ANT+ networks using an MSP430 chip and Android phone

[Jbremnant] wanted to try his hand with ANT+ wireless networks. This protocol is designed for light-weight and low-power consumer electronics, like heart rate chest straps and bicycle computers (Garmin brand devices for example). There are already libraries out there for Arduino, but [Jbremnant] found that most of them were written as slave-only code. He set out to use an MSP430 to drive a fully functioning ANT network including a computer and an Android phone.

The TI Launchpad is used as the master node in the network. [Jbremnant] chose the smaller of the two MSP430 processors that came with the dev platform. After starting down this road he realized that chip didn’t have a hardware UART needed to communicate with the SparkFun ANT board (based on the nRF24AP1 radio chip). Rolling with the punches, he used a software UART he had previously worked with. Now he’s able to transmit test data from the Launchpad. It is picked up by both a USB dongle on his computer and the Android phone seen above. Check out his demo video after the break.

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A-pod

We know it was just two days ago that we were ranting about the hexapods known as Phoenix, and their creator [Zenta]. In the comments on that post, [Bluehash] pointed us to [Zenta's] latest creation. This is A-pod. The sheer articulation and believable motion here made this robot worthy of a post all it’s own.  A-pod has a 2 dof “tail” and a 3 dof head with a total of 25 servos to drive it. The addition of the head adds so much character, add some face tracking and it would really blow us away. Well, after it fetched us a beer. He notes that he’s still working on the leg mechanicals, so it doesn’t do much walking yet.