Moving an FPGA Project from VGA to DVI-D

It’s fairly easy to create VGA with an FPGA using a simple R/2R DAC. As [Mike] points out, this requires a lot of IO pins, and many development boards only support 8 bit VGA. Analog VGA is being replaced with DVI-D and HDMI on many devices nowadays, so it would be nice to port projects from VGA to DVI-D.

To address this, he’s come up with a simple DVI-D implementation in VHDL. The result converts RGB and sync data for VGA into DIV-D. Since DVI-D and HDMI both use the same signals for video, this can be connected to either input on a monitor or TV.

This implementation is shown displaying a test pattern on the Pipistrello development board, which features a Spartan 6 LX45 FPGA, but the project was written to be portable to other vendor’s FPGAs. With the right connector and a fast enough clock speed, this project should help move a project from 8 bit VGA to glorious 32 bit color.

Another Android controlled roving robot

[Sam] has been working on a cellphone controlled robot for a while now and with the launch of a few similar Kickstarter campaigns he thought it would be good to share his progress so far.

[Sam]’s robot is controlled by an Android device with the help of an IOIO dev board. This setup provides more than enough computational power to send a robot on its merry way, and has the bonus of allowing [Sam] to connect additional sensors.

The case is designed to put the headers on the IOIO board on the outside, just above a little shelf perfect for holding a breadboard or two. With the right hardware and software setup, [Sam]’s bot can rove around the neighborhood collecting data and sending it to a server in real time.

If you’re wondering why a tiny Android/IOIO powered sounds so familiar, it might be because of the Botiful robot we posted a few days ago. Unlike Botiful, [Sam] can only control his treaded Android bot through Bluetooth as the whole ‘programming a web interface’ is a bit over his head. Hopefully [Sam] will meet an enthusiastic coder when he brings his Arduino tank to Dorkbots Boston this evening.

You can check out a prototype of [Sam]’s bot in action after the break.

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Adafruit’s custom Rasp Pi distro eases some pain

Many of you have still not yet received your Raspberry Pi. When you do, you’ll find that there is work to be done in the operating system to get things working as you might want them to.  The wonderful folks over at Adafruit have tackled this by releasing their own distribution of Linux for the Raspberry Pi.

Based on the shipped distribution “Wheezy”, Adafruit’s distribution “Occidentalis v0.1. Rubus occidentalis” or “the Black Raspberry” now includes the following:


Robotic Manta Ray (Mantabot)

The Robotic Manta Ray codenamed MantaBot created by the Bio-Inspired Engineering Research Laboratory (BIER Lab) is set to make a splash. The next evolution in underwater Robotics is here. We have seen the likes of robotic fish and Jelly fish now to be added to the school is the MantaBot which has been designed to mimic the unique swimming motion of the Manta Ray,

This biologically inspired under water robot’s has been designed with a primary goal to be autonomous using its onboard electronics to make its own decisions to navigate its watery domain. BIER Lab has received major funding from the Department of Defense (DoD) Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. Part of its goal in the long run is to reverse engineer the biological systems of such creatures to the point of creating simulated artificial skin and muscle.


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Super Nincoffee Jr.

Your morning routine doesn’t include enough old-school gaming. Break the caffeine habit and get your Mario on at the same time with the help of the Super Nincoffee Jr.

[Luigifreakout123] shares the details of the build in the video clip after the break. He starts by revealing that this is the second version he’s made. The first wasn’t a Jr., but instead used a full-sized Mr. Coffee unit. Neither make coffee, but instead serve as an enclosure for the gaming hardware. The on/off switch and original power cable are used to control the electricity to the console. Openings have been cut in the tops and front for a game cartridge and the two controller ports. A composite video and stereo audio cable comes out the back of the machine next to the power cord.

Yeah, it’s super simple, but sometimes that all it takes for a project to be a delight like this one is.

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