From Bradley Ramsey on the Tindie blog:
Watching your robotic creation take flight is an incredible feeling, but watching it collide with something or crash can make your stomach turn. One common sensor you may reach for in a case like this is the VL53L0. But it only provides ranging to a distance of 2 meters. For many of us, this is just shy of a range we would be comfortable with.
Thankfully, a new sensor has appeared which doubles the range. The VL53L1 extends the accurate distance detection to 4 meters. It also uses a patented ranging technology that harnesses time-of-flight from a 940 nm laser.
This results in estimation independent of surface reflectivity and high accuracy in a variety of weather and environmental conditions. This breakout board sold by Pesky Products is designed to bring out all the best capabilities of the VL53L1 from ST Microelectronics.
AndiceLabs writes about a fixed-wing autopilot project:
The BeagleDrone is fixed-wing autopilot project based on the BeagleBone and the IMU cape. The IMU cape provides a 3-axis magnetometer, accelerometer, gyro and a barometer on the BeagleBone’s I2C bus. There is also an AVR micro on the I2C bus that handles output pulse timing of the 8 servo channels and input pulse timing on the 4 radio signal channels. Two of the BeagleBone’s UARTs are exposed via FTDI-compatible connectors to allow connection of external modules like GPS and telemetry. It also has a regulator that provides 5VDC for the BeagleBone, AVR, and servos from the RC battery.
The BeagleBone provides the power of Linux in a footprint that is acceptable for RC and the Black has now made the platform even more affordable. With Linux’s extensive libraries and utilities almost any feature should be quickly realizable and development enjoyable. And unlike an autopilot powered by an 8 or 16 bit micro-controller, there is no need to worry about code and data size or overloading the processor with whatever crazy navigation features you can dream up.
I enjoy flying electric RC planes whenever I get the chance and building a fixed-wing autopilot for the BeagleBone has been on my list for a while now. Of course, there’s no reason that the BeagleBone couldn’t also control a multi-rotor aircraft. A flying Linux box is going to have very few limitations!
From Mark Smith on the Surf ‘n Circuits blog:
Adding IOT to the Nixie Tube Clock. A clock that provides the estimated time of arrival for up to ten destinations
The ETA Nixie clock is programmed to display the normal time and up to ten different ETA times that are easy to identify and visually stimulating. The current time is displayed for 5 seconds (i.e. 8:41:38 AM), then up to ten different ETA destinations are displayed for three seconds each before the cycle is repeated. The current time displays all six digits including seconds. The ETA locations are numbered and display hours and minutes without seconds helping to distinguish between them. In our house, the ETA to work is ETA number 1 (i.e. 9:07 AM) and the ETA to school is ETA number 2 (i.e. 8:58 AM). Lots of other options are possible with custom programming of the Raspberry Pi to meet your ETA requirements.
surfncircuits has shared the board on OSH Park:
Brian Benchoff writes in the latest Hackaday Links:
A while ago, [Peter Jansen], the guy who built a tricorder and a laser-cut CT scanner, made a magnetic camera. This Hall Effect camera is a camera for magnetism instead of light. Now, this camera has been fully built and vastly improved. He’s capturing ‘frames’ of magnetism in a spinning fan at 2000 Hz (or FPS, terminology kind of breaks down here), and it’s beautiful.
From Jeremy S. Cook on the Tindie blog:
Thermal imaging has remained an interesting, if costly, technology for some time. One lower cost option is the the Grid-EYE sensor from Panasonic. While it has a resolution of only 8×8 pixels, it’s priced in the low double digit range, making it an ideal candidate for budget projects. If you’d like to add it to your build, Pesky Products has a has a breakout available that allows it to be used with the I²C protocol.
Xose Pérez, after finding this sensor and breakout on Tindie, which he (correctly) considers “a great place to find uncommon electronic components or weird/interesting boards,” decided to make his own low-resolution IR camera. At only 64 pixels of resolution, it’s not as capable as more expensive units, but it could still be very useful for getting a general idea of what is hot and cold in a room/environment. The case is made out of slices of acrylic, paper, cardboard, and MDF, giving it a very unique look. It also features a small screen to display supplemental information, and a simple button/switch interface.
Kris Winer designed this is a small 4-layer PCB for remote logging of absolute position and orientation:
STM32L433-based board with CAM M8Q concurrent GNSS, EM7180 + MPU9250 + MS5637 for absolute orientation, and an ESP8285 for wifi connectivity.
The absolute orientation engine uses the MPU9250 accel/gyro/magnetometer IMU sensor plus the MS5637 barometer as slaves to an EM7180 motion co-processor that sends quaternions and drift-stabilized altitude to the host via I2C.
There is an Arduino library and sketch available on GitHub:
PeskyProducts has shared the board on OSH Park: