This project is a thrust-vectoring inverted pendulum and it is demonstrating of how one might control an unstable system. It consists of a propeller and motor mounted to a servo on the end of a pendulum. The servo allows the thrust to be angled or vectored in order to swing-up and balance the pendulum. Control is accomplished by a PC running LabVIEW, but in the electronics you’ll also find a pair of AVR microcontrollers for PWM signal generation.
The thrust-vectoring inverted pendulum - [Link]
Analog to digital conversion are required in embedded systems because most of their surroundings comprise of analog signals and the embedded processors can process only digital data. This tutorial shows how to use the internal ADC module of a PIC microcontroller to read an external analog signal and convert it to a digital number. The conversion output will be displayed in a character LCD.
Tutorial on Analog to Digital conversion using PIC - [Link]
Texas Instruments has introduced a cheap and easy to use development tool based on the MSP430 microcontroller. LaunchPad is intended for beginners and experienced users that want to create microcontroller-based applications. The Launchpad kit includes a development board, 2 programmable MSP430 micrcontrollers and a mini USB cable. A good place to start is the Launchpad wiki and you can buy it from the TI-eStore or Mouser. Shipping is free from TI!
TI MSP430 Launchpad for $4.30 - [Link]
Embedded-Lab.com recently posted an experimental tutorial on interfacing a character LCD to a PIC microcontroller. The programming for LCD display is little bit complicated as it requires accurate timing and proper sequence of various control signals and commands. But, today’s high-level compilers provide built-in library routines for standard HD44780 based LCDs. The author uses MikroC compiler to demonstrate the built in LCD library routines.
Tutorial on interfacing a LCD display to a PIC microcontroller – [Link]
If your digital multimeter does not have a feature to test diodes and transistors, you can construct one for yourself. This project uses a PIC microcontroller for testing diodes and BJTs. The test results are displayed on a character LCD. The results include if the transistor or diode is good or bad, the type of the transistor (PNP or NPN), and the status of the individual PN junctions.
PIC based Diode and Transistor Tester - [Link]
Embedded systems designing has become much easier to learn with the availability of free high-level compilers. If you are new with microcontrollers and want to learn PIC programming, you should visit these learning-by-doing PIC experiments. These are designed to teach you the underlying electronics of PIC microcontrollers and how to interface LEDs, switches, LCDs, and various other sensors to them. The author writes program in C and compile with the mikroC compiler.
Experimenting with PIC Micro – [Link]
If you would like to learn more about PIC microcontrollers here is a nice ebook from mikroe.com. Learn what a microcontroller is and how it works. It includes numerous illustrations and practical examples along with a detailed description of the PIC16F887 microcontroller. Check it out!
PIC Microcontrollers – Free eBook! - [Link]
This is the part 2 (for part 1 refer here) of a series of articles (hosted @ hackaday.com) about programming AVR microcontrollers. This article discuss the hardware needed to transfer the firmware to the chip and make it run. It talks about simple to build parallel programmer and about professional made programmers. It also introduces a simple test circuit and documents the way to make a led blink.
AVR Programming 02: The Hardware – [Link]
This article is the first one in a series of articles (hosted @ hackaday.com) that aims to make you comfortable programming the Atmel AVR microcontrollers. It is a tutorial written for people that has never touched a microcontroller before. This first article discuss what a microcontroller is, how it works and shows the pinout of an example mcu (ATmega168). It also discuss about the tools needed, like the compiler and the programming software AVRdude etc. On the next article they will discuss about the hardware needed to programm a AVR microcontroller.
AVR Programming 01: Introduction - [Link]