MIT Morphing Table #mit

I can’t quite remember which movie I saw something like this on, but it sure is cool to see something real. What intrigues me most is how quickly the table responds. Looking through the paper it looks like they use electromagnets to actuate the individual blocks. Overall a cool project. I’m interested to see how it will evolve.

If you’re interested you can find the project details here.

Arduino TRE: Two Arduinos in one #Arduino #Opensource

The Arduino TRE is said to be available in Spring 2014. The little development board uses the 1-GHz Sitara AM335x processor along with a fully functional ATmega32u4 based arduino. From my understanding it’s a linux based system that utilizes the Arduino IDE for programming. So plug it into your monitor, hook up a keyboard and mouse and you’re well on your way to programming the unit, through the IDE, for your next project. Talk about competition for the Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone. The only issue now is, how much will this cool piece of hardware cost. Whatever the price I’m pretty excited about it and will most likely throw down and get one.

Technical Specifications (preliminary)

Microcontroller Atmel ATmega32u4Clock
Speed 16 MHzFlash
Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4)
SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Digital I/O Pins (5V logic) 14
PWM Channels (5V logic) 7
Analog Input Channels 6 (plus 6 multiplexed on 6 digital pins)
Processor Texas Instrument Sitara AM3359AZCZ100 (ARM Cortex-A8)
Clock Speed 1 GHz
SRAM DDR3L 512 MB RAM
Networking Ethernet 10/100
USB port 1 USB 2.0 device port, 4 USB 2.0 host ports
Video HDMI (1920×1080)
Audio HDMI, stereo analog audio input and output
Digital I/O Pins (3.3V logic) 12
PWM Channels (3.3V logic) 4
MicroSD card
Support LCD expansion connector

Spark Core’s why Kickstarter projects are always delayed #sparkcore #kickstarter

Creators of Spark Core have also created a guide to help answer backer questions and aid future crowdsource campaign starters. As the title suggests the guide runs through potential curveballs that can cause manufacturing delays. One notable reason is adding features to your project suggested by your backers. While causing a delay you are ultimately delivering a better product to your supporters. There are many more other good bits of advice in their guide and the benefit to readers of this site is gearing the article to electronic hardware manufacturing. Enjoy.

 

Learn from Clyde’s Kickstarter #kickstarter #clyde

Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing sites are a great way to get your project out to other people. However there have been many crowdsourced projects were creators were unprepared or unexperienced, ultimately leading to a much harder exerience than anticipated or failure. Some creators have graciously documented their experience in hopes to lead those new to the process in a successful direction. The creators of Clyde, a customizable lamp, are one such group.

The creators of the Clyde have put together a 5 part guide discussing what they learned about getting your project to Kickstarter, manufactured and sent out to your supporters.

There are more articles like this that can be found under the Kickstarter category. Enjoy.

FTDI: FT800 (EVE) graphic chip #FT800 #FTDI #ICLibrary

It’s  always nice to see IC’s that can make a circuit simpler. These posts are really meant to keep track of such devices is I so choose to use them in future projects. I’ll be creating a specific category for these called “IC Library”. Now for the description.

Description: Paraphrase with the woman´s name is very near to a name of a new technology of display control – EVE – embedded video engine. Company FTDI as a well known producer of USB solutions with a slogan USB-made-easy, decided to bring this philosophy even to a field of graphic solutions. The first representative of a new family is the FT800 graphic chip, containing all necessary to create a powerful graphic output. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this solution is, that „EVE“ puts only minimal requirements on the speed (and resources) of a Host processor, that´s it can cooperate even with smaller „low-end“ microcontrollers (Atmega, PIC, 8051,….) with a very small power consumption.

The essence of small requirements for a Host processor resides in a fact, that FT800 contains al functional blocks necessary for graphic operations and control of the display itself like:

● graphic controller with a clock (timing) generator
● touch panel controller
● frame buffer
● memory (registers, ROM, RAM)
● graphic processor and co-processor
● MCU interface (I2C, SPI) and other blocks.
Moreover FT800 also contains an audio module (synthesizer and a DSP sound processor with DAC) thus FT800 also provides a sound output (mono). Continue reading “FTDI: FT800 (EVE) graphic chip #FT800 #FTDI #ICLibrary”

Flexible Microcontroller #FleX-MCU #FleX

American Semiconductors’ FleX™ Silicon-on-Polymer™ is a revolutionary substrate conversion process that provides flexible ICs and fully flexible wafers. FleX enables the next generation of flexible electronics and Flexible Hybrid Systems.

The FleX-MCU is an 8-bit RISC microcontroller with 8KB embedded RAM operating at up to 20MHz with a 1.2V core and 2.5V I/O. It includes multiple serial interface peripherals, including UART, I2C, and SPI.

There’s a video towards the bottom of the FleX page.

DesignSpark Mechanical: Free Edition of SpaceClaim 3D Modeller #SpaceClaim #DesignSpark

RS Components release of DesignSpark Mechanical seems like fairly big news if you’re interested in bridging the gap between PCB design and having a real product.   Eventually you’ll need to put your PCB inside something, and you’ll typically need some CAD software to do that if you want more than one instance!

There are a number of 3D design programs out there, both commercial and open source, but DesignSpark Mechanical is based on SpaceClaim, which grabbed my attention since I know one or two people using this and they’ve generally been very happy with the interface and modelling capabilities designing parts for injection molding.

DesignSpark Mechanical exports direct to .stl, so it’s wonderfully friendly for 3D printing, and it’s nice to see mechanical engineering and part design slowly being democratized the same way PCB design has become in the past 5-10 years!