Techniques in 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing, and embedded development.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Computers, including the Arduino, tend to be highly data agnostic. At their core, the heart of the device is an arithmetic-logic unit, which performs (fairly) simple operations on locations in memory: R1+R2, R3*R7, R4&R5, etc. The ALU doesn’t care what that data represents to a user, be it text, integer values, floating point values, or even part of the program code. All of the context for these operations comes from the compiler, and the directions for the context get to the compiler from the user. You, the programmer, tell the compiler that THIS value is an integer and that value is a floating point number. The compiler, then, is left trying to figure out what I mean when I say “add this integer to that floating point." Sometimes that’s easy, but sometimes it’s not. And sometimes it SEEMS like it SHOULD be easy, but it turns out to yield results you might not anticipate.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
The 555 timer IC is often considered one of the most successful integrated circuits of all time. That success stems not only from its sheer production volume — with approximately a billion made annually — but also for its ease of understanding and the diversity of its applications. Over at Weekend Projects, we’ve used the 555 in everything ranging from beginner-friendly breadboard experiments to advanced weekend-long builds. Continue reading after the jump for some fine examples of the 555 in action.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Based on the I2C FAQ by Vince Himpe
In the early 1980's, NXP Semiconductors developed a simple bi-directional 2-wire bus for efficient inter-IC control. This bus is called the Inter-IC or I2C-bus. At present, NXP's IC range includes more than 150 CMOS and bipolar I2C-bus compatible types for performing communication functions between intelligent control devices (e.g. microcontrollers), general-purpose circuits (e.g. LCD drivers, remote I/O ports, memories) and application-oriented circuits (e.g. digital tuning and signal processing circuits for radio and video systems).
All I2C-bus compatible devices incorporate an on-chip interface which allows them to communicate directly with each other via the I2C-bus. This design concept solves the many interfacing problems encountered when designing digital control circuits. I2C has become a de facto world standard that is now implemented in over 1000 different ICs and is licensed to more than 50 companies.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
There are many CAD developed to assist the electronic designers during drawing of PCBs and schematics; often they are integrated in complete suite to project, simulate and realize a whole electronic system.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The XBee Internet Gateway is a free, open-source project written in Python. It was initiated by Rob Faludi and extended by Jordan Husney, Ted Hayes, Tom Collins, Michael Sutherland and other generous contributors.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Crystal radio technology has been around for many years. This "bottle radio" take on a crystal radio requires no power source, operates on the power from radio waves, and receives signal from a long wire antenna. As radio stations slowly move away from the AM band, the "window of opportunity" to experience this remarkable technology is dwindling. The "crystal" in question is contained inside a germanium diode, and is used to rectify the radio signal so that our ears can hear it.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
ROM is an old term for “Read-Only Memory”. Nowadays these chips are often more correctly referred to as “non-volatile memory”, but it boils down to the same thing: they’re chips that store data even after you unplug your computer. When a digital device turns on, it effectively has amnesia. The only information it has about the world is what’s stored on its ROMs. So the first thing many devices do when they wake up is start reading instructions from a ROM.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor "Ladyada" Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Since then Adafruit has grown to over 25 employees in the heart of NYC. We've expanded our offerings to include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going in to the Adafruit store. We pride ourselves on having great prices, the best customer service, technical support and fast shipping. We hope we can assist you on your journey of learning - At Adafruit we celebrate engineering happiness!
Founded by Katie Tilton, a certified school teacher, artist, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur who saw the need to increase the number programs that support discovery based learning.
Brain Monkeys is out to redefine the reality in which education happens. Our students will be free to stretch, re-invent, and improve the curricula we set out to teach.
We will hand them tools instead of rote memorization because we believe that creativity, intelligence, and critical thinking are best nurtured by challenge and interaction. We will measure learning through projects and team efforts so that students come out with a portfolio of all the incredible things they have invented and the worlds they have conquered.
Brain Monkeys is designed to develop self-reliant and responsible college-bound students. Clear expectations and high standards are in place for all students for whom critical thinking and problem solving skills will be a focus.
Instructors provide an inquiry-based curriculum which promotes understanding across the disciplines and emphasizes depth over breadth. Teachers act as facilitators by providing students with an atmosphere in which they are encouraged to think for themselves, pose questions, investigate hypotheses and pursue solutions. Students become writers, scientists, researchers, explorers and artists as they consider open-ended questions that stretch cognitive abilities and honor individual learning styles.
At the Brain Monkeys, students and staff pursue the integration of intellectual and technical endeavors. Staff are committed to immersing students in a learning environment that will engage their interest in all content areas including literacy, math, the sciences, social studies and the arts.
From: Adafruit Learning System
Force Sensitive Resistors are sensors that allow you to detect physical pressure, squeezing and weight. They are simple to use and low cost. This guide will show you how to wire an FSR, connect it to your Arduino, and give you some project ideas.
Monday, July 2, 2012
"Udacity was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online. We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, we've connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students all over the world."
CS101 Intro to Computer Science is a beginning level programming course in which Python programming is taught through the creation of a web browser. There is no need for external software, a Python programming environment is available on the Udacity Programming Interface. I have done ahead and installed Python IDLE for Python 2.7.3 with the 64-bit version of Google's PyScripter (a free and open-source Python Integrated Development Environment).
The goal with taking these courses not only for my pleasure, but so that I may encourage my students to work through these courses as well. The three courses listed above are at a Beginner level, but Udacity offers Intermediate and Advanced Courses as well.
I enjoyed the CS373 Artificial Intelligence course this past spring.
SparkFun is pleased to introduce our budding Department of Education! We're still working on getting everything up and running, but if you're just getting started in electronics, are interested in taking or teaching classes, or are just curious you might head over to learn.sparkfun.com and take a look!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Robotics today is like the Internet in the 1990s: Fuel it with the right combination of technology, people, and money, and it will explode into a formidable new industry that will profoundly reshape people’s lives.
Motors are the driving force behind many maker experiments, from hobby projects to more sophisticated robotics applications. Curious if it would be possible to reduce these generally complex motor controllers to a handful of common components, we set out on our latest hack, Projects in Motion: Control Three Types of Motors with 555 Timers.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Seventy years ago, Asimov created the “first law of robotics,” the idea that robots of the future would obey a rule rooted deep in their programming: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” By the year 2015, as his short stories predicted, even outmoded droid models would obey that maxim.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Its a very common question, 'How do I read and RC Receiver with my micro controller' and the answer is often very simple however the simple answer is close to useless in a real world application. The approach outlined in this series of posts has been tested in an RC Race car running at 40+ Kmh at a range of 100 meters. The approach is reliable, resilient, easy to understand and easy to modify. It has been tested using using 27Mhz AM radio equipment and entry level electronics. Use of better quality electronics and radio equipment will provide improvements in range and signal quality however as the development process has demonstrated, even low end equipment can be interfaced with Arduino for control of an RC Race car.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
Gears and Wheels Part 2
Motorized Toy Car Challenge video devloped to illustrate concepts in the curriculum: gear speed and direction, circumference, diameter, radius, combining different size gears, driver gear vs driven gear, gear trains, gear ratio, gear friction, gear pairs (compound gears), lever arm, torque, rim force.
Rodney Brooks is Panasonic Professor of Robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Chief Technical Officer and sits on the Board of iRobot Corp. From July 1, 2003, until June 30, 2007, he was director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; prior to that, he was director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Monday, January 2, 2012
MATLAB Support Package for Arduino enables you to use MATLAB to communicate with the Arduino board over a USB cable. It is based on a server program running on the board, which listens to MATLAB commands arriving via serial port, executes the commands, and, if needed, returns a result.
This allows you to:
Start programming right away without any additional toolboxes
Work in the MATLAB environment for interactive development and debugging
Interactively develop programs to acquire analog and digital data, and to control DC, servo, and stepper motors
Run control loops at up to 25 Hz (not real-time)
Introduce mechatronics, signal processing, and electronics concepts in classroom labs