Motors and Microcontrollers 101

[Humberto] from NerdKits sends in the newest addition to their excellent collection of videos. This video goes over the basics of DC motor control with microcontrollers. They begin by showing nine experiments and observations that can be done by the average hacker with a multimeter, motor, LED, and jumperwire. Using the results from these they show how to model and calculate the properties of a motor. Lastly, it shows how to control a motor using PWM. They have supplemental text and demonstration code for an ATmega168 on their website.

Parts: ShiftBrite RGB LED module (A6281)

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Macetech’s ShiftBrite is a high-power RGB LED coupled with an Allegro A6281 backpack. The A6281 uses three 10bit pulse-width modulators to mix millions of colors using the red, green, and blue elements in the RGB LED. Multiple modules can be chained together for bigger projects, like the ShiftBrite table.

Below the break we demonstrate a ShiftBrite module using the Bus Pirate. For a limited time you can get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30.

Continue reading “Parts: ShiftBrite RGB LED module (A6281)”

Barbie’s web rover

[Hunter, Kyle, and Dylan] sent us some information on their Barbie Web Rover. It’s an old barbie power wheels jeep that’s been converted to a web enabled remote control car. They ripped out the old drive train and tore out the steering system. The rear tires are now independently driven for steering. It’s using an Arduino to control the motors and an Acer Aspire loaded with linux for the higher functions. It’s cool that they mention the farthest test being over 1600 miles away, but when it’s web enabled, does distance really matter?

They mention that the coolness factor is proportionate to the size and we have to agree, as long as they keep it small enough to not cause any real damage. You can build a web enabled rover with a little more effort from just a router, if you don’t want to give up your laptop.

d-touch tangible drum interface

yes, drums are tangible. We know. What this is, however, is a tangible interface that is a drum machine. The software is freely available for download, after registration. For hardware, all you need is a webcam, a computer, and a way to print out the pieces. D-Touch is cross platform which is very nice. Please note that the software will not run until you activate it by putting in your user account from their site. If you like this project, you might also get a kick out of the Go Sequencer.

Ikea LED matrix

8x8

[Spikenzie] has created an 8×8 LED array that fits inside an ikea frame. He multiplexed the 64 red LEDs on a PCB with connections on the back. He then used a MAX7129, an LED multiplexer and driver, driven by a PIC over SPI to do animations and play pong. He then encased the array in laser-cut cardboard and white acrylic to get large dots. This entire assembly was then placed inside an Ikea RIBBA picture frame. The result is an aesthetic homebrew display that is easy to control.

Related: 64pixels are enough

Wii Balance board

[Matt Cutts], head developer for google’s anti spam team, describes how to attach a Wii balance board to a linux computer. He even shows how to make a GUI to show the input. The entire project is done in about 200 lines of python.The process assumes that you can already make a bluetooth connection to a WiiMote, but if you can’t, he’s got instructions for that too.

[via hackawii]

Palm Pre Mojo SDK leaked

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Pre Insiders has reported that the Pre’s Mojo SDK has been leaked to the internet. Palm was planning an early access program, eventually releasing the SDK by the end of the summer, but this leak has accelerated the process. They are posting several download links, including torrents, but they warn developers to use the tools wisely.

Related: Palm Pre teardown

[via techmeme]