Battery capacity is doubling every ten years. According to this statement, we may have to wait another ten years to see a functional quadrocopter capable of carrying a human being. The drones of today are very popular and versatile, but the duration of their batteries is limited and cannot carry much weight.
Not willing to wait for decent batteries the three Czechoslovakian companies Duratec, Technodat and Evektor (no, not Elektor) have teamed up to design a flying bicycle that is weighing only 95 kg (without the cyclist or should we say pilot?). We do not understand very well why this has to be in the shape of a bike, because its maneuverability on the ground seems quite debatable.
The Flying Bicycle - [Link]
American Semiconductor has announced the FleX-MCU product family. The new FleX-MCU device is the world’s first physically flexible microcontroller fabricated using the manufacturer’s FleX silicon-on-polymer process. It is an 8-bit RISC device with 8 KB embedded RAM operating at up to 20 MHz, with a 1.2 V core and 2.5 V I/O. It features several serial interface peripherals, including UART, I²C and SPI.
FleX-MCU is the initial product of a family of physically flexible ICs. The FleX IC roadmap includes microcontrollers, analog-to-digital converters, RF wireless communication devices and non-volatile memory. [via]
A Really Flexible Microcontroller - [Link]
High-quality enclosures from company New Age Enclosures can be assembled by one click.
If we´ll carefully design a device in a way to be as small as possible, it´s natural, that we don´t want to make it bigger by a uselessly bulky enclosure. For this purpose we keep in offer enclosures for small USB or other miniature devices. Despite their small dimensions, they´re constructed with a goal to maximize inner space.
For example type P3A-220705U can be assembled by means of 4 lugs – by a simple pressing of both parts to each other. This solution has an advantage in an absence of visible screws, nuts or similar and at the same time it speeds up assembly of devices at production. It is worth mentioning, that the enclosure holds relatively very firmly and it´s better to close it after we´re sure we really want to close it. Enclosure P3A-220705 is available without or with an opening for a USB-A connector. To this model it is possible to buy a reset button suitable for wireless devices and similar.
Detailed information will provide you the P-220705 datasheet with a 3D view and on the New Age Enclosures website also CAM models are available.
In case of interest, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small USB device? – No problem – [Link]
It has been 7 years (!) since I posted my PIC18F2550 KS0108 Graphical LCD Oscilloscope code and schematics. I have long since taken the circuit apart, sold my PIC microcontrollers, and moved on in my life (as one can surmise from my most recent posts detailing my graduate and postdoctoral work). However, I still get inquiries about the Microchip PIC oscilloscope, so I decided to recreate it using a simpler setup using my Arduino Fio.
Arduino LCD Oscilloscope - [Link]
Ihsan informs us of Digitstump’s inexpensive, powerful Arduino-compatible board with WiFi – the DigiX:
Have you seen this DigiX board by Digistump? They are the ones who created the Digisparks as well. As a difference from Digispark, this time they are aiming high end region of the devboards.
DigiX – The ultimate Arduino compatible board with WiFi - [Link]
Boris Landoni writes:
It’s small but packed with features. The GSM alarm we present today, sports a PIR motion sensor, can be battery operated and it’s capable to communicate via GSM. It can transmit alarm conditions and receive commands from remote. It’s also capable to indicate problems such as is insufficient voltage supply or tampering.
It’s not so conventional for antitheft system: to integrate a movement sensor, a PIR motion sensor and a temperature probe in a single appliance: all this accompanied by an SMS sending GSM / GPRS module. This circuit was born as a very versatile, ready to use, built-in alarm system: no installation is required, you can just drop it and it’s ready to work. It’s not by chance that is designed to be battery operated: it also features a battery state control to check the power.
GSM Multifuction Alarm with SIM900 - [Link]
Bill Schweber writes:
The power-management IC (PMIC) supports and manages the transducer and energy-collection channel, the energy-storage element (battery, conventional capacitor or supercapacitor), and the processor/wireless link. This critical block of any energy-harvesting design implements several major functions: Captures and extracts the random, miniscule energy from the source transducer, Transforms that extracted power into energy for the storage element, usually via a DC/DC converter, Manages the outflow of power from the storage element, while ensuring that power is not drawn when the stored energy is below a threshold value and would be wasted, Perhaps most challenging, it has to manage its own start-up sequence in the transition from when there is insufficient available stored energy for the PMIC itself.
Choosing a Power Management IC for Energy-Harvesting Applications - [Link]
Trandi made this simple DIY Servo tester based on ATTiny85:
I had to test a RC speed controller that I wanted to use to control an electric car window motor, and for the 100th time I was facing the same dilemma: find 8 batteries for my remote control, dismount the RX part from the quadcopter and use that, OR grab the Arduino and write quickly some code to generate the corresponding signals? Neither of which was actually particularly handy… So I finally decided to build a small stand alone servo tester.
DIY servo tester based on ATTiny85 - [Link]
Kevin Rye built this E-Paper clock and wrote a detailed explanation on his blog describing the build:
I still have to put the finishing touches on the code. Instead of having the display constantly update, I’d like to set an alarm on the DS3231 RTC to go off once a minute, and only update the display on alarm. Hopefully I’ll save some battery power that way. As of now, the battery only lasts a couple of days. I built in a USB battery charger to make it easier to charge it. I got my PCBs in from OSHPark and put it all together in an 80mm x 80mm Sick of Beige case. Check it out!
E-Paper clock in a Sick of Beige case - [Link]
Do you think programming is difficult? Did you think Robotics is just for programmers?
We don´t think so. Our aim is to make robotics accessible to everyone.At Minirobots we have developed mOwayduino, an open source robot, based on Arduino technology. mOwayduino robot is ready to program, with multiple built-in sensors, motors and more.You don´t need to have any robotics background to start working with mOwayduino.
Let’s play robotics with mOwayduino - [Link]