ESP32 E-Paper Thermometer with a DS18B20 Sensor

Our friends on educ8s.tv published a new video. Check it out.

In this ESP32 project video, we are going to use an E-Paper display and a DS18B20 temperature sensor to build a low-power thermometer. We are going to use the Arduino IDE to program to ESP32 board. ! It is a very easy project to build. It won’t take us more than 5 minutes so let’s get started!

ESP32 E-Paper Thermometer with a DS18B20 Sensor – [Link]

Adafruit Feather 328P – Arduino Uno on the Feather Family

Adafruit Feather 328P is the latest addition to the ever-expanding feather family boards manufactured by Adafruit. The Adafruit Feather development boards are a set of development boards made by Adafruit that can either be standalone, stackable or both. The feather boards all includes a LiPo battery connector, which will allow projects to easily be powered by LiPo batteries for on the go use.

Adafruit Feather 328P
Adafruit Feather 328P

The Adafruit Feather 328P is based on the popular Atmega 328P, the same processor that powers most Arduino maker boards especially the legendary Arduino Uno. With the Feather 328P, you can bring classic Arduino Uno code and even libraries to the Feather form factor. Measured at about 51mm x 23mm x 8mm (without the headers soldered in) and it weighs just 4.8g.

The Feather 328P is lightweight and a small form factor development board. At the heart of the Feather 328P is an Atmel ATmega 328P running a 3.3V and 8MHz. At 8MHz, the feather 328P can’t fully compete with the Arduino Uno which runs at 16MHz but is fair enough. The Feather 328P includes a 32KB of flash memory (storage memory), 2KB of RAM, and it uses the SiLabs CP2104 to give it a USB-to-Serial program which also provides users with some integrated debugging capabilities.

feather on a breadboard

The Feather 328P boards come without any headers soldered, so you have to solder yourself to start using it for prototyping. Unlike the Arduino Uno and some other Arduino board which are not fully breadboarding compatible, the Feather 328P fits perfectly into a breadboard and will be great for quick prototyping without the need for jumper cables.

Like other Feather development boards, the Feather 328P also includes a LiPo battery connector for any 3.7V Lithium Polymer batteries with a built-in battery charging. It will charge straight from the micro USB port, and you don’t necessarily need a battery to make it work, it will run just fine straight from the micro USB connector. The Feather will automatically switch over to USB power when it’s available making sure your project never goes offline as far you still got some juice in the battery though. You can also measure the battery voltage through one of the analog pins, the analog pin must not be connected to anything for this to work.

The following are some of the specifications of the Feather 328P:

  • Size  – 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28″ (51mm x 23mm x 8mm)
  • Weight – 4.8 grams
  • Processor – ATmega328p @ 8MHz with 3.3V logic/power
  • Power –
    • 3.3V regulator with 500mA peak current output
    • Built-in 100mA lipoly charger with charging status indicator LED
  • USB serial converter (CP2104) for USB bootloading and serial port debugging
  • GPIO –
    • 19 GPIO pins + 2 analog-in-only pins
    • 6x PWM pins
  • Connectivity –
    • Hardware I2C, SPI.
    • For UART devices, should use SoftwareSerial
  • Others –
    • 8 x analog inputs (two are shared with I2C)
    • Pin #13 red LED for general purpose blinking
    • Two LEDs for serial data RX & TX
    • Power/enable pin
    • 4 mounting holes
    • Reset button

The Feather 328P comes with an extra prototyping area to add some couple of components without using a breadboard. The Feather 328P is available for purchase and priced at $12.50, you can buy now online at Adafruit Store. To find out about the other feather boards, check them out here.

Infrared repeater using AVR mcu

Madis Kaal @ nomad.ee designed a infrared repeater based on ATMEL AVR + TSOP1738 infrared receiver. He writes:

I built this MCU based infrared repeater to allow me to control my A/V equipment that is behind a wall. The system is very simple.

Power is supplied to CON1 from a cheap Alcatel phone charger that outputs stabilized 12V, passes through reverse voltage protection diode to IC1 that outputs 5V VCC. Atmel AVR microcontroller runs from 4MHz ceramic resonator Y1, C3+R1 form a reset circuit. Infrared detector (TSOP1738 in my case) is connected to INT0 input, C1+R2 are for detector power filtering.

Infrared repeater using AVR mcu – [Link]

SODAQ ONE board – GPS + LoRa + Solar charger

This is the third generation of our succesful SODAQ ONE board. It is equipped with a solar charge controller and runs on a LiPo or a permanent battery. It has the Ublox Eva 8M GPS module which is not only miniature but with it’s assisted GPS feature it can get a fix within seconds. We’ve now added an extremely low power Accelerometer/Magnetometer. This gives the board a nifty feature where it can stay in (deep) sleep mode until it moves. An essential feature for developing low power devices.

Let’s imagine you want to develop a bicycle tracker using the SODAQ ONE. You would like to track the position of the bike, but only when it has moved. This is possible if you keep the device in deep sleep until it detects motion. If the motion continues for a while, the bicycle may have changed position so only then the GPS will switch on to get a new reading and send this location over the LoRa network. Efficient right? This system will allow you make most efficient use of your battery capacity by only using the GPS when really needed, essentially increasing the battery life of your system.

SODAQ ONE board – GPS + Solar charger board – [Link]

Infinite Noise true random number generator

This is an Open hardware USB true random number generator coming soon on crowdsupply.com

The Infinite Noise TRNG is an affordable and secure true random number generator (TRNG) based on a modular entropy multiplier technique that continuously loops over previous random output, gathering randomness from the noise of the hardware components along the way, to generate the next random output. The simplicity of this technique makes it quite robust to common attacks like signal injection. The openness of the implementation makes it and easy to inspect and verify, as all security hardware should be!

Features & Specifications

  • Default 30 KB/second of random data
  • No firmware
  • “Whitening” implemented in the driver
  • Comes with polycarbonate enclosure
  • Immune to power supply noise and RF interference
  • Uses only stock components
  • Health monitor built into host drivers
  • Multiplatform driver support (Windows, Linux, and also ARM-support)
  • Fully open source (see GitHub repo)

HoneyWell´s Small, High Performance Pressure Sensor

Honeywell is a technology company working towards connecting the world. They are currently working on connected homes, buildings, plants (such as refineries), warehouse, workers, aircrafts, vehicles, and healthcare while addressing challenges such as energy, safety, security, productivity, and global urbanization. To enhance product performance, Honeywell has designed a MicroPreassure board mount pressure sensor measuring only 5 mm x 5 mm.

Nowadays, the market is filled with low performance cheap sensors or high performance expensive sensors which do not meet the need for fully functional cheap sensors for industrial and medical applications. Honeywell’s MPR is a small piezo resistive silicon pressure sensor with digital output, and it is the smallest ported pressure sensor in the market. This device was designed to be easily installed and to work without the need for external amplification. MPR MicroPreassure sensor has amplification, compensation, and low power consumption. Additionally, the device has high accuracy, it is liquid tolerant, meets moisture sensitivity level 1 requirements, and it is durable (it has strong metal ports).

This device could not only help improve already existing technologies, but also it would allow for this type of sensors to be introduced in new objects such as wearables, or common objects for IoT applications. In medical industry the sensor can help reduce the size of bulky devices and may even allow the patients to own their own monitoring device at home. MicroPreassure was specifically developed for high volume applications such as appliances, non-invasive blood pressure machines etc. For circuit designers and engineers, this sensor gives the opportunity to reduce the size in all the devices by using less space in boards and PCBs.

It was designed to meet high volume requirements (250,000 units/year), so with a low production cost and a really good performance, designers can now include these sensors to reduce their device price and to give them optimal performance. The user will have access to 1.5% accuracy and 13 bits of effective resolution which makes the processes more efficient. As a result, depending on the design, the device may be less prone to errors, require less power, or make less noise.

[source]

Pulurobot – An Open Source Heavy Load Bearing Application Robot Powered by the Raspberry Pi

If you have seen the starship delivery robots by Starship Technologies, you will know how cool delivery robot can be. Pulurobotics have released a set of low-cost opensource robots that are capable of carrying heavy loads and can be reconfigured to do several tasks.

Pulurobots
Pulurobots

Application robots are robots that can be configured to do several tasks. The Finish based company Pulurobotics have launched the Pulu set of robots called Pulurobots. Just like the way we have the Starship robot and other delivery robot, Pulurobots are low cost (low cost as compared to other robots), load bearing (can carry a payload of over 100kg), and are autonomous robots. Pulurobot can be used as – a delivery boy, a recycle bin, a nightguard, telepresence, shopping carrier, and many more.

The Affordable autonomous open source mobile robot is set to be published at Fosdem 2018, at the ULB Solbosch Campus in Belgium on Sunday 4th February 2018. At the heart of pulurobots is the Raspberry Pi, it needs one Raspberry Pi for navigation and communication with RobotBoard but can feed up to five Raspberries if you need more power or multiple Operating Systems to your application. The robot does Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), charges automatically and fulfills the definition of an autonomous mobile robot.

Pulurobot was built from the ground up and doesn’t use ROS (Robots Operating System), even though it is compatible with it. Pulurobot comes in three models:

  • Pulurobot S
  • Pulurobot M
  • Pulurobot L

The Pulurobot S is the smallest version of the robot family with a footprint of about 400 x 300mm, Pulurobot S is capable of carrying over 50Kg of load, tested with 58Kg. Based on the same software and controller board that powers the other robots, Pulurobot S is ideal for applications that require small spaces or offices and a perfect fit for homes.

pulurobots parts
pulurobots parts

Pulurobot M is a medium size agile robot and comes in size of 650mm x 470mm with height 230mm and 304mm from the ground. It is powered by 2 pcs of 300W 24V BLDC wheel hub motor, uses LIDAR for navigating and mapping, 4 x 3D TOF (Timer of Flight) cameras and sonar sensors for obstacles. Pulurobot M is capable of carrying over 90 Kg of load, tested with about 118Kg and found no mechanical problems. It is meant to be an application platform. If you need more batteries for your application, you can stack it onto the robot. Inside the robot is a space for 240Wh 18650 battery array, but can easily accommodate around 1KWh on the chassis.

Pulurobots Sonar Sensors and Controller Board
Pulurobots Sonar Sensors and Controller Board

The following are some specification of the Pulurobot M:

  • Controller board
    • MCU – STM32 microcontroller for sensor management & low-level navigation
    • SBC – Slot for Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 for running mapping (SLAM)
    • Connectivity – WiFi and/or 3G/4G
    • Sensor –  MEMS gyroscope, accelerometer, compass
    • Motor controllers –   4pcs BLDC motor controllers, 700W peak, to support four-wheel drive computation
    • Power Supply – 5V/10A
    • Charger – 100W Lithium-ion charger
  • Vision
    • 2D 360 degree LIDAR
    •  Low-cost off-the-shelf 3D Time-of-Flight camera (SoftKinetic DepthSense) for mapping close obstacles
  • Chassis
    • Riveted, laser-cut aluminum chassis
    • Robust suspension: always four wheels on the ground
    • Two-wheel drive, BLDC hub motors (similar to hoverboards)
    • Supports at 90kg when moving, mechanical structure can withstand a lot more 
  • Battery – 18650-based lithium ion battery
  • Charging –  Can find and mount to its charger automatically

Pulurobot L is the largest of all the Pulurobot series and is expected to carry around 300Kg load. Pulurbot is currently not yet available, still on the drawing board. Pulurobot L will find applications in industries.

While most of the robots are still under development and labeled to be open source, they haven’t yet released their SW-HW design to the public domain yet. It is quite possible that their design could be available after the publication on 4th of February.  The Pulu S is available and will be available for pre-order for 999.00 EUR only during the Fosdem event, the Pulu M is available for purchase at about 3000 EUR, with delivery taking about 2 months.

Pulurobots could be a game changer in the robotics industries and could help foster more innovation, with the hope of bringing down the cost of building small but yet powerful robots in the future.

USB Armory: Open Source USB Stick Computer

An open source USB stick computer for security applications.

The USB Armory is full-blown computer (800MHz ARM® processor, 512MB RAM) in a tiny form factor (65mm x 19mm x 6mm USB stick) designed from the ground up with information security applications in mind. Not only does the USB Armory have native support for many Linux distributions, it also has a completely open hardware design and a breakout prototyping header, making it a great platform on which to build other hardware.

Features

USB Armory: Open Source USB Stick Computer – [Link]

PIXO Pixel – An ESP32 Based IoT RGB Display

PIXO Pixel uses an ESP32 to control a matrix of 256(16×16) RGB LEDs. It is an IoT device that can display information via Wifi and BLE.

The PIXO Pixel is an open source RGB display that uses the very cool, APA102-2020 Addressable LED in a 16 x 16 array. These LEDs are very fast, bright, and tiny; only 2mm x 2mm! Controlling the LED matrix is an ESP32 which is a WiFi and BLE connected microcontroller than can be programmed using the Arduino IDE(Or MicroPython!). Together these make up a very cool desktop display that you can program to do pretty much anything you want. There is also an added proto board for if you want to add more components like an accelerometer, thermometer, light sensor, potentiometer, anything!

PIXO Pixel – An ESP32 Based IoT RGB Display – [Link]

PMOD HAT Adapter Expansion for the Raspberry Pi

In the ever-increasing uses cases for the Raspberry Pi, one major way to add an extra functionality to the Raspberry Pi is making use of Pmod Modules. Pmod devices or modules are trademarks of Digilent Inc. They are set of small input and output interface boards that can be used to extend the capabilities of a development board.

PMod HAT Adapter

The teams from DesignSpark and RS Components has released a $15 expansion board called the Pmod HAT, that allows the functionality of Pmod modules be added to the Raspberry Pi in an easy plug and play manner. The DesignSpark Pmod (Peripheral Modules) HAT allows one to interface the Raspberry Pi with any one of the multitudes of diverse Digilent Pmods that are available from RS Components like the PmodAD1 (a two channel 12-bit ADC module), PmodISNS20 (a high accuracy Hall Effect current sensor), PmodOLEDrgb (an organic RGB LED module with 96×64 pixel display), and many others.

PMod modules

The Pmod HAT Adapter is a 65 x 56.5mm HAT compliant board that offers three 2 x 6 pin Pmod connections with support for I2C, SPI, UART and GPIO interfaces. The board can get its power either through the Raspberry Pi Power IO lines or via a 5V barrel power jack. The Pi HAT Adapter is compatible with the following Raspberry Pi: Raspberry Pi Model A+, Raspberry Pi Model B+, Raspberry Pi 2 B, Raspberry Pi 3 B, Raspberry Pi Zero W, and Raspberry Pi Zero.

The Pmod HAT Adapter is currently able to support up to six Pmod modules, three Pmod modules can be connected through the 3 extend Pmod interface and the rest through the additional I/O available via the Raspberry Pi 40-pin GPIO connector. It includes an EEPROM that stores a device tree fragment which is used to identify the module and configure the OS and drivers.

The board has been released with support for Python-based developers through a ton of demo tutorials and example Python Libraries hosted on DesignSpark.

Pmod HAT in use with Pmod devices

The following are the specifications of the Pi Pmod Adapter HAT

  • 5mm Follows Raspberry Pi HAT Specification
  • Provides access to full-line of Digilent Pmod Peripheral modules
  • Three Pmod ports: two SPI (JA/JB), one I2C (JB), one UART (JC), all three GPIO capable
  • SPU, UART, I2C, GPIO Connections are supported
  • 5V barrel jack for external power
  • 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header
  • One power supply connector, or powered by the Pi via GPIO 5v pins
  • 16mA current limit for all PMOD GPIOs

The DesignSpark Raspberry Pi Pmod HAT Adapter is available for purchase at Digilent for $14.99 and 14 Pounds at RS-Components.