In a Digilent-sponsored senior design competition, Kaitlyn Franz’s team won a second place trophy for their project. The team created a Wi-Fi controlled iPad mount for assisting the sight impaired to find lost items. To accomplish this, the team utilized a chipKIT WF32, which has a Wi-Fi capable PIC32 microcontroller on board.
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! 😀
If you didn’t get a chance to check out last weekend’s Hackathon, held at ASU Polytechnic campus, check out Vageesh’s summary! Using a chipKIT uC32 and capacitive-sensing technology, his team began developing a hand-held object modeler/scanner. Read more about it on his blog!
Have you ever wondered if you could control a stepper motor’s speed and direction using an RC servo controller (for example from the stick of a RC airplane transmitter)? Wonder no longer – using a Fubarino Mini and a Big Easy Driver stepper motor controller, Brian Schmalz was able to write a simple sketch to enable precise control of a stepper motor from an RC servo input signal.
This sketch uses a 32-bit hardware timer and output-compare module on the PIC32 so that very accurate step speeds are generated. Step speeds from 1 step per second to over 12,000,000 steps per second can be configured using #define values in the sketch. There is also a configurable dead zone in the stick’s center position.
One advantage of this type of control system over a simple DC motor controller is that the speed of the stepper is not dependent on the load (to a point), so you can very accurately control the speed of whatever you are moving even if the load torque changes over time.
Check out the simple video of this sketch in action:
For complete instructions on how to duplicate this setup, see the complete description here on Brian’s site: RC Servo to Stepper Sketch
Another cool Kickstarter is under way! It’s called Connect-Pi, and it combines a Raspberry Pi web server and a responsive, mobile web application to create an automation system, allowing the user to control and monitor Arduino-type systems from anywhere in the world. Connect-PI allows you to connect up to 10 devices out of the box but you can add more devices by simply configuring the IP addresses of the new devices. Currently, Connect-PI libraries are tested for Arduino Uno boards, but they are portable to any microcontroller-based platform (including the chipKIT platform)!
chipKIT boards have a new option for building IoT applications: the Octoblu platform! In this hackster.io tutorial, Andrew shows you how to get up and running with Octoblu using a chipKIT Uno32 and a chipKIT Motor Shield… oh, and of course, a few other things including omni wheels, to make a cool robot! Give it a gander and “respect” this project 😉