Posts tagged Arduino
Image by SparkFunElectronics
Arduino is an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple i/o board and a development environment that implements the Processing/Wiring language. Arduino can be used to develop stand-alone interactive objects or can be connected to software on your computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP). The open-source IDE can be downloaded for free (currently for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux).
The Leonardo is Arduino’s first development board to use one microcontroller with built-in USB. Using the ATmega32U4 as its sole microcontroller allows it to be cheaper and simpler. Also, because the 32U4 is handling the USB directly, code libraries are available which allow the board to emulate a computer keyboard, mouse, and more using the USB-HID protocol!
It has 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
Built off of my last project (Arduino powered Vex Robotics platform), I put together a netbook-powered robot that is driven by an Xbox controller attached to another PC. A wireless network connection transmits the joystick data from the laptop that the joystick is plugged into to the netbook, which interprets the data and feeds it to the Arduino by USB. The Arduino outputs pulse-width signals to 2 Vex Motor Modules (which are continuous rotation servos). The base is powered by a 12V NiMH battery pack I salvaged from a very old laptop but the netbook is powered by its own battery. Since the netbook has a web cam, it is possible to set up video streaming so that the netbook sends back a live video feed, allowing the robot to be controlled from a different room. The netbook is my new Lenovo IdeaPad S10 (Atom 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, Intel GMA950 graphics, 1024×576 10.1″ LCD, 160GB HDD) and it is currently running Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop Edition (which does work fine on netbooks).
Video Rating: 4 / 5