HelveKit Robot: A chipKIT Robot Design

HelveKit Robot

There are plenty of “how to design a robot” tutorials out there; this is not one of them. Why is this one different? Because the author, GastonLagaffe, doesn’t want to tell you what to do, as he doesn’t want to limit your creativity. ๐Ÿ™‚ His personal goals for this robot were for it to be small, autonomous, cheap, easy to solder, easy to program, with plenty of holes, and swarm capable, and although the journey to get from concept to implementation took him 12 months, he learned a lot along the way.

So if you want to make a robot, why not dream big as you read about how Gaston took what started as a small wish and made it a reality, Gaston-style. To see his journey, check out this HelveKit Robot Design Journey on Instructables. You may smile as you see his approach and decide you would have done it differently, but that’s exactly what Gaston would want you to do!

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chipKIT Text-Message-Enabled Sign and Music Light Box (Man Cave Sign)



Using our DIY chipKIT-board tutorial, Darryl Gardner, a student of the University of South Florida, created something he calls the “Man Cave Sign” for his MakeCourse. This techie sign not only displays messages (via 5 LED dot matrices), reacts to playing music, and lights up in different colors (via 2 LED light strips), but is also controllable via Text Message or Android Apps (which he wrote) that allow the user to do many things like change the display message, control the stepper motor, the color of the light strips, and even make your phone talk out loud!

His PIC32BLUE(+) Android App and PIC32BTN Android App allow you to connect to your microcontroller using a Serial Bluetooth Module and do various things like send messages/commands to/from your Android phone and control things like servo motors, LED matrices, RGB lights, LCD screens or anything you’d like. He incorporates other technologies as well, like a microphone to adjust the light strip colors according to sound fluctuations in the room, a stepper motor to rotate a USF Bulls logo, and he powers it all with a 10,000mA battery for a battery life of over 10 hours.

In this Instructable, he provides more details along with a YouTube playlist of some Arduino tutorials he referenced for the project. Keep an eye out for more details on the various portions of this project! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Multiple Servos on chipKIT uC32

Can you do it? Yes you can! James at Digilent has put together a post to show how you can run five or more servos on chipKIT uC32 quite easily, as long as you follow some guidelines. The chipKIT Servo library makes the coding easy, so all you may have to worry about is the power consumption. Read on to find out more! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Nuts & Volts: It’s All About the Uno32 Hardware

chipKIT Uno32 Development Board
chipKIT Uno32 Development Board

Take a deep dive into the hardware of the chipKIT Uno32 in this #ThrowbackThursday post that features a March 2012 article from our friends at Nuts & Volts Magazine. Fred Eady, the author, talks about the Arduino hardware model, describing it as “a perfect example of a universal electronic cluster design.” Eady discusses the serial USB interface in depth, and also examines and explains the schematics for powering the chipKIT Uno32 board. Finally, he ends with a deep dive into the Basic I/O Shield, the code libraries that give this board functionality, and the reasoning behind abstraction of the library code.

To read it all download the full article and enjoy!

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Powering chipKIT

Power chipKIT with a DC Power Source
Voltage regulators on chipKIT

Ever wanted to power your chipKIT board without having to go through the USB cable (usually plugged into your computer)? Well, there is good news for you. Digilent has a blog post about how you can power your chipKIT without frying it, plus some useful tips.

Happy Powering!

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