Printers capable of producing three-dimensional objects have been available for years. However, at the Vienna University of Technology, a printing device has now been developed that’s smaller, lighter and cheaper than ordinary 3D printers. With this kind of printer, everyone could produce small, tailor-made 3D objects at home, using building plans from the Internet – and this could save money for expensive custom-built spare parts. [via]
Smallest 3D Printer in the World – [Link]
California-based company Leyden Energy is currently working on developing a new type of chemistry for lithium-ion batteries. If these efforts succeed, then experts here may develop batteries that do not overheat like traditional ones do, leading to new applications.
One of the most exciting prospects is the use of Li-Ion batteries in electric vehicles. This could mean that the automotive industry might become more receptive to creating such vehicles in the near future. [via]
Non-heating lithium-ion batteries in the making – [Link]
Although originally designed for mobile handsets, the Android™ operating system offers designers of embedded applications the ability to easily add a high-level OS to their product. Developed in association with Google, Android delivers a complete operating system that is ready for integration and production today.
Details on using the Texas Instruments BeagleBoard to build Applications (Apps) for smartphones and tablet PCs running the Android operating were published in Elektor’s June 2011 edition.
TI’s newest Android Development Kit from is a complete software offering to allow DM37x developers the ability to easily and quickly evaluate the Android OS. The kit provides a stable and fully tested software foundation that can be utilized on DM37x hardware including Evaluation Modules and Beagleboard (beagleboard.org). [via]
Free Android App Dev Kit from Texas Instruments – [Link]
Flyport is a revolutionary Wi-Fi module which is part of the Italian open source platform openPicus.
Flyport is not simply a serial to Wi-Fi solution, but a smart module with no need of an external host processor as it combines Processor power (Microchip PIC24F 256K Flash) with Connectivity (Microchip Wi-Fi certified transceiver).
A wide range of wireless applications can be easily developed and run on Flyport with openPicus IDE, and no Wi-Fi expertise is needed. The IDE allows to focus on application as openPicus framework, which is based on freeRTOS, manages the Wireless stack and its events.
Andrew Angellotti writes:
Hey folks, this post is about my approach to building a pretty basic dual brushless motor controller. I’m going to focus on the power section in this post, and as soon as I have time I’ll discuss the code/FroBoard side of things in another post. I got started on the power section last night after a copious amount of coffee, and wrapped it up this morning- it’s a pretty simple build if you’re used to building stuff on perf board. I firmly believe that the best way to learn how something works is to build it yourself- that’s how I learned about electric cars, and brushless motor control is no exception. So if you want to learn how brushless motor controllers work, build one!
DIY Brushless Motor Controller – [Link]
Another article that might help with bench power supply designs:
Current-Sense Amplifiers with Digital Output and 60V Common-Mode Range
- Offers easy interface with microcontrollers (supports 1.8V logic) by using digital outputs
- Delivers wide 60V common-mode range for robustness under fault conditions
- Includes internal op amp/comparator that allows flexibility in system design: the internal amplifier can be used to limit the inrush current or to create a current-source in a closed loop system; the comparator can be used to monitor fault events for fast response
High-side, current-sense amplifiers with 12-bit ADC and op amp/comparator – [Link]
Sometimes it’s handy to have a message display when persons enter a specific area. Having the message appear only when someone approaches brings more attention it, and can be useful for holiday displays, directions or warnings. In this project by Jer from Volts and Bytes, an Atmega8 is used to activate a Sure Electronics 0832 LED matrix display when motion is detected by the attached PIR sensor.
The C source and supporting files are available in this zip file.
PIR controlled LED matrix display – [Link]
Joseph Swanson from swantron likes working with the command line. He also likes working with the Arduino. So he came up with this simple project which takes the results of his command line entries and directs them over the Linux box’s USB output to the Arduino. The Arduino then displays the data on an attached parallel LCD. The sketch code is included for this easily implemented and useful technique.
Command line LCD Arduino interface – [Link]
rsdio tipped us to an app note on isolated power-supply circuits: [via]
Wow! It’s quite interesting to see how to substitute capacitors for a transformer. Without digging deeper, though, it’s not clear whether voltage boost can be achieved.
An integrated H-bridge driver for isolated power-supply circuits (MAX256) usually drives the primary of a transformer, but it can also drive a pair of capacitors that substitute for the transformer in providing isolation and power transfer.
Isolated power using capacitors – [Link]
Each year the Purdue seniors in electrical and computer engineering design and construct projects as part of their coursework. For your reading and viewing pleasure, here’s a descriptive summary of the projects produced by the 15 teams participating in the this spring’s ECE477 design roundup.
Purdue senior design roundup 2011 – [Link]