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We have just launched our Facebook page here We are going to start adding some content and lots of photos of some of the cool stuff that has been in development for a while ...

Balancing Android

Came across this awesome Android based balancing robot created by Ichiro Maruta. It uses a Nexus 7, IOIO-OTG, Hub-ee Wheels some LEGO bricks and a Zeemote.

More details (if you can read Japanese) on his blog.

Building a robot around the Atmel SAMD20 Xpained board

Just a few pics of the robot we are building around an Atmel SAM D20 Xplained Pro board.

Very excited about the possibilities for this range of ARM Cortex M0+ MCU's - I hope someone is working on a USART bootloader that will work with the Arduino IDE ... We have already got some modular board designs worked out but no experience of writing bootloaders.

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Arduino compatible robot kit tests

Just uploaded a video of our prototype robot kit. It currently uses the ATMega328, the same as the Arduino™ Uno, but we are working on a new version that has the ATMega32u4 (the same as the Leonardo) and will work as a drop in replacement for the official Arduino™ robot base.

Why would you want a replacement base for the great looking official Arduino™ robot?

Neat little LEGO bot with HUB-ee wheels from Slovenia

Just stumbled on this neat little LEGO based bot built byDomen Ipavec, a Physics student from Slovenia:

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Atmel SAMD20 Xplained Pro - Prototyping breadboad hack

Just thought I would post a few pics of the breadboard hack I came up with for playing around with the Atmel SAM D20 Xplained Pro board (Showcasing their neat new line of ARM Cortex Mo+ MCU's)

I got two breadboards and sandwiched a 60 way IDC connector between them. The IDC cable runs out to three 20 way connectors that clip onto the Xplained pro board. Now I can hook up the pins nice and easily without great big bits of ribbon cable getting in the way.

An (almost) balancing robot

A little video of our own attempt to make a balancing robot - we didn't have a gyro so we used a pair of IR range-finders, each pointing at the floor, and used them to work out the angle of the robot.

We also added a bunch of potentiometers on the top to make it easy to manually tune up the proportional and derivative gains, and adjust the balance set point.

My PID (which still lacks the I component at the moment) still needs some work.

Speed Delta test

Someone e-mailed to ask how quickly the wheels could change direction so we put together a quick and crude test using an Arduino.

We used the quadrature encoder and wrote an interrupt function that captured the time from micros() into a 100 element array of unsigned long ints - the interrupt would fire every time the QEI channel changed state.

The wheel (120:1 gear ratio) was then spun at full speed forward and reverse, changing direction every 0.1 seconds (we had already established that it went from zero to full speed in under 0.1 sec).

Quick Video - PICAXE Shield Test

A quick video showing our Proto Shield on a PICAXE shield base, driving a couple of HUB-ee wheels through a pre-programmed sequence.

The PICAXE Basic code used in this example is available here

Quick Video - LEGO Test Bot

We stuck a pair of prototype LEGO compatible wheels on a Mindstorms NXT along with a Pololu ball caster.

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