website and wondered why on earth there wasn’t a better alternative?
We have. Back in 2010 we were working on our first major electronics project, the Illuminatrix, an array of 256 RGB LEDs that were to show animations created by people all over the world at the Burning Man festival. It involved using a lot of technology we’d never used before, so we weren’t quite sure about our circuit designs.
We tried posting on blogs and forums trying to explain our schematic and the problems we were having with it. This proved more difficult than we expected: describing a circuit in words is really hard, so we tried to post an image of our schematic instead, and our schematic project files.
This involved a lot of messing around with capturing JPEGs of the schematic and uploading all the project’s symbol libraries and schematic files. But of course people willing to help didn’t necessarily have the right software, or the JPEG was too small to read usefully, or too large to post on many of the forums. We thought that there must be a better way to share schematics, to discuss them, and to show them to people while writing about them. It turned out there wasn’t anything out there that would help us do this, so being the ambitious fools that we are we set out to create it.
CircuitBee is like YouTube for your circuit schematics. You upload your Eagle or KiCAD schematics, we crunch the numbers and create an online embeddable version of your schematic. You can pan and zoom, and mouse over components in your circuits for more details .
We’re still at an early alpha stage right now, so you’ll have to forgive any hiccups we have going forward. But you can get started immediately by visiting Circuitbee and signing up for an account. Then simply upload your schematic files, any associated library files, and let our servers do the hard work. Within a few minutes your schematic should be ready to embed on your site or forum.
Eventually we plan to add lots more useful features like downloading original schematic files, searching for components within schematics and adding notes and annotations to your circuits. We want to make it easier for all of us to communicate our circuit design ideas and to help each other improve our designs.
We hope to make CircuitBee into the most useful service for hobby electronics enthusiasts, so we’re going to keep the service free for as long as we can. We’ll need your help to reach our goals though, so please let us know what you think of the site, what needs improving and what else we can do to make learning about electronics and sharing your designs easier than ever before
Circuitbee: Sharing Electronic schematics online - [Link]
Scott writes – [via]
The iCufflinks use an Atmel ATtiny4 microcontroller (MCU) as the brains to controlling the LED lighting pattern. The MCU is an 8-bit processor with 32 bytes of SRAM, only a handful of registers, and 512 bytes of flash for program storage. The stack is stored in the SRAM so you don’t really get to use it for anything.
The original hardware design and software are all open source and can be found on the Adafruit GitHub. One of the things about the design is that it runs on CR1220 batteries and it is recommended that they be changed after 24 hours of use. That is what got me thinking that I could improve this product to increase the amount of time between battery changes.
I have also never read nor written assembly code for an AVR processor and the last time I probably looked at assembly was 386 stuff about 20 years ago. So excuse any minor assembly style issues. I was temped to rewrite the code in C but with the limited flash space I had to rule this out. Had this been a ATtiny9 with 1k bytes I would have gone this route. The small overhead that AVR Studio introduces was just a tiny bit too much for this limited memory space.
Maker improves our open source hardware wearables! - [Link]
Part Search Engines – Find that part you need! The first part of designing electronics is specifying the components, but your job is not done there. Now you have to find someone to sell it to you! We have a few favorite distributors but as it is, sometimes they’re out of stock, or its much less expensive elsewhere. For this reason we use part search engines constantly sometimes 10 times a day!
In general, we use findchips.com and then back that up with octopart but whichever you use they’re pretty similar in functionality. We think that if you’re good with component naming conventions, findchips is a little more powerful – you can search and compare multiple packages/tempgrades. If you’re just starting and images help you out, octopart has that going for it.
If you’re looking for just some common parts, check out our partfinder as well, which has more of an ‘expert system’ approach…
Part Search Engines – Find that part you need! - [Link]
John took a junk pair of multimeter probes, some sharp pogo pins, and turned them into what he calls the best probes he owns:
They are now dedicated to low voltage board work only and will easily probe directly to the pins of small parts like SSOP ICs – the spring in the pin always applies a slight pressure making it amazingly easy to keep the probe in place while working with one hand!
Just goes to show that some of the best tools are sometimes the ones you make yourself.
Johns Pogo Probes - [Link]