I was really happy and proud when I discovered that my inventortown online development environment for MSP430 Launchpad has been featured on Hackaday. Thanks!!
I’ve now added a feature in Inventortown which allows you to use the online IDE to program a device that sits in my basement with a webcam pointing at it. Log into inventortown and click ‘Webcam’ to see it. A static picture of the project right now is shown below.
I’ve made a layout for a Grove-based BoosterPack + servo connectors, thinking this might be an ok robot platform. (Info on Grove sensors at SeeedStudio) I might also make one based on RJ11 (narrow ethernet-like connectors). These are more foolproof and easier for kids to use.
Grove really have quite a lot of sensors, and I think some of them at least are 3.5 V compatible.
The board has the following:
- Grove connectors for all pins
- Servo connectors for some pins
- Battery connector
- Voltage regulator
- Protection against opposite voltage connection (will it work??? Are there better ways?)
- Some extra space. Not sure what to add. Maybe a proximity sensor circuit.
- Some extra space that can be broken off as another board. Can maybe add some sensor boards here, but not sure which are best.
I’m planning to get some of these made at SeeedStudio (once the final design is done).
Here are some pictures of an LCD and Touch booster pack I’m working on (not touch on the display itself). I think the price of this pack can be around 12-15 USD. I have to buy 250 of the displays, which is of course a considerable investment. I’ll post a video of it working also. I wonder if I should make the size of the touch-pads a bit larger, at the expense of the extra holes on the sides (made to be able to connect wires to the unused pins).
I’ve built a few robots that are documented on this site, both using Arduino and MSP430. But I’ve wanted for a while to build a robot platform that my kids can use. This is the motivation behind starting the online MSP430 IDE, as I want to make a visual programmer out of it (eventually).
My kids have a snap electronics set which they use a lot, and I was thinking maye Grove, which seems like a nice concept. I’ve also been reading 43oh.com‘s forum and seeing various ideas there. Today on Hackaday there was a post about one simple robot platform, which I guess is similar in functionality to some of the boards I’ve made for my own use with DIY equipment. It seems quite nice, and has some simple functionality. Good work.
I keep on wanting to build one myself though… some more thoughts:
- It should be open source and hopefully there should be a community working on it.
- Maybe it could be extendable for example to Grove and be able to use sensors and devices from that?
- It should primarily be for the MSP430 launchpad.
- It should be simple enough for a kid to use. The plugs need to be simple. I’ve been thinking about using 3.5 stereo audio jacks, but maybe it’s better to go for the same as Grove.
- It should have a graphical online IDE, but also be programmable with textual code (Is EasyMSP a good option perhaps?)
- It should have servo-plugin capability, possibly a motor driver (could be external or plugin) and simple plugins for a number of sensors.
- It should be quite small. It might be that a Launchpad Boosterpack size is too large.
Now that I’ve started to open my eyes for ordering PCBs and making kits to sell (possibly through a distributor), this may be one of the projects I’d like to work on. At least if I can get some help from the community at 43oh.com.
I’m thinking of making a Booster pack with an LCD and a touch sensor, simply because the touch sensor is so cheap to implement. So I just wanted to try to see if it was possible to make my own touch sensor (it should of course be, but I’m a sceptic). Here it is. It works really well. The sensor is rather rough, drawn on a PCB with a marker and etched with FeCl. I guess I could have used a drill to make the pattern also.
I was triggered by a discussion at www.43h.com about LCD displays, and thought I maybe could make my own LCD shield with the low cost LCD I’ve used in a few other projects. Thanks to having all the Eagle files and software ready, it just took me a few hours to make a design and etch the board in my workshop. It works well. However, it’s an I2C display, so I don’t know if I can get it to be compatible with the RF shield, which would be cool. I’ll have to try though.
Making the booster pack was super-easy also because Gordon has posted sample Eagle components that are a number of different Eagle booster packs sizes.
OK, so I made the library, and it was sort of working, but then CorB told me about this library: http://www.ti.com/general/docs/litabsmultiplefilelist.tsp?literatureNumber=slaa325a
I reverted to using that, ported it to Launchpad (just minor config changes) and made it available on my GitHub repository. It’s BSD-licensed. Thanks Texas Instruments for making a great Launchpad product and a great CC1101, which must be the most flexible of all RF chips. And to Anaren for the module!!! (you can tell I’m very happy, right? )
The GIT-hub repository is at https://github.com/mobilars/LarsRF
I’m developing a simple Launchpad RF Booster pack library. Really simple… not like the Anaren library that comes with the booster pack. Just for quick demos and prototypes. It’s open source and available at: https://github.com/mobilars/LarsRF (it’s not done yet, but you’re obviously free to test, use etc as you wish, according to the license (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License).
There seem to have been some formatting issues with my biped arduino code. You can download it directly from this file instead. Put it into arduino (it has a c-extension, but is an Arduino sketch really).