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Monday, September 26, 2011

Line Follower Simulator

Line Follower Simulator

The applet simulates a line following robot. It demonstrates how changes in robot's geometry and adjusting PID constants affect the line following performance.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Building Wireless Sensor Networks

Building Wireless Sensor Networks

Create distributed sensor systems and intelligent interactive devices using the XBee radios with ZigBee wireless networking protocol. With this fast-paced, hands-on guide, you’ll have built a series of useful projects by the time you’re halfway through the book, including a complete ZigBee wireless network that delivers remotely sensed data.

Radio networking is creating revolutions in volcano monitoring, performance art, clean energy, and consumer electronics. By following the examples in each chapter, you’ll learn how to tackle inspiring projects of your own. This resource- and reference-packed book is perfect for inventors, hackers, crafters, students, hobbyists, and scientists.

    Investigate an assortment of practical and intriguing project ideas

    Get an extensive shopping list for all the parts and programs you’ll need to prep your ZigBee toolbox

    Create a simple, working ZigBee network using XBee radios in less than two hours and for under $100

    Use the Arduino open source electronics prototyping platform to build a series of increasingly complex projects

    Become familiar with XBee’s API mode for building sensor networks

    Build full-scalable sensing and actuation systems with inexpensive components

    Learn about power management, source routing and other XBee technical nuances.

    Make gateways that connect with neighboring networks, including the Internet

Robert Faludi is an NYU Professor, SVA professor, and an expert consultant on commercial projects, including large-scale home energy monitoring. His work has appeared in The New York Times, and on CNet, Good Morning America, and elsewhere. Robert is a co-creator of the LilyPad XBee wearable radios and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.

Getting Started with the XBee Internet Gateway (XIG)

The XBee Internet Gateway (XIG) is a Python script for Digi’s ConnectPort wireless to ethernet gateway which lets you connect your XBee wireless modules to the internet fairly easily. Jordan Husney, lead programmer of the XIG project, has started releasing a series videos all about XIG and what you can do with it. In the first video, Jordan introduces XIG and walks through the process of setting up the gateway. The XIG is also discussed in Rob Faludi’s Building Wireless Sensor Networks and is a core component of my own Networked On Air Light project. If you’re looking for a way to put your project online using wireless mesh networking, be sure to check out XIG.

The first in a series of video tutorials by the XBee Internet Gateway (XIG) project showing you how to get started using the XIG to enable your XBee-based designs to access the Internet.

More info on the XIG can be found at

This video demonstrates where to get the XIG, how to install it on your Digi ConnectPort X gateway, and how to use an XBee to fetch web pages and abort long requests.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Open Design Engine

Open Design Engine is a web portal developed specifically to address the urgent need to publish not only the final plans but the entire design process for open source hardware projects.

Solenoid Basics, Part 1

Jeri Ellsworth shows the basic construction of solenoid actuators and demonstrates the relationship between strength and hold power relative to current flow in the coil.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Commanding Your Robot Kitten Army

XBee Internet Gateway

From Robert Faludi's Blog

XIG 1.3.0 includes several groundbreaking features. First there’s a new I/O Sample mode. Starting today, an XBee radio can squirt sensor information directly into the cloud with no external microcontroller or special configuration needed. There’s also a push feature that feeds serial information down to a remote XBee from the cloud. Again, no special configuration is needed. The XIG takes care of all the complicated stuff!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Altera FPGA Designer Curriculum

FPGA Designer Curriculum

An FPGA designer is a hardware engineer who needs to create and verify a design on an FPGA. This engineer may or may not have prior experience with FPGAs. (see also FPGA Overview).

Before taking this curriculum, Altera recommends reviewing the Design and Support Resources Guide as a starting place to get an overview of all of the collateral, tools, training, resources, and support available to help you throughout your design cycle. If you are new to programmable logic, this guide will help you quickly get started with Altera.

Monday, September 5, 2011

RoboGames Documentary

Robotics Fundamentals Series from National Instruments

Robotics Fundamentals Series

Autonomous mobile robots essentially perform three tasks: sense, think, and act. These three tasks include communication with sensors to obtain data from the robot's environment, execution of algorithms for localization and planning, and driving actuators to control the robot's motion. LabVIEW addresses each task by providing drivers for interfacing with sensors, tools for developing or reusing existing algorithms, and integration with NI hardware for driving motors.