Federico Musto of Arduino SRL Shows Off New ARM-based Arduino Boards

I caught up with Federico Musto, President and CEO of Arduino SRL, at the 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire. Their company is showing off several new boards being prepared for release as early as next month. In partnership with Nordic Semi and ST Microelectronics they have put together some very powerful offerings which we discuss in the video below.

arduino-primo-core-alicepad-star-otto-lcdThe new boards are called Arduino Primo, Arduino Core, Arduino Alicepad, and Arduino Otto.

The first up is the Primo, a board built to adhere to the UNO form factor. This one is packing an interesting punch. The main micro is not an Atmel chip, but a Nordic nRF52832 ARM Cortex-M4F chip. Besides being a significantly fast CPU with floating-point support, the Nordic IC also has built-in Bluetooth LE and NFC capabilities, and the board has a PCB antenna built in.

On an UNO this is where the silicon would end. But on the Primo you get two more controllers: an ESP8266 and an STM32F103. The former is obvious, it brings WiFi to the party (including over-the-air programming). The STM32 chip is there to provide peripheral control and debugging. Debugging is an interesting development and is hard to come by in the Arduino-sphere. This will use the OpenOCD standard, with platformio.org as the recommended GUI.

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My First Robot: A Dad’s Journey In Robotics for His Daughter

My first robot

[Joel Miller] wants to get his daughters into electronics early (his oldest is only 3), so he’s decided to foray into the wonderful world of robotics as a fun way to get them interested. As bonus to us and all other would-be robotics enthusiasts out there, he’s keeping track of the project on his blog!

He started by sketching out some ideas about what he wanted his robot to be capable of — it should be able to move around, be remote controlled, have sensors for experiments, and even have some personality — expression capable eyes maybe? Oh and it should be able to automatically charge itself, and have tank treads!

It’s been a few weeks since he started scheming up ideas… and he already has a prototype complete! Talk about a productive father! He decided to try 3D printing a continuous tank tread using ABS, but unfortunately it was a bit too stiff, so he’s opted to use a tried and true Lego system instead — although maybe he should try printing in two materials, like we just saw with the FlexyDualie extruder!

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