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. 🙂 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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BME280 Weather Station

BME280 is a fully integrated environmental unit from Bosch that combines sensors for pressure, humidity, and temperature into a single tiny 8-pin metal-lid LGA package. Because of its compact size, ease of use (BME280 supports standard I2C and SPI interfaces), and availability of supporting open-source Arduino libraries, BME280 is very popular among hobbyists and weather enthusiasts.

This project describes how to read barometric pressure, relative humidity, and temperature measurements from BME280 using a chipKIT Uno32 to make a standalone weather station. The sensor readings are acquired over an I2C bus and are displayed on a Nokia 5110 LCD display.

Continue reading details of this project!

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chipKIT Drum Set with MikroE Clicks

chipKIT: TouchClamp Click Drum Machine

Drum sets are fun to play! Now you can make your very own noise (or shall we say ‘music’) maker, and all without soldering a thing. All you need are a handful of bottles and cans (which will act as the drum pads) with some alligator clip wires (clips on both ends) connected to a chipKIT Uno32 via an Arduino Uno click shield and two MikroElektronika click boards with audio and touch sense capabilities. The TouchClamp click acts as the input for the drumming, and the MP3 click provides the audio for each “drum.” A clever little idea, we thought.

Why not make some noise with your own drum set. For all the details, check out the chipKIT drum set tutorial!

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Using a chipKIT WF32 and a Raspberry Pi to set up fan control for XBOX

Fan Control Using WF32 and Raspberry Pi
Fan Control Using WF32 and Raspberry Pi

Has your XBOX ever overheated due to excessive use? If so, have you ever wondered what you can do to stop it?

In a fan-control project–developed by Austin Stanton after his XBOX 360 died–this is exactly the issue he is trying to correct. Once he finished grieving for his lost gaming system, Austin was able to focus on how to fix the problem so that his next system doesn’t die. After doing some research, he suspected his entertainment system was the culprit, not allowing enough heat to escape.

Austin decided that the best way to regulate the temperature was to regulate the airflow, which he achieves by using two fans and a servo; the servo was positioned so it would open a door (to increase airflow). A chipKIT WF32 monitors temperature and operates the fans, while a Raspberry Pi was controls the WF32 over Wi-Fi by means of two switches.

Pretty good sleuthing on Austin’s part, I’d say! You can check out the details on the Digilent blog, where his project is broken down into two posts. The first one describes how to set up fan control using LabVIEW, and the second one describes how to add a Raspberry Pi to the whole thing.

Good luck with all your DIY life hacks!

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Trophy for chipKIT WF32 Controlled iPad Mount for the Sight Impaired!

chipKIT Controlled iPad Mount for the Sight Impaired
chipKIT WF32 Controlled iPad Mount

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.

To check out more details, head over to Digilent’s Blog.

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Murum Lux Human Interface: chipKIT Fubarino Mini and Hover Gesture

Microchip GestIC MGC3130 Sabrewing Evaluation Board
GestIC Sabrewing Evaluation Board

As a follow-on to a previous post, today’s post is about the human interface portion of the Murum Lux (Wall of Light) that Josh Ian Lindsay built. In his Overview post, Josh explains how he built the e-field box by using a chipKIT Fubarino Mini and Microchip’s MGC3130 GestIC on-board the Sabrewing Development Board. (He notes that he used the Hillstar Development Kit during development, which also contains the MGC3130 GestIC device). With the Hover Arduino library as a base, which he greatly improved (see Github), he’s created a demo that showcases the usefulness of human interface!

Why not have a gander!

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chipKIT Murum Lux Wall of Light: LEDs, Human Interface, and Ethernet


This weekend at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, the chipKIT Platform will be showcased at the Microchip booth (located in the Expo Hall in Zone 2, booth 2510, east most side of the hall).

One of the items you’ll see at the booth is the Murum Lux (or Wall of Light), which uses PIC32 32-bit microcontrollers via the chipKIT Wi-FIRE and the chipKIT Fubarino Mini to create what Josh Ian Linsday calls “Murum Lux” (Latin for “Wall of Light”). Using a Sabrewing Development Board from Microchip for gesture control, he created an e-field box, then using IPLogika’s Ethernet modules, he connected the e-field box to the RGB LED matrix panel to control the content displaying on the “wall of light.” This stuff is way too cool to reduce down to a small paragraph!

You’ll have to check out Josh’s blog post to see how he put this all together!

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chipKIT Uno32 with Arduino LCD Shield

Arduino LCD Shield compatible with chipKIT Uno32!
Arduino LCD Shield – Compatible with chipKIT Uno32!

Do you need an LCD for your chipKIT project? Check out this quick “hello world” example to get your chipKIT Uno32 up and running with the Arduino LCD Shield! For a more useful example, check out this example for how to connect and display a Photoresistor or LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) to your circuit and display the value on your LCD!

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ASU Polytechnic Hackathon 2014

PSoC Capacitive Touch Sense Pad connected to PSoC board
PSoC Capacitive Touch Sense Pad connected to PSoC board

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!

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